AIA Las Vegas BLUEPRINT - January 2024

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WWWs 2023 comes to a close, I find WWWmyself thankful for the successes WWWand experiences of the past year. I would like to thank James Horvath, AIA for his leadership as our 2023 Chapter President. I would like to thank Carlos, Taryn and last year’s Board of Directors for their leadership as well. I am also looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for us in 2024.

Promoting Resilience: We will continue to push the boundaries of sustainable design through the lens of resilience. Our commitment is to create places, and policies that support them, that can withstand environmental, social, and economic shifts, ensuring our communities remain strong and vibrant for generations to come.

A few weeks ago we gathered together to celebrate another amazing year; our incredible clients, talented professionals, thoughtful community leaders and amazing projects that we have here in Nevada. If you were not able to attend, please take a moment to visit our website to see the deserving award winners.

Engagement with our community through service and involvement is one of the great ways that we can progress towards achieving these goals together. I know that all of you reading this newsletter are already engaged. My challenge to you is to spread your passion for design and our profession by encouraging your team members to engage as well. Our January membership meeting is one of those perfect opportunities for relationship building and engagement. Please gather a few of your colleagues and join us as we celebrate our Allied Members and the ways that they support AIA Las Vegas.

Troy D. Moser, AIA

“Engagement with our community through service During the program, I announced our theme for 2024 and outlined the and involvement following goals for the coming year; CRAFTING PLACES, CULTIVATING is one of the great CONNECTIONS: Elevating Collaborative Partnerships: ways that we can We will deepen our engagement with the communities we serve progress” through collaborative partnerships. This means fortifying our existing relationships with our AEC Allies and forging new relationships with community organizations, educational institutions and government. Our goal goes beyond buildings, it’s about legacies of belonging. Fostering Educational Growth. We recognize that the future of architecture rests in the hands of our students and young professionals. Therefore, we will work to establish a 501(C)(3) foundation to better serve and support our students.

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Beyond the goals outlined above, please know that I am here to represent your voice. I look forward to hearing from you and representing AIA Las Vegas in 2024!


Troy D. Moser, AIA


Design Award Winners

Service Award Winners



Las Vegas Murals & Restored Casino Signs

First Black Woman to Serve AIA President



Table OF


Meet the Board


Yearly Events


Member Spotlight


Past Events


AxNv Design and Service Award Winners


AIA Las Vegas News


Member Announcements


Committee News


Community News




AIA National News

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5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Directors Board OF

Troy D. Moser, AIA

Alexia Chen, AIA

Teresa Mears, AIA

Quyen Luu, AIA

President Moser Architecture

President-Elect LGA Architecture

Secretary LGA Architecture

Treasurer Gensler

Wellbe Bartsma, AIA

Daniel Chenin, AIA

Victoria Cousino, AIA

Melvin Green, AIA

EP Director Gensler

Director Daniel Joseph Chenin, Ltd.

Director KNIT

Director KME Architects

Kim S. Galbe, Assoc. AIA

Jeffrey Sarmiento, AIA

James Horvath, AIA

Carlos D. Fernandez

Director EV&A Architects

Director Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects

Past-President BW&A

Executive Director AIA Nevada | AIA Las Vegas

Kayleigh Hasshaw, CPSM

Glenn Nowak, AIA

Vivian Arredondo, AIAS

Taryn Kole

Allied Director TJK Consulting Engineers

Education Liaison UNLV SoA

President UNLV AIAS

Assistant Dir. Operations AIA Nevada | AIA Las Vegas


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Note: This calendar is accurate as of December 29th, 2023. Dates and events are subject to change as necessary as the year evolves.

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SANTIAGO GESELL “I am a member of AIA because…” Architecture is a very demanding profession. We tend to get absorbed by our practice. By being an AIA member, we create a space to exchange ideas and ways to work with other colleagues. This is crucial because we architects need to keep our minds fed with inspiration. For as much as we architects feel proud about what “we” do, our production is only a personal expression of what we think collectively as a professional body. Also, It's a place to make good friends. (@ Eric Roberts: Eric in three years the FIFA CUP will return to your Desk!)

and I was inspired by the work of Germán Frers, an Argentinean Naval Architect who designed Il Moro de Venezia, the boat for Luna Rossa’s team who become the challenger for 1992 America’s Cup. My dream was to design sailing boats, so back then for me, buildings were a dull thing condemned not only to be on land, but always in the same place!

“I was inspired by the work of Germán Frers, an Argentinean Naval Architect who designed Il Moro de Venezia...” The market for naval architecture was rather slim, and my older brother who was an architect already suggested I give Architecture a try. I felt the decision was a practical one, but I was not very excited.

Describe the pivotal moment or influence that ignited your passion for architecture. During my high school years my true passion was sailing (I was part of the Argentinean Windsurfing Olympic Fleet)


Once at architecture school, my view of buildings changed, while studying the thinking behind church design. I was fascinated by how medieval master builders used space and light to make people feel more spiritual in their interiors. Then I understood that through good design, it was possible to give buildings a soul capable of interacting with ours.

Santiago Gesell, AIA

How would you introduce yourself to the world as an architect? In a few sentences, share your passion, your vision, and your achievements in the field. My practice started in Argentina, where I was doing design-build renovation projects for restaurants and boutique hotels. Then I came to Vegas and became a general contractor for a branch of the company where I used to work in Argentina. However, my passion always remained architectural design, and I decided to get registered in Nevada as an Architect and open my own Studio, Atelier Gesell Architecture. AG is still a baby, the best is yet to come!

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Can you share with us an architectural work that has deeply resonated with you and explain why it holds such significance? Brunelleschi’s Florence Dome. I feel fascinated by the fact that he wasn’t even an architect and was given the chance to solve a challenge that others couldn’t solve and performed in the capacity of designer and contractor. He not only demonstrated that was up to the task, but he also created a new way to build with brick.

What advice would you offer to aspiring architects aiming to follow in your footsteps? The question of the new generation of architects is a big one. On the aspiring architect side, the only thing they need is to be passionate about it. I think the big responsibility is on us, professionals, and professors to understand how an aspiring architect can use their formation time wisely to be ready to perform in the Architecture field ten years hence. Today with AI in the game, I think we have no idea what the profession will be by the time someone who enters architecture school today gets a master’s degree.

