A’22 Conference on Architecture Recap

After a two-year break this year’s AIA Conference on Architecture was held in Chicago, Illinois! The conference gives members an opportunity to network with a large community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for the built environment. The seminars provide interesting and unique educational opportunities, and the host city offers valuable insight into architectural development. Chicago was the perfect location to explore “an architects’ ability to drive new thinking” as Chicago is one of the most design-forward, sustainable cities in the U.S. This year our section President, Elysia Mikkelsen, our President-Elect, Jacie Prasnikar, and our immediate Past-President, Rachel Haynes attended the conference as representatives from Central PA. 

This year’s Keynote speakers emphasized the idea that architects are uniquely positioned to inspire and drive new thinking and change. The keynote host was Lee Bey, a Chicago-based photographer, author, lecturer, and architecture critic. On Day 1, he spoke with AIA’s new EVP/Chief Executive Office, Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, and Madame Architect Founder, Julia Gamolina, Assoc. AIA. This was a great way to kick off the conference as is set the tone to discuss the upcoming opportunities for the AIA and the future of the architecture profession. 

On Day 2 was a discussion with three visionary architects Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA, Renée Cheng, FAIA, & Jeanne Gang, FAIA. The conversation ranged from discourse on urban density and design of community space to labor practices and the architect’s role in safety (gun violence). The discussion covered a scope of topics all focused on the role of the architect in a community and our ongoing challenge to position ourselves as relevant to social needs. 

The closing Keynote speaker was President Barack Obama in conversation with AIA 2022 President Daniel S. Hart, FAIA, PE. President Obama spoke about his experience working with Architect’s Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) on the Presidential Library currently under construction in Jackson Park in Chicago’s South side. President Obama discussed current political climate and noted that architects can play a role in bringing people together by bridging the gaps between communities through use of space, design thinking, and above all, listening.    

Apart from the inspiring keynotes our members were able to attend a variety of seminars and architectural tours. The River Walk East, showcasing public art trees, landscaping and picnic outposts and Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Oak Park were just a sliver of what Chicago had to offer. Our attendees were able to visit the firm of Ross Barney Architects, designers of the Chicago River Walk, to get behind the scenes insight into the challenges faced designing on the riverfront and what inspired them to make the choices they did. 

The AIA Conference on Architecture marks the time to announce the new elected officials of AIA National. Congratulations to Kimberly Dowdell, AIA elected 2023 First Vice President/2024 President-Elect, Britt Lindberg, FAIA, elected 2023-2024 Secretary, and Illya Azaroff, FAIA, elected 2023-2025 At-Large Director. 

The conference was truly inspiring and educational, I encourage everyone to try to arrend the A’23 Conference on Architecture in San Francisco. There are opportunities for free registration if you sign up to volunteer!

Written by Elyssia Mikkelsen


2022 Conference, Expo, and Design Awards

AIA Central Pennsylvania held their annual Conference and Design Awards virtually on Thursday, September 28th at the Historic King Mansion in Harrisburg. The day began with three outstanding walking tours around Harrisburg given by Harrisburg Historical Society.  Followed at 6pm by our Expo with 27 vendors and sponsors.  The keynote presentation by Theo Armstrong, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Zeroday Brewing Company was outstanding.  The evening ended with our annual design awards.

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the AIA Central Pennsylvania 2022 Design awards.

We would like to thank all of the firms/architects who submitted projects; this year there were 34 submissions. An excellent testament to the great talent in Central Pennsylvania.  In addition, a special thank you to this year’s jury from AIA Hampton Roads. We appreciate their time and commitment to reviewing all submissions and their thoughtful evaluations. And as always, we could not do this without all of our sponsors and their continued commitment to AIA Central Pennsylvania.  We are greatly appreciative and look forward to future events together.

See all 2022 Design Awards

See all 2022 Photos Here

2022 Student Scholarship Recipients

2022 AIA National Scholarship Grants Awarded to AIA Central PA

AIA Central PA has been selected for the sixth straight year as a recipient of a Scholarship Program Grant Award from AIA National, this year in the amount of $1,500.  Since 2005, AIA National has been awarding the scholarship grant to local and state components with established scholarship programs.  

