Event Recap: ARE Study Series – Session #1

ARE Study Series Session #1 kicked off with a tour of the West End Public Library. The mixed use building is home to a library, a café, and condominiums. The award winning West End Library itself holds over 40,000 books and 40 public access computers. The library also features a variety of study spaces and community rooms to support the programmatic needs of the public. The design incorporates a playful use of color that is experienced both outside and through the interior of the building.

After the tour, the group sat down to study for the AREs. Check out our Getting Licensed page for a list of helpful resources.

Join us this Wednesday, April 24th at Francis A Gregory Library for ARE Study Group Session #2. We will start at 6:30 pm with a tour led by Michael Wiencek from Wiencek + Associates, the architect of record.


Event Recap: Licensure Celebration

This year, the EAC organized the inaugural AIA|DC Licensure Celebration! This event has been a long time coming. Many chapters host an annual celebration to recognize newly licensed architects – it’s about time we did as well! There’s a bright future to look ahead to after licensure, and no more confusing verbiage describing what you do for a living (architectural designer / designer / design professional / etc.). During the event, Abi Brown reminded newly licensed architects to use their license for good – get involved, join an AIA committee, serve as a mentor, attend your local ANC meetings, or advocate for an issue important to you.

We started the event with a big congratulations from Abi Brown, AIA|DC President Marc Fairbrother, and Grunley Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Sonya Brown. After that, each of the newly licensed architects had a chance to be recognized specifically. As names were called, each new licensed architect approached the front to receive their congratulatory certificate from the EAC. At the bottom right hand of the certificate, each person used our Licensure Celebration Stamp to ceremoniously be able to “stamp and sign” for the first time!

We had a chance to eat, drink, mingle, and eat cake as a group afterwards. It was so great to celebrate those who got licensed this past year – and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

We are so thankful to our strong planning team and such generous support and sponsorship from Grunley! We could not have done it without them!

Architecture and ARE Trivia Nights

In 2018, the Emerging Architects Committee started an Architecture and ARE Trivia Night to meet a growing need for licensure candidate comradery as well as raise awareness for the exam.

For years, ARE study groups have been started and faltered as every individual is on a different path and often comes to the conclusion that studying would be more productive on their own terms. However, since studying can be such a grueling and intensive process, there’s no need to also have it be isolating.

That’s where Architecture and ARE Trivia comes in. The event is inclusive to people who are thinking about starting the exam, are currently taking the exams and have been licensed for years. Questions range from architecture history and current events, to code, site analysis, contracts, firm management, and everything in between.

The goal is to intersperse examples of question types from the exam with questions that architects would enjoy testing their knowledge on. The result is an event where a person with any level of any experience can feel both challenged and useful to their team. Teams are comprised of three to four people — often from one office, but people are also encouraged to show up even without a team and join other trivia attendees. It’s a great way to meet new people while studying and exercising your architecture trivia expertise!

With the fourth trivia having just wrapped up at the beginning of March, the event has been occurring about every four months. The next one is tentatively scheduled for July, and may be happening earlier. Stay tuned for upcoming events and keep learning those random archi-facts!

Fun fact from the March Trivia Night:

Q: What structure was the tallest in the world for a single year before being outpaced by the Eiffel Tower in 1889?

A: The Washington Monument

Event Recap: Mentoring Workshop #2 – New Year, New Credential!

The event was hosted at the American Society of Landscape Architects and it kicked off with a tour of their headquarters, which is on track to be LEED Platinum and WELL Gold. It was fascinating to see the differences in innovation between the green roof that was deigned 10 years ago and the lower level garden that was recently completed.  The second highlight of the tour was the existing enclosed scissor stair, that was re-imagined as an open connecting stair with one existing leg demolished. From the ground level you can see down into the lower levels, and all the way to the 4th floor. At the ground level, the footprint of the demolished scissor stair leg is clad in end-grain wood tiles to bring the atmosphere of the roof garden all the way though the building.

After the tour, Liz Resnic  gave a presentation on LEED v4.1 and highlighted some of the changes in requirements between v4.0 and v4.1, as well as walking through the certification requirements for those looking to get credentialed.

Finally, Ashley Grzywa and Marissa Mitzner spoke about the certification requirements for WELL and fitwel, in addition to explaining the steps needed to become a WELL ambassador. We learned that the requirements for a building to achieve a fitwel certification are less cumbersome than for WELL, but the evidence needs to be really well documented. Becoming a fitwel ambassador for your office is really achievable as it only costs $250 and you can take the exam from your own computer in one afternoon!

Thanks again to all of the speakers for diving into all of the ways that we can encourage our profession to be more sustainable and healthy.