“On the aspiring architect side, the only thing they need is to be passionate about it.” How do you believe architects can enhance their value proposition to clients?

Image: Cathedral of Florence - Il Duomo, Accessed 27 December 2023,

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Understanding that a building is not a crazy product or fashion. Many buildings that were designed in the 90’s are just paying off their loans and they already look irrelevant. The true value of Architecture relies not on ephemeral design trends but on timelessness.



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Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the Architecture Nevada Design and Service Awards Celebrations this year. We are grateful to all who took the time to submit entries and help make the event a success. A special thanks to our esteemed design awards judges - Mark Levine, FAIA; Julie Ju-Youn Kim, AIA, RA NCARB; Shannon Gathings, AIA, NOMA; Brandi Rickles, AIA; and Timothy C. Hawk, FAIA. We appreciate you lending your expertise and thoughtful


consideration while evaluating the submissions. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the service awards judges - Roger Schluntz, FAIA; Randall Vaughn, FAIA; and Caroline Lobo, AIA. Thank you for your time and discerning judgement in selecting this year's honorees. In addition, thank you to all who contributed their time, effort, and talents to make the gala celebration possible. Without the dedicated

work of our volunteers, sponsors, and team members, this event would not have been the success that it was. We are grateful to everyone who played a part. The Architecture Nevada Awards would not be possible without the support and participation of so many in our community. Thank you again to all involved - we look forward to celebrating with you again next year!

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ARCHITECTURE NEVADA DESIGN AWARD WINNERS Stage Cue: A New Gateway to the Las Vegas Arts District Andrya Mojena Cutié Merit Award Category: Academic Project

Project Summary How can art and architecture, in unison, serve as a catalyst to the revitalization efforts in the Las Vegas Arts District? Looking at the entirety of the project not as a building and street development but as a sensitive public art project. The chosen site is used to inspire other artists, visitors and residents: giving the area and its people more energy could influence them to come together and feel a sense of ownership and responsibility, bringing art back to the people and bringing art back into architecture, when art becomes the expression of beauty and emotion that enables human interaction. The proposed design embodies this belief and seeks to create human-centric spaces/moments that celebrate the unique cultural identity of the Las Vegas Arts District. Overall, the intention of this work is to create a design that unites art and architecture to celebrate the beauty of human expression and create a space that truly belongs to the people.

“...when art becomes the expression of beauty and emotion, that enables human interaction.”

Jury Comments The jury applauds the vibrant energy and clear intention of the project, with its propositional character and thorough analysis highlighting the unique cultural identity of the Las Vegas Arts District. The project stands out for its placemaking excellence and its potential as a foundation for future design exploration.


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Southend on Water TSK Architects Merit Award Category: Commercial Architecture - Built

Project Summary Southend on Water is an approximately 14,600sf mixed-used development that has become an icon in the historic Water Street District of downtown Henderson. The multi-phased project consists of retail, office space, residential, and restaurant space.

Jury Comments The jury agrees it is to be celebrated for its harmonious redevelopment of a city block, combining scale and composition with striking visual interest. It's seen as a catalyst for future growth in Henderson.

“Harmonious redevelopment of a city block”

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400 South Wells FormGrey Studio Merit Award Category: Commercial Architecture - Built

Project Summary 400 S. Wells is a design-build-develop partnership for the adaptive reuse of a 59-year-old, mid-century building located in a neighborhood that has struggled with vacancy in recent years. The project, currently home to the architect’s studio, was vastly more involved than a simple adaptive reuse. Creating a new program beneficial to the contemporary cultural values of the changing neighborhood, celebrating its mid-century history, and working with the City of Reno to help re-write the local Zoning Code were all elements executed by the architect for this project. With careful consideration in bringing programmatic resiliency to the building, openings were cut to fit new overhead glass doors on the south façade and roughly 800 sf of second story floor was cut and removed to create a beautiful atmosphere with double height, well-lit


spaces. The original floor-to-ceiling, 180degree casement and hopper windows were restored and weather sealed. While very little of the interior could be saved except the original stairs, new interior walls were kept to a minimum, allowing passive cross ventilation through each of the spaces. All of this offers functional and cultural relevance to a beautiful mid-century design while reimagining the use of workspace in today’s society.

Jury Comments Recognized for its unique approach, combining roles of architect, developer, and fabricator. The project is a creative model of adaptation, showcasing meticulous attention to detail and a thoughtful response to its program.

“Creating a new program beneficial to the contemporary cultural values of the changing neighborhood, celebrating its mid-century history...”

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The Beverly Theater Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architect Merit Award Category: Institutional Architecture - Built

Jury Comments

Project Summary

For its elegant integration of materials, light, and scale, with a special emphasis on the fluidity between indoor and outdoor spaces. The use of decorative panels and screens adds a dynamic quality to the space.

Located in Downtown Las Vegas, The Beverly Theater is a not-for-profit venue that further underscores The Rogers Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting the arts in Southern Nevada. Beverly Rogers acknowledges that being a faithful supporter of the arts means making sure the community has what it needs to flourish, and that's the true motivation for this venue.

“...elevate independent voices, independent film, and artistic expression helping fill a creative and cultural void in the Las Vegas Community...”

The Design Team developed a permanent home to elevate independent voices, independent film, and artistic expression helping fill a creative and cultural void in the Las Vegas Community. The two-story, 14,457 square-foot film house and performance theater feature three distinct areas including the main theater, outdoor jazz terrace, and courtyard, each thoughtfully designed and purposefully crafted to allow for unique content offerings and programming. Additionally, The Beverly Theater has an on-site box office, retail/concession space, a green room, a catering kitchen, and educational workspaces. The main theater features raked seating of nearly 150-seats resting on a retractable platform that can allow for expanded standing room capacity and convert the venue into a multi-purpose black box theater with the push of a button. Planned during the Pandemic, this under 15-million dollar venue, fulfills the vision of bringing people together when we were literally apart.

