Custom Residential Architects Network

 View Only

Michigan Loft

Quick Links

Who we are

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN®) Knowledge Community develops knowledge and information to benefit architects who are engaged in, or who are interested in learning more about, custom residential practice. CRAN® presents information and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and expertise to promote the professional development of its members via discussion forums, national symposia and conventions, publications, and local activities.

2024 CRAN® Symposium

September 18-22

The Westin Seattle
1900 5th Avenue 
Seattle, Washington 98101

Registration will open in July 2024.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Download the prospectus for the CRAN forum at AIA24 and the CRAN Symposium sponsorships. 

2019 CRAN Conference - Scottsdale: Schedule

By Johanna Roche posted 07-12-2019 12:38 PM




September 12
8:45-10:45am - Arcosanti Architects Tour | 2 LU


September 14
7-10:30am - Home Tour - South Loop | 3 LU
10:45-11:45am - Biltmore | 1 LU
1:30-5pm - Home Tour - North Loop | 3 LU



September 12, 1:10-2:10pm
Education Session   1    |   1 LU

Speaker Thamarit Suchart, AIA

This session will focus on the work of Chen + Suchart Studio, an award winning architecture firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Learning objectives

  1. Explore the studio’s approach to design and architecture in the desert southwest. 
  2. Explore the language of modern desert architecture whose approach is rooted in integrity of design rather than any interest in “style”. 
  3. Survey the past, present and future works of the studio.  We will share with attendees past, present, and future preoccupations that vary in scale and building type.
  4. Explore the work outside of Arizona as the studio gains opportunities to design in other parts of the United States. 

September 12, 2:10-3:10pm
Education Session   2    |   1 HSW

Seeing Phoenix at Multiple Scales
Speaker Wellington Duke Reiter, FAIA

This presentation is intended to provide some context for the CRAN attendees who will be visiting the Phoenix metro region, possibly some for the first time.  As an architect, university administrator, and civic leader, Mr. Reiter will offer a perspective which builds on his design background but is not limited to the production of buildings.  Items which will be addressed include 1) how the fifth largest city in the U.S. is trying to reposition itself both in reality and perception, 2) the transition from a suburban sprawl to urban density model, and 3) general notions of long-term sustainability and inclusion.  Projects at various scales will be used to support the concepts and ambitions above.

Learning objectives

  1. The unique challenges of an arid desert climate and how both urban planning and architecture must respond accordingly.
  2. How an auto-centric region can be enlivened and made walkable by the strategic placement of public transportation options and committed institutions.
  3. How principles of sustainability can be integrated into the general mandate of a research university.
  4. How potential assets of a community can be celebrated with the proper identification and recontextualization.

September 12, 4:25-5:25pm

Education Session   3    |   1 LU

Homeownership Redesigned for the 21st Century
Speaker Brian Gaudio

In this session, Brian Gaudio, CEO of Module will describe his startup company’s approach to making high-quality residential design accessible to the average home buyer. He will go into detail on Module’s approach to the construction process, design process, and explain the digital platform his company is creating to manage customer engagement. Brian will highlight Module’s first home for a customer, talk through their alternative business model, and share the company’s vision to re-design home ownership.

Learning objectives

  1. Learn about changing trends in US home buyer demographics
  2. Understand different methods of offsite construction and their respective benefits
  3. Learn an overview of the Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program
  4. Understand an alternative startup business model for an architectural practice



September 13, 8:00-9:00am
Education Session   4    |   1 HSW

Grounding Residential Design in the Southwest: Vernacular, Revival, Modern
Speaker Chris Wilson

Because of its arid climate, and strong Native and Hispanic cultures, the Southwest has one of the most distinctive vernacular architectural traditions in the U.S. Denigrated in the rush to Americanize following the arrival of the railroad in the late 1870s, by the 1890s a desire to preserve this earlier heritage and to develop a distinctive regional identity led to the rise of a number or historical revival styles. The ornamentation and overt historical symbolism of these styles came into question with the rise of Modernism. Nevertheless, over the past 125 years, architects of succeeding generations have found ways to balance a grounding in place and tradition with shifting contemporary conditions.

Learning objectives

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the Pueblo and Spanish-Mexican residential design traditions in the Southwest, their materials, floor plans and strategies for climatic adaptation.
  2. Appreciate how Romantic and Beaux Arts-trained architects in the first half of the 20th Century adapted these regional traditions to the increasingly relaxed life styles of middle and upper class American families and to the desire for a distinctive regional identity.
  3. Understand how Modernist-trained architects since World War II have turned away from stylistic image-making to emphasize the honest use of local materials, and vernacular lessons of climatic adaptation and sustainability, thereby creating various forms of Modern Regionalism.
  4. Consider how a residential architect today might select inspirations from a Southwestern repertory of floor plans, local materials, natural cooling and solar heating, symbolic evocation, and design for outdoor living and landscape views.


September 13, 10:00-11:00am
Education Session  5    |   1 HSW

DUST: Origins
Speakers Cade Hayes, AIA and Jesus Robles, Assoc. AIA

A look at the process of designing and building work through the understanding of, respect for and sensitivity to the spirit of place.

Learning objectives

  1. Participants will understand the process of designing to limit impact on site.
  2. Participants will be able to understand the sustainable design approach/process through responsive decisions to site conditions and passive strategies.
  3. Participants will be able to understand the construction processes and sustainable materials and methods implored to build the projects.
  4. Participants will be able to recognize sustainable building design elements that lead to greater water and/or energy efficiency, etc.

