The AIA has announced the 2014 Young Architect Award recipients. The award acknowledges architects who have been licensed for 10 years or fewer and have shown exceptional talent and leadership. The Young Architect Award winners are as follows:
Illya Azaroff, AIA
Illya Azaroff, AIA, is the director of design for +LAB Architects in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was tapped by AIA New York to head the region's recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Azaroff co-chaired the Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee, which published the Post-Sandy Initiative Report last May. He also created a program that helped architects affected by the storm find spare office space in other firms. Azaroff holds a M.Arch from Pratt Institute.
Thomas Bradley Benjamin, AIA
Benjamin is the president and CEO of Radium Architecture in Greenville, S.C., and a past chair of the AIA’s Young Architects Forum. He was president of AIA Greenville in 2009. Benjamin worked to establish regional chapters for Women in Architecture, Architecture for Humanity, and the ArchiLamp mentoring program. In 2007, he was awarded the AIA’s Associate Member of the Year Award. Benjamin has a M.Arch from Clemson University.
Joshua Flowers, AIA
Flowers is legal counsel for Hnedak Bobo Group in Memphis, Tenn., and the 2013–2014 knowledge director for the AIA Young Architects Forum. He also was the 2012 president of AIA Memphis as well as the 2011–2012 Young Architect regional director for the Gulf States region. Flowers earned B.Arch and J.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee.
Wyatt Frantom, AIA
Frantom is an associate and architectural designer at Gensler in Los Angeles. He was the 2013–2014 communications director for the Young Architects Forum and the 2010–2011 Texas regional director for the Young Architects Forum. Frantom co-founded the nonprofit Houston Mod in support of preserving modern architecture. Frantom has a M.Arch from Rice University.
Nathan Kalaher, AIA
Kalaher co-founded Plan Architecture, a Sioux City, Iowa–based firm. He has received numerous awards, including consecutive Design Excellence Awards from AIA Iowa in 2012 and 2013. In 2007, Kalahar was recognized as an Iowa Innovator by IABiz Magazine in 2012 and included in the publication's "10 under 40” list. He is currently the President of AIA Iowa. Kalahar earned a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning as well as a B.Arch from Iowa State University and a M.Arch from Cornell University.
Lee is a senior strategist at MKthink. She is the founder and chief curator of the website The Practice of Architecture. Lee is the 2014–15 public relations director for the Young Architects Forum. She has also held multiple positions with the AIA California Council, and she received the 2005 National Institute’s Associate of the Year award. Lee holds a B.Arch from Drury University, a M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Presidio Graduate School of Management.
Timothy W. Maddox, AIA
Maddox is a founding principal of deMx Architecture (formerly Denoble Architecture). The Fayetteville, Ark.–based firm has received numerous design awards from the AIA Arkansas chapter. He currently serves on the AIA Arkansas board of directors as the chapter’s secretary. He also received the 2012 AIA Arkansas Emerging Professional Award. Maddox has a B.Arch from the University of Arkansas.
Overbey is the director of sustainable design practices at the Indianapolis-based landscape architecture firm Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf. He has taught environmental systems at several institutions, including Ball State University and Boston Architectural College. The winner of the 2012 AIA Indiana Young Architect Award, he has served on the boards of directors for the AIA Indianapolis chapter and the USGBC chapter of Indiana. Overbey earned a B.Arch from Ball State University and an M.Arch from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mark Pasnik, AIA
Pasnik is the co-founder of Boston-based interdisciplinary firm Over, Under, and the co-founder of an independent design gallery, Pinkcomma. Pasnik also helped launch BSA Space, home to the Boston Society of Architects, and served as one of the first guest curators for the inaugural exhibition. He participated in Boston’s third annual Design Biennial, in 2012, for which Over, Under curated works by previous biennial participants. Pasnik received a B.Arch. from Cornell University and a Master in Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Michael Pfeffer, AIA
Pfeffer is a project manager and managing director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Chicago office, where he worked on the development of the firm’s Intern Development Program Committee. He currently is a member of the board of directors for Windy City Habitat for Humanity. Pfeffer holds a B.Arch from the University of Notre Dame.
