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 AIA Pasadena & Foothill  |  Quarterly Bulletin  |  Q1 '20 April 12, 2021 
 2021 Grassroots - "Bring it Home" - Critical issues facing the profession by Winston Thorne AIA
 

AIA’s Strategic Plan:

  • Healthy and Equitable Communities
  • Climate Action
  • A Future Economy

Winston Thorne AIA

Winston Thorne AIA
AIAPF Vice President
and Design Consultant

This year’s Grassroots conference event was virtually inspirational. As a new attendee, navigating the interactive digital platforms, it has become the new norm in modern times. This year’s focus was similar to 2020’s subjects but heavily influenced by current economic concerns and expressed point of views to on going debates.

With the ongoing crisis, Architect’s were positioned to be the first adopters to address COVID-19’s impact and our obligations took on new meaning. The profession has demonstrated what is possible and how Architects can pivot to bring about rapid strategic changes; thus making us relevant in the built environment. The conference would further define its objectives, in greater detail, through simultaneous teleconference sessions that support AIA’s Strategic Plan.

I was honored to be a part of AIA’s annual Leadership Conference. Held on February 16th through the 19th for four days, keynote speakers, workshops and networking opportunities during breakout sessions took a little getting use to. With the overall intent of better supporting our chapter members. To estimate the numbers of attendees is like remembering how many hours spent working/surfing on your computer over the past year. What was apparent, were the sidebar “chat”conversations during presentations and the Q&A sessions; if that is any indication of the number of participants at the conference. Also in attendance from our chapter was our Executive Director, Zelda Wong and chapter President, Charles T. Bryant AIA, NCARB, NOMA.

Bring It Home - is an appropriate statement, giving us pause to our daily livelihood. A moment at this time to re-evaluate our station in life and become intimately aware of our surroundings and to make sense of it all against our better judgement. In the following paragraphs, shared are main taking points from a variety of topics and respected presenters.

Among the featured speakers Stacey Abrams’ presentation was as deep dive into colorful story telling and lessons learned, as she is an expert in her subject matter.

Stacey’s short story revolved around a priestess, a village and the priestess’ gift to the village - a sundial; since she “helping is not about giving back but giving” - STACEY ABRAMSwas assigned to serve another local village. When the priestess left, the villagers showed reverence by building a shed around the sundial to protect it from climatic elements. One day, the priestess visited the village and was surprised to see what they had done to their sundial. The priestess explained that they have removed the beauty and purpose of the object. Please tear down the shed and let it function as it is meant to be.

Her metaphor, Architect as sundial, emphasized our obligation to guide and advocate for change through our profession. Stacey’s ethos for the Design Community, in parting, was to Speak Up - identify issues and problem solve to represent those who cannot, Show Up - be present and articulate for those who cannot and finally, Stand Up - be accountable for your actions and be present for those who cannot represent.

Partnerships with the Board and Component - Observed over the later part of 2020 and into 2021, most Associations have been growing; repurposing sponsorships with members wanting to be at the forefront in 2021; increased membership over the past year, new platforms, accessibility for education and presentation resources. Moreover, your Board of Directors are a resource for you as an AIAPF Chapter member and we are here to facilitate your needs.

Planning and Designing for Equitable Communities - This session was led by two talented women-owned practices and how they navigated the design process from inception through construction with Community support and funding with strategic alliances. Their project delivery method presented as an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach that realized sustainable outcomes. The IPD delivery method could be considered the sum of its parts as equality, health, inclusivity, resiliency and Community involvement.

Katharine Hayoe - Texas Tech University Climate Center: Atmospheric scientist, professor and director Architects as Climate Activists - As responsible “stewards” of the built environment, discussions were not relegated to design and building science technology, but rather, bringing up contemporary issues with policy makers, legal advocates and economists, all working together in support of equitable solutions. Presenters highlighted roles and responsibilities of the Architect, as a resource, to develop more resilient Communities. Keynote speaker, Katharine Hayoe, reinforced her perspectives and debunked notions about climate change. Her presentation was refreshing for this controversial role and brought delight to her audience.

Strategic Thinking during Turbulent Times - Some of you may have read this presenters co-authored book, “Strategic Planning For Design Firms”. The business and practice of architecture, poses many challenges for aspiring individuals and larger firm entities. This #1 lie - “You won’t have to do anything when you get on the board!” - RCH CAEsession spoke about developing procedures, strategies and tools to deal with the economics of growth or retraction, commoditization of services, succession, mergers or acquisitions and transition plans. A very informative presentation and a reminder to review your company’s business plan and market strategies. Good design is not just about good design - anymore.

