2019 | Third Quarter Edition
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Dear Members of AIA Arkansas,

As 2019 draws to a close, I’d like to thank the AIA Arkansas community for your dedication and passion. It has been my honor to serve with so many committed individuals who strive daily to better the profession and the organization. The chapter board, committees and volunteers have worked diligently over the past year to further the chapter’s strategic plan through financial stewardship, political advocacy and exciting new partnerships. I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of these successes.

As the reach of our organization grows with the membership, our mission is to continue to provide the same quality of services we have in the past, as well as further our influence and role within the state. To further this mission, the board approved an investment strategy that will provide AIA Arkansas with an additional source of revenue to put towards programs and special projects.
AIA Arkansas made an official stance in support for SB 145 to increase the installation of solar generation components, reducing greenhouse emissions and improving the air quality of our state. This bill was passed into law and is now Act 464.

In addition, AIA is continuing its efforts to make architectural and design services available to schools through the Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence grant program. As part of this, the AIA is encouraging the U.S. Senate to support language that was already passed by the House (HR 3055), which increases the amount of available grant money from $100 million to a total of $125 million. The House bill also clarifies that STOP grants can fund requests from school districts for architectural and design services.

AIA also saw success with the passing of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which recognizes architecture as an official STEM subject. Congress passed the bill at the beginning of the year at the behest of the AIA to “encourage a more diverse workforce, fulfill the promise of design as the synthesis of art and science, and affect a fundamental change in educational curricula.” This bill will allow for an increase in funds available for architectural education at a high-school level – over $1 billion in career and technical education grants.

While architects and AIA components have been working to bring design to K-12 students through special programs and activities for years, this bill helps codify those efforts. Importantly, it exposes a new generation of students, and better prepares them for a career in architecture.
– AIA press release

The passing of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act has presented AIA Arkansas with the opportunity to forge new partnerships. We will be working with the Arkansas STEM Coalition as a partner to be a resource for their multitude of public outreach programs in STEM education. The STEM Coalition works with organizations and facilities across the state to provide camps and resources emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and now Architecture. Partnering with this state-wide organization allows AIA Arkansas to take an integral role in the education of future generations of architects. To learn more about the coalition and how you can be involved, more information is provided below.

All these efforts would not be as successful without your support and involvement. I encourage you to continue advocating for the profession in 2020 under incoming President Kyle Cook, AIA, Vice President Jonathon Opitz, AIA, Treasurer Craig Boone, AIA, and Secretary Patricia Opitz, AIA. Their leadership and passion will continue to elevate the organization with your help.

Thank you for the opportunity of serving AIA Arkansas. I am proud to be a part of such a dedicated architecture community. Best wishes to you this holiday season.

Lori Yazwinski Santa-Rita
2019 AIA Arkansas President
Jennings + Santa-Rita Architects, PLLC
John Allison Receives 2019 Fay Jones Gold Medal

At the State Convention, AIA Arkansas presented its Fay Jones Gold Medal Award to John Allison, AIA Emeritus. A native of Morrilton, John enrolled at the University of Arkansas in 1966 where he received Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of...

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AIA Arkansas Showcases Design Awards on Website
A unique tree house on the grounds of a botanical garden, a beautiful state park visitor center, a dynamic innovation lab for a private school, a warm and welcoming library annex at a major university and a transformative mill-like headquarters for a global forest products company were all Honor Award winners in the 2019 Design Awards presented by AIA Arkansas Chapter at the recent State Convention at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Click here to view this year's award winners.

Honor Awards
Project: The Evans Tree House at Garvan Woodland Gardens
Firm: modus studio
Project: Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center
Firm: Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

Project: The Lamplighter School Innovation Lab
Firm: Marlon Blackwell Architects

Project: Library Annex
Firm: Miller Boskus Lack

Project: Rayonier Headquarters
Firm: Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

Merit Awards
Project: 8th Street Market
Firm: Hufft firm.

Project: Vault Bar
Firm: modus studio

Member Choice Award
 Project: ArcBest Corporate Headquarters
Firm: Cromwell Architects Engineers, Inc.

People’s Choice Award
 Project: Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center
Firm: Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.

