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President`s Message Nazanin Zarkesh, AIA

Design, Design, Design As architects we take pride in one thing and that is improving lives through design. Our Chapter recently held its Design Awards Gala and the event was exceptional. I was very pleased to see many of our sponsors there and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support. It is because of them we were able to organize a great event to celebrate outstanding design.


spaces, privacy and rooms with controlled natural light. It is an architect’s responsibility to raise the bar and design more livable spaces and communities. The built environment affects and shapes our sense of place. As architects we are creating and forming the space that people will enjoy and experience every single day. We use a variety of different features and technology to add innovative features to our projects. But sometimes something as simple as a single line where we transform one room into two can make a world of difference. It is this skill, informed by knowledge of process and materials, that our award winners demonstrated in the projects we were able to celebrated.So the next time we draw a line in our design, think of the impact that one line can make.

Also, helping to make the Design Awards a success was the jury which included Andrea Cohen Gehring, Brian Dougherty, Robin Donaldson, Peter Grueneison and Stephen Farneth. I had an opportunity to observe the jury in action on Jury Day. I have to say, it was an eye opening experience and fun day for me. It was a reminder of why I became an architect and why AIA is important. I observed how the jury reviewed the projects and what they considered important in the design. It was good to see their passion, enthusiasm and appreciation of a thoughtful design. Watching and listening to their discussion made me excited, revived and inspired all over again. Their process was an impressive collaboration where they exchanged ideas, discussed the pros and cons and, as a team, selected the award winning projects. So why AIA? Because it creates opportunities - and a community - for us as designers to share ideas beyond our offices and those we work with on a daily basis. We can be enthusiastic and talk about our designs beyond our daily routine. We can share stories, knowledge and accomplishments that inspire us. I believe any design can be just as important as the award winning projects. But a successful design is one that meets client‘s need and has simple, creative solutions. It’s creating something that the user can relate to and at the same time elevating their quality of life which is a priority in good design. We like outdoor living, flexible AIA Pasadena & Foothill • A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects • 555 S.Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 • 626.796.7601 • www.aiapf.org


Small Firms on Chopping Block?

Worst of Times (for small firms)

Contributed by: Lance Bird, FAIA AIA defends our interests, provides learning opportunities and essential documents, and is a forum to meet and share ideas with our colleagues. Great for small firms. However, forces and trends bringing rapid changes to our profession may crush those firms. It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times – Changes everywhere we look. For example: Plus – According to DBIA, Design-Build (D-B) practices reduce construction change orders and claims. Large clients like LACCD, LA County and Caltech favor D-B. Negative – As part of the bidding process, the architect prepares schematics – for free! How can a small firm afford it? And why would a large contractor partner with a small firm when the Gensler’s of the world have better connections and resources to compete in the proposal process?

Best of Times •

Getting busy!

Extraordinary design tools

Easy and quick access to information

Easier to practice nationally and internationally – IBC, improved communications

Ever-larger architectural firms responding to economies of scale. They have the wealth to influence legislation and develop new technologies.

Legislated sustainability

Growing number of specialty firms – knowledge equals better client service

On-Call Contracts – Public entities are awarding large, multi-year contracts Marketing costs are reduced and a client partnership is formed

CMs and Design-Build practices reduce construction change orders and claims

Lease-leaseback contracting allows school districts to select builders on the basis of qualifications instead of low bid.

As economy improves, firms will have difficulty finding experienced staff with less than five years’ experience. They’re gone!

Declining Architect registration – Baby Boomers retiring and recent graduates bailing because of limited jobs and daunting licensing requirements

As we get busy, we have less time to check our work, leading to more construction claims

On-call contracts blocking new firms from getting work during the term of the agreement

Diminishing role in construction as D-B and CM entities grow

Increased liability – Witness the California Supreme Court ruling against SOM

A squeeze on fees and the expectation of Architect’s to bid for projects – Public sector ignoring Qualifications Based Selection and architects going along with it (bidding).

Increased regulations – ADA, California Energy Code 2013.

Growing communication and documentation expectations

As small firms get squeezed out, “hands-on” personal service may also diminish.

Growing number of specialty firms – challenges generalists that can’t compete. They haven’t done 20+ fire stations, etc. A loss to “fresh thinking” and new ideas.

What can AIA do for small firms? Promote the advantages a small firm brings a client: hands-on personal service tailored to a client’s personal needs. What can you do? Consider teaming to augment your strengths, increasing your competitiveness. Be the ‘go to’ architect in a narrow specialty. Good luck!


CITIZEN ARCHITECT Pasadena General Plan Update and Comments Contributed by: Derek Ryder, Architect, LEED AP BD+C The City of Pasadena’s Community Planning Division is currently in the process of updating the City’s General Plan, and has issued a ”Draft Plan Update” for public comment through the end of September. As part of the City’s outreach, the Community Planning Division asked the AIA - Pasadena Foothill Chapter earlier this year to provide comment on the Plan Update. Toward this end, I volunteered to lead a discussion by the Committee in the hopes of furthering the AIA’s civic engagement, and arriving at a consensus position for the Chapter on aspects of the Plan Update. Here is a summary of the Committee’s discussion, and the resulting Position Letter submitted to the City on August 12, 2014 on behalf of the Pasadena Foothill Chapter.

