May @ the AIA

April was a busy month here at AIA Pittsburgh. While May is a little calmer, don’t be fooled – there are plenty of events in the works!  Looking to get involved? How about a social outing? YAF is hosting their annual Pirates tailgate this month. Or possibly you’re heading to Philadelphia for the AIA Conventional?  And don’t forget about the AIA +2030 Series – Session 2 is this month, with more sessions to follow. Enjoy the warmer weather and longer days and check back often for new opportunities.  AIA Increases Focus on Research – AIA is making a renewed commitment to research. With the release of the Practice-Relevant Research Roadmap, the AIA seeks to 1) increase research literacy, 2) enable and support...

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To Be Licensed

"Why quit before the finish line?"

By Lee Calisti, AIA Posted on May 3, 2016

I want you to know, I’ve avoided this for years. Time’s up. There’s something in the air these days. There seems to be a belief growing that becoming licensed as an architect is optional or even unnecessary. A thought exists that there needs to be irrefutable value clearly demonstrated in bullet points on a highway billboard for candidates to consider pursuing it after they’ve completed their education. If this is you, you are asking the wrong question. It’s axiomatic. Why is getting a license even a question? Every time this issue arises, I try to listen and be empathetic. I helped start AIA Pittsburgh’s YAF in 1996 for goodness sake – I’m an advocate for emerging professionals. I’ve taught hundreds...

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Nicole Graycar, AIA

Meet the 2016 YAF Chair

Name: Nicole Graycar, AIA Firm: Carnegie Mellon University Campus Design and Facility Development Years in practice: 6 Education: BArch, Carnegie Mellon University Your first job: Babysitting. But my first proper job was the Drive-Thru at McDonald’s; on 49 cent cheeseburger days it was pretty intense. Project you’re proudest of:  Materials Science & Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. It was the first professional project I ever got to see from start to finish. A little bit of me is still there. Building you’d like to tear down: None – I’d prefer to repurpose it. No need to waste what is already there. What’s the best part of your job? Being able to literally put my money where my mouth is. An owner...

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Give and Take

YAF Implements Two Mentorship Programs

By Raymond Bowman, Assoc. AIA Posted on February 7, 2016

Young architects need a wide range of experience to become well-rounded professionals, and that’s not always possible to get exclusively from the places they work. That’s why mentors are so important – to help bridge the gaps that a job cannot fill. The local AIA Pittsburgh YAF (Young Architects’ Forum) chapter has historically struggled to establish a program to nurture mentor/mentee relationships. Elsewhere in the state, however, AIA Pennsylvania’s Emerging Professional committee has come up with a unique program of their own that has proven successful. Now, for the first time in Pittsburgh, when you need a hand finding a mentor, there’s AIA Pennsylvania’s PALM Program. PALM stands for Promoting Advocacy and Licensure through Mentorship. It was developed in part by Melissa...

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Lots to Celebrate

In case You Missed the Holiday Party…

At the end of each year, members of the architectural community gather together to celebrate at AIA Pittsburgh’s President’s Holiday Party, sponsored by SOTA Construction Services, Inc. This year, the party was held at the 4moms headquarters, an office downtown that was entered in the Design Pittsburgh Awards competition. Early in the evening some business was announced. Four AIA members were voted on to be part of the AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors – Marc Mondor, AIA; Julie Polletta, AIA; George Rieke, AIA; and Stephen Winikoff, AIA – as well as two Associate AIA Board representatives – Ray Bowman, Assoc. AIA and Arthur Notaro, Assoc. AIA. The traditional passing of the wig took place, as 2015 president Alan Schlossberg, AIA...

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Take Five

Clarification from the AIA-Appointed Architect Licensing Adviser of PA...

By Sean Sheffler, AIA Posted on August 25, 2015

Anyone that knows me has probably noticed that I spend a lot of time talking to a lot of young professionals. And it surprises me that, even with the massive effort NCARB has undertaken to educate the community about the pending changes in the exam process (including publishing the Test Specification), there’s still a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about what’s actually going on. So let’s all take a collective breather –take five, if you will – and review some of the more important facts about ARE 5.0… 1. The new version of the exam is still over a year away.  ARE 5.0 is not set to launch until late 2016, well over a year from now.  Anyone that...

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Lessons in Human Nature

Anne Swager's 25 Years with AIA Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on August 23, 2015

Anne Swager, Hon. AIA has been called many things – progressive, outspoken, ballsy, an ally, a foe, compassionate, cheerleader, easily distracted, thinker of big ideas. And for the past 25 years, she’s also been called Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh. I have worked with AIA Pittsburgh and Anne in a handful of capacities over the past decade and one thing I have learned is, if she has a story to tell (and she will), you should sit down and listen. We touched base over a cup of coffee recently to look back over this quarter century of her leadership at AIA Pittsburgh and her career serving as a voice for the architecture community. Columns: First things first, did you ever...

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Design Pittsburgh Offers New Opportunities, New Challenges

What Are You Waiting For? Enter Today!

Design Pittsburgh, one of AIA Pittsburgh’s signature programs, is a great chance to connect with peers, network, support, and be a part of the local architecture community. But at its core, it’s so much more – through events, exhibits, social media, and press it is an opportunity to honor and publicly promote the importance of architectural services, good design, and those who create it. In order to thoroughly recognize how good design is impacting the world around us, we have identified the importance of collaboration and advances in technology that are impacting the profession. With this in mind, two new design award categories have been added to the competition this year. Engineering + Science Award – The Engineering + Science...

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Touring Together

Two Committees Join Together to the Benefit of Everyone

Emerging professionals often have to guess as to what sector they would like to work in, applying to firms that they hope will be a good fit. In an effort to expand their understanding of what custom residential architecture can be, the Young Architects Forum (YAF) has paired up with CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network) for a building tour and panel discussion. Next week, both young and established architects will meet in Lawrenceville to tour the new residence by DeNinno Architects on 45th Street, where Jeffery DeNinno, AIA both designed and acted as general contractor. After exploring this three-story residence, Jeffery and other members of CRAN will open up about the challenges and rewards of custom residential design, giving young...

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Honoring Paula Maynes, AIA

Introducing the Paula Maynes AIA Pennsylvania ARE Grant

Paula Maynes was known for her mentorship, her work ethic, and her calm, collaborative nature. She was a leader statewide in the architectural community and understood the importance of supporting aspiring architects to achieve licensure. The AIA Pennsylvania Associates Committee has identified a need to provide assistance to Associates throughout the Commonwealth, who are taking the Architect Registration Examinations (AREs). Due to the lingering impacts of the recession on the architectural, design, and construction fields, many emerging professionals are still underemployed and struggling to pay off school loans. The AIA PA Associates Committee believes it is essential for the future success of our profession to retain as many young professionals and Associates as possible and aims to facilitate their path...

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