Submitted by Paul R. Hollenbeck, AIA
Although most of us would likely characterize 2009 as one of our profession’s most challenging years, when almost 22,000 architects descended on San Francisco for this year’s AIA National Convention I did not feel a sense of doom and gloom was casting a pawl over the City on the Bay. Although certainly the mood was serious, the tone was upbeat, and the message was this moment will pass and now is the time to retool, reinvent and recalibrate. Our country, and much of the world, is recognizing the value of what we have long advocated, the importance of sustainable and integrated design, and the value of partnerships and collaborations.
I was especially struck by the opening session where Peter Head, of ARUP London, shared their firm’s research on climate change and their positive perspective for the world as we enter what they have titled “The Ecological Age”. They believe their research supports the view of Prince Charles and others, that it is the next 100 months which will be critical to turning spaceship earth in a direction to create a hospitable environment for our children and our children’s children.
I attended several sessions where futurists shared their research and visions with eerily consistent themes, including:
- The world will see an intensifying of urbanization, including the United States, where much of Ohio will be part of a major Midwest urban center.
- Cities will find ways to thoughtfully reinvent themselves with an emphasis on sustainable communities with more green space and the inclusion of urban agriculture.
- We will see a greater proliferation of public/private partnerships.
- Technology will continue to transform our profession. BIM will not go away, with projections of over 80% of all projects using this technology in the next five (5) years.
- Project Teams will become more diverse and some form of Integrated Project Delivery will gradually become the norm.
- The successful recruitment and retention of talent will require new ways of working and a much more resilient management style.
For me the convention had only one sour moment, which occurred during the Annual Business Meeting when three diversity-related amendments to the AIA by-laws were defeated due to a lack of a two-thirds vote. Although the volume of e-mail dialogue taking place since the convention has made it clear all three amendments were poorly worded and not sufficiently vetted, it still gives one pause when the amendments to create a new AIA Public Member category, to change the title of International Associate to International Member, and to permit Associate representation at the AIA Board were all defeated during a convention whose theme was diversity.
Despite this bit of a downer, the rest of the business meeting was generally filled with cautious optimism, an upbeat summary of Member Service Initiatives being implemented at National, and the fiduciary responsibility being exhibited by the AIA National Board as they proactively adjust expenses to sync with projected revenue. It was especially exciting to have the opportunity to be part of the audience that congratulated John Rogers, AIA Cincinnati, who was elected National Treasurer for 2010.
Bruce Sekanick and I have completed our visits to all seven (7) of the AIA Ohio Chapters. It was a tremendously gratifying experience for both of us, and we have certainly gained an enriched perspective on the unique successes and challenges of each Chapter. The meetings confirmed that many of the AIA Ohio Strategic Planning Initiatives identified in 2008 are on target, especially:
· There is much anticipation regarding an improved AIA Ohio Website linked with AIA National, as a tool that can position AIA Ohio as an improved “connector” between AIA National and the seven Chapters.
· There is much interest across the state in the concept of a Media/P.R. Consultant who can contribute to increasing public awareness of our profession’s value as well as being a sounding board and resource for members throughout the state.
· There was a consistent perception that AIA Ohio could do more with regard to governmental advocacy. Bruce and I heard from our typically apolitical membership that we should be more issue focused, more proactive in influencing and shaping government policy, and maybe it is time for a Government Advocacy Committee with representatives from all Chapters across the state.
· It is imperative we continue to do a better job of reaching out to Associates, emerging professionals, and the four Schools of Architecture. There were many compliments regarding the COTE/HFH Statewide Design Competition and many thanks to Joshua Lloyd, Dan Barringer, and Andy Corn for all of their hard work in putting the competition together, along with the valuable oversight of Alan Warner, AIA. However, this hard work may be for naught if firm principals across the state do not support participation.
· The membership applauds the fiscal caution being exhibited by the AIA Ohio Board and supports a very thorough review of budgeting for 2010.
For those of you who have been following the press coverage on reinventing how construction happens in the State of Ohio, I want to personally thank Hal Munger, FAIA, who has contributed untold hours serving on the Ohio Construction Reform Panel.
Hats off to Bruce Sekanick, AIA, and Kate Brunswick for organizing Ohio Grassroots in Columbus on May 15th, 2009. The audience was diverse, the sessions were informative and thoughtful, and I believe it may have set a precedent for similar sessions in years to come.
Lastly, I was pleased to recently write a congratulatory letter to the President of Bowling Green State University, applauding the recent action of their Board of Trustees in approving the creation of a Master of Architecture Program that could begin accepting students as early as 2011.
