Our Fellosophy.

What is “fellosophy”? As Fellows and leading architects, we have the opportunity to change the horizon. We have the chance to change the way people live. We have the tools to contribute to society in profound ways, and we are committed to improving every day life. 

We are obligated to be the leaders. The ones who seize the opportunity to be mentors to the next generation. The ones who elevate the profession through our vision. 

Fellowship is conferred upon those among us who have dedicated their careers to this mission. Who have continuously given back within our community. Who have acted upon the passion that drove each of us to become an architect in the first place.  

We see the same passion rising in young architects who are looking to create meaningful contributions of their own. 

As Fellows, it is our responsibility to foster this energy. To support the growth of the future generation, both financially and through the donation of our time and expertise. This is our mission, and our fellosophy.

In This Issue…

Chancellor’s Message

Behind the Scenes with the Architect of the Capitol

AIAS Members Discuss Their Vision For The Future

AIA DC’s “Architecture Uncensored” Series

Worldwide Mentorship Program

Secretary Call for Nominations

2016 ANFA Conference Recap

3 Things You Never Knew About The College Of Fellows

Share Your Work With Us


Chancellor's Message

This has been a very busy year for the College. We have worked on some major initiatives that have positioned the College as forward thinking and reinforce the overall mission of the College. Last year, we started on a re-messaging strategy and developed our new tag line, “A passion for doing more”.

To align with this new vision, we have changed the face of our newsletter and now we are looking to change the face of our mentorship program. We have begun the change by not only mentoring members of the YAF, as we’ve done in the past, but are now expanding mentorship to the NAC and the AIAS. Additionally, we are working with the College of the Royal Institute of Architects in Canada to develop a worldwide mentorship program, making the College the primary resource for mentorship within the profession. This program will take about two years to develop and you will be hearing more about it as it progresses, along with a short preview later in this issue. It will be a program to help mentor architects at every level of their professional career; something that I find very exciting for the College.

We are also in the process of launching our Capital Campaign program, which has been discussed for the past five years. The purpose of this program is to help the College to continue its mission of mentorship, responsibility of professional research and support of local components. To enable us to continue to “do more.”

Each of you will receive a letter with more detail about the Capital Campaign. There will be many facets to this campaign, some which will take the rest of the year to finalize, and there will be benefits to our members. For more details on the Annual Levels of Giving and the ways you, as members, can contribute to the AIA College of Fellows Fund visit the link here.

I am also happy to report that because of our fundraising efforts, this is the first year that the National Convention events did not lose money for the College. We will continue those efforts this coming year to bring College events to more meaningful venues and keep the attendance costs down for our members.

Additionally, the College has resurfaced the Commemorative Brick Walk, an old AIA program that now falls under the College and is now ready to officially roll it out to our membership. With this program, you have the ability to purchase a brick with your name imprinted on it, which will be placed in the courtyard of the Institute and Octagon.

As you can see by the pictures below, there have been many notable architects who have already participated in this program, and have a brick along the walkway. The program helps to further create a lasting legacy for the College and its members. It is our “Hall of Fame” that can be seen by all that visit the Institute. These bricks are being offered on a first come, first serve basis, and space is limited. Should you participate, the donation will count towards your total for any Legacy Level you are reaching. If you have any questions, please contact Terri Stewart at TStewart@aia.org.

Lastly, as a primary sponsor we wanted to share that the AIA Leadership Institute event is coming up on November 18. Learn more about the ways you can support local participation in the Leadership Institute by clicking here.

The Executive Committee is dedicated to enhancing not only the experience you have as members, but also to improving the support of younger architects by reinforcing the mission of the College. Your support is vital for this effort, and we thank you for your generosity.

John R. Sorrenti, FAIA

2016 COF Chancellor



Behind the Scenes at the Capitol with Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP

Washington, D.C. is home to arguably some of the most beautiful and historical architecture in the world, with monuments and buildings inspired by the neoclassic movement. It is an international hot spot that draws visitors daily from all over the globe. In addition to iconic museums and venues, D.C. is a hub for our governmental systems and structures, which includes the U.S. Capitol Building, U.S. Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and Senate and House Office Buildings.

Some of you may have walked past these buildings as a passerby or spent time participating in offered tours and events to get a more immersive experience, but have you ever wondered about the history of the materials that make up the Capitol, or the architectural history of Washington, D.C., in general? We had the chance to speak with Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol, to learn more about the daily operations that take place within the walls of these structures, along with past and current projects that have been developed and completed in the heart of D.C.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force and working overseas with Voice of America, Stephen returned to the U.S. and joined the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) as the Assistant Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings, caring and maintaining the construction and landscape of these buildings within the AOC organization. He was promoted to several different positions, including Deputy Superintendent for the Senate Office Buildings, Superintendent of the Library Buildings and Grounds, Acting Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer.

