MEMBER PROFILES

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

SUBMISSIONS WELCOME

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

Looking for inspiration on great projects completed by chapter members? Check out Project Profiles.

Art Dierks, Chief Operating Officer, The V Collective

What does your firm do?

The V Collective is the parent company to Innerwood, Don Justice Cabinet Makers, and HBI.  We were started by Dan Hueber over 40 years ago as Hueber Brothers Inc., focusing on trim carpentry. After a few years and requests for fine cabinetry, Innerwood was formed to focus on building custom cabinetry. Over the years, as the business grew and a number of acquisitions took place, the companies came together under one name, The V Collective.

Today we work with architects, builders, and homeowners, specializing in the build and installation of fine cabinetry and architectural millwork. 

How did you get into this field?

Prior to joining The V Collective, I spent 14 years as SVP of Operations with TimberTech, a composite decking company. There I was fortunate to be part of a management team that grew the business from just an idea, to over 400 employees, ultimately selling the company. I was looking for an opportunity to run a smaller company with an exceptional product and growth potential, when I ran into Dan and Janine Hueber through a mutual friend. I have been running the company for over five years now and really enjoy the continuous learning experience.

How does your firm work with architects?

We are extremely fortunate to have relationships with a number of architects and are frequently introduced to projects by them. Depending on the nature of a project, our team can collaborate on design, or just manage the build and installation of cabinetry that was already designed and specified. During the process, we work closely with the architect through an exchange of shop drawings. This process ensures our shop is aligned with details specified by the architect, so that homeowners receive their cabinetry as they envisioned. 

Who or what inspires you? 

People…I find great pleasure helping people to develop, cultivating a team, and creating opportunities for employees to succeed. 

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

My wife Amy and I love boating and travel.  We have two grown children and many friends that live out of town, so we take as many trips as we can.  When possible, we combine travel and boating which we were able to do last year visiting Lake Michigan, Lake Norman, the Jersey Shore and the Hilton Head. 

The V Collective is a longtime supporter of AIA Cincinnati, especially our CRAN community, before becoming one of our first Title Sponsors. Learn more at http://thevcollective.com.

Robert E. Gramann, FAIA, Chairman Emeritus, GBBN Architects

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

Well, 1977 is a long time ago, but many of the challenges of chapter recruitment and retention remain the same today. Recruit and retain the young and the old (mature). We had a group we called the young guns! Many are practicing today. Our vision was based on a new strategic plan focused on excitement, chapter growth, programs, leadership development, and getting everyone involved! It worked!

We began planning for the national AIA Convention Cincinnati 1980 and began the development of the AIA Foundation.

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

“TECHNOLOGY HAS ANNIHILATED TRADITIONS.” Designing, drawing, writing, building, communicating, and many more have positively changed our personal and professional lives.

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

We must differentiate ourselves and our role in the design and construction process in the eyes of our clients. Design is the GLUE holding us together, we must lead creatively and innovate. This is the tip of the iceberg – don’t be afraid, embrace change, be the change leader.

How has AIA membership benefited you?

Thanks to very supportive leadership at GBBN Architects, I was encouraged to get involved. I became an AIA JUNKIE which made me a better professional and leader. That was very beneficial to our firm and my other community activities. My AIA involvement as a leader at local, state, and national was invaluable. It enabled me to travel with my family, partners, and friends. Those relationships over time have led to wonderful friendships, contacts, and commissions.

What advice would you give to a recent architecture graduate?

  • Ask yourself: What do you want to be recognized for? What is your individual strategic plan? The long view. How am I going to improve myself this year?
  • Verbal communication is a skill you must develop. Stay Flexible and Adaptable.
  • Be a “work-a-like-it not a workaholic.” Do GREAT work, have FUN!
  • Focus on relationships, projects will follow.
  • You are what you think you are!
  • Keep your priorities straight, GOD, FAMILY, then WORK.

David S. Collins, FAIA, President, The Preview Group, Inc.

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

The 1980 National Convention, although I was not president then, I was a member of the local planning committee and chaired the committee to create the Convention Book; fascinating, spirited Cincinnati. The 1980 Convention in my hometown was a great awakening for me to the vibrancy of the national AIA.

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

The digital age has come to full force. However, I still have bumwad!

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

Gaining back and maintaining preeminence in the design and construction process. 

How has AIA membership benefited you?

I originally joined AIA to meet more architects and to find a job. It has been much more than I could ever hope and not only job-wise, but satisfaction with things that have been achieved at the local, state, and national levels.

What advice would you give to a recent architecture graduate?

AIA is a phenomenal value for anyone that is committed to the profession of architecture.  Ideas are always welcome and opportunities to serve and gain traction on changes you feel are needed are often accomplished by larger numbers of a like mind!

