January 2015 News


Happy New YEAR and 50th Anniversary Beautiful Architects!

I hope all of you had a wonderful fun holiday and are ready to keep having fun in 2015 with us. We have so much to celebrate; AIA Birmingham is 50, a new website, new AIA Birmingham president, exhibits, lectures, Fit Nation – Part II, Celebration Series (with a wine pop up shop – cheers!), BEAUX ART BALL (YES!!!), Alabama Center for Architecture and each of YOU. Be sure and check out the new website www.aiabham.org and please check out www.alcfa.org too.

I had a great time with all of you in 2014 and am SO EXCITED ABOUT 2015!

Peace & AIA Love,
Rhea Williams,
Executive Director AIA Birmingham

President’s Goals for 2015

carey-headshot2014 will be remembered as a milestone in the life of AIA Birmingham. Thanks to TWO years of dedicated leadership by Past President Robert Thompson, an engaged Executive Committee and a tireless management team of Rhea Williams and Kathryn Moore, the Alabama Center for Architecture (ACFA) has been firmly established and has provided a public face for our community of architects. Also, we have begun to emerge from the recession still on a firm financial footing. For those still confused about the alphabet soup of AIA, ACFA, BAF and AAF, click here.

2015 will be a fantastic year for our chapter. We have assembled an energetic and forward thinking group of experienced professionals and up and coming young leaders who are eager to push our chapter to a level that we have never been.

One of our main goals for the coming year is to provide a clear and obvious benefit to being an AIA member. Membership numbers are crucial to our success. We need your help to spread the word that membership is a good investment. We will have quality chapter meetings and professional development programs, as well as many opportunities for service and outreach. I encourage you to experience dreamArchitecture or N2Architecture or our Governmental Affairs Committee to see firsthand what impact we can have on the community. Our management team is motivated, talented, and most importantly committed to helping us achieve our goals.

We want to also provide a clear and obvious benefit to sponsorship. We could not do near what we do without their loyal support. The best way to keep them around is to provide them business opportunities and to thank them….often.

We will be working to enhance our visibility, communication and interaction through social media. For those who are into that we encourage your input.

As you probably know by now, 2015 is our 50th anniversary. Plans are underway to mark the occasion with many special events. It will take the efforts of not just the Executive Committee but of the membership as well to ensure the success of the year-long celebration.

I look forward to serving as president of AIA Birmingham for the coming year. It will be an exciting time, and I hope to see all of you enjoying your membership. Your participation is vital to our chapter’s success. Check out the calendar on the new website [link when site is live] often, as there will be interesting things happening all the time!

Warmest regards and best wishes for the New Year,

carey hollingsworth signature

Carey F. Hollingsworth, III, AIA, CSI

Save our Architecture Firm History!

As you know, we have a long and wonderful tradition of Architecture and Architectural Practice in this town. However, the connections between the team of amazing people designing these structures and the buildings themselves is often lost.

We are putting together a BIRMINGHAM ARCHITECTURUAL FIRM FAMILY TREE for the upcoming 50-year anniversary. The goal is to create a mural size poster illustrating the evolution of architectural practice in Birmingham over the last 50 years (1965-2015).

To make this happen we need your help. If you are interested in having your firm represented, please click here for more information.

Brannon Foster, AIA, LEED AP

Save the Dates!

Don’t miss upcoming AIA and ACFA events! Check the right side of the newsletter to view Upcoming Events, or visit the events page on our new website at http://aiabham.org/events/ 


We have a wonderful year planned for 2015! Thank you to all our sponsors who paid for their sponsorship in December 2014 (see below). If you have not renewed, please see the sponsorship form here or email kathryn@aiabham.org with any questions.

Alabama Graphics
AMA Lighting
Crow Friedman Group
Hohmann & Barnard
J.R. Prewitt & Associates


AFS Repair
Ai Corporate Interiors
Alabama Lighting Associates
Boral Building Products
Edmonds Engineering
Gallery Services

Acme Brick Company
Camacho Associates Inc.
Consulting Construction Engineering
Continental Building Products
Division 2-4
Dodge Data & Analytics
G2 Lighting Agency
Habiframe Storm Shelters
Marvin Windows
The Mell Group
Office Environments
Parrot Structural Services
Robins & Morton
Southern Bath & Kitchen
ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas


American Gypsum
Brasfield & Gorrie
Coral Industries
Lighting Partnership
Patterson Pope
Sain Associates

IMGP4074AIA Holiday Party

If you missed our annual holiday party on December 4th, you missed the event of the season! We had nearly 200 architects and sponsors pass through for delicious food from Savoie Catering, Cahaba Brewing beer and holiday cheer. A big thank you to Pro Construction for sponsoring the party! See more photos from the event here.