A jury of practicing architects from Texas selected the 2019 AIA Arkansas Design Award winners. 
Young Architects Conference An Inspirational Experience
Kiara Luers, upcoming assistant associate director of the Emerging Professionals Committee, shares these thoughts on attending the Young Architects Conference in Portland, Ore. They originally appeared on her blog.

It has been a few months since the inaugural Young Architects Conference, but inspiration from the event is still firing through me. I was fortunate enough that modus studio supported me in attending this first-ever conference. The three-day event was full of inspiring keynote speakers, relevant workshops and, most importantly, a boosted sense of community, advocates and mentors.

As the name might suggest, this conference was focused around young architects, specifically recent architecture graduates, those seeking licensure or those who have been licensed under 10 years. This was a gap that the founder of YoungArchitect.com, Michael Riscica, felt was missing from the architecture community. Michael has traveled all over the country to speak at AIA, AEC and all conferences in between, but never felt there was a place that focused on the next generation of architects. Alas, the Young Architects Conference was born.
The conference began with an atmosphere that was unlike any other conference I have been to. It was refreshing to not walk through a sea of building product booths, but instead, walk right into a community of like-minded individuals. At any given moment you could hear conversations about what exams people were on, advice on how to get through it and big congratulations (not to mention gold medals passed out) for all those who are licensed. Before I ever listened to a speaker or went to a workshop, I already felt like I had gained confidence and knowledge to further my career.
So much talent came across the stage, such as Wandile Mthiyane, 25-year-old founder of Ubuntu Design, who is empowering inadequately sheltered families to overcome economic and social barriers through design in South Africa. Dr. Ashlee Hayes enlightened us in a discussion on how to develop a lasting career and know our self-worth. Mariela Bravo spoke on rebuilding her home in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and how to adapt architecture to natural disasters. Jason Bachor, founder of GFDA, spoke about finding your unique place in this profession and not apologizing for it.

What truly resonated with me was how all of the speakers were geared toward this audience. They spoke to us about their struggles, their unique paths, the times they wanted to quit (or did), when they didn’t feel like they belonged. The content was about building a successful profession, by building up yourself and building up others; it was less about actual buildings. They were real, raw and are taking our profession by storm.
The workshops continued this trend with a panel that consisted of Architizer, Archinect and Youtube architecture bloggers and vloggers that discussed how to be a content creator. They held a mock bid day workshop that helped all of us learn what really happens on the contractor’s side during a bid day. We learned about rendering workflows, what it means to be a project manager, and other useful tips that will help us as young architects become more relevant in our field.

In addition to all the wonderful scheduled events, what made this conference unique was the ample breaks and free time that was scheduled into our days. The attendees came from all over the U.S., and even some from other countries. There was an inclusive range of backgrounds, races and genders. These breaks allowed for so many personal connections to be made. Lunches tended to be in big groups; free time was spent exploring Portland with someone you had just met. Another important factor to note is that all of the speakers were a part of the conference all weekend long. There wasn’t a divide between the speakers and the attendees, coffee breaks, lunches. Explorations were shared between the attendees and the speakers as one community.
What would a conference be without awards? Well, instead of awards recognizing excellent architecture, the Young Architect Conference gave out awards recognizing exceptional people. These awards were given to those in this community who have been influential in pushing themselves, uplifting others and putting a significant mark on the next generation of architects.
As all good things come to an end, so did the Young Architect Conference – but not before the epic closing party. I look forward to seeing what this group is going to accomplish and can’t wait for YARCH20 on July 24-27 in Portland, Maine, so we can continue to grow and push the next generation of architects! 
Fort Smith Section Touts a Great Year
The Fort Smith and River Valley area has been rapidly changing in recent years. Economic growth and cultural development have made architecture an exciting profession to inhabit in 2019. The AIA Fort Smith Section leadership has worked diligently to organize a variety of events that celebrate this built environment, while increasing involvement inside the section and in the community.

Along with monthly manufacturer-led CEUs, the section also offered on-site presentations with local and far-flung architects working on regional buildings, which often turned discussions towards the advancements of our architectural and cultural fabric. The first of these “hard hat” presentations took place at Four Corks, an architecturally significant liquor store located in the heart of Fort Smith and designed by local architecture firm Architecture Plus. Tony Leraris, AIA, led a large group through the structure, which exhibits an artful use of materials, a well-defined hierarchy of space and thoughtful lighting design.