Editor’s notes: Mr. Lance Bird is an honorable Fellow member of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. He has been regularly contributing articles to the quarterly bulletins discussing prospects, issues and challenges of architectural profession. We are grateful for his unique insights that provide practicing guiding principles among all of us. Interested in sharing your thoughts? AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter welcomes you to submit your articles. Please contact director@aiapf.org for details.

On May 20th of this year, I convened a meeting of the Citizen Architect Committee at which Mr. Vicrim Chima of the Planning Division presented the Plan Update, and asked for our comments and suggestions on the urban form, preservation, and placemaking sections. Mr. Chima explained how many of the fundamental planning issues had already been decided related to density targets and circulation patterns in the Plan Update, and consequently, where the AIA’s unique perspective and expertise would be most helpful would be in helping shape the sections related to regulating architectural and urban form. Overall, the Committee’s discussion centered around the issue of balancing the preservation and protection of existing neighborhoods and buildings with the need for new developments and new architectural solutions. Partly, this is a question of design philosophy and how the contemporary architect and urban designer works in the historic city, and partly it is a question of how best to regulate development in such a way as to balance the multiple goals being pursued. Yet we have a distinguished history as a city and many beautiful places and buildings that are worthy of our respect and preservation. The resolution of this tension between the historic and contemporary forces in our city appears to lie in the appropriate response to specific



conditions by design professionals, and the exercising of good judgment on the part of public officials. In its responses to Mr. Chima’s questions, the Committee attempted to offer some balance to the discussion and encourage the respective players to act intelligently. In conclusion, the Committee believed the Update should not only set a minimum bar for new development, but encourage these developments to reach for the highest standards possible. This may be done through a combination of carrots and sticks, and empowering officials and decision makers to make good judgments.

September 18, 2014 - The 62nd annual and tenth consecutive annual all-digital event was held at the iconic Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

If you wish to see a copy of the AIA – Pasadena Foothill’s Position Letter, please contact me at dryder.architect@ gmail.com, and if you wish to see a copy of the Draft General Plan Update and offer comment, please go the Planning Division’s website at: http://cityofpasadena.net/Planning/CommunityPlanning/ General_Plan/.

Editor’s notes: Citizen Architect is a committee of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Advocacy Group. The missions of Citizen Architect are: •

Using her/his insights, talents, training and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition;

Staying informed on local, state and federal issues, and makes time for service to the community;

Advocating for higher living standards, the creation of a sustainable environment, quality of life, and the greater good;

Seeking to advocate for the broader purposes of architecture through civic activism, writing and publishing,
and by gaining appointment to boards and commissions, and through elective office at all levels of government.

Every late summer, early fall, our storied chapter has presented our local AIA Design Awards Program as with the goals best described in our mission statement. The mission of the AIA Pasadena & Foothills chapter is to enhance the quality of the architecture profession and the built environment, to be the authoritative source of member services to our local chapter community, and to promote professional development and education and serve as a link to allied professions as well as other components of the AIA. This year’s ten member Design Awards Committee, co-chaired again by Douglas Ewing FAIA, and John Luttrell AIA, evaluated the projects striving in honoring the essence of the chapter, smaller firms, and smaller projects that are holistic and pay attention to detail.

Interested in joining the Citizen Architect? Please contact director@aiapf.org for details.


The Gala

Adding the category of “Small Firms” would allow the small firms to compete for awards as a stand along competition.

Every year the Chapter’s goal is to hold the Design Awards Gala at a venue that is visually accessible to the public, and is architecturally significant. This year’s reception was held at the North Terrace of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium allowing all who passed view of the party and display of all entries for the People Choice Award. The Gala was immediately held inside the Civic Auditoriums Gold Room.

To the committee’s surprise, of the 28 qualified entries this year, not one was in this category, and surely a missed opportunity for our members to become engaged and potentially rewarded. The committee’s jury selection process focused on a panel having diverse professional achievements, while having expertise in understanding the attributes inherit in our San Gabriel Valley built environment and social heritage. These five jurors: vetted each applicant’s project with their individual expertise from preservation and adaptive reuse, residential, commercial and institutional recreational with intellectual debate to determine the awards. This year’s jury included: Brian Dougherty FAIA, Current AIACC President, Senior Partner at Dougherty + Dougherty, specializing in the planning and design of contemporary educational, institutional, commercial, military, and health care facilities Andrea Cohen Gehring FAIA, Current AIA/LA President, Principal and the California Region Design Leader of DLR Group

In attendance was Chapter President Nazanin Zarkesh, and members of the Board of Directors, four jury members, the Design Awards Committee. Also in attendance were some 75 attendees consisting of applicant, students, award winners and sponsors.

Stephen Farneth FAIA, Founding Principal Architectural Resources Group and past muti AIAPF Honor Award Recipient Peter Grueneisen FAIA, founder and principal of nonzero \ architecture and multiple AIA award winner and author

The evening started with a champagne toast from our President to our sponsors. Without their support, the program could not be as successful as it was. Please take time to thank them by supporting their services or products.

