Category Archives: Members & the Community

Latest news and information on the various ways AIA-NJ Members are involved in their New Jersey communities beyond designing the built environment.

President’s Message – Happy 2016

JAM_headshotHappy New Year!

First and foremost, a big thank you to Kim Bunn AIA for her leadership as President taking on and delivering a new Strategic Plan and Member Core Services amongst all of the other successful programming events of 2015!  I am exhilarated to be your 2016 President and the year could not have started off any faster for us at AIANJ.  As just mentioned, AIANJ will be implementing its new strategic plan that has four key goals:

  • Advance the quality of the profession by keeping pace with technology, sustainable design practices and the ever-changing political, economic, social and physical environment.
  • Cultivate well-designed, livable, sustainable, resilient communities that enhance the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
  • Elevate the value of the profession; educate the public on the benefits of using architects for sustainable/innovative design; and promote a streamlined path to licensure.
  • Expand the diverse membership base; continue to enhance its organizational, membership and technical resources; and extend its policy advocacy role.

As you can imagine, the implementation of this plan is taking a lot of time and effort and I want to thank all of those who are involved for their commitment to the future of this organization.

This is also the first year of the implementation of Core Member Services, which is a new plan instituted by AIA to ensure that each member throughout the country receives a minimum level of membership benefits.  The good news is that AIANJ and its Sections meet all of the requirements of Core Member Services and will continue to deliver those benefits to all of you.

On the legislative front, the Governor signed Bill A2023 AcaSca (2R), which revises the definition of “responsible charge” as it relates to licensed architects.  This is a very important win for AIANJ as it supported the passage of this bill.  The revised language now recognizes the “digital age” in the architectural practice and the many firms who are utilizing production teams outside of their physical offices.  So in short, if you are working with a consultant or with a team member who is producing the drawings outside of the physical office that the architect sits in, you are practicing legally as long as you are providing the proper personal direction and oversight.  AIANJ thanks the efforts of Assembly members Louis Greenwald, Daniel Benson and Nilsa Cruz-Perez for their support!

Lastly, the sad news is the loss of the St. Mark’s Church in West Orange to a major fire on New Year’s Day.  The St. Mark’s Church underwent a major renovation and addition between 1861 and 1877 by Richard Upjohn FAIA, the founder of the AIA.  The church was nominated to the National Historic Register in 1977 and is also a State and local Historic Landmark.  Many AIANJ members including Jerry Eben AIA, Eli Goldstein AIA, Mark Hewitt FAIA and Marty Feitlowitz AIA, have been working with the church owner’s and the municipality to save the church from demolition.  This is a great example of AIANJ members taking the initiative to save an important and historic piece of architecture, while at the same time educating the public as to why it is important.

Educating the public about architects and architecture is something that all of us must do if we expect the public to value the talent and services we provide.  AIANJ through its Public Awareness Committee is committed to this important effort as it is one of the cornerstones of our Strategic Plan.  However, it does not stop there, it must continue with the boots on the ground, the members, who work with the public on a daily basis.  Let me know how AIANJ can help you in this most important effort.



Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

AIA New Jersey 2016 President

AIA West Jersey Seminar With Postgreen Homes

AIAeagle_2016AIA West Jersey will host the first General Membership Meeting and Dinner Seminar of 2016 on January 28th at Café Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, NJ.

AIA West Jersey is excited to feature a presentation by Chad Ludeman, President of Postgreen Homes.  Chad will elaborate on strategies to help the architect-developer team succeed, and provide insight to Postgreen’s process for building high-quality homes on a spec developer’s budget.

RSVP:  No Later Than Tuesday, January 26th
see AIA WJ website to RSVP 

Location:  Cafe Aldo Lamberti: 2011 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill, NJ

Date:  Thursday, January 28, 2016

Additional details may be found on the AIA West Jersey website:
Thank You,
AIA West Jersey


2016 NJIT SoA Pamphlet Call

njit_coadThe School of Architecture at NJIT is proud to introduce SoAP, the School of Architecture Pamphlet.  The pamphlet will be published each semester and showcase faculty, student, and alumni achievements of note, as well as other features of interest relating to the university.  Volume 1 Issue 1 can be viewed here:
Alumni/alumnae, we’d like to hear from you. Tell us about the projects you have recently completed or are currently involved in. We will selectively publish work by SoA graduates in the next issue of SoAP.  Those who would like their work to be considered for inclusion should send low res images and a description to Richard Garber, Director of the School of Architecture ([email protected]) and Meaghan O’Connor ([email protected]) by no later than January 10, 2016.  SoAP Volume 1 Issue 2 will be digitally published on or about February 1, 2016 with a print edition to follow.
SoAP cover fall 2015



New Years Fire at St Mark’s Church

red_eagleThe New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANJ) is saddened by the tragic fire that ravaged St. Mark’s Church in West Orange on New Years Day.  The church is a national treasure of incalculable historic significance.

