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!

5 Favorites Friday

1. If the state of the nation makes you want to do something (but you just don’t know what):



Our fourth mentoring workshop is coming up next week! Aimee Custis, deputy director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, will be joining us to discuss real-world examples from her work in advocacy. Aimee will break down the steps you can take to reach the right audience and effectively use your resources to create the change you’d like to see at the local, regional, and national levels. Register today!

2. Hurricane season has you really concerned about Latin America but you don’t know how to give back.

3. Because talking to structural engineers gets you really excited! (Really!)

2016-04-21_10700_International Spy Museum_CFA Presentation - Pre

Image from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners/Hickok Cole Architects

We are planning our second joint construction tour of the new International Spy Museum with the structural engineering young members group (SEAMW-YMG)! The tour is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17th and they always sell out fast! Make sure to register early for this one!

4. If you need a little bit of inspo to get to work on a Friday:

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea’.”

-Chuck Close, American artist who achieved fame as a photorealist through massive-scale portraits

5. You’re feeling like you should be volunteering more often in general…

Join Teass Warren Architects and the Washington Architectural Foundation at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to celebrate National Public Lands Day! Volunteers will assist with the removal of cut lotus from the park’s ponds as well as a variety of other park improvement projects including transplanting perennials, removing invasive species, and picking up litter.

5 Questions for Brian Kelly


This week we sat down with Brian Kelly, Professor and Director of the Architecture Program at the University of Maryland, to discuss what he sees as opportunities and challenges for recent graduates in anticipation of our Fourth Annual Thesis Showcase next Tuesday! You can register here.

  1. Are there specific themes that you have been seeing in recent thesis projects (i.e. sustainability, robotics, etc.)?

    In the past few years theses have increasingly focused on the big issues of our time. Students regularly probe issues of sustainability and resilience. For some students this is the central theme of their thesis investigation, but for nearly all students, theses tend to intersect these topics and students develop insightful responses to our current predicament. More and more thesis projects are taking up the problems of cities. This is particularly relevant as we see increased interest in living in compact, walkable, transit-oriented environments, like Washington, DC. Similarly, there are consistently groups of students who explore the social, economic, cultural, and environmental problems of places like Baltimore where there are drastic shifts in populations, deteriorated housing stock, de-densification, and gentrification in many areas. We also see trends to bring in experts from allied disciplines in the context of thesis.

    It is not unusual to have faculty members from Planning, Preservation, or Real Estate Development sitting on committees and students diving deep into these issues as they impact architectural thinking. Likewise, students are increasingly reaching outside of the allied disciplines in order to do deep dives into thesis topics, NASA scientists on campus, urban agriculture experts, and mentors in visualization all come to mind as additional resources rallied by students in the completion of their thesis work.

  2. Has your program made any changes to align with recent efforts to prepare students to take exams earlier?

    We are a NCARB approved iPAL provider, but we have yet to bring the program online due to a series of campus-wide approvals that need to be in place. We encourage students to engage AXP and are open to the idea of earlier engagement of the ARE, but there have been no structural changes in this arena.

  3. What do you believe is the biggest challenge for recent grads transitioning into the work place?

    Time management is the biggest skill that I think students don’t fully appreciate. School allows lots of flexibility, while in the workplace you need to perform efficiently and reliably. I think that some of our most successful graduates transition well because they have developed the ability to manage time. I also think that understanding that every project needs leadership at all levels is another important challenge. If you want to succeed, you need to convince your colleagues that you are capable of leadership even if you are relegated to the task of working out details for a fire stair or toilet room.

  4. What skills do you think recent grads can bring to a new office that might not be realized/utilized currently?

    I feel that students today care deeply about the environment and social conditions. They are well-versed in bringing knowledge into the equation beyond just that of the formal/technical dimensions of architecture. Unlike my generation that was preoccupied with issues of style and content, this generation understands that the solutions to the pressing problems that face them requires deep knowledge of the discipline of architecture and a broad knowledge of other disciplines that can inform what we do.

  5. Has the approach to teaching design thinking evolved/changed because of the millennial culture?

    Many millennials don’t know how to use their hands. Unlike students from a decade or two ago, the tradition of drawing, model making, even free-play, seem to have been pushed to the wayside in favor of a digital world. We believe that mastery of digital skills is necessary, but architects build real things in the real world, and thus need to draw and make models. Drawing offers insights into architecture and design thinking that digital media cannot replicate. I am reminded of how Louis Kahn always started design projects with charcoal and soft clay because the ideas were ill-formed at the beginning of the design process and thus needed media that could be forgiving and permit interpretation.

There’s still time to register for tonight’s event! Come with more questions!

5 Favorites Friday

1. If you feel like you could use a bit of creative inspiration:


The fourth annual Thesis Showcase will take place on September 12th! Come check out a curated selection of thesis projects and take advantage of the opportunity for practitioners to view a sample of the work emerging from architecture schools. Register here!

2. You know that it’s about time to start to give back and helping to solve world hunger appeals to you.

3. Because you would love the opportunity to take over this blog:

August Meeting

Our September meeting is scheduled for Wednesday the 6th, which is important to note because it’s a week earlier than usual! Come help us brain storm about what 2018 should look like with the EAC!

4. You didn’t get enough time to socialize at our event because you were so excited about the food…

USGBC National Capital Region’s Emerging Professionals is hosting an end of summer social on September 18th! Come join a host of other professionals interested in sustainability and take advantage of the Wunder Garten’s awesome beer selection!

5. Because we’re feeling a little nostalgic about that rooftop last week…

Networking Event.JPG

Thanks again to everyone who was able to attend our Summer Networking Bash! We’re looking forward to more events like it in the future!