Board Roles and Goals - The presentation focused on educating and reinforcing the fundamentals for Component leaders and Staff’s roles and responsibilities. Discussions focused on Governance, Board Orientation, Board Protections and the Strategic Plan. An abundant of reference materials and resources were presented and made available to participants; with the intent on clearly emphasizing Board member commitments. I look forward to implementing, with Staff, the tools and proven methods in support of AIAPF’s current standards and procedures.

Although I was not able to physically attend the presentations, the well executed delivery of content and involved exercises detracted your attention from time spent; so much so that the conference concluded with the push of a button. I am looking forward to next year’s conference and would hope to continue these discussions with Chapter members on our new website. I would encourage all to attend the conference. There is a wealth of knowledge and resources for all aspiring and seasoned Architects.

It is my continued intention to commit to the endeavors of the Board and its Chapter members. See you next year at Grassroots 2022.

Regards,

Winston Thorne, AIA

Winston Thorne AIA: Vice President / 2021 President Elect of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. He can be reached reached at winston@winstonthorne.com

AIA Pasadena & Foothill  |  Quarterly Bulletin  |  Q1 '20




Varoujan Movsesian, AIA
2020 President's Message
April 15, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for your continued support of our Chapter. While the first two months of 2020 seem like a distant memory, it is important to recap the success we have had, and to maintain our expectations for the remainder of the year.
 
We began the year with a sold-out Design Awards Gala, where we gathered to honor design excellence in projects completed by chapter firms and within our boundaries. Through our ongoing programs, the Chapter offered CE credits to attendees on a monthly basis, covering topics such as risk management, contracting of consultants and earthquake resistant technologies. Our social events expanded to include a bi-monthly Barchitecture series. In February, Chapter VP Charles Bryant and I had the opportunity to attend the AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference in New Orleans, an inspiring trip that Charles has reflected on below. Our strong and active Fellowship Committee has been working with a robust list of potential candidates from our chapter, coaching them on the preparation of their respective applications for 2021 Fellowship.
 
During that same time, COVID-19 has become a household name, not only for the impact it has made on public health, but in many respects, due to the degree of uncertainty it places on our immediate futures. Within a few days, we saw our County and State issue “Safer at Home” orders which have severely limited our physical interactions with one another. By now we are all aware that the A’20 Conference on Architecture, which was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, was canceled due to health considerations. There is always a level of anxiety about cyclical recessions in our industry, but the extent of the current pandemic is equally as concerning as it is unclear.
 
While the pandemic has engendered a great deal of uncertainty, it has also underscored our capacity for resilience. Many industries have faced the prospect of immediate shut down, yet rather than disappear completely, we have seen businesses retool their entire operations models. Needless to say, we are fortunate that construction is still considered an essential service in California. In a recent survey of our members, we learned that most of our chapter firms have migrated their operations to remote workflows. This pivot represents a major change in workplace dynamics, and begs us to confront questions such as: How best should we collaborate from home? How do we propagate an engaging “firm culture” without employees sharing physical office space?
 
Outside of our own practices, clients are certainly beginning to reconsider which programmatic elements are essential to their projects. Far beyond providing form to a client’s program, the value of our work has always included a constant rethinking of the dynamics of human interaction. Especially in times of pandemic, we must not be deterred from our responsibility to imagine ever-better places of habitation. Architects are future-thinkers, and we must reaffirm that fact as we continue to advocate for the highest and best uses of space.
 
In any time of change, it is the consistency of our communities and institutions that provides us with value and support. In response to the pandemic, our chapter is pivoting toward online- and web-based events and programming, as required to maintain the public health of our community. We have limited our physical presence in the Chapter Office, but will continue to maintain our standard office hours. As always, Stacie and Emily can be reached via email or voicemail (messages are monitored regularly).
 
Thank you again for your ongoing support of the Chapter. We will continue to serve the needs of our membership and to advocate for architects, especially in this unprecedented environment. We look forward to having you join us at future events and in the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you.


INDEX


What's Happening - 

Announcements -

Past Events -  Get Involved!

Our Chapter Sponsors,
Thank You!