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Global Community High School assemblageSTUDIO & Simpson Coulter Studio Merit Award Category: Institutional Architecture - Built

Project Summary Architecture has played a major role in government’s perceived presence of authority. Bold forms of expression are deployed as reminders of past triumphs and conquests, of strength, intimidation, and status. During our initial interview, the principal expressed a fear that the new school would feel unwelcoming and overbearing. Her 100% immigrant student body often felt intimidated by the designs used by the school district. “Hard,” “massive,” “unfriendly,” and “intimidating” were the words her students used to describe their current schools, perceptions she witnessed manifest into mental health and behavioral challenges while attending school.

“...research has shown the positive impact daylighting can have on a student’s sense of wellbeing...” This project explores the research on the impacts of daylighting in schools. From academic performance to mental health, research has shown the positive impact daylighting can have on a student’s sense of wellbeing. Additionally, this design will examine the research on human experience established through the “greening” of campuses. The design will seek to challenge the status quo of the school district’s prototypical design, characterized by a lack of windows and concrete plazas. We will explore the emotional, mental and physical impact of building forms as we revise the institutional approach to scale, form, and material, seeking instead to create a place of connection, welcome, and sanctuary.

Jury Comments For its thoughtful consideration of users and seamless integration with the landscape. The project is noted for its responsible site planning and its aspiration to be a community-minded space.


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Palladio Daniel Joseph Chenin, Ltd Honor Award Category: Interior Architecture - Built

Project Summary

Monumental in scale, the program is dissected into a series of carefully framed vignettes that celebrate the daily activities that occur within them. Inspired by the client’s collection of original Hudson River School style paintings, and the decorative structures that surrounded them, a conceptual language of framing life emerged.

Focused on family connections, the clients were seeking a harmonious Jury Comments balance of social engagement and blissful seclusion that could unfold Stands out as a masterful piece of simultaneously in a warm, wellinterior architecture, where every detail appointed home where their large is a testament to the architect's family, including several adult children meticulous skill and vision. The project's and grandchildren, could be comfortably harmonious blend of space, proportion, housed all at once with an atmosphere and views, coupled with a thoughtful reminiscent of a boutique hotel. integration of the owner's art collection,

“...resulting design draws from both classical and modern references; deconstructed, reimagined, and then combined to create a distinct and nuanced aesthetic vocabulary...”

culminates in a stunning and evocative Entrusted to conceive and execute an design. immersive design, inclusive of architecture, interior design, and exterior environments, the assignment was clear, yet lofty. The resulting design draws from both classical and modern references; deconstructed, reimagined, and then combined to create a distinct and nuanced aesthetic vocabulary that is both representative of the family and exclusive to the residence.

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The Garrison Stantec Merit Award Category: Interior Architecture - Built

Project Summary Nestled within the historic confines of the Huntridge Shopping Center in Las Vegas, NV, The Garrison stands as a modern embodiment of a longstanding barbering tradition in the area. Carrying the torch passed down by its predecessors—one adjacent to the Huntridge Theater and another within the same shopping center— the barbershop pays homage to the timeless charm of early 20th-century design while seamlessly blending an elegant and contemporary aesthetic. The Garrison's commitment to transcending conventional boundaries is evident in its design philosophy, where the concept of "interior" extends beyond traditional confines, pushing through to the exterior. A custom steel storefront beckons patrons into a truly distinctive grooming experience. The meticulous involvement of the design team throughout the construction process, working hand-inhand with the construction team, ensured that every detail is impeccably executed.

“...the barbershop pays homage to the timeless charm of early 20thcentury design while seamlessly blending an elegant and contemporary aesthetic.”

Hidden away from the mainstream, The Garrison has swiftly evolved into a clandestine gem within the vibrant tapestry of Las Vegas. It not only honors the rich history of barbershops in the area but also pushes the envelope of design for projects at this scale, creating a haven where tradition meets modernity, and every visit promises a unique and unparalleled grooming experience.

Jury Comments For its creative approach to materials and surfaces, and its modern interpretation of Vegas history. The project is a neighborhood gem with a keen understanding of craft.


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Jury Comments

Exceptional integration of form with the natural environment, emphasizing its Faulkner Architects sustainable design and transparent Honor Award indoor-outdoor connections. The project is lauded for its attention to detail, Category: Residential Architecture - Built creating a harmonious and serene living space.

Project Summary CAMPout is located in the shadow of an 8,000 foot extinct volcano in the Sierra Nevada. A courtyard driven, earth sheltered, insulated concrete ground form and engineered wood framework clad in weathering steel reflects a focus on material durability, passive energy, and wildfire survivability. The site sits at the base of a mountain on a north-facing slope at 6,400 feet above sea level with views to a valley below, surrounded by neighbors. Heavy winter snow adds a 200-pound-per-square-foot snow load to the roof design. The program included consideration of construction systems and materials to withstand natural disasters along with reflection of contextual attributes. The requested program included a four-bedroom main house with private outdoor space.

“...lauded for its attention to detail, creating a harmonious and serene living space...”

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LAKE TAHOE | CABINS RO | ROCKETT DESIGN Honor Award Category: Residential Architecture - Built

Project Summary The Lake Tahoe Cabins is a single family residence on the shore of Crystal Bay, Nevada. It is just over 6,000 SF with a primary suite, 3 bedrooms and a bunk room; each with access to lake views, visually and/or physically. Private and public spaces are separated via individual volumes (cabins). In addition, the residence houses a rec room on the lowest level and a great room on the main level spanning the entire lake facing side. Lastly, the client desired lake access and multiple outdoor recreational spaces for entertaining.

Jury Comments For their sensitive and thoughtful approach to the landscape, noting the project's skillful use of materials and architectural layout to enhance the natural connections. This architecture respectfully celebrates its beautiful natural setting.

“This architecture respectfully celebrates its beautiful natural setting.”


