AIA YAF Connection 21.01 - Mission 2130

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This issue: Mission 2130

What will the world look like in 100 years? How has the profession of architecture evolved to meet the demands of our future communities and climate? What technology has been invented to support these efforts and provide for both planetary and human health? What do architects need to start doing today in order to proactively address these upcoming changes?

2023 Q1 Vol.21 Issue 01
The architecture and design journal of the Young Architects Forum Connection
Above Mission 2130 Summit AI “Final Image” - Photo Credit: AIA YAF + bytes & mortar.

2023 Young Architects Forum Advisory Committee

2023 Chair Matt Toddy, AIA

2023 Vice Chair Jason Takeuchi, AIA

2023 Past Chair Jessica O’Donnell, AIA

2023 - 2024 Knowledge Director

2023 - 2024 Advocacy Director

2023 - 2024 Communications Director

Kiara Gilmore, AIA

Anastasia Markiw, AIA

Gabriella Bermea, AIA

2022 - 2023 Community Director Sarah Nelson-Woynicz, AIA

2022 - 2023 Strategic Vision Director

Kate Thuesen, AIA

2023 - COF Representative Jeanne Jackson, FAIA

2023 - Strategic Council Liaison

AIA Staff Liaison

2022-2023 Young Architect Representatives

Arizona, Jordan Kravitz, AIA

Colorado, Kaylyn Kirby, AIA

Connecticut, Brian Baril, AIA

District of Columbia, Kaitlyn Badlato, AIA

Georgia, Laura Morton, AIA

Indiana, Ashley Thornberry, AIA

Kentucky, Terry Zink, AIA

Massachusetts, Darguin Fortuna, AIA

Michigan, Trent Schmitz, AIA

New Hampshire, Nathaniel St. Jean, AIA

New Mexico, Efrèn Lòpez, AIA

North Carolina, Shawna Mabie, AIA

Ohio, Seth Duke, AIA

Rhode Island, Bryan Buckley, AIA

South Carolina, Ryan Lewis, AIA

Texas, Samantha Markham, AIA

Utah, Melissa Gaddis, AIA

Virginia, Carrie Parker, AIA

West Virginia, Meghann Gregory, AIA

Karen Lu, AIA

Jonathan Tolbert, Assoc. AIA

2023-2024 Young Architect Representatives

Alabama, Elliot Brown, AIA

Arkansas, Katherine Lashley AIA

California, Vasilies Beseau, AIA

Florida, Arlenne Gil, AIA

Hawaii, Kevin Loo-Chan, AIA

Idaho, Jorge Basulto, AIA

Illinois, Raquel Guzman Geara, AIA

Iowa, Kevin Wagner, AIA

Kansas, Garric Baker, AIA

Louisiana, Alexandra Tengco, AIA

Mississippi, Robert Farr, AIA

Minnesota, Kyle Palzer, AIA

Missouri, Chelsea McQueen, AIA

Nebraska, Jonathan Oswald, AIA

Nevada, Wellbe Bartsma, AIA

New Jersey, Abigail Benjamin, AIA

New York, Wei Wang, AIA

Oklahoma, Jordan Hall, AIA

Oregon, Nicole Becker, AIA

Pennsylvania, Melanie Ngami, AIA

Puerto Rico, Armando Rigau, AIA

South Dakota, Levi Pfeil, AIA

Tennessee, Sarah Page, AIA

Washington, Tanya Kataria, AIA

Wisconsin, Wesley Churchill, AIA

Wyoming, Kendra Shirley, AIA

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Connection is the official quarterly publication of the Young Architects Forum of AIA. This publication is created through the volunteer efforts of dedicated Young Architect Forum members. Copyright 2022 by The American Insititute of Architects. All rights reserved. Views expressed in this publication are solely those of the authors and not those of The American Institute of Architects. Copyright © of individual articles belongs to the author. All images permissions are obtained by or copyright of the author.
Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 3 Contents 05 Editor’s note Gabriella Bermea, AIA 06 YAF chair message Matt Toddy, AIA 07 2023 YAF meet and greet YAF Advisory Committee 10 YAF Summit History Snapshot Jessica O’Donnell, AIA 14 The Last 30 years of YAF Gabriella Bermea, AIA 15 Shaping the 75-mile Amoeba: YAF Summit 2130 Huzefa Jawadwala 19 AI in the Profession of Architecture An interview by Paul Wolfe 24 [blank]ism Summit Team - Blankism 28 Reflections & Speculations Rosalie Howell 30 External Factors Driving Resilient Development Elise Puritz 32 The Mission Debrief Nathan Strieter 36 College of Fellows Liason Message Kate Schwennsen, FAIA 37 YAF Summit 30: Mission 2130 Event Findings Summary 38 Connection & Chill Knowledge Focus Group

Editorial team

Gabriella Bermea, AIA, NCARB, NOMA

Editor in chief

Bermea is an Associate and Design

Architect at VLK Architects in Austin, Texas. Gabriella is a board member for AIA Austin, the chair of the Texas Society of Architects EDI Committee, and the 2023 Communications Director of the AIA Young Architects Forum.

Bryan Buckley, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Buckley is the studio director & business development director at Signal Work in Providence, Rhode Island. He focuses his efforts on both internal and external growth and is the managing architect behind most of the firm’s K-12 and urban rehabilitation projects. He serves as a director-at-large for his local AIA chapter and is Rhode Island’s young architect representative.

Kendra Shirley, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Shirley is a project architect at Studio R.E.D. in Wyoming and Colorado and is Wyoming’s young architect representative. As a graduate from one of the top undergraduate architecture programs in the country, Kendra’s training and experience provides her with a unique and innovative perspective for creating extraordinary experiences and designs.

Wesley Churchill, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Churchill is a project architect and associate at HGA in Milwaukee, WI, working out of the healthcare practice group. Wesley is the young architect representative for Wisconsin and a leader on the AIA Wisconsin emerging professionals committee.


Gabriella Bermea, AIA

Matt Toddy, AIA

Jessica O’Donnell, AIA

Huzefa Jawadwala

Paul D. Wolfe, AIA

Kevin Wagner, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Wagner is an architect at Substance Architecture in Des Moines, Iowa where he focuses on design and improving the quality of the built environment. He is the young architect representative for Iowa and serves on the AIA Iowa chapter emerging professionals committee.

Wei Wang, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Wang is an associate and project manager at Dattner Architects. Wei believes the architect’s role goes beyond design and function; it also uplifts communities and fosters social equity. She manages projects from mixed-use high-rise residential developments to various commercial and industrial developments.

Garric Baker, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Baker is a graduate of the College of Architecture, Planning & Design at Kansas State University and excels in leadership positions with state and regional Chambers of Commerce, Young Professionals, the Kansas Barn Alliance, local and state wide AIA Kansas Board of Directors, and Regional Economic Development activities.

Meghann Gregory, AIA, NCARB

Senior editor

Gregory is a senior project architect at K2M Design. She is the young architect representative for West Virginia. Her professional interests include adaptive reuse, urban planning, custom residential, and sustainable practices.

Kyle Palzer, AIA, CID, NCARB

Wei Wang, AIA

Obed Eriza, Assoc. AIA

Adriana Contarino Henry, AIA

Beresford Pratt, AIA, NOMA

Elise Puritz

Rosalie Howell (she/her/hers), Assoc. AIA, Nathan Strieter, AIA RA

Kate Schwennsen, FAIA

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Evolution follows Innovation: Future Forward

How will we evolve as a profession?

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Young Architects Forum, architects from around the country were challenged in a three part series to answer, “What comes after the 2030 commitment ends?”. Our innovative, forward thinkers brought forward insightful solutions utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a vision of the future for the next 100 years. With immersive technologies and skills at the helm of our daily practice, the future of our work is dependent on our ability to adapt, evolve, and maintain a human-first approach.

Architects are venturing beyond design, into policy and actionable change in their professions to develop a future shaped by the needs of our communities. As architecture advances alongside technology, we must understand that with automation and additional data comes potential biases, similar to architectural iteration.

As we will hear from our [Blank]ism team members, “The future relies on transparency and diversity in the process.”

In this issue, you will read about the findings and personal experiences of the Mission 2130 attendees, hear from our experts on the future of AI in architectural practice, and hear about the history of the YAF Summit and how we’ve come to the way we practice today. External factors driving resilient development, like property values, legislation, and tax credits will inspire you to seek changes in policy and take initiative in your local community.

We are at the cusp of great innovation and revelation in the times ahead. As we launch into the future, our YAF Strategic Initiative for 2023-2027 is Architects in Action, Catalyzing for Change.

How will you bring that change?

Editorial committee call

Q2 2023:

Call for submissions on the topic Advocacy and Empowerment.

Our editorial committee welcomes the submission of articles, projects, photography, and other design content. Submitted content is subject to editorial review and selected for publication in e-magazine format based on relevance to the theme of a particular issue.

2023 Editorial Committee:

Call for volunteers, contributing writers, interviewers and design critics.

Connection’s editorial committee is currently seeking architects interested in building their writing portfolio by working with our editorial team to pursue targeted article topics and interviews that will be shared amongst Connection’s largely circulated e-magazine format. Responsibilities include contributing one or more articles per publication cycle (3–4 per year).

If you are interested in building your resume and contributing to Connection please contact the editor in chief at:

Gabriella Bermea, AIA, NOMA

Bermea is an Associate and Design Architect at VLK Architects in Austin, Texas and serves as the 2023 Communications Director of the YAF.

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We are at the cusp of great innovation and revelation in the times ahead.

YAF Chair’s message: Advocate. Educate. Diversify.

Three verbs loaded with meaning, experience, and versatility, each have the capacity to define broad generalizations and characterize with specificity and intentionality. This dichotomy of scale and meaning presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

In the fall of 2022, The Young Architects Forum convened Mission 2130 to explore how the architecture profession could evolve to meet the needs of a world 100 years in the future. Architects, designers, and industry leaders from across the country gathered to assess what that world could look like and how architects should begin to prepare for that reality. One unmistakable theme emerged: architects need to take a proactive role in shaping that world, and we need to start right away - the time for action is now.