WHAT'S HAPPENING



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is the third federal legislation meant to address the COVID-19 crisis. Read More
Running a Virtural Architecture Practice With Jennifer Kretschmer. Written by Sean Joyner of Archinect. Full Article.

SBA LOAN RESOURCES

 

Overview from SBA

Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL )

Paycheck Protection Program/SBA site

SBA sample application

Article clarifying rules

Overview article

US Chamber of Commerce Guide


AIACA COVID-19 RESOURCES

Grassroots 2020

Charles T. Bryant, AIA, NCARB, NOMA
AIAPF Vice President

A great AIA event in a great city. Grassroots is a great opportunity for AIA members to come together to meet and greet, get new direction and to learn. This year was no exception to another successful AIA event. The goals of Grassroots were accomplished with an attendance of over 600 architects with components from every part of the country and some foreign countries all in the City of New Orleans. One must focus on the real purpose for being there due to the lure of the rich culture and festive atmosphere of the city.
 
New Orleans is a city rich in history and culture, founded originally by the French in 1718 and finally acquired by the US in the Louisiana Purchase. Located on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico, “The Big Easy”, has round the clock nightlife, and we just happened be there during the famous Mardi Gras festival. Grassroots organizers sponsored guided tours in various districts of the city: the French Quarters, Bourbon Street, etc. This is still a prosperous and vibrant city, yet what doesn’t show on the surface is they are still struggling to rebuild as a result of hurricane Katrina as the 9th Ward was completely wiped out.


The convention was held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Canal St. Feb. 18 thru Feb. 20th. This exclusive event for chapter leaders incorporated workshops geared to assist component officers to become more effective chapter leaders as well as civic leaders. The agenda emphasized architect and community leadership.
 
At least 20 workshop presentation sessions were held including at least 9 candidate speeches. The focus of this event was clear and concise, the first being a more effective leader within our organization with workshops such as Developing a “Partnership Between the BOD” and “Component Staff, Becoming the Leader You Want to Follow, Leading Thru Influence”, etc. Other sessions focused on being a more effective leader in the community, local advocacy and engaging with our community leaders. 
 
Sustainability with an emphasis on a path to climate action was an excellent session and this topic was touched upon throughout other work sessions and speeches as well. There were also workshop sessions that were geared toward a goal of diversity. These events stood out as it seems to be directed at becoming more aware of biases in our in our profession (gender bias, racial bias, age, LGBTQ, etc.), The event titles included the following: Deep Dive Workshop 1, Bias Interrupters, Embracing Our Differences, Race and Gender in the Architecture Profession. These workshops and their topics were further emphasized in the candidate speeches. These topics were underscored by the guest speeches and the closing remarks by Keynote Speaker and former Mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett.  He delivered an excellent closing speech on the history of the city, how it for years had poor planning and had fallen into decline. Under his four terms as Mayor, the city was master planned and revitalized with new development including new infrastructure.
 
He summed up his speech with a demonstration of how, through the advocacy of the city, community, developers, and architects, they were able to revitalize a minority council district, called East Point Project, without regentrification, by leaving the community intact and engaging the resources and local talent for inclusion. The project symbolized how architects can play a major role in the contribution of complex ideas and the education of individuals within certain cultural circumstances. The architect for this project Jeremy Gardner of Gardner Architects received an award from The City of Oklahoma.  
 
Grassroots 2020 was another successful AIA event and accomplished the goals of sharing “knowledge, experiences and challenges the become more effective chapter and community leaders”.


   
PHOTO 1:  "Grassroots Social Party" Photo by, Charles Bryant
PHOTO 2:  "AIA CA Regional Group Photo" Photo by, AIA CA



Jean Roth Driskel Scholarship Fund Raising Committee 

"Critical Challenges for Recent
Architectural Graduates"

Written by, Lance Bird, FAIA, JRD Fundraising Committee Chairman

The new fund-raising committee had stunning results in late 2019/January 2020, increasing the fund from $50,000 to over $120,000 in just four months.  Two scholarships were awarded at the annual Design Awards Gala.  The committee is comprised of eight trustees. Our goal is to grow the fund to $200,000 in 2020 to honor the 50th anniversary of the scholarship program.  Our Mission:  Assist architectural students FINANCIALLY at community colleges and universities in our region. 
 