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Edge Residence Hawkins & Associates Merit Award Category: Residential Architecture - Built

Project Summary Overlooking the city of Reno, this new custom residence creates a modern home integrated into the natural topography of the site. The site dictated everything in the design of this home that resides on the edge between Reno and the Sierra foothills. On a 10 acre lot, there was only one sliver of a ridge to place the home. The home is surgically cut into the rocky ridge with all of the non-habitable space buried below the residence reducing the visual scale of the home. This allowed the main level of the home to parallel the ridge and capture the city views to the east and the pristine mountain views to the west. The home protects the exterior living area and pool from strong winds from the west all year long. The residence is uniquely tied to its location and site both physically and visually, creating an intimate relationship of the home to the high desert site. The intent of the design was to have the residence sit in the native eastern Sierra environment, preserving and blending with the natural site with only minimal landscaping using drought-tolerant plant material native to the region.

“The home is surgically cut into the rocky ridge with all of the non-habitable space buried below the residence reducing the visual scale of the home.”

Jury Comments Its impeccable organization of space and form and its seamless blending with the magnificent setting. The detached studio and strategic use of open areas and solid walls are commended.

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El Centro FormGrey Studio Sustainable Design Excellence Category: Residential Architecture - Built

Project Summary In the heart of downtown Reno, El Centro exemplifies an innovative solution to help address the increasing difficulties experienced by our community’s lowest income populations. This mid-century motor lodge is an adaptive reuse project that provides dignified and meaningful long-term housing for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. El Centro has gained local recognition for its very near net zero energy design, its commitment to revitalizing mid-century architecture within our community, and its innovation in repurposing a typically disregarded, though iconic, American architectural typology. The design accomplished all of this despite an extensive list of building and zoning code deficiencies, all while managing an incredibly frugal budget of LowIncome Housing Tax Credits and Housing and Urban Development funding. El Centro is a small project, but it means the world to its residents and its surrounding community where, in 2022, as many as 1700 people remained homeless, and 1 in 7 lived below the poverty line.

Jury Comments Noble approach to restoration on a tight budget. The project, a collaboration between architect and city, plays a key role in enhancing housing affordability in Reno. Notable achievements include significant energy use reduction and the architect's unique role as a fabricator.


“...gained local recognition for its very near net zero energy design...”

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Heart of Campus - UNLV Aptus Honorable Mention Category: Unbuilt Architecture

Project Summary UNLV Heart of Campus is a place for the student body to congregate, relax, meet, and enjoy the campus surroundings. It is the pulse of the student population and a place to embrace nature, the spirit of the university, and make and capture memories. This project turned an ordinary asphalt parking lot at the center of the campus and transformed it into a calm, cool place for students, faculty, administrators, and visitors to pass through, to stop and breath, to mingle with their colleagues, to pose for photographs, and to be part of a community.

Jury Comments A small-scale project with large-scale impact; this proposal is valued for its potential to transform the UNLV campus into a vibrant social space.

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ARCHITECTURE NEVADA SERVICE AWARD WINNERS Service Awards The Architecture Nevada Service Awards program is the most important and prestigious event held for and by the architects of Nevada. The Distinguished Service Awards program recognizes the individuals and organizations that have made the highest contributions to the profession of architecture and their community.

AIA Nevada Young Architect Award The AIA Nevada Young Architect Award is presented to an individual who, at an early stage of their architectural career, has shown exceptional leadership in design, education, and service to the profession.

AIA Nevada Associate Member Award The AIA Nevada Associate Member Award is presented to an individual associate member who has contributed significantly to the profession of architecture through their membership and participation in their local chapter.

Victoria Cousino, AIA Victoria’s clear and concise portfolio, showcasing projects like Red Rock Elementary and the University of Idaho Study, demonstrates her design excellence and leadership. Her role in AIA Las Vegas Board and praise from colleagues for her coordination and design skills emphasize her commitment to the architectural profession. Michelle A Tapia, Assoc. AIA Michelle Tapia earns jury praise for her commitment to architecture's future, evidenced by her leadership in AIAS at UNLV and active involvement in AIA Las Vegas. Her role in Women in Architecture and Jedi committees, along with the 'Rising Star Award' and strong reference letters, highlight her talent and promise for future leadership.


“...recognizes the individuals and organizations that have made the highest contributions to the profession of architecture and their community.”

“The Architecture Nevada Service Awards program is the most important and prestigious event held for and by the architects of Nevada.”

Hung Tran, AIA LEED AP Hung Tran's submission highlights his influence in architecture through practice, teaching, and community service. His involvement in the ACE Mentoring Program and design work for Clark County schools, supported by diverse reference letters, underline his significant impact.

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AIA Nevada Emerging Professionals Leadership Award The AIA Nevada Emerging Professionals Leadership Award was established to recognize AIA emerging professional members who are committed to advancing the profession and their chapter and whose actions have helped to elevate and improve their communities.

Glenn NP Nowak, AIA

Wellbe Bartsma, AIA Wellbe Bartsma is recognized for his mentorship and advocacy in architecture, notably as Nevada's Emerging Professionals/Young Architect representative and his recent national AIA Strategic Council appointment. His work at Gensler and 'Big Brothers Big Sisters' volunteering, coupled with his leadership potential, mark him as a talented and valuable architect. His application demonstrates his impressive early career achievements.

AIA Nevada Service Award The AIA Nevada Service Award is presented to the individual AIA member who has contributed significantly to the profession of architecture through service to the American Institute of Architects.

Glenn Nowak’s submission showcases his significant contributions to AIA, the academic sphere, and the broader profession, particularly notable in his involvement with the Advancing Informal STEM Learning: Vegas STEM Lab part of the National Science Foundation. His impressive array of AIA Nevada awards, including the President and Leadership Awards, along with strong support from five reference letters, emphasize his exemplary role in academia and professional practice, making him a standout candidate for the award.

AIA Nevada Legacy Award This award is granted by AIA Nevada to recognize the work of a member or group that has left a positive impact on our state and local community. This award honors an extraordinary legacy in the field of architecture, recognizing a significant and enduring body of work that has profoundly influenced the theory and practice of architecture across Nevada. It stands as a lasting tribute to a member’s indelible impact and commitment to architectural excellence and community leadership.