Rick Koehler, AIA, Co-Founder, President, and then CEO of Architects Plus (now retired)

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

I have two accomplishments that I am proud of, while I was on the AIA Cincinnati Board. I designed and initiated the Title Sponsor program which effectively gave the Board recurring revenue each year that they could depend on to underwrite their ongoing efforts to support local AIA architects. This has continued to this day, and obviously the Sponsors feel that they are being well represented by our members.

The second accomplishment, in conjunction with Jeffrey Sackenheim, AIA, was locating the space for the Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design. We also developed the financial model of incorporating the allied services to AIA (ASLA, ASID, IIDA and SEGD) to help supplement the rent structure. Those efforts spanned almost three years, but we got it done and now AIA Cincinnati has a space they can call their own.

In your career, what is the biggest change you’ve seen in the field of architecture and looking ahead, what is the biggest challenge facing architects working today?

With the advent of email and texting, I see younger architects struggling to actually make a phone call when it becomes necessary. Communication is extremely important in our business and certainly emails and texting have made that easier, but there are times when actually talking to the person you are emailing and texting becomes the smart move, and all too often that is overlooked in my opinion.

How has AIA membership benefited you?

By being a member of AIA, especially AIA Cincinnati, you have an instant group of like-minded people who are there to assist you in whatever way they can. I called on friends from time to time, and without fail, they always came through for me. It takes a very large organization and makes it manageable.

What advice would you give to a recent architecture graduate?

Push boundaries, even if it makes people somewhat uncomfortable at times. People do not like change, so it takes them time to get used to your new idea/concept/way of thinking before they will embrace it. Nonetheless, go for it!

Lindsay Schweitzer, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Associate, Designer II
RWA Architects, Inc.
Matthew Zix, Assoc. AIA
Project Designer
MSA Design

Lindsay Schweitzer, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Associate, & Matthew Zix, Assoc. AIA

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

Matthew: There have been a number of projects at MSA that I have been proud to have worked on, but by far my three favorite projects are the FC Cincinnati Training Facility, Mariemont High School addition/renovation, and all the work I have been able to do with the Cincinnati Reds. Over the course of those three projects I have had the opportunity to get involved really early on in the design process and to work with some really talented people to impact the city I grew up in. To see a project like the training facility in magazines or on TV, or hear teachers say thank you for something as trivial as having a window in their classroom, or seeing a model I’ve worked on at Redsfest and watch everyone get excited to go to the ballpark, have been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling on a level I didn’t know was possible.

Lindsay: My favorite project so far at RWA has been a large basement remodel. This was my first project that I got to see all the way through from predesign and proposal writing all the way to construction administration. Seeing the design I drew come to life for the first time has been very rewarding, and being the project manager has taught me more in eight months that I ever learned in school.

Who inspires you?

Lindsay: My clients inspire me. Tailoring our architectural abilities to their varying needs and desires keeps us from doing the same thing repeatedly. We are constantly redefining what a custom home looks like. I am also inspired by strong women in architecture. It kept me motivated to keep going through school and get licensed to say that I am helping the ratio of women to men in architecture.

Matthew: I have always been inspired by the clients and end user. Seeing how little details can make a profound difference in the way others experience and interact with the spaces we design has been the driving factor behind doing what I do. 

What does the Emerging Professionals committee do?

Matthew: Our committee plans and hosts events tailored to emerging professionals in the AIA. We network and provide learning opportunities for those just starting out in the field or those who have been in the field for a while on the road to licensure. We also aim to connect the AIA EP to other members of the built environment community, forging personal relationships to better the city and local design culture.

Who should get involved with Emerging Professionals? 

Lindsay: Young, eager members, and diversity is important to us as well – women in architecture, people of color – let’s redefine who an “architect” is. We want to attract anyone who is hungry to get involved with our local design culture no matter their race or gender. 

How can AIA members get involved with Emerging Professionals?

Matthew: Contact either Lindsay or me and we will include you on the invite list for our events or offer ways for you to get more involved. We serve as the primary contact for the EP community to get engaged with one another and the built environment community as a whole. If you have an idea of something you would like to see, bring it to us and we can get it set up.

Credit: Paige Pederazni
Credit: Ross Van Pelt, The Scout Guide Cincinnati

Craig Russell, Founder & CEO, The English Contractor & Remodeling Services

What does your firm do?

We are a custom builder and bespoke remodeling company located in Cincinnati.

How did you get into this field?

I was the kid who was forever driving my family crazy by taking things apart and putting them back together again, just so I could see how things worked. I grew up in England and ended up being an apprentice to a plasterer, where I learned the art of the trade. I gradually transitioned into learning the art of remodeling, where I worked in some of the most beautiful homes in London. I founded my own building and remodeling firm in England. Then I met my wife at Oktoberfest in Munich. After an 18-month long-distance-courtship, I made the jump to Cincinnati to join my wife as she began her career as an OB-GYN physician at Christ Hospital.

