2024 AEP Awards //for immediate release Contact: trothman@aiacalifornia.org April 1, 2024 (April 2, 2024. Sacramento, California) Few professions rely on the detailed training and comprehensive support of next-generation practitioners as
The post Emerging Professionals Influencing the Field Recognized with AIA CA 2024 Academy for Emerging Professionals Awards appeared first on AIA California.

Emerging Professionals Influencing the Field Recognized with AIA CA 2024 Academy for Emerging Professionals Awards

//for immediate release

(April 2, 2024. Sacramento, California) Few professions rely on the detailed training and comprehensive support of next-generation practitioners as much as architecture. A central tenet of the American Institute of Architects California (AIA California), the organization involves itself in issues related to licensure and creates programs that engage, inspire, and honor students and emerging professionals. We value next-generation work and those supporting them. With these precepts in mind, AIA California is honored to celebrate this year’s Academy for Emerging Professionals Award recipients.

In 2024, we honor the following recipients:

Young Architect Award – Maria Katticaran, AIAAssociate Award – David Garcia, Assoc. AIAFirm Mentorship Award – Carrier Johnson + CultureChapter Award – AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter

Young Architect Award recipient Maria Katticaran, AIA, who envisions urban spaces as avenues for positive change and sees her role as an architect is to “design a better world” with communities and active AIA members such as herself.

Maria Katticaran, AIA

“With my design of transformative urban spaces at work, local community-empowerment projects in Oakland, advocacy through thought leadership and town halls, policy-making with involvement in regional advisory boards, and leadership roles with AIA committees, I’m striving to find the right combination to make a positive change. And design a better world, together,” she says.

Her activation of these beliefs was noted by the 2024 AEP Awards jury, “Maria Katticaran, AIA’s, contributions and commitment to sustainability, equity, and resilience are demonstrated and showcased in her practice at HDR, her professional contributions through AIA and other organizations, and her involvement in advisory boards and events within the community. It is inspiring to see a young architect actively participating in panels at the state and national level.”

The qualities of leadership required to achieve the Associate Award are embodied by its 2024 recipient David Garcia, Assoc. AIA.

David Garcia, Assoc. AIA

At this early stage in his career, Garcia has already co-founded a firm, MISCELLANEOUS Office for Architecture; taught as an Adjunct Faculty at San Diego State University; and has served as commissioner, chair, and member for multiple committees locally, statewide, and nationally. Garcia has consistently supported his peers, and Emerging Professionals who seek to attain his success. He has fundraised for and created numerous EP programs and founded Study Hub, at AIA California, the first statewide licensure study program, a highly well received and popular program.

“I recently came across the word Meliorism. It is defined by the belief that the world can be made better by human effort,” explained David Garcia, Assoc. AIA, in his award submission. “I joined Architecture for many reasons, but I support the profession and those training in it because of this belief. I believe architecture is meliorism and I have remained involved because no matter how big or small, our efforts make a difference.”

In bestowing the Associate Award on Garcia, the jury noted his capacity to make a difference: “Collaborator, mentor, teacher and designer; David Garcia Assoc. AIA, has exhibited leadership and commitment in all areas. His passion for helping the next generation of architects — is a commendable and very important task. In addition to advocating for emerging professionals, he has also shown immense capacity for leading projects at his firm and starting out his own firm.

In addition to individual Emerging Professionals, the Academy for Emerging Professionals Awards suite recognizes firms and Chapters whose support of next-generation practitioners is exemplary.

The recipient of this year’s Firm Mentorship Award is Carrier Johnson + Culture. At Carrier Johnson + Culture, licensure is the core standard and represents a commitment to delivering a quality end product that meets the level of safety expected by our clients and the public. “Our firm works hard to create a better path to licensure for these professionals…” wrote the firm’s late co-founder Michael Johnson, AIA, in an article on mentoring and licensure.

Carrier Johnson + Culture mentorship team in action.

Carrier Johnson + Culture has a diverse set of ongoing programs in place to help their emerging professionals advance in a complex and demanding field. The firm hosts its own Architecture Licensing Committee and provides individualized support for obtaining licensure tailored to the different paths and needs of designers, Amongst its retinue of strategies to support Emerging Professionals are: mentorship, opportunities, leadership, and annual goals with monetary rewards aligned with career trajectory.

“Carrier Johnson + Culture’s internal membership programs are thoughtfully structured and robust,” noted the jury. “They have done an excellent job supporting their staff on numerous levels, especially with pathways to licensure. The firms’ commitment to support the development and licensure of professional architects is admired and appreciated.”

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter is the 2024 Chapter Award Recipient, the highest award given to an AIA chapter for the development of superb programming and fostering the highest qualities of leadership within the emerging professional membership.

AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter mentorship session.

In the last two years alone, the Chapter has dispersed $50,000 in scholarships while this small Chapter has expanded the fund which the expenditures emit to $400,000. “The recent decline in enrollment in architecture schools is clearly a sign that architecture school is simply not affordable for a large percentage of the population without outside help,” said Scott Gaudineer, AIA, a member of the Chapter and the 2023 President of AIA California. “This Chapter recognized that and aims to not only facilitate students financially but also foster leadership and an interest in the profession.”

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter also initiated varying programs to support Emerging Professionals, from “On Becoming an Architect,” a series on YouTube, to “Architectural Start-Up” which offered information on how to start a firm.

“We applaud AIA Pasadena & Foothill for their support and advocacy for emerging professionals,” said the jury. “They created so many programs to get people interested and offer an astounding amount of scholarships that support the future of our profession. The amount of work that the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter has done for emerging professionals is worthy of the high level of commitment and action required for this award.”

The Jury for this awards program was comprised of: Olivia Asuncion, AIA – AEP Representative; Anne Cotter, AIA, Chair – AIA California VP of Communications; James W. Zack, AIA, Chair of the AIA California Design Awards Committee; Scott Mackey, AIA, Healthcare Facilities Forum Representative; Katie Chard, AIA; and Liz Ranieri, FAIA, Chair of the AIA California Residential Design Awards Committee.

About the American Institute of Architects California (AIA CA)
AIA California is dedicated to serving its members, and uniting all architecture professionals in the design of a more just, equitable and resilient future through advocacy, education and political action. The organization represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, the AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit www.aiacalifornia.org.

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