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.

GRAPHISOFT Announces Winners of Inaugural ARCHICAD Student Design Competition

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logoGRAPHISOFT North America, in partnership with award-winning ARCHICAD firm, Kitchen & Associates (K&A) and AIA West Jersey, proudly announce the winners of the inaugural student design competition. The competition coincided with the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

Students from across the United States, currently enrolled in architectural or interior design programs (graduate and undergraduate) were challenged to design temporary, mobile visitor centers in ARCHICAD, using shipping containers, which could be situated in popular event locations across Philadelphia, the AIA Conference host city. The top three mobile visitor center designs received a total of $3,000 in cash prizes. Numerous entries were received from universities and colleges across the United States.

The students approached the challenge with a unique perspective. ARCHICAD gave our winner the tools he needed to shine,” said Jason Lutz, President, AIA West Jersey. “When the BIM tool fuels design freedom and supports creativity – success is nearly a guarantee.”

First place and a cash award of $1,500 went to Alessandro Pupillo, a graduate of Broward College’s two-year Architecture program. Pupillo plans to enter Florida Atlantic University in the fall to continue his education in Architecture. Second place went to Trevor Houghton, a junior studying Construction Management at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Our third place winner was Akinet Nagdive, a graduate of Iowa State University’s Architecture program, class of 2016.

Pupillo received formal ARCHICAD training at Broward after first learning AutoCAD at the high school level. Pupillo says he found the transition from that software to ARCHICAD’s 3D modeling to be a simple one.

“ARCHICAD is extremely user-friendly. I was able to build on experience with AutoCAD and made good use of the competition design template. I have had the opportunity to use a variety of BIM software and can say that I really enjoy working with ARCHICAD.”
Pupillo’s rendering caught the attention of the distinguished judging panel, assembled from GRAPHISOFT staff, ARCHICAD professors, AIA West Jersey board members, and K&A staff.

Review of the entries by such an esteemed panel gave the competitors the opportunity to have their skills evaluated by those in the industry who are actively seeking new talent.
“In a competitive job market, students need a well-rounded exposure to BIM solutions. For us and many firms like us, ARCHICAD skills are in high demand,” explained Stephen Schoch, Managing Principal at K&A. “We hope to add to our workforce from the entrant pool, because they bring high value to an existing workflow.”

To see the winning design and to learn more about the grand prize winner, please visit the GRAPHISOFT North America blog, BIM Engine by ARCHICAD

Happy Birthday Frank Lloyd Wright

In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday AIANJ was able to connect AIANJ member, Dan Nichols, AIA, with Curbed Philadelphia to showcase the architect’s and his wife’s home.  Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950 the JA Sweeton residence was designed on a budget.  The homeowners recently completed a restoration to repair the Usonian Home.

Time and time again, Dan Nichols has told the story of how he became an architect. “I first learned of Wright when I was about 10 years old growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in an old magazine that featured his work. His houses were a big deal to me,” Nichols once told Curbed. “It all tied together, and I pursued a career in architecture.”

Read the full article on Curbed Philadelphia.

 

 

Working With The Media Pays Off

AIA-NJI hope you are familiar with our Working With The Media series. Having read these articles you might wonder if any of this really makes a difference? Well, here is concrete example of how it can work.

I recently read an article in my local newspaper announcing the groundbreaking for a new local public charter school. As we often see, the article named local and state politicians that were present, quoted the executive director of the new school and named both the developer and the contractor for the project. What was missing was the name of the architect.

I did a Google search to see if I could identify the architect for the project, but was unable to find any reliable information. However, I know the contractor and I know a local architect that does a lot of this type of work. Therefore, I sent them both text messages to try to confirm the name of the architect. While I waited for their responses, I sent the following email to the newspaper:

I read with great interest your article, Vineland School Breaks Ground, Saturday, May 28, 2016. I am glad to see this new school coming to our community. I also noted that the article referenced a local contractor with whom I have completed multiple successful projects – Capri Construction.

However, I was very disappointed to see that the article does not mention the architect for the project. This is especially troubling when one considers the focus on STEM (or STEAM) in education today. Architects, and careers in architecture, are a direct result of the STEM/STEAM educational program. It is sad therefore, that the architect is overlooked or deemed irrelevant to an article about the very buildings they are helping to bring to life by virtue of their STEM/STEAM education.

