2020 | Third Quarter Edition
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It is an exciting time to be part of the AIA Arkansas Chapter! As we see this year come to an end, I want to encourage everyone to remain positive about what the future holds for you, your profession and our chapter. We have remained optimistic through an otherwise uncertain time. Our future remains very bright. I have seen firsthand the level of energy embodied in your current leadership as well as those potential future leaders that I have had the pleasure of visiting with along the way. 

Many members, Allieds and guests had an opportunity in October to experience our first-ever Virtual Design Awards ceremony that was broadcast across the state and highlighted achievements of some of the most exceptional talent in the region. Patty Opitz, AIA, and her convention committee composed a wonderful tribute to honor design talent through amazing imagery and storytelling. We all joined in to celebrate a lifetime achievement for Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, and experienced the legacy his body of work has created. We experienced fresh new faces in our newly licensed individuals. We honored chapter award winners Adam Day, AIA – Emerging Professional Award, Carl Smith, Ph.D. – Award of Merit and Randy Palculict, AIA – Dick Savage Memorial Award. 

Our most recent Board of Directors meeting was filled with many potential changes for the future. I was encouraged to have the opportunity to engage with your board on long-term goals that will be realized over the next several years. October marked the beginning of our look towards the future by way of a strategic plan that will set goals for this chapter in the future. This effort will be highlighted at our retreat next year with President-Elect Jonathan Opitz, AIA, leading the charge and implementing a plan of action. The board unanimously voted to fill two leadership positions in Michelle McClaflin, AIA, serving as a representative on the Academic Facilities Review Board and Kiara Luers, AIA, serving as the 2021 Young Architect Regional Director. In addition, Katherine Lashley, AIA, presented an intriguing new initiative in the “2021 MERGE Program” for professional development through mentorship. 

Our chapter enjoyed an engaging (yet socially distanced) round of golf in Maumelle recently at our state AIA golf tournament. Eighteen teams of architects, design professionals, Allieds and guests teed up for a breath of fresh air on the banks of the Arkansas River. It was a great opportunity to see who has been working and who has been spending all of their time on the course.  
In closing, I would like to reinforce that this chapter remains as strong as ever and is poised to continue its ascent as a driving force in the region. Your chapter will close this year out in a financially stable position, in a position of authority to speak for and advocate for our future in this profession, and to continue our mission to develop, promote and sustain the practice and practitioners of architecture.

I would like to again sincerely thank our Board of Directors, our engaged membership who continue to serve this chapter, Brent Stevenson Associates and their leadership, and our Allied Members that support our efforts.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve and represent this great chapter. God Bless!

Kyle Cook, AIA
2020 AIA Arkansas President
Brackett-Krennerich Architects
AIA Arkansas presented its chapter awards as part of this year's AIA Arkansas Design Awards held virtually on Oct. 22.
Dick Savage Memorial Award Presented to Randy Palculict
Randy Palculict, AIA, Vice President of  Jackson Brown Palculict Architects received the Dick Savage Memorial Award. This award is given to recognize a member of the Arkansas Chapter who has made notable, significant contributions to AIA Arkansas and the profession.

Randy has served AIA – and the profession at large – since entering practice nearly 20 years ago. His service to the chapter includes 10 consecutive years on the AIA Arkansas Board of Directors from 2009 to 2019. He was President in 2018. Randy’s service to the profession and community include co-founding the Emerging Green Builders, volunteer work for Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, volunteering for the Architecture and Design Network and membership on numerous AIA Arkansas committees. He is currently serving as Secretary on the STEM Coalition Board of Directors. 
Emerging Professional Award Given to Adam Day
Adam Day, AIA, a partner at AMR Architects, was awarded the Emerging Professional Award. This award recognizes a new professional who has expanded the role of the architect through civic participation and professional mentorship, thereby representing the goals of AIA to a larger audience.

Adam is a partner at AMR Architects and holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Arkansas. His career has taken him from Fayetteville to Fort Smith to Chicago and he now calls Little Rock home. He joined AMR in 2014 and became the managing partner of design and technology in 2016, implementing strategies within the firm that seek to create better value for clients and elevating design in the firm. In addition to his career, he has proven himself to be a result-driven leader serving on the AIA State Board, the AIA Emerging Professionals Committee and the AIA Arkansas Convention Committee. He is also the creator and producer of one of the AIA Arkansas Convention signature events for the past five years, the Emerging Professionals Pecha Kucha Night. 
Award of Merit Goes To Dr. Carl Smith
Dr. Carl Smith, a professor of landscape architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, was awarded the Award of Merit. This award recognizes an individual, public official, member of any allied profession, public agency or company that has contributed to the dignity and value of the architectural profession.

