As Climate, Health and Economic Threats Mount for Communities, Practitioners Offer Agenda for Building a Resilient Nation
Washington, DC – A set of 10 recommended federal actions the Biden administration can take in the first 100 days of the administration, has been released today by Resilience 21 (R21), a coalition of practitioners from across the US working to safeguard communities from risks from a changing climate. The 100-day action plan for the new Administration lays out steps for shifting from crisis response to proactive planning that can at once address the social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the nation in the years ahead. Click on the image to the left to read more.
Maria Kutina, AIA, NCARB promoted
HTK Architects is proud to announce the promotion of Maria R. Kutina to Principal. Maria has provided an exceptional commitment for our clients, projects, and to the internal development of the firm. This promotion reflects our growth and long-term plans for the continued success of HTK Architects. Congratulations, Maria!
Thomas Carmona remembered
He brought people together
Thomas Carmona, of Schwerdt Design Group, Topeka, Kansas, passed away Friday, January 1, due to complications from COVID-19.
He was active in the Topeka Chapter of the AIA and the Forge Section of the Greater Topeka Partnership. He was a graduate of Leadership Greater Topeka in 2020 and was a member of the 20/30 Club of Topeka.
Lauren Fitzpatrick, an SDG team member, agreed to share a few memories with us.
"We are all saddened here. I find daily little funny reminders of him. Folders named hilariously or notes and comments on progress drawings that are worded in a way that he knew would make me laugh or at least crack a smile when I found them.
"I recall back to one of the first projects I worked on with him. He started an inside joke with the team and even went so far as to have custom T-shirts made all because he knew it would make us laugh.
"He even started new traditions at SDG, like changing St. Patrick’s day to what he called Mexican St. Patrick’s day where he insisted we indulged in margaritas, chips, queso and the like. 'Hey, margaritas are green,' he said.
"He was always there when anyone was having a rough day. He always had a way of cheering you up. He was the guy that had a random funny movie quote ready for any situation. He was the glue that brought everyone together, our hype man at any occasion! He brought people together at work but his reach stretched far beyond that. He will be missed."
Thomas was born in Dodge City, Kansas, and graduated from Maize High School. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Fort Hays State University in 2002. He attended Kansas State University and then moved to Topeka. He later received his Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas in 2017.
He leaves behind his wife, Miranda, as well as a son and a daughter. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. A fund has been set up for his children's education: "Thomas and Lucina Carmona Education Fund" through Envista Credit Union.
Meet the new AIA president
Grogan excited to represent Kansas and continue work on important initiatives and advocacy efforts
Michael Grogan, the 2021 AIA Kansas president, was born and raised until high school in Houston. He spent his high school and college years in Hot Springs and Fayetteville, Arkansas. There, he also worked in residential construction and landscape design and construction. (Actually, he focused on retaining walls, rip rap, and “hardscaping,” for he freely admits he knows embarrassingly little about plants). In the 25 years since graduating from the University of Arkansas with his B.Arch, he has practiced in Phoenix, Memphis, St. Louis, New Haven, and Boston before settling in Kansas in 2017 as an assistant professor at Kansas State University.
His early career experiences in Arizona and Arkansas focused on individual buildings and single-family homes. During his six years in Memphis, he gained an interest, which continues to this day, in adaptive reuse and urbanism. After practicing for nine years, he attended Yale University for his M.Arch. He then practiced and taught at Northeastern University, and a few years at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Boston for the next 11 years.
As he and his wife April (who, as a non-architect, amazingly has put up with him in a usually graceful manner for 25 years) became empty-nesters, Michael decided to apply for tenure-track teaching positions. The ideal opportunity emerged at Kansas State University, where he is focused on increasing student exposure to preservation and building reuse. At AIA Grassroots last year, Kermit Baker emphasized that “building retrofits” accounted for 44% of billing in the United States since 2009. Kansas State has proven an excellent forum for this focus, due to enthusiastic students and the availability of many excellent professionals and reuse projects throughout Kansas.
Though relatively new to the state, Michael is enthusiastic about calling Kansas home and representing our AIA chapter, the state’s numerous great professionals, and the deep architectural history and culture. With fellow Kansans Christopher Fein and Robert McLaughlin, Michael recently authored one of three short articles about modern architecture in Kansas for Docomomo US (https://www.docomomo-us.org/news/plains-modern-postwar-architecture-in-kansas) and he is focused on researching and learning more about the state’s deep architectural heritage.
As the current AIA President, Michael will continue working with the excellent AIA staff and Board on the initiatives and advocacy efforts inherited from Past President Malcolm Watkins. Surrounded by this energetic group, he is excited to represent the state in regional and national matters for a hopefully bright 2021!
New visual identity implemented to support AIA priorities
To signal a big change, you have to change something big
In 2019, triggered by the increasing threat of climate change, AIA committed its full influence to eliminate building carbon emissions by 2040. In 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing demonstrations for social justice, AIA pledged to pursue racial equity – in our association, in our profession, and in the communities we build.
As an organization, AIA is evolving to reflect new, 21st century challenges. To achieve maximum influence and impact, AIA’s updated visual identity, approved by the Board, signals that evolution and reinforces commitment to achieving meaningful change in the built environment.
“AIA’s vote to propel the full force of our resources toward climate action marked a defining moment for our organization, and this year’s decision to pursue racial equity with the same urgency is another turning point,” commented AIA 2020 President Jane Frederick, FAIA. “Architects understand how design communicates meaning, and this logo underlines AIA’s commitment to designing a zero-carbon, resilient, healthy, just, and equitable future for everyone.”
COVID-19 Relief Package update
Includes updates to Paycheck Protection Program
Congressional lawmakers passed a government spending bill that included a COVID-19 relief package for the American people. The new law provides over $900 billion in economic relief to U.S. businesses and affected communities to help them further weather the pandemic’s economic and health impacts.
The law includes changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that are of significant interest to architecture firms and have long been championed by AIA.
A new provision clarifies that firms who received a PPP loan will be allowed to deduct expenses paid with those loans. This key improvement will prevent a tax liability increase next year for firms who received PPP loans. In addition, many AIA components will now be eligible for a PPP loan since the law now allows 501(c)(6) organizations to apply for relief (if there are no more than 300 employees and less than 15% of time is spent on lobbying).
AIA National announces winners of two distinguished awards
See who won!
AIA National has announced the winners of two of its most prestigious awards: The 2021 Gold Medal and the 2021 Architecture Firm Award.
The Gold Medal is the AIA’s highest annual honor, recognizing individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. The Architecture Firm Award recognizes one firm that has produced notable work for at least a decade.
This year's Gold Medal winner is Edward Mazria, one of the world's foremost experts on the built environment's role in both causing and curing climate change. To read more about Mazria's background and achievements, click here.
The Architecture Firm Award winner this year is Moody Nolan, a firm dedicated to the ideals of diversity since its founding. Moody Nolan has long operated at the critical junction of architecture and citizenship, demonstrating that responsible design requires a marriage of art, function, and community. To read more about the firm's history and achievements, click here.
NEW! AIA Kansas leadership program begins mid March, registration opens soon
Program brings experienced architects and emerging leaders together
The architectural profession is full of exciting opportunities for budding leaders who will champion the innovative practices and business models of the future.
To meet this growing need within the industry, AIA Kansas is creating a program to help experienced architects and emerging leaders develop their leadership skills.
Want to be involved? Applications will be available early January. The program will consist of 5 virtual sessions with the first one beginning on Thursday, March 18th.