March 2019 Newsletter

Save US Architects!!!

The expectations we put on architects each year is overwhelming. We expect you to save the environment, keep us healthy, quality of life and keep us safe- thru DESIGN, but the public still struggles with the VALUE an architect brings to the table. Maybe, just maybe with SAFE design being in the forefront, there will be a NEW awareness and appreciation for architects.

We are in the beginning phases of a five-year strategic plan and we will be asking you for your input. Part of this strategic plan is our chapter meeting topics and education.  We have been having conversations with Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, Jefferson County Health Dept. and UAB. They (and others) have researched and gathered data on health issues, food deserts, poverty, and so many other challenging issues in our area, but there are no solutions to date. How can architects help? How can AIA make an impact in our community?

AIA BHM is committed to making a difference.

Peace & AIA Love,
Rhea Williams, Executive Director AIA Birmingham &
Alabama Center for Architecture


Greg Carden, Protective Security Advisor Homeland Security will share what homeland security looks for when they enter a building.  He will discuss case studies and what went wrong and how the design could have made a difference.  Building design plays a direct role in how law enforcement responds to an incident.  Find out more March 19th at the Jewish Community Center.

RSVP to by March 15th
Purchase tickets here!

Click here for more information! 

Sponsors, it’s time to Renew for 2019!  Click here to renew online! 

Wow, 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.

AIA Birmingham Design Awards Call for Entries 2019

Click here to fill out your entry forms ONLINE!

Click here to pay your entry fees!


February Chapter Meeting Recap!

The Wood Design Symposium was a multi-faceted educational event on the use of wood in commercial and multi-family buildings. We had so many neat exhibitors and covered topics like mass timber design and construction, techniques for successful timber design and performance, and mixed use building analysis!
Exhibitors: Boise Cascade, Alabama Forestry Association, Canfor, EACOM, Santer Timber, LP Building Solutions, Sierrra Pacific Windows, PFS TECO, MPP: Mass Plywood Panels, Georgia Pacific, Weyerhaeuser, Real Cedar, Rothoblaas, Homasote, X-LAM USA, MiTek, & Norbord.

Thanks & we hope to see everyone at our next meeting in March!

Women in Architecture



Emerging Professionals

Purchase tickets here!

Michael Riscica AIA is a Licensed Architect, keynote speaker, internationally recognized blogger, and creator of Young an online-based platform which helps Architects succeed passing tests for licensure and beyond.

An unexpected poster child for success with entrepreneurship and exams, Michael struggled with school and was a special ed student in his early academic years. In high school, he couldn’t pass a standardized test in writing essays.

Ironically, now he writes about a standardized test for the Architecture Community.

Michael discovered Architecture through Architectural Drafting, working with an interior design company, which ultimately led him to pursuing a career in Architecture. Like many Architects, Michael loved architecture school but felt blindsided by the real-world challenges that happened after: namely achieving financial stability in an unsteady and unpredictable job market and navigating the challenging process of becoming a Licensed Architect.

Determined to succeed in spite of an extremely rigorous testing process and a learning disability, Michael invested 4+ years in finding a way to pass the exams. What shocked him most was that upon his success, he realized that thousands of friends and colleagues who had declared their desire to become licensed never did– because they did not understand the process, or have the guidance and support system, to complete the Architect Registration Exam.

Fueled by his own experiences of success and struggle, Michael now helps Emerging Professionals pass exams and be financially resilient Entrepreneur Architects through blogging at, speaking tours, teaching workshops and leading in-person study groups.

Motivated by his students’ success and his drive to create a better future for the next generation of architects, you can find Michael writing, speaking, teaching, consulting, or volunteering for the greater architecture community, locally and beyond.


Site Visit to the Zoo with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood!

March 14th
4:00 PM
2630 Cahaba Road

Building with Bricks > LEGO!!!

Check out the cool architectural models we have for the LEGO Exhibit!  Thank you, Gresham Smith and Adams Gerndt, for the models (and project boards). Everyone (architects too) have fun checking these out.  It is not too late for you to exhibit at the LEGO exhibit. And I must thank the other firms for their BEAUTIFUL project boards: ArchitectureWorks, CCR Architecture & Interiors, Chambless King Architects, Christopher Architects & Interiors, Creature, Dorsey Architects, Goodwyn Mills & Cawood, Gresham Smith, Herrington Architects, Krumdieck A + I, KPS Group, Matheny Goldman, Robert Thompson Architecture, Studio C Architecture & Interiors, Williams Blackstock Architects, and TRO Jung|Brannen. There is still time for your firm to exhibit.

March 12th – 30th, 2019
109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd South
Free to the Public // Open Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM Saturdays – 23rd & 30th, 10 AM – 3 PM

We are hosting our Annual LEGO Design Build exhibit this month. The purpose of this exhibit is to educate adults & children on the importance of architecture in a fun and engaging way. We have boards that explain what an architect does and the design process, architectural models, Lego architecture, and 20 pounds of LEGOS for the kids to design and build in the conference room. The ACFA gallery will have architecture projects for the parents to check out while the kids are learning about architecture and building it with LEGOs in the conference room.

If you are interested in helping with this exhibit, or you would like to exhibit your firm’s projects, email or fill out this form here to enter a board or model!

Click here to volunteer for the Spring Break lunch time (March 25th-29th) or Saturdays (23rd & 30th).