5 Favorites Friday

1. If that last peer review has you thinking about starting your own firm:


Our third mentoring session of the #ArchitectUp series will be kicking off Tuesday July 25th! This month we are featuring a panel of three architects that are heavily involved in the business side of things to help get you thinking about the business know-how the architecture world requires. Register today!

2. If you want to spend some time looking up this weekend.

3. If you’d like to stop hearing people remind you to network and finally DO SOMETHING about it:

Banner w location

We’re hosting the second annual Summer Networking Bash on the Dock 79 rooftop, just behind Nats stadium, on August 17th! Come chat with other young leaders from the real estate, development, and architecture industries. Plenty of food and beer to break the ice! Registration is now open!

4. You find large installation art intriguing, but BBQ even more intriguing.

5. If you’re looking for some professional advice:


Big take away from our monthly meeting: take the AREs as soon as possible!

5 Favorites: CKLDP Edition

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Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program applications are due this month on June 26th! We wanted to highlight a few things about the program on the blog today. If you missed the intro session last week, check out the application details here.

1. What is the difference between a nomination and a recommendation?

The important difference is that the nomination should explain why the author and/or author’s firm sees the candidate as a current and/or future leader. A recommendation reinforces the personal qualities and professional traits of the applicant.

2. What’s the point of the agreement form?

The purpose of the agreement form is to get you talking with your supervisors about the time you will be missing by participating in the program. Firms have different ways of accommodating this (making up the time, allowing hours for professional development, etc.). Its important to get your managers involved ahead of the start of the program.

3. Is there tuition assistance available?

There is! It covers 50% of the program costs, but there are a few qualifiers.

4. What was your favorite part about the program?

“My favorite part of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program was the time spent learning from the other scholars. It was an incredible experience getting to collaborate with peers in architecture who are driven, accomplished, and looking to take the next step toward becoming leaders in their firms and communities. Their example inspired me to expect more from my own career, and their insights helped me grow as a professional. They were also just damn nice people, and our group had a wonderful camaraderie that made the CKLDP a joy to attend. In addition to being terrific themselves, the other scholars brought in some incredible architectural talent from some of the best firms in DC to speak at each of the CKLDP sessions, which made even potentially dry material engaging and informative. If you’re looking for a great way to grow in architecture, apply for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program! It’s one of the best professional decisions I ever made.”

-Adam Schwartz, CKLDP Alum ’16

5. How did the program impact you professionally?

Completing the CKLDP connected me with an amazing network of diverse and emerging architects – an invaluable opportunity after recently moving to the DC area. Learning how fifteen other professionals navigate their office – some by even setting up their own! – and apply leadership, marketing, research and business techniques to their career development was inspiring and helped me to refocus on my own career goals. My classmates came from all other the country, attended a wide variety of schools and work at the biggest and smallest firms in the area. Each person had a unique perspective, and was incredibly engaged in hearing about everyone’s experience. They are already regarded as leaders in their offices, managing projects as simple as single family homes and as complex as entire urban developments. Spending time with my classmates, both during the program and since graduating, continues to influence my leadership strategies both in my day to day activities as well as my long term plans. I can’t recommend the CKLDP to future scholars enough!

-Brandon Tobias, CKLDP Alum ’16

For more info about the background and application, check out the website!


5 Favorites Friday

1. If you just can’t seem to figure out how to do a Snap Chat post on Instagram:


Our second mentoring session of the #ArchitectUp series will be kicking off Tuesday June 27th! Deane Madsen, contributor to Architect magazine, will be talking us through the benefits and opportunities of using social media as a branding and marketing tool. Check out the details and register here!

2. If you need some inspiration when it gets difficult to work with consultants.

3. When you just saw Wonder Woman and you’re feeling particularly empowered:

06052017 _CKLDP 2017 Flyer_D1 Page 001 (004)

Apply to #CKLDP17! Applications are live for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program. If you missed the info session this past Monday, more details about the program can be found on the website. Applications are due Monday June 26th!

4. You got on a minimalist living kick and need to buy some new furniture.

5. If you’re still looking for a shot at the title:

Thesis Showcase Banner.png

Thesis showcase submissions are due next Thursday June 15th! Help bridge the gap between practicing architects and recent grads (and show off those renderings that stole all of your sleep).

5 Favorite Tweets

This week on the blog we wanted to recap our first mentoring session in our “Architect Up! Life Hacks for Architects” series. We had the opportunity to tour the WeWork and WeLive spaces in Crystal City which showcase the concepts of communal working and living. The WeLive space is one of two that currently exists in the country.

Following the tour we sat down to discuss how these new concepts of work/life balance have impacted productivity and what it means for the design of office spaces. The community manager Alissa Avilov and architect Vinson Camacho weighed in based on their experiences with the programs.


Next up in the series we will be discussing how to harness the power of social media and branding. Register for the second session here.

5 Favorites Friday

1. Event we are excited for:

170523 Mentoring Banner

This month begins the mentoring workshop series and our theme for 2017 is Life Hacks for Architects! The goal is to highlight specific skills/topics to help provide attendees with the tools to be an even better professional. The series is shaping up to be really interesting and our first event will be a tour of the WeWork space in Crystal City followed by a round table discussion on work/life balance. Make sure to register here!

2. For all the INTJs that love reading about personality types

3. If you want to become a better leader in the profession:

Applications are live for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program! This is a program founded by a few EAC members in honor of Christopher Kelley, an influential emerging architect from our chapter. Details about the program can be found on the website and on June 5th there will be an info session on the application process!

4. In case you’re negotiating your raise this week and need a power pose

5. Because your LEED credential is about to expire

This website is a great, free resource for CE credits that apply for both AIA HSW and LEED!