AIA Kansas City: The American Institute of Architects


One Meaningful Thing Campaign
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Meaningful Thing Campaign

Are you looking to take on the challenge presented by AIA Kansas City President, Laura Lesniewski, and do at least one meaningful thing for the chapter this year. Here are some opportunities to get involved:


1. Attend one of our Continuing Education events (get the latest postings at
2. Come to a Cocktails & Conversations and have a drink with us … bring two of your colleagues
3. Vote in the election and get ten of your colleagues to vote as well, especially if they’ve never done so before
4. Join us on election night (in September) to hear the candidates live, before the vote
5. Help a member campaign for elections
6. Volunteer for one of our committees: Member Value, Educational Outreach, Center for Architecture & Design
7. Run for the Board (AIA Kansas City, AIA Missouri, AIA Kansas) by letting our office know you are interested in being considered by one of their nominating committees
8. Contribute to MOPAC or ArchiPAC to support architecture-related legislation (if you have questions about this, contact our office)
9. Contribute to the Kansas City Architectural Foundation and support a future colleague’s education
10. Lead an ARE Study Session
11. Attend an ARE Study Session; take your exams; and become licensed!
12. Be a mentor to younger members
13. Encourage co-workers to join our chapter
14. Volunteer for planning KC Design Week 2015
15. Enter your project(s) in our annual Design Awards
16. Join us at the Design Awards event to celebrate great design … whether or not you win
17. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter
18. Buy a ticket or two to the “AIA at the K” event this fall for a late season showdown between the Royals and Red Sox (call the office for tix)
19. Help our Educational Outreach team develop architecture and design curriculum for school-age kids (email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if interested)
20. Volunteer to teach in a classroom for 60-90 minutes (we provide the teacher, class, and curriculum; you provide the passion) (or use our presentation in your kid’s classroom)
21. Help us commemorate the centennial of WWI through interpretations of the architecture and grounds at the WWI Memorial this year
22. Stop by the office to share ideas with staff

April 1 x 4
Monday, April 14, 2014

April 1 x 4

1 × 4 is an on-going series, where we pose one question to four of our members of various backgrounds in an effort to engage, enlighten and inspire. It’s an effort to dig deeper into what it means to be an architect and to investigate how practice and the profession continues to evolve. If you wish to participate in the conversation email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This month’s question:

Where do you find inspiration?

Rebecca Riden, AIA | Rebecca Riden Architect

My inspiration for design projects comes from many different places. I listen to client’s dreams, especially the story of why they want to build a new home or change/renovate/add to their existing home. Project topography & views, local history, images clients have selected of spaces they enjoy, client’s program, and precedents by other architects also inspire me. I keep my phone’s camera handy and take many pictures every week of interesting details, shadow patterns, materials and spaces to review later.

I love to read books/ blogs by architects and artists. There is always a “go to” stack of favorite books with pictures, drawings, and articles flagged with Post it Notes next to my desk. I am happy to take a break online checking out links sent by fellow architects that reveal new projects or artists work. Travel by far is the best inspiration or maybe just vacation in general as it can create inspirational memories for future use!

Dan Zeller, AIA | Gould Evans

Would you believe George Costanza? Past our favorite Art Vandelay story, I find inspiration in a number of areas but primarily it is what drew me to the field of architecture at a young age which is creating special places. Understanding the buildings we design will be around for decades and how the building impacts the people’s lives that enter it are huge driving factors; buildings should not just be shelter. I have had the benefit of working with great architects through the years and the lessons learned also drive my passion to my profession and designing great buildings. As architects, we have a responsibility to the public and that should drive us all.

Jessikha Williams, Assoc. AIA

I believe I receive inspiration from God who is divine energy and creativity. He has made me sensitive to and intrigued by music with the subtle use of vocal harmony, the love and imagination of a child, the truth of my ancestry, the strength, virtuosity, and honor of my grandmother and mother, the beauty of nature, the sound of the rain, the clarity of scripture, the necessity of education, and the passion for social justice. Each of these inspire who I am, what I do, and what I create.

Earl Santee, FAIA | Populous

I find inspiration in the communities and cities where we work. Each city and site presents a unique challenge with different cultural nuances, different needs and a different trajectory for the future. I have a deep desire to learn about the cities in which we work, and that inspires me. It’s visiting a new site, soaking up all the information I can on a community and its culture and then exploring the design solution that will help shape and enhance that community’s character. No two projects are the same. No two cities face the same set of challenges. No two clients have the same vision. I’m a believer that a great building should send a message to the world about the community and client’s identity and, by truly listening to the people who will use the building, you can find all the inspiration you need. Great architecture isn’t product design; it’s the result of an architect thinking about the right solution for a community. I want a city and community to take ownership and feel a sense of pride about the building we design – and this all begins with drawing inspiration from within so that the design solution is uniquely theirs.

AIA Convention 2014 | June 26 - 28, Chicago
Sunday, April 13, 2014

AIA Convention 2014 | June 26 - 28, Chicago

Introducing AIA Convention 2014, designed with you at the center of the experience.

Connect with the world’s brightest architects, designers, innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders. All in one place at one time, in the heart of America’s architectural epicenter—Chicago.

We’re inviting you to be a part of an experience that is designed with purpose. A reimagined AIA National Convention that presents a fresh, new approach to how architects learn, engage, and connect with one another.

Click here to learn more.

Monday, April 7, 2014

ARCHITECT | BLS: 19,000 Construction Jobs Added in March

The American economy added 192,000 jobs in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly employment report released Friday.

These initial March numbers show a slight decline from February, in fact. That’s because the number of jobs added in February was revised upward from 175,000 to 197,000. While March shows a dip from February right now, these March numbers are bound to be revised next month—so it’s too close to call at this point. (The BLS report has a margin of error of about 100,000.)

On Wednesday, payroll company ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported that 191,000 jobs were added in March, nearly identical to the overall growth the BLS reported today. ADP and Moody’s also revised up the number of jobs added in February to 178,000.

Click here for the entire article from ARCHITECT.

Monday, March 31, 2014

New AIA Kansas City Podcasts

AIA Kansas City just posted our latest podcast from the Pillars Leadership Program. This Podcast focuses on the Challenges Facing the KC Education System.

Just check it out for yourself. We have additional podcasts waiting.

AIA Kansas City Podcast

Cool Spaces to Air in KC Starting 5/6
Monday, March 31, 2014

Cool Spaces to Air in KC Starting 5/6

If you’ve ever turned on the TV and wondered why the gap between home “designer” and “architect” seems entirely misunderstood and mostly impenetrable, there’s a new show on PBS beginning next month for you that puts the architect front and center.

Cool Spaces!, hosted by Stephen Chung, AIA, will explore how architects and their clients use innovative technology and practiced design traditions to shape the world around us. Equally interested in the design process and the design product, the program will demystify the work that architects do for a general audience, helping to build awareness of how an architect’s hand can improve and refine nearly every aspect of the built environment.

The first hour-long episode will be made available to the vast majority of local PBS affiliates on April 1. Each episode will focus on a specific building program type, and the premiere will look at sports and performing arts spaces. Chung will visit Moshe Safdie’s, FAIA, dramatically sculptural Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts; HKS’s gargantuan AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys); and the Brooklyn Nets’ aggressively stylish Barclays Center, designed by SHoP Architects.

Click here for more information on the series.

Monday, March 31, 2014

ARCHITECT | Shigeru Ban Wins the 2014 Pritzker Prize

The Japanese architect, known for his paper structures, is the 36th architect to win the industry’s highest honor.

In 1994, 2 million Rwandan refugees streamed into neighboring countries as they fled the ethnic conflict in their homeland. They set up crude camps, living in a stew of mud and plastic tarps. Like much of the rest of the world, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Hon. FAIA, was watching. Unlike much of the rest of the world, he did something. Ban got on a plane to Geneva, where he talked his way into the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He could do better, he told them. A simple, paper-tube frame he had devised would allow the refugees to turn the plastic tarps into functioning, walk-in tents. The UN agreed. Since then, Ban has devoted himself to considering the ways architecture can function in crisis—even as he has maintained a bustling practice designing private homes, office buildings, and museums.

For applying design innovation to pressing need, and for using modest materials such as cardboard and paper in ground-breaking ways, Ban has been named the winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize. In its citation, the jury stated that “his sense of responsibility and positive action to create architecture of quality to serve society’s needs, combined with his original approach to these humanitarian challenges, make this year’s winner an exemplary profession.”

Click here for the entire article by ARCHITECT.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Call for Volunteers | 2014 iBuild Showcase

2014 iBuild Showcase is scheduled for April 17th at Bartle Hall. We hope you all will be able to join us again this year. Please share this invitation with all those you know who might be interested in working with our KC area students.

And now a brief commercial for those unfamiliar:
NICE (the National Institute for Construction Excellence) is again hosting the premier industry event for middle and high school students at Bartle Hall on April 17th, and we really need your help!!!

As many volunteers as possible are needed to assist us with the 1,200 to 1,500 students and their field trip to learn about future career paths in the Design and Construction Industry. Please consider spending the day with us and sharing your career experience with young people throughout the Kansas City area.

The NICE website is

You can sign up on the website as a volunteer by simply pasting this link into your web browser:

Monday, March 24, 2014

ARCHITECT | Architecture Billings Creep Up in February

In February, the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) continued the growth seen in January. And just as in January, the growth was slight.

The ABI score rose from 50.4 in January to 50.7 in February. While that’s only a marginal increase in design services, it represents two months of growth after the back-to-back decline in November and December of last year. (Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.)

The new projects inquiry index was 56.8, down from a score of 58.5 from January. The inquiries score has shown growth throughout 2013 and into 2014, though this growth has slowed slightly since December.

Click here for the entire article from ARCHITECT.

Monday, March 17, 2014

KCAF Scholarship Applications

The Kansas City Architectural Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available. If you know of anyone attending a School of Architecture please pass this information along. Applications are due May 12, 2014.

Click here for the scholarship application.

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