But how? The scale of such a challenge moves quickly from inspirational to overwhelming. Consider the following as you navigate these pages and the call to action within:

1. Dream big. I often become bogged down with the daily routine of inbox maintenance and office operations. When push comes to shove, time for blue-sky thinking falls off my calendar and moves to the periphery of my list of priorities. But this exercise is critical to our health as professionals and as architects. Don’t be afraid to pause and dreamwhat does architecture look like in 100 years? 50 years? 15? 10? What does it mean to you? Perhaps most importantlywhat are the barriers between that reality and your present one? Identify the opportunity and name the challenges ahead. How can you turn the “cannot” into the “can do”? Which leads us to:

2. Act small. The day-to-day rigors of practicing architecture can be equally paralyzing when it comes to taking action. Often the idea of challenging the status quo is overwhelming to the point of stifling action. But it need not be this way. By “acting small”, you can start to turn the “cannot” into the “can do” by identifying the next step, and only the next step. What is the one thing you can do to get closer to the future reality? Send the email, text that person, start the conversation. Once you’ve cleared that barrier, identify the next small step. Rinse and repeat.

Mission 2130 concluded with a clear vision for the Young Architects Forum. For the next five years, the YAF will be

focusing its work around this vision - this call to action. To aid in this effort, the group has identified three priorities: Advocate [for change], Educate [for impact], and Diversify [for the future]. Three verbs that will define the challenges and opportunities ahead.

My hope is for the work of this group, and young architects everywhere, to use Mission 2130 to dream big, act small, and answer the call to action and design a better future for all.

Three words. Two scales. One future.

What’s your next step?

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Matt Toddy, AIA Toddy is a Partner at Astra Studios in Columbus, Ohio. Toddy is a 2021 recipient of the Young Architect Award, the 2022 Past President of AIA Columbus, and the 2023 Chair of the AIA Young Architects Forum.

2023 Young Architects Forum Meet and Greet

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Karen Lu Strategic council liaison Gabriella Bermea Communications director Matt Toddy Chair Jessica O’Donnell Past Chair Jason Takeuchi Vice chair Anastasia Markiw Advocacy director Sarah Nelson-Woynicz Community director Kiara Gilmore Knowledge director Kate Thuesen Strategic Vision director Jeanne Jackson College of Fellows liaison

Alabama Elliot Brown, AIA 2023-2024

Alaska Arizona Jordan Kravitz, AIA 2022-2023

Arkansas Katherine Lashley, AIA 2023-2024

California Vasilies Beseau, AIA 2023-2024

Colorado Kaylyn Kirby, AIA 2022-2023

Connecticut Brian Baril, AIA 2022-2023

Delaware Florida Arlenne Gil, AIA

Georgia Laura Morton, AIA 2022-2023

Hawaii Kevin Loo-Chan, AIA 2023-2024

Idaho Jorge Basulto, AIA 2023-2024

Illinois Raquel Guzman Geara, AIA 2023-2024

Indiana Ashley Thornberry, AIA 2022-2023

Iowa Kevin Wagner, AIA 2023-2024

Kansas Garric Baker, AIA 2023-2024

Kentucky Terry Zink, AIA 2022-2023

Louisiana Alexandra Tengco, AIA 2023-2024



Massachusetts Darquin Fortuna, AIA 2022-2023

Michigan Trent Schmitz, AIA 2022-2023

Minnesota Kyle Palzer, AIA 2023-2024

Mississippi Robert Farr, AIA 2023-2024

Missouri Chelsea McQueen, AIA 2023-2024


Nebraska Jonathan Oswald, AIA 2023-2024

Nevada Wellbe Bartsma, AIA 2023-2024

New Hampshire Nathaniel St. Jean, AIA 2022-2023

New Jersey Abigail Benjamin, AIA 2023-2024

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New Mexico

Efrèn Lòpez, AIA 2022-2023

New York Wei Wang, AIA 2023-2024

North Carolina

Shawna Mabie, AIA 2022-2023

North Dakoa Ohio Seth Duke, AIA 2022-2023

Oklahoma Jordan Hall, AIA 2023-2024

Oregon Nicole Becker, AIA 2023-2024

Pennsylvania Melanie Ngami, AIA 2023-2024

Rhode Island Bryan Buckley, AIA 2022-2023

South Carolina Ryan Lewis, AIA 2022-2023

South Dakota Levi Pfeil, AIA 2023-2024

Tennessee Sarah Page, AIA 2023-2024


Samantha Markham, AIA 2022-2023

Utah Melissa Gaddis, AIA 2022-2023

Vermont Virginia Carrie Parker, AIA 2022-2023

Washington Tanya Kataria, AIA 2023-2024

Washington, D.C. Kaitlyn Badlato, AIA 2022-2023

West Virginia

Meghann Gregory, AIA 2022-2023

Wisconsin Wesley Churchill, AIA 2023-2024

Wyoming Kendra Shirley, AIA 2023-2024

Puerto Rico

Armando Rigau, AIA 2023-2024

Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 9

YAF Summit History A Snapshot of the Last 30 Years

This milestone celebration is

AIA Young Architects Forum Summit events typically occur every five years, commemorating 15, 20, 25, and now 30 years of the national committee’s existence. This milestone celebration is designed as a future focused event that reevaluates the needs of young architects and pushes boundaries to propel the profession forward. Summits have historically been application based, two-day in-person events for 60 fully funded attendees. Regardless of their background, everyone’s goal is to improve the quality of the future of the profession through the voice of YAF. The outcomes of the event have been recorded in a variety of ways over the years, but are typically synthesized into a singular strategic initiative, which focuses the YAF Committee efforts for the next five years.

As we start off 2023 with our new strategic initiative, it is important to take a look back at where our focus has been and what we are moving towards.

Summit 15 (2007): Celebrate the Past, Design the Future developed ways to provide support and programming for future leaders.

The takeaway from this event was a top 10 list of issues that should be addressed in the next 15 years. At the Summit, action plans were developed for the top six issues: mentorship, human capital, leadership interaction skills, practice management, credibility of the architect, and responsibility of the architect.

The YAF committee developed an action plan for each issue that identified key stakeholders, key partners, specific goals, a strategy matrix, timeline, and budget implications.

From 2008-2012, the YAF Strategic Initiative was Mentorship and Leadership.

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designed as a future focused event that reevaluates the needs of young architects.
Above | Top Issues for Young Architects, Summit 15, 2007.
Above | Mission 2130 Code Red Charrette Toolkit, 2022.

Summit 20 (2012): Top Issues for the Future began with a nationwide survey developed of YAF. In 2012, Survey20 was released and responses identified four top issues. The YAF Advisory Committee selected two issues and the remaining four were selected by the Summit 20 participants.

“Via a secret ballot, the top ten selected issues were ranked by the assembly and the top six were defined, and outcomes and tasks were discussed. Advancement of the Profession and Career Advancement were tied for first place followed by Value of Design, Starting Your Own Firm, Value of Licensure, and Economy & Change.” The YAF committee then developed an action plan to reinforce the top six issues at the national, regional, and local levels.

From 2013-2017, the YAF Strategic Initiative was Career Advancement.

Summit 25 (2017): Practice Innovation Lab redefined future practice models. Summit attendees were broken up into ten teams that developed what they believed to be the architectural business models of tomorrow.

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Above | YAF Summit 20, 2012 Above | Ned Cramer Future Visions, 10 Predictions for the Future, 2012.

From this event, a publication outlining 10 different practice models for architecture firms was released along with a minivideo documentary. One team received a grant to implement their proposed business model. A shark-tank inspired series of four sessions at A’19 in Las Vegas and the YAF committee compiled a toolkit for AIA Chapters to host their own minipractice innovation lab, which have been held in more than six states so far.

From 2018-2022, the YAF Strategic Initiative was Practice Innovation, Redefining Purpose.

Summit 30 (2022): Mission 2130 catapulted the focus of the event towards the future by integrating newer technology features throughout. This event was also unique in the fact that there were three parts. Part one was a virtual, crowdsourcing effort termed ‘Code Red Charrettes’. This gathered international participants to help brainstorm potential future

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Above | How to Facilitate the Practice Innovation Lab, 2017; Innovation Lab Toolkit, 2017. Above | The Future of Architecture, Summit 25, 2017.

strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses related to the building environment, the planet, and society through a digital whiteboard platform. The Steering Committee released a Code Red Charrette to expand access to the event and then worked with a consultant to synthesize the charrette data into a series of word clouds to refine the plan for part two of the summit event.

Part two was the five-weeks leading up to the in-person meeting. Building upon the successful framework of the previous summit, Mission 2130 attendees were divided up into eight crews and provided with a Crew Manual outlining weekly tasks. These tasks ranged from written excerpts, videos, and collaboration with an AI consultant with the end goal of creating a written and visual outline of what the world could look like in the year 2130.

Part three was the in-person event that took place in August 2022. Through a combination of keynote speakers and breakout time, each crew developed a challenge to answer the question of “What comes after the 2030 commitment ends.’ Crews

identified milestones of their challenge, measurable successes, and three actions that could be started tomorrow to help us meet the goals of that specific challenge.

After the summit event, the YAF committee synthesized the crew challenges, identified synergies with the AIA Strategic Plan, and developed the committee’s next Strategic Initiative.

From 2023-2027, the YAF Strategic Initiative is Architects in Action, Catalyzing for Change.

Looking back at the event outcomes of each summit, it is easy to see the evolution and revolution of thoughts, ideas, and focus areas. This shows the event is achieving its purpose: to reevaluate the needs of young architects and propel the profession forward. I am not sure what the Summit 35 theme will be, but I am excited to see where our future leaders take it!