In our second tour of 2019, Reese Rowland, FAIA, of Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, project architect of the United States Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, discussed the conceptual ideas and construction methods in the venue. The facility will serve as a national center of heritage and legacy, and it will include large exhibit spaces, which will shine the light on pivotal times in our national and local history. This project is already bringing investment and increased interest in the region, and will no doubt become yet another building worth celebrating in Fort Smith.

Unfortunately, the annual Mural Walk that takes place during the world-renowned Unexpected Mural Festival was canceled due to winter weather. There are plans to conduct a tour in spring 2020.

Finally, sponsored by Lighting & Power Solutions, AIA Fort Smith Section’s 4th Annual Baggo
Tournament was held to decide who would represent Fort Smith in the state championships at the 2019 AIAAR State Convention. With loads of pizza, beer, Baggo and socialization, it ended up being a great night of competition and fun. The 2019 Fort Smith tournament was championed by Graham Sharum and Jeff Lane of Childers Architect.

It’s been a great year for education, leadership and outreach for the Fort Smith Section of AIA Arkansas. With plans to reinstate the Fort Smith Golf Tournament, along with other quarterly social events, we are all eagerly looking forward to 2020. If you are interested in getting involved in the Fort Smith Section, don’t hesitate to reach out to Nate Deason, Fort Smith Section Chair, at ndeason@mahgarch.com .

Nate Deason, AIA, LEED Green Associate
AIA Fort Smith Section Chair
AIA Arkansas Forms Disaster Assistance Committee
The AIA Arkansas Board of Directors formed a Disaster Assistance Committee to help the general public as well as its members in times of natural or man-made disasters within Arkansas or across the U.S. 

One of the two primary purposes of the committee is to support and provide resources for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and its INSPARK program. INSPARK (INSPect ARKansas) was formed to provide assistance within Arkansas in the event of an earthquake. INSPARK volunteers will be acting as a second responder performing rapid property assessments to damaged homes and businesses. The goal is to help people move back into their homes and businesses as quickly as possible to help return the community to a more normal state while minimizing the need for emergency shelters.

The second purpose is to teach members and firms how to prepare themselves for disasters. There are steps one can take to prevent or mitigate damage and allow the individual and their firm to return to normal operations as early as possible. 

Why should AIA members be involved in this kind of a program? The AIA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct – https://www.aia.org/pages/3296-aia-code-of-ethics-and-professional-conduct – requires us to do so. Canon II, entitled “Obligations to the Public,” says in part, “Members should render public interest professional services, including pro bono services, and encourage their employees to render such services. Pro bono services are those rendered without expecting compensation, including those rendered for indigent persons, after disasters, or in other emergencies.” The work performed by INSPARK is exactly what is described in our Canon of Ethics.

INSPARK provides training to prepare architects for deployments at no cost. The training is focused on earthquakes due to our relationship to the New Madrid Fault. It has been well over 200 years since there has been any significant activity from the New Madrid Fault. Because of the written and geological records we have from 1811, the series of quakes may have been some of the strongest ever seen in North America since people arrived here. Arkansas is, therefore, acting to limit the damage a quake can do. Although the ATC-20 training focuses on earthquakes, we all know that the response will be similar regardless of the source of the force. 

When deployed by ADEM, architects are protected from liability by Arkansas’ Good Samaritan law – https://www.aia.org/resources/71641-good-samaritan-state-statute-compendium.

Arkansas is a part of an interstate compact to share resources with other states in the event of a disaster. Arkansas architects could be asked to go to another state to provide rapid assessments when they are trying to recover from a hurricane or earthquake. In the same way, if Arkansas were to suffer a disaster, architects can be brought in to supplement INSPARK’s efforts.

Anyone who is interested in joining the Disaster Assistance Committee should contact the chapter office to get more information by calling 501-661-1111 or emailing info@aiaar.org .
The Arkansas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Coalition is a statewide partnership of leaders from the corporate, education, government and community sectors that plans, encourages, coordinates and advocates policies, strategies and programs supportive of excellence in STEM teaching and learning in order to expand the economy of Arkansas and produce higher paying jobs.

