MEMBER PROFILES

Get to know the chapter’s committee chairs, title sponsors and fellow members with our Member Profiles below.

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Interested in introducing yourself to fellow AIA Cincinnati chapter members? Complete and submit a member profile form to info@aiacincinnati.org.

Interested in sharing your work? Complete and submit a project profile form to info@aiacincinnati.org to be considered.

Alexander Christoforidis

Alexander Christoforidis, AIA AICP LEEDap, Division of Experience-based Learning and Career Education, University of Cincinnati

Of your recent projects, which is your favorite and why?

You always look ahead to the next one, but among my recent projects, I would have to say the renovation of our Church’s Parish center is my favorite. I had the opportunity to design a project which touched on our faith and identity, was very well received by the community, I had the chance to work with an amazing group of people on the building committee and church leadership and a very good contractor. Also, I get to use it every week as a parishioner myself.

Where do you find inspiration?

I look to my family and my faith for inspiration first, but the architecture profession provides inspiration everywhere you look. From my position at UC where I see students wanting to make architecture their career and to do work that matters to the world around us in many ways, to new knowledge and new science that architects use to improve our built environment.

What does SAIDworks do?

First and foremost, our committee brings our professional community in touch with students. We have one of the best structured programs at the University of Cincinnati for preparing emerging architects, and much of that is because we connect with our profession. Although our students can work anywhere in the U.S. or abroad, more of them work in Cincinnati than anywhere else. SAIDworks is an event we have organized to allow students to get to know local professionals and alumni through portfolio reviews, presentations on and by each firm, and advice for emerging architects as they prepare for their first UC co-op. It shows students that there is a strong network of professionals who are very interested in on-boarding them successfully into the profession, that they are indeed needed, and that they have opportunities and the support they need to make the most of it. The committee makes sure the event  – which typically includes firm presentations, an informal social event, and four hours of portfolio reviews – is well planned and optimizes the opportunities for students as well as participating firms for everyone’s benefit.

How can AIA Members get involved with SAIDworks?

We like to serve a diversity of firms as much as possible in every aspect of diversity. The easiest way would be to email me before the end of March 2020; however, anytime is a good time to ask.

John Dorich, Partner, GOP Limited Structural Engineers

What does your firm do?  

We are Structural Engineering consultants. We specialize in the design of buildings and related structures. Our clients are mainly architects, but we also work for contractors, building owners, and some residential clients.

How did you get into this field?  

I studied Civil/Structural Engineering at Purdue University and took a job with LJB Group in Kettering Ohio upon graduation. I worked there for four years doing structural design of cranes, platforms, and safety systems for industrial clients. I decided I wanted to do more building design, so I switched to GOP Limited in 2000. I’ve been here ever since. 

How does your firm work with architects?  

We work directly with architects as consultants for the structural design of buildings. We try to be as flexible as possible with our designs to help the architects achieve their desired results while still providing safe, economic, and successful structures. 

Who or what inspires you?  

Nature.  I don’t get out in nature as much as I would like but when I am able to, I always find it inspiring and relaxing.

What is your favorite building and why? 

That’s a pretty broad question, so I’ll narrow it down to Cincinnati buildings. My favorite is the Union Terminal / Cincinnati Museum Center building. For some reason I’ve always been drawn to the Art Deco style and the size, scope, structure, and history of the building is fascinating to me. If you get a chance to do a behind the scenes tour, I highly recommend it.

When you’re not working, what do you love to do?  

I’ve got three boys under the age of 12 so when I’m not working, I’m usually spending time with them or driving them to some practice or another. When I’m not doing that, I like to read. Usually history related.

GOP Limited Structural Engineers is a longtime supporter of AIA Cincinnati, as a Golf Outing sponsor and Partner before becoming one of our first Title Sponsors. Learn more at www.gopltd.com.

Image © 2019 Mark Bealer

Mark Bealer, Co-Owner, Studio 66 LLC

Who inspires you: 

Ezra Stoller, the pioneer of modern Architectural Photography. A recent book of his work is “Photographic History of Modernism.” His style was to spend time studying a building to find the best light/time of day to make the pictures from the different angles. He used natural light, versus flash, to depict architecture as it was in its original state. 

