Returning Home to Kick-start a Career

Scott Campbell, AIA, has spent more than a decade at VIA Design, which he joined after the Great Recession and where he’s now a principal, helping the firm reach new heights.

I graduated in 2009, in the middle of the recession. A significant portion of my graduating class never entered the profession. So, I took a part-time consulting job in Washington, D.C. Over a year later, I started working at VIA Design. We were a small firm when I started in 2010, and I was their third employee coming back from the recession and today we have over 15 people. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about the profession to getting licensed within four years, becoming a project architect, project manager, and then a principal by age 30.

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The Heathen’s Guide to Going to Church: Adaptive Reuse of a Bygone Typology

THE STORY

The heart of communities in the West has always been the church, where congregants have not only worshiped and found greater meaning in their lives, but built their social lives around this hub. However, in recent decades, changing demographics and secularization have depreciated the church’s position as the social locus of society. This phenomenon is particularly conspicuous in Europe where its large, historic cathedrals have become progressively more vacant.

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Q+A: Alyson Steele, FAIA on a Museum for All, Not the Few

photograph of Alyson Steele FAIA in the foreground with stairs in the background

The National Museum of the American Latino opened the Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National Museum of American History in June. The 4,500-sq. ft. gallery is the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience and Latino contributions to the United States. Designed to engage multigenerational and cross-cultural audiences, the Molina Family Latino Gallery integrates the universal principles of inclusive and accessible design. The content and overall experience are in English and Spanish and accessible to diverse visitors with varying physical, sensory, and brain-based conditions. Inform sat down for a conversation with Alyson Steele, FAIA, LEED AP, principal-in-charge for Quinn Evans, on the design of the gallery.

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Ila Berman: Creating a Proud Architecture

black and white photograph of Ila Berman in profile

Ila Berman is an architect, educator, theorist, and curator of shows and content about architecture and urbanism and, from 2016 to 2021, Dean of the School of Architecture, and Edward E. Elson Professor at the University of Virginia. Her design work and installations have been exhibited in many public and private galleries and museums including the International Architectural Biennale in Venice, Italy. She regularly serves on national and international design juries including those for the AIA National and its chapters.

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Design Forum’s Viviana Peña: Architecture Alone Cannot Generate Long-term Transformation

For architects and urban planners, the process of change has been of great value because, when well conceived, architecture and urban planning can act as strategic instruments to build a city and a society that are both more equitable and diverse. Here’s Viviana Peña on why the architectural response to Colombia’s divisions must be in concert with others.

Peña is a featured speaker for Design Forum: South is Up! June 3-4  at the Ballston Center at Marymount University in Arlington. Register and join her at  aiava.org/design-forum-2022.

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Restoring Curved Stained Glass Windows

When Virginia Commonwealth University decided to embark on a rehabilitation of the Scott House, it was evident that the stained glass windows of the ornate Breakfast Room would require specialized repairs.  The deflection of the glass was to the point of physically separating from the metal matrix that joins the pieces of glass, known as cames, posing a threat to the physical integrity of the windows.  Adding a layer of complexity to the challenge was the fact that each window was curved and the cames were zinc, not the typical lead.

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Design Forum’s Cazú Zegers: Ecocentric not Egocentric

Changing our egocentric culture to an “eco-centric” one, says the Chilean architect Cazú Zegers, is when we  see ourselves as part of a complex system that needs to be treated with humility. It’s a message she shares as founder and director of Cazú Zegers Architecture and Foundation +1000. Named among the Latin American architects who break down barriers by Forbes Magazine in 2020, Zegers is a featured speaker for Design Forum: South is Up! June 3-4  at the Ballston Center at Marymount University in Arlington. Register and join her at  aiava.org/design-forum-2022.

In a recent Madame Architect interview, you said “The territory for America is just like monuments for Europe,” and yet student sketchbooks are still not filled with topographies and river paths today. Why are we still stuck on architecture’s monuments elsewhere to contemplate a vernacular future here?

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