2012 AIA National Convention Small Project Practitioners Recap
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Macrae-Gibson Architects, Photo by Fredrick Charles; Salmela Architect Photo by Undine Prohl; Jeffery Poss Architect; Robert Maschke Architects, Photo by Eric Hanson.

Letter from the SPP Chair

Small Project Practitioners at 2012 AIA National Convention

Dear Members,

Thank you for your continued support of our Knowledge Community! We were thrilled to see many of you at the 2012 AIA National Convention in Washington DC. For those who could not join us we are excited to share our experiences with you. We hosted a number of sessions and a social event.

Here is a recap of the highlights.

2012 Small Project Awards

AIA SPP 2012 Awards Panel - James Cline, Karen Van Lengen, James Slade, Chad Oppenheim, Maryilys Nepomechie
2012 SPP Awards Panel: James Cline, Karen Van Lengen, James Slade, Chad Oppenheim, Maryilys Nepomechie

The Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community presented its eighth annual Small Project Awards Program as a continuing education session at AIA National Convention. The awards program recognizes small project practitioners for the high quality of their work and promotes excellence in small project design. This awards program strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to projects, regardless of the limits of size and scope.

2012 Small Project Awards session, "Ethos: Elemental and Evocative" was joined this year by the awarding jury who shared their thoughts and praise for the winning projects with the audience and award honorees. The jurors provided a unique opportunity to pull back the curtain and reveal the inner workings of an award jury. Their observations stimulated thoughtful considerations of design themes and inspired the honorees to tell the audience their personal experiences while designing the projects.

2012 AIA SPP Awards Recipient Liu Ming for Space Flavor with jurors James Cline, Karen Van Lengen, James Slade, Chad Oppenheim, and Maryilys Nepomechie 2012 AIA SPP Awards Recipient Marlon Blackwell for St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church with jurors James Cline, Karen Van Lengen, James Slade, Chad Oppenheim, and Maryilys Nepomechie
2012 AIA SPP Awards Recipients Liu Ming (left) and Marlon Blackwell (right)

This year's 2012 AIA Small Project Award Program included jurors James Cline, Jury Chair, Anne Fougeron, Chad Oppenheim, James Slade, Karen Van Lengen, and was organized and moderated by Leonard Kady (2012 Chair, AIA, SPP Advisory Board). The panel included the Maryilys Nepomechie (2010 SPP Chair), who is currently working on a publication documenting the first eight years of the Small Project Award.

The upcoming SPP Journal will feature provocative excerpts from excited jury members as well as descriptions and photographs of this year's award winning small projects.

Small Project Award of Excellence

SPECS Optical Facade | Alchemy Architects
The Mobile Dwelling Cube | SPACEFLAVOR
OS House | Johnsen Schmaling Architects
The Ghost Houses | curb
Becherer House | Robert M. Gurney, FAIA
L Residence | Min Day
Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church | Marlon Blackwell Architect

Small Project Award of Merit

Cape Russell Retreat | Sanders Pace Architecture
Stacked Cabin | Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Yao Residence | Perimeter Architects
Shade Platform | SmithGroupJJR

2012 AIA SPP Awards Recipient Brandon Pace with SPP Chair Leonard Kady
2012 SPP Chair Leonard Kady & Award Recipient Brandon Pace

Reception at the District Architecture Center

Along with the Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) and Housing Knowledge Community (HKC), SPP hosted a reception at the District Architecture Center in Washington DC. The vibrant crowd and the intimate setting provided opportunities for SPP members to network and exchange ideas with our AIA Knowledge Community peers. We were honored to have in attendance our sponsors, as well as our editor and publisher friends from Hanley Wood and Taunton Press.

The AIA SPP would like thank Autodesk, Fine Home Building and Unilock for their generous sponsorship of the event.

Continuing Education Sessions

Other SPP convention programming included two continuing sessions organized by Linda Reeder, (2013 Chair, AIA, SPP Advisory Board) that responded to the needs and challenges that small firm architects encounter.

"Emerging Small Firm Business Models: Staying Lean While Working Large" reviewed new strategies for small firm practitioners to stay lean and nimble without limiting the scope of projects that the firm can support. Collaborative approaches such as virtual, offshore, next door, different models for firm alliances, and importing or exporting specific expertise.

"Sustainability Metrics For Small Commercial Projects: Affordable Tools For Evaluating And Certifying Energy And Green Building Performance" discussed not only tools to evaluate the performance of  sustainably designed small projects, but provided knowledge to help our clients attain affordable third‐party certification for both new and existing buildings

Leonard Kady headshot


Leonard Kady, AIA
2012 Chair, AIA Small Project Practitioners

If you would like to get involved with the AIA SPP Knowledge Community, please contact spp@aia.org.

Our SPP Mission:
AIA Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community generates, collects, and distributes
knowledge for architects of small firms and designers of small projects.

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