He is a professor of landscape architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture & Design at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. His work focuses on the intersection between anthropogenic landscape and urban change, and the values and beliefs of those affected. Ultimately his twin aims are to inculcate and sharpen a sense of place-consciousness within himself and his students, and to understand place-consciousness as it relates to the sustainability and resiliency of landscapes and cities in Arkansas and beyond. For 13 years, since relocating to the state from the UK, Carl has contributed to the preparation of landscape architects, planners and architects across Arkansas and the nation. His studio teaching has garnered a number of awards for his students and himself, including the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Excellence in Studio Teaching Award. He has also served as a visiting professor or critic at a number of design institutions domestically and internationally.
Four Projects Honored
With Design Awards

AIA Arkansas presented its Design Awards virtually on Oct. 22. The Design Awards program honors works of distinction of AIA Arkansas members and draws public attention to examples of outstanding architecture. Three projects received awards of honor – the highest award, granted for overall design excellence – and one was presented an award of merit – granted to projects worthy of recognition because of their design quality. 
Honor Awards
The Lamplighter School Barn
Project Name: The Lamplighter School Barn
Firm: Marlon Blackwell Architects
Contractor: Hill + Wilkinson
Location: Dallas, Texas
Owner/Client: The Lamplighter School

Since the founding of the Lamplighter School in 1953, the school has provided a unique learning environment for pre-kindergarten to fourth grade students. Initially designed by O'Neil Ford in the late 1960s, the campus of The Lamplighter School enjoys a rich architectural heritage, highlighted by open learning spaces, a close relationship with nature and a "village" composition. The architecture reflects the school's teaching and learning styles and is complemented by the additions Frank Welch designed in the 1980s and 1990s. 
The Thaden School Reels Building
Firm: Marlon Blackwell Architects
Contractor: Milestone Construction Company
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
Owner/Client: The Thaden School

The Thaden School is a new independent middle and high school in Bentonville. The school is endowed and structured to allow students from all socio-economic backgrounds to attend. The unique curriculum combines academic excellence with learning by doing and features three signature programs: Wheels (where the fields of physics and mechanics come alive through the construction and use of bicycles and other wheeled machines), Meals (where biology, chemistry and community come alive through the growing and preparation of food) and Reels (where narrative and visual communication come alive through the production of film and video).
University of Arkansas Adohi Hall
Firm: modus studio
Contractor: Nabholz
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Owner/Client: University of Arkansas

Adohi Hall is a 202,027-square-foot, 708-bed sustainable residence hall and living-learning community at the University of Arkansas. It is the nation's first large-scale mass timber project of its kind. The project provides a new university gateway that marks the start of a larger living-learning district. An emphasis on nature resonates throughout the project. Connected by a ground-level passage, a serpentine band of student rooms defines three distinctive courtyard spaces that create a dynamic environment for interactive learning in architecture, design and the arts.
Merit Award / Member Choice Award
Miller Creative Quad
Firm: Polk Stanley Wilcox
Contractor: Nabholz
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Owner/Client: Hendrix College

Located in the heart of a traditional, collegiate gothic liberal arts college, the new Miller Creative Quad is a mixed-use building that integrates student housing with music, theater and gallery space. The building is designed to reimagine student housing, to create visual and physical connections to art, to draw activity through the site, to maximize the outdoors, to celebrate the creative process and, most importantly, to create a building that allows students “to dwell with the arts.” 
Peoples Choice Award
Ignite Professional Studies Center
Firm: Hight Jackson Associates
Contractor: Flintco
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
Owner/Client: Bentonville Schools

Bentonville Schools developed the Ignite Professional Studies program to provide students with real, relevant learning experiences in collaboration with regional businesses, non-profits, and industry professionals in order to address a critical component in education - providing students post-secondary options aligned to their passions and strengths. The career strands offered in the program are Construction Management, Culinary Arts, Digital Design and Photography, Education Innovation, Global Business, Health Sciences, Technology, and Video Production.
The lead (AIA) AR Member Highlight is an opportunity for AIAAR members to learn a bit more about fellow members. Every conversation yields insights and inspiration as an AIAAR board member visits with a member who is making a positive impact. 
On Community Engagement and Tactical Urbanism

Originally from the small town of Hatfield (pop. 410) in western Arkansas, Heather earned her Masters of Architecture at Texas A&M University and Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree in Graphic Design at Arkansas Tech University. In 2012, she began living and working in Little Rock. She immediately began volunteering with studioMAIN for their ‘tactical urbanism’ event Pop Up in the Rock, staying involved ever since.
Heather’s AIA involvement has included AIA Arkansas Emerging Professionals Committee as Assistant Associate Director and Associate Director, 2014-15, as well as organizing several convention Bikitecture tours and the recent 2020 Voices of Practice virtual panel.
Heather Davis talked by phone with Katherine Lashley, AIAAR board member, to explore her experience with community engagement including examples of tactical urbanism. Read that conversation here
Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects
On Education Outreach