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Above | Code Red Charrettes, Mission 2130, 2022. Jessica O’Donnell, AIA Jessica O’Donnell, AIA is a project coordinator at Thriven Design. She was the 2022 Chair of the Young Architects Forum and Chair of the Summit 30 Steering Committee.

A Look Back:

The Last 30 Chairs of the Young Architects Forum

As we look forward to the future of the YAF and what Summit 35 and beyond holds, our Advisory Committee recognizes the past, present, and future leadership of our membership group and extends thanks for the legacy left behind. Below contains the names and years of past YAF Chairs and leaders.

In our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, the YAF will be focusing its work around three priorities: Advocate [for change], Educate

Advocate for Change, Educate for Impact, Diversify for the Future.

[for impact], and Diversify [for the future].

Inspired by our past leaders, we are grateful for the compounding knowledge we may build on and hopeful for the future ahead.

Chairs of the Young Architects Forum from 1990 - 2022

2022 Jessica O’Donnell, AIA

2021 Abigail Brown, AIA

2020 Ryan McEnroe, FAIA

2019 Lora Teagarden, AIA

2018 Lawrence Fabbroni, AIA

2017 Evelyn Lee, FAIA

2016 Joshua Flowers, FAIA

2015 Virginia Marquardt, AIA

2014 Jonathan Penndorf, FAIA

2013 Thomas Bradley Benjamin, AIA

2012 Jennifer Workman, AIA

2011 Adam Palmer, AIA

2010 Sean Stadler, FAIA

2009 Christopher Kelley, AIA

2008 Kristine Royal

2007 Michael Meehan, AIA

2006 Roy Abernathy

2005 Soren Simonsen, AIA

2004 F. Michael Ayles, FAIA

2003 Aaron Bilyeu, AIA

2002 Karin Pitman

2001 Paul S. Woolford, AIA

2000 John Harrison, FAIA

1999 Mary Katherine Lanzillotta, FAIA 1998 Scott Busby, AIA

Philip R. Russo

Bob Cotton

Brad Simmons,

Janet Jansen,

William Carpenter,

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FAIA 1994
AIA 1993
FAIA 1992
Voth, AIA 1991
Hart, FAIA 1990 Robin Vasa, AIA
Todd C.
Gabriella Bermea, AIA, NOMA Bermea is an Associate and Design
Architect at VLK
in Austin, Texas and serves as
2023 Communications Director of the YAF.
Above List of the past chairs leading up to YAF Summit 30. 1990 - 2022.

Shaping the 75-mile Amoeba YAF

Summit 2130

Procrastinating about whether to submit a response to the Summit 2130 questionnaire, I spent a couple of weeks pondering my response. The objective for the Summit was to create a provocative challenge for the architectural community and inspire them to be active stewards in shaping the built environment beyond the buildings we design. The prompts were intriguing and I powered through my sluggishness to articulate my responses. I hit enter and went back to my weekly routine of producing drawings and renderings working as an architectural designer for my firm.

The YAF sent out selection emails over the next month and I was pleasantly surprised to have made the cut. I was introduced to our cohort and my teammates Andy Sternad, Pratiksha Achari, Esin Erik, Ethan Coverstone, and Matt Toddy. We brought diverse life and work experiences, and were based in different cities spread across three time-zones. Schedules were shared back and forth, and a weekly evening meeting was set-up to brainstorm and work towards the Summit. With a packed workweek for all of us, it was a challenge to carve out a fixed time each week.

The managing committee had created a digital whiteboard to collect abridged versions of our bios and answers to the prompt: “What is your vision of 2130?”. I was excited to read the thoughtful, mature responses of my teammates and was impressed by the experience they had in dealing with climate change and the damaging impact of architectural practice on the ecology of the planet. Our experience levels in the field ranged from fresh graduates, young architects, to new firm owners. This allowed us to approach the climate crisis with unique perspectives.

Our first meeting began with the feeling you have when you ride the elevator with a group of people you don’t know and refuse to make eye contact, furiously hoping your floor arrives before theirs. By this point in the pandemic, all of us zoom veterans discussed our ideas and conversation started to flow. We were a chatty group for the most part and I was looking forward to collaborating with them. It seemed as if we had started to ease into a sense of camaraderie. Everyone was intrigued and excited to contribute for the six weeks before our rendezvous in Pittsburgh where we would deliver our pitch.

For me the biggest draw of this process was the opportunity to work with AI generated images. I had heard about a lot of these image generation engines, and I was curious to try working with one. Images are our currency of thought, and it was a challenging

prospect to share authorship and lose autonomy of the final image or as we like to say, “The Money Shot”. Architects communicate and attempt to impress and express their ideas primarily via carefully constructed images. The notion of sharing authorship of a vital tool in the design process with an elusive being, such as the AI, was a challenging prospect.

The weeks began to fly away, and our team christened the “Archinaries” (Architects-Visionaries) and began with a polite, “Yes and…” approach but we got comfortable to reach a point of healthy disagreement and pose valid challenges to each other’s ideas.

The YAF committee had done an impressive job to curate and set the agenda for these meetings. We worked towards weekly

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The notion of sharing authorship of a vital tool in the design process with an elusive being, such as the AI, was a challenging prospect.
Above | Team Archinaries

goals by completing tasks and answering prompts. We unpacked and prepared our ideas for what we thought the world would be like in 2130, using a reverse timeline to organize our thoughts. We had an opportunity to work weekly with AI artist Ricardo Rodriguez. It was an iterative process of refining the images that the AI conjured based on our descriptions. We reacted to those images, trying to shape the vision of the future we imagined through our conversations.

The week of the Summit was upon us, and our team faced an early setback because one of us couldn’t travel because of contracting COVID. We were dismayed, as the weeks of conversation and passionate exchange of ideas had really primed us to deliver our pitch in Pittsburgh.

The Summit was an action-packed, two-day affair with inspiring activities and events to network and socialize with fellow participants, alongside opportunities to make the final edits to our pitch. The welcome reception was a great chance to finally meet our team in-person. I think everyone was taken aback by how tall Ethan was outside our zoom screens. The Summit cohort was a healthy mix of young designers straight out of college to seasoned architects with over 15-20 years of experience.

We had an early start the following morning and were welcomed by the dynamic Emily Grandstaff-Rice, President of the AIA who was our host, mentor, and emcee. The day kicked off with a lecture by renowned futurist Dr. Chris Luebkeman. We were allowed time to work in our groups, as we refined our efforts and worked on finalizing our pitch. We heard from Christian Benimana, Co-Executive Director and Senior Principal of MASS

our pitch.

design. Their ecologically sensitive work with local communities in Rwanda, East Africa was inspiring and thought provoking. Post lunch we were allotted time to work amongst ourselves and received feedback throughout the day from the mentors. The day ended with a panel discussion including Kendra Wiley, Janki Vyas and Elizabeth Resenic. Each panelist has worked as a sustainability strategist to complement and guide traditional architectural practice to be more resilient and cognizant of their impact to the world around them.

The group was treated to an intimate sit-down dinner which turned out to be great fun. We reconvened after the meal to burn the proverbial midnight oil and apply the final touches to our presentation.

As we finalized our slide deck, we kept falling into rabbit holes and existential crises had us questioning everything we had discussed so far. Some sage advice from Emily Grandstaff-Rice steered us in the right direction, “do not overcomplicate, and have fun!”. From being worried about hyper-specific considerations such as, “what is the driving mileage from Indianapolis in a 4-hour distance?”,We flipped our delivery style and let ourselves be a

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Above | Initial A.I. Image based on questionnaire responses..
The Summit was an action-packed, two-day affair with inspiring activities and events to network and socialize with fellow participants, alongside opportunities to make the final edits to

little looser and more conversational with the way we presented our ideas. This interaction allowed us to refocus our pitch to place more emphasis on our core idea and we stopped worrying about mundane notions of plausible driving times between our ‘development nodes’. We repurposed our presentation idea to be more conversational and added an element of performance to it.

Our challenge to the architectural community questioned contemporary urbanism and targeted suburban sprawl. We advocated for humanity to retreat into self-contained nodes as ecology healed and recovered from the devastating impacts of rampant development. “The Archinaries have developed the 75-mile Amoeba to save all life forms from global extinction by adapting human society into a global network of nodes with local resources, local governance, and interconnected technology.”

Our final prompt to the A.I. read as follows, “We journeyed across the nebulous flow to deploy the node. It was chirpy, fresh, and green beneath the canopy. A festive congregation was forming. Conservation is fundamental, the biosphere is cohabited by terrestrial, aquatic simple and complex life forms. Rhythms of technology & nature blend inside living spaces and expand across the horizon and work in harmony to nourish and regenerate the land.”

Our presentation played to the masses; we had members of our team planted in the audience shouting out prompts while Matt and Pratiksha led from the front. Our presentation was received well, but for me the greater joy was to be in the room, which became a fantastic culmination and celebration of ideas and looking at the various futures depicted by the A.I. images.

A question and answer session followed, where participants elaborated on their ideas; and the jury deliberated the winners. It was really inspiring and thought provoking and I felt extremely lucky to be in the room as we absorbed firsthand the ideas that this passionate community of peers was sharing, discussing and molding. In all, the sum of the conversations was greater than the individual ideas in my opinion.

The Summit concluded with a jury’s choice award and a popular winner decided by voting in the room. We were thrilled to be the latter and followed that up with bragging rights across social media platforms over the next few months for our pitch.

The YAF was not previously on my radar, and I was really impressed with their organization and curation of the event. We were dealing with an ambitious challenge and their ability to break it down into digestible and actionable weekly goals created a meaningful process for us to engage with an important challenge.

As an architectural designer constantly chasing project deliverables while also studying for licensing exams, I had discounted membership in the AIA YAF as something not for

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Above | Crunch time and Final Edits.
We advocated for humanity to retreat into self-contained nodes as ecology healed and recovered from the devastating impacts of rampant development.

me right now. However, attending the Summit changed my perspective and I was excited to have spent a few weeks ideating with architects with inspiring ideas on how to disrupt the practice for lasting sustainable global ecology.