John Reynolds Klai II, FAIA John Reynolds Klai II, FAIA, an esteemed architect from Las Vegas, Nevada, left a remarkable legacy in architecture and community service. Born in Osnabrock, North Dakota, John's architectural journey led him to move to Las Vegas in 1978, joining Marnell Corrao Associates. John co-founded Klai Juba Architects, later Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, leaving a significant mark in entertainment and hospitality architecture across the country. His 40-year career was distinguished not only by his architectural achievements but also by his extensive community service. He supported various organizations and contributed greatly to architectural education, particularly at NDSU and UNLV, as well as through his own scholarship through AIA Las Vegas.

Jon Sparer, FAIA

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JOIN AN AIA LV COMMITTEE AIA Las Vegas Placemaking Committee Chair: Minjia Yan Virtual Meeting 1st Thursday of each month at 11:00am

AIA Las Vegas Affordable Housing Committee Co-Chair: Monica Gresser, AIA Co-Chair: David Kim, AIA Virtual Meeting 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5:00pm


Small Firm Exchange Engaging conversation with Santiago Gesell, founder of Atelier Gesell, an individual practice established in 2021.

AIA Las Vegas Allied Members Committee Chair: Kayleigh Hasshaw Virtual Meeting 4th Wednesday every other month at 9:30am

AIA Las Vegas Government Affairs Committee Chair: Chris Lujan, AIA Virtual Meeting Schedule 1st Wednesday of each month at 4:00pm

AIA Las Vegas Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion & Education Outreach Committee Chair: Melvin Green, AIA Virtual Meeting 4th Thursday of each month at 4:00pm

AIA Las Vegas Women In Architecture Committee Chair: Monica Gresser, AIA Hybrid Meeting 4th Tuesday of each month at 5:00pm

AIA Las Vegas UNLV School of Architecture Committee Chair: Glenn Nowak, AIA Virtual Meeting 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:30am

Santiago brings an international perspective having started his professional career in Argentina. The topics ranged from his preferred practice areas to the impact of AI. Discussion wrapped up by exploring the value of architect-led development. View the video for some thought-provoking insights. DJ8P_uCud1Qeg5RN6j2cqhlZ6Xs3EZ3BdG1g2BeYeBjdlp3GLVv.zJuSz4VWTnDbtxF p Volunteers wanted for AIA SFx leadership in 2024!

AIA Las Vegas EPYAF Committee Chair: Wellbe Bartsma, AIA Virtual Meeting 2nd Tuesday of each month at 3:00pm

Small firm = Less than nine (9) employees


AIA Las Vegas Urban Sketchers Committee Chair: Eric Roberts, FAIA Virtual or In Person Meeting 2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00am

AIA Nevada Small Firm Exchange

firm: KNIT

Chair: Anne Johnson, AIA

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Thursday, January 25, 2024 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Sponsor:

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COMMITTEE NEWS PLACEMAKING COMMITTEE (Previously the COTE) wwwwwwwwwNext Event: “Revitalizing Commercial Center: wwwwwwwwwConnecting the Past and Future Through wwwwwwwwwCreative Placemaking and Mixed Use”

Wednesday January 31st, 2024 from 5 - 7PM Commercial Center, Specific Suite Location TBD Presenter: Monica Gresser, AIA, Principal Architect at BRAZEN architecture, Inc Opened in 1963 as the first outdoor shopping center in Las Vegas, the Commercial Center District has been home to many original Las Vegas small businesses. From the days of the Rat Pack dining at Commercial Center Deli and “Jackies Deli” to Elvis Presley shopping at John Fish Jewelers picking out an engagement ring for Priscilla in the 60’s, the Commercial Center plays an iconic role in Las Vegas history. By 1980, Las Vegas's population exceeded 450,000 and consumers had moved on to shopping in malls. The Commercial Center went into decline. At this event, attendees will hear a presentation from Monica Gresser, AIA, Principal Architect at BRAZEN architecture, Inc located at the Commercial Center, about the past, present, and future of Commercial Center and community-based redevelopment concepts driven by creative placemaking and mixed-use development. 2) Tour In February: Evora Vegas Evora sits on 42 acres within the heart of southwest Las Vegas. The master plan will have 1,343 residential units, approximately 240,000 square feet of commercial space, subterranean parking, and resort-style amenities. EVORA will be built in four consecutive phases. 3) Clark County Blight Area Study on Redevelopment Areas Clark County Board of Commissioners received a report on Clark County’s Redevelopment Agency Blight Study and reviewed maps for proposed new redevelopment areas. The commissioners authorized the Executive Director of Economic Development to develop the legal descriptions for the recommended new redevelopment areas and take actions in accordance with NRS279.608 to amend Clark County’s current redevelopment plan to add the proposed new redevelopment areas.


Placemaking Committee

Connecting the Past and Future Through Creative Placemaking and Mixed Use Wednesday January 31st, 2024 5 - 7 PM Balkan Bar and Grill at Commercial Center District 953 E Sahara Ave Suite B26, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Presenter: MONICA GRESSER, AIA Principal Architect at BRAZEN architecture, Inc

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COMMITTEE NEWS CONTINUING: PLACEMAKING COMMITTEE (Previously the COTE) 4) City of Henderson Released Outreach Summary Report on Fiesta Site Redevelopment The City of Henderson released a public engagement and outreach summary on redevelopment of the former Fiesta Casino Hotel site. The top two identified primary uses/themes for the siteI include tournament sports facility & hospitality and family-oriented entertainment. The top two identified supporting uses/themes for the site include family-fun and arts & culture. 5) Ivanpah Valley Land Use Study

enacted Senate Bill 150, an act relating to housing that requires the governing body of a county or city to develop and approve regulations authorizing tiny houses. To comply with SB 150 the City is required to adopt modifications to the Title 17 and the Building Code (Title 15). The proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance must contain specific elements including: at least one zoning district where tiny houses are allowed as a dwelling unit; at least one zoning district where tiny houses are allowed as an accessory dwelling unit; at least one zoning district where a tiny house park could be developed; and a definition of a tiny house that meets the International Residential Code. In addition to these required elements in SB 150, the proposed amendment includes regulations for lot sizes, open space, refuse areas, parking, and design standards for tiny house parks or subdivisions.

