Call for Applications - David J. Varner Paths to Licensure Program

  • Date

    Thursday, June 08 2023-Saturday, July 15 2023

  • Time

    Multi-day event.


As the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) has evolved, so has individuals’ approach to preparing and studying for this milestone moment in one’s career. Supporting all paths to licensure is important in the advancement of one’s career as well as the architectural profession. The David J. Varner Paths to Licensure Program strives to make a significant contribution to an individual’s ability to achieve licensure by offering coaching, and a network of resources to inspire and motivate individuals to navigate and pass their exams, and then celebrate this important career milestone with an annual networking event. ​Commencing in September 2023, the eight-month program consists of six evening sessions, each tailored to enhance the selected attendees’ ability to study and pass the ARE. In March/April 2024, an event will celebrate the participants of the Paths to Licensure Program and all recent DC licensees.

Applicant Information

Attended by a select group of up to 10 emerging professionals, prospective participants will go through an applicant selection process. Proven career success, commitment to the profession, and the individual’s desire to achieve licensure will be evaluated.

Applications for the Inaugural Class of 2023 are open now!

Application Deadline: July 15th

Honoring David J. Varner

David J. Varner, FAIA, an active member of the Washington, DC, architectural community, died unexpectedly in November of 2021. David was a firm believer in the value of an integrated design process that embraces clients, stakeholders, communities, and myriad partners to help make this possible. As a member of the AIA College of Fellows and as the Office Director for SmithGroup’s Washington DC office, David was also a firm believer and an advocate for Architects being of greater service to society in as many forms as possible. David had a curiosity for life including travel, history, and the built environment. In memory and honor of David, the David J. Varner Paths to Licensure Program will inspire participants’ curiosity, commitment to lifelong learning, and connection to the AIA community.

Business Development 102 - Client: How Our Clients Select Architects + Networking Happy Hour

Business Development for Dummies…and Architects: this 2-event series focused on the critical components of business development to help mid-career architects advance to the next level of firm leadership.

Event Two includes a Panel Discussion and Happy Hour focused on our clients’ process of selecting an architect. The panel features owners, developers, and brokers who will share their decision making process when selecting architects. Learn how they develop their short-lists for RFP’s and what drives them to making their final decisions.  We encourage all attendees to invite an industry colleague from the client side to attend a Networking Happy Hour after the panel so you can begin practicing your newly learned business development skills!


Jordan Goldstein – Firm Co-Managing Principal of Gensler



Amy Bowser – Executive Vice President, Brokerage - CBRE

David Toney – Senior Vice President of Development - Akridge

Michelle Dandeneau – Managing Director, Strategy, Real Estate Development, Design/Construction Management - JLL


Business Development 101 - Architects: Getting Started

Business Development for Dummies…and Architects: this 2-event series focused on the critical components of business development to help mid-career architects advance to the next level of firm leadership.

Event One examines how architecture firms strategize to win work. We start with keynote speaker and Business Development Professional Carol Duke (DLR) who explains the basics of BD. Next, our panel of architects discuss their tips to build and engage your network, leverage to your personality strengths in a professional setting, and share stories of their own business development experience.

You’ll leave the event more confident and prepared to venture into business development on behalf of your firm. Join us for Event Two which will focus on the client perspective of business development.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore strategies that current practitioners utilize for business development
  • Identify networking skills for anyone, introvert or extrovert.
  • Recall successful client stories that were the outcome of the development of relationships.
  • Summarize how attendees can create opportunities for business development in their practice and current networks.

Keynote Speaker & Moderator:

Carol Duke Assoc. AIA - Principal, Cultural + Performing Arts - DLR



Emmett Ahearn, AIA - Director, Government & Institutional Practice - WDG

Marnique Heath, FAIA - Principal, Board Chair - STUDIOS

Rob Holzbach, AIA – Principal, Director of Commercial Office – Hickok Cole

Elizabeth Emerson, AIA - Principal and Co-Founder – EL Studio

Spotlight on Design: Ronald Rael, Hosted by the National Building Museum

"Architecture is a turbulent form of practice, and we battle the forces that shape it as well as those that allow it to exist." Rael San Fratello

Featured in the National Building Museum's exhibition The Wall/El Muro: What is a Border Wall? Ronald Rael, Principal Rael San Fratello, is a design activist, author, and thought leader of additive manufacturing, borderwall studies, and earthen architecture. His research connects indigenous and traditional material practices to contemporary technologies and issues. Along with partner Virginia San Fratello, Rael's audacious and imaginative practice explores the frontiers of technology, material, and tradition. 