On May 13, 2010, after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Stephen was officially appointed as the Architect of the Capitol to serve a 10-year term by President Obama. He is the 11th Architect of the Capitol and is currently in his sixth year in the position.

The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for maintaining the facilities and grounds that constitute Capitol Hill. A successful Architect is focused on developing a future budget, looking for trends and forthcoming projects, and making strategic decisions necessary to move the needle forward. Additionally, the Architect develops and maintains relationships with Congress and industry stakeholders.

Stephen breaks his daily responsibilities into the following buckets:

  1. Managing the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of the 17.4 million sq. ft. of buildings and more than 553 acres of land under the care of the Architect of the Capitol; he is a steward for some of the most famous buildings in the world, and heads new building and project development efforts.
  1. Maintaining and curating the artwork within 35 buildings, including a variety of murals, sculptures, and paintings; when Congress wants to commission a piece of artwork Stephen and his team are responsible for implementing this process. For example, they were directly involved in bringing the bronze sculpture of Rosa Parks to the Capitol Rotunda in 2013.
  1. Providing an informative, educating, and uplifting experience for the 2.2 million visitors, annually, that take a tour of the Capitol building; Stephen’s team is made up of 2,300 employees that support these efforts by maintaining and preserving the Capitol Campus.

Today, there are more than 550 projects that Stephen and his team are working on that range from conception to planning to design to construction. These projects total over a billion dollars, and all fall under his watch, as the Architect of the Capitol.

Some notable projects Stephen has been a part of include the restoration of the U.S. Capitol Building, which is slated to be complete by the 58th Presidential Inauguration in January 2017. The purpose of the project is to repair the more than 1,300 cracks and deficiencies that have occurred overtime due to aging and weathering.

Additionally, the largest project he ever worked on, and one that is currently in the works is the restoration of the Cannon House Office Building. The project requires a complete top to bottom restoration of the oldest congressional office building and will take a total of 10 years to complete.

He has also worked on the construction plans for the Capitol Visitor Center and helped lead significant investments in the Capitol Power Plant. With his oversight, the AOC achieved 30% reduction in energy consumption, and has just recently set a new goal of an additional 20% reduction over the course of the next 20 years.

The U.S. Capitol Building is 223 years old; therefore when it comes to maintaining the architectural presence of these structures, Stephen and his team use many modern techniques and historical tradecrafts to preserve these materials. One of the biggest challenges Stephen faces is having the design of these historic buildings meet today’s building and technology codes to ensure they are safe for workers and visitors. Not only does he have to adapt these security technologies into the physical infrastructure of the buildings and property, he needs to do it in a way that preserves the design aesthetics. Stephen works tirelessly to map out every possible threat scenario and develop solutions to be prepared for any situation.


Stephen says his favorite parts of his job include, “getting to work with skilled craftsman that are so passionate about learning and maintaining the integrity of these iconic properties and surroundings of D.C., and of course being able to walk into the Capitol Building everyday.”

As leaders of the profession, it is our responsibility to provide young architects with the tools they need to become future Architects of the Capitol. If you are inspired by Stephen’s work, give back to support the future generation of up-and-coming architects as they fulfill their dreams in the profession.


AIAS Members Discuss Their Vision For The Future

Architecture is ever changing, and as architects, it’s our passion to move the profession forward through innovation. In order to reach new heights and explore new possibilities, it’s important to tap into the minds of those up-and-coming in the profession. We talked to a handful of prominent American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS members) to uncover their vision of the future of architecture. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. How do you feel being an AIAS member has helped you grow in the profession of architecture?
  1. Do you have a mentor in the profession, or someone that has guided you along the way?
  1. What do you expect from the leaders of the architectural community (AIA and COF members)?
  1. Through the studies, work and research you have done, do you have any predictions for the future of the profession of architecture? 
  1. What do you aspire to be like as a future leader of the profession?
  1. What impact do you want to leave on the profession?

As Fellows and young architects, we all drive the profession forward. It’s important to continue to listen to these young voices and their future expectations, aspirations and visions for the profession as a whole, in order to help bring them to life. We encourage you to support this future, and build upon these ideas of innovation, passion, and excellence.


COF Funding Supports AIA DC’s “Architecture Uncensored” Series

In 2015, the AIA D.C. chapter received the Emerging Professional Component Grant from the AIA College of Fellows. The funding from this grant allowed the chapter to continue to evolve their “Architecture Uncensored” series, led by the AIA D.C. Emerging Architects Committee (EAC).