By David W. Field, CAE, Hon. AIA, AIA-Ohio Executive Vice President
Nothing has been “normal” about this legislative session. A change from Republican to Democratic control in the Ohio House of Representatives delayed the selection of both committee chairmen and committee members. And bills were introduced much later than usual.
Then came the housing crisis, national financial meltdown and the resulting recession that caused a dramatic rise in unemployment and a substantial drop in state income (sales tax, income tax, etc.). Compounding this chaos was confusion over the amount and direction of Federal Stimulus funds.
All this uncertainty threw the lawmakers normal bi-annual budget process into turmoil. When the House finally sent its Budget to the Senate, it was already a billion dollars out of balance causing senators to immediately commence an extensive, line-by-line “overhaul.” A House/Senate Conference Committee will develop the final Budget during June.
As a result of the extraordinary focus on balancing a two-year state budget, architectural issues have taken a back seat to issues considered higher priority.
Following, however, is the Status of bills affecting architecture as of the end of May:
1) AIA-Ohio opposes a floor amendment that was added to the Budget Bill in the House that would allow non-profits to sue architects and builders. The amendment would allow groups, like the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, to file spurious discrimination (ADA) cases and to benefit from legal settlements with architects, builders and landlords. They could file ADA complaints seeking restitution as a remedy… just to perpetuate their own existence.
2) AIA-Ohio is supporting HB 7, which would require public construction to meet at least LEEDs silver status. According to the bill’s sponsors, passage would qualify Ohio for $96.1 million in federal stimulus money. AIA-Ohio’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) is offering expertise to the bill’s sponsor and the House Local Government Committee, which is hearing the bill. The funding would come from the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program and is dependant upon Ohio revising building codes to include the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
3) HB 113 would mandate a move toward solar, wind & geo- energy in schools. It has had two hearings in the House Alternative Energy Committee.
4) The Ohio Construction Reform Panel (OCRP) legislative recommendations are currently being debated among the various construction industry segments. AIA-Ohio was represented on the Panel by past president, Hal Munger, FAIA, Toledo. Among the recommendations (designed to lower the cost and speed construction of public projects) are amendments that would allow public owners to use alternative delivery methods including a hybrid design-build concept and construction manager at risk.
AIA Ohio Valley Region Convention Update
This year, AIA Ohio will again join AIA Kentucky and AIA Indiana for a Regional Convention. Kentucky will host us just across the river from Cincinnati, in Covington, KY. Convention events will take place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Your Convention Planning Committee is thrilled to announce our 2009 Design Speaker, Antoine Predock, FAIA.
Mr. Predock received the AIA Gold Medal in 2006, along with numerous other honors and awards. His approach to design is born out of his geographic surroundings, the American West, an open desert full of history and expansive space. The scale of Predock’s work ranges from the famed Turtle Creek house, built in 1993 for bird enthusiasts along a prehistoric trail in Texas, to a $285 million ballpark for the San Diego Padres that reinvents the concept of a stadium as a “garden” rather than a sports complex. His influence also reaches international sites, namely the new National Palace Museum in Taiwan. Additionally, his masterful integration of contemporary work in historical context, a skill for which he is well-known, is apparent in his buildings at Stanford and Rice Universities.
Another exciting guest at the AIA Ohio Valley Region Convention will be Richard Farson, author of The Power of Design. In The Power of Design, Farson asserts a deeply engaging premise: Design can transform the world. It can put right what is wrong in our communities. It can address society’s most intractable ills. Properly mobilized, he argues, design could make a whopping impact on deep-rooted dilemmas such as the ravages of poverty, the miserable state of the American education system, and the failure of criminal justice. It could do nothing short of move mountains.
The AIA Ohio 2009 Convention Planning Committee is putting finishing touches on programs, venues and arrangements for the Convention in October. We are committed to providing an enjoyable learning experience that is gentle on our environment.
The Convention events will take place at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington(http://www.nkycc.com/). Situated with impressive views of the Ohio River and the city of Cincinnati, this impressive facility is the perfect location for AIA Ohio Valley Region’s 2009 Convention.
We’ve arranged for other fun and impressive venues as part of this regional event as well. The Icebreaker Reception on Thursday, Oct. 1, will be at the authentic Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY(http://www.hofbrauhausnewport.com/). There will be authentic German food, beer and entertainment. This is the one party of the year that you won’t want to miss!
The three state AIAcomponents will celebrate their 2009 Awards programs jointly, as the Ohio Valley Region Awards Banquet, taking place on Friday, Oct. 2, at Paul Brown Stadium (http://www.bengals.com/stadium/facts.html). This impressive Cincinnati venue was host to the Awards Program in 2001. The nighttime views are unbeatable, so plan to join us to recognize the Region’s best and brightest.