Ronald Rael's lecture will be followed by a conversation around innovations at the intersection of natural construction and new technologies with Tonya Ohnstad, Assistant Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning.

The exhibition will be on view before and after the lecture.

Program Schedule:

Doors Open — 5:30pm

Program Starts — 6:00pm

Lecture — 6:00-7:00pm

Conversation + Q&A — 7:00-7:30pm

Complimentary Wine & Charcuterie — 7:30-8:00pm

Spotlight on Design is generously supported by the Anthony and Keiko Greenberg Foundation.

Lunchtime Learning: Installing Fenestration in Exterior Insulated Walls

  • Date

    Wednesday, June 28 2023

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:00pm

  • Location


Fenestration openings are a critical component of the building envelope, especially in today's sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. Join us to discuss the impact of exterior insulation on fenestration installation design. Alongside industry experts, you'll get a chance to explore solutions for a wide variety of wall system variations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the benefits of exterior insulation in modern wall assemblies.
  • Explore the variations in exterior insulated wall assemblies.
  • Refresh your expertise on the requirements of all window installation systems.
  • Discover and evaluate options for meeting the requirements for proper window installation in exterior insulated walls.

Presented by:

Fallon Williams

Commercial Architecture Consultant, Pella Mid-Atlantic

Organized by:

Pella Mid-Atlantic

Pella Mid-Atlantic is a specialist in senior living, multifamily, education and hospitality projects. With more than 85 years of experience working with architects, general contractors, building owners and developers, we are able to find solutions for your most complex projects. By working with your team in the early stages of construction we are able to assist in the integration of Pella products in your building. Our in-house engineering team works directly with your project team in order to create solutions that not only meet the performance requirements and aesthetics of the building but also come in under budget.

CRAN: Creating Integrated Spaces for Wellbeing Using Folding, Multi Slide, and Swing Door Wall Systems

This event is organized by AIA Potomac Valley.

Join us for a lunchtime presentation hosted by TW Perry at their Silver Spring showroom. A box lunch will be offered from 12:00 – 12:30 PM with the course presentation from 12:30 – 1:30 PM.


Integrating interior and exterior spaces has been shown to provide occupants with myriad benefits in a variety of settings. Establishing a connection with the outdoors can improve health and wellbeing for occupants at home or in the office, as well as encouraging healing and reducing stress. In retail settings, connections with nature have been shown to increase consumer spending, and in any environment, views and sounds of nature have proven to reduce stress and enhance concentration. Folding, multi slide, and swing door systems lend themselves to occupant wellbeing by integrating interior and exterior spaces and seamlessly providing controllable access to nature.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the ways in which the human connection to nature and integrated interior and exterior spaces can contribute to occupant wellbeing, including the roles of light, color, air, and sound.
  • Assess the applications and material selection of folding, multi slide, and swing door wall systems and the ways in which they contribute to the human connection to nature and integrated spaces, including when designing for residential, restaurants, retail, resort, hospitality, and institutional applications.
  • Understand the style, function, and performance of folding, multi slide, and swing door wall systems.
  • Examine case studies that exemplify the role of door systems in connecting people to the outdoors and creating integrated interior and exterior spaces.

Presented by:

Ken Clark

Director of Architectural Business Development, TW Perry

Organized by:

AIA Potomac Valley

Capital Area CRAN, a tri-chapter committee founded jointly by AIA|DC, AIA NoVa, and AIA PV

Spotlight on Design: Neri & Hu, Hosted by the National Building Museum

How does design embody collective longing, constructing and revealing relationships between places, cultural history, and public memory? 

Neri&Hu’s interdisciplinary design practice exemplifies architecture’s potential for cultural preservation and poetic place-making. Founded in Shanghai in 2004 by partners Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, their research-based projects range from master planning and architecture to interior and product design, capturing the collective imagination amidst rapid development and disappearing cultural contexts. 