However, until the Coronavirus diminishes, and the stock market settles down, donors and potential donors will be reluctant to make further contributions.  We will continue to advocate for students, talk about their staggering financial needs, and the sharp decline in enrollment of architectural students.  We find they are seeking related careers that pay more, and demand less. 
 
Recent findings indicate:

  • A diminishing number of architects due to baby boomers retiring
  • Since 1996, a one-third drop of students enrolled in architectural programs, and
  • A corresponding reduction of architectural programs from 155 to 100 in 2019
  • Enrollment for first-year architecture students has declined nearly 20% in the past five years  
A 5-year B. Arch. degree can cost a student $200,000-$350,000 (tuition, related school costs, housing, living expenses, etc.).  Generous scholarships, internships, and streamlined IPAL programs (integrating academics and experience) can help a student avoid or minimize student loans.  And upon graduation, the following chart illustrates the severe financial challenges recent graduates face. 

The new fund-raising committee had stunning results in late 2019/January 2020, increasing the fund from $50,000 to over $120,000 in just four months.  Two scholarships were awarded at the annual Design Awards Gala.  The committee is comprised of eight trustees. Our goal is to grow the fund to $200,000 in 2020 to honor the 50th anniversary of the scholarship program.  Our Mission:  Assist architectural students FINANCIALLY at community colleges and universities in our region. 
 
However, until the Coronavirus diminishes, and the stock market settles down, donors and potential donors will be reluctant to make further contributions.  We will continue to advocate for students, talk about their staggering financial needs, and the sharp decline in enrollment of architectural students.  We find they are seeking related careers that pay more, and demand less. 

Recent findings indicate:
  • A diminishing number of architects due to baby boomers retiring
  • Since 1996, a one-third drop of students enrolled in architectural programs, and
  • A corresponding reduction of architectural programs from 155 to 100 in 2019
  • Enrollment for first-year architecture students has declined nearly 20% in the past five years  
A 5-year B. Arch. degree can cost a student $200,000-$350,000 (tuition, related school costs, housing, living expenses, etc.).  Generous scholarships, internships, and streamlined IPAL programs (integrating academics and experience) can help a student avoid or minimize student loans.  And upon graduation, the following chart illustrates the severe financial challenges recent graduates face. 

DONATE HERE TO THE JEAN ROTH DRISKEL SCHOLARSHIP 



FEATURED AIAPF CHAPTER SPONSOR





Hariton Engineering Inc was established in 2005 by Celestin Hariton to provide Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing consulting engineering services to the construction industry with sustainability as the primary goal. Our portfolio includes over 1000 completed jobs in very diverse areas: commercial T.I., residential, hospitality, public libraries, education, healthcare, laboratories, industrial, and government sectors, etc. We have an excellent record of successful projects that are aligned with our Mission Statement. Consistently going beyond our clients’ expectations, we take pride in providing outstanding services. In addition, our work is carefully coordinated to be on time and on budget. Hariton Engineering is proud to be a certified HubZone and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).



PHOTO: Sea Salt Fish Grill 9901 Washington Blvd. #101, Culver CIty, CA 90232



PHOTO: Los Niegots Public Library 8511 Duchess Dr., Whittier, CA 90606


ANNOUNCEMENTS



Congratulating our AIAPF 2020 Fellow:

Vijay Sehgal!
We’re pleased to announce that our 2020 Fellowship candidate, Vijay Sehgal, was elevated to fellowship this year. Congratulations, Vijay!

"In the urgent, hardscrabble world of affordable housing, Vijay Sehgal provides a strong footing for these special communities.  Tenacious and unapologetically ethical, he has unceasingly identified opportunities, overcome constraints, and designed healthy, welcoming, sustainable places."

The AIA Fellowship program honors architects who have significantly contributed to architecture and society on a national level in a specific category and achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.
 




