2020 Year End Newsletter

Happy December,

The year has come and gone, and I still have not seen you. I miss all of you and look forward to seeing you in 2021. We still managed to have a great year and hosted interesting programs.  We learned about the lack of affordable housing and how many people are suffering from no safe place to live in our city. It is sad to think of teenagers (and others) living on the streets scraping by for food and essential needs.

We will continue this discussion in 2021, bringing in more dynamic speakers with potential solutions. We hope you will be inspired through the programming.  I have been inspired by a Denver University college student; he has been attending our virtual meetings and is passionate about finding a solution to the housing crisis.

It’s best to learn the whole truth to find where we can fix any issues that are hindering people from performing at their best.

Francisco Carnaggio

What a thoughtful statement. I want all of us to think about this as we move into 2021. We have an opportunity to make a difference and help others. If you are interested in getting involved, email me. 

Wishing you and your family a happy healthy holiday season. Sending you good karma and peace for 2021.

Peace & AIA Love,

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

Chapter Sponsors

Our Chapter Sponsors have been incredible! Their support has been crucial to our success in 2020 and will continue to be in 2021. We encourage our members to consider our sponsors first if they are in need of services.

See right sidebar for a full list of 2020 Chapter Sponsors.

SPONSORS: We want you in the AIA Birmingham Family in 2021! As a token of our gratitude, we are offering a $100 discount to all sponsors who renew at the Silver level or higher. Email katie@karmamanagementinc.com to renew today! Click here to view the 2021 Sponsor Form.


Looking Ahead to 2021

2020 was a wild ride, but we’re cruising into 2021 on a wave of positivity! We have the best sponsors and members around, and we will thrive together as we continue to explore housing and implement our Five Year Strategic Plan in the New Year.

We moved to all virtual events in the wake of COVID-19, and we will continue online in the foreseeable future. We will reach out when anything changes. Thanks for understanding!

2021 Programming:


As you contemplate renewing your AIA Membership in the New Year, we hope you will consider the many benefits being in the AIA Birmingham Family:

  • Unique HSW opportunities that are not product-driven
    • Scroll through the slideshow above for a recap of 2020 programs!
    • Discounted registration price for AIA Birmingham members
    • AIA Birmingham reports Members’ CEUs at our events
    • AIA Birmingham offered more than 20 CEUs in 2020; more than half were HSWs.

  • AIA Birmingham Design Awards
    • Scroll through the projects above to get a glimpse of our 2020 winners! Visit our Design Awards Page for more photos.
    • Winning projects scroll on our website’s homepage for the following year; the AIA Birmingham website had 50,000 views in 2020!
    • The Design Awards page garnered almost 13,000 views!
    • Online voting for People’s Choice was new in 2020. We received nearly 5,500 votes!
    • This year also included a traveling exhibit that exposed the public to our members’ work in partnership with Pepper Place and Jasper Main Street.
    • Participants in AIA Birmingham Design Awards received great press in 2020:

  • Resume Review & Sharing
    • AIA Birmingham can review your resume and share it with local firms looking to fill a position
    • We have placed several AIA Birmingham members (and nonmembers, too!) at new firms in 2020!



  • Emerging Professionals
    • AIA Birmingham offers HSW opportunities and site visits throughout the year; these can also count as AXP Experience Hours!
    • Free AIA Membership for new grads
    • We have the Brightwood Architecture ARE 5.0 Study Guides available to check-out. Members provide a fully refundable $50 cash deposit. Click here to learn more.
    • Opportunities to network with other professionals in the AEC industry

  • Women in Architecture (WIA)
    • Our Women in Architecture Mentor Groups can forge connections between women in the profession. In normal times, our groups meet regularly for fun and fellowship. We look forward to getting back to this in 2021.
    • For the time being, we recommend taking advantage of this new virtual world by participating in some online discussions. You can connect with other professionals from across the USA by checking out these WIA and EDI events from AIA National!

  • Advocating for the Profession
    • Opposing threats to the practice of architecture
    • Supporting and encouraging enhancements to the practice of architecture
    • Protecting the public health, safety, and welfare by advocating for adoption of new building codes
    • Encouraging energy-efficient design through governmental requirements (i.e. mandates) and rewards (i.e. tax credits/deductions)
    • Urging lawmakers to target benchmarks for highly efficient and net-zero buildings.
    • Email katie@karmamanagementinc.com to join AIA Birmingham’s Government Affairs Committee!


Final HSW of 2020: Tuesday, 12/15

Register for our Virtual December Chapter Meeting here!

Many people choose to make a difference during the Holiday Season. Do you want to impact the lives of Alabamians through architecture? Give to the ACFA and help support their educational outreach initiatives such as dreamARCHITECTURE, N2 Architecture, and the ACFA Scholarship Program!

A great way to support the ACFA is by becoming a member. Visit the ACFA website for more information about membership!

Another way to support the ACFA is through their holiday ornament fundraiser. These ornaments feature Alabama and Birmingham landmarks; there’s one for everyone on your list! Visit the ACFA Shop to view the full collection.

Are you an Amazon Shopper? If so, consider starting your shopping at https://smile.amazon.com, and choose the ACFA as your nonprofit. Amazon will donate a portion of your sale to the ACFA!