Event Recap: Portfolio & Resume Workshop

The portfolio and resume workshop began with a presentation from Rob Holzbach, Associate Principal and Director of Staff Operations at Hickok Cole. The talk started with Rob explaining the process he uses to find and screen potential applicants. He showed examples of resumes and talked through what made them successful or unsuccessful. He also provided resume and job application “do’s and don’t” including adding teaser pages, compiling all documents into one file, and triple checking all spelling!

A major take away from the presentation was to keep in mind that people reviewing resumes are limited on time and have to make decisions quickly –  so make sure the graphics convey your personal style but aren’t overdesigned, and organize information in a concise and easy-to-read format.

After the talk, participants reviewed their materials with three to four professional reviewers from different architecture and design firms in the D.C. area. Reviewers stressed the importance of showing a mix of process and final work in a portfolio. This helps potential employers see how an applicant thinks through a problem using design. They also suggested using large images and providing bullet points of key facts about each project.

For more tips on how to best present yourself and your work, check out Architizer’s article, “Young Architect Guide: How to Sell Yourself With a Story.”

Event Recap: Mentoring Workshop #1 – New Year, Licensed You!

The EAC hosted our first event of the year in partnership with NCARB to review the process and requirements for getting started with AXP and the ARE. The Mentoring Series this year is focused on kicking off the new year to help attendees achieve their career goals for licensure, a credential, or the confidence to ask more specific questions within the office.

ARE 5.0 Exam Fees

Nick Respecki, NCARB’s Manager of Examination Development, presented the requirements needed to begin to test for the ARE, which vary state to state. The best way to determine the path that is right for you is to check out NCARB’s licensing requirements tool, which breaks down each state’s rules for requesting exam eligibility. Nick also discussed the 5 different question types that you will find on the 6 exams included in ARE 5.0. His top recommended resource was NCARB’s ARE 5.0 Handbook.

Martin Smith, NCARB’s Assistant Director of Experience + Education, discussed the requirements for documenting experience with AXP. AXP requires 3,740 base hours in categories that correspond with elements of architectural practice. Martin again referred attendees to the licensing requirements tool, which describes each state’s rules for the number of hours required to complete AXP.

Both Martin and Nick recommended that attendees continue to document their hours until they could receive an NCARB certificate. This way it is much easier to apply for reciprocity in other states if you ever need to get multiple state licenses!

For more information on our local chapter resources and events related to the ARE and AXP, check out our dedicated page!

Event Recap: 1900 N Street Construction Tour

1900 n poster_0

On December 4th, the Emerging Architects Committee held a construction tour of 1900 N Street, a new office building under construction in Dupont Circle. Developed by JBG Smith, with KPF as the design architect and FOX Architects as the architect of record, 1900 N will be an exciting addition to the architectural landscape of DC once complete. The building features a unique structural element in the form of a truss that hangs one third of the building. This allows an unobstructed, column free lobby at the corner of 19th and N Streets and will allow the building to become a gateway to downtown and Dupont Circle. The truss is encased in an architectural embellishment and celebrated by being encased in a bright red Fiber Reinforced Panel cladding.

Participants first listened to a brief presentation by the Architect, Structural Engineer and General Contractor about the project. Kate Mooney (Project Manager, FOX), Brian Schenck (Project Manager, DeSimone Consulting Engineers), and Jack Blank (Project Manager, Harvey-Cleary Builders) walked participants through the design of the project, the particulars of how the truss operates and was designed and the coordination between the teams that was required to pull off such a complex undertaking. Particular note was made to the unique design of the building, which in addition to the truss, takes advantage of zoning laws with an architectural embellishment, utilizes a state of the art DOAS HVAC system and has a generous rooftop amenity.

With the sold out crowed in tow, the group toured the building from top to bottom and was able to see the preparations for the truss as well as the “hanger columns” which will support the hanging portions of the building. Unfortunately, the truss pieces scheduled to be on site for the tour were delayed by the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush. Other than that minor hiccup, the tour was a success with participants learning about one of the most structurally and aesthetically unique future buildings in DC! Join the EAC for future tours of other unique buildings under construction!


Event Recap: Philadelphia Study Tour

On October 20th, members of the Emerging Architects Committee lead this year’s annual study tour to Philadelphia, PA. Upon arrival, the group did their best Rocky impression as they climbed the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum where we were able to have a great look at the developing skyline of the city, including the new Comcast Tower. The next stop was Eastern State Penitentiary where we learned about the National Historic Landmark and its historical significance. We then departed for the Barnes Foundation where a docent lead tour guided them through the museum. After lunch in the museum’s Annenberg Court, we walked to Philadelphia City Hall where we received a tour of the exterior and had a chance to view the city from the clock tower of the world’s largest masonry structure. The tour made its way through Independence Mall in route to Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest residential street which dates back to the early 1700s. After the Elfreth’s Alley tour, the team boarded the bus and headed back to DC.

