Category Archives: AIA-NJ News

Latest News, What’s Up and What’s New in AIA-NJ

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Megan Pritts

i_am_epic“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.

At the age of 5, I already knew I wanted to become an architect. What inspired me was the environment around me in which I grew up. Living in the suburbs, I drew variations of what I saw from houses to gardens to school buildings. I drew a house for each of my friends with vibrant colors and imaginative shapes that reflected the personality or image of them in my head.

I drew each of these houses from the view of the street and later learned that one side or face of a building is called a facade. My series of facade studies started taking shape within a neighborhood where I drew landscapes, roads and driveways connecting all of the homes to other buildings like schoolhouses. I assume this progression from drawing houses to interconnected neighborhoods came from riding the school bus every day and beginning to understand how neighborhoods are planned and connected.

I would argue that anything can be inspirational for a child. I found so much inspiration from my natural surroundings and the built world I lived in that I used that to imagine new structures that would enhance the existing environment. My passion for drawing and my early imagination led me to develop a sense or ability to design at a young age.

Growing up, I never stopped sketching, designing and planning, so it was only natural for me to pursue a career in architecture.

Megan Pritts

Architects Leadership Program – Montclair

Architects Leadership Corps Continuing Ed Program

Thursday, November 3, 2016
4:30 – 8:30 PM
Montclair, NJ

Two sessions:  Business Leadership and Civic Leadership
3.0 LUs



AIA-NJ to Host Annual Design Conference

Oct. 20 in Somerset, N.J.

AIA New Jersey Design Conference to Include Rutgers Campus Tour, Keynote on University’s Master Plan as well as annual Design Awards



The biggest names in New Jersey architecture will meet for a full-day architectural affair, culminating in a panel review of AIA-NJ’s annual design award submissions. In addition to the Design Awards Reception, the conference will feature a trade show as well as seminars on a range of topics, from women in architecture to emerging technologies for architects. In recognition of the 250th anniversary of Rutgers University, the opening keynote will focus on Rutgers University’s master plan, while the annual architectural tour will be a walk-through of the New Brunswick College Avenue Campus, discussing the campus’ history, recently constructed buildings and what the future holds in store.


Keynote 1: Frank Wong, Rutgers Executive Director of University Planning and Development on the topic of “Rutgers University Master Plan, Then and Now”

Keynote 2: Stephen Chrisman, Senior Associate at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects on the topic of “New Traditional Architecture: The Work of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects”

Keynote 4: Rick Joy, AIA, renowned architect and former visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design on the topic of “Taking the Time”



      Design Conference – Thursday, October 20, 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.


Highlights include:

-Rutgers Keynote – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

-“Women in Architecture” seminar – 10:15 – 11:15

-Walking Tour of Rutgers University – 10:15 – 12:15

-Design Awards Reception – October 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

-Showcase New Jersey Architects’ Projects – October 20, 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.



The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, NJ



The BIG Ask

By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Member of the ArchiPAC Steering Committee

For those who do not know, ArchiPAC is the only federal political action committee (PAC) speaking up for members of the AIA. The mission has been and continues to be to support candidates running for the US House and Senate who support AIA’s initiatives to preserve the profession and promote positive solutions for the built environment. The Stearing Committee works with both sides of the aisle and this has been a key strategy for moving the AIA’s legislative agenda through Congress.

In one way or another I have been involved with ArchiPAC for over a decade. Back in 2006 we had jus 23 donations that totaled $3,351. Our numbers of donators and individual donations have steadily increased and by the end of last year, we had raised just over $10K.

With just two and one half months left we are some $3K short of that goal. Increasing our goal, which this year was to 10% above last year’s numbers, would elevate effectiveness and compete with our counterparts in the building and construction industry. By doing so we would in effect elevate the debate on Capitol Hill by bringing awareness to the issues that impact the practice of OUR profession from tax policies that affect cash flow to energy policies that impact how buildings are designed.