The talented recipients included: Nina Markle (Marywood University), Quaid Spicher (Penn State University), and Aydin Thompson (Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology).  All of whom were selected by The Central PA Architects Foundation which is made up of AIA Central PA Past Presidents.  The scholarships were awarded at the Annual Design Awards Ceremony held September 28, 2022 at the Historic King Mansion in Harrisburg.  You can read more about each recipient here: Design Awards – AIA Central Pennsylvania (aiacentralpa.org)


Thank you to the founding members of the Central PA Architects Foundation Scholarship program which has made AIA Central PA eligible for this grant and also to AIA National for supporting this grant program.  Also—a huge thank you to those members and friends of AIA Central PA who continue to invest in the future of the architectural profession.  

To contribute to the Central PA Architects Foundation click here https://aiacentralpa.org/emerging-professionals/scholarship/


Call to Vote / PAC

This November we have the opportunity to exercise our right to vote and make our voices heard as a Nation. Please remember to vote this election season. 

AIA Pennsylvania is and has been engaged with our State Politicians though the Political Action Committee (PAC) to advocate for our profession. Their involvement has directly affected legislation throughout the years and will continue to be a voice for Architecture. Please visit the PAC website https://www.paarchitectspac.org/ for more information on how to become involved and to donate. 


Fall Lecture

Susan T. Rodriguez, FAIA will make a presentation titled “Overlay: Current Work” on November 3rd for the 2022 AIA Central PA Fall Lecture. Susan T Rodriguez Architecture is a decorated 5 year old firm based in New York City – she was a founding Partner and Design Principal at Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership). 

Susan designs at the intersection of architecture and the public realm to create buildings and spaces that distill the essence of cultures and communities. Her award-winning work is recognized internationally for its contribution to the vitality of cities and landscapes, and the civic, cultural and educational institutions they serve. She was the lead designer of the Sylvia H. Rambo United States Courthouse nearing completion in Midtown Harrisburg. Current projects include Central Park’s new Harlem Meer Center, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center for Colby College, and the Center for Human Ecology of the Atlantic.

The suggested donation is $10 although it is free to attend. Pre-register by November 1st at https://aiacentralpa.org 

The lecture will begin at 7pm and be followed by a social hour at Armstrong World Industries – the generous long-term host and sponsor of the Fall Lecture. Access to the Armstrong campus is limited so please be sure to pre-register by 11/1 and arrive early enough to navigate security, park, & walk to the venue.


Call for Member Articles

AIA Central PA would like to feature scholarly articles / blogs related to our profession in each quarterly newsletter. This is an excellent opportunity to have your article published and available to your fellow architects / engineers in Central PA. If you are interested in submitting an article or blog please send your inquiries to Brett Hallacher at bhallacher@rlps.com.

Membership Notes

A short note and reminder from AIA Pennsylvania about membership.  You will be receiving your dues letters from AIA soon.  Dues is due by March 31, 2023.  Please let Susan Frear at AIA PA know if you have any question about dues or membership.  sfrear@aiapa.org

Upcoming Events

2022 Architectural Excellence Awards Broadcast & Viewing Parties:Celebrate Architectural Excellence Across the Commonwealth

WHAT & WHEN: Join your colleagues, peers, and industry partners from across the state to celebrate architectural excellence with AIA Pennsylvania’s 6th annual broadcast reveal kicking off on YouTube at 7pm EST on Thursday, November, 17, as well as the return of viewing parties popping up around the state! Celebrate 2022’s individual and firm honorees in five programs, including the Architectural Excellence Committee on the Environment (COTE) Awards, Design Awards, Special Awards, Student Awards, and EPiC Firms.

WHERE: All viewing party hosts request pre-registration.  Registration will close for all viewing parties on November 11th. REGISTER HERE

Hosted by Tippetts/Weaver Architects | 137 North Duke Street, Lancaster, PA, 17602
Viewing Party Happy Hour starts at 6:00pm




Job Opportunities

View the latest positions posted to our job board!
Hiring? Submit your position HERE