A joint land use study of Ivanpah Valley is being conducted by the City of Henderson and Clark County. Please review the webinar recording here, use passcode 1c+e4$+4. 6) Municipalities are Signing an Interlocal Agreement for a Collaborative Approach on All-In Community Sustainability and Climate Action Plan In 2023, the Clark County Board of Commissioners approved the All-In Clark County Community Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. The All-In Action Plan is focused on addressing climate change by implementing practical actions that will yield the greatest impact on clean air, water, and energy for Southern Nevada over the next five years. The Interlocal Agreement formally recognizes the participating municipality’s commitment to collaborating and implementing the All-In Clark County Community Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. Please view agenda item #11.

Past Event: Catalytic Development Recreating-Walkable-Urban-Places

7) City of North Las Vegas Tiny Home Provisions City of North Las Vegas hosted a public hearing on an ordinance amending Title 17 of the Municipal Code of the City of North Las Vegas, Relating to Zoning (ZOA-02-2023) by creating tiny home provisions and providing for other matters properly related thereto. Please view agenda item #20. The Planning Commission (7-0 vote), at its meeting on November 8, 2023, recommended approval of the proposed ordinance amendment. The City is proposing to add tiny houses and tiny house park provisions to Title 17, the City’s zoning ordinance. During the 2021 Nevada legislative session, the Nevada Legislature

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DESIGNING COMMUNITY Knit believes architecture can elevate and transform lives, fostering community wherever we live, learn, work and play.

CSN Betty Engelstad School of Health & Sciences 2021 AIA Nevada Citation Award Winner


Las Vegas Medical District welcomes new mural 'Harmony in Bloom' by News 3 StaffWed, December 13th 2023


WWAS VEGAS (KSNV) — A pair of local artists are WWpainting a new light in the valley's Medical WWDistrict.

The artists behind the project, Ross Takahashi and Amy Sol say they drew inspiration from the city’s desert wildlife to create a positive environment.

The City of Las Vegas welcomed its newest artwork 'Harmony in Bloom' near the Bearden Family Paseo on 1550 Wellness Way.

"Whenever you’re visiting the Medical District, generally, you’re in a place where you’re looking for as much positivity and hope because anytime you’re seeking medical attention its usually not coming out of a place of the best place," said Takahashi.

Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and Mayor Pro Tem Brian Knudsen joined UNLV representatives on Wednesday to celebrate the reveal of the 343-footlong mural. Local leaders hope the added pop of color and the message behind the mural will help the community feel more safe.

City officials say the mural is the first of five public artworks planned for the city’s Medical District. The mural height ranges from 36 inches to 58 inches on the block-long, L-shaped, step-down wall between Shadow Lane and Martin L. King Jr. Boulevard.

“...the mural is the first of five public artworks planned for the city’s Medical District.” 'Harmony in Bloom' Mural Design (Courtesy: City Of Las Vegas)

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Downtown Las Vegas unveils tribute mural to Tony Hsieh on his 50th birthday by Matthew Seeman Thursday, December 14th 2023


WWAS VEGAS (KSNV) — A new mural has been unveiled in WWdowntown Las Vegas paying tribute to the late Tony WWHsieh. DTP Companies said it celebrated what would have been his 50th birthday on Dec. 12 by unveiling the mural and a bronze bust at Strong Start Academy Elementary School. During his time as CEO of Zappos, Hsieh relocated the company to the Las Vegas valley and became a leading advocate of revitalizing downtown. He founded DTP, formerly known as The Downtown Project, with a $350 million investment. He died from smoke inhalation that he suffered in a house fire in Connecticut in 2020, just three months after he retired as Zappos CEO.

Image: Downtown Las Vegas unveils tribute mural to Tony Hsieh on his 50th birthday | KSNV ,Accessed 29 December 2023,


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Neon Museum to Restore Three Classic Flamingo Signs By Scott Roeben December 12 2023 3 min read


WWWowntown’s Neon Museum is WWWtaking on the daunting task of WWWrestoring more Vegas casino WWWsignage. This time, it’s three pieces from Flamingo, and our heart just skipped a beat. It’s not arrhythmia, we’re excited, just to be clear. The three signs (sign parts, really) already reside at the Neon Museum. If you haven’t been there, you aren’t Vegas enough.

was a renowned designer for parade floats–most notably known for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.” You can piece together which signs are being rejuvenated by looking at photos of the folks paying for the restoration. The donors footing the tab for the restorations are Emily Conner Cooper, wife of the late comedian Pat Cooper; Andrew Pascal, CEO of Playstudios and Felicia French, CEO of Opuzen. The plume below is one of the items being restored.

This isn’t one of the signs being restored, we just wanted to get your attention. Image Rights:

If you’re a fan of Las Vegas, you are no doubt among those smitten by the massive neon “plume” that currently adorns the Flamingo (photo above). It is arguably the greatest sign, of any kind, in the history of a town with many, many epic signs. The three Flamingo sign parts being restored at the Neon Museum are elements of old-timey signs removed in days gone by. Here’s how the Neon Museum describes which three signs are being refurbished: “The three Flamingo pieces being restored include the historic Flamingo pylon sign that dates to 1967 by Bill Clarke. Clarke was a designer for Ad-Art and led the efforts to transform the Las Vegas Strip by adding pylon signs to the skyline. In addition to the sign by Clarke, two feather ‘plume’ signs by Raul Rodriguez will be restored. Rodriguez


can all go inside now. He retired a few years ago, but is still an advisor to Wynn Design and Development. If Andrew Pascal sounds familiar, that’s because he started his career as slot manager at Golden Nugget. At the time, the casino was owned by his uncle, Steve Wynn. Playstudios is the company behind myVEGAS. Here’s another Flamingo sign part being restored.

Thank you for helping make the world a neonier place, Aaron Berger.Image Rights:

Left to right are Andrew Pascal, Felicia French, Emily Conner Cooper (bonus points for the Flamingo pink) and Neon Museum Executive Director Aaron Berger.Image Rights:

We’ve chatted with Aaron Burger for approximately 10 minutes, but really liked him despite the fact we tend to dislike everyone. Opuzen is a fabric supplier for the interior design industry, and French was inspired to support the Neon Museum after speaking with one of the nonprofit’s Board of Trustee members, Roger Thomas.