Membership & Payment Plans

membership renewal adHave you renewed your AIA membership for 2015? If not, now is the perfect time so you can take advantage of all AIA has to offer! To see our local member benefits, visit our new Membership page. Renew today at www.aia.org/renew!

And remember, ALL renewing, new & reinstating Architect, Associate, International Associate, Allied (Institute only), and New Graduates are eligible to participate in the 2015 Dues Installment Program. For more information, visit AIA National’s FAQ page at http://www.aia.org/about/aiab081429 or contact Rhea or Kathryn with questions.

January Meeting – How to Gain Recognition for Your Projects – 1 LU

Tuesday January 20th | 11:30 – 1:00 | $15 members; $25 nonmembers
ALAGASCO Center for Energy Technology | 20 20th St. S 

RSVP to kathryn@aiabham.org by January 16. 

AshleyKizzire_headshot_2014Ashley Kizzire, Senior Editorial Director, Constructive Communication, Inc.

This program will help you gain a sense of how to build a public relations program in order to effectively promote your company and projects. Gain a sense of how to identify news or stories that the media will be interested in, as well as provide tips and guidelines as to how to present projects and items of interest, how to work with the media, what information you should be prepared to release and how to develop a PR program. The content also will help participants in identifying projects and news items for award competitions. 

As Senior Editorial Director of Constructive Communication, Inc., Ashley specializes in the written word. With experience writing and editing for the media since 1995, Ashley helps clients effectively communicate key messages with their target audiences. Ashley’s success includes authoring numerous communication vehicles, such as feature articles, blogs, website copy, press releases, award submittals, brochures and newsletters. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Birmingham Southern College and a Masters of Education from Auburn University Montgomery.

December Meeting – Tools for your Firm’s Successful Future/Emerging Risk

Photo Dec 17, 1 45 43 PMMike Jackson with Crow Friedman sponsored a lunch and learn at the Ruffner Mtn. Nature Center on Wednesday, December 17th. Robert van Arsdall with XL Insurance Group spoke about the general and specific risks faced by A/E firms and how those risks have evolved over the last 10 years. He also presented information on how firms can minimize liability through such practices thorough better client selection, effective COMMUNICATION, and specific contractual language.

Part II of the seminar covered employees and who to hire. Baby boomers are retiring, but we all know architects NEVER really retire. Hire the baby boomers on contract as project managers and mentors to your interns, freeing your time for business development and design. Boomers are tired of the administration and headaches of architecture, but as contract project managers, they get to enjoy architecture again. And an added bonus, they have insurance (Medicare)! This is just a tease of Part II of the presentation – much more solid info. Click here to view photos from the meeting! 

If you are interested in the PowerPoint presentation email mike@crowfriedman.com 

What Happens when LOCAL Firms enter INTERNATIONAL Design Awards?!

bDotBOYAwardTHEY WIN!!! – bDot Architecture – Winner of a 2014 Interior Design Best of Year Award!

We need more firms entering design competitions to show off the talent we have in Birmingham. All of you are so talented, and there are so many design awards you can enter and win. I know most of you do not care about awards, but it is about promoting architecture, good design and elevating awareness in our region of the talented firms. We encourage you to SHOW OFF!


Brian Roberson, owner of bDot Architecture, (right) poses with Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design, at the ninth annual Interior Design Best of Year Awards in New York City.

On December 4th more than 950 designers and manufacturers gathered at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building in NYC for the 9th annual Interior Design Best of Year Awards. The auditorium was standing room only, as the winners were announced live by hosts Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief, and Mark Strauss, President and Publisher, using the IAC’s 80-foot video wall to present. This year’s Best of Year experienced record-breaking numbers: 2,000 submissions – growing by more than 60 percent in the last two years, with entries from Iceland, India, China, Russia, Canada and numerous countries in Europe. The product voting site experienced a 50 percent increase in number of unique visitors, with 600,000 page views and 60,000 votes. bDot’s project, The Clubhouse, won in the Budget category. WOW!! Click here to check out their project: https://boyawards.interiordesign.net/finalists/2014/projects/budget. Congratulations to Brian Roberson and bDot Architecture!!



Hill Center

January Site Visit – Hill Student Center at UAB

Hill University Center, which was a fixture for student life since 1983, was torn down in 2013 to make way for a new and improved student center. Join AIA Birmingham Emerging Professionals on a site visit led by Herrington Architects and Doster Construction on January 22. Please note that this site visit begins at 3:30 so we have enough daylight to tour the site.

Street parking only. Construction entrance is off 15th Street, which is closed to vehicular traffic. Carpooling is suggested, if possible. Closed-toed shoes, hard hat, reflective vests and safety glasses required (per Doster and UAB). We will have a limited number of hard hats on site. RSVP by January 20 to kathryn@aiabham.org.

Sponsor Spotlight: AMA Lighting

AMA Ad 2

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