Arkansas STEM Coalition Goals
Education and Engagement – Engage and inform education, business and community partners to prepare STEM-skilled workers.
Resource Development and Sustainability – Develop, grow and maintain a secure and sustainable financial base through diverse revenue streams, including corporate support, foundation grants, individual donations, sponsorship, state and federal grants, and in-kind support.
Leadership Development and Capacity Building – Develop, grow and maintain leadership, including talented board members and executive staff to ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability.
Marketing and Communication Development – Communicate the goals, vision and value of the Arkansas STEM Coalition through a diverse set of marketing strategies to improve awareness of STEM education, its benefit and its impact.

Objectives of the Arkansas Network of STEM Centers
  • Provide professional development opportunities for classroom teachers, administrators and other educators.
  • Strengthen the skills and preparation of pre-service teachers.
  • Increase collaboration between the Schools of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Education at institutions of higher education.
  • Contribute to improving student achievement in mathematics and science.
  • Assist schools in curriculum, instruction, and assessment improvements and reform.
  • Foster partnerships with school districts in order to provide technical assistance.
  • Promote collaboration and coordination of activities with the Educational Service Cooperatives.
  • Support high quality mathematics and science education in the state.
  • Coordinate with the Arkansas Department of Education in school improvement efforts.
  • Serve as resources for mathematics, science, and technology materials.

More Information
For information on sponsoring current initiatives (meetings, conferences, science equipment, or other initiatives and programs), stemprogram@arkansasstemcoalition.com .

Living Large in a Small House
Best-selling author Sheri Koones looks at one of the hottest trends in the housing market in her new book “ Downsize: Living Large in a Small House .” The small houses presented in the book  are owned by people who have made a conscious decision to downsize from a larger home to a smaller home – or who just decided to build small in the first place. “All of them are architecturally designed by some of the most knowledgeable and creative residential architects,” Koones wrote in an email to AIA AR. The book is available on Amazon.
Crow Group Celebrates Opening of New Office
The Crow Group, Inc., has completed renovations to the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant at 210 N. Moose St. in downtown Morrilton and an estimated 200 people attended the grand opening of the Crow Group’s newly renovated corporate headquarters on Sept. 27. The company celebrated with employees, the community, clients and vendors at a ribbon-cutting and business-after-hours event co-hosted by the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce. On Nov. 4, the site was recognized by the Morrilton Chamber as its 2019 Business Site of the Year.

Festivities included comments from Crow Group President Brian Rohlman, Crow Group Owner Mike Miller and Conway County Economic Development Corporation President Jerry Smith, who closed the comments with a resounding “It’s a great day for Conway County” cheer. Morrilton Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer also commended the Crow Group for its investment in Morrilton and commitment to providing employment opportunities in the area by proclaiming it “Crow Group Day.”

The building, originally constructed in 1929 as a Coca Cola bottling plant, was also the site of the original Morrilton Walmart Store No. 8 in the 1960s and most recently served as Morrilton City Hall and the Morrilton Police Department. Crow purchased the property in 2018 and worked with the National Park Service Historic Preservation Department through the Historic Tax Credit Program to preserve the historic architecture while modernizing the facility for use as the home office for Crow’s construction and engineering services. Crow received a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant to install solar panels that are helping to offset the energy consumption of the more than 20,000-SF facility.

Crow President Brian Rohlman said, “This move is a significant one for our organization. We’ve grown rapidly over the past five years and with that came the obvious need for more physical space, but it has also afforded us this opportunity to invest in the future of our company and the community we call home by giving new life to this important historic monument.” The company currently employs around 90 people and about 20 of those work in the new facility downtown. The building has the office space to hold 30-plus and there is room for further expansion in the future.
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ATG Enjoys Networking At The
State Convention
ATG USA was happy to attend the AIA AR 2019 Annual State Convention this year and interact with current and future clients while showing off of our partnerships with CTC Software and BIMBOX. Additionally, ATG Technical Specialist James Hughes enjoyed discussing ATG’s recent laser scanning project, Charity Hospital, in New Orleans, which was a scan project of over 1 million square feet, with 9,700 scans in ReCAP. You can contact ATG at 800-935-4894
The Invisible Insulator by Jon Murphy, Thermal Windows, Inc.