2020 Board of Directors




In Memory of Harold J. Bissner, AIA
Oct. 20, 1925 - Mar. 20, 2020

Veteran of the second World War, renowned architect, and native son of Pasadena, passed away March 20th, 2020 surrounded by his family. He was in the South Pasadena home he and his loving wife, Lela, had shared since designing and building it themselves in 1981. Always a courageous man, Harold joined the Navy at the age of seventeen. He spent three years in the South Pacific as Yeoman 1st Class aboard the Destroyer USS Buchanan, one of the most highly decorated US ships of the war. He was present when the Buchanan delivered General McArthur to the USS Missouri to accept the surrender of the Japanese in Tokyo Bay in 1945. After the war, Harold apprenticed with his father, Harold Senior, who was also a renowned Pasadena Architect. Years later, in 1953, Harold and John Nyberg formed Nyberg and Bissner, a partnership that lasted over forty years. Their work ranged from beautiful custom single-family homes to entire residential tracts, commercial developments, apartment buildings, and even hotels. Later Harold applied his talents to more ambitious commercial endeavors, including production facilities, corporate offices and restaurants for Van De Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakers and Restaurants, Baskin- Robbins Ice Cream Company Worldwide, JBL/Harman International Speakers, Royal Industries and many other worldwide companies. His designs spanned several continents with notable achievements in England, Japan, China, and South Korea. Some of Harold's most famous structures include thirteen of the unmistakable Van De Kamp's Windmill Coffee Shops, impressive sixteen-sided structures with folded plate roofs and forty-foot spinning windmills towering over the top. Harold also designed The Cinder Cone house (aka Volcano House) built in 1968 near Newberry Springs that was once owned by the late Huell Howser, an extraordinary structure that capped an extinct cinder cone in the Mojave Desert. In 2019 Harold received the prestigious Joseph F. Thomas Founder's Award. Read more about Harold and his work at AIAPF.. Harold married Lucille Kaufman in 1947 and they had four children, Carole Ann McNamara, Susann Bissner, Teresa Garcin, and Jamie Bissner, who survive his passing. Harold met Lela Owen in 1976 in South Pasadena. They married in 1979 in Tokyo, Japan at the American Embassy and were happily side by side through many adventures and travels until his passing. A memorial mass will be held at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena at a later date to be announced.


Read More about Harold and his work at AIAPF




PHOTO:  Harold Bissner receiving the Joseph F. Thomas Award at our 2018 AIAPF Awards GALA


PAST EVENTS - FIRST FRIDAY FORUM



Feb. 7th   -  BRACELOK & GRIDLOK

Presentation provided our audience an understanding of how walls and ceilings behave in large earthquakes, why historic requirements and practice is inadequate, and what can be done to make people centric areas more resilient.

Visit Bracelok for more info!

 


Mar. 6th   -   SMARTRISK

A goal identified by many design firms today is to become more profitable. Based on industry surveys, and firm specific risk assessments, this session will identify claim trends along with the correlation between effective enterprise risk management programs, and the improved performance and profitability of design firms. Based on an extensive analysis, key risk categories have been identified and the characteristics and risk management efforts of design firms that lead to lower risk, better performance, and higher profit margins. 

Visit SmartRisk for more information!

 


Feb. 26th   -  INSURANCE OFFICE OF AMERICA (IOA)

How to Minimize Liability Problems, When Hiring Consultants

  1. Review Architect's liability exposure from hiring consultants.
  2. Examine best practices when an Architect hires a Consultant.
  3. Review 7 key contract items.
  4. Discuss AIA C401-2017 agreement and suggested revisions.

Visit Insurance Office of America here! (Ask for our friend, John Feeney)

 


PAST EVENTS - 2019 DESIGN AWARDS GALA


2019 Design Awards Recipients 

2019 Design Awards Gala - Awards Archive

2019 Design Awards Jury

2019 Design Awards - Presidential Citation Award

2019 Design Awards - Joe Thomas Award

2019 Design Awards - Jean Roth Driskel Scholarship 

2019 Design Awards Photos



2019 Design Awards Gala - Full Photo Gallery

FUN FACTS   -  City of Pasadena  

  • Did you know that Pasadena was incorporated in 1886 to abolish saloons?
  • Pasadena was originally called the San Gabriel Grove Association
  • Most of the original settlers came from Indiana in search of warmer weather.
  • The Tournament of Roses has a special pact with God since 1890’s.  At least , that’s what the legend has it.  “We won’t have a parade on Sunday, God won’t rain on our parade.”  – so far God has lived up to His promise!  The parade has never been cancelled due to rain although a year or so ago, we came pretty close!

Do you have additional FUN FACTS you would like to share with us?  If so, please contact our Communications Director Julie Arcelay at 323.333.4491  
or email your submissions to director@aiapf.org

CONTACT

AIAPF
555 S Oak Knoll Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
626. 796. 7601
info@aiapf.org
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