Visit the AIAOhio Valley Region Convention web site (www.aiaohio.org/convention) for a full listing of the convention schedule. Registration is scheduled to open in July. An online invitation will be sent to all AIA members from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. We’ll see you in Covington!
News From the Ohio Architects Board
Firm Renewal Deadline June 30, 2009
The deadline to renew your firm’s Certificate of Authorization is June 20. A renewal costs $100 and the form can be downloaded from the board’s website at http://www.arc.ohio.gov/forms.stm.
All firms, including sole proprietors, that are registered to do business in the state of Ohio with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, are required to obtain a firm Certificate of Authorization. If you have any doubt about whether or not your firm is required to obtain a firm Certificate of Authorization, please call Chad Holland or Amy Kobe at the board office at 614-466-2316.
Important Changes Coming to IDP!
What is IDP 2.0?
IDP 2.0 updates the Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements to more closely align with the practice of architecture today. The proposed changes, which will be rolled out in phases over the next two years, will help ensure that interns acquire the comprehensive training that is essential for competent practice. The changes also offer many benefits to interns by allowing them to complete some of the IDP training requirements during periods of unemployment, expanding the definition of “direct supervision,” and simplifying the reporting process.
When will IDP 2.0 be implemented?
The first phase of IDP 2.0 will be implemented on July 1, 2009. The second phase, scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2010, is contingent on the passage of Resolution 2009-04.
If a majority of NCARB’s Member Boards does not pass the resolution, the implementation of the program changes will be delayed. The third phase is scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2011. Details of phase three will be shared in a future newsletter.
What changes are being made to the IDP?
On July 1, 2009, the first phase of IDP 2.0 will be implemented and will:
• Allow interns—whether or not they are employed—to earn training units by completing the following architecture-related certificate programs:
? LEED Accreditation—five supplementary education training units. (Note: to earn supplementary education training units for LEED Accreditation between 1 July 2008 and 1 July 2009, interns must have been employed in an IDP work setting.)
? CSI Construction Documents Technologist (CDT)—five supplementary education training units.
? CSI Certified Construction Specifier (CCS)—five training units toward the minimum required training units in Training Area 9, Specifications and Materials Research. (Note: this cannot be combined with EPC activities for satisfaction of minimum training units in this area.)
? CSI Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA)—five training units toward the minimum required training units in Training Area 12, Construction Phase—Office.
(Note: this cannot be combined with Emerging Professionals Companion (EPC) activities for satisfaction of minimum training units in this area.)
• Allow interns—whether or not they are employed—to earn two training units toward the minimum required training units in Training Area 15, Office Management, by reading the NCARB Professional Conduct monograph, and passing the related quiz. (Note: this cannot be combined with EPC Activities for satisfaction of minimum training units in this area.)
• Allow interns who are employed in qualified work settings to earn up to five training units toward the minimum required training units in each training area by completing qualified activities in the Emerging Professional’s Companion 2009 (EPC 2009). Interns can also earn supplementary education training units by completing qualified EPC exercises. The intern’s EPC activities and exercises must be reviewed by their IDP supervisor, and then reported through the electronic Experience Verification Reporting system (e-EVR).
• Allow interns—whether or not they are employed—to earn supplementary education training units by completing AIA-approved continuing education programs. Interns must provide NCARB with an AIA transcript to receive credit.
Bruce S. Fowle, FAIA, LEED AP: Exemplar Architect Spills the Beans
by Stephanie Aurora Lewis, RA, LEED AP
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little; a quote from Edmund Burke, an Irish statesman born in 1729. While reading the title of this article, I am guessing most architects do not immediately recognize Bruce S. Fowle’s name? However, rarely would I single out an individual, humble architect and recommend that his giving nature be emulated and his contributions widely recognized. Bruce is not a superstar, but his lifetime achievements are outstanding.
While working as an architectural journalist, Bruce has been an excellent source for several articles. My first encounter with Bruce was for an article devoted to his legacy in New York City. From that first interview, I knew his knowledge could greatly benefit a large population of architects. To his credit, he is willing and open to share with us his experience and wisdom.
Bruce S. Fowle is a senior partner and co-founder of FX FOWLE in New York City. According to Fowle, “Architecture must be conscious and respectful of context and utility while enriching the human experience,” fxfowle.co.
Bruce is always available for an interview.
In fact, if you sought to call him up, he would probably graciously afford you a lengthy phone conversation even if you are not writing an article about him, his work, nor collecting his quotations as support information. On my adventure as an architectural journalist, some recognizable architects are available for an interview whereas others (eg. William McDonough) simply decline an interview request; others decline a phone interview but offer written responses (eg. Steven Holl) and yet some are gracious to spend time discussing their work over Skype.
