MEET OUR COMMITTEE CHAIR: CRAN

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.

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