Human Intelligence: Behavioral Science Research for Small Firms

  • Date

    Monday, November 06 2023

  • Time

    6:00pm - 7:00pm

  • Location


Our previous SFx event focused on the opportunities for Artificial Intelligence in Small Firms. The final SFx event of the year shifts its focus to the value of Human Intelligence in improving our design process and results. Understanding human behavior and cognition is a major value-add to design, orienting design-thinking to the realities of the people who experience design. Research in the field has exploded in the last 15 years and is in use at an expanding list of firms in the U.S. and abroad.

Likewise, there are ways of harvesting deeper insights into the needs, feelings, and aspirations of those we design for, capitalizing them pragmatically, incorporating them into design. In the process, there is the potential to increase client satisfaction, reduce design and design-revision hours, get faster design approvals from clients, increase repeat business, and, along the way, improve employee morale and profits.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand aspects of human behavior and cognition to improve the design process

  • Explore current research about behavioral science and relationship to architecture

  • Hear about ways to improve client satisfaction and reduce design revisions

  • Improve team and employee morale, as well as project profitability

Presented by:

Milton Shinberg, AIA

Shinberg has investigated and brought to his own practice and teaching insights into architectural perception and cognition that are actionable in design since 1980. He lectures extensively, at AIA conferences and other national and international venues. He is progressing toward publication of a book on the subject. He is currently a Principal Emeritus with Shinberg.Levinas Architects. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture & Planning, Catholic University of America and an advisory council member of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

Organized by:

AIA|DC Small Firm Exchange

Sponsored by: 


Application Deadline - OTJ Licensure Scholarship for Black/African American Architects and Interior Designers

  • Date

    Friday, December 01 2023

  • Time



About OTJ Architects

OTJ Architects is a premier architecture and design practice that partners with leading organizations at key moments of transition in their development. With offices nationwide, OTJ delivers enduring human centric solutions that promote diversity, wellness, and sustainability across the commercial real estate, corporate, government, science and technology, multifamily, arts, culture, and education, as well as nonprofit sectors.  Signature recent projects include workplaces for Adobe, BMW, PBS, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Yelp; the renovations of the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, New York’s Webster Hall, and the Cincinnati Music Hall; laboratories for Dyno Therapeutics and Agios Pharmaceuticals; as well as the Visitation commercial mixed-use development in historic Frederick, MD. For more information, please visit


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

OTJ believes that the future of our industry must be defined by measurable, time-bound action towards greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The confluence of diverse backgrounds in the workplace sparks creativity, drives innovation, and empowers us all to rise above assumptions and stereotypes.  Achieving licensure in the fields of architecture or interior design represents the culmination of an educational journey unique to our profession. Licensure is also a vital avenue in the development of the next generation of design talent.   Black/African American professionals, however, face unique challenges on this path. Statistics are sobering.

Statistical Data from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB):

  • In 2022, Black/African Americans accounted for 6.1% of the candidates taking the ARE exam.
  • In 2022, Black/African Americans accounted for 3% of the candidates passing the ARE exam.
  • In 2022, Black/African Americans make up 1.8% of the NCARB licensed certificate holders.

Statistical Data from the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ):

  • In 2020, Black/African Americans comprised 0.97% of the NCIDQ licensed certificate holders.  

It is also recorded that Black/African American candidates spend more on test taking and study materials on average.   

Scholarship Overview  

To help the most underrepresented racial group in our field, we are pleased to introduce the OTJ Licensure Scholarship for Black/African American Architects and Interior Designers. This scholarship provides funds and supporting materials for the pursuit of licensure by Blacks/African Americans in the architecture and interior design industry.

Two (2) scholarships are available each calendar year to offset the exam fees for the three (3) sections of the NCIDQ exam or the six (6) divisions of the NCARB (ARE) examination.   Please note that the scholarships do not include application fees or other ancillary expenses.

One (1) architectural recipient of the scholarship will be awarded:

  • The annual cost for the six (6) ARE divisions within one given year
  • Access to the online study guide Amber Book
  • PPI exam prep materials for the ARE examination

One (1) interior design recipient of the scholarship will receive: 

  • The one-time cost for three (3) sections of the NCIDQ examination
  • Access to the online study guide Q-Practice
  • PPI exam prep materials for the NCIDQ examination

Eligibility Requirements  

Candidates must be Black/African American citizens of the United States and either an architecture or interior design school graduate.  The college or university is not required to be NAAB or CIDA accredited institution. Applicants must hold an active National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) record to take the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) or an active National Certified Interior Design Qualification record holder to take the (NCIDQ) examination.