We implore all those involved: the building’s current owners, the town council, and our municipal, state and national officials and representatives, to do everything in their power to ensure that this tragedy is not compounded and that the extant portions of the building are saved.  A treasure once lost is lost forever.  We cannot allow what remains of this treasure to be lost.

stMarksFind out more about St Mark’s Church.

AIA-NJ’s 17th Annual ‘Canstruction’ Event Demonstrates Design Excellence For Charity

“Forms of Communication”-Themed Competition Collects 13,145 Pounds of Food and More Than $6,000 For Community Food Bank of NJ

IMG_3250While dazzling crowds at the Livingston Mall with colossal structures made entirely from canned food, the Newark and Suburban section of AIA-NJ’s 17th annual “Canstruction” event saw 13,145 pounds of canned of food and more than $6,000 donated to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

Titled “Forms of Communications,” this year’s Canstruction event challenged four teams of talented architects and designers to build their most impressive can structures that portray the “ways and how to communicate.” The colossal designs were constructed during a 12-hour “Build Day” at the Livingston Mall, and remained on display for ten days, after which they were dismantled by a crew of food bank volunteers and shipped to CFBNJ’s warehouse for donation to one of the hundreds of food kitchens they support.

Team members were responsible for designing their structures, procuring and bringing their own canned goods, and constructing their displays.

The can displays were judged and awarded in various categories, including “Jurors Favorite,” “Structural Integrity,” “People’s Choice,” and “Best Meal.” The four judges for this year were Kimberly Bunn, AIA, president of AIA-NJ; Tim Vogel, CFBNJ Director; Margaret DeSantis, Event Co-chair; and Stephen Rooney, AIA, president of AIA-NJ’s Newark & Suburban Section.

“As architects, we constantly strive to serve the community, Canstruction combines elements of design and educational value with a charitable outreach that helps needy individuals,” said Bunn. “As a judge at this year’s event, I was truly impressed with the creations the competitors made with such limited materials, and it’s particularly gratifying to know that it is all going to an important cause.”

Following the judges’ deliberations, awards were handed out, including:

  • Gensler’s Morristown team took home two of the event’s awards, “Jurors Favorite” and “Best Use of Labels.”
  • NK Architects, perennial Canstruction participants and award winners, also from Morristown, took home the “Structural Integrity” award.
  • The “Best Meal” award was given to Solutions Architecture, Corp. of Newark.
  • The “Honorable Mention” award was presented to Martinsville-based De Biasse and Seminara Architects.

AIA-NJ Committee Seeks to Collaborate with Municipalities on Design Competitions

Emerging Professionals Committee announces new leadership for re-launched program, plans to assist non-profits and municipalities on small-scale projects

AIA-NJAIA-NJ announced the new leadership of its Emerging Professionals Committee, which represents New Jersey architectural students and their new graduates as well as recently licensed architects.

Tasked with guiding and supporting the careers of aspiring and new architects – approximately 300 of whom operate in New Jersey – the recently re-launched committee will be chaired by Jessica O’Donnell, AIA, and advised by Nicholas Caravella, Assoc. AIA, and Ryan Day, AIA.

With the dual goal of supporting communities and promoting the professional growth of its constituents, the committee is seeking to find ways for emerging professionals to volunteer their services for the betterment of their communities. They hope to collaborate with local municipalities and not-for-profit institutions on small-scale projects for which emerging professionals will team with an experienced architect, providing design solutions to the organizations while benefitting from the learning opportunity inherent in the process.

The committee intends to work with organizations in need of these services through design competitions, providing participants with firsthand project experience and the winning submission with prize money as compensation.

“Engaging our newest and youngest members is a priority for AIA-NJ, and it’s excellent to see the revitalized committee’s hard work to improve our outreach to our rising stars,” said Kim Bunn, president of AIA-NJ. “Many community centers, nonprofits and municipalities can benefit from the design ability of our interns and young professionals and we’re extremely proud of the committee leadership for bringing this initiative to light.”

The committee also has three directors: Grace Friedhoff, Assoc. AIA, who is tasked with leading service initiatives; Megan Pritts, Assoc. AIA, who will lead advocacy efforts; and Mark Barone, AIA, who will oversee educational programming.

In addition to its service, advocacy and educational activities, committee members will also engage in community work, including mentoring high school students interested in architecture.

“There are many municipalities and nonprofits that will find the sort of collaboration we are proposing invaluable,” said Caravella, who has personally worked with the city of Newark on such initiatives in the past. “Whether designing a parklet in urban areas or working on renovations for community cultural centers, there are a variety of design projects of the appropriate scope and size in every county in the state. As members of the architectural profession, we constantly strive to better serve the community, and this is an ideal opportunity for emerging professionals to utilize their capabilities in a way that truly benefits society.”

