CRAN: Post-COVID Custom Residential Design: An Evolution in Client Demands – A Panel Discussion

  • Date

    Wednesday, September 15 2021

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:30pm

  • Location


Join AIA/PV and Capital Area CRAN for a panel discussion on Post-COVID Custom Residential Design: An Evolution in Client Demands. We, as home dwellers, have experienced a multitude of changes during the COVID pandemic, and from these changes, our views on home design have evolved. Home dwellers have learned from a prolonged period of forced togetherness and/or intense isolation what aspects of the spaces we inhabit work well, what needs to be changed, and what needs to be added, in order to promote the well-being of inhabitants. In this panel discussion, custom residential designers explore an evolution in thinking induced by the pandemic and lessons learned, primarily from the client’s point of view.

Learning objectives:

  1. Discuss the societal impact of pandemic-enforced stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and social isolation and how pandemic impacts in general have affected attitudes about home design. Attendees will explore the ways in which the cumulative anxieties and other stressors of current times have changed client priorities to more directly emphasize design that promotes the well-being, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of their homes.
  2. Discuss the evolution of home design resulting from living through the pandemic and the challenges of maintaining work/life balance in a house that has necessarily functioned as both dwelling place and as work and/or school location.
  3. Discuss the particular impact of increased health concerns on multiple design elements, such as multi-purpose gathering spaces, HVAC systems, cleanable surfaces, and a need for spaces that connect with Nature.
  4. Discuss pandemic impacts on and changes to the residential design and construction process, including project delivery methods, construction means and methods, material and appliance choices, and budgets and timelines.


Michael Merschat, AIA
Open Corner Architecture+Design
Chair, AIA Potomac Valley CRAN Committee
Member, Capital Area CRAN Steering Committee

Michael grew up on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, NC. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, he moved up to Washington, DC, to pursue his career in architecture.​ After two decades of city life, Michael returned home and found renewed connection with the land and rural community of his youth. He believes that we have an opportunity to bring thoughtful design principles into every home, effortlessly blending the natural flow of the land with modern architecture.


George Bott, AIA
Architect, Anthony Wilder Design/Build
Member, AIA Potomac Valley CRAN Committee and Capital Area CRAN Steering Committee

Experienced Architect with a demonstrated history of helping homeowners in the DMV "Build Their Dreams"! Working in the custom residential architecture & Design Build industry. Skilled in designs for Additions, Renovations, New Homes with both contemporary and traditional detailing. Strong arts and design professional with a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) from The Catholic University of America.


Lori Apfel Cardeli, AIA, NCARB
Architect, LACArch

Lori Apfel Cardeli is a NCARB certified, licensed Architect registered to practice in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and New York, and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Lori has a diverse portfolio which includes high-end custom homes, multi-family residences, and sustainable learning environments. For the past 10 years, Lori focused on the design, project management, and construction of single-family residential projects. Lori graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP).


Carib Daniel Martin, AIA
Carib Daniel Martin architecture+design

Carib grew up in small-town southern Illinois. From a young age he inexplicably knew he would be an architect. In the fifth grade he started designing homes for all his classmates. By the time he was in high school he had his first real clients. Carib went on to graduate Pratt Institute, in New York, where he achieved the “Circle Award of Excellence." Around the turn of the century he arrived in DC and, within a few years, the Washington Post called his work “eloquent protests against the global status quo." His mother, on the other hand, simply calls it “interesting."