Every building project involves three primary entities: the owner, the architect and the contractor. It is the three-legged stool of every project. It should be fundamental to the who, what, when, where, and why of any article. I urge you to ALWAYS include the name of the architect in any article about any building.

Remember – be it a home, school, or an office; wherever we live, eat or pray; every building has an architect!

Respectfully,

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
President, AIA South Jersey

I was pleased to receive a very prompt response from the newspaper:

Unfortunately – the name of the architect was not included with the information provided by the school.

However, I will keep your suggestion in mind next time I receive this type of information.

Thank you!

This is not an unusual response. And, the conversation could have ended there. But, I decided to continue the dialogue. Once I confirmed the name of the architect – Manders Merighi Portadin Farrell Architects of Vineland – I sent that information to the newspaper. I also offered that if the newspaper ever has difficulty finding this type of information for any of their articles that they could contact me. Within a very short period of time I received a reply from the newspaper that the information was added to the online version of the story. I was perfectly satisfied with this outcome. I thanked them and thought that would be the end of it. However, the next day my original email appeared on the opinion page of the newspaper. That was icing on the cake. Not only had I engaged in a positive conversation with the newspaper about the value of including the name of the architect, but I also got the opportunity to deliver that message to a larger public audience.

This is the value of working with the media. This isn’t difficult. Any of us can do it. In fact we all can. It won’t always deliver such immediate and positive results, but we need to try. If the media hears from enough architects on a regular and routine basis we can make an impact. After all, we are their readers. They will appreciate our attentiveness to what they write.

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

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at http://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. You can also find samples of other quick responses here.

If you would like to read the previous articles in this series, please see the following links:

Delivering Your Message In An Interview

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Composing a Press Release

Press Release Boilerplates

Personal Engagement

PhilAIAdelphia Convention Recap from Across the River

The 2016 AIA Convention just finished and Philadelphia was a great host to architects and design professionals from around the world.  AIA New Jersey members were able to take advantage of the close location of convention this year and it was wonderful to see so many of us attending.

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(L to R) AIANJ President Justin Mihalik AIA, Dean Marchetto FAIA, Michael Schnoering FAIA, and AIANJ President Elect Ben Lee AIA

Congratulations to the newest NJ fellows who were inducted during the convention:  Michael Schnoering, FAIA and Dean Marchetto, FAIA.

An AIANJ Fellows Reception to honor our AIANJ fellows was held on Thursday, May 19th, on the 24th floor of the Hotel Palomar.   Thanks to our event sponsor – Andersen Windows and Doors for hosting AIANJ for this wonderful evening.

The hotel was an appropriately location as it is also know as The Architect’s Building is a 1929 Art Deco tower that originally designed by a consortium of 20 architects and was the longtime home of AIA Philadelphia.

See Photos of the Fellows Reception here.

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AIAWJ President Jason Lutz speaking at Graphisoft Student Design Competition event at Kitchen & Associates.

A number of local NJ architecture firms hosted a variety of events, including KSS, Gensler, and Kitchen & Associates.   Including the announcement of the winners of the Inaugural ARCHICAD Student Design Competition.

Friday night of the convention an open house in the Collingwood, NJ, office of K&A was the stage for the announcement of the winners and a presentation by Graphisoft.

The design competition used shipping containers and sites centered around Philadelphia and the AIA Convention and was sponsored by Graphisoft, Kitchen & Associates and AIA West Jersey.

Find out more about the competition here.

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AIANJ’s Steve Lazarus speaking at the AIA Annual Business Meeting.

AIANJ’s Treasurer, Steve Lazarus AIA served on the AIA Credentials Committee and gave a brief report during the Annual Business Meeting.

If you weren’t able to attend, find some of what you missed at PhilAIAdelphia.

President’s Message – Time For Thanks

JAM_headshotDid you know that 50% of our military forces are made up of the part-time personnel?  I did not either until I attended an event at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst called Seven Seals Boss Lift, which is an annual event hosted by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR).  The ESGR is a Department of Defense office that was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.  This event occurs every year and its purpose is to thank employers who hire members of the Reserves and the Guard and to allow them a peek into the lives of their employees when they leave for training and what they do when they are at training.  As a participant I experienced the training of our medics in a brand new facility with state of the art “dummies” that are wirelessly controlled by military personnel during a training session in order to control heart rate, breathing rate, blood flow, eye function and the ability to communicate.  Additional experiences included a simulated roll-over in a HUM-V, a patrol of a village in the middle east that resulted in a firefight with members of the Taliban, refueling a jet fighter plane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, and best of all a ready to eat meal (MRE).  The simulators that are used at the Joint Base make this only one of two training facilities of its kind in the world for our Guard and Reservists.  The base serves as home and work to more than 44,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and their family members having a considerable impact on the economy of NJ.

