Author Archives: Bruce D. Turner, AIA

Sole proprietor architect working on commercial residential and municipal projects, both new construction and renovations/additions. Sustainable design; LEED ap

New Perspectives on the Past: 2015 New Jersey History & Historic Preservation Conference

NJHP 2015 Conference

NJIT Students Win Global Schindler Award

Students Fundraising To Support Travel Costs To Accept Award

Eleven NJIT students in the Master of Infrastructure Planning (MIP) program (a mix of undergraduates and graduate students) led by Georgeen Theodore recently were acknowledged for a Global Schindler Award, a design competition seeking an original design concept to engage the specific spatial condition in Shenzhen, China “Considering the Interface between Mobility and the City”.

The task was to create an urban design-based response to the mobility issues related to Shenzhen and its local and regional relationships in the pearl River Delta. It also required addressing social, economic and environmental challenges presented by globalization and urbanization.

This was the first time in the history of the competition that it was opened for North American universities. Out of the 250 total submissions, only 12 were chosen. Of those twelve, the group form NJIT is the only U.S. based team. They are planning to travel to Shenzhen to accept the award and see the site that was the focus of their design project.

njit_coadThe students seek to raise an additional $5000 to help offset their costs. Any monies collected will be spent on air-fare, trains, hotels and visa applications. The cost per individual student to travel to China is expected to be in excess of $2,000 each.

Their project was titled

SEZ TO EZX: SHENZHEN XROADS

You can read more about their project and fundraising efforts here.

AIA Small Firm Exchange at 2015 AIA National Convention

Did you know that 50% of AIA members practice in firms of of 5 or less people? Did you know that 70% of members practice in firms of 20 or less? The AIA Small Firm Roundtable (SFRT) seeks to specifically address the needs of the small firms. At the AIA National Convention there is a track of programs and events specifically tailored to the interests of small firms. That track is call the Small Firm Exchange, or SFx. This year in Atlanta the SFx track is particularly robust. Please see the flyer below for the complete schedule of events. And, while in Atlanta look for people donning a SFRT badge. They will gladly welcome you to the group!

2015 SFX LAYOUT DRAFT v05

AIA New Jersey 2015 State Convention

Practicing in the New Normal

Save the Date – October 23 & 24, 2015
ITINERARY:
Two Days of Seminars   (earn up to 13 credits)
Three Tracks of Concentration
Two Keynote Design Speakers
One Keynote Business Speaker
Friday One Day Expo
Design Competition
Student Design Competition
Friday Design Awards Dinner
Friday and Saturday Tours
Visit the AIA-NJ State Convention Website for updates at: http://www.aianjconvention.com ** Registration is not open yet **
** However check back to learn more as it becomes available **

AIANJ 2015 Convention Save the Date

  NEW FORMAT:
Design Expo Friday
Design Award Winners announced at the Friday night Design Awards Dinner.
Vendor speaking opportunities
Panel discussion with leading
School of Architecture Deans

Mark it on your calendars to come join us in October !

Help Celebrate Architecture Week

AIA-NJNational Architecture Week April 12-18, 2015

This week we are celebrating Architecture Week. In order to celebrate we are promoting an #archselfie campaign. This campaign seeks to acknowledge that certain individual buildings can have more personal meaning than others, and for different reasons. A new project can reinvent the way we use, see, or experience them within our community. Sometimes it’s their resilience, never changing or moving, that holds the meaning and represents something constant in our lives. Or, an existing building may have shaped our lives, or the lives of countless others that came before us.

Therefore, we will be celebrating architecture as a source of reinvention, recognizing the architect’s profound ability to impact an industry through design, a community through a building’s purpose, and the beauty of architecture itself through restoration and historic preservation. As a part of this campaign we are asking anyone to post “selfies” of themselves in front of any architecture they deem worthy: is it unique, is it meaningful, is it a place near and dear to your heart? Is it your home, school or office? Is it a place where you live, work or play, eat, sleep or pray? Whatever the reason, share it with others using the hashtags #archselfie #archselfienj archweek2015 & #iLookUp, because every building has an architect!