An artistic historian, not a documentary photographer, he photographed mainly in B&W, although it can be more difficult to make an intriguing picture without color.

Book Excerpt: “Under his lens, design is elevated to heights unforeseen by the architects themselves.”

Recent Project:

We were tasked to photograph Lisle Elementary School, just west of Chicago, which was designed by Perkins & Will. Fortunately I was able to spend 3 ½ days at the school, and with it being a ground up, brand-new build, it took every bit of that to show it at it’s best. I had multiple areas to photograph and they were in all four directions of the compass. 

The main focus was in the enormous Learning Resource Center, a very large atrium Library/media center the students would use multiple ways each day. We were to concentrate on how the design of the ceiling promotes natural day lighting and acoustic control.

What do you consider your strongest skill:

Inside of photography, regardless of the modern tools, my strongest skill must be in my ability to listen and understand what an architect is asking me to translate about their design in the still photo.

What do you love most about what you do:

I love searching for, finding and creating that one “signature shot” which reveals the vision of an architectural project. 

When you’re not being a photographer what are you doing:

You will find me generally being outdoors, canoeing/camping hiking and biking in the mountains, especially North Carolina.

Jonathan Wood, Owner/Architect, Wood Architects

Of your recent projects, which is your favorite and why?

After two years of planning and design, we are finally under construction for an addition and renovation to my personal residence. I love being on site every day and watching our vision come to life.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the design and building process. Most good things don’t come easily, and the design and building process is no exception. I am inspired by the journey from the first sketch idea to the day the client moves into their new space. The design and building process is never a straight line, there are always sacrifices, but I always find an inspirational space or element from every project.

What does your committee do?

The Sycamore Creek committee organizes an annual sporting clay fundraising and networking event held in the fall. The committee also recruits participants and local sponsors to take part in the event. We’re able to do a lot by phone and email so we only have a few in-person meetings.

How can AIA Cincinnati members get involved with Sycamore Creek?

We are always looking for new committee members. We’re able to do a lot by phone and email so we only have a few in-person meetings. We would like energetic architects with deep network connections to the local design and construction fields.

Members can also recruit a team to participate. Architects, vendors, contractors, all are welcome! Contact me if you have questions or are interested.

Brad Ewing, Principal, Owner, Registered Architect at ESM Architects

Of your recent projects, which is your favorite and why?

Besides designing the company Christmas card every year which is always one of our favorite annual projects, I would say a custom home that is finishing up in Hyde Park is a favorite.  It’s been five years in the making and all of the hard work is coming together into a very satisfying and meaningful outcome.  I’ve been saying that when it’s all done it will look simple even though there has been a lot of inherent complexity to the project as we’ve gone along.  If it really does end up happening that it looks simple and like it was “meant to be,” then that will be one measure of the success of our contribution as the architects.  Certainly the Owner’s satisfaction with the finished project is always another obvious overall goal and motivation.

Who inspires you and how? 

My favorite living architect is Robert Stern.  I’ve always admired his work and his approach to design.  Truthfully the local residential architects in Cincinnati that I always refer to as “friendly competitors” inspire me and spur me on to keep working to elevate my own work.  It is this group that makes up CRAN Cincinnati and it always amazes me how many of us there are here in town successfully focusing on residential work.  There are some really good architects here and that’s good for all of us.

What does CRAN do?

Our goal in CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network) is to promote the Architect’s role and involvement in the residential design and construction process.   This is achieved through an inward effort among local residential architects as we gather monthly to strengthen our skills and knowledge base and through an outreach effort of championing the skills and successes of local architects in residential design to the greater public.  We want to prepare and position ourselves to be the experts in residential architecture that others turn to for creative solutions, great design, and good relevant input about their houses based on our training and our experience. 

Who should get involved with CRAN? 

All are welcome and we only get stronger with more people involved and engaged.  Our history has been that of an active and well-attended group of professionals and associates all eager to promote the role of the architect in residential design.  Whether you are a sole proprietor who has been practicing for a while but have always known you could benefit from connecting with others in a similar role, or you are an architect currently practicing in the commercial world in a larger firm but have always been curious what it looks like to be an architect designing houses, CRAN would be a great place to start.    

How can AIA members get involved with CRAN?