This was a two day event and at the close of the event there was a ceremony that entailed the signing of a document by all those employers who attended acknowledging their support of the ESGR and those Guard and Reservists who serve our country.  I was very proud to represent AIANJ at this event just to raise awareness to our members about this organization and especially for those AIA members who do serve as Guard and Reservists.  Currently AIA does not track members that have served or currently serve our country and so I took the time to meet with AIA Membership staff at the Convention to discuss this.  With the launch of the new AIA website and digital transformation, it is possible for them to include additional check off boxes on the member profile page so that AIA can capture this information and we can know just how many AIA members have served and are currently serving our Country.  I want to thank Louis DiGeronimo AIA who serves as the Northeast Chair for the ESGR for inviting me to this event.  Lou himself served in the US Army and operated a tank, and for as long as I have known him he has been involved as an Architect in military work including the design of a gymnasium in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of our members who have served, are currently serving and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to our Country.  The dedication and sacrifice that the men and women of our armed forces make to protect our country is a blessing to all of us that can experience the freedom that makes America the greatest country in the world.  I am proud to be an American and am the son of Sailor who was a Veteran of the Vietnam War.  Thanks Dad.

Sincerely,

Justin_sig

 

 

Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

The Big Green Boxes of Cheer

During the AIA National Convention in Philadelphia, AIA South Jersey President, Bruce D. Turner, AIA, was among a group of architects who helped deliver 136 gift boxes to patients at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Dubbed the Big Green Boxes of Cheer, the event was organized by Andersen Windows and Cheeriodicals, a national corporate team building company that conducts philanthropic events benefiting children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses, Veterans Hospitals and other charities across the country.

The gift boxes were assembled at the Andersen booth on the Expo Floor by the Andersen team, architects, and Cheeriodicals team members, and then delivered to the patients at St. Christopher’s Hospital.  The boxes were made up of age-appropriate magazines and activity books, room decorations, puzzles, stickers and games for the children to enjoy.

To learn more about Cheeriodicals, visit www.boxesofcheer.com, or follow Cheeriodicals on Twitter and Facebook.

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Pictured, left to right are: Denise Thomson, AIA, President, AIA Philadelphia; Bill Warwick, AIA, Principal at Barton Partners; Joe Bongartz, AIA, Principal at Meyers Design; Joel Pullman, Commercial Sales Director at Andersen Windows; Erin Kelly, AIA, Architect at Francis Cauffman; Gary Massenzio, Architect Business Development Representative at Andersen Windows; Bruce D. Turner, AIA, President, AIA South Jersey; Chelsea Ebling Marketing Coordinator at Two Men and A Truck, Philadelphia; Wes Tavera, Commercial Business Development Representative at Andersen Windows; Pat Henry, Commercial Business Development Representative at Andersen Windows; and Kate Ward, AIA, Business Development Director at Bernardon Architects.

 

In Memoriam – Robert Ring AIA

Robert Joseph Ring, AIA, 66, of Livingston, N.J., and Toms River, N.J., passed away due to complications from surgery on Monday May 2, 2016, and was among his family members.
Bob graduated New York Institute of Technology and was the owner and proprietor of Robert J. Ring Associates, AIA PA of Florham Park, N.J. He was a member of AIA/Planner and the N.C.A.R.B. Bob loved the outdoors: he loved boating, skiing, and saltwater fishing.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, Gail Safko Ring; his parents, Catherine Sheridan Ring and Robert V. Ring; his brother, Peter Ring, and sister, Eileen Ring Templeton. He is survived by his daughter, Danielle D. Ring Witham and her husband, Eric; his granddaughter, Lenore Witham; his brother Timothy and his wife, Colleen Ring; his sister-in-law, Donna Ring, and brother- in-law, John and his wife, Lorraine Safko. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, two great-grandnieces and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Happy Sun Heart Foundation, 46 Springfield Dr., Howell, N.J. 07731.

Originally published in Star-Ledger See more

 

To see Obituary click here.