The “Architecture Uncensored” series is an annual program that is currently in its seventh year. The purpose of the series is to create panel discussions featuring industry leaders and practitioners who discuss relevant topics and conversations occurring throughout the profession in, according to Ricardo Rodriguez, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C and 2015 EAC Chair, an effort “challenge young architects to look at important issues from multiple perspectives”.

In order to extract the trending topics circulating throughout the profession, the AIA D.C. EAC team deploys an annual survey to the architect community to gain insights and inform the line-up of speakers for the program. The sessions are meant to be very open and informal to encourage participation and discussion. The overall goals of the sessions are to push individuals to look at the big picture and think about the future of the profession, since it is often hard to step back in the day-to-day.

The 2015 series was titled, “Architecture Uncensored 2015: Debating the Dollar – Why is Being a Young Architect so Damn Expensive?”. For this series, the planning team specifically sought to explore the question: How can I actually afford to be an architect? This is a question that many young architects find themselves asking, especially in the early stages of their careers. They often struggle to define what success looks like when starting out, as costs are high and payouts are low. Through lively debate, the series strived to address these challenges in depth.

Elizabeth (EB) Kinkel led the development and execution of the 2015 panel discussions, with 2015 Vice-Chair Abigail Brown and Past Chair Diane Leeson supporting both the panel discussions and video production, along with other key team members. In 2015, there were a total of five keynotes, which included the following topics:

With the support of the College of Fellows funding, AIA D.C. and the EAC engaged a videographer to record and edit clips from each of the “Architecture Uncensored” round table discussion panels; this was the first time the series was accompanied by a video component. In turn, these were combined and developed into a series of short “webisodes”, which were shared throughout AIA D.C.’s social media channels. Not only did this create a more interactive experience for those in attendance, these videos continue to promote excitement and a collective experience with the public, and also served as way to advertise the “Architecture Uncensored” 2016 series.


Ricardo shared, “Without the College of Fellows’ support, the increased popularity of “Architecture Uncensored” wouldn’t have been possible. Consequently, our 2016 installment of the program saw an increase of attendees and even broader discussions on relevant topics affecting our generation of professionals.”

The lectures and debates for the 2016 Architecture Uncensored series focused on three aspects of the profession: licensure, loyalty, and work/life balance. The program, as a whole, is continuing to gain momentum, and the College of Fellows allowed for a breakthrough approach to further gain exposure and raise awareness amongst the architecture community.

To donate to the Emerging Professional Component Grant or another initiative supported by the College of Fellows, visit our Donation Page.


COF Worldwide Mentorship Program

This past year has been an exciting one filled with new initiatives for the College. The new College messaging platform, “A passion for doing more”, has certainly been a primary focus for one of our new initiatives with the Royal Architects institute of Canada (RAIC). The RAIC has invited the AIA/COF to embark on a joint venture for worldwide mentorship. John Sorrenti, FAIA, 2016 COF Chancellor, met with members of the RAIC at their Festival for Architecture in Nanaimo, Canada in early June. The purpose of the meeting was to structure how this worldwide mentorship program would work.

The teams agreed that it would be a program that both emerging architects and architectural students could participate in. If any of these groups had a question about something or needed expert help or information on a project or practice issue, they would be able to look up that expert in a database that the College would create to see who was available to answer their questions via email or phone. Mentoring would go up to older architects trying to sell a firm and need some advice from those who have done so already, or to younger emerging architects trying to start a firm or go into a new market which they do not have expertise. Mentoring could also be for those just starting out and looking how best to get into the job market or those who need help in school to advise them on a specific career path or course of elective studies, etc. It could be on any topic for any age group.

As a Fellow, mentorship is the key thing that we can do to differentiate ourselves and give relevance to the College in making a real to benefit others in the profession.

This program will most likely launch within the next year, year and a half, since we have a lot of work to do to get it up and running. However, if you would like to be included as a mentor in our new worldwide mentorship program, please send in your name, location and areas of expertise to Terri Stewart at TStewart@aia.org.


COF Secretary Call For Nominations

The 2017 College of Fellows (COF) Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for Secretary for 2018-2019. Nomination of interested members should include:

Applications should be addressed to the Nominating Committee Chair, AIA College of Fellows, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006-5292, and postmarked no later than February 6, 2017. They can also be sent electronically to: tstewart@aia.org.

The nominating committee will be chaired by the 2017 Vice Chancellor and is comprised of a past chair of the Fellows’ Jury, a former AIA Board member, a current COF regional representative, a COF member-at-large, and a representative of the Young Architects Forum (YAF). The nominating committee will review the qualifications of all candidates and recommend a nominee to the College for election at the annual COF business meeting held during the AIA Convention in April of 2017.

The following criteria will be used to select a nominee:

  1. Understanding of the purposes of the COF.
  2. Knowledge of the COF regional representatives’ program.
  3. Ability to enhance the quality of and advance awareness and appreciation for the COF’s grants programs.
  4. Ability to represent the College and provide leadership.
  5. Geographic and diversity representation.
  6. Familiarity with financial issues, statements and reports.

