Category Archives: NJ Architect Newsletter

Gilbert Seltzer AIA Celebrates 100th Birthday

WO-gilbert-seltzer-C-300x225Longtime West Orange resident Gilbert Seltzer, an architect, recently celebrated his 100th birthday.  Seltzer, who was born in Toronto in 1914, is the owner of Gilbert L. Seltzer Associates in West Orange. He still drives himself to work every day and has no plans on slowing down.

AIA New Jersey congratulates Gilbert on this milestone and wishes him many more years in the architecture profession.

Click on the links below to see some of the articles that have been published online and in local newspapers:

West Orange Patch

Essex News Daily

AIA-NJ Leadership

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Members and leaders from around the six sections that make up AIA New Jersey attended the 2014 Leadership Conference on Saturday, November 15th.   The day was spent looking at the current organization and how it can be improved to serve its members and the profession of architecture better.

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The topic of the day was Effective Practices of Successful Boards lead by Glenn Tekker of Tekker International, LLC. Attendees said the session was very informative and gave all bullet items to take back to their local groups to help further the discussion.  Throughout the afternoon break-out groups started the task of identifying areas where AIA-NJ can focus to improve it’s core mission of member value and enhancing the architecture profession in NJ.   Each break-out group generated pages of information that is being organized now for the next working session to be held in upcoming months.  What for more on this in 2015.

See more images: Leadership Conference pictures

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Empowerment by Design Series: Surviving the Commoditization Trap

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by Steve Whitehorn

Editor’s Note: This is the third article in the Empowerment by Design series by Steve Whitehorn of Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc., providing A/E professionals with practical tips for a more successful, profitable practice.

The design industry has seen substantial change in business models over the past 15 years. The financial crisis and slow recovery coupled with the rising popularity of design/build have created pressure to reduce fees and lead to fierce competition. As a result, architectural firms are falling into the commoditization trap.

Commoditization occurs when clients don’t understand the difference between goods and services. The ever-increasing availability of computer-aided design and the myriad of delivery options available for design services in today’s marketplace have led to the misguided notion that design is a good rather than a service. Project decisions are increasingly being made based on price and ease of delivery, rather than design expertise or lasting value.

Many firms are struggling against commoditization by trying to be all things to all clients. Others are becoming bloated and unfocused by taking on any and all projects just to bring in revenue. These reactionary tactics can lead to a race for survival among competing firms.

How can you avoid commoditization? The first step is to define your value proposition. A value proposition is a succinct statement that explains why a client should choose your firm over the competition. Your value proposition needs to communicate exactly what services your firm is offering, and what differentiates your firm from the others. It should also clearly convey the value your service can bring to a given project.

One of the best ways to define your value proposition is to perform a “Dangers, Opportunities, Strengths” (D.O.S) analysis.

Begin by making an honest self-assessment of your firm. Assemble your firm’s leadership and key-stakeholders to discuss your firm’s dangers, opportunities, and strengths. Ask questions such as: What do we do best? What is our current specialization – healthcare, hospitality, cultural facilities, etc.? Who are our preferred clients?  Who are our competitors? What differentiates our firm from our competition?

Next, ask your clients for their perspective. Talk to your top 20 or so clients and ask questions about dangers, opportunities and strengths. The following are some example questions that can help you formulate your client-facing D.O.S. analysis:

Dangers: What do your clients see as obstacles to their projects – project financing, divergent interests of stakeholders, community pressures? What are they most concerned about during the construction process (issues arising from delays, changes to the plans, etc.)?

Opportunities: What do they see as the prime opportunities for their projects, for example: building a legacy, visible impact, community improvement, etc.?

Strengths: What influenced their decision to work with your firm? What does your client see as your firm’s advantages and differentiators?