A final sign part is another element designed by the aforementioned Raul Rodriguez. It is so nice when artists who shape our experience of Las Vegas get their due. Like when they put the name of Charles Barnard on Vegas Vickie’s boot when she was restored and installed at Circa. Easter egg alert! Here’s another plume that will soon get its groove back.

If you don’t know who Roger Thomas was, he invented interiors. Before Roger Thank you, Emily Conner Cooper. Your husband More brownie points for the sweet Flamingo Thomas, everything was literally outside slayed. brooch, a word we didn’t know was spelled that way until this very second. because nobody could stand what the inside of things looked like. We all have Pat Cooper trivia: The comedian’s real Roger Thomas to thank for the fact we name was Pasquale Vito Caputo. He was

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COMMUNITY NEWS estranged from all the members of his biological family. He died in his Las Vegas home on June 6, 2023, at 93. On a happier note, the Neon Museum will soon have three new pieces of Flamingo flair to spark memories of a Las Vegas some think is gone forever. You know, the one where wise guys whacked people with reckless abandon (outside city limits, of course) and used the f-word far more often than necessary and “skimmed” casino profits to avoid paying taxes, which come to think of it is hard to get too upset about given the fact so much tax money is used to fund sports facilities. Because we are not capable of writing a story that just includes information from a news release, we also feel compelled to share the scoop we’ve heard that the Neon Museum is looking at a relocation to a better neighborhood. Unconfirmed, but circle back.

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We are seeking talented and self-motivated individuals with various levels of experience to join our Team. Excellent design skills are a plus, great design sensibilities are required. Ideally candidates are experienced with Revit software and construction documents. CSD’s portfolio includes public and private work in areas such as: Office, Higher Education, PreK-12, Retail, Medical, Hospitality, Recreation, and variety of other project types. We offer competitive salaries based on experience and abilities, excellent benefits, and a great office culture (thanks to our amazing team!). Our firm is committed to provide a working environment that promotes employee professional development and growth.

If you are equally passionate about design and client service, please email your cover letter, resume, portfolio samples and references to:


Architectural Interior Designer Intermediate and Senior Level Full-Time Position We seek an experienced Interior Architect with 3+ years experience proficient in Revit, Sketchup, Rhino or 3D Max. You will have an undergraduate or master's degree in Interior Design or Architecture, with licensure preferred. Your strong communication and organizational skills will allow you to manage projects from concept to completion. Key responsibilities include researching and selecting materials, coordinating with architects and vendors, preparing client presentations, and producing drawings. In return, we offer competitive pay, great benefits, and a supportive office culture. Our firm values professional development and employee growth. If you are an ambitious, driven designer seeking a collaborative environment to expand your skills, we encourage you to apply. Join our team to enrich spaces and create innovative environments for our clients. Interested candidates, please contact Michele Brigida at

Issue 01 | 2024


DECEMBER 18, 2023 By Patra Wroten

Kimberly Nicole Dowdell, AIA, becomes first Black woman to serve as AIA president

HOK principal Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, was inaugurated as the 2024 AIA president December 15 in Washington, DC.

wanted to become a doctor, “then my purpose would become the healing of my city.”

Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, 2024 AIA president


WWWOK principal Kimberly Dowdell, WWWAIA,was inaugurated as the 2024 WWWAIA president December 15 in WWWWashington, DC. As the 100th person to hold the office, Dowdell represents two key firsts for an AIA president: She’s the first Black woman and the first Millennial to hold the top office. “I stand on the shoulders of giants, so I thank all of those who have come before me, from president #1 to #99,” said Dowdell to those those inside the InterContinental Wharf ballroom and to those watching on a LinkedIn livestream. Dowdell shared how moments from her childhood, like meeting her grandmother Nina Dowdell’s friend Rosa Parks and watching buildings in her native Detroit being shuttered and demolished, inspired her to be a force of change, which led to her becoming an architect. “I began to think that if I could play a role in revitalizing buildings, like the Hudson’s Department Store on Woodward Avenue or the Old City Hall,” recalled Dowdell, who once

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Dowdell gave nod to Paul Revere Williams, FAIA, the first Black person to become an AIA member, HOK cofounder and former AIA president George Kassabaum, FAIA, and her current HOK colleagues, along with former AIA presidents Emily GrandstaffRice, FAIA, and Jane Frederick, FAIA, as influences who inspired her AIA leadership. More in ’24: Money, members, and mission Dowdell pledges to treat AIA and its members like valued clients. “My instincts tell me that the AIA must do more to elevate, support, and propel architects into a new evolution of practice for the betterment of our society. In fact, my presidential promise to you is more,” said Dowdell.

“I see a future where architects across the globe share a profound sense of responsibility for the stewardship of our natural resources. I see a future where architects are celebrated for helping our civic leaders solve some of our most challenging issues. I see a future where the population of architects more proportionately reflects the communities that we serve…where our zip codes do not determine our life expectancy…and where everyday people have a better understanding of what architects do to build a better world,” said Dowdell. “As your 100th President, I intend to stand up. I will stand up for the architect. I will stand up for the value that we collectively create. I will stand up for the equitable and sustainable world to which we will uniquely contribute,” said Dowdell. “And I already know… you will stand with me.”

The three #Morein24 pillars on which Dowdell plans to focus efforts are more money for architectural professionals and value for industry clients, more members for AIA, and more mission for the profession to create a more sustainable and equitable built environment centered on design excellence and improving people's lives. Dowdell sees her purpose as AIA president to help AIA realize a stronger future.