If you do any research on windows or talk to anyone in the window business, you'll hear about argon gas. Here's what it is, what it does, and why it is an important part of energy-efficient windows and doors. Discovered in 1894, argon is a...

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UA Fay Jones School of Architecture
'DesignIntelligence' 2019 Survey
Recognizes Fay Jones School Dean, Programs
The dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and all three of the school's design programs have been recognized in the annual survey conducted and published by  DesignIntelligence .

Dean Peter MacKeith was named as one of 29 "Most Admired Educators – Architecture" for 2019. This is an annual recognition of excellence in architecture and design education, and education administration, by naming outstanding professionals from these fields. The most admired educators are selected by DesignIntelligence staff with input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads and students.

This is the second time the publication recognized MacKeith with this distinction, having been selected previously in 2017. Three other current and former Fay Jones School faculty members have been named among DesignIntelligence's "Most Admired Educators": David Buege, professor (2013); Marlon Blackwell, Distinguished Professor and E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture (2015); and Jeff Shannon, professor and former dean (2011 and 2016).

DesignIntelligence noted, "Dean MacKeith has a tremendous understanding of the big picture. He exemplifies this in pushing the limits not only locally, but nationally in design conversations and current construction methodology. He constantly has a pulse on the greater good for architecture and the impact that it makes. He is an encourager and challenges the status quo of the professors, students and profession alike."

The survey of "America's Top-Ranked Architecture and Design Schools" is conducted annually by  DesignIntelligence  on behalf of the Design Futures Council. The Fay Jones School improved in the 2019-20 rankings for the "most hired from" schools of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design, and it was noted as a "most admired architecture school," as reported through the DesignIntelligence 2019 School Rankings Survey. The school again ranked No. 28 among the most admired architecture schools.
Gifts to UA Build On State's Timber Legacy
The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas is celebrating three recent commitments that will build on one of Arkansas’ greatest natural resources – its forests. A $2 million gift from alumni Ross and Mary Whipple and their family will be used to construct the proposed Ross and Mary Whipple Family Forest Education Center at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, while an additional $250,000 gift from alumna Peggy Clark and her family will support the Clark Family Exhibition in Timber and Wood and the Clark Family Endowed Scholarships in Arkansas Timber and Wood Design. A third gift of $750,000 from The Ross Foundation will support programming for a forest and sustainability institute.
“The timber industry is an important part of our state’s history, as well as its future, and these gifts will allow Arkansans and visitors alike to engage with and learn more about our forests and how important they are to the state in so many ways,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. “The University of Arkansas is proud to have this facility and accompanying exhibition as part of Garvan Woodland Gardens, as it will allow us to continue our outreach and service to the state – particularly the southern part of the state, where the timber industry continues to thrive. We are grateful that the Whipple family, the Clark family and The Ross Foundation are showing their dedication to Arkansas – and the University of Arkansas – with these gifts.” 
Finalist Firms Selected
For Anthony Timberlands Center Design Competition
Six architecture firms from around the world have been selected as finalists for a design competition to envision the future Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas. Those six firms – culled from 69 submissions from 10 countries – will now work to create conceptual design proposals for the center, with proposals due by Jan. 31, 2020. 
This center is planned as an important extension of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and as a key part of the university’s Windgate Art and Design District, a campus district along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that also houses existing and proposed buildings for the School of Art and University Libraries. Click here to see the UA press release. 
Opportunity Knocks
Employment Opportunity at RPPY Architects
Roark, Perkins, Perry, Yelvington Architects is seeking to employ an architect or associate architect with 3-5 years experience. Individual should be knowledgeable in Revit and Autocad.

Interested individuals can contact David Perry ( dp@rppyarchitects.com) or 501-372-0272.
modus studio is hiring!
modus studio is hiring! We’re looking for architecture and interior design team members. Applicants should have a bachelor of architecture or interior design from an accredited university, 1-3 years of experience, a deep interest in material research, and be driven to elevate the human experience in the built environment. Our ideal candidates can combine creative thinking with an eye for craft in making, further bridging the capabilities of our studio and shop.   

American Institute of Architects
Arkansas Chapter

318 S. Pulaski Street
Little Rock, AR 72201