Originally from Benton, Arkansas, Amanda Sturgell graduated from the Fay Jones School of Architecture+Design. She credits her interest in architecture to her grandfather, Robert Gregory, a carpenter, recalling that “he was building our home when I was about 3 years old, and I remember ‘helping’ him install trim. Seeing how you can create a house in the middle of a pasture really made an impression on me. After that, I would ask for graph paper and pens for Christmas and loved drawing houses to scale. I remember having that desire to draw and design, and I know my grandfather allowing me to ‘help’ him is where that passion started. He made it happen.” This story might explain her passion for exposing youth to architecture at a young age, as demonstrated by her history of interaction with kids in the classrooms.
Amanda started her journey with AIA almost immediately after being hired by Polk Stanley Wilcox and is active with the Emerging Professionals Committee. One of the projects that she is leading with the EPC is a video entitled "A Day in the Life", a collection of quotes and images from Arkansas architects, directed at increasing interest in the architectural profession in k-12 schools.
For additional information and a chance to get involved, please see the separate Columns article in this issue.
Amanda Sturgell talked by phone with Lisa Skiles, AIAAR board member, about why she finds educational outreach important to our profession. Read that conversation here 
Congratulations to Newly Licensed Architects
Join us in congratulating these newly licensed architects!

Kalvin Cundiff, Studio 6 Architects
Tyler Dallison, SGA Design Group
Robert Klemple, SGA Design Group
Katherine Lashley, Fennell Purifoy Architects
Kiara Luers, modus studio
Laurence “Lucky” McMahon, Bradley Edwards Architect
Ginger Paquin, Hight Jackson Associates
Joshua Ruminer, Wittenberg Deloney and Davidson Architects
Steven Setzer, pb2 architects+engineers
John Sohl, Vetter Health Services
Jody Verser, modus studio
Committee Requests Help With "Day-in-the-Life" Video
The Emerging Professionals Committee is asking for your help with our educational outreach to grade school students. With COVID-19, plans for in-person workshops or presentations with students have been put on hold. But to continue our involvement with the schools, the Emerging Professionals Committee is putting together a “Day-in-the-Life of an Architect” video that could be distributed to teachers for use. If you are interested in contributing, please send video clips, photos and written responses that answer questions about architecture as a career to asturgell@polkstanleywilcox.com (responses are needed ASAP). Examples of questions to answer in your responses include:
  • What is a typical day for you?
  • What are some challenges you face in your job?
  • What do you enjoy about your job?
  • How has your job been impacted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What type of experience/skills would you recommend for a teenager in order to be successful in today’s workforce?

In 2020, AIA Arkansas formalized a partnership with the Arkansas STEM Coalition by appointing two of our members to the Arkansas STEM Coalition Board of Directors. Randy Palculict and Amanda Sturgell now serve on this board as corporate secretary and director, respectively. We hope that this relationship will provide another outlet for AIA Arkansas to improve our educational outreach and promote architecture as a potential profession to students who may be interested in STE(A)M careers, but do not have any experience with architects or designers. Special thanks to Ernest Banks, a member of the Emerging Professionals Committee, who has volunteered his skills in digital media to assemble these clips and edit the content into a clean, informative video that we hope will demonstrate the breadth of experience we have with architecture in Arkansas.

If you are interested in getting involved in education outreach for architecture, here are some ways to get started:
Contact your local school counselor to see how you can get involved.
Blackwell Project Wins AIA Education Facility Design Award
A project designed by Marlon Blackwell Architects recently received an Education Facility Design Award from the American Institute of Architects' Committee on Architecture for Education. The Lamplighter School Innovation Lab in Dallas, Texas, was one of six projects recognized with an Award of Excellence during the 2020 Education Facility Design Awards, which were announced in October.

The Education Facility Design Awards recognize projects that represent state-of-the-art learning environments that are being developed in today's learning spaces. Winning designs must meet several criteria, including enhancing learning in classrooms, balancing function with aesthetics, establishing a connection with the environment, being respectful of the surrounding community, demonstrating high-level planning in the design process and integrating sustainability in a holistic fashion.
Community Design Center
Wins American Architecture Awards
Two projects by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center and its collaborators were recognized in the 2020 American Architecture Awards, the nation's highest public awards given by a non-commercial, non-trade affiliated, public arts, culture and educational institution. The New Beginnings Homeless Transition Village Prototype and 7Hills Day Center Complex both won American Architecture Awards in the Multi-Family Housing category. The Community Design Center is a public design outreach program of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the U of A. Stephen Luoni, the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies in the Fay Jones School, directs the center, working with a five-person staff. "Congratulations to professor Luoni and the entire CDC staff on these distinguished awards," said Peter MacKeith, dean of the school. "The center's continued design emphasis on the well-being of Arkansas' citizens, through these evident emphases on community resiliency and housing, underscores the school's advocacy of design for the greater good of society."