So, if like me you are debating whether to submit a response to a conference, talking event or a presentation pitch; take a shot at it. It may enable you to meet a bunch of passionate people and grow in ways you had not imagined for yourself. I, for one, will be looking forward to what the YAF does next!

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Above | Final Image: Vision for 2130. Huzefa Jawadwala Huzefa is an architectural designer at Trivers in St. Louis. He is driven by the challenge of building communities through design and storytelling. Above | Pitch Time: Presenting from the audience.

AI in the Profession of Architecture: An Interview with Ricardo Rodriguez of Bytes & Mortar

In the run-up to the AIA YAF Mission 2130 Summit, the 8 Summit “Crews” were tasked with a series of kickoff conversations, meeting remotely to solidify their collective visions of the future. To focus those conversations, each crew viewed a series of AI generated images prepared by Ricardo Rodriguez of Bytes & Mortar. His work on that series of evolving generative images inspired me to begin my own journey with AI art and conceptualization. I asked Ricardo to join me for an in-depth conversation on the process that he undertook to develop those AI images for the Summit and the broader state of AI in the profession of Architecture. The following is a portion of our wide-ranging discussion. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, ACI Ricardo J Rodriguez De Santiago, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, ACI, is a self-described recovering architect, futurist, and digital creator exploring the fringes of architecture, technology, and Puerto Rican culture. He works with Artificial Intelligence powered text-to-image algorithms to generate images he describes as “present futures.” You can view more of his AI generated work on Instagram @bytesandmortar and at

Paul Wolfe (PW): I wanted to start off with a question that seems simple on its surface. What originally drew you to AI art generation, to using these tools?

Ricardo Rodriguez (RR): So I left traditional architectural practice about five years ago. The reason I made the jump was partly because I started seeing some changes and I wanted a more hands on approach with what I was seeing around technology. Part of my role at my current organization is to look for emerging technologies wherever they happen to be. How we can use each technology to connect with our tools or our products. Last year, I was looking at 9 trends. I’m like, I should go ahead and do a deep dive on one. And I remember having seen an article on Reddit about someone generating images from AI. And that’s kind of what drew me to the rabbit hole. So, I just went at it and started trying and testing some things out. I wasn’t necessarily super happy with the results initially, but I kept exploring it. I ended up trying to use it for work. Then it turned into a bit of therapy, I would say.

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Above | Mission 2130 Summit AI “Final Image” - Photo Credit: AIA YAF + bytes & mortar
Part of my role at my current organization is to look for emerging technologies wherever they happen to be.

PW: You mentioned that it is therapeutic. That’s been similar to my experience. It is a very fun thing to interact with, and I hate to use the word game, but it’s a game. You’re trying to solve a problem to deliver a particular vision in a way that’s different than we’re used to, it’s like hand drawing with digital tools.

RR: I don’t know if you saw, but Midjourney [one of the more popular AI Art Tools] had done an unscientific poll on how people reacted and felt when they were using the tool. Around 90% of people said it helped them with their mental health and that they felt good about using [Midjourney].

And if you think about it, what kind of software do you use that produces those kinds of effects on you, that you could say is actually helpful in a therapeutic kind of way, or that’s a joy to use? I think it’s really something.

PW: I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush here, but there’s a general note in society of dissatisfaction and unhappiness that seems to be more prevalent than it has been in the past. I wonder how much of that is linked to the lack of producing things? You and I have a blessing in a field where there’s a physical product at the end of our work. But a lot of people move numbers around in spreadsheets; these things don’t necessarily allow for physical end products that people can be proud of. So I wonder how much of the positive feeling people expressed about the AI tool is related to that feeling of producing something?

RR: Yeah, I’m sure that there’s a very profound ratification associated with that. I think everyone can relate to that. And the good thing is it allows everyone to explore what their particular perspective or viewpoint is on things.

Also, I think, in general, the people are very accepting and encouraging. I found a lot of people who helped me out. I’ve just messaged someone I’ve never met, saying ‘I like what you were doing here. Can you give me some insights into how you did this or that?’ And most of the time you’ll get a good reaction back.

PW: I’ve seen some evidence of people being extremely protective and proprietary of their prompts and their ways of producing the images and that’s a net negative on how we think about collaborative design processes. I’ve experienced it both ways in my explorations so it’s interesting to hear you say that the community has been generally positive and helpful,

RR: Yeah. And it wasn’t always that people would just come out and say ‘this is the prompt that I used.’ Most of the time it was, ‘this is how I structured it in order to obtain whatever result,

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Above | Mission 2130 Summit AI Exploration - Photo Credit: AIA YAF + bytes & mortar.
Around 90% of people said it helped them with their mental health and that they felt good about using [Midjourney].

or if that’s not working then you try this other thing’ and you do a little bit back and forth. I think most people are positive in general.

PW: It’s almost like teaching. It’s a skill transfer rather than giving you the answer.

RR: Exactly. It’s not a transaction.

PW: And they’re using ingredients with different weights, right? The AI can easily grab on to those and implement them within the generation. So certain words and phrases won’t necessarily generate the same results.

RR: It’s interesting because there is a mathematical component to it, you can give a weighted number or a value to how much emphasis should be placed on a particular word. But the other play is where it happens in the prompt string. Especially depending on the algorithm, placement of the words would define how the algorithm is going to work. If you move it becomes less prominent or more prominent in the image.

PW: Can you give me an example of that? Is it as simple as ‘a blue house’ versus ‘a house that’s blue’?

RR: Exactly. Say you want a poster of a blue house. It’ll attack the string of ‘poster’ first so it knows that the object it needs to create is a poster. And whatever it is, it’s blue. So, the poster is going to be blue. And then house, is it the house that’s blue? You might be getting a blue poster with a house of whatever type of shape. But if you change those the other way, then you

might end up getting a house that’s the color blue on a poster. So depending on the order, you’ll get different results.

PW: No easy transition here, but in the broader art community, some controversies have been bubbling up over the past year and a half. I follow a lot of traditional digital artists online and I’m friends with a few of them. In general, they have had a very negative reaction to these tools and in some respects, rightfully so. And so I’m curious to get your take on that.

RR: It’s definitely a controversial subject. I think none of us were and are exactly prepared to completely find solutions, because it’s something so novel. I’m like you, I have friends that are in digital art and I’ve heard the concerns. I am impatient with a lot of them though. For instance, there are folks saying that they don’t have control of what goes into these big data sets that the AI tools pull from. They think that there should be checks and balances so that if you don’t want to be included, you can take your work out of the set. I respect that,and I understand it to a certain degree, but it’s not a perspective I necessarily share.

I think I have less concern with the originality and ownership part of these issues as I grow older. Of course, that’s different than saying I took one of your [digital art] pieces and I created something exactly like it.

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Above | Mission 2130 Summit AI Exploration
Photo Credit: AIA YAF + bytes & mortar.
It’s almost like teaching. It’s a skill transfer rather than giving you the answer.

That I don’t see as inspiration. So, I don’t believe in copying. But I think there is something to say in collecting a pool of data and information that everyone can use. I question people that are very fundamental towards ownership. They go all the way, saying “this is mine, it came from my hand”. I question that concept because we all get our inspiration from somewhere.

Of course, these tools can now produce something that is in the style of someone and it could be very hard to tell one or the other part. So, I get that concern.

In the work that I do personally I don’t use any artist names as a prompt. Actually, part of the challenge to me is trying to get something that looks or acts or feels like someone else’s without using their names.

PW: I think that violates the spirit of these tools a little bit to say I only want this style of art, I want it to look like this artist, right? The tool can do that and do it fairly well. But it’s not really the way that I see the usefulness. It’s about synthesizing a bunch of things together to generate something new. I also think we’re seeing people react to

a threat to their livelihood. It’s a new tool that is enabling a capitalist society and system to take away people’s prospects for work or commissions. It’s not necessarily the tool’s fault though.

RR: Because they do have a fair point there, right? They weren’t included in this selection process of how these data sets were constructed. And then those are being optimized and capitalized on. Someone’s making money from them. Not all of them, but some are. At the same time you, as an artist, put the information out there publicly. You probably didn’t read terms and conditions and you weren’t aware of what rights you had or didn’t have. I think that’s a perfect example of what is going to happen to architects within this decade. If they’re not at the table for a lot of these discussions, you end up with situations like this. And then you’re just combating against a tool because you weren’t involved in the development of it.

The world’s going to move forward and you’re going to be the one in opposition.

So that’s kind of like the worry I have at least for the profession.

PW: That’s a great point, because how many details or little transitions between, for example, a canopy and a wall do you see in the real world because Revit’s programmers did it that way, or the software only allows you to build it that way?

RR: Right. And when I was in practice, I remember there was a

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Above | Mission 2130 Summit AI Exploration - Photo Credit: AIA YAF + bytes & mortar.
Of course, these tools can now produce something that is in the style of someone and it could be very hard to tell one or the other part.

lot of ‘not sharing templates’ or ‘not sharing a detail’ because that’s part of a firm’s intellectual property. When you step out of that and actually get to go to different architecture offices, which I had to do for a bit in my company, they all did things similarly. If what we care about is the health, safety, and welfare of people, that kind of language, the language of ownership over proprietary elements of a firm’s work, needs to go away. Otherwise, I think it’s a bit like talking out of both sides of the mouth.

PW: And purely from a conceptual standpoint, maybe more than a lot of art-based professions, architecture is routinely referencing the work of prior architects. Some people like to say that no design is original anymore. Our standard process for conceptual design conversations with the client is to pull precedent imagery. We ask the client, ‘do you want it to look like these other five things,’ and then we synthesize those together.

RR: Yeah, exactly. You do that anyway. The thing is that it can be done exponentially quicker. These tools will have a common place in practice. So, I don’t see the tools themselves replacing a job. I see folks being displaced because they don’t want to learn a new tool. So it’s not that the AI tools and the algorithms are going to displace people, it’s that people that know how to use them will displace those who don’t.