The above explanation leads to the BIG ask from me to all of you to make your donation before December 31st of this year.  It is easy to do so long as your check is not a corporate one. I am especially asking our entire current and past leadership to step up and make your donation and help with the ask so others will also contribute.

You can make your donation by visiting the contribution website or mail a check payable to ArchiPAC to AIA Headquarters at 1735 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006



Thank you

[email protected]

Design Conference 2016 Happenings…


Speakers, Keynotes, Tours and the Design Awards are just a few of the offerings at the 2016 Design Conference.

Rutgers University Master Plan, Then and Now:

Speakers: Andrew P. Burian, AIA, Jeffrey Livingston, RA , Susan J. Ryan, RA , Frank Wong

Emerging Technologies in Architecture: A Panel Discussion

Moderator: Christian Jordan, AIA Philadelphia University

Panelists: Christopher Connock (KieranTimberlake),

Petra Stanev, RA, LEED AP, (StanevPotts Architects)

Ryan Lohbauer, RA, StanevPotts Architects Eric Oskey, RA, Moto Designshop

Rutgers University Tour

Speaker: Andrew Burian, AIA, Rutgers University

New Traditional Architecture: The Work of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects

Speakers: Stephen Chrisman, Ferguson & Shamamian Architects

Profit…Then Art:12 Steps to Business Success in Architecture

Speaker: Mark LePage, AIA,

and More…


See the whole Schedule…  Learn details… Register today…  


AIANJ: Women and Democracy Event

AIANJ Women in Architecture : Women and DemocracyWIA Final Logo

The AIANJ Women in Architecture (WIA) held the latest in its Lecture Series.  Open to all, this event focused on democracy and the local legislature.  Guest speakers Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin,  and Freeholder Tracey Silna Zur spoke at a round table discussion to members who attended.

img_0047 img_0050Join WIA at their next event to be held during the AIANJ Design Conference on October 20th.  Click to find more information and register to attend.


Point/Counterpoint: The Jersey Shore


The Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and The Resurrection of


by Laurence E. Parisi, AIA


The residents of New Jersey are experienced with hard hitting storms which have caused death and destruction; however, Superstorm Sandy has topped them all as the most destructive hurricane ever recorded in the Garden State. Hurricanes are ranked by the number of deaths and the amount of destruction they cause. There is only one unnamed storm that landed on the Jersey Shore, in 1806, which stands second in line to Sandy. Hurricanes such as Irene, Floyd, Felix and Doria are all ranked as severe storms to have hit New Jersey. Homes were destroyed and some were swallowed by the sea; however, without hesitation the communities were rebuilt, renewed, and brought back to life and existed as the Jersey Shore we know and love without being raised fifteen feet above sea level.

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“Hurriplan” Training Reigns on AIA New Jersey Architects

by: Laurence E. Parisi, AIA – Regional Disaster Assistance Coordinator


aianj_hurriplan1Recent training sponsored by The New Jersey Society of Architects was held at the Holliday Inn, in East Windsor, NJ. This two day event brought a wealth of pre-hurricane strategic planning knowledge to a community of some 60 New Jersey architects all eager to grasp valuable insight into Hurriplan. This skillfully prepared program which had its origin at the University of Hawaii is funded by FEMA and was presented by three well versed and highly knowledgeable instructors who also happen to be practicing architects. This trio of Hurriplan instructors dedicate themselves to bringing this vital knowledge based program into fruition as it relates to climate change and the ever evolving threats to coastal communities. Whether you believe it or not climate change is here.

Admittedly, when I first heard the name “Hurriplan” I questioned its validity. After a few hours into the program I realized I was mistaken. I began to visualize that the premise and concept of this program was sound, formidable and very much in line with the objectives of AIANJ’s Homeland Security mission statement.

Our first day included training on the aspects of pre-hurricane planning with a full and detailed background on specific design criteria in order to mitigate the damage that is surly caused by Cat 4 hurricanes that have graced the coastal shores of New Jersey.