This year Architecture Week also falls on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13. While not educated as an architect, Jefferson is the only U.S. president to be recognized for his architectural affinity.  Jefferson once said: “Architecture is my delight.” Is it your delight? Learn more about Thomas Jefferson here, or share other resources you have found about him.

Happy Architecture Week!

AIA South Jersey Meeting

AIA+SJ+april+21+2015+Electronic+flyer

Quinn de Menna, AIA Appointed to AIA Design for Aging (DFA) Advisory Group

de-Menna_QuinnAIA-West Jersey would like to announce the appointment of Quinn de Menna, AIA to the AIA Design for Aging (DFA) Advisory Group. The eight (8) member national leadership board advocates for innovative design and shares research findings with professionals via the AIA DFA Knowledge Community, to promote quality of life and superior environments for an aging society. Quinn de Menna, AIA is currently Director of Architecture at Alberto & Associates, Inc. located in Haddonfield, NJ, and a frequent attendee of AIA-WJ sponsored events. Mr. de Menna has participated in efforts such as the AIA Design For Aging ADA Task Force and presented at national Senior Living Conferences including LeadingAge Annual Meeting, American Society on Aging, Pioneer Network and others; on topics ranging from Dining Trends to Accessible Toileting and Bathing. AIA-WJ is honored to have one of its members represented on this national board.

AIA-DFA has recently issued a Call for Entries for its 2015 AIA Design for Aging Review. This program, a joint effort of the AIA and LeadingAge, includes a juried exhibition, a companion book, and education programs. The program encompasses a broad view of facilities designed for senior citizens, including nursing homes, dementia care, assisted living, and continuing care retirement communities.

The Design for Aging Review seeks not only to demonstrate architectural design trends and recognize excellence but also to serve as a reference for providers, developers, users, advocates, architects, and other design professionals in this growing market. Since the competition began in 1992, more than 300 facilities, domestic and international, have participated in the review.

AIA New Jersey members are encouraged to submit projects for recognition. Please visit the AIA-Design for Aging website here for full program details.

AIA New Jersey Creates Task Force on Lightweight Wood-Framed Construction

edgewater-fire-chopper-2

 

TRENTON, N.J. (March 2015) — In the aftermath of the Avalon Edgewater Building Fire, the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has announced the formation of a task force of member architects to review possible improvements to design practices and building codes and standards in order to enhance building safety in New Jersey.

The Task Force will examine various issues specific to lightweight wood-framed buildings and make recommendations that, if implemented, could reduce property damage, provide additional time for people to reach safety, and allow the fire service more time to effectively address these emergencies.

Justin Mihalik, AIA

Justin Mihalik, AIA

Chaired by Justin A. Mihalik, AIA New Jersey President-elect, the AIA New Jersey Task Force will build upon its standard code advisory processes and conduct these additional meetings to review lightweight wood framing design issues and formulate recommendations to assist New Jersey policymakers in promulgating regulations that will make buildings of this type safer.

“Improving building safety through smarter design has always been a priority of architects,” said Justin A. Mihalik, AIA. “AIA-NJ is prepared to further assist public safety officials in this shared goal with the creation of this task force.”

The Task Force will make advisory recommendations on containment methods and use of lightweight wood-framed construction materials. These recommendations will be formulated into a written report to be presented to official agencies with the intent of improving building safety in the Garden State and around the country. Task force members will include David Del Vecchio, AIA, Robert M. Longo, AIA, Jason Lutz, AIA, William J. Martin, AIA and Yogish Mistry, AIA. The Task force is expected to complete this work in the coming months.

Working With The Media – Writing a Letter to the Editor

AIA-NJIn our recent year end review of the 2014 activities of the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee, we asked you to stay tuned for tools that will help you make a splash in the press. Below, is the second in a series of articles that will help you in that regard. With your help, we hope to be able to leverage our strength in numbers to help promote architects and architecture.