PW: It’s CAD to Revit, it’s hand perspective drawing to SketchUp. You still use both, but the new tool has a preeminence. We have to adapt to those situations.

RR: I think with a lot of these tools they’ll take care of a lot of tasks that we generally don’t like to do. Maybe they’ll allow us to focus on things that we really like to do. You can bet on that as soon as some of the tools end up being able to produce architectural images more consistently.

I think we’re almost there.

Someday soon you’ll get clients who will come to you with an image [from AI] and think that the design is done. And that’s a very hard battle to fight. If you’re saying I want to start from zero and do my own process when there’s already efficiency there. And a lot of these decisions could happen while the client is right there with you instead of waiting weeks and weeks on concept designs. Not too far in the future, larger architecture firms might even take their digital catalogs and train a custom AI tool on them so that it designs in their flavor. That’s a major efficiency for them.

PW: Maybe that’s a chance to reframe, to rethink things. I’m always looking at these tools and trying to see past the headlines, instead looking at how they are actually used. I’m trying to see if and how they inform us about the future and our way of thinking or working.

RR: And I’m with you on that. We should use them as stepping stones. This means I can produce something that’s sharper or quicker and better quality than I could before. But the way of getting there is to get past the headlines. The main thing you have to do is try something.

That’s it. Use it. Learn it. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do with my team and my company. Starting to produce content consistently with some of these tools.

PW: That’s the hope right? That we take these tools, not just art but text and automation and all these AI tools, and capitalize on the way that can replace some of more tedious functions and tasks in our lives. We can use that as a stepping stone to lift society up and move us forward as a species. The way we did with computers.

RR: Yeah, and save resources, you know. There are a lot of causes that we need to align ourselves with and do more for. Hopefully this opens the possibility of doing more of that. Less busy work.

PW: Less busy work sounds great.

RR: That’s a good one to end on, right? Less busy work.

PW: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time and the insights. It was a great conversation.

RR: Anytime. I always love to talk about this stuff.

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Paul D. Wolfe, AIA Paul D. Wolfe, AIA, is a Design Architect at Browning Day in Indianapolis. He is a full time Architectural Design Lead for commercial and institutional projects and a part time AI dabbler.
The thing is that it can be done exponentially quicker. These tools will have a common place in practice. So, I don’t see the tools themselves replacing a job.

[Blank]ism Leveraging technology of the future

At the beginning of our Mission 2130 journey, we recognized the urgent need to have society better coexist with both nature and one another, for the betterment of humanity in the future. In order to create and define a new paradigm, we developed our Summit concept, [Blank]ism.

The name is intentionally ambiguous but analogous to other economic or political systems like Capitalism. We believe that our economy needs to shift to a reward based system that incentivizes people for favorable climate-related decisions. [Blank]ism recognizes both impact-driven tasks and results, while also rewarding people for what they save and protect. We believe that society can leverage future technologies to provide us with positive feedback loops to help us make sustainable decisions while attaining both a more efficient and equitable society.

This was the genesis of our exploration of the ways in which evolving technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), can help inform the work architects do. We looked at how technology can make future living and working easier, more efficient, and more sustainable.

The conversations below represent further thoughts we still have about these three aspects: ●

• How people should relate to the planet

• How we might leverage technology to help in this endeavor

• How young architects can work to make us an impact-driven profession

Kyle Palzer, AIA, CID, NCARB

Palzer is a project architect with Alliiance in Minneapolis in the aviation studio. He received his Bachelors of Science in Architecture, Masters of Architecture and Metropolitan Design Graduate Certificate from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award in 2022 and now serves on the AIA Young Architects Forum as the Minnesota Representative for 2023 & 2024.

Wei Wang, AIA

Wang is an associate and project manager at Dattner Architects. Wei believes the architect’s role goes beyond design and function; it also uplifts communities and fosters social equity. She manages projects from mixed-use high-rise residential developments to various commercial and industrial developments. Wei is the co-chair of the firm’s Sustainable Practice Group materials subcommittee, currently leading research on circular economy principles in construction, from material reuse to design for deconstruction.

Obed Eriza, Assoc. AIA

Eriza graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor’s degree. He then started his architecture career at Specification Consulting firm; M.Thrailkill.Architect (MTA) in Portland Oregon. There, he is a Specifications Coordinator, where he communicates with architects to produce Project Manuals for a variety of types of projects.

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Adriana Contarino Henry, AIA

Contarino Henry is an architectural designer at MASS Design Group. She received her Bachelors of Design from the University of Florida and Masters of Architecture from Cornell University. In her design work, she focuses on the role that architecture plays in linking social and ecological health through material research, food systems thinking and adaptive reuse projects.

Beresford Pratt, AIA, NOMA

Pratt is a design manager and architect with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He co-leads multiple EDI based architecture initiatives with Baltimore, Maryland. He was the 2019-2020 young architect regional director for the mid-Atlantic and the 2021-2022 AIA Young Architects Forum communications director. Pratt is an AIA 2023 Young Architect Award recipient.

What is the end goal of sustainability? Should we value the human experience or the planet more?

Kyle Palzer (KP): I believe the goal of sustainability should be to protect human life and health; to maintain human dignity and cultures and to increase our shared security. We can promote the common good of all, both those present and in solidarity with future generations; by caring for the gift of creation, which includes both people and the planet.

Adriana Contarino Henry (ACH): In the past, the goal of sustainability has been to prevent the destruction of our shared natural resources through research, advocacy and education. Presently, we’ve come to terms with the impending global climate crisis and have shifted our thinking to one of regeneration. The future of sustainability provides a great opportunity for global collaboration on locally adaptable strategies that center climate and culture. What we’ve learned over time is that there isn’t an end goal for sustainability but rather an ongoing process of ensuring harmony between human and ecological species.

Is it climate change or is it everything change?

Wei Wang (WW) We are at a crossroads. We operate in a world that’s mainly powered by coal and fossil fuel, a culture of consumption, where one’s value is defined by one’s possessions, a collective mass consumption that leads to mass production, a world where we cherish infinite growth, and we’re paying with our ever-depleting natural resources. Nature doesn’t support infinite growth. Its system is balanced and cyclical, with decay leading to new life. So why should our world within this planet have infinite growth? Growth for the sake of growth is cancer, and operating under a linear progression where virgin materials eventually end up in landfill will only lead to humanity’s inevitable demise.

So, what should we do? While the implementation of sustainability at all fronts are incredibly important, it’s crucial

to shift our mindsets and transition from a fossil fuel energy culture, a one-time-use culture, to a renewable culture, where you are not defined by what you consume but by what you preserve. You are what you have and what you protect. Only against the backdrop of such a cultural shift will the tactical measures we take towards sustainability have real lasting impact. Then, we can truly internalize the urgency of change, address our challenges with empathy and intuition, and learn to value that which we already have.

In developed countries, 85% of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 have already been built. As the full human and environmental cost of new construction becomes all the more apparent, the excitement of seemingly endless new

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Above | Mission 2130 Team FutureOCCUR.

construction will fade. We are soon entering a world of existing conditions. It won’t be all about new growth, but rather more about transforming, reusing, and revitalization. As architects, we will see decommissioned buildings as material banks rather than waste, we will innovate to fully embrace circular design, and our built environment won’t just address current uses, but be conceived as part of a shared continuum extending far into the future.

Beresford Pratt (BP): I often wonder when building the case for climate action if there may be three buckets of people I have experienced; those who are convinced of climate change believing we must act fast, those who are unsure but don’t feel a strong urgency, and those who outright deny climate change. More often than not, as design professionals, we unintentionally surround ourselves with the first group, when it’s the latter two groups where our energy and outreach should be. As an optimist I wouldn’t believe we can convince everyone, but we can make our impacts clearer for the everyday person who doesn’t see the urgency quite yet. If each product or service we consume showcases its direct and indirect impacts on the climate in a measurable, tangible and relatable ways I believe we have a better chance to reach those who may not see the urgency.

Imagine when we take a shower and wash our hands, we have a direct feedback loop that indicates how much water was utilized, how much water is typically replenished regionally in comparison to what we utilized, the cost and time associated with cleansing/ recycling that water, and how much clean water is left per capita regionally. The next logical step would be to incentivize resource conservation at both the individual and institutional levels. It’s only then I believe we will see a majority of the biggest climate change influencers and contributors (i.e. those living in regions that disproportionately consume natural resources) will begin to see both their individual and communal impact and can then begin to alter behaviors. I hope we can then see climate change as a cultural change which by default will be value systems change, in other word an “everything change.”

What does it mean for us to adopt AI and other emerging technologies?

Obed Eriza (OE): Perhaps a specification section... SECTION 00 21 30 - WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO ADOPT?

1) I believe humans are scared of adopting AI because it would mean handing over our responsibilities - which tends to be our identity.

2) Identity:

a) We have programmed AI to help with unwanted activities (things we deem time wasting), giving us more time to do “real work” that requires our human specific attention/ critical thinking.

b) Once the AI is able to do our “real work” and we become obsolete in the workforce, humans will have nothing to pursue - nothing to be.

c) I believe a big part of life is to “become someone” or to become “something” specific. Our occupation has largely

been our indicator of “who you are” in the world.

i) Think about some peoples surnames and how they came to be, based on their occupation. See examples below:

(1) Archer, Barber, Bowman, Brewer, Butler, Carpenter, Carver, Cook.

(2) Palmer — pilgrim, Parker — gamekeeper, Porter — doorkeeper, Sawyer — carpenter, Schumacher — shoemaker.

d) Therefore, I believe we are scared to see the growing potential of AI because we can see the possible end to our identities and of what makes us who we are, both in the workforce and in the world.