Jason Dale Pierce, AIA
Pierce is a project architect with St. Louis-based HOK. He has served as the vice president of the Academy of Emerging Professionals for the AIA California Council and the Young Architect Regional Director for the Young Architects Forum. Pierce is also involved with a number of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the Practice Management Knowledge Community Advisory Board. He serves on the board of directors for AIA St. Louis. Pierce holds a B.Arch and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Drury University.
Mark A. Schwamel, AIA
Schwamel is a project manager for Gensler and serves on the firm's planning and urban design group. He is the associate director for the AIA Illinois National Associates Committee and has served as associate director on the AIA Chicago's board. In 2009, Schwamel founded the AIA Chicago Bridge program to provide experienced mentors for young architects and associate AIA members. He volunteers for the Rebuilding Together program for underprivileged families in Chicago. Schwamel has a B.Arch from Cleveland State University and a combined Bachelor and Master in Architecture and Urban Design at Kent State University.
Matt Slagle, AIA
Slagle is a design architect for TowerPinkster. He became eligible to take the Architectural Registration Exams by his third year in his graduate program. Slagle has served as the AIA Grand Rapids member services director and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and ArtPrize. He was named the 2013 Young Architect of the Year by AIA Grand Rapids. Slagle earned a Bachelor in Business Administration and M.Arch from the University of Colorado.
Christian B. Sottile, AIA
Sottile is the dean of the Savannah College of Art and Design's School of Building Arts and founder and principal of Sottile & Sottile. He has received a National Honor Award for Urban Design from the AIA and a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism. He was named one of the top 100 academics working today by USA Today in 1998. Sottile holds a M.Arch from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a M. Arch II from Syracuse University.
Lorena Toffer, AIA
Toffer is a project architect for the Dallas firm Corgan. She has served as chair of the AIA Dallas Young Architects Forum, during which time she launched the Portfolio/Resume Workshop and the 10 Under Ten Exhibition. AIA Dallas recognized Toffer in 2011 as the Young Architect of the Year; in 2013 she served as director of networks for the chapter. Tofferhas served on both the AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture and Women in Architecture committees. She is a registered architect in Texas and Mexico. Toffer has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and a M.Arch from Texas A&M University.
Brian Vitale, AIA
Vitale is the design director for the Chicago office of Gensler. He was the recipient of the 2010 AIA Illinois John Wellborn Root Award and received the AIA's Scholastic Gold Medal and Certificate while pursuing his master's degree. He has served as an adjunct design professor at the University of Illinois. Vitale has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a M.Arch from Washington University in St. Louis.
Karen E. Williams, AIA
Williams is an architect at HKS working for the commercial assembly and sports and entertainment group. She serves as the secretary for AIA Orlando and has chaired the organization's Women in Architecture committee. Williams also works with the ACE mentorship program. She is the recipient of the Fred Pryor Young Architects Achievement Award. Williams earned a M.Arch from Florida A&M University.
Jeffrey M. Yrazabal, AIA
Yrazabal is a principal at SRG Partnership. He is the AIA Portland president and AIA Northwest and Pacific Young Architect regional director. He is the incoming president of the Columbia River Cougars Club, and he co-chaired the AIA Portland Committee on the Environment. Yrazabal volunteers with Rebuilding Together and Architects in Schools. Yrazabal holds a B.Arch and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from Washington State University.
The jury for the 2014 Young Architects Awards includes: Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA (chair), of HKS; Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA, of LML Consulting; Albert W. Rubeling, FAIA, of Rubeling & Associates; John Sorrenti, FAIA, of JRS Architect; and William J. Stanley III, FAIA, of Stanley Love-Stanley.
Update: This post misstated one of Yrazabal's leadership positions. It has been corrected.