AIA-NJA Note From AIA-NJ:

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 Robert’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

USGBC-NJ 13th Annual Golf Outing

My Favorite Place – The Hidden Garden

AIA-NJThe following article was featured as a Letter to the Editor in the Time of Trenton and can be found online at NJ.com

Written as part of the My Favorite Places Series:

 

National Architecture Week is being celebrated April 10 – 16. The week is designed to increase the public’s attention of architecture’s role as a force for positive change in our communities. This article, one of a series of “My Favorite Places” pieces, shares an architect’s unique perspective on a local place, focusing on both the location’s design and the broader impact that the design has on the lives of those it touches.

I call it the hidden garden.

Nestled in the center of the Princeton University campus, there is a garden behind one of the university’s oldest buildings, Prospect House. Currently, this building functions as a private dining club for the university’s faculty and staff, but it previously housed past university presidents. When Woodrow Wilson presided over the school, his wife fenced in the garden and laid out the flower garden we see today, which is actually shaped like the university’s seal. A combination of tulip trees, an American beech and annual plants and flowers make up the design.

The garden is ‘hidden’ in the sense that the Prospect House obscures its view from the rest of the campus. The garden is set at grade with the basement level of Prospect House while the building is set on a bunker. A later renovation of the basement provides a full glass front stepping out to the garden. Sitting in the casual dining room at basement level gives off the feeling of an outdoor experience while sitting inside.

To the other side, the garden is surrounded by tall, manicured evergreens planted in a half circle to create a visual barrier from the rest of the campus to the east. During Wilson’s time at Prospect House, “students began to take shortcuts across the lawns and garden,” which made this measure necessary.

Now that it’s a place that can be enjoyed by the public, I visit the garden rather frequently, especially in the summer. With its history and seclusion, I find it to be an ideal retreat, as the space provides fragrant flowers, the soft sounds of the central fountain, leisurely walking paths and calming views within the garden and the house.

Both the house and gardens are excellent pieces of landscape design, architecture and planning, which can, once again, be enjoyed by all.

Megan Pritts, Assoc AIA

Princeton

Presidents Message – The AIA World Gets Smaller Everyday…

JAM_headshotOne of my goals this year is to meet with several firms across the state to discuss with them their involvement with AIA, the value of AIA to their firms, and to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.  This month I met with Stephen Schoch AIA, Managing Principal of Kitchen & Associates Services, Inc. in Collingswood.  Kitchen & Associates currently has 80 architects, engineers, planners and interior designers, and was founded in 1971 by Benjamin Kitchen AIA.  Stephen and I had not met one another before and we had no problem with diving into many issues.  As we discussed things, Stephen mentioned that he grew up in Hackensack and I said so did my wife.  Well Stephen and my wife grew up three houses from one another and it was one of those, “what are the chances of that” moments!  That just made the conversation even easier.

With my involvement at AIANJ, I know several K&A employees who are involved in local AIANJ Sections and the AIANJ Board of Directors, and have been for years.  This involvement comes with the all to important employer support and I wanted to take the time to applaud Stephen for his dedication to AIANJ and the profession.  We all need to take a page from the K&A playbook when it comes to this dedication, as K&A just supported 14 of its employees joining AIA by paying for their membership so that they could take advantage of going to the AIA Convention in Philadelphia for free with the new membership offer from AIA!  This effort goes hand in hand with the recent challenge from Russell Davidson FAIA, AIA President, where he announced that his firm is closing down the office for two days so that their employees can attend the Convention and take advantage of all that it has to offer.  These are great examples for all employers to consider.

Another topic that we discussed is the AIA Large Firm Roundtable.  The LFRT is comprised of chief executives from more than 60 large firms, the mission is to further the special and unique interests, both national and international, of large firms by working with and through the AIA.  Don’t worry small firms, there is also an AIA Small Firm Roundtable, which has recently been renamed to the Small Firm Exchange (SFX) and has a similar mission for small firms.  AIANJ is represented on the SFX but is not represented on the LFRT.  It is important that AIANJ is represented at both levels, as our membership is represented by both small and large firms.  In order for AIANJ to be a leader at the LFRT, it is paramount that we first start here on our home turf by resurrecting the AIANJ LFRT. If you are an executive of a NJ large firm and are interested in joining this committee, please contact me.  I will be reaching out too many of you to join this committee and will host a meeting to get the ball rolling.

Sometime over the next month, take the time to meet with one of your peers, enjoy a meal to discuss the profession and how to get connected with AIA, and you never know, your worlds may be closer than you think.  Hope to see you in Philadelphia!

Sincerely,

Justin_sig

 

 

Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

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