Framework for Design Excellence: 2021 Chapter Awards Submissions - Webinar

  • Date

    Monday, February 8 2021

  • Time


  • Location


In 2019 the AIA|DC Board of Directors formally adopted the AIA Framework for Design Excellence as criteria for AIA|DC Awards Programs. The purpose of Framework is to highlight climate action as a critically urgent topic for society, and the role architects play as influences for impactful change. As required by the Board, the jury will be instructed to give great weight to information provided for these measures.

Join moderator Michael Day, AIA, along with panelists, Mide O. Akinsade, AIA, Greg Mella, FAIA, and Rick Schneider, AIA, for an exploration of the 10 measures in the framework and how this affects awards submissions. Fresh from a jury in San Diego, Greg and Rick will share case studies and observations, and Mide will discuss a case study of a winning submission from the 2020 AIA|DC Chapter Awards program.


About the Speakers:


Mide O. Akinsade, AIA, NCARB, RIBA, NOMA, LEEP AP Design Director + Founder atelier MIDE

An award winning design architect, with over 20 years of base building, interior architecture, master planning, urban design, furniture design, and digital experience design, Mide Akinsade brings an extensive creative design experience and collaborative approach to compelling projects that span the globe. He served as a senior project designer with CallisonRTKL, HOK and Gensler. Mide is a LEED AP accredited registered architect with the State of Maryland and a chartered member of The Royal Institute of British Architects. He is a Lecturer at The University of Maryland School of Architecture and also serves on the AIA|DC Board of Directors.

Greg Mella, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C Corporate Director of Sustainability SmithGroup                      

Greg Mella is a Vice President and Director of Sustainable Design at SmithGroup. He was a recipient of the 2016 Living Building Hero award and the architect behind the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Center – the tenth project in the world to achieve full Living Building certification, as well as the Merrill Center – the world's first LEED Platinum building. Greg is a past member of the AIA’s Committee on the Environment Advisory Group and a past co-chair of the AIA’s 2030 Commitment Working Group. Having worked on many pioneering projects, he has candidly shared the lessons from those experiences, promoting a new design process that is integrated and collaborative, while championing green building as something that is necessary, affordable, and inspirational. Mella holds a Master's of Architecture degree from The Catholic University of America (1994) and is a registered architect in MD, VA, and DC.

Rick Harlan Schneider, AIA, APA, LEED AP Founding Partner ISTUDIO Architects

Rick Harlan Schneider is an innovator - an architect and planner dedicated to advancing humankind toward a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future. For over 30 years he has created vibrant places for people with thoughtfully designed projects that emulate the regenerative cycles of nature. Rick works with people around the world to improve the places we live, work, learn, and play. He developed a planning and design process that emphasizes collaboration, community engagement, and a deep understanding of site. This approach has led to an award-winning and transformative body of work. Civic, cultural, and public projects range from Washington, DC to Africa and the Middle East. Rick infuses each one with the guiding principal “Do, Teach, Celebrate.” Rick began ISTUDIO Architects in 1999 with a dedication to creating artful, sustainable communities. He maintains a mentorship program within the studio to teach at-risk youth about architecture and design. He is a thought leader and tireless advocate for both design excellence and
sustainability, two commitments that are inextricably linked. He reaches a wide audience through national media outlets - including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Home and Garden TV, and National Public Radio. He has received recognition in a range of publications from Forbes and Dwell to Architizer and Metropolis magazines. The Kresge Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, and Urban Land Institute have recognized Rick’s ability to show people the connection between good design and sustainability. As a board member with the Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) Rick addresses issues on design education in the 21st century.  He served as a board member with the US Green Building Council, the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the American Institute of Architects, and GreenHOME.


Michael Day has spent nearly 20 years creating a diverse and award-winning body of work, including single and multi-family residential, infill mixed-use, commercial office, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, adaptive reuse and historic preservation. Michael is an advocate for an innovative and thoughtful design process that supports diversity and team collaboration. Notable is his commitment to design excellence that elevates the physical environments of communities and enriches lives of their residents. A strong commitment to sustainable design and research guides his integrated approach to projects. He is dedicated to supporting the next generation of architects and interior designers by volunteering as a guest critic at The Catholic University of America and Marymount University.  He is actively involved in design research and has published articles on sustainable design, healthcare design, and architectural design. Michael plays an active role in his community, including serving as a Board Member for the DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA) Community Improvement Day from 2010 to 2014 and recently serving as the 2016 Co-Chair for the Chicago AIA Healthcare Knowledge Committee. In addition, he has participated as a volunteer in DCBIA’s Community Improvement Day from 2004 to 2014. One of Michael’s most rewarding design experiences was to be part of a design team that worked pro bono with the Community Coalition for Haiti, a nonprofit organization, developing and designing a master plan and school building for the rural village of Mont Fleure, Haiti. Prior to rejoining Cunningham | Quill Architects, he was a Senior Vice President and Senior Project Designer for VOA Architects in Chicago, an Associate Principal and Senior Project Designer for Perkins + Will in Washington, DC, and an Associate with Cunningham | Quill Architects.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the AIA Framework for Design Excellence.
  • Gain insight into AIA|DC's rationale for including the Framework as a component of the Chapter Awards submissions.
  • Discover jurors' perspectives about the Framework and submissions.
  • Develop strategies for crafting winning submissions that comply with Framework principles.