WW: Yes, machine learning, data analytics and automation will transform the architecture and engineering industry. In order to maximize the positive impact, we should think about how we can leverage the tools, understand their limitations and adapt our definitions of expertise as it is augmented by these tools. It will push us to rethink our roles as architects, designers and engineers. I feel this question leads to more questions and discussions rather than a simple answer, questions like: are architects able to utilize the time we regained from automation to focus on more research and design work? What does productivity mean in the future? Is 40-hour work week still relevant? How can we utilize the tools to extract the data we need to approach design in a holistic way, to understand all cost/benefit impacts as part of the circular economy?

As change accelerates, design horizons remain relatively long. It is important that we be nimble and adaptable in both our processes and how we identify personally with our profession.

How will the future of architecture change with technological advancement?

ACH: Architecture has always been a field dated by the technology of its time. From the age of master-builder, to draftsperson, to the advent of computer aided drafting, building information modeling, and advanced building technologies, the industry has seen a number of transitions. In many cases its construction methods are etched into its form. Less visible are the social and cultural ideologies that these buildings adopt in relation to the governing powers of the groups who commissioned them. Think about the American suburbs in the creation of an economic boom, or Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon concept - where inmates of a prison have the constant sense of being watched by the configuration of cells around a centralized watchtower. These constructs were designed with a particular purpose tied to a larger underlying motive.

This idea is evident in Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “We shape our buildings; therefore they shape us.” This statement puts a great deal of responsibility on the Architect. It also shines a light on the parallels between architecture and technology. If we take this sentence and replace “building” with “technology,” the statement still stands. Technology and specifically the power of big data to impact our daily lives is similar to architecture in

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this way. With more technological advancement comes more automation and more pressure on the person providing the inputs to power the machine. There are inherent biases involved in the process of both data collection and architectural iteration. The future of both relies on transparency and diversity in the process.

To arrive at a more just and equitable future, we must consider the inherent biases embedded in our tools, the power of certain inputs, and the larger economic systems projects operate within. We must be clear and overt about the motivations behind these architectural and technological projects, especially as they become more and more intertwined. As young architects, we must challenge the status quo to better understand who our projects seek to help and who they might hurt.

Architects are equipped with visual communication skills that can be creatively leveraged to gain momentum around the funding of a publicly-aligned project. Instead of waiting for the perfect client to show up on your doorstep, designers can produce compelling concepts to broaden the sources of funding using the internet. In this way, design and technology can work in tandem to promote access and transparency while uncovering alternative economies to serve a wider group than ever before.

What actionable role do young architects have in creating impactful change within our institutions?

BP: Young architects today are more emboldened and have more resources at their fingertips than the generation that have come before us. Utilizing existing networks, I would love to see more young architects, design professionals, and advocates represented within local, state, and national politics. Whether it’s sitting on their mayor’s council through an appointment, or in a public office as an elected official, I believe in good disruption that shakes up the status quo.

In academia we’re often taught that architects can change the world through our designs, and I believe that is partially true. However, the real lasting change through impact comes from policy. Understanding that architectural policy tends to be most impactful when considered regional and state specific, I believe young architects are well positioned to develop deep rooted knowledge about the communities they cherish, live and serve in. They can better invest in the future of good design products and design practice.

KP: Young Architects should find ways to serve on boards both locally and nationally in order to have a literal seat at the table and a voice when it comes to policy making and decision taking. In particular, involvement with organizations like AIA or other sustainability-focused institutions is one way to influence policy. Another way would be through local politics in the form of commissions and board service. Finally, involvement can be as simple as joining an office sustainability or diversity workgroup within their firms to promote innovative policies and practices. At the end of the day, young architects should lead by example in

whatever capacity they have to influence the communities and places where they already work and live.

Summary: One aspect of the Mission 2130 Summit was utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) software to create visual images of the future we were imagining. As a conclusion to this interview we wanted to ask the written form of AI, known commonly as ChatGPT, to address the concerns we discuss here and ones that are still on our mind. We appreciate the call to human and organization action the AI recognized in its response and we encourage our readers to take this message to heart.

What is your role in addressing climate change, and artificial intelligence potentially negatively affecting society?

ChatGPT: As an artificial intelligence language model, my role is to provide information and answer questions to the best of my ability, based on my training data. However, as a digital entity, I do not have direct influence over how society addresses climate change or the development and use of artificial intelligence.

My primary responsibility is to provide accurate and helpful information, to help increase understanding and awareness on these topics. It is up to individuals, organizations, and society as a whole to take action and make responsible choices that help address these issues and promote positive outcomes for the future.

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Above | Mission 2130 Team FutureOCCUR.

External Factors Driving Resilient Development

During Mission 2130, my colleagues and I were challenged with imagining the world 100 years into the future to develop a roadmap for a better society through the lens of design. The overarching conclusion of AIA 2130 is that the AIA 2030 goals are unachievable in a silo: we must engage the development community and government officials to form the framework for legislative change—improvements that are backed by financial incentives to encourage responsible development that is resilient, livable, and beneficial to all stakeholders involved. We must also get involved politically and connect with the local community to explain the importance of sustainable, responsible design and how we can work together to collectively shape our future.

Following the AIA 2130 program, global, national and Californiabased developers, lenders, and equity partners provided their take on how the architecture community can advocate for sustainable and resilient real estate. The three emerging themes as primary drivers included:●

• Property Lease & Sale Values●

• Legislation & Risk Management

• Tax Credits & Financial Incentives

Advocating for a balance of the factors above can create meaningful progress toward the emergence of a better society, which prioritizes long-term success over short-term gains. With respect to these three categories, here are some of the current ways developers and debt and equity partners are incentivized to participate in ESG development, and the challenges they face toward progress.

Property Lease & Sale Values

According to sources cited in this article, the commercial office sector is providing strong financial backing to green buildings in response to tenant demand. This demand is especially coming from companies that are looking to attract a younger workforce whose social beliefs often influence their employment and purchasing decisions. The office sector tends to prioritize features that support employee retention, which naturally lends to sustainable practices. Certification programs, such as LEED, Fitwel, and WELL are often used as benchmarking standards to entice tenants who can advertise these wellness benchmarks to attract and retain talent.

Both tenants and landlords can benefit from high-performing buildings through common office lease structures. Triple Net (NNN) leases are a popular structure for office spaces, where

tenants pay for the property’s operating expenses such as utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance fees in addition to their base rent. This lease structure encourages tenants to look for highperforming buildings to save on costs. Meanwhile, landlords can enjoy more predictable and lower operating expenses with a fullservice lease, where they assume the responsibility of covering property operations costs.

But what about the multifamily sector? According to a recent survey,1 Americans are spending an average of 32% of their wages on rent. Only the most privileged renters can consider sustainability in their apartment choices, and even then, many are prioritizing location and amenities over the environmental impact of their apartment buildings. Until there is U.S. tenant demand for sustainable apartments or wide-scale legislative requirements, market rate and luxury apartment developers may not prioritize sustainable development unless there is a mandate by local law or building code.

As noted by one source, a California-based developer, when local laws don’t align with utility requirements, this can create a financial burden. For example, if a city requires solar panels, EV charging, and battery storage but the local utility agency does not take electricity offsetting into account, the development may have a surplus in transformers, which creates added development cost without improving building operations. Creating alignment between agencies will support the elimination of dated infrastructure requirements and ensure the power grid can support new electrification requirements. Architects can also support these issues by thinking about the sustainable requirements and compliance needs at the beginning of each project.

Several sources interviewed for this article also stated that they are not seeing investors other than Fannie Fae and Freddie Mac willing to take a lower rate of return to finance deals that are sustainable. Any efforts to reduce the cost of sustainable development through incentives, tax credits, and building design will support an increased adoption of sustainable building design.

Legislation & Risk Management

While recent legislation, including Iowa’s Senate Study Bill 1094, aims to prohibit consideration of ESG into state contracts for investment funds2, these policies are in the minority. On the other end of the spectrum, New York’s Local Law 97, is one of

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the most ambitious sustainability laws in the nation,. The legislation will require most buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet new energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions limits by 2024, with stricter limits coming into effect in 2030 to reduce the emissions produced by the city’s largest buildings by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The lenders and developers interviewed for this article noted that advocacy at the state and local level will be most impactful in making nationwide changes in carbon emission and sustainability standards, as these policies tend to trickle down to other states.

Furthermore, several sources stated that ESG goes beyond a political issue and will impact the ability to profit from and finance projects due to global and domestic investment standards. Market demand will weed out low-quality properties from the market; therefore, will not be enticing developments.

The EU’s recent adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) standardizes corporate ESG reporting similar to accounting standards and brings more companies into reporting requirements. Corporations meeting certain thresholds with parent companies outside the EU are required to report on a global basis, including U.S. companies.3 As the definition of ESG is formalized and reported, greenwashing will hopefully become a practice of the past.


1 (Source:

2 (Source: what-is-esg-investing-and-why-these-republican-led-states-aretrying-to-ban-it-from-retirement-funds/?sh=40f009814d7c)

3 (Source: As the definition of ESG is formalized and reported, greenwashing will hopefully become a practice of the past.

Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 29
Elise Puritz Elise Puritz is an Associate and Business Development Manager at HED, an architecture and integrated design firm committed to creating transformative spaces that positively impact people, the environment, and communities. Above | Mission 2130 Workgroup.
Until there is U.S. tenant demand for sustainable apartments or wide-scale legislative requirements, market rate and luxury apartment developers may not prioritize sustainable development unless there is a mandate by local law or building code.

Reflections & Speculations

YAF Summit 2130

August 27th, 2022:

It’s Saturday evening in the humid summer air of Whiskey City. My wife somehow convinced me to join her at the Peoria Irish Festival after she picked me up from the airport at 8:45pm, and here I am - clapping to some playful fiddle tunes, reflecting on the previous 3 days I spent with a generous bunch of architects & other professionals at the Mission 2130 Summit in Pittsburgh.

We all met that Thursday, shook off our jet lag during the ice breaker event with some cocktails and conversation, and commenced the nerdery with bright eyes and open minds. The pre-assigned crews had been working together virtually in the weeks leading up to the Summit, and meeting each other for the first time in person was refreshing and energizing.

