Speak Up Columbus



Speak Up Columbus from AIA Columbus on Vimeo.


Speak Up Columbus from AIA Columbus on Vimeo.

The AIA #ILookUp media campaign is designed to elevate the public's awareness of the impact and importance of the architecture profession by asking everyone to "look up" and engage in and space a conversation on the value of architects and architecture. Initially, AIA members were asked to Look Up and share what they see. However, Robert Ivy reminded us it's not only important to look up, but also to speak up and become spokespeople for the proession. We are asked to become better advocates and speak to the public about how and why architects contribute to the community.

In an attempt to take advocacy to the street and to actually hear what people in Columbus, Ohio think about architecture, the AIA Columbus Emerging Professionals Committee have been working on a video titled, "Speak Up Columbus!", in order to bring the AIA National #ILookUp campaign to the local level. The national campaign has inspired our local EP Committee to develop this new initiative which is intended to not only promote public awareness and appreciation of architecture here in Columbus, but also to actively connect with the public by asking their opinions and listening to different perspectives on architecture and how buildings impact their daily lives.

The Emerging Professionals have chosen four buildings around Columbus where they interviewed the architect of the building to get some contextual information and ask questions about the building before turning it around and having the architect ask the public their thoughts about the buildings. We have received candid reactions and opinions from the public through video interviews without the interviee realizing they were speaking to the architect. The architects were able to inform the public about elements of the design as it related to their response during the interview. 

It is our hope that Speak Up Columbus! is just the beginning of a renewed appreciation and awareness of architecture in Columbus and will help encourage the public to recognize their surroundings and encourage architects to speak up about architecture and design. The AIA Emerging Professionals have started the conversation in our city now let's continue it with the community! 

 Speak Up2


Emergency! COTE Charrette Boards

EMERGENCY! Design for Stressed Futures COTE Charrette Final Boards

To read about the project overview and more about our jury, click here.

For pictures from the charrette day, click here.


MitchellJoachim Edit     Michael B 2     Blostein for web2     David Brehm-Edited     

   Mitchell Joachim                        Michael Berning                              Beth Blostein                                      David Brehm
    PhD, Assoc AIA                     PE, CEM, LEED AP, BD+C                     RA, Assoc Prof                               AIA, LEED AP, BD+C
       Lead Juror 

Overall jury comments:

  •          All teams could use further articulation on sustainable solutions.
  •          Jury struggled with what a sustainable project would look like in space- remediation of the earth? 
  •          The jury felt that prioritizing design in the solutions was important. Design has a unique role and ability to solve complex problems and the jury favored schemes that demonstrated this approach.  

Congratulations to our winning team, Kiribati, with Ryan Newman, Jay Gopal, Yuno Kim, and Andrew Heathfield!

Jury comments:

  •          They got to the details of the project by showing a section of their proposal.
  •          This team had the most bells and whistles.
  •          More design development and consideration than the other proposals
  •          Thought about all the systems; freshwater lagoons, reusing ships, coral reef creation
  •          We like that this team talked about preserving the culture.
  •          This team has the most graphics that describe how this proposal will work.
  •          They designed for human needs and ecological needs
  •          They consider how to move forward.
  •          This submission is more tectonic than the rest.




Honorable Mention goes to Journal of Dr. Dorothy Halprin, MD, with Sam Ludwig, Elizabeth Leidy, Sam Yu, and Chris Laster.

Jury comments:

  •          Creative use of the study on calcifying bones as a substance to use
  •          Great use of today’s technology – batteries, lightning, wave energy etc.
  •          This team thoroughly attacked the situation; fighting fires, storing energy, water filtration, food, etc.
  •          Good ideas and concept but is it giving me the desire to live?
  •          They have engineered a solution but now they need to work on the design. 
  •          Nice map of network and how it could be extended.
  •          Most compelling conceptual diagrams of all the entries.
  •          The architecture was diagrammatically interesting, but under-developed



The Final Frontier - Escape Pod

Kai Raab, Mike Schulte, and Charity Sims

Jury Comments:

  •          Clever reuse of nuclear warheads for propulsion
  •          The concept was strong but the presentation didn’t make a strong case for a future role of design.
  •          Needed more development and detail to be a convincing solution, particularly in the living accommodations.



Jiffy Pop - Escape Pod

James Brennan, Paul Carney, Matthew Anderle, and Matthew Hallal

Jury Comments:

  •          Good idea of reusing materials to build the escape pods

  •          The escape pod idea is good.

  •          It does not appear that the scheme does anything to help the earth improve. 

  •          The design does not seem to correspond well with the narrative.