Now in its 26th year, the American Architecture Awards program is organized by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, which jointly present this prestigious annual program for design excellence and for the best and next contributions to innovative contemporary American architecture. More than 130 buildings and urban plans from a shortlist of more than 400 projects received 2020 American Architecture Awards for the best new architecture designed and constructed by American architects and by international architects with offices in the United States.
Blackwells' Scholarship Benefits Delta Students
University of Arkansas Distinguished Professor Marlon Blackwell and his wife, Ati, both co-principals of Marlon Blackwell Architects, have pledged $120,000 to create an Advance Arkansas scholarship benefiting Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design students from the Arkansas Delta, with the hope of increasing the diversity of the architecture and design professions. The couple’s commitment also includes an annual gift, so scholarship awards can be made available starting with the 2021-22 academic year.  

 “I haven’t traditionally seen many students from the Delta studying architecture, so Ati and I asked ourselves how we could be more proactive in developing opportunities for diverse students to come to the UofA,” Marlon Blackwell said. “This scholarship is about providing opportunity and possibility. Education helps break the cycle of economic inequities and expands economic opportunity, and we’re hopeful that this scholarship provides an incentive for more students from the Delta to study the disciplines of architecture.” The Blackwells noted that social justice issues in the U.S. helped fuel their determination to give back and make a difference. “I realized I can listen, but I can also act,” Blackwell said. Ati Blackwell added, “We felt like we needed to help students from the Delta, and we felt an urgency to do something sooner rather than later.” 
Gifts From David Fitts Supports 'Design Futures'
University of Arkansas alumnus David Fitts, originally from Fort Smith and now living in Houston, never dreamed his degree in architecture would lead to a career at NASA. However, that experience, as well as his appreciation for design thinking, has inspired him to make a planned gift to the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. His gift will be used to create an endowment to fund curricular initiatives in “design futures.” It will establish an endowment in support of curricular initiatives across the school intended to inspire, engage and educate students interested in growing, stretching and expanding their individual design skills and experiences into new creative territories and toward new “design futures.”

“David Fitts has had a remarkable life and career,” said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School. “His accomplishments at NASA, over three decades of creative service to the nation, were founded in part on his architectural education at the university, but moreover on his fundamental belief in the transformative power of design – collaborative, interdisciplinary, human-centered design – to change lives, realize new potentials, and alter futures for humanity. David and I share this belief in design and in the necessity of encouraging new ‘design futures’ for all Fay Jones School students. His inspirational gift validates the ongoing mission of the school and affords faculty and students a radically expanded set of opportunities in their careers and lives – new ‘design futures’ for us all. On behalf of the school, I am deeply grateful to David for his vision and generosity.”
MacKeith Named to Council's Senior Fellows Program
Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, has been named a 2020 Senior Fellow by the Design Futures Council, a built-environment industry leadership consortium. The council announced the newest cohort of inductees to its exclusive Senior Fellows program on Nov. 11 during the first of a two-day online Leadership Summit on the Business of Design. The Senior Fellows program, which now includes some 200 distinguished leaders, honors its members’ significant contributions to the built-environment industry disciplines, in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, engineering and construction.

“I am so happy to see that Peter is being recognized for being one of the leading minds in his field by the Design Futures Council,” said Charles Robinson, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “The University of Arkansas is truly fortunate to have him working daily as a scholar, teacher and administrator on our campus.” Senior Fellows of the Design Futures Council are recognized for significant contributions toward the understanding of changing trends, new research or applied knowledge leading to innovative design models that improve the built environment and the human condition.
Ken Estes
Tim McMennamy
Chris Little
Chad Bowie
Bob Butler
Morgan Zimmerman
April Ambrose
Arron Cooper
Madalyn Strickland
Clay Gordon
Chris Handley
Anderson Murphy Hopkins
Bernhard TME
Brown Engineers
CDI Contractors
East Harding
Garver USA
Georgia Pacific Gypsum LLC
Hahn Enterprises Inc
HP Engineering
JE Allen Company
KI/Glen Jones & Associates
Mays Maune McWard
Minick Materials
Powers of Arkansas
Premier Lighting Group
Schluter Systems

AR Ready Mixed Concrete
Coreslab Structures
Engineering Consultants
Featured Systems
Johnson Architectural Systems
Hillyer Architectural Products
Hunt Design Group
Hydco, Inc.
Landmark CPAs
Tatum-Smith Welcher Engineers
American Institute of Architects
Arkansas Chapter

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