In the inaugural installment of our Working with the Media series, we discussed the process of familiarizing yourself with your local media landscape, including reporters and editors from various mainstream and trade outlets, and local community papers. We discussed a process called source filing, in which you, as an architect, establish yourself as a professional resource for future building and design-related stories that a journalist may be writing.

This is a necessary first step to making a splash in your local publication, but as a standalone measure, it leaves you in a passive position. Source filing vastly increases your chances of being contacted by a reporter when they need a source, but what if you want to proactively offer your expertise to the media?

Without pitching a story to a local reporter, it’s still possible to get published through a simple letter to the editor. A letter should be short – ideally less than 300 words – addressed to a newspaper or website’s editorial staff regarding a specific story or pertinent trend. Once you’ve identified the correct email or mailing address for the editor (usually located on the ‘Opinions’ or ‘Letters’ page), it’s time to get started on your letter.

As you’re writing your letter, keep in mind a few key points:

  • Keep it (somewhat) formal: Begin your letter with a proper salutation and thoroughly check it for spelling, grammar, and unnecessary shorthand writing. The printed letter is a direct reflection of you as a professional!
  • Send it electronically: While sending a physical letter is a novel idea, you greatly increase your chances of being published if you email the letter. It’s far easier for busy editors to copy/paste a letter than to retype it.
  • Clearly state your position in the opening paragraph: Whether you’re responding to a recent article or commenting on a building or architectural issue, make sure that you don’t bury your main point. In the first paragraph, be sure to plainly state your stance in relation to the story or subject.
  • Don’t (always) have a bone to pick: The tendency for many is to write a letter to the editor only when they are upset or opposed to something that a reporter has written. In fact, letters to the editor can be laudatory of a reporter, fellow architect, development project – anything! In fact, as long as you’re offering a fresh perspective, staying positive is a great way to solidify your relationship with the publication in the early stages of your relationship.

Letters to the editor offer a unique opportunity for architects because they are not controlled by an editorial board or journalistic practices. They’re an opportunity to say something constructive, educational, or unique about architecture while solely owning the message. Best of luck and happy writing!

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at www.aia.org. Please note this is a password protected, member only website. Therefore, we cannot provide a direct link to the site for you. But you can find it under Practicing Architecture; Best Practices; Part 2 – Firm Management; Chapter 6: Marketing and Business Development. You might also find a lot of other beneficial material in this area of the website.

If you would like to read the previous article in this series, please click here.

If you would like to see a sample Letter to the Editor, please click here.

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
Chair, AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee

AIA New Jersey Interviewed by WPIX TV Regarding Lightweight Wood Construction

edgewater-fire-chopper-2In the wake of the tragic events of the Avalon at Edgewater fire, Justin Mihalik, AIA, the newly elected President-Elect of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was recently interviewed by WPIX TV regarding the use of lightweight wood construction.  You can see the WPIX report here. The report is 5:26 in length.  Justin’s comments start at approximately the 1:59 mark and run through the 3:00 mark.

Granted, the conversation is far more complex than can be explained in one minute of TV time. And, the issue has received significant attention, including legislation proposing mandating fire sprinklers in all residential construction (Bill A1698) and a proposed two-year moratorium on all lightweight wood construction. Given the severity of the event and the public attention, it is more important than ever that architects and AIA New Jersey have a voice in this discussion.

This issue is being actively addressed by our Codes & Standards Committee, chaired by Robert Longo, AIA, our Legistative & Government Affairs Committee, chaired by David Del Vecchio, AIA, our Public Awareness Committee, chaired by Bruce Turner, AIA, our President, Kimberly Bunn, AIA, our Executive Director, Joe Simonetta, and the Executive Committee. Therefore, please make sure you share your opinions with your leaders of AIA New Jersey and your political representatives. Architects cannot stand on the sidelines while others determine the shape of the built environment.

Bruce Turner, AIA
Public Awareness Committee Chair

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