Today, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released this year'srecipients of its Young Architects Award, an annual program that the Institute has been running for 24 years now that recognizes those licensed for no more than 10 years who have made significant strides in the profession, both in terms of leadership and contributions. This year's list features 14 practicing architects, which is two more than last year.
The jury for this year comprised jury chair John Sorrenti, FAIA, principal of Baltimore–based JRS Architects; Josh Flowers, AIA, architect and attorney for Memphis, Tenn., studio Hnedak Bobo Group; Peter Kuttner, FAIA, president of Cambridge, Mass., firm Cambridge Seven Associates; Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA, principal of LML Consulting in Washington, D.C.; Raymond "Skipper" Post, FAIA, principal and founder of Baton Rouge, La., firm Post Architects; and Edward Vance, FAIA, founder and principal of EV&A Architects in Las Vegas.
THE 2017 AIA YOUNG ARCHITECTS AWARD WINNERS
Kara Bouillette, AIA
Bouillette is a project manager and architect at Hufft Projects, which is split between Kansas City, Mo., and Bentonville, Ark. Her work focuses on the convergence of the arts and architecture, especially for children. Her design portfolio includes the interiors for the under-construction expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (which Hufft collaborated on with Steven Holl Architects). As part of her work for AIA Kansas City, she helped found the chapter's Education Outreach Committee, which introduces elementary-age children to design.
Shannon Christensen, AIA
Christensen's efforts have focused on inclusiveness by working to increase the number of women who pursue architecture. Last year, she was named associate principal of Montana–based CTA Architects Engineers, and has lended her expertise to Montana State University by serving on the university's School of Architecture Advisory Council. She has also directed the AIA Young Architects Forum Northwest and Pacific Region and has held multiple leadership roles within AIA Montana.
R. Corey Clayborne, AIA
As a project manager in Wiley|Wilson's Richmond, Va., office, Clayborne was elected 2016 president of AIA Richmond and joined the AIA Blude Ridge chapter's board of directors, founding its Young Architects Forum. These efforts have been recognized outside of the association, such as when he was selected by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to serve a four-year term on the state's Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects.
Danielle C. Hermann, AIA
Currently an associate principal at OPN Architects, in Des Moines, Iowa, Hermann has helped the local community through her design efforts and advocacy work. She's now working on a new project with Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Krause Gateway Center the new headquarters for convenience store chain Kum & Go, is slated to achieve LEED Silver. She also serves as a guest lecturer and studio critic at Iowa State University, transformed the AIA Iowa chapter's Diversity Committee by taking it from a task force to a full-fledged committee, and established the nonprofit Iowa Women in Architecture.
Jeffrey Erwin Huber, AIA
A principal at Brooks + Scarpa, Huber manages the firm's Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s office, where he has expanded the architect's role through urban design and resilient design. In 2005, he also took a position as professor at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, a think tank that functions as a teaching center for designers. A project that used his research in agrarian urbanism was also recognized with a 2016 AIA National Institute Honor Awards in Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects.
Benjamin Kasdan, AIA
As director of design at KTGY Architecture + Planning, in Irvine, Calif., Kasdan has made pivotal decisions in real estate projects throughout the Golden State, along the East Coast, and overseas. He also acts as a mentor for emerging professionals to help them pursue licensure in his roles as a chair for the firm's Licensure Committee, as an NCARB licensing adviser, and as vice president of the AIA California Council's Academy for Emerging Professionals.
Andrea Love, AIA
Embodying the role of a building scientist, Love has set new standards for sustainability by implementing analytic and visualization tools for high-level performance. She currently serves as director of building science at Payette's Boston office through its Building Science Group, helping the firm to establish itself as a leader in high-performance buildings, and spearheaded the development of the AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange, which allows firms to benchmark and report the energy use of their portfolios.
Kurt Neiswnder, AIA
In the belief that architects should advance civilization, Neiswender uses his role as a project architect at Sedgewick & Ferweda Architects, in Flint, Mich., to come up with equitable solutions for spaces that integrate seamlessly into the surrounding urban fabric. To address Flint's water crisis, he founded Project FORA in 2014, which provides design solutions for those distressed areas of the city.
Jonathan Opitz, AIA
Using his voice in sustainability and local projects in Little Rock, Ark., the design principal of AMR Architects has worked to create meaningful projects for the community, such as the redevelopment projects at the Arkansas Tech University. Opitz also cofounded nonprofit community outreach and design center studioMain, which strives to promote good design to the public.*
Jeffrey Pastva, AIA
Pastva is a project architect at JDavis Architects' Philadelphia office, and has a role in several large-scale projects. The firm is currently leading the redevelopment of Philadelphia's Royal Theater. Prior to JDavis, Patsva worked at architectural startup Haley Donova, in which he worked on more than 15 affordable housing projects over the course of five years. Pastva has also served in several roles within the Young Architects Forum, and last year he joined AIA Philadelphia's board of directors as its AIA Pennsylvania representative.
Jessica Sheridan, AIA
Formerly of Gensler's New York office but now working at Mancini Duffy, Sheridan has helped to transform companies specializing in professional services, finance, and technology with her designs. Introduced to AIA New York through her involvement with the Emerging New York Architects Committee, she now serves as a co-chair for the the committee's international design competition, City of Dreams.
Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA
As a former recipient of AIA Chicago's Young Architect Award, Spencer is a project architect at Wheeler Kearns Architects, located in the Windy City, Spencer works to serve the underserved, such as her work with Inspiration Kitchens, a nonprofit addressing the food desert issues in East Garfield Park. This project received nine design awards and the highly revered Gold Medal Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in 2013.
Lora Teagarden, AIA
A project architect at Indianapolis' RATIO Architects, Teagaden combines her multifaceted strengths in design and public relations to elevate the practice and ultimately inspire future generations of designers. For her work in the Indiana School of Informatics and Computing, she led the design of the atrium and interior offices for the tech-forward building. Her communications work includes acting as AIA Indiana's public relations chair, co-chairing the Young Architects Forum Indianapolis Committee, and helping to promote AIA's #ilookup campaign.
Luis Velez-Alvarez, AIA
Working to make sure architecture is an extension of nature, the SmithGroupJJR associate in the Washington, D.C., office oversees several projects that have gained LEED certification, one of which was awarded the LEED Core and Shell Project of the Year in 2009. His volunteer work includes acting as AIA|DC's associate director and educating young students about architecture through the Washington Architectural Foundation's Architecture in the Schools program.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Opitz' redevelopment project was at the University of Arkansas instead of Arkansas Tech University. He also cofounded studioMain with other architects, and is not the sole founder of the nonprofit.