Afterwards we dispersed for dinner. My crew – the Futurespectives – walked a few blocks to Scarpino at the corner of 10th St and Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a memorable evening, indeed. The food was delicious, of course… but it also just happened to be the third Thursday of the month, which was, naturally – the evening of Pittsburg’s monthly Underwear Bike Ride. A multitude of cyclists in naught but their underwear made their way around the fully glazed restaurant. Certainly none of us were expecting this fantastic introduction to Pittsburg culture.

Friday was the big day of guest speakers, panelists, and prep

work, and it came at us full-force. Luckily the YAF was fully prepared to fuel us up with a good dose of carbs and protein to get our gears turning.

That morning was reserved for an inspiring introduction by Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA (then First Vice-President now President of the AIA). We took a deep dive into presentations by Dr. Chris Luebkeman of ETH, and Christian Benimana of MASS Design Group. The presentations were dynamic & posed the necessary questions & challenges for us as listeners. Personally, I gravitated towards Christian’s presentation as I am particularly fond of MASS Design Group’s work in healthcare design.

While in grad school at University of Illinois, I conducted a precedent study on MASS Design Group’s Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda. Admittedly, I was somewhat star-struck. His presentation showed the level of meaning, intention, and contextuality that every project should strive for. When Christian had finished, we gathered separately with our crew members to continue refining the ideas we had formulated in the weeks leading up to the summit.

There were break periods designated throughout the day –whether small intermittent breaks or a lunch break. During one such period my crew temporarily disbanded to shed some nervous energy from a long working session, and I may or may not have gently disrupted some deep conversations to see if anyone might be interested in tossing a Frisbee around at some point during the weekend. I am that person who tries to add a

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Above | Mission 2130 Team Futurespectives. Above | Futurespectives Bike Ride from Restaurant

little levity to those long working sessions. More on this later.

After a couple of hours, the crews rejoined in the main room for an impactful panel discussion with Kendra Wiley – Environmental Strategist and Consultant, Janki Vyas of KARMA co/lab, and Elizabeth Resenic of Gensler. The panelists leaned hard into topics surrounding what the future might look like if we don’t change our behaviors, and what current technologies and approaches exist that could help us ensure a better future.

Following the panel discussion, each crew had the opportunity to choose one of the speakers or panelists to be their mentor. As luck would have it, we were able to secure Christian as our mentor. So, we reconvened with our group and met with Christian, who gave us valuable feedback on what we had prepared so far. The hours progressed. Our creativity was packed into our efforts.

We were Petri dishes meant to grow ideas, spread across the open & ample second floor spaces of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Consigned to our corners, though divided by competition, we were united through cause & meaning - threaded together in a forward fold across time and space, and co-facilitated through creative collaboration with Artificial Intelligence.

We capped the intensity of the day with a needed walk through Pittsburgh to dinner at Bar Marco, where we mingled with the larger group. At dinner, we got the opportunity to sit with people from other crews. Conversations within earshot of where I sat circled around nanobots, Futurama, inclusion & acceptance, and Ellen Ripley. I was in the proper company to let my nerd flag fly.

Dinner ended, and I walked back with some folks from other crews. I distinctly remember walking & talking with Randa (from the RE/ACTIVE crew) about the importance of empathy & compassion in architectural design. This would be a general theme for those I connected with during the summit.

After we all returned to the hotel, Weston (Futurespectives), Elise (Futurespectives) & I walked a few blocks and threw a Frisbee around for a bit in the US Steel Tower Plaza. We also got the chance to explore the lobby of a glorious gilded age cave

- also known as the Omni William Penn Hotel (completed in 1916)a couple of blocks away.

The next day we were given much of the morning to finalize our presentations before it was time to share them with the larger group. The competitive spirit was alive among us, but it was well balanced by the collaborative spirit as we cheered each other on. Every crew had a valuable approach, every crew had dynamic solutions, and every crew presented their ideas from diverse perspectives & with passionate intention.

Throughout the Mission 2130 Summit, people were generous with themselves: excited to share thoughts, experiences, frustrations, foresights, speculations, and prophecies. Diversity of contexts made the week one of collective embrace, generosity of self made the week one of collaboration, and rigorous application of experience made the week one of success.

My time in Pittsburg ended in perfection, or something like it. A group of us: Shona, Elysia, Obed, Weston, Wendy & I found an excellent sunny, grassy knoll to throw a Frisbee around and talk about our summit experience among other things. What I hope is to contribute to building a 2130 wherein play & nature are valued as they were in this moment.

In retrospect, something I have come to accept is that architects and designers must be prophets who have empathy for past, present, and future humans, and there must be an understanding that if the impact of space on the human condition is not benign, then neither is design. I don’t mean this from a perspective of hubris, because I suspect that architecture will not always belong to architects.

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Rosalie Howell (she/her/hers), Assoc. AIA, Rosalie is an Architectural Designer at Dewberry. She is currently serving as Chair of Dewberry’s LGBTQIA+ ERG.
I have come to accept that architects and designers must be prophets who have empathy for past, present, and future humans, and there must be an understanding that if the impact of space on the human condition is not benign, then neither is design.

The Mission Debrief

Beyond heroism & human health, Toward mutually reinforcing solutions

On a warm August afternoon in Pittsburgh, fifty delegates dispersed, buzzing with the energy of final pitches just delivered. We had gathered as a full group only 48 hours prior; a collection of eight teams whose ambitious preparations were swiftly reality-checked by Chris Luebkeman Ph.D. ‘s presentation of global turmoil and possible futures. The talented Christian Benimana of MASS Group, summarized the doctor’s message only a few minutes later: we were not there to discuss saving the planet, but merely saving humanity’s place on it.

The horizon of possible futures Dr. Luebkeman presented have been published in Arup Group’s “2050 Scenarios: Four Possible Futures.” Well worth a quick read, it defines potential outcomes via a quadrant matrix - a Y-axis of Planetary Health, an X-axis of Societal Health. Our future is headlined by a bettering of bothdubbed the ‘Post Anthropocene’ - with adjacent quadrants clearly imbalanced (‘Greentocracy’, and ‘Humans Inc’) and a final worst-case scenario ‘Extinction Express.’ Given a few months’ distance from the session, titled “The Future is Oversold

and Underimagined”, I have to wonder if this is the full horizon of our possibilities? Can Mission 2130 allow us to chart a more positive and ambitious course for our profession and society?

We need saving

There is no doubt we -humans- have an out-sized impact on the other species on the planet. As of 2018 we accounted for 96% of all mammalian biomass (our own and our domesticated animal support)1. Our activities from pesticides, microplastics, and global warming have led to massive shifts in plant, animal, and bacterial populations the world over2,3 To date environmental movements have adopted narratives of restoration, stewardship, and preservation4, in an effort to bring our society in line with ecological limits. Yet, current data suggests our impact has pushed beyond the abilities of restorative means.

In any good script this is the act where a hero would rise to save us: the wunderkind designer, or some beautiful technological solution that will eventually save us. Simple narratives make great stories but in reality, the premise of an individually heroic solution is often short-lived and socially divisive. Lasting change is not quick nor is it cleanly good or bad. The worst things our society has done (extinction of species, climate warming) have manifested slowly until the limits of our systems are hit.

Designing for Integration

The case against individual heroism is not often made; when it is, it is often framed as a glorification of participation ribbons. Everyone at Mission 2130 left knowing the future demands more action than any one of us can create on our own. In the next hundred years, we must shift our field toward collective heroism with the goal of raising our internal professional expectations. Outwardly, this will require practicing with purpose. Architecture cannot merely become a luxury leveraged by those who can afford us. We must recognize our contract with society to provide shelter, in its multitude of facets, both near and long term; this will require integrating social and ecological solutions.

Christian Benima’s presentation ‘The Architecture of Health’ may have started with the stark summarization of our purpose at the conference but it quickly moved the group forward to consider architecture’s role as an integrator of both social and environmental variables. Surveying a number of MASS Design’s

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Above -

hospital projects governed by the Rwanda Hospital Design Standards, Benima noted many families were avoiding the hospitals for childbirth, averse to the idea of healthy mothers at the same facility as the ailing. MASS engaged with this stigma and provided design solutions that separated facilities, and helped break the stigma. The standards adopted for construction demanded both a social and ecological touch, utilizing volcanic rock on-site such that it did not become waste and capitalizing on hyper-local skill for shaping the material. Beyond this, buildings were sensitive to existing ecological conditions, particularly ventilation and rainwater, detaining or capturing it for use.

Immediate and multifaceted, these lessons show the compounding power of designing to integrate buildings socially and ecologically. With this as our baseline, the horizon of possibilities can become even more aspirational. Through further ecological integration, Architecture can enhance the surrounding biosphere by engaging in Mutualistic Symbiosis. In truth built form is an extension of the earth’s surface, and needs to actively participate as such. Finding ways that enhance and support our growing population and greater biodiversity. In 2019, The Living installed an exhibition entitled ‘Subculture’

at The Storefront for Architecture. Aimed at displaying the microbiome of the city the iconic storefront was embedded with habitats for bacteria and incubators for micro-organisms. A contrast in scale between life on the street and the biomass of the organisms that make our world possible, it provided even lay personas a glimpse at the potential for enriched environments through the duality of built forms.

Designing for Values

Further, ‘Subculture’ undermined traditional values of beauty and cleanliness.7 Given the opportunity to define our future, are these the values we want to continue to uphold? In the century and a half after Labrouste’s St. Genieve Biblotheque inscribed book titles on its facade the importance of education rose to the glorification of study at Sendai Mediatheque. Our profession has always had the power to shape- and be shaped by- social values. Each team had unique values driving their Mission 2130 responses. Ultimately the proposals were designing our engagement with the public in the next century .

Focusing YAF Summit 30 on the year 2130 was a clear acknowledgment of long-termism. The value bound most teams to solutions that reinforced positive social outcomes. Architects are accustomed to thinking on longer time scales, due to the time and energy demands of built form our prototypes are built precedents. We have a responsibility to help clients and the public take a long view of a project’s impact and lifespan.

