January 2019 News

2019 President’s Letter

Looking back on 2018, I am struck by the breadth of what our 350-member chapter continues to accomplish each year: continuing education, exhibitions, lectures, building tours, government outreach, design awards, intern development, disaster relief, (and parties) to name a few. I am proud that AIA Birmingham’s offerings rival those found in much larger cities and that our membership has the diversity, critical mass and vitality to make a difference

Last year, the AIA launched Blueprint for Better, a national campaign to raise the public’s awareness of what architects do to make our communities better – more engaging, safe, and resilient. At its core, the blueprint calls for architects to strengthen relationships with their cities, towns, and communities. It’s gratifying to know that AIA Birmingham has already spent years developing robust community connections that have become stronger and more extensive each year. Expanding our public influence requires us to fully utilize the talents of everyone within the profession and to inspire upcoming generations to become architects. Our chapter is addressing this need.

One of the chapter’s newer and most active committees, Women in Architecture, focuses on the accomplishments and challenges of women in the profession: one of 2018’s highlights was the Women in Architecture exhibit and reception. Other members are currently sharing their experiences and resources to help architects licensed in other countries obtain registration in our state. The Emerging Professionals committee provides ARE support and other programming for interns in a social venue. Through our affiliation with the Alabama Center for Architecture, our members support outreach programs for elementary and high school children as well as college scholarships.

All of this would not be possible without your membership, the dozens of architects volunteering their time, our enterprising executive director, and her staff. Thanks to everyone for their efforts!

We are a service organization and are always looking for ways to add value to your membership – we encourage your feedback and suggestions.

I hope to see you in 2019: you can look forward to events that have become AIA Birmingham traditions as well as some surprises. In the meantime, check out our rapidly growing social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I look forward to another year of fellowship, learning and service as President of this chapter.


Richard F. Simonton, AIA [h

Renew your 2019 AIA membership!

AIA Birmingham strives to provide the best possible experience for our members. As we look forward to 2019, we will continue to advocate for our profession and promote the value of architecture in the community.

With more than 350 members in our chapter, AIA Birmingham provides a great opportunity to develop contacts and advance the profession through continuing education and industry specific training.

Click here for a list of all the meetings we hosted last year!

We are stronger together, and AIA values your partnership. We hope you will join us again as a member of the AIA.

Five ways to renew today — Learn more at aia.org/renew.

  1. Online by electronic check
  2. Online by credit/debit card
  3. By phone
    Call (800) 242 3837, option 2 (within the U.S.) or 1+(202) 626 7300, option 2 (outside the U.S.)
  4. By mail
    Return your 2019 renewal invoice with payment to:
    The American Institute of Architects
    P.O. Box 64185
    Baltimore, MD 21264-4185
  5. Dues installment program
    Pay your dues in up to six monthly installments with our Dues Installment Program. Enrollment begins October 1, 2018 and is available through April 30, 2019. Learn more >  

Sponsors, it’s time to Renew for 2019!

What a great year we had! Just a reminder that all chapter sponsorships expired at the end of December- Check out the 2019 Sponsorship Brochure here!

THANK YOU to all the sponsors who paid their 2019 sponsorships in November & December!

If you renew your sponsorship and pay by January 15th, we will give you $100 off your sponsorship (platinum, gold and silver levels only)! See the brochure or contact Rhea or Sarah with questions.


  • Camacho Associates, Inc.
  • Continental Building Products
  • Dale of Alabama
  • Sherwin Williams
  • Smith Lacey Sales & Associates
  • ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas
  • Wood Products Council


JANUARY SEMINAR – Resiliency in Construction – Up to 3 HSWs!

KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION – get 3 HSW’s at the first of the year!

Join us for our first Chapter Meeting of the year: Resiliency in Construction. We’re pairing up with the Alabama Concrete Industries Association to bring you some amazing speakers, so don’t miss out on this one! Reserve your spot by registering online or RSVP to me by end of day!

Pre-Payment for this seminar is required. You can purchase your ticket online here, https://squareup.com/store/aia-birmingham, or send a check to the address below. I can also take a CC over the phone. Thanks, and we hope to see you on Tuesday!

2018 Holiday Party

Way back on December 6th, we had our annual holiday party! Special thanks to our party sponsor, Spire, and Cahaba Brewery for the libations!

View photos from the party here! 

Save the Date for our February Chapter Meeting!

February 28th, 2019
Click here for more information!

Career Center

Jobseekers – we have LOTS of jobs listed on the website! Don’t miss AIA Birmingham’s Career Page for the latest local opportunities.

Check out the AIA Career Center for all the hottest jobs and access to the Career Learning Center, which encourages an integrative career and professional development process that enhances your skill set.

FIRMS– post your jobs on the AIA Birmingham website! FREE for local member firms. Email Rhea or Sarah for more details.

4th Annual Posters, Pints & Pies – Opening Reception! 

Thursday, January 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Alabama Center for Architecture, 109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South
$10 cash donation at the door

The Alabama Center for Architecture is hosting its fourth annual Posters, Pints and Pies, an art exhibit of private collection music show posters, with an opening reception on Thurs. January 31st from 7-9 pm. Hand-selected by local music-lovers, these show posters are curated from private collections and include Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, Ben Harper, MOE, BB King, Galactic, Jefferson Airplane, The Black Keys, Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule, Bob Dylan, Lumineers, Keller Williams and so many more. Live music by AndBlack, these two kids will blow you away with their Grateful Dead  and Allman Brothers jam session and they might throw in a little bluegrass too. We’ll also be raffling off some marvelous prizes, so this opening is not one to miss!

The exhibit will be open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 10-3 until February 28th.

$10 cash donation at the door, which benefits educational programs for the Alabama Center for Architecture, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.

Thanks to The Beveled Edge, Dave’s Pizza, Diplomat Deli, & Cahaba Brewery for sponsoring this event!

Interested in submitting a poster for the exhibit? Fill out this form by January 15th!

2019 Building with Bricks Exhibit!

The LEGO exhibit was a huge success last year. More than 200 people attended the exhibit and built cool structures with LEGOs, oooed and ahhhed over your project boards on exhibit. It was fun to see so many non- architects in the gallery admiring your work. We would love to add architectural models to the exhibit. People LOVE to see models and the kids would think they are so cool too.

If you missed this event last year; the conference room turns into a LEGO design build room for kids (and adults). The gallery space exhibit has LEGO buildings and DESIGN AWARD project boards.

We need your project boards ($100 for each project board, $50 for a model). This is an opportunity to market your projects to a captive audience (literally). This is another great opportunity for us to educate the public about the VALUE of hiring an architect. If you are interested in helping with this exhibit, or you would like to exhibit your firm’s projects email aiabirm@aiabham.org. Stay tuned for more info!

Click here to see the photos from last year’s LEGO Event!

BRICK FAIR (LEGO conference) is January 19th & 20th at the BJCC!  Click here for more info: https://www.brickfair.com/