Review your clients’ responses and compile their common top three answers on dangers, opportunities, and strengths into one list. When you have that list, compare it against the list of answers from your internal review. Are you on the same page as your clients? Do they see your D.O.S. the same way you do? Are you adequately addressing their concerns? Do you understand your clients’ aspirations in the opportunities column? Does your client see your firms’ strengths the same way you do? Identify the gaps between your clients’ answers and your firm’s answers and determine a strategy to bridge those gaps.

Now you are ready to define your value proposition. Go back to the questions you first asked yourself: What do we do best? What is our specialization? Who are our competitors? What differentiates our firm from the competition? Use your D.O.S. analysis and the input from your clients to refine your answers. Make a pro-active plan to mitigate the dangers, take advantage of your opportunities, and refine and reinforce your strengths.

Your value proposition needs to be simple and direct. Explain how your firm can meet your clients’ needs, the specific benefits your firm can deliver, and why the client should choose your firm over the competition. Above all, keep an eye out for changes in the market. Revisit your D.O.S. analysis as necessary to identify how your value proposition can fulfill a unique niche in the current market.

Knowing who you are, what you can deliver, and understanding your value proposition will help you break free from the commoditization trap.

- – -

Steve Whitehorn is the author of the upcoming book, Ensuring Your Firm’s Legacy, and Managing Principal of Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc., and is the creator of The A/E Empowerment Program®, a three-step process that helps firms create a more significant legacy and empowers them to achieve greater impact on their projects, relationships, and communities.

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DESIGNrealized Call for Speakers

DESIGNrealized is accepting proposals for our 2015 online education program. This is a tremendous opportunity for presenters to share their expertise with architects and building professionals from across the U.S. Presenters will receive complimentary registration for all DESIGNrealized AIA CES programs in 2015, a great way for speakers to fulfill AIA CES 2015 requirements.
  • Theme : INSPIRE
For our 2015 DESIGNrealized program we’re looking for speaker proposals that provide inspiration in design and technology. We encourage you to share your experience and inspire AEC professionals to innovate and think outside the box. The program tracks for our 2015 program are listed below and the deadline to submit is November 21, 2014.
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Design Program Tracks
  • Series 1 : Master Architect Series
    • Examine works of architects whose designs, local or national, influence the practice.
  • Series 2 : Innovative Building Practices
    • Explore methods of design or construction that deliver better buildings for clients.
  • Series 3 : Green & the Living Building
    • Discuss methods of sustainable design that help foster living buildings.
  • Series 4 : Designing for Wellness
    • Share how design methods and building material selections can improve well-being.
Technology Program Tracks
  • Series 1 : New Uses of Technology
    • Learn how firms are using technologies to improve design and construction.
  • Series 2 : Project Collaboration 
    • Discuss technologies that help teams communicate and build a better workflow.
  • Series 3 : Websites & Social Media 
    • Share techniques on how to use the web and social media to grow new business.
  • Series 4 : Using BIM in the Small Firm
    • Review how small firm projects use BIM and opportunities for new services.

To submit a proposal go to: http://www.designrealized.com/2015speakers
For more information contact:

- Tracie Simmons
- Speaker Coordinator
- e: tracie.simmons@learnvirtual.com

- p: 415-373-1841

 

2014 AIAWJ Photography Competition – Voting Open

AIA West Jersey Photography Competition

The public voting portion of the 2014 AIA West Jersey Photography Competition is now open.

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

Many great images were submitted to this years competition.  A panel of four jurors narrowed all the entries to the finalists that are in the public voting portion.  The jurors and public votes will decide the top three images that received cash awards and the coveted cover spot on a printed 2015 calendar.

Many Thanks to our 2014 jurors:

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

Voting ends midnight November 20th, so go cast your vote TODAY.

President’s Message – Be Heard !

