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:

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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 Questions for WeWork

In anticipation of our upcoming mentoring session at WeWork Crystal City, we asked the community manager Alissa Avilov a few questions about the atmosphere and how she achieves balance between work and life.

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Common Area at WeWork Crystal City

1. You are Community Manager at WeWork/WeLive, and also live in the community. For those unfamiliar with the concept, what is your elevator pitch for WeWork/WeLive, in fifty words or less?

WeWork/WeLive is a space that is all about fostering community and collaboration through programming and design. We have offices or apartments combined with communal spaces like pantries, conference rooms, media lounges, chefs kitchens, libraries and yoga studios.

2. This mentoring workshop is focused on work/life balance, a concept architects have been known to struggle with, both in academia and in the profession. What tips do you have for maintaining a healthy balance between one’s work life and one’s home life?

Taking time to do things that will clear your mind – for me that is cooking or taking a walk outside. Also, I’ve learned to be ok with leaving work with a to do list. At first this was a challenge, but I had to realize that I just can’t always get everything done. Accepting this did wonders for me being able to enjoy life when I was not at work (but I still check my phone a lot).

3. By putting one’s workplace and their living space in one building, the WeWork/WeLive model uses the built environment to blur the physical boundary that typically exists between our work lives and our home lives. From a time management standpoint, what are the advantages and disadvantages of living where you work?

The blessing/curse is the commute. Yes, you are saving time but you are also missing out on things like sunlight, me time, and feeling like you are leaving your house and coming to work. What I love is that I can have a long night at work and take 4 seconds to get home, this is really convenient. For me, thinking about things like packing a lunch before coming to work help me manage my time more effectively, but that might not be the case for others.

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Work space at WeWork Crystal City

4. WeWork/WeLive also uses the built environment to encourage interaction via shared spaces: communal kitchens, lounge areas, and workspaces where you may work alongside people in completely unrelated fields. This is also a concept being rolled out in open office settings, including many architecture firms. Overall, what type of feedback has this “unsiloing” yielded at WeWork/WeLive?

This is what we are all about. I think it’s especially interesting with WeLive because we’ve shifted so far away from this in our tech fueled lives. To encourage people to look up from their phones and say hi to a neighbor, or come to a wine tasting with people they don’t know in their building, has actually yielded pretty special results. People are often hesitant when they move in, and then they end up connecting with others and being grateful for the space.

5. Final question, for the architects in attendance: what is the one design takeaway from the WeWork/WeLive community you would like to see used more widely in workplace or residential design?

The open design that allows people to flow through the space without ever having to run into an awkward corner or anything like that.

For more info on the WeWork community, come check out the tour this Tuesday the 25th at the Crystal City location!

5 Tips for Your First AIA Conference

So, you’re heading to Orlando next week for the newly rebranded AIA Conference and figure maybe you should try to get the most out of the trip professionally and not just take advantage of a springtime trip to Florida.  Well, if you’re a first timer – or a conference vet looking for a few new tips – check out our suggestions below!

1. Sign up for your seminars early.

Back in the day, you used to be able to get away with showing up the first day of the convention conference, flipping through the guide, and popping in and out of sessions like a teenager turning a single movie ticket into a theater-hopping marathon.  Nowadays, though, you need to come with a plan.  Why is that?  Well, for one reason, because you sort of have to or you can’t actually get into the sessions (at least not if you want the associated CEUs).   More importantly, there is way too much to try and figure out on the fly. With over 500 seminars, tours, events, and workshops, it’s simply too big to try and get away without a little up front planning. Trust me on this one; take a little time and figure out where you’re going to be heading.

2. Also, diversify your schedule.

Speaking of all those choices – try not to pick three days’ worth of just [insert literally any topic here].  Just because your firm works on mixed-use urban development projects, don’t think you’re doing them – or yourself – any favors by soaking up 24 hours of just that topic.  Seriously, take the opportunity to engage in something new. There are so many different speakers to hear discussing emerging technologies, starting your own firm, healthcare design, accessibility concerns, sustainable design, mentorship… I could keep going, but you get the point.  I’m not saying don’t sign up for sessions that directly relate to what you’re doing today – that would just be silly. But think about what will relate to what you’re doing tomorrow and further down the road.

3. Download the Conference App. And use it!


If you didn’t know, AIA has an app that you can download that will sync with your schedule, give you vendor locations at the expo, and even allow you to chat real time with presenters during the sessions.  This is probably my favorite evolution from the first convention I went to back in 2006 – makes your life much much easier as you’re wandering around the convention center trying to figure out where your next session is.  The website doesn’t appear to have an updated link yet, but I already found it on Google Play with my sessions synced!