The sold out event was a huge success with nothing but positive feedback from those who attended. We are looking forward to next year’s tour. If you have any ideas where we should head next be sure to come to one of our planning meetings held the second Wednesday of every month.

5 Favorites Friday

Favorites this week are all about upcoming events — and there are a lot in 2018! Check it out:

1. If your New Years Resolution is to get licensed:

ncarb and you

The first of three “The Future is Emerging” series — dynamic Mentoring Workshops that explore the path ahead: for your career, for practice, and for the architectural profession itself.

Eager to get licensed but unsure where to begin? Trying to finish your last exams before ARE 4.0 disappears forever? Itching to learn how to be a better supervisor to your firm’s emerging professionals? Join us for our first Mentoring Workshop of 2018, NCARB & You: AXP, ARE, & Certification, presented by NCARB’s Director of Examination, Jared Zurn, AIA, NCARB, and Assistant Director of Experience + Education, Martin Smith, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Assoc. Come get the latest info on a range of licensure topics relevant to students, aspiring architects, supervisors, architects, and anyone in the architecture profession. The presentation will review the steps necessary to achieve architectural licensure and other programs to get the most out of your architectural career, including:

• The entities involved in the licensure process
• How to progress successfully through the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™)
• What to expect from the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)
• Recent changes to NCARB programs
• The value of the NCARB Certificate

Following the presentation, Jared and Martin will stick around to answer your burning questions. Register for FREE today!

2. If you’re getting ready to go after your dream job:

portfolio workshop

Get a draft of your resume and portfolio together and bring it to the District Architecture Center on Saturday, February 10th! Learn what firms are looking for in potential employees and get personal feedback on your work. Bring your resume and portfolio in any state of completion for review by local architects.

Registration is open now!

Students: $5
Assoc. AIA: $10
AIA & DAC Members: $15
Non-members: $20

3. If you’re struggling to find motivation in studying for the ARE:

STAY TUNED for our first-ever ARE trivia night on Tuesday, March 6th at a local D.C. bar! Make studying fun again and bring your co-workers, friends, bosses, employees, and anyone familiar with architecture to test your knowledge in a creative study method – TRIVIA! All experience levels are encouraged too attend and prizes will be awarded, so make sure to bring a couple experts as well as beginners.  Venue, registration, and posters coming soon.

4. If you’re looking for weekend plans:

Saturday, January 20th 11am: Womens March 2018 “The Women’s March on Washington is back this weekend, one year after its historic demonstration on the National Mall drew an estimated half a million people the day after President Trump was inaugurated. The event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.”

Saturday, January 20th 1pm: Ice Yards at Yards Park “The wintry festival for adults in Yards Park features appropriately frozen games, including shuffleboard and Plinko; ax-throwing; ice carvers; a communal “shotski” shot attempt; bars serving local beers and wintry cocktails; and music by DJs and cover band Down Wilson. 1 to 5 p.m. $10, includes one drink.” 

Sunday, January 21st 7:30pm: Story District’s Top Shelf at the Lincoln Theater  “The amateur storytellers of Story District can make an audience howl with laughter, bring a packed room to hushed silence and leave a crowd hanging on their every word. The organization puts on dozens of shows each year, but if you only make it to one, make it Top Shelf. The eight performers telling their true tales onstage were selected by a panel of judges as the very best of more than 150 stories performed in 2017. (Saturday’s show is sold out, so organizers have added a second edition, on Sunday.) 7:30 p.m. $25-$35.”

5. Lastly, some Friday inspiration:

mark twain

2017 5 Favorites!

1. Huge shout out to all of our sponsors that helped to make 2017 a major success!

Check out this short video celebrating all the success of the committee this year. None of this would have been possible without the contributions from our sponsors:



Hickok Cole

Event Sponsors:
Fox Architects
SEA-Meatropolitan DC

2. “What the *bleep* is an Architect?!” discussed the role of the architect in the eyes of peers, consultants, and the public. It got a little heated!

3. The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program began it’s fifth year!


4. Our mentoring series saw record highs in attendance this year in our #ArchitectUp sessions!


5. Leah Ijjas, our committee chair, was honored with the Emerging Architect of the Year award from the chapter!

Thanks to everyone who planned and participated in our events this year! We’re looking forward to a great 2018!