For more information please contact Terri Stewart CAE, Executive Director, College of Fellows, at: tstewart@aia.org.


2016 ANFA Conference Connections: BridgeSynapses

The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture held its third biannual conference, September 22-24, at the Salk Institute in California. The Salk Institute, in itself, is a great draw for both Architects and Neuroscientists and the fine Fall Equinox weather did not fail to deliver the awe inspiring alignment of the setting sun over the Salk courtyard.

The Conference was sold out and Architects and Neuroscientists from over 40 countries convened to exchange the latest research and information at the intersection of their two disciplines.

Papers and posters, selected from the many respondents to ANFA’s call for papers, were presented and the subject of perception and cognition in the built environment was a common thread throughout the conference. But it is clear, just since the last conference in 2014 how the interest in this field of inquiry and emerging research has grown, throughout the World. There were also enlightening panel discussions that addressed Education at the Intersection of Architecture and Neuroscience; Neuroscience/Architecture of Incarceration; and the work being done at the Neuroaesthetics Initiative at Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute.

Invited speakers included Sheldon Brown, the Director of the Arthur C.Clark Center for Imagination at UCSD and Terry Jernigan, Co-Director of the ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) Project, a national ten year study of brain development during the adolescent years. Two keynote speakers, AIA Gold Medal winner Steven Holl and Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel spoke back to back and then sat in a panel discussion co-facilitated by Tom Albright (neuroscientist) and Tom Fisher (Architect) in an insightful discussion that clearly illustrated a bridge between the two disciplines.

Another highlight of the Conference was the student competition. A challenge had been set to architectural students, teamed with a neuroscientist advisor, to design a school for a small town in the Peruvian Andes. The finalists presented their work and the winning team, two students from Harvard University, Yoonjin Kim and Mingyu Kim were announced at the Conference dinner; they are awarded a trip to Peru and the opportunity to continue the design of the school and see it built.

ANFA was founded in 2003 and partially funded in its early years by the College of Fellows Latrobe prize. The Latrobe Fellowship was awarded in 2003 to John Eberhard FAIA, ANFA’s founding President, to initiate the outreach between the disciplines and start building the foundations of a knowledge base that is at the heart of ANFA’s Mission. John has remained a steadfast Board Member and advisor of ANFA and the Board honored him by announcing, at the Conference dinner, the establishment of the John Paul Eberhard Fellowship, which is to be awarded to graduate or PhD students who pursue research for their thesis or dissertation that furthers ANFA’s Mission.

ANFA’s Mission is to promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment.

Read more: How Neuroscience Can Influence Architecture, by Thomas Fisher, Assoc. AIA (source: Architect Magazine)


3 Things You Never Knew About The College Of Fellows

Think you know all there is to know about the history of the COF, the College’s mission and today’s Fellows? Think again! We challenge you to learn something new about our organization in every issue!

1. The first woman to be invested into the College of Fellows was Elizabeth Coit, in 1955.

Coit was elevated with 41 of her male peers at the Convention held in Minneapolis in 1955. Before her passing in 1987, Coit’s most notable work included designing low income housing for the women of New York in the 1930’s and 1940’s, as well as employment by the U.S. Federal Housing Authority from 1942-1947.

Additionally, the first woman to serve as Chancellor of the College of Fellows was L. Jane Hastings of Seattle, who was inaugurated in 1992.



2. The College of Fellows includes approximately 250 Honorary Fellows.

Honorary Fellowship was created by the College in 1954, and recognizes “an architect of esteemed character and distinguished achievements who is not a citizen or resident of the United States and does not practice architecture within the domain of the Institute.”

Honorary Fellowship has been granted to Fellows on every continent, and today, the highest concentrations of Honorary Fellows live in The United Kingdom, Mexico and Canada.

3. The Latrobe Prize, the COF’s most notably funded program, has awarded $800,000 to research for the architectural community since 2001.


There have been eight Latrobe Prizes awarded by the College of Fellows since 2001. Research proposals are reviewed by a jury of AIA members and Fellows, and awarded $100,000 biennially.

Previous Latrobe Prize winners have studied topics from globalization to energy use to disaster preparedness. The latest prize was awarded to the Arid Lands Institute in 2015 for their proposal to develop a new digital design tool meant to bring transformative design strategies to dry climates around the world.


Share Your Work With Us

We want to keep this newsletter interactive and would love to hear from you. If you have a personal story that highlights a specific project you have worked on or notable milestone in your career, please share it with us and we will consider featuring it in an upcoming issue. Any submissions can be sent directly to cof@aia.org.