Category Archives: Emerging Professionals

Information for young architects, interns, students and other Emerging Professionals in architecture.

What Do You See When You Look Up?

AIA wants to know – “What Do You See When You Look Up?”

See what architects see and pass it on, go to:


AIA 2015 Membership Renewal


Dear AIANJ Members:

You should all by now have received your AIA Membership renewal letter by mail.  If you renew early, which would be by December 31st, you have the following advantages:

1.      The chance to win a Surface Pro 3 or iPad Air 32G!

2.    An additional business expense for tax purposes

3.    AIANJ and your AIA Section receive due payments early which is always beneficial for local event planning and payment

4.    One more thing to take off of your 2015 to do list!

You can renew by visiting and signing in with your member id number.  We at AIANJ value our members and look forward to an exciting 2015!

Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

Membership Chairperson

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

Online ARE Review Course at NJIT

njit_coadThe College of Architecture & Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology is offering an online review course for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE 4.0) in Structural Systems this fall semester.

The course will start on the week of September 2nd and will cover the exam material in a lecture format, including the related graphic vignettes. The instruction will be delivered entirely online so students do not need to travel to campus to attend class. Lectures are recorded weekly and posted on a password- protected website. Questions are answered through the same website or by e-mail. Registrants can view the lectures at their convenient time. The course will run for 15 weeks ending by December 12, 2014.

For further information and for registration, please contact the instructor, Rima Taher, by e-mail at:

Fall Career Fair at NJIT

NJIT hosting it’s Fall Career Fair on October 1st.

NJ Architectural firms sign up to meet our future architects.  Find out more information from NJIT Career Development.


2014 Design Conference – Save the Date


October 9, 2014
Design Conference and Advocacy Day
The Trenton War Memorial

The 2014 Conference will be a full day of continuing education and advocacy.   The announcement of the Design Award winners and networking opportunities at evening reception.
Full Day –  6 LUs. (pending approval)

Watch the AIA-NJ website for more details as they become available

Please Contact Laura Slomka
Email or Call 609-393-5690

9th Annual Photography Competition

AIA West Jersey Hosts Annual Architectural Photography Competition

2014 – Call for Entries

AIA West Jersey Photography Competition



The 9th Annual AIA West Jersey Photography Competition has opened for entries.   Submit your interesting images of everything architectural – from the buildings around the corner, to a current project to an interesting place you visited.
Continue reading

Diversity is an Attribute. Difference is an Action.

By Jason Peist, Assoc. AIA

The following article is a personal piece written by Jason to help understand the benefits of ‘diversity’ when building teams.

Diversity is a state of being that describes the similarities and variations people have— in essence, it is a contextual characteristic that does not define you! Think about each attribute as just one tool in in a larger tool bag. Tools are catalysts for change; however, if you swing around the same tool for every job, you will most likely never achieve your goals.

Diversity is both having the right set of tools for the job and being able to borrow the tools you don’t have from your neighbors. If you want to make a difference, you and your neighbors need to work together. Continue reading

Regional Director’s Message: Governance, Nature and Mother

cozzarelliBy Robert Cozzarelli, AIA

2014-2016 Regional Director, New Jersey


The 2014 AIA National Convention will be held this the first week of Summer in Chicago.  It seems that this AIA Convention more than any other, in recent memory, is approaching with great anticipation, as the AIA Delegates prepare to vote on the governance of “Repositioning” of the Institute.  Clearly, whatever the outcome is there will be one thing that is for certain; decisions in Chicago will be made on the basis of careful, thorough and objective consideration of the issues by responsible AIA Delegates.  Hopefully, the AIA Delegates will elect Jerome L. Eben, AIA as Secretary of the American Institute of Architects and AIA New Jersey will be celebrating Jerry’s victory at the convention.

Should Repositioning be ratified at the AIA Convention it will allow the Institute to react in a quicker and responsive manner to issues and challenges that are occurring more frequently in this cyber world that we experience every day.  Further, a smaller Board of Directors will have the ability to be more interactive with the AIA membership and there will be a clearer understanding of the responsibilities of the Board and of the new Strategic Council.  The Strategic Council will be able to represent members of varying backgrounds, requirements and interest, while seeking and exploring pro-active positions for the Institute to forge.  By moving forward with this Repositioning new governance structure the AIA will be in the forefront of many national and worldwide discussions addressing issues, spearheading intellectual forums on architectural design and advancing the value of the architectural profession.

Repositioning will be a tremendous change to the Institute and it will come with a purpose and hopefully it will be recognized as a model for leadership of the Institute now and years to come setting an example of what is best for the greater good of the AIA Members and the Institute.  Honestly, it may ultimately answer, what is the value of being an AIA member.  Only time will tell as these efforts to implement these governance changes are being implemented for the betterment of the Institute and its membership now and for years to come.

