november 17, 2006
  Members’ Voice: Time to Give Thanks
AIA members reflect on what they’re most thankful for this year

by Heather Livingston
Contributing Editor

Summary: In anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, AIArchitect asked members what they’re grateful for. Not surprisingly, our fellow architects are most appreciative of the love and support received from friends and family. We at AIArchitect hope you celebrate the holiday in the company of those loved ones who make your life a joy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben Ames, Assoc. AIA
Principal, Amestudio Inc., Alexandria, Va.
I’m grateful that I work in a profession that allows me to create something for my family. After living for several years with my wife and child in an 850-square-foot 1950s Rambler, I was able to design and build a 2,000-square-foot addition/renovation. It’s very gratifying to include a child into the process of building and see his pride with the result. My 5-year-old son Nicolas’ greeting to visitors is always: “Hi, come see my room.”

Michelle Kaufmann, AIA
Design Principal, Michelle Kaufmann Designs, San Francisco
I am thankful for many things. Items at the top of my list include:

  • Afternoon walks (and consultation) with my husband, Kevin, and our dogs in our neighboring nature preserve
  • The optimism to imagine a world where beautiful design is accessible to everyone
  • Being naïve enough to believe we can accomplish Item 2
  • Being surrounded by smart and talented colleagues and clients (who have also become dear friends) who also share and are committed to the vision of Item 2
  • My husband’s humor (especially when Item 2 doesn’t go exactly as planned).

Burke Kitchen, AIA
Project Architect, Horst, Terrill & Karst Architects PA, Overland Park, Kan.
I’m thankful that my best friend got through his kidney failure. He has greatly improved kidney functioning, which may be coming back, so he may not have to look at a having a kidney transplant. That would be the biggest thing I’m grateful for, by far. As far as business goes, I’m thankful that things have greatly picked up around our area.

Tom Krizmanic, AIA
Principal, STUDIOS Architecture, New York City
I’m thankful for coming to work everyday, working with very creative people who want to just do the best job that they can do, and working in that environment is something that then I want to perpetuate and sustain. I’m thankful for my family, of course, who support me, and I’m thankful for my clients, who make me want to get up and do the best job that I can do everyday to add value to their lives. That’s what I’m adding to the world, so being able to do that is what I’m thankful for. It’s an incredible freedom to be able to do what you enjoy doing and feeling that it contributes. That’s probably what I’m thankful for the most.

Mark Seibold, AIA
City Planner, City of Choctaw, Okla.
I am thankful for my family, first and foremost. Being young and being in a state that doesn’t have many architects, there are a lot of tough decisions to make about where to start your career and where to continue your career. One of the most important things is being around people who will continue to support you in the good times and the bad.

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Ben Ames, Assoc. AIA, and son, Nicolas. Photo courtesy of the architect.

Michelle Kaufmann, AIA. Photo courtesy of MKD.

Burke Kitchen, AIA. Photo courtesy of HTK Architects.

Tom Krizmanic, AIA. Photo courtesy of STUDIOS Architecture.

Mark Seibold, AIA. Photo courtesy of the architect.