Category Archives: Emerging Professionals

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

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.
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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.



2014-15 AIA-NJ Scholarship Foundation Grants Available

red_eagleThe  AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation is seeking qualified applicants currently attending Schools of Architecture to award scholarship monies associated with the 2014-15 AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation Program of Scholarships. 

An application form for grant consideration is required from all applicants.
Deadline for receipt of completed applications for financial aid (including receipt of transcripts and portfolio materials) is FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014.   

Grant awards range in size from $2,000 to $5,000 and may be awarded to multiple, selected architectural students for the 2014-15 School Year. 

The award selection is based upon a scholastic achievement, financial need, and architectural talent as determined by a portfolio submission.
More information regarding can be found online:


NJ Architecture & Earth Day: Duke Farms Preservation Project by VITETTA

In honor of Earth Day  - AIA-NJ would like to highlight this years Design Award winner in the Historic Preservation Category.

VITETTA Receives AIA-NJ Honor Award for Historical Preservation Project at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, N.J.

Mount Laurel, N.J. Firm Leads New Environmental Mission, Earning LEED Certification for Historic Farm’s Orientation Center and Orchid Range

The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has awarded Philadelphia, Pa.-based design firm VITETTA Architects and Engineers with an Honor Award in the Historical Preservation category for its efficient design and adaptive reuse of the Duke Farms, a 120-year old estate and public park in Hillsborough, N.J.

“VITETTA’s work on Duke Farms typifies the AIA’s mission when it comes to historical preservation of valuable community staples,” said Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “The firm has infused the site with 21st century green infrastructure while retaining its rich 120-year history and character.”

VITETTA’s undertaking at Duke Farms consisted of two LEED-certified rehabilitation projects: the adaptive reuse of a Farm Barn, the site’s main orientation center, and the renovation of a Lord and Burnham conservatory structure that serves as a learning place with brand new orchid display gardens. As part of the Duke Farms’ new environmental mission, the project includes a 640-killowatt ground-mounted solar array of 3,120 panels designed to provide 100 percent of the electrical power for the orientation center, along with 56 geothermal wells to aid in heating and cooling for surrounding offices, and an onsite constructed wetlands wastewater treatment plant.

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NJ-APAC on Capital Hill


New Jersey Political Action Committee (NJ-APAC)

by Laurence E. Parisi, AIA Washington, D.C.
March 19, 2014

grassroots2014Another fabulous AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference has graced us, but not without extraordinary excitement, great colleague camaraderie, and well-organized Leadership Plenary Sessions.

NJ-APAC – The political branch of AIA-NJ was represented at “the hill” by Ben Lee, AIA and I, together we attended the Government Advocacy Networking Breakfast and Congressional Staff Panel who discussed the purpose and the criteria for Capitol Hill Visits. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your Congressional District representative on their “D.C. turf” and present to them the issues set forth by the Institute and request their support. These issues are established by the Institute to help promote and support architects and building growth in our country. This year we had three requests for our congressional and senatorial backing.

  1. ENERGY RETROFITS – The AIA supports efforts to extend and make modest improvements to the Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction (179D).
  2. STUDENT DEBT RELIEF – The AIA supports legislation to allow architecture students to contribute their design abilities to help communities in exchange for student loan assistance.
  3. DESIGN BUILD PROCUREMENT REFORM – The AIA supports common-sense reforms to procurement that will help more design firms enter the marketplace.

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Grassroots 2014 – Connect, Engage, Lead, Innovate

The AIA 2014 Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference was held March 18th – 21st in Washington DC.  A number of your AIA-NJ leaders attended and were inspired to  build a better AIA.


Some of the AIA-NJ members in attendance at Grassroots 2014


Along with hundreds of leaders from around the country and world AIA members discussed ways to effect change.  From the latest on AIA Repositioning  and how it could be seen in your local AIA chapters, to hearing from candidates for national AIA offices that will help to lead AIA next year and beyond.

In addition to seminars and guest speakers, part of Thursday was spent visiting our legislators on Capital Hill.  Taking issues important to all architects to our law-makers to effect change for all.

This year a number of items discussed were  discussed with local representatives.  Including the extension of 179D, the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction that expired at the end of 2013.  The necessity of procurement standards for Design-Build method of building on government projects.  Also, the National Design Services Act,  a program where architecture graduates with federally subsidized student loans could work in under-served communities in exchange for reduction of student debt.  Contact your local leaders to learn more on any of these items or how you can help.

AIANJ Menendez

AIA-NJ President Kurt Kalafsky, President-Elect Kimberly Bunn, Aide to Senator Menendez, L&GA Chair Dave DelVecchio, and Regional Director Robert Cozzarelli on Capital Hill



Jerome Eben from AIA-NJ a candidate for AIA national position of Secretary

During the candidates speeches, AIA-NJ member and past-president Jerome Eben, AIA, declared his candidacy for the office of AIA National Secretary.  We wish Jerry Good Luck in his run for office.

Architecture Week 2014

Celebrate Architecture Week 2014

April 6-12, 2014

ArchWeek2014What is National Architecture Week?
National Architecture Week, April 6─12, is a time to showcase the innovative and talented architects who’ve made positive contributions to our communities and society in general.  It is annually held during the birthday week of our nation’s first president/architect, Thomas Jefferson (April 12).


Join us in celebrating Architecture, follow AIA national’s social media events, take the opportunity to talk about Architecture to a local group or school.  There are many ways to get involved.  Check some out here.



Save the Date – October 17 & 18, 2014 – Design Conference

The 2014 AIA-NJ Design Conference will be a two day event this fall -
More information to follow soon, Save the Date to join AIA-NJ October 17th and 18th.


Design Conference 2014 Save the Date


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