Kurt Kalafsky, AIA

Kurt Kalafsky, AIA

2014 has been an exciting year for AIA New Jersey and our work is not done yet. In June the national delegation voted to move forward with the National repositioning effort. Many of the changes will be transparent to the average AIA member as they should be. Others will hopefully be more noticeable making our organization proactive on the national and regional stage putting the architect in the spotlight as a leader in our communities and giving more relevance to our profession. But this can’t just happen without our help. We all need to get involved and make architects noticed. Whether it is in your religious institutions, community organizations, your local AIA section or the state chapter, we all have a great deal of valuable experience to offer in support and leadership. I encourage all of our members to get out and make a difference in any way you can,

I have had the opportunity to visit with all of the sections at their monthly meetings and continuing education events. Each visit has been encouraging and uplifting to see so many new faces getting involved to help advance our profession. The next generation is our future and we need to continue to encourage and support them as they take on more leadership positions in the AIA.

Just as AIA National did, we are taking a close look at how we are operating at the state level. We have asked ourselves some hard questions. What do we do well? What do we not do well? What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we continue doing? We still have a great deal of soul searching to do. Without constant self-evaluation we will quickly loose relevance.

On the legislative front, we finally got the Good Samaritan legislation passed so the Architects can volunteer their services in their local communities without the fear of litigation. Keep your eyes open for upcoming training sessions to see how you can help when the next disaster strikes. I was my honor to personally than the bill’s sponsors in the house and senate as well as the Governor on the behalf of our 1900+ members.

Speak up, be heard, after all, we are Architects!

Kurt M Kalafsky AIA

New Jersey Revit Users Group

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NJ-RUG Announcement:

The New Jersey Revit Users Group is pleased to announce the creation of NJ-RUG and would like to extend an open invitation to our monthly meetings.  Our mission and purpose is to create the right conditions for NJ AEC Professionals to learn about Revit / BIM and increase the adoption of BIM across our industry.

 

The NJ-RUG meetings will focus on the holistic lifecycle of the BIM process; from pre-construction all the way through facility management.  Discussions will focus on user training and development, new technology, and applications as they relate to Revit and interoperable programs.

 

Come to our next event and meet with local AEC professionals to collaborate and discuss the use and implementation of Revit / BIM.   All Revit user levels are welcome and we also want to encourage attendance and participation from senior architects and project managers.

 

Meeting Location:

The Auditorium at DLB Associates, 265 Industrial Way Eatontown, NJ 07724

 

Upcoming Events:

  • November 20, 2014 @ 6:00pm
  • December 18, 2014 @ 6:00pm
    • BIM 360 Field+Glue, presented by Autodesk

 

View our Calendar Online: http://www.meetup.com/NJ-RUG

 

Direct Contact: Lee Kopsaftis - LKopsaftis@DLBAssociates.com

2014 Design Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to all the architects who participated in the 2014 AIA-NJ Design Awards.  We had over ninety architectural designs submitted.  The quality of work was outstanding.   The list below of Honor and Merit winners were announced earlier this week.

We would also like to that this year’s judges including: Guy Geier, AIA of FXFOWLE of New York, Vern McKissick, AIA of McKissick Associates Architects of Harrisburg, PA, and Paul Lewis, AIA of LTL Architects of New York.

A celebration of Architecture in New Jersey will take place on Friday evening, January 9, 2015, at the Moorestown Community House in Moorestown, New Jersey.  Please visit the AIA-NJ Website in the coming weeks for more information.
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HONOR WINNERS BUILT OPEN

Project:  Downtown Market

Architect:  Hugh Boyd, AIA

Firm: Hugh Boyd Architects


Project:  Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center

Architect:  Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA

Firm: ikon.5 architects


Project:  Rutgers Business School

Architect:  Enrique Norton

Firm:  Ten Arquitectos, AIA

 

HONOR WINNER BUILT – HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Project:  The Wheeler Opera House Balcony Reconstruction

Architect:  Michael R. Schnoering, AIA

Firm:  Mills + Schnoering, LLC

 

HONOR WINNER – BUILT – RESIDENTIAL

Project:  Tidewater Residence

Architect:  Michael Ryan, AIA

Firm:  Michael Ryan Architects

 

MERIT WINNER UNBUILT

Project:  Training Recreation Education Center Newark Housing Authority

Architect: Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA

Firm:  ikon.5 architects

 

MERIT WINNERS BUILT – OPEN

Project:  Brown Hall Princeton University

Architect:  Michael Schade, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C

Firm:  Atkin, Olshin & Schade Architects 

 

Project:  Campbell Employee Center

Architect:  Tejoon Jung, AIA LEED AP

Firm: Jacobs

 

Project:  E.J.  Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University

Architect: Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA

Firm:    ikon.5 architects

Project:  Physical Sciences Complex, University of Maryland

Architect: Michael Smith, AIA

Firm:  HDR

 

MERIT WINNER BUILT – RESIDENTIAL

Project:  930 Jefferson Street

Architects:  Frank J. Minervini, AIA & Anthony C. Vandermark, AIA

Firm:  Minervini & Vandermark Architecture

 

MERIT WINNER BUILT – INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE

Project:  Schindler Elevator Corporation US Headquarters Phase II 

Architect: Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA
Firm:  ikon.5 architects

THANK YOU!

Dwell on Design AIA Member Offer

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As a special offer we at Dwell are proud to offer all AIA members a discounted pass to this year’s show. Please feel free to spread the word to your fellow AIA members about this incredible opportunity to receive $30 off a Design Trade 2-Day Pass and $10 off of a Design Trade 1-Day Pass, using code AIA14.

Can’t wait to see you at the show!

Sincerely,
The Dwell on Design Team

Register Now

ABOUT DWELL ON DESIGN NY

Dwell on Design NY, curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, debuts at 82Mercer in SoHo, NY. Join 5,000 design elite as Dwell upends the standard ‘trade show’ format and creates a unique forum to engage, learn, inspire and connect in new and exciting ways.

Over three days, attend 20+ Dwell-curated presentations, panel discussions and dialogues on today’s most pressing ‘hot button’ issues across hospitality, travel, office, academia, public spaces, urban infrastructure and more.

Hear from a stellar line up of today’s most forward thinking industry experts, thought leaders and scholars including, keynote speaker Daniel Libeskind, David Rockwell, Michael Bierut of Pentagram; Susan Lyons of Designtex, a former creative director for materials at Herman Miller; Snøhetta director Claire Fellman and many more.

Additionally, see 20 design installations from well-renowned brands, earn AIA, ASID and other CEU course credits, and much more at this groundbreaking event!

For more information about this year’s show please visit:DwellonDesign.com

 

AIA-NJ Design Awards Deadline – September 30, 2014

Have your firm’s project included in the 2014 AIA-NJ Design Awards.
This years Design Awards submission deadline is fast approaching.  Deadline for entry is September 30th.

Schedule for 2014:

September 30, 2014 -  Deadline to submit Design Awards entry form and fee
October 6, 2014 -  Submit project boards to the Yankee Club Conference Center at the Arm & Hammer Park, 1 Thunder Road (aka Cass St.), Trenton, NJ.
October 7, 2014 -  Design Awards Jury convenes
October 9, 2014 -  Exhibition of design submission boards and announcement of  winning  projects
January 9, 2015 -  Presentation of the Design Awards at the Awards Dinner

Entry guidelines and requirements can be found at www.aia-nj.org

A sampling of the 2013 winners include:

da2014_SPjams1 Shore Point Architecture, based in Ocean Grove, N.J., for their work on Asbury Park J.A.M.S.a community performing arts building in Asbury Park, N.J.;

da2014_statue3 Mills and Schnoering, based in Princeton, N.J., for their safety and comfort upgrades at the Statue of Liberty National Monument;

Memorial_Elementary_School_Playground DIGroupArchitecture, based in New Brunswick, N.J., for their work on Memorial Elementary School, the rebuilding of a fire damaged school building in East Brunswick, N.J.

To see original article on 2014 Design Award Call for Entries Click Here.

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