Larger objective learning unit categories that will be covered:  Pre-design, Design, Materials and Methods, Environmental, Sustainability

September 13, 12:30-1:30pm
Education Session   6    |    1 HSW

Advancing Design Process and Performance
Speaker Bill Aylor, AIA

A more efficient delivery process has been a long and winding quest for some in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. This session discusses new technologies, materials, fabrication, and team strategies that are moving us closer to achieving this elusive goal of a more efficient delivery process.
While there have been numerous individual successes, the industry as a whole has been slow to adopt new technologies and practices. The potential of advanced building science, technology, and fabrication to dramatically improve building delivery is still more a hope of the future than a present reality.
Individual successes and advances must coalesce into a collective industry effort to embrace available and emerging technologies to more efficiently produce quality homes. The inefficiency and waste of traditional construction practices continue to have a significant impact on the environment. By improving the design and construction process and building performance, the negative impact on the environment can be greatly reduced.

Learning objectives

  1. Explain how advances in technology, fabrication, and construction are on the verge of streamlining the project delivery process
  2. Explain how to embrace new technologies and fabrication without compromising design and craft
  3. Identify obstacles to wide adoption of a more efficient project delivery process
  4. Explain how to assemble high-performance teams and connect the dots

Friday, September 13, 1:30-3pm
Education Session   7    |    1.5 LU

The Delicate Balance Between the Designer, Contractor and Client
Moderator Mark LaLiberte
Panelists Matt Risinger, Warren Lloyd, AIA, Brandon Leroy, Andy Byrnes, AIA, Bill Aylor, AIA, and Wendell Burnette, FAIA

Learn from CRAN members how to make the design and building process smoother and more effective to balance both the needs architects and their partner builders.

Learning objectives

  1. Learning techniques for managing all aspects of design, construction and conditioning a home from design teams.
  2. Learn techniques builders use to communicate more effectively with architects.
  3. Learn techniques architects use to communicate effectively with builders.
  4. Understand the successes of planning and the pitfalls of not planning and how to avoid any roadblocks.


Friday, September 13, 4-5:00pm

Cultivating Authenticity
Speaker Joe Paquet

The gist of this talk is about our individual search for an Authentic Vision.

Topics will include: Sponsoring Intention, External vs Internal Motivation, Cultivating Self-Trust and Clarifying your Creative Vision.

Learning objectives

  1. Invitation to a new set of questions to expand your possibilities of expression.
  2. The potential for deepening ones connection to process.
  3. Connecting heart to hand.
  4. Expanding the possibility of finding greater joy through the work experience.



Saturday, September 14, 11:45am-1:00pm
Education Session   8    |    1 LU

Being goal directed instead of activity directed
Speaker David Feasby

Companies and individuals with clear, measurable goals consistently achieve better results than those that don’t. Many firms don’t plan and, if they do, don’t have an effective system for goal achievement. A proven system for both setting and achieving goals will be presented. If you are responsible for key management functions or projects in your firm, this will be a very beneficial presentation.

The presentation will include the reasons to plan, how to effectively plan, and how to set and achieve business goals including the criteria for “good” business goals.

Learning objectives

  1. To more fully appreciate the importance and benefits of planning for your company.
  2. To learn how to set key business goals that meet specific criteria.
  3. To understand the critical steps for achieving your business goals.
  4. To review why effectively managing your time is critical to goal achievement.



September 15, 8:15-9:15am
Education Session   9    |    1 HSW

Light and Wellness: Design Ramifications of Circadian Lighting in the Built Environment
Speaker Ann Schiffers

Description: Evolution of Circadian Rhythm, Health Implications of Circadian Disruption, How Light Impacts the Circadian System, Evidence Based Metrics, Design Considerations, Conceptual Discussion of Applications

Learning objectives

  1. Define circadian rhythm and how it impacts the human body’s sleep/wake cycle
  2. Identify the five controllable lighting parameters that have a circadian impact.
  3. Differentiate between the two primary circadian metrics and use the Circadian Stimulus calculator to determine successful design for circadian entrainment.
  4. Execute four lighting design techniques to create a circadian focused solution.


Sunday, September 15, 10:00-11:30pm
KEYNOTE    |    Education Session  10    |    1.5 HSW

Dialogues in Space: Process and Ideas in the Work of Wendell Burnette Architects
Speaker Wendell Burnette, FAIA

Wendell Burnette will present his “context as material” approach to architecture through selected custom residential and destination resort works across 23 years of his eponymous practice based here in Phoenix, Arizona. His working method is focused on creating architecture that is resonant with people, program and place and in light of this will give a brief introduction to the Phoenix Basin and the Sonoran Desert. And through these stories, how the power of place has not only influenced his regional work across the southwest, but his work nationally and internationally. Burnette presents his experience-based architecture within a flurry of technical and financial considerations, planning and political constraints, poetic and functional aspirations, names, dates, and facts that for him make up the reality of manifesting architecture across history. In his view, architecture is a constructed conversation with people, things and time and his work grows precisely from this continuous dialogue with his clients, his constituents, his collaborators, his consultants, his contractors and craftspeople. This will be the focus of his talk.

Learning objectives

  1. Attendees will learn specific approaches for engaging the “material culture” through research methods that prioritize a poetic, climatic, human resonance with place in the search for appropriate materiality which invariably ranges from the discovery of old craft to new innovations to economies from project conceptualization through detailing to construction. Materiality / Detailing.
  2. Attendees will learn a broad-based approach to Project / Site Design, which Burnette describes as “Context as Material: How to Read Place” that is more akin to how an artist and / or historian might approach an understanding of place.
  3. Attendees will learn how making a good site / floor plan is the seed of Place-Making.
  4. Attendees will learn about how Collaboration is at the core of what we do.