The value of architects in combatting the climate crisis December 19, 2023 By Greg Menti AIA representatives met with world leaders, US Senators, city and civic leaders, and many more key stakeholders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

First time attendee Erika Eitland, MPH, ScD, co-director of the Human Experience Lab at Perkins & Will, thinks AIA has an important role in making sure that design professionals at large are involved in conversations surrounding climate change.” “Our presence of being at COP28, being able to ask questions, being able to contribute to sessions was essential,” she said. “I think in some circles people were surprised about architects being in the room, but I think it mattered.” Eitland, who spoke with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, said AIA’s ability to meet with legislators and representatives made a difference in making the importance of architecture known. “This work doesn’t happen without good policy. Being able to have energized conversations in this context gave us an opportunity to follow up on meaningful things. I think AIA is uniquely slated to talk about these things.” When Li Ren, AIA, project architect at Perkins Eastman, another first-time attendee, would introduce himself to others at COP28 they’d often mention how happy they are that architects are at the conference.

AIA delegates at COP28 (L-R) Li Ren AIA, project architect at Perkins Eastman; Illya Azaroff director of design, resilience and regenerative strategies at +LAB Architect PLLC; AIA 2023 President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA; Erika Eitland MPH, ScD, co-director of the Human Experience Lab at Perkins & Will; Lisa Ferretto AIA's sr. director, climate action and design excellence and Derek Washam AIA's sr. director global & industry engagement AIA


WWWIA representatives met with world leaders, US WWWSenators, city and civic leaders, and many more key WWWstakeholders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Prior to the conference, Illya Azaroff, FAIA, director of design, resilience and regenerative strategies at +LAB Architect PLLC called AIA “the best kept secret” at COP28. “We are no longer one of the best kept secrets. We’ve given greater voice and agency to AIA as an organization and have introduced the profound power of what architects do,” said Azaroff, who attended COP28 as an AIA representative for the second time. “Our Framework for Design Excellence and the recent Resilient Design Toolkit were part of rollouts and discussions that we had with global leaders to demonstrate what architects are doing for climate action.”


“People would tell me architects should have been here a long time ago, I think the public recognition of architects as leaders in the climate change crisis has grown,” he said. “People want to work with us, AIA has a good reputation and I think there’s so much opportunity for us to grow and share more resources and efforts in fighting climate change. In addition to Azaroff, Eitland and Ren, AIA delegates at COP28 included 2023 president Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA; Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, EVP/Chief Executive Officer; Vicky Schneider, senior advisor; Lisa Ferretto, sr. director, climate action and design excellence; Derek Washam, sr. director, global & industry engagement and Stephanie Kinnick, AIA, director of operations at Gensler Middle East. AIA member work One of Azaroff’s primary goals at COP28 was ensuring that key stakeholders were made aware of the work of AIA members. “People at COP truly believe in the mission, but they don’t always know how to do it. As architects, we know how to do it in these collaborations. The proof of the work of our members gives us inroads,” he said.

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AIA NATIONAL NEWS In the future, Azaroff would like to see even more AIAmember led presentations that demonstrate climate action. “There are a lot of aspirational folks at COP that are writing agreements and sharing knowledge, but they’re seeking and hungry for what successful climate action in the built environment looks like. I know 96,000 AIA members that have an answer,” he said. “I’d love for our members and their work to be front and center in these conversations, explaining how we can accomplish these goals.” Ren, who lives in Dubai and is a member of AIA Middle East, thinks connections that he made at COP28 can help strengthen AIA relations with other architects in the region. “We went to a reception hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and it was a great chance to talk with architects from Britain and the conversation was excellent.

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RIBA has a huge impact outside of the UK, many architects from Africa, Southeast Asia, they’re RIBA members,” Ren said. “We discussed coordinating between AIA and RIBA, we both have members in the Middle East and I think collaboration with them will be crucial.” Ren says he discussed helping establish a strong building code in the Middle East. “We need to avoid mistakes that other countries have made before,” he said. Eitland agrees that creating stronger relationships is paramount to fighting climate change. “It’s helpful to identify what partnerships are possible that didn’t seem possible before. Is it with landscape architects, is it with the UN? What scale can we have influence,” Eitland asked. “AIA’s presence at COP is about future collaborations, the knowledge we can provide, and the next steps that we can help others take.” Eitland says she reflected on how AIA is an important entity for keeping architects accountable when it comes to fighting climate change. “It’s not just about what we offer COP, but COP gives us a lens to see that we need a deeper commitment in the United States when it comes to climate action. How can we amplify everything that we learn at the conference and deliver it to the designers on the ground?” Additional coverage of COP28 is available on AIA’s LinkedIn page.

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Technology, Culture, & the Future of the Architectural Firm DECEMBER 8, 2023 Technology, Culture, & the Future of the Architectural Firm closes the knowledge gap between architects and the building products industry, so firms can better understand how technology impacts culture and operations.

Architects & the building products industry


WWWnderstanding the trends of WWWtechnology adoption in WWWarchitecture firms requires an endWWWto-end view into the business of design. Firm leaders can no longer assume that technology in practice refers to CAD, BIM, AR, VR, XR, drones, and project management/ERP systems. There’s more to the story that must be considered for many firms to grow and thrive. Sales and marketing are often missed as opportunities for leaders to embrace technology. Further, there is a general acceptance that the “tried and true” technology available to manage projects is good enough or can’t be improved. Yet the time of the architect in practice is at a premium; they lack the time to devote to areas of practice that could change the trajectory of a project, or even that of the firm itself. The firm’s pace of technology adoption also affects the rest of the design and construction ecosystem. When firms lag in the use of modern, efficient technology resources and tools, information flow suffers; collaboration


becomes a struggle; and clients may choose to work with firms that are taking the lead in modernization through technology. Most, if not all, large firms in the United States have the resources dedicated to ongoing development of technological capability. They also employ a large percentage of architects, so the perception may be that the “have nots” will continue to lag and fail to gain market share over bigger competitors. Technology, though, is the great leveler in terms of making small and mid-sized businesses in any industry take on the giants in their space. Finding a path to adoption of leading technologies that serve all aspects of the firm’s business is something all architects should be seriously exploring. This report was commissioned by the AIA Manufacturers Council, a group of companies dedicated to closing the knowledge gap between architects and the building products industry. It is this relationship that we believe holds the key to innovation in the built environment. As we work toward a more symbiotic relationship between these two vital communities in the construction ecosystem, AIA looks to these companies for leadership, insight, and support to help our members create a blueprint for a better world.

Download the Report

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Issue 01 | 2024


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