Application Process and Evaluation Criteria

Applicants should submit a 250-word essay that describes the personal relevance of becoming a Registered Architect or Certified Interior Designer. Award recipients will be selected based on the clarity of ideas expressed as well as their demonstrated commitment to our industry and their own professional growth within it (through activities, volunteerism, membership in professional organizations, etc.). Essay must be clearly accompanied by applicant’s contact information, including telephone number as well as email and mailing addresses. 


Candidates for Architect

  • Application opens September 1, 2023
  • Submission deadline December 1, 2023
  • Recipients announced January 1, 2024


Candidates for Interior Designer

  • Application opens August 1, 2023
  • Submission deadline December 1, 2023
  • Recipients announced January 1, 2024


Revival Architecture: Elementary School Modernization Tour

Join us to discover the Goding Elementary School Modernization Project, where architectural improvements takes center stage. Join us for a captivating tour showcasing a 7,107 SF addition, revitalized interiors, redesigned outdoor spaces, enhanced exteriors with stunning glazing, and a rooftop terrace that serves as both a scenic retreat and an outdoor classroom.

This is your opportunity to witness the future of educational design come to life. Gain valuable insights from acclaimed architect Salo Levinas, a recipient of multiple awards from the American Institute of Architects. Prepare to be inspired as we explore the transformation of Goding Elementary School.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will explore architect Salo Levinas' impact on the project and his approach to educational design excellence, encompassing urban planning, urban ecology, master planning, building design, site design, interiors, and safety

  • Participants will analyze preservation considerations, reuse, and adaptation aspects relevant to the modernization of Goding Elementary School.

  • Participants will identify and describe key architectural features within the Goding Elementary School Modernization project, with a focus on structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications, security, and fire protection systems.

  • Participants will identify the materials and methods employed in the Goding Elementary School Modernization project, encompassing construction systems, products, finishes, furnishings, and their role in achieving project goals

Presented by:

Salo Levinas

Salo Levinas is an internationally recognized architect known for his distinguished contemporary designs. His work brings fresh and innovative approaches to challenges presented by a broad array of institutional, commercial, and residential clients. Levinas’ work has received multiple awards from the American Institute of Architects and other organizations, which highlight Salo’s design talents in educational, institutional, commercial, sacred, and residential architecture. In addition, his projects have appeared and been reviewed in broad circulation publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Interior Design Magazine, Home & Design Magazine, ArchitectureDC Magazine, and a number of international books and online magazines.

Organized by:

AIA|DC LA.IDEA Committee

Sponsored by:


AFG Group Inc

KGD Architecture

Shinberg.Levinas Architects

Open House Series - Perkins Eastman

  • Date

    Wednesday, November 01 2023

  • Time

    5:30pm - 7:30pm

  • Location

    Perkins Eastman

Join the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee for our 2023 Open House Series at leading design firms in DC as they showcase projects currently in planning, design, or construction phases.

With staff hailing from around the world and representing a broad range of talents and perspectives, the Perkins Eastman Washington, D.C. studio reflects the rich diversity found in the U.S. capital. Champions of engagement inside and outside of the firm, our D.C. team is committed to staying creative and connected with its community.

Established in 2005, the D.C. studio is committed to designing throughout the Washington Metropolitan area, with projects throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC. We also collaborate with teams and clients around the globe, leveraging decades of experience and talents in more than 10 robust practice areas.

A vanguard in the implementation of advanced technologies and sustainability, the studio strives to create high-performance environments. From interior renovations to educational buildings, housing and community centers to large scale mixed-use projects, our D.C. team proudly carries forward inventive designs that enhance the human experience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how design strategies can be utilized to strengthen connections with local communities at the intersection of Architecture & Urban Design.

  • Explore various urban design and architectural projects that are transforming the district and other cities around the world.

  • Identify strategies for incorporating technology and best practices of design into design projects.

  • Discuss how Architecture & Urban Design interact with and contribute to the theme of “Smart Cities”.

Sponsored by:

Perkins Eastman logo

Open House Series - Hickok Cole

  • Date

    Wednesday, October 25 2023

  • Time

    5:30pