Perspectives on Resilience: Sam Bowling, AIA

The non-profit Elizabeth River Project (ERP) aims to preserve and protect the health of the Elizabeth River and its tributaries. For architect Sam Bowling, AIA, of Work Program Architects (WPA) in Norfolk, they’re a dream client that aligns with his passion for sustainable and resilient design, which he’s fostered since his architecture school at Kansas State University. In what he calls “the opportunity of his career,” Bowling worked as the lead architect on the design of the Pru and Louis Ryan Resilience Lab for ERP—an $8 million model for urban coastal living amid sea level rise.

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The Poetic of Making: Perspective from a Design Student

By Sara Saghafi Moghaddam, Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech

I am a practicing architect and researcher pursuing my doctoral studies in Architecture and Design Research at Virginia Tech. I explore topics at the intersection of architectural design and extended reality with a focus on well-being. My Ph.D. research is on incorporating virtual reality in the initial phase of the design process. I use 3D scanning of the project site, simulation, and virtual reality to develop a process that helps architects make more informed design decisions. I hold a BArch from the University of Tehran, an MArch from Milan Polytechnic University (Polimi), and an MS in Computational Design from Georgia Tech.

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Bridging Passions for a Better Profession

After nearly a decade of working in education design, Jenine Kotob, AIA, decided to focus on some of the most pressing issues facing the profession by pursuing legislative advocacy.

In my younger years, my family spent a lot of time traveling. My dad’s side of the family is from Egypt, so we would travel there every summer as kids to visit. The first time I saw the pyramids of Giza was a very profound moment, especially as a young child to see this huge structure in front of me. That was the first time my interest in architecture was sparked and it was exciting because it was an opportunity to see architecture in a non-Western context.

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When Passions for Volunteering and Good Design Merge

Kelley Holmes, AIA, NOMA, an associate in Quinn Evans’ Richmond office, discusses in her words how finding her passions early on in her life and career were essential to her success.

For me, the true interest in architecture came from chance. My dad’s job involved him being heavy into technology and burgeoning technology, so I had the privilege from a young age of growing up in a household that had computers, which was a rarity for the late–eighties and early-nineties.

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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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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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