If you are interested in collaborating with Emerging Professionals on a project, please contact the committee’s board of directors at [email protected] .

2015 Photography Competition – Voting Open

AIA West Jersey Photography Competition

UPDATE:  Voting has been extended to December 9, 2015
Cast Your Vote Today !

Now in it’s 10th year – the AIA West Jersey Photography Competition has opened the public voting period to select the top images.

Go to our website to place your vote for your favorite.

As in years past, many great images were submitted from photographers around the country.  A panel of jurors narrowed all the entries to the finalists that are displayed in the public voting portion of the competition.   All of the public votes and juror votes will be tallied to decide the top three images that received cash awards and the coveted cover spot on a printed 2016 wall calendar.

Many Thanks to our 2015 jurors:

– Ronald Bertone, FAIA
– Jason Lutz, AIA
– Michael Soriano, AIA

Cast your vote TODAY.

In Memoriam – Howard Horii, FAIA

Howard Nobuo Horii

(January 4, 1923 – November 16, 2015)

Architect, Artist, Educator

Howard Nobuo Horii of Westfield, N.J., died peacefully at home on November, 16. He was 92. Born and raised in California, he moved to New York City after World War II, from an internment camp in Arizona where he and his family, from 1942-1945, and thousands of other Japanese Americans had been relocated from their homes. In New York City he worked fulltime as an artist and designer while attending and earning degrees in architecture from The Cooper Union for Science and Art, and from Pratt Institute. Following his graduation from Pratt in 1958, he was hired by the Grad architectural and engineering firm in Newark, New Jersey where he was employed for 50 years, starting as a junior designer and retiring as principal emeritus. Major projects he worked on at Grad in New Jersey include The Hilton at Short Hills, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Newark, the North American headquarters for Mercedes Benz in northern New Jersey, Prudential corporate office buildings in Newark and Roseland, and BASF North American Corporate Headquarters in Mount Olive.

Long active in the architectural profession and the recipient of numerous awards, Howard was a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), a past president of The New Jersey State Board of Architects, and a past president of the Newark/Suburban Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. An educator, Howard taught in the Construction and Facilities Management Department at Pratt for 44 years, and for many summers conducted a walking tour of Manhattan’s historical and landmark buildings. An artist, his watercolors are featured in the book Truth in the Rivers written by his brother-in-law, author and historian Bruce Hopkins, which includes essays about the Japanese American experience during the war, along with essays and poems about civil rights, nature, and community.

Howard is survived by his devoted wife of 40 years, Paula; his former wife, Shizuko Nakamura; his beloved children Steve (Gail Fishman), Ken (Harriet Pappas) and Jane (Bob Clancy); his grandchildren Mary (Jamie Riches), Bryan, Patrick, Kevin, Michael, John and Katherine Clancy, and Jina and Amelia Pappas-Horii; his brothers Harry (Chita) and Robert (Mary), his sister Louise Kawamoto; his sisters-in-law Jeanette Horii and Jeanette Hopkins (Bruce); his brothers-in-law Marc (Jane Bunnell) Embree and Warren (Anne) Embree, and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, two sisters, and a daughter.

A memorial service was held at First Congregational Church, 125 Elmer Street, Westfield, N.J., on Saturday, December 12 at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a gift in Howard’s memory to The Fund for Pratt – Architecture at

To see Obituary click here.


AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Howard’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.

If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807


In Memoriam – F. Ronald Liszewski

F. Ronald Liszewski
(1938 – 2015)
AGE: 77 • Williamstown

F. Ronald Liszewski, “Ron”, on October 30, 2015, of Williamstown. Age 77. Beloved father of Denise S. Egolf (Wayne) and Adam D. Liszewski (Lori). Devoted grandfather of Ashli White (Adam), Breana Egolf (Raymond Sheller, Jr.), Shane Liszewski, and Emily Liszewski. Loving great grandfather of Caleb White and Devon White. Brother of Joseph Lisiewski, Jack Lisiewski, and the late Diane Grabowski.

Visitation  was held Wednesday at GARDNER FUNERAL HOME, RUNNEMEDE.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ron’s memory to VITAS Innovative Hospice, 18 E. Laurel Road, 3rd Floor, Stratford, NJ 08084. Family and friends may share memories at http://www.GardnerFuneral – See more at:


AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Ron’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.

If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807

AIA Look Up Film Challenge

LookUp Film ScreenshotAmerican Institute of Architects (AIA) Look Up Film Challenge Winners Selected, Public Vote to Commence

CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The winners of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Look Up Film Challenge have been announced at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. A jury comprised of architects and media professionals selected three top prize winners and recognized seven additional films in themed categories. The public can view and vote on their favorite video to win the Public Choice Award here: Public voting will be open until November 1st.

Film Challenge Winners: Continue reading


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