 Team 4 -3 EMERGENCY



EXODUS: Building a New World - Escape Pod

Meiquian Zhou, Neil Austin, Sean Barrett, Hannah Namenyi, Alice Smejkalova, and Pei Wang

Jury Comments:

  •          Very systematic

  •          Creative story

  •          Good use of many disciplines

  •          Needed more development to be a convincing solution.

  •          It seems somewhat inappropriate to spread out across Mars having pushed Earth past its capacity.



100x100 Project

In 2013, AIA Columbus celebrated its 100th birthday. To commemorate this important milestone, a group of Emerging Professionals, with the help of the Fellows Committee, grouped younger architects with more seasoned members of this chapter to discuss the profession in the context of past, present, and future. These discussions were filmed, and highlighted in the video below. 




AIA Columbus Presents 100 X 100 from Reece Thompson on Vimeo.

The Weight of Architecture - AIA Columbus Design Services Grant






How can architecture help solve a challenge your organization faces and help achieve your mission? As architects, we solve problems, but we recognize not all organizations can budget for our services. This Design Service Grant is intended to provide design assistance to local 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that can benefit from the services of skilled architects and designers and that would not otherwise have the resources to retain such services. Our team is prepared to meet with selected non-profits to assess and analyze a challenge identified by their organization. 


I. PROBLEM SOLVING - To help identify a challenge and propose a solution for local non-profit organizations. 
II. EDUCATION - To raise public awareness about the value of good design in community revitalization and service efforts.
III. CONNECTION - To establish a dialogue and build connections between the non-profit community and the local architectural profession in Columbus. 


Come see the finished proposal for each project displayed at The Center for Architecture and Design throughout November! 

To view photos from the charrette on Saturday, August 23, 2014, click here.

 Be sure to watch the short video overview from the charrette day as well!


                             Overview about the project
                                         Larger View 

 WOA Board Intro FINAL2 



Wild Goose Creative | Proposal | Board

The design team will create schematic designs for the reconfiguration of the storage, kitchen, and stage. Designs need to allow WGC to be as flexible as it needs but still achieve multiple levels of security/access. Designs need to take into account required codes, phasing, landlord improvements, flexibility, marketing, and street presence.  
Larger View of Board

WOA Wild Goose Creative

Homeport | Proposal | Board

Homeport's community, Emerald Glen, is seeking schematic design plans for an expansion of their Community Center. The Center provides numerous services and support to the Emerald Glen community, like after school programs and summer camp; however, the Center does not provide enough space to function accordingly.

We chose Homeport’s Community Center expansion because we appreciate the impact the project will have on the people of Emerald Glen. After visiting the site and seeing the children who will be impacted, we knew we had to be involved. The much needed additional space would allow Homeport to provide a safe environment for the children and a better outreach to the community.
Larger View of Board

WOA Homeport Board4

SID Public Services | Proposal | Board

SID’s goal is to assist local businesses in having a physical presence in downtown Columbus through a multitude of programs.  We see our partnership with SID as an excellent opportunity to re-imagine the existing fabric of Lynn and Pearl Alleys and provide the community with a more vibrant urban environment.  The Weight of Architecture program will offer us great opportunities to directly connect with the Columbus Community and show how collaborative engagement can solve problems through design and enhance the built environment.

SID Public Services has been working towards developing a retail alley at Pearl and Lynn alleys one block north of the Statehouse. City funding has been provided to improve the right of ways within the alleys, and now the need is focused on the existing stock of buildings. Our intent is to create a marketing/developer package showing both retailers and developers the great opportunity at this location. This will likely be similar but separate packages for these two audiences. We are seeking your help/expertise in retail and developer work, as well as architect and designers interested in revitilizing our downtown. 
Larger View of Board

WOA SID Board2

Dick and Jane Project | Proposal | Board

Our involvement with the Weight of Architecture Project stems from a desire to give back by using our skill sets, training, and education to make a positive impact on the local community.  Our draw to the Dick and Jane Project lies within its unique and moving mission to empower teens through the art of song writing that are then produced into high quality tracks recorded by local professional musicians and played on the radio.  In terms of a design solution we were drawn to the open nature of the DJP’s issue, how do you give a home to a non-profit who is always on the move from school to school?

Our goal is to provide DJP with a solution and design package that they can present to raise funds for the project. Possible solutions could be but aren't limited to: a portable stage; program study for a theoretical future establishment; a mobile workshop/lab; environmental graphics for regional workshops. 
Larger View of Board

 WOA DickJane Project




1913 - 2013: 100 Years of AIA Columbus


2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Columbus Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. To commemorate this important milestone, AIA Columbus and its membership created a film where 100 architects at varying stages of their careers engaged in dialogue about the past, present and future of the profession. This film highlights those conversations. 


AIA Columbus Presents 100 X 100 from Reece Thompson on Vimeo.

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