Robin Donaldson AIA, founding partner of Shubin and Donaldson Architects and multiple AIA award winner and author


During the reception everyone enjoyed excellent appetizers and beverages, as well as the opportunity to review and vote for the People's Choice Award. At 7:15 the party moved inside to the Gold Room for the Awards Presentation.

Citation Award: Christopher L. Mercier, AIA of (fer) studio, LLP Kim Residence

This year, the chapter had 28 entries for design awards, three entries for Savings by Design of which were jointly given by our sponsor Southern California Edison, and four student entries from Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Southern California.

Mark Rios, FAIA of Rios Clementi Hale Studios The Children’s Center at Caltech

Steve Lewis AIA, 2009-2010 NOMA National President and Mark Gangi AIA and 2009 Past AIAPF President were the masters of Ceremony, presenting awards jointly with Rosemary Lieberman, CEM, LEED-AP for Savings by Design, and together for the Student and AIA Awards.

Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA of Lehrer Architects Creative Think Tank at the Heart of a Campus

Saving By Design Category

Alice Fung, AIA of Fung + Blatt Architects, Inc. Sequoyah School Expansion

Student Citation Award: Dongni Li of University of Southern California Riverfront Remodeling in San Paulo The common element to all the winners this year was that they were urban infill projects that solved issues regarding sustainability, and were complimentary of existing architectural and tight site constraints. Our Jurors assisted this year's awards presentation by including their thoughts on the projects. Their quotes were recapped in the presentation slideshow. The evening concluded with the presentation of the People’s Choice Award which was won in a close vote by John Berry, AIA of John Berry Architects - A Noise Within Next year we encourage members to sign up for the committee for we need volunteers to better the efforts in community outreach with news releases for the submitted applications and the Gala. With new members comes renewed and fresh energy, hopefully attracting more sponsorship to the most highly visible event the chapter holds each year.

This year’s award winners went to:

Institutional / Educational Category

In closing, on behalf of Doug Ewing and myself, we wish to congratulate all the winners this year, and thank our committee members, Board of Directors, Jury Members, Sponsors and Gala attendees. Here’s to next year and a bigger, better event with more entries representing our storied chapter and its architects.

Honor Award: Alice Fung, AIA of Fung + Blatt Architects, Inc. Sequoyah School Expansion Honor Award: Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA of Lehrer Architects Creative Think Tank at the Heart of a Campus

Editor’s notes:

Merit Award: John Berry, AIA of John Berry Architects A Noise Within

This article was contributed by John B. Luttrell AIA, NCABR, 2014 AIAPF Design Awards Committee CoChair, 2011 AIAPF Past President. Event photos were contributed by Dennis Hill of Dennis Hill Content Creation.

Merit Award: Tim Ballard, AIA of NAC Architecture Fenton Primary Center Citation Award: Mark Rios, FAIA of Rios Clementi Hale Studios The Children’s Center at Caltech


Event Highlights

8th Annual Get on the Bus

July Friday Forum – Where is Metro Going?

What a ride! This year's bus tour kicked off at the Altadena Country Club. Fortified with a wine at several stops, participants enjoyed exploring both new and historic architecture in and around the community. Be sure to join us for the tour in 2015.

On July 11, 2014, Martha Welborne, FAIA, Executive Director, Countywide Planning of METRO shared with us the updates of METRO’s on-going projects and future plans to service Los Angeles County. We learned that METRO offers TOD study grants for architects and planners. The Union Station Master Plan will be completed in Fall 2014.

2014 Design Awards Honor Award: Alice Fung, AIA of Fung + Blatt Architects, Inc Sequoyah School Expansion Pasadena General Plan Update On August 15, 2014, Vince Bertoni, Director of Planning & Community Development Administration of Pasadena discussed the Urban Form and Placemaking of the Draft EIR General Plan of City of Pasadean. AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter’s Citizen Architect committee met and reviewed this document and submitted comments. The discussion centered around the issue of balancing the preservation and protection of existing neighborhoods and buildings with the need for new developments and new architectural solutions.

Honor Award: Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA of Lehrer Architects Creative Think Tank at the Heart of a Campus


555 South Oak Knoll Avenue Pasadena, California 91101 www.aiapf.org

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10/3/14 Forum with Congresswoman Judy Chu

10/4/14 Birdhouse Competition – AIAPF Scholarship Fund Raising Event

11/13/14 Annual Business Meeting at the Gamble House, Pasadena

12/4/14 Holiday Party & Board Installation

This issue will be mailed out in hard copy to only those who have requested it as a courtesey gesture. Due to costerictriction, we will only be mailing out hard copies to those that elect for it and will transition to internet e-mail notifications. please contact our Executive Director, Zelda Wong, if you wish to continue recieving on the hard copy version or need to sign up for our e-mail .notifications Edited by: Ghazal Hooshmand, Communications Committee Designed by: Ghazal Hooshmand, Communications Committee AIA Pasadena & Foothill • A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects • 555 S.Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 • 626.796.7601 • www.aiapf.org

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2014 Q3 Bulletin  

2014 Q3 Bulletin