Once created, buildings are part of the social and biological environment. Most teams were responsive to the world we

Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 33
Above [photo]
Though our world cannot be as it was before the human population boom, we must choose to set a path forward that maximizes its potential to thrive.

currently inhabit, with proposals that acknowledge, shape, and alter it. Never subtract, transform - that was Anne Lacaton’s message upon the event of the annual Ratensky Lecture at Cooper Union in 2021. When considering how much design thinking is needed, reframing architectural work as transformation rather than creation, allows us greater understanding of the existing and the possible. These are opportunities not to be ignored for the creation of siloed icons. Such efforts betray our skills to create products enriched by interaction; and betray the public who interact through lived experience not as images from the day of completion.

Ultimately, the prioritization of these values will provide architects with a larger platform in social and political conversations to advance integrated design solutions. Starting with policy changes, local and national, we have to lobby for the public, not for ourselves as small businesses. If we communicate in ways

that maximize opportunities through integration, we will have a seat at every table. Discussions on ‘rewilding’ are discussions about wildlife integration at the borders of human development. Discussions about climate change are discussions about the changing needs of human shelter. Discussions about waste are discussions about misallocated materials; these are not conversations we should shy away from.

Into our next century

Though our world cannot be as it was before the human population boom, we must choose to set a path forward that maximizes its potential to thrive. Taking a longer focus is empowering as it gives us space to imagine a change to our current course to define where we want to go, and what role we want this profession to have in the future. For perspective, one hundred and nine years ago The Great War started, in its lead up

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Above Domino Housing By Fondation Le Corbusier, Fair use,

architects were grappling with serious questions of population boom, housing and food shortages. There were aspirational designs for better housing. In the war’s wake aspirations that design could help prevent such conditions again. Yet those designers passed, their ambition was tossed aside as failure in the advent of World War II, the designs themselves perverted into ‘styles’ used to symbolize wealth and stand in for real progress. This is not a failure but a precedent because we must dream again. We must aspire to the health of our planet in a way that we have yet to envision. Leaving behind style and heroism, we can shape the values of design for the next 100 years.


1 Greenpeace, “How much of earth’s biomass is affected by humans,” Rex Weyler 18, July 2018 story/17788/how-much-of-earths-biomass-is-affected-byhumans/#:~:text=We%20find%20out%20that%20humans,all%20 mammal%20biomass%20on%20Earth.

2 The biomass distribution on Earth,Yinon M. Bar-On, Rob Phillips, and Ron Milo.Published 19 June 2018, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

3 Marine Litter, Plastics, and Microplastics and their toxic components: The need for urgent preventive measures; Frederic Gallo, Cristina Fossi, Roland Webber, David Santillo, Joao Sousa, Imogen Ingram, Angel Nadal and Delores Romano. Published 18 April 2018, Environmental Science Europe

4 Half Earth, E. O. Wilson. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

5 World Health Organization, “Newborn Mortality” Newsroom Fact Sheets, 28 January 2022.

6 World Organization for Animal Health, “Eradication is not the end of the Rhinderpest story”, 22 November 2018. https://www. in,leading%20to%20famine%20and%20starvation.

7 Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City. http:// Exhibited 2019. Designed and brief written by Kevin Slavin / Elizabeth Hénaff / The Living (David Benjamin, John Locke, Danil Nagy, Damon Lau, Dale Zhao, Ray Wang, Jim Stoddart, Lorenzo Villaggi) In collaboration with Evan Eisman Company.

Informative Sources:

Dognut Economics, Raworth, Kate. Chelsea Green Publishing 2017

Cradle to Cradle : Remaking the Way We Make Things. McDonough, William. New York: North Point Press, 2002.

2050 Scenarios: Four Possible Futures, Foresight Research and Innovation. December 2019

Nathan Strieter, AIA RA

Nathan Strieter, AIA RA is a Director with LSM in New York City. Strieter began LSM’s NYC extension in 2018; is a DAAP alumnus, and ardent urbanist.

Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 35

College of Fellows Liason Message:

One of my responsibilities as the most recent member of the COF Executive Committee has been serving as the COF liaison to the Young Architects Forum. Not surprisingly, this has been a pleasurable duty, getting to better know these young, current and future leaders of the profession. Our profession will be in good hands with these ambitious, dedicated, and creative architects in charge. The Young Architects Forum (YAF), a program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the College of Fellows (COF), is organized to address issues of particular importance to recently licensed architects. The YAF is the voice of recently licensed architects and a catalyst for progress within the Institute.

2022 marks the final year under the 5-year YAF Strategic Initiative of “Practice Innovation, Redefining Purpose”. Through this 5-year period the priority areas of the YAF have been 1) Climate Action; 2) Career Evolution; and 3) Belonging + J.E.D.I. Visit their Connections newsletter, and their KnowledgeNet page to access many YAF resources. The content of their publications and events makes obvious the depth and clarity of their focus on the future success of the profession and their participation in that future.

The highlight thus far of my YAF liaison experience was participating in Summit30: Mission 2130, in August in Pittsburgh. Every five years the YAF organizes a summit to help determine their strategic initiatives for the next five years. Mission 2130 was an application-based in-person event organized by the Young Architects Forum to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and more importantly to respond to critical issues in the next 100 years that early career architects are uniquely poised to answer

• What will the world look like in 100 years?

• How has the profession of architecture evolved to meet the demands of our future communities and climate?

• What technology has been invented to support these efforts and provide for both planetary and human health?

• What comes after the 2030 Challenge ends? Is it a new 2130 Challenge? An AIA 200 Challenge to coincide with the bicentennial of AIA?

• What do architects need to start doing today to proactively address these upcoming changes instead of reacting once there is no other choice?

This is Mission 2130.

The YAF Mission 2130 leadership team started the process by organizing Team Red Charrettes in April, to obtain a diverse range of input and ideas under the overarching topics of:

Architecture, Society, and Planet. Applications were then sought for Mission 2130 participants, who were required to submit a brief personal essay about their vision of and priorities for the future. These essays helped the organizing team to not only review applications, but to sort accepted participants into eight “Mission Crews”. These crews then started meeting via Zoom, at least weekly, to complete pre-summit assignments. Each crew was provided with an individual Google drive folder, which included a Crew Manual, Additional Links, and Crew Member CVs. Each crew also had a separate Miro Board, which the crews used through the conclusion of the event. The quality of the organization of this ambitious undertaking was exceptional. Kudos to the organizing committee, (also known as “Mission Control”).

Mission 2130, the event, hosted 50 architects from across the nation to address challenges the profession will face in the next 100 years, focusing on Architecture, Society, and our Planet. Selected individuals participated in 2-day plenary sessions and facilitated workshops as teams to ideate and develop potential solutions to the profession’s problems of tomorrow. Keynote speakers Dr. Chris Luebkeman, PhD and Christian Benimana, RA, challenged participants to critically look forward and to engage with communities. An afternoon panel discussion with Janki Vyas, Kendra Wiley, and Elizabeth Resenic gave insight to the Summit attendees on what society would look like if we don’t change our patterns now. Emcee Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, 2022 AIA President-Elect, 2023 AIA President, kept the Mission Crews on track, ably assisted by YAF Chair Jessica O’Donnell, AIA.

At the end of the event, each team presented their work, a “pitch”, building a tapestry of solutions that will inform existing and future work done by the YAF, building positive conversations around potential visions for the future to ideate and drive change by developing actions to counteract the problems of tomorrow. Since the summit’s conclusion, the YAF leadership team has been reviewing the crews’ presentations to develop actionable steps and resources for the YAF to prioritize for the next 1015 years. These new strategic initiatives will be formatted and shared in the coming months. The COF was proud to help sponsor this event, and looks forward to its outcomes.

Kate Schwennsen, FAIA

Kate is a Professor Emeritus + Director Emeritus at Clemson University School of Architecture.

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The highlight thus far of my YAF liaison experience was participating in Summit30...

YAF Summit 30:

Mission 2130 Event Findings Summary

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Connection and Chill

Cocktails and streaming content for the casual consumer

Each quarter, the YAF Knowledge Focus Group curates streaming video content and a cocktail recipe to salute each Connection issue theme. In Q1, we highlight climate action through provocative shows and a drink recipe.


Each quarter, the YAF Knowledge Focus Group curates streaming video content and a cocktail recipe to salute each Connection issue theme. In Q1, we highlight Mission 2130, where we celebrate 30 years of the YAF committee, and we look to the future of young architects and our world. What could the world be like in 100 years?


1.5 oz blanco tequila

1.5 oz amaretto

3 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

1 oz of choice of chopped nut (walnut used here)

Optional grenadine

Optional cherry topper

Ice Shaker


Muddle your choice of nut with the amaretto into shaker

Add tequila

Squeeze orange juice into shaker

Add ice

Shake mixture in shaker for a few seconds

Use strainer to pour over ice into a rocks glass

Add optional amaretto

Top with cherry + crushed walnut (optional)


Streaming recommendations (available on Netflix + YouTube TV):

The following recommendations follow the theme of Mission 2130: The Future Of (2022)

A Trip to Infinity (2022)

Engineering the Future (2020)

Abstract: The Art of Design (2019)

AIA YAF Knowledge Focus Group (Kiara Gilmore, AIA/Ryan Lewis, AIA/Trent Schmitz, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Associate/Terry Zink, AIA/Arlenne Gil, AIA, NCARB/Melanie Ngami, AIA/Alexandra Tengco, AIA/Tanya Kataria, AIA/Nathaniel St. Jean,AIA)

The YAF Knowledge Focus Group is dedicated to identifying important issues of recently licensed architects and the creation of knowledge resources to enable young architects to advance their careers.

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recipe: “global warming: A high proof dark and stormy”
The Future Sunrise on ice
Vol. 21, Issue 01 2023 39
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