Starting from the ground up again and getting accustomed to the somewhat different building traits of the United States, I started as The English Handyman doing home repair and smaller home improvement jobs. As my reputation grew, so did my projects, as I established my knowledge and credibility within the construction industry in Cincinnati. I incorporated an apprenticeship program into my company, an important learning process and accreditation that is mandatory in the United Kingdom, to teach and encourage the next generation of trades.

Over the past 8 years, I have assembled a best-in-class crew of professional remodelers, with a thriving apprenticeship program of my own for those who want to learn the trade like I did and have transformed my business into a building and remodeling firm. My team of 40+ includes specialty trades, including our own plumber and electrician, so we really have everything we need to build a home from the ground up—from the foundation and mechanicals to the small, bespoke details. I spend most of my time in the field, where I still am happiest when I can get my hands dirty.

How does your firm work with architects?

As a home building and remodeling company, it is our passion to deliver the architect’s vision and the client’s expectations. The end result is a home that is both beautifully designed and beautifully built. A strong partnership between builder and architect helps manage any hurdles or challenges that any project may encounter along the way—and the end result is a customer who is thrilled with the end result.

What inspires you? 

Believe it or not, a challenge inspires me. My team and I love to problem solve. I’ve yet to come across a project that doesn’t have some sort of issue, problem or pain point that we needed to solve for a customer. There’s always a solution. After all, there’s a space station that was constructed in outer space, so I always use that as an example to show that anything is possible in construction. Sometimes, it just takes some creative thinking and troubleshooting to make it happen. When my team and I can put our heads together and solve a problem for one of our customers, that is something we really celebrate. Our partners know that we’re not going to walk away from a project shaking our heads. We’re going to roll up our sleeves and work until we figure it out. That’s just our style.

What is your favorite building and why? 

I feel like I have to pick one of my own, right? In 2018, my firm was selected as the contractor for the HGTV Urban Oasis. We worked with designer Brian Patrick Flynn and architecture firm Platte Architecture + Design to take a Dutch Colonial Revival in Hyde Park/Oakley down to the studs and then completely remodeled it, outside and out. The home is the shining star of the neighborhood now. I love how just one person remodeling a home in a neighborhood can start a chain of transformation on the street. 

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

I’m a veteran Rugby player, although I don’t frequent the field as much as I would like to. Now I now spend my time as the coach for the University of Cincinnati’s women’s rugby team. It’s a club team at UC, but we’ve helped build up the program over the past few years and are nationally ranked. I’m also one of the assistant Rugby coaches at Moeller High School and previously coached the team at Walnut Hills. Many of those players are now attending college on full rugby scholarships, which is something I’m really proud of. 

If I wasn’t a home builder/remodeler, I’d probably be doing something in the automotive industry. I am a military veteran of the Royal Corps Transport, now known as the Royal Logistics Corps. I developed a real love for the Land Rover and off-roading then and now spend my infrequent free time working on my vehicles and riding my Ducati motorcycle. You may see The English Contractor sprinter vans and pick up trucks around the city, but I wouldn’t be a true Englishman if I didn’t drive a Land Rover as my personal vehicle. I have imported a Land Rover defender and a classic Mini from the U.K. I also have passion for horses and riding, having owned a few over the years. Most of my time is spent managing my business and meeting with my customers, but even my pastimes get me out, meeting new people, solving problems and learning new things. 

The English Contractor is not only a Title Sponsor, but also a Sesquicentennial Stakeholder, the Platinum sponsor of AIA Cincinnati’s CRANawards, and a 12 Gauge sponsor of Sycamore Creek Sporting Clays (October 1). Learn more at https://theenglishcontractor.com/.

Amanda Cook, Territory Sales Manager, Tisdel Distributing- Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Distributor

What does your firm do?

For the past 30 years, Tisdel Distributing has been the exclusive distributor for Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Faber, Best and Scotsman in the midwest and midsouth, USA. We are the direct link between the manufacturer and more than 100 dealer showrooms. It is our job to ensure that our products, dealer displays, and your ownership experience exceed expectations. We are passionate about excellence and represent the very best in residential kitchen appliance brands

How did you get into this field?

I went to design school and have always been passionate about the design and building industry. I completed my design degree and while getting my bachelor’s degree in marketing I started working for a local tile distributor. I quickly learned that I could stay engaged in the community of design that I loved, while working in it from a sales perspective. This keeps me connected to the clients that I have developed such strong relationships with, while continuing to build new ones.

How does your firm work with architects?