Bruce will tell elaborate details about his projects.
During one interview, Bruce told me in great detail about one of his first architectural projects that kick-started his devoted interest in green architecture. He was working on a project in the Carolinas and was stationed nearby to oversee its construction. While there, he was staying in a villa that did not have air conditioning because it was designed to allow fresh breezes to naturally ventilate the space. He stayed up late into the night analyzing how this home was able to passively cool the interiors and how he could better explore green features in his work. By the end of our conversation, I felt as though I were in a coffee shop with a dear friend.
Bruce will tell you about new research in which he is embarking.
In conjunction with other environmental organizations, Bruce is helping to design revolutionary glass for skyscrapers that inhibits birds from flying into the glass and dying. The glass has a unique material aspect that tells the birds, “warning, this is a surface, not open space.” In short, Bruce doesn’t care about spilling the beans.
Bruce will give you advice about how a green architectural office should be run.
Bruce is first and foremost, green oriented and is known for designing the first recognizable green skyscraper in the U.S.; the Condé Nast Building @ 4 Times Square in Manhattan. “I believe every office should work towards having the entire staff LEED Accredited,” he explained. Bruce believes that LEED does an excellent job of educating the professional and the public alike. “If we are all LEED AP’s, the office then has a uniform green atmosphere. We are all on the same page and then it is much easier to design green buildings,” he said.
Bruce will give you personal career advice.
His advice for young professionals during this hard economic era is first to become a LEED Accredited Professional. Secondly, he said, “If an individual comes into my office, who is already a LEED AP, and who is well versed with Eco-Tech software, I would hire him/her on the spot.”
He will not sugar coat his responses.
For a LEED CEU that I recently completed, I was looking for some people who were not afraid to offer up some criticisms of the USGBC system. Fowle’s voice still rings clear, “The problem with LEED is that it is a points game. Some architects will not search for the best green solution; they will stop short at the total needed for certification. Our goal should be to produce the best green building we can regardless of the points we harvest.” Regarding regionalism of LEED, Bruce said, “It doesn’t make as much sense for a project in NYC to have photovoltaics as a project located in the desert. There is much more opportunity for capturing solar energy in the desert.”
While a graduate student at Ohio State, I watched more than one lecture that entailed Jeffrey Kipnis grilling famous architects (eg. Rem Koolhaus). Kipnis wanted OSU students to learn from these giants, so he had to grill them. Why were they so guarded? Not sure if you agree, “just because you give out your design ideas, that doesn’t mean someone else knows how to use them.”
In my loud opinion, more architects should be as fluid and as gracious to answer questions and to offer up their advice. Not for journalists per se, but at the very least for those of us who do not have as much experience in the field.
A Field Report: Coop Himmelb(l)au Exhibition
Are you in Columbus or planning to be in the central Ohio area soon? If you are, try to visit the Wexner Center Galleries for the current exhibition on the Viennese architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au. And if your plans do not include the Columbusarea, visit http://www.wexarts.org/… Maybe it can change your mind.
Your visual experience will be inspirational. Perhaps not all of us will find Coop’s architectural concepts and form expressions equally enchanting and harmonious. But we will all relate to their constant search of innovation in design. Coop Himmelb(l)au has been challenging the status quo since 1968. Their famous 6 Falkestrasse in Vienna (1983-1988) can be the perfect example of how they have seen the design world: daring. The traditional apartment building didn’t stop them from creating a renovation with a visually wing-like rooftop.
The exhibition at the Wexner is very complete. It includes Coop’s main projects since its beginnings. A video collage and a diverse collection of building models will catch your eye. Master planning samples are also part of this collection. And two projects become the main focus: one in Lyons, and one in Akron.
A large model for the Museé des Confluences occupies the center of one of the exhibition rooms. It will open in 2013. Their design process and work-in-progress models are also there. The smaller models show the museum’s proposed functional connectivity and the numerous design options. It seems as if they are trying to reassure us that all architects go through a long search for the best marriage between form and function.
In another room, the Akron Art Museum’s 21,000 SF addition: architect selection process, work samples, and site images. You’ll find a long list with some of the most re-known architects that were considered for this project. Only 3 were preselected; their proposals are also at the Wexner. The Akron Art Museum became Coop’s 1st public project in the U.S., and received the American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum in 2005. If you cannot make it to Columbus, perhaps Akron can make your shortlist.
This gallery exhibition, organized by MAK (Vienna), has been up since the beginning of April, and will end on Sunday, July 26th. Enjoy.
Melissa Vitteri Sieg Assoc. AIA, LEEP AP, CDT is an architectural designer at Anshen+Allen, Columbus office.