This month, we share the voice of the second of four new COTE Advisory Group members, Julie Snow, FAIA. (Learn about Billie Faircloth here; the voices of Kira Gould, Allied AIA; and Billie Tsien, FAIA, will appear in future issues.)
Julie Snow leads Snow Kreilich Architects, a studio-based practice in Minneapolis, Minn. The studio's interest in pragmatic and critical programmatic reflection results in innovative designs that expand understanding of architectural performance. The practice has been recognized with numerous awards including the AIA’s 2018 Architecture Firm Award. Projects have been recognized with multiple national and international design awards. We asked Snow to respond to questions in her words:
Why did you seek to join COTE leadership at this time?
I think the question is really “Why not now?” This is a hugely relevant topic. There is no way we can do too much.
I am not on a coast. I think, to many, the climate efforts appear to be coastal. But there are lots of people achieving things on this front in the Midwest. I think perhaps we’ve not shared successes as much as we could. It’s important to do this, and I want to be a part of that.
The more I hear about regional efforts to support and recognize sustainable strategies, the more heartened I am about the progress that is being made – and can be accelerated. It’s so important for local components to advance these issues in ways that make sense for their regions and their economies.
What do you hope to do as part of COTE?
I’m excited to see that the conversation is broadening. Architect just did a big climate issue; that was impressive. I am also looking forward to being part of expanding the conversation to a more public audience, so that we are not just speaking to ourselves and our clients, but also to the public. If you consider the demographics, this is becoming increasingly important. Young people care greatly about climate change and these are becoming the stakeholders and communities of our projects. I am excited to see how COTE and AIA are shaping the narrative and the pathways to getting this out there. We are trained to be compelling and the opportunity to speak with our clients about this topic is a powerful one. This goes hand in hand with the advocacy and government outreach.
I would say that there is a real focus in our studio for research and experimentation. We have always been interested in different kinds of assemblies and other experimentation around building and construction. Now more than ever, that level of experimentation needs to be happening. It is part of our mindset and design process to address issues of sustainability. It is part of every project. I am heartened to see that the Top Ten Awards – the measures and metrics that support this fine program – are being expanded into the Institute awards.