We provide education and resources for the architectural community for any Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove products. We have a staff that is educated to work alongside architects to assist in the specification process, design phase, service needs, and the distribution to the trade clients. Our showroom offers a space to bring clients to walk through product selection, experience the appliances through our living kitchen and cooking demonstrations, and we encourage architects to use our space to host meetings with their clients as well. 

Who or what inspires you? 

I am most inspired by travel. 

Mark Twain – “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s life” 

What is your favorite building and why? 

I cannot say I have one favorite building; I have an appreciation and love of seeing the creative work of so many. I have recently been trying to see, tour, or stay at as many midcentury modern architecture homes as I can. Airbnb stays have made pairing my love of travel and midcentury modern architecture a lot of fun to explore.  I absolutely love the style of incorporating nature and bringing in the outdoors.

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

Spending time with my family, traveling, outdoor activities (kayaking, hiking, biking). I love cooking, baking, and visiting new restaurants whenever possible.

Tisdel Distributing is a longtime supporter of AIA Cincinnati, beginning as a CRANawards sponsor before becoming one of our first Title Sponsors. Learn more at https://tisdeldistributing.com.

John Rogers, FAIA, FACHA, President, John W. Rogers, Architect

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

The AIA Cincinnati Board focused on member value while I was on the Board. We continued to create a reserve that covered 120%+ of our annual operating expenses. We held Board members accountable to focus their service on member benefits and value. I led our emphasis on our chapter committees which engaged more of our members. Our membership increased over 25% during my service on the Board. Our newsletter was improved and included articles from leading area architects. We worked through the “signature architect” program with local clients to assure local AIA architects were involved and architect of record on many projects. We worked on resolving prior issues with AIA Ohio and developing common goals to advance the profession and AIA members around Ohio. We encouraged our architect members to get involved in community and political organizations.

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

Architecture is now a global opportunity for many firms and the shift to specialty design has changed the landscape of practice.  We now look at health on a global scale and an important component of planning and design for projects everywhere.

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

Positioning our profession to be experts in health, carbon neutrality, climate change, sustainability, and energy efficiency as we prepare our communities for the future. We must remain relevant and be valued as thought leaders in developing the successful future of our environment.  

How has AIA membership benefited you?

Creating and incredible network of industry friends who are exceptional professionals with such varied experience and expertise that it expands my knowledge and resources.  I have been able to create and lead projects as well as develop long time clients and friends for life. I am so blessed to have such successful and incredible people as friends and colleagues.  I have had opportunities to impact people all over the world thru the work and presentations I have made throughout my career. I am humbled to have had amazing opportunities to serve our profession at many levels and surround myself with professionals who are far more talented than I am to enhance my leadership impact.  

What advice would you give to a recent architecture graduate?

Remember life is about people and the opportunities you have to impact their lives.  Create as many opportunities as you can to use your passion and knowledge to improve our environment to secure the future with empathy, knowledge, and leadership.

Andreas Lange, Senior Associate, PWWG Architects, CRANawards Chair (2016-2020)

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

Cincinnati Music Hall – I joined PWWG as the on-site Project Architect to help deliver this project. It was a once-in-a-lifetime project that demanded absolutely every architectural skill imaginable and more. The scale and speed of the renovation was overwhelming at first. In the end, being present, respectful, and responsive helped transform the potentially tense relationships between the design team and contractors. We figured out how to work together to solve very messy problems and maintain design intent. The project was delivered on-time and to widespread praise. I’m proud to have been part of the team that made it all happen.

Who inspires you?

My kids – Every day you can see them learn something new and make more connections. Seeing them slowly grow up into funny, beautiful little people is one of the most rewarding things in the world. Sure, redesigning Music Hall was challenging, but it had an end date. Thankfully, kids don’t have a deadline and they will continue to grow.

What does the CRANawards committee do?

The CRANawards Committee organizes and runs the annual awards program highlighting the best in residential architecture in Cincinnati. We gather entries from professionals, select and organize the awards Jury, collect sponsorships from industry partners, and organize the awards banquet. The CRANawards started in 2009 and has been very successful in raising awareness and recognition of the good work that residential architects do here in Cincinnati. Our committee also tries to improve the program every year. For example, this year we have created a student category and a 25 year category. The intent was to broaden participation to include emerging designers and established professionals with a legacy of work. We also teamed up with UC to share our visiting Juror who will give a free public lecture the day before the awards banquet.

How can someone get involved with the CRANawards?

We’d love for more young professionals to join the committee. Cincinnati’s CRAN committee is one of the most active in the country and the CRANawards is its signature event. Being on the CRANawards Committee is an opportunity to directly shape the story about residential architecture in Cincinnati and broadcast that to a much larger audience. It’s also good networking.Submit a project for the awards next year, attend the 2020 banquet (registration deadline is March 20!), and pay attention to who is building the best buildings in town. Challenge each other to build better.

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).