A great first step is to join us at one of our monthly meetings (usually the first Tuesday, but in January, we’ve moved to the second Tuesday) to widen your network by meeting other residentially focused architects, and to sharpen your skills and broaden your knowledge base through the content and collaboration shared each month.  Another opportunity is to contribute some of your work to the CRAN Awards competition held each year.  This year entries are being accepted through February 29th and the Awards Banquet is April 2 at Music Hall.  Enter your work or just come to the April 2nd event to see some of the outstanding residential work being done in Cincinnati.

Couper Gardiner, Founding Director, m.Arch Inc

What is your favorite recent project and why? 

The Citizen-Driven NEP Tot Lot and Substation Improvement continues to connect a small group who share values from distinct backgrounds in a Cincinnati neighborhood with great potential, helping strangers visualize their goals, and affect concrete positive lasting change. Price Hill Will staff had already had serious fun side-by-side with Chas Wiederhold, David Corns, and me separately, when they asked us to partner on the neighborhood business district’s top priority—over what has turned out to be five years. They see us as creatively trusted additions to their team of city and business friends.

Who inspires you and why? 

Anita Brentley has not stopped building on her already incredible talents since I first heard her in 2012 on a panel about parent empowerment as the key to success for young children. Then, she was a local activist representing Children’s Hospital and Avondale at the Children’s Defense Fund’s national conference in Cincinnati. Between then, earning a Ph.D. last year, and now, she continues to partner creatively. For example, she works with volunteer parents across town building bonds with their neighbors while advancing community health, getting people paid (including for gaining math and reading skills), and supporting parents in discovering individual and family goals and working toward them. Even though we may be with each other rarely, my experiencing her ideas in action, repeatedly, gives me the sense that her faithful energy persists. 

What does your committee do?

The Urban Design committee, through meetings, workshops, and public forums, provides opportunities for AIA Cincinnati members to share informed viewpoints on specific urban planning projects, while increasing the role of AIA Cincinnati architects in the public/private sector decision-making process. Committee planning and programs continue the exchange of practices and ideas for architecture beyond individual buildings and client interests, with active partnering relationships that impact expected changes.

What kind of AIA members would you like to have involved with your committee? 

Urban Design committee events attract a good cross-section of practicing planners, designers, and architects, as well as a variety of allied design professionals and area citizens who see urban design as furthering larger scale work. Historically, members from chapter committees on Advocacy, CRAN, and Emerging Professionals have also been UDCers. Consistent AIA and UDC members enjoy relaxing together, expressing what they know through study and experience, listening, feeling challenged in facing real changes, and debating alternatives.

How can AIA members get involved with your committee?

Face-to-face is best, through our monthly meetings, regularly at CCAD on the second Wednesday from 5:30-7:00 pm. Our open salon-style conversations, every other month or so, reflect the interests and priorities of whoever’s with us in planning, and members are often the best provocateurs for these. Salons often lead to follow-on work with a few people afterwards, and sometimes lasting friendships. Community design workshop roles, every other year or so, typically involve up to a dozen architects as volunteers, from event planning and research with constituents, to working with student assistants on reference and follow-on graphics, and day-of work with participant groups. The AIA Cincinnati website offers examples of past events, as well as email connection to the UDC conveners. Invitations to UDC events are also emailed to anyone who asks to be on the UDC e-list.

Mark Streicher C3 Architecture & Design Ltd.

Mark Streicher, CEO President, C3 Architecture & Design Ltd. 

What is your favorite recent project and why? 

No favorites. Each project is unique, challenging, and usually rewarding in unexpected ways. 

What inspires you and why? 

I’m inspired by nature and naturally occurring examples of structural integrity, form, and function. 

What does your committee do? 

Cincinnati Canstruction® is a local event that is part of an international design-build competition. The committee usually meets via conference call a few times a year and is made up of AIA members, other design professionals, and Freestore Foodbank staff. We recruit teams from local firms to participate, promote the event on social media, and help find leaders for Strut the Structures tours. 

Who are the ideal AIA Cincinnati members to help with Canstruction? 

A good mix of all types of AIA Cincinnati members offers the best diversification of new ideas and problem solving. 

How can AIA Cincinnati members get involved with Canstruction? 

Contact me or Maridonna Wamsley. They can also still register their team to participate in the 2020 event (deadline is Friday, November 15, 2019).