4. Go to the Emerging Professionals Party!

Thursday night for $30 – the food, drink, and networking is most definitely worth the price of admission! Seriously this is a great event, so grab a friend and go make some new ones! Speaking of…

5. Do some legitimate networking.

Yes, it’s always more comfortable to stick around your group of friends or coworkers – especially at an event that draws thousands of students, architects and exhibitors.  But, if you’re not making an effort to talk to new people at your seminars and expand your network then you’re missing out on one of the biggest benefits of attending the conference.  Granted, you may not see the person sitting next to you in a lecture at any other point during the conference – then again, they could be your next boss, partner, or client.  You have no way of knowing for sure, so why take the chance? Make an effort to get outside your comfort zone and meet someone new.

BONUS: Check out the Expo, but be smart about it!

At my first AIA convention I made the rookie mistake of picking up every piece of literature at the Expo and nearly had to buy another piece of luggage to get it all home – where it sat at my desk until I cleaned house the following spring. Don’t do that.  Engage with the exhibitors and leave your card if you really do want to follow up with someone, but do yourself a favor and leave all the papers and trinkets where they lay.  We’re in a digital age where you can sign up for emails or visit websites that have whatever information you want.  There is literally no reason to get hard copies of anything, and I’m willing to bet you don’t need another canvass tote or foam stress ball with a logo blazoned on it.  Just don’t do it!

What the *bleep* is an Architect?!


Architecture Uncensored is one of the most thought-provoking events the EAC organizes. Each year has a new theme, exploring topics that no one really discusses openly at work. Our discussions have been known to spur some gentle debate, but are always highly productive and very educational. The panel setup really encourages architects (and others!) to think about important issues from multiple perspectives.

This year, given the ever-evolving role of the profession with titles ranging from “master-builder” to “thought leader”, we are exploring what it means to be an architect in current times through the eyes of three groups: Architect / Client / Public. The theme: “What the *bleep* is an Architect?!” (Ironically, the title of Architecture Uncensored this year is, in fact, censored.. we can’t just say these things).

Our first discussion coming up on February 28th is called “What the *bleep* is an Architect?! In the Eyes of an Architect?” While planning, we thought finding panelists for this would be the easiest because “Hey, we know a lot of architects!”. The reality is it’s extremely difficult to determine what an architect IS because there are so many options. Architects really do SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS. The goal of this first lecture is to try and define what it is that we DO. Selecting architects from firms throughout the area as well as the academic world should give us a great conversation and kick-off to the series.

I always leave these panel discussions feeling renewed and refreshed – they really confirm why I got into architecture and just how passionate our colleagues are about people and the environments we design. We’re pumped to have great panelists locked down for the first session and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Registration is live here via AIA|DC.

Mark your calendars with the dates!
• February 28 : “What the *bleep* is an Architect?! In the Eyes of an Architect?”
• March 28 : “What the *bleep* is an Architect?! In the Eyes of an Client?”
• April 25 : “What the *bleep* is an Architect?! In the Eyes of the Public?”

5 Things to Know About the EAC to Kick Off 2017!

1. Our members are as diverse as the profession.

So… Who exactly is the EAC?

The AIA|DC Emerging Architect Committee is a group of young professionals who seek to learn from one another and grow within the Architectural Industry. There are no membership fees, and you do not have to be an AIA member to be active in the committee. The only requirement is that you have not been licensed for 10 years or more.

To be actively involved in the committee you can be part of our amazing core team or simply join our incredible events throughout the year! Core team members strategically plan and organize our programs, while forming lasting relationship across the profession.

2. We have 4 main areas of focus:

We believe that incredible opportunities come from within our own industry, and that sharing knowledge and collaborating with one-another is the best way to succeed as a profession. Our four main areas of focus are:

  • ADVOCATE for emerging architects
  • PROVOKE and talk about the future of the profession
  • MENTOR the next generation of architects
  • OUTREACH to the community, other AIA members, and the public

3. We all join for similar reasons, but we come with different perspectives…

The majority of our members will say the same thing when you ask: “Why did you join the EAC?” They will tell you that they were new to DC. Or that they were interested in growing their professional network. Or that they believe in a larger message to shape the profession.

The perspectives and backgrounds of our members and our program participants however, are far and farther between. Our members are architects, engineers, product reps, and consultants.  Our education and backgrounds span from coast to coast. Some are licensed and others never plan to be. And we each practice in very different ways.

Come share your story at the next committee meeting!

4. We meet to plan, and we plan to meet!

Our monthly committee meetings occur on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Gensler (2020 K Street NW). Our various events however, happen throughout the year, typically on weekdays from 630-8pm, and range in locations all across the city.

Upcoming events are posted to the AIA|DC calendar one month in advance. If you are interested in learning more about events for the year, feel free to reach out to one of our executive committee members listed on the EAC webpage.

5. Events for everyone…

Our 20+ events over the course of the year are designed to connect people across all levels of experience in the profession, because lets be honest –  in architecture – there is always more to learn! From our Portfolio and Resume Building Workshops, to our Architecture Uncensored Series, to our joint Construction Tours with the Structural Engineers Association – the EAC program list is filled with exciting and educational events for all levels of experience.

