It's another year for the AIA Young Architects Award. The award recognizes emerging architects for their leadership and their significant contributions to the profession early on in their architectural career. Young architects are defined as those who are licensed no more than 10 years, regardless of age.
The recipients are honored for their various means of involvement in architecture, education, and their communities locally and around the world.
Check them out below.
José Alvarez, AIA: "A native of Caracas, Venezuela, he finished his architecture education in the United States and has worked for New Orleans–based Eskew+Dumez+Ripple for the past 17 years. His devotion to client satisfaction, attention to detail, and endless pursuit of quality design and building performance has made him directly responsible for delivering some of the firm’s most iconic and challenging projects to date, including the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC); the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, La.; 930 Poydras Residential Tower in New Orleans; and Teatro Santander, in São Paolo, Brazil."
Zachary R. Benedict, AIA: "Zachary Benedict is an architect and urbanist at MKM architecture + design, a Ft. Wayne, Ind.–based firm known for its focus on health and wellness. While designing numerous projects, ranging from senior care facilities to public libraries, Zach manages the firm's community-based projects and research efforts. With an extensive background in urban sociology and neighborhood revitalization, his work focuses on the future of the American Midwest and the socioeconomic benefits of intergenerational communities."
Sarah W. Dirsa, AIA: "A natural leader, Sarah Dirsa is praised by colleagues for her ability to inspire others to join her causes. She has a passion for service and seeks to give back to her community through architecture. Her personal motivation is to set a positive example for her young son through community-focused work. Sarah co-founded HOK IMPACT and SEED St. Louis as ways to recognize the great community work already being done within the international design firm HOK and in St. Louis, respectively, as well as to promote a community of givers and advocate for increased participation in public interest design projects. Sarah’s involvement with corporate social responsibility, specifically taking on the role of HOK’s first-ever global chair of social responsibility, further speaks to her passion for promoting public interest design engagement at both the firm-wide and local levels."
Andrew Dunlap, AIA: "Andrew Dunlap is a leader and an innovator, creating and improving technology that all architects can use in pursuing excellence for their aesthetic designs. He excels at, and enjoys, the technical aspect of projects and has become SmithGroupJJR’s go-to expert on exterior building enclosures. While developing these skills, Andrew transitioned from a technical architect to a trusted project leader, mentor, and advisor at his firm."
James Henry, AIA: "James (Jim) Henry has a passion for sharing good design and creating better life experiences for others through his work. His work has resulted in improved healthcare design for those who need it most. As a testament to his talent and maturity, Jim earned a position at HDR as a senior healthcare designer and was subsequently named design principal at the firm’s Dallas studio—the youngest design principal in the firm’s 98-year history. The majority of Jim’s award-winning portfolio has centered on healthcare design."
Chris Hong, AIA: "Chris Hong stands out for his poise and knowledge as well as for his unfailingly "other-centered" courtesy and clear-sightedness. His approach to the profession stems from a sincere commitment to helping others and to promoting architecture as a public good. He is a natural-born leader who has earned plaudits throughout his tenure at two major practices that benefitted from his quiet but focused commitment—NBBJ in Seattle and Group 70 International in Honolulu."
James A. Meyer, AIA: "James Meyer is committed to public interest design issues, and his work has established new civic frameworks that have helped local firms pursue trendsetting public design work. Among his many notable endeavors, James founded studioMAIN in Little Rock, Ark., a nonprofit made up of design and construction professionals who volunteer their time creating a venue to pursue work in public interest design."
Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA: "Ann Sobiech Munson is one of those rare architects who combines a passion for practice, energy, and insight for teaching along with the capacity for communicating about the environment. Her contributions exemplify a holistic approach to the ways in which architectural training and expertise may lead to innovation, both within and outside the profession. In the spirit of “repositioning the architect,” she reaches beyond the boundaries of architecture to engage others in conversation about the built environment, broadening public understanding of the profession and bolstering the value of its expertise. Within the profession, she leads research and discussion that urges practitioners to update the ways in which they design and implement their business practices. Ann draws upon a literary as well as architectural design background in her work."
Rebecca Talbert, AIA: "Rebecca Talbert is an architect, educator, and active advocate for the architecture profession. Throughout her career, Rebecca has been involved in volunteer efforts and continues to serve in leadership positions in her community, leveraging her academic and practical expertise to effect real change at both the state and local levels. In addition to working full time, Rebecca has taught evening architecture classes as an adjunct professor for eight years. She has shown a commitment to the AIA, and over the past 10 years has served on numerous boards and committees on both the local and state levels."
Derek C. Webb, AIA: "Derek has played a pivotal role in the design and production of a wide range of both public and private projects. Much of his work has been acknowledged through awards and publication, and his influence can be seen in his portfolio of projects—from libraries to healthcare centers, with some of his most recent work putting him at the forefront of modern healthcare design. His leadership with the AIA Houston Chapter and Rice Design Alliance, as well as his teaching efforts at the University of Houston, Prairie View A&M University, and the Art Institute of Houston, has demonstrated a commitment to the profession and to emerging professionals in their professional development and engagement in the AIA"
Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA: "Beth is a local leader in loft designs and urban spaces, with a focus on sustainability both in material and conceptual economy of means. As a founding principal of Merge Architects in Boston, she has been widely recognized for her inventive designs, frequently executed for small spaces on small budgets. On the education front, Beth is on the faculty at the Harvard University Graduate Design School, of which she is an alumna, and also teaches at several other design studios."
Hafsa Burt, AIA: "Hafsa Burt is dedicated to using her skills as an architect to enrich communities and elevate peoples’ lives—with a special focus on environmental impact. Amidst the challenges of establishing her own San Francisco–based firm, hb+a Architects, she has made time to volunteer as a member of the AIA within various communities and other organizations as well as assisted younger aspiring architects. She brings the combined qualities of a successful business owner and a very involved community leader focused on making positive collaborative changes."
Justin Crane, AIA: "Justin seeks to educate and engage with a broad audience, and thereby connect the public to the design community. In this vein, he co-founded Common Boston, a popular, grassroots architecture festival in Boston that he helped grow from a small organization to an 11-day, city-wide event that creates a dialogue between the public and architects in shaping a more sustainable, equitable, and inspiring built environment, drawing more than 5,000 attendees. Justin has focused on education in numerous ways, including as a board member and currently president of Learning By Design in Massachusetts."
Adrianne Steichen, AIA: "Adrianne Steichen is setting the standard for young architects, excelling in all aspects of practicing architecture while continuously pushing to advance the cause of improving how and why we practice architecture. She is adept at taking on the roles of project manager and project architect, and able to master new technology and teach others to use it to improve their practice. When she joined Oakland, Calif.–based Pyatok Architecture + Urban Design, Adrianne took on the firm's social mission to design exemplary residential communities for those in need of low- and moderate-income housing as well as students. She is committed to advocating for affordable housing and volunteering with housing and community organizations."
2015 Young Architects Award Jury:
- William J. Stanley, III, FAIA, Chair
- Stanley Love-Stanley, PC - Atlanta
- Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA, LML Consulting - Washington, D.C.
- Jonathan Penndorf, AIA, Perkins + Will - Washington, D.C.
- Raymond “Skipper” Post, FAIA, Post Architects - Baton Rouge
- Albert W. Rubeling, FAIA, Rubeling & Associates, Inc. - Towson, Maryland
- John Sorrenti, FAIA, JRS Architect, PC - Mineola, New York
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