Neri&Hu’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with the 1882 Foundation’s Asian American Historic Context Study for Washington D.C. The Historic Context Studies document the places and spaces of significance for Asian American historical experiences. Joining in conversation with Michelle Magalong, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Historic Preservation program and President, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP), and moderated by Jenn Low, landscape architect and Design Director at Openbox, the panel will explore how community storytellers, historians, and architects can collaborate to illuminate public histories, particularly in places of cultural significance.

Program Schedule:

Doors Open — 5:30pm

Program Starts — 6:00pm

Light Refreshments — 7:30-8:30pm

This National Building Museum program is made possible through a grant from the Apgar Fund for Excellence in the Built Environment. 

Spotlight on Design is generously supported by the Anthony and Keiko Greenberg Foundation.

Happy Hour Learning: Illuminating Our Experiences with Human Centric Lighting

  • Date

    Thursday, June 08 2023

  • Time

    4:00pm - 6:00pm

  • Location

    The Point

Human Centric Lighting for Today’s Luxury Customer teaches you what Human Centric Lighting is and dives deeper into the elements that make it important in design. In this course, we will examine three key elements of Human Centric lighting - quality of light, natural light and personalized control. In addition to this, we will talk through key design considerations and smart technologies, while sharing best practices for human centric lighting designs.

The event will start with the training and end with a demonstration of the room - the private dining room at the restaurant "The Point" in DC is fully automated with Lutron Shades, Ketra Lighting and Savant Control. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served and complimentary. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Define human centric lighting and examine its three elements: Quality light, Natural light and Personalized control
  • Understand key design considerations and smart technologies that enable human centric lighting.
  • Implement design best practices for human centric lighting and determine ways to communicate the value to clients.
  • Discuss and Learn the intersection between electric light and natural daylight

Presented by:

Steph Vaughan

Organized by:

OneSource Systems

Call for Entries: Summer Model Exhibition

  • Date

    Tuesday, May 09 2023-Thursday, June 01 2023

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

Submission Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2023 / 11:59 p.m. EST

Submission Fee: Free of charge

Exhibition Dates: June 27 – August 30, 2023



More than loose freehand sketches, intricate technical drawings, or sleek computer renderings, the maquette or scale model serves as an excellent representation that bridges the gap between spatial idea and spatial construct. Simply stated, scale models are unique to the culture of design as small informative objects with big exciting ideas.

Scale models are communicative tools in three-dimension that give designers the power to experiment, solve problems, and help clients imagine a design. Despite advances in computer modelling software, which renders the scale model outdated for some designers, the traditional—physical—scale model remains a tested instrument in the design process. This summer, the District Architecture Center will spotlight these informative objects in an upcoming exhibition.


Exhibition Goals

The goals of this exhibition are to:

  • Celebrate the traditional—physical—scale model as a tested instrument in the design process that remains an important communicative tool for designers despite advances in computer modelling software.
  • Encourage local designers and design students to share their recent spatial visions with a diverse audience interested in the building arts.
  • Engage visitors with a unique form of craft in the design culture that both educates and excites.



This Call for Entry is open to:

  • AIA|DC-affiliated members and design practices.
  • Allied professionals in design disciplines other than architecture who reside in the Washington statistical metropolitan area, including locations in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Recent graduates or active students in a design program in or near the Washington metropolitan area, including but not limited to architecture, exhibition design, interior architecture and design, and landscape architecture.


Submission Requirements

Applicants should propose study (working) models and/or presentation (finished) models. Models may represent working projects, completed projects, or theoretical projects. A variety of model types will demonstrate the unique progression that design processes entail. To illustrate a range of contemporary production methods, DAC seeks models that are both hand-built and digitally fabricated, and models made with traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques. Applicants should propose models of any reasonable scale, but models should be no larger than 24 in. x 48 in. Applicants may propose models of any project type, including but not limited to housing, landscape design, museum spaces, and theater sets. Applicants may submit up to three (3) entries for consideration (one entry per application form).

