The American Institute of Architects
(AIA) has selected the recipients of the 2009 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The award, to be presented at the 2009 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco, recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.
The recipients include the collaborative contributions of two individuals, a photographer and an engineer; two publications, a textbook and a magazine; a preservation organization; and an essay competition.
The master contributing photographer for Esto Photographics served early in his architectural photography career as an apprentice to Ezra Stoller, notes John Belle, FAIA, RIBA, in his letter of nomination. Aaron “adapted and built upon his master’s techniques and began integrating dramatic camera angles with theatrical lighting,” Belle writes. More recently, Aaron has transitioned his techniques to digital photography, adds Joel Sanders, AIA, in his letter of support, “Peter instantly saw the potential of digital photography to enhance the implementation of techniques he first developed using old-school large-format cameras. As a consequence, his recent body of work brings together the mature eye of a seasoned veteran with the vibrancy and freshness of a younger generation of digitally inclined practitioners.”
The Architecture Handbook
A joint effort between the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Public Schools produced The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings, by Jennifer Masengarb with Krisann Rehbein. The guide, along with its accompanying CD and a teachers’ edition, came together via a collaborative process including educators, practitioners, and students and reaches well beyond the mechanics of CAD and BIM skills. “The book refocuses emphasis away from strictly acquiring technical drawing skills and towards the application of those skills in the service of studying the design process, architectural history, preservation, geography, urban studies, and sociology to explore the built environment,” writes Peter G. Ellis, FAIA, RIBA, in support of the nomination.
Beginning his studies at MIT in literature and philosophy, Guy Nordenson soon began forging a miraculous course into structural engineering, later working with architect luminaries, Leslie Robertson points out in his letter of recommendation. Nordenson has melded the roles of practitioner and educator. “Nordenson’s admirable comprehension of cultural issues, far beyond the specifics of engineering is demonstrated in his appointment to New York City’s Art Commission, his position at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, and his co-curatorship of a Museum of Modern Art exhibit on Tall Buildings,” writes John Morris Dixon, FAIA, in his nomination. “Guy is not just a great engineer,” writes Steven Holl, AIA, “he is an intellect and a teacher of the most inspirational type.”
Publisher of both the magazine and an impressive array of books, “Metropolis was and is a magazine for and about architects but it is clearly also a magazine for lovers of architecture and design,” writes Mike Mense, FAIA, in his letter of nomination. Metropolis covers all angles of the architecture industry—architecture, interior design, planning, landscape architecture, technology, industrial design, and graphic design. “Susan [Szenasy, editor in chief] and Metropolis have used their forum to educate the public and the profession on the values of good design and innovative ways to achieve our goals,” writes Eva L. Maddox, Assoc. AIA, in her letter of support. “Her influence also reaches manufacturers who value her directness, support, and expectation that their products meet the needs of architects and designers today and are eco-friendly.”
Affiliated with more than 50 parallel organizations worldwide, DOCOMOMO US is dedicated to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the Modern movement. John Morris Dixon, FAIA, on behalf of the AIA Committee on Design, nominated the organization for its vigorous and effective work to publicize Modern landmarks, document key works for archives, and researching and disseminating preservation techniques particular to Modern buildings. “DOCOMOMO US, with its diverse membership of architects, preservationists, historians, and enthusiasts, has become both a recognized force and a respected name in the preservation of Modern heritage in the U.S.,” lauds MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator Barry Bergdoll.
Embracing the idea that social ideals are fundamental to making buildings of worth, the prize is made possible within the Department of Architecture of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, by an endowment from the late poet, teacher, and journalist Judith Lee Stronach. Each year, the endowment awards about $10,000 in prizes. “Through a two-stage juried process, the [Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence] encourages, promotes, and rewards critical thinking and writing—two traditionally underemphasized areas of architectural education and training,” writes John Cary, Assoc. AIA, in his letter of nomination. To date, he writes, the annual competition, founded by UC Berkeley Professor Raymond Lifchez, has drawn submissions from 893 architecture students in 45 countries.