The second day led us to a design charrette for a safe house for the city of Cape May proposed on a school site within the proximity of the of hurricane alley.

Presentation drawings prepared by attending architects were posted and critiques were given by the instructors on the beneficial characteristics of each design parti. Overall the designs as submitted were excellent.

As emphasized by Don Watson, FAIA, Architects should be at the forefront as leaders of a community movement to provide protection in the way of advanced planning to mitigate damages and conserve property and preserve life and the built environment.aianj_hurriplan2

Course Instructors,

Don Watson, FAIA, unassuming and the lead instructor of the Hurriplan course is a former dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a present professor there as well. He is also a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He is a practicing architect who has dedicated his career toward the energetic resolve of what are the bases for and of disaster mitigation.

Dean Sokotomoto,FAIA, B. Arch. University of Oregon, M. Arch. Cranbrook Academy of Art and a graduate of Yale with a degree in Environmental Design. He is a Hurriplan instructor and also is a practicing architect with offices in Hawaii and Connecticut. A forerunner and co-creator of this Hurriplan program he is a vital force with this dynamic trio.

Illya Azaroff, AIA, Hurriplan instructor is an Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) where he is a recognized expert in disaster mitigation and resilient building strategies. He is also a practicing architect with offices in Brooklyn, NY. Illya is very active with AIA-NY and a friend and ally to AIA-NJ. He is a forerunner in the disaster assistance program in NY and also is the AIA-NY Regional Representative. His knowledge in hurricane planning is further qualified by his undergraduate studies in meteorology.

Overall, Hurriplan is a worthwhile program for the advancement of the architectural community. Taking advantage of this and other programs offered by AIA-NJ is more than advisable it is beneficial to the relevance of your architectural practice. Look for other learning programs offered by AIA-NJ that will be coming to your knowledge community soon.

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Matthew Pultorak, Assoc AIA

“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.EPiC_Pultorak

A day at the beach

I grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, so for much of my childhood I played on asphalt and concrete. (There was also an occasional patch of dirt, which was invariably sprouting weeds). Finding refuge from the bustle of the busy city was rare, so my family would take fairly regular trips to the beach to alleviate the stress and wear of the city lifestyle. Although we didn’t frequent it as often as I would have liked, the beach would influence my creative side in a number of ways. As a creative professional, I look back on those trips and wonder if they had an influence on my decision to pursue a career in architecture.

The beach is a place where all five senses can be evoked, which can cause some sensory overload in a young child. All of the new feelings I experienced on the waterfront caused me to see my surroundings differently. What was a nice place for most people to lounge became my new site for childhood  construction as I designed the most intricate sand castles any architect could conjure up.

You learn about everything in life through experience, and anyone who has built a sand castle can tell you about the factors you must take into account: the wetness of the sand, proximity to the water, where the sun is coming from, if there are other people walking on your “site” and how you have to redirect the ocean water as the tide came in.

Dealing with all of these concerns, unbeknownst to me, was my first experience solving an architectural problem. The end goal was always to create the largest, most intricate sand castle, but in order to complete the project, all the other problems had to be addressed. These small details can really help a young mind develop their problem solving abilities, and from it arises a heightened sense of creativity.

While most people see the beach as a relaxing way to spend the day, it can also be used by parents as a means of developing future architects. It worked for me!

Matthew Pultorak, Assoc. AIA

New Overtime Rules: What to Know and How to Prepare

Reprinted from AIA KnowledgeNet
ANGLE Staff  05-26-2016 19:11

Earlier this year we highlighted a proposed rule that would expand the pool of workers who qualify for overtime pay, and discussed its wide-reaching impact on American businesses. Finally, after months of deliberation, the Department of Labor has released the final version of its long-awaited overtime rule. Below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what to expect, as well as how to prepare for the changes.


How is overtime currently mandated? 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 ensures that all salaried workers are guaranteed overtime pay at time and a half for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. The main aspect of the FLSA is its salary threshold, which says that every employee making under $23,660 annually must be paid overtime (this number has been

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