PAST PRESIDENT: STEPHEN SENDELBECK

AIA Cincinnati Past President Stephen Sendelbeck

Stephen Sendelbeck, Retired, Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati and KZF Design

Looking back at your time leading AIA Cincinnati, what are you most proud of accomplishing?

During my presidency, we focused on organizing and planning Chapter events and communicating with our members to enhance the value of membership. We increased the number of annual events from 7 to 12, and we issued an event calendar for the year in January identifying monthly programs. This calendar was in paper form (this was 1998) and designed by Kelly Kolar so that it could be displayed on each member’s workspace wall. We also established the Chapter’s first website making AIA Cincinnati the first chapter in Ohio to have one, and we used our redesigned newsletter to give monthly updates and reminders.  

In your career, what is the biggest change you’ve seen in the field of architecture?

Technology has undoubtedly changed the profession the most since I graduated in 1975. In particular, 3D visualization tools have helped clients understand proposed designs and eliminate surprises.

Looking ahead, what is the biggest challenge facing architects working today?

The complexity of projects and the speed of delivery required will continue to increase. The challenge to the profession will be to find ways to do this without compromising the quality of our work.

How has AIA membership benefited you?

While I never held national office, I benefited greatly from participating in regional and national conventions/conferences and getting to know professionals from around the country. It was a great way to stay abreast of the changes in the profession and to keep me thinking about how to innovate in my practice.

What advice would you give to a recent architecture graduate?

While architects often prefer to be generalists, developing expertise in a specific area of the profession that excites you will provide greater professional opportunities to you.

Your education has given you special training in problem solving that is not typically taught in other disciplines/professions. That skill will allow you to do more than you realize and make you a true asset to your clients. Look for ways to utilize your problemsolving skills to go beyond the scope of architecture and tackle bigger issues. You will be seen by your clients as innovative and the organizations where you work and volunteer your time as a true leader.

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