The application must include the following:

Personal Information –

  • Applicant Name and Contact
  • Design Practice Name
  • Student’s Degree of Study and University Name (if applicable)

Project Information –

  • Project Title, Location, and Year (if applicable)
  • Description (75 – 100 words)
  • Model Maker Name(s) for Credit

Model Specifications –

  • Model Type (Study or Presentation)
  • Model Scale
  • Model Materials
  • Dimensions (H x W x D)

Questions –

  1. Does the model include a base? (Yes or No) If no, the model will be displayed on pedestals or tables chosen by DAC.
  2. Does the model include a vitrine? (Yes or No) If no, the model will be displayed without a vitrine.
  3. Does the model require special lighting? (Yes or No) If yes, the selected applicant must provide the lighting equipment. Note: lighting must be uncomplicated; hazardous lighting and unsightly cord configurations will not be acceptable. General gallery lighting will be managed by DAC.

Visual Materials –

  • 3 to 5 reference images of the model showing top, front, side, aerial, and/or detail. Label images with their respective views such as top, front, side, etc. Note any special features, etc.


Criteria for Exhibition

Submissions will be reviewed in accordance with:

  1. Relevance to the goals of the exhibition
  2. Perceived craftsmanship, creative use of materials, and/or visual appeal of the individual model
  3. Collective feasibility with other models to form a possible composition or grouping

Since review of physical models will not be possible, review will be based on information and reference images provided by the applicant for submission. Images should be clear with high quality resolution and offer multiple views to fully convey the model.

All decisions by the Review Committee are final and non-negotiable.


Exhibition Requirements

The exhibition will be located at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street NW Washington DC 20004, in the Sorg Gallery and open to the public during regular visiting hours:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11am–4pm
  • Select Saturdays during Saturday hours

Applicants whose models have been selected for exhibition agree to the following:

  1. Sign and submit a Hold Harmless Agreement before the model(s) can be displayed for the purpose of exhibition. No exceptions; agreement provided by DAC upon notification of acceptance.
  2. Models must be transported by the applicant at the applicant’s expense. Models should be delivered to and picked up from the District Architecture Center at times to be determined.
  3. Models must remain on view for the duration of the exhibition, approximately two (2) months in duration from June 27 to August 30, 2023.
  4. Visitors to the gallery can photograph the model(s) and exhibition for personal use. Visitors will not be allowed to touch models.


Submission Format & Process

Format application form and visual materials into one (1) multi-page PDF at 8.5” x 11” size. Visual materials should include one page with labelled thumbnail images and one page each per reference image thereafter. Label the final submission file as follows:

  • Ex) 2023-Model-Exhibit_Applicant-Name

Using WeTransfer or your preferred file sharing system, send submission requirements via email to Scott Clowney at no later than Thursday, June 1, 2023 / 11:59 p.m. EST.



Please contact Scott Clowney at or (202) 347-9403 x 2007.

Creating a Small Firms Collective

  • Date

    Wednesday, June 14 2023

  • Time

    6:00pm - 7:30pm

  • Location


This virtual panel event will discuss the viability of creating a Small Firms Collective, the purpose of which would be twofold. One purpose being to share resources, operational consultants, services, etc. The other purpose being to create temporary or permanent joint ventures to procure projects. The panel will be virtual and will also include a small firm architect, an operations consultant, a representative of a group of small general contractors that are doing a similar thing in California, and an attorney that specializing in representing architects.

Learning Objectives:

  • To explore the viability of creating a Small Firms Collective for dual purposes. One purpose being to share resources, operational consultants, services, etc. The other purpose being to create temporary or permanent joint ventures to procure projects.
  • To investigate the challenges and opportunities of sharing resources amongst numerous small firms.
  • To analyze the benefits of collaborating on the procurement of new projects, as well their ultimate execution.
  • To provide a vision of what a small firms collective could achieve regionally and nationally.


Jonathan Kuhn, AIA — principal of Jonathan Kuhn Architect located in Washington DC.

Jonathan C. Shoemaker — member of law firm Lee Shoemaker located in Washington DC and Virginia.

Eileen Vitelli — owner of Plumbline Operations located in Washington DC.

Brian Pavlick



Rick Schneider, FAIA — principal of iStudio, located in Washington DC.

Elizabeth Emerson, AIA — principal of EL Studio located in Washington DC and New York City.

Organized by:

AIA|DC Small Firm Exchange

AIA|DC Advocacy Committee

Sponsored by:

Plumbline Operations logo