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AIA Small Project Design (SPD) Knowledge Community supports, celebrates, and promotes small projects by engaging designers and the public.

AIA SPD Newsletter, Q2

By Lindsay R. Schack AIA posted 07-06-2023 04:18 PM


To the Small Project Design Community,

As the summer was kicking off across the country, the Small Project Design Knowledge Community Advisory Board was preparing for A’23, the AIA National Conference on Architecture, hosted in San Francisco. It is always a welcome pleasure to meet professional colleagues in person, and this event is the premiere opportunity to take in not only continuing education sessions, but to see new products on the Expo floor and to network with old and new friends in the industry. The city of San Francisco was a fantastic host, offering impressive office tours, hosted parties at nearby restaurants, architectural boat tours, bike tours, and urban sketching sessions, to name a few.

The focus of our KC at conference however was our Small Project Design Forum, a 90 minute session where we shared about the recent SPD Award recipients, and also shared about one of our grant recipients from the 2022 cycle. We wanted to follow up with Saundra Little, FAIA, of Quinn Evans Architects and their project, the Blue Bird Inn in Detroit, to see how the design work was progressing. Saundra related the vital history of the building and its place in Detroit’s rich history as ‘a birthplace of bebop jazz music’. The SPD Grant supported Quinn Evans in serving this important community, ensuring a successful project for the firm and the neighborhood. 

The Forum then engaged in a discussion topic that focused on the grant program and ways to improve not only its funding sources, but also general awareness of the program. Many of the attendees were introduced to the program, and immediately saw the value in supporting architects who are serving non-profit and community organizations. As the grant’s intent is to enable the participation of Architects in projects that, either due to budget or scope restrictions, might not otherwise choose to hire a design professional. There was consensus in the room that the grant is finding meaningful outcomes and the SPD KC needs to work hard to promote the upcoming grant cycle this fall. 

Congratulations to the 2023 Small Project Design Award winners, and we look forward to announcing the opening of the 2024 design award cycle later this year. 

Thanks to all of our members that attended A'23 this past June; we hope you enjoy the summer and will be back in touch this fall.

Lindsay Schack, AIA
Chair, 2023 Small Project Design Knowledge Community