We hope to see you at our next one!

Follow us on social media, #AIAdcEAC


Last EAC Meeting of the year at @HickokCole tomorrow, Dec. 14

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, Dec. 14) will be the last monthly meeting of the Emerging Architects Committee for 2016.  The meeting will be held at 6.30 pm at the offices of Hickok Cole Architects. We’ll wrap up the year and talk about what’s to come (new officers, new members, and new plans) for 2017.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 6.30-8.00pm
WHERE: Hickok Cole Architects, 1023 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


EAC Monthly Meeting at @HickokCole tonight, Nov. 9

This month’s Emerging Architects Committee monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 9 at 6.30 pm at the offices of Hickok Cole Architects. It’ll be brief, but will include a wrap-up of the RE-Form Design Competition and its Awards event as well as planning for the remainder of the year and the start of 2017. And don’t forget, the D.C. chapter of Latin American Interior Designers, Engineers, & Architects (LA.IDEA) will be celebrating its three-year anniversary tonight after the meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown next door.

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 6.30-8.00pm
WHERE: Hickok Cole Architects, 1023 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


Getting to the Job Offer (Jiang)

AIA Leadership Institute (Ryan/Leah)

Fall Design Fete After Party (Abi)

Moleskine Holiday Happy Hour (Marcell)

  • Thursday, Dec.1, 6-8pm; Moleskine Georgetown, 3029 M Street NW
  • Registration link to come!


RE-Form Product Design Competition Awards Reception, Nov. 7


Join the Emerging Architects Committee and event sponsor Price Modern as we announce the winners of our second annual RE-Form Product Design Competition. The winners will present their concepts and engage in dialogue about the design with the jury and audience.

WHEN: Monday, November 7 , 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
WHERE: Gensler, 2020 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
PRICE: The event is free, but registration via AIA|DC is required. Refreshments will be provided.

About the RE-Form Product Design Awards Competition:
For the second annual RE-Form Product Design Competition, entrants were invited to RE-Skin. The brief for the competition posited that experiences are intrinsically composed by the tangible and intangible architecture that trigger the senses. It is through this delicate exchange of sensorial information that we create lasting impressions from space, objects, and interactions. This competition celebrates proposals for innovative “skins” in which humans could interact with their surrounding environments and everyday activities through the different intertwined senses.

Sponsored by: Price Modern
Organized by: AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee

Need to register for the event? That’s here

EAC Monthly Meeting at @HickokCole tonight, Oct. 12

This month’s Emerging Architects Committee monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 12 at 6.30 pm at the offices of Hickok Cole Architects. We’ll hear updates on the status of this year’s edition of the RE-Form Design Competition, and will discuss planning for the remainder of the year as well as what’s in store for 2017.

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6.30-8.00pm
WHERE: Hickok Cole Architects, 1023 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Washington Humane Society’s Design for Felines, Jan. 25


The Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League will host its Designs for Felines: Giving Community Cats Shelter event on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at The National Press Club from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

This is a one-of-a-kind event where WHS-WARL works with everyone from local architecture firms, design teams, college groups, and even architectural networks and ask that they design, build, and donate small animal shelters (to hold 1-2 cats) that are creative, yet functional.

The shelters will be on display during the event and the top three designs will be recognized on stage during the presentation. After the event, WHS-WARL will distribute the shelters throughout DC to provide a home for its community cats, helping them to survive the harsh winter months.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
WHERE: The National Press Club Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045

PARTICIPATION: Designs for Felines is a wonderful opportunity for participating architecture firms and design teams to build your portfolio and give back to the local community by becoming a participant. Participating teams will design and build outdoor shelters for DC’s community cats that will provide refuge from the season’s inclement weather. These outdoor shelters will be showcased at the one-night fundraising event at The National Press Club and then be disseminated throughout DC to WHS-WARL volunteers who provide care to local cat colonies. Any shelters that are not able to be utilized outdoors (based on the materials they are made from) will be auctioned off to guests at the end of the night to raise additional funds. Team participation fee is $150.

Team Benefits Include
  • (1) 6′ table for shelter display at the event
  • (2) event tickets for staff
  • Team name/logo on event website
  • Team name/logo included in on-site marketing materials

As a thank you for participating in Designs for Felines, we are offering participating teams a discounted ticket to encourage your entire team to attend and show their support at the event. Once your team has completed and submitted the Agreement Form, members will be able to purchase tickets for $30 per person. Promo code will be provided for ticket purchase once Agreement is received and Team Registration payment is processed.

EVENT PRICE: $40 for General Admission – includes lite bites and drinks; $70 for VIP tickets – includes entrance to the VIP Lounge with seating, lite bites and drinks, and one gift bag per ticket holder.Tickets are available through Washington Humane Society.

Additional information is available on the Designs for Felines website.