With respect to Change it has always evoked emotions.  Change denotes a making or becoming distinctly different.  Some people readily accept change and others don’t.  I personally enjoy the change of seasons and I look forward to each and every one.  I particularly love Spring because I live near Branch Brook Park, which is recognized as the first County Park in the United States.  The park is situated both in Newark and Belleville.  The local residences of each community typically identify the boundaries of Branch Brook Park with the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which was designed by Newark architect, Jeremiah O’Rourke, FAIA (circa 1850-1880) at one end and at the north end with the banquet facility Nanina’s-In-The Park.  As the architect of record for Nanina’s it is a privilege that my architecture is also identified as part of Branch Brook Park.  The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and it is accented with a variety of Cherry Blossom trees that bloom only for a short period, from mid April through May.  But it is with great anticipation each year that I and the community look forward to nature’s gift of beauty when the Cherry Blossom Trees are in full bloom and the sun is shining and the weather perfect.  Yes, change is good and we have a lot to be thankful for, but I would be remiss if I did not mention Mother’s Day this time of the year and personally how thankful I am for my mother and how she encouraged me to be an architect because her father was a mason and he had extreme respect for the architect whenever they visited the construction site.

Mother’s Day is a day to appreciate both what you have and what you have been given.  Mothers, grandparents, aunts, and guardians all play a special role in the lives of their loves ones.  They help shape our character and form us into the people we become.  They may have played an important role in you deciding to become an architect, such is my case.  They serve as role models, shoulders to cry on, navigators through hard times, and a source of dependency.  For those who have lost their mothers, they will always be remembered and cherished in our thoughts and prayers.  The memories of those we have lost continue to shape our lives and choices we make that change our lives.  I hope each of you took time to reach out to those who have served as a maternal role in your life, to remember those we have lost and miss dearly, and to celebrate your own motherhood.

If you are asking why I have discussed these three different topics, AIA Repositioning, Cherry Blossom Trees, and Mother all in the same article it’s because they all represent some form of change and how it affects our life.  These are examples of change that stand to symbolize individual growth and nurturing of personal goals, hard work that inspires us to forge new paths in our personal life as well as professional life, and the gift of caring for each other as we enjoy the natural beauty of the world where we live, work and play in.  Simply, Architects create change and they influence lives and serve society by their designs.  Design is the value of what we do as architects!

Enjoy Spring because Summer is around the corner!

2014 AIA‐West Jersey – Emerging Professionals Design Competition

AIA WJ Community Rocks Logo

AIA‐West Jersey is offering Emerging Professionals the opportunity to design a mobile music, art studio and community outreach vehicle. AIA‐West Jersey has partnered with Community Rocks!, a non‐profit organization established to educate, strengthen and connect communities through arts and wellness programs, partnerships and relief work.

What is Community Rocks! the Blocks?

Based in Oaklyn, NJ, this program provides relief supplies to neighbors in need. Throughout the year the program collects, sorts and deliver supplies to various relief centers, churches, community spaces, individuals and families. Now, there is a plan to expand the program. The Community Rocks! RV will tour Camden, Camden County & Burlington County providing music, art and exercise programs to children, neighborhoods and community centers in need.

This is where AIAWJ joins the effort.

The RV is retro‐chic from the 1980s, but needs significant upgrades to achieve the following programmatic needs. This is the focus the competition:

  1. Art Studio / Classroom inside the RV for up to 8 children.
  2. Music Classroom inside the RV for up to 8 children.
  3. “Hang‐Out” Space for up to 4 children.
  4. Mobile Stage / Sound System with Speaker Hook‐up Outside the RV.
  5. Flexible Signage System on RV exterior.
  6. Storage of tents, art supplies, and equipment.
  7. Retain sink and toilet functions.
  8. Child generated art piece for interior or exterior of RV.
  9. Storage of goods and supplies to be delivered to local charities.

Safety, Health and Welfare

Safety of the occupants is paramount. The RV will be used to educate, stimulate and uplift children in underserved communities. This can only be achieved in safe environment. The RV will serve the children while parked, no programming will take place while the RV is in motion.

Additional Requirements

  1. Use of Community Rocks! Colors: Pink, Brown, Green and Yellow. (See Logo)
  2. Paint Exterior of RV – Pink Base Coat
  3. Display boards 30×40 inches depicting proposed designs.

BreastFest – The Tyanna Foundation

Sara O’Brien, Founder and Director of Community Rocks!, along with her sisters, also founded The Tyanna Foundation, which works to increase awareness and generate money for breast cancer research, services, education, treatment and patient care for local breast cancer patients and survivors. The major fundraiser for the foundation is BreastFest, a fun filled festival for the entire family offering food, drink, activities and live entertainment. To date the foundation has raised over $1,000,000 through events held in 5 different states.


Entries due to AIA‐West Jersey, Monday, June 2, 2014.

All entries will be displayed in front of the RV at BreastFest New Jersey, on June 7th, 2014, behind The Taproom and Grill in Haddon Township. Community Rocks! and The Tyanna Foundation board members and the general public will be given the opportunity to comment on the designs and ultimately select a winner.

 AIA WJ 2014 Design Competition RV Photo


Community Rocks! Website –
The Tyanna Foundation Website –
Sara O’Brien Website –
AIA‐West Jersey Contact: Mark Barone, AIA –


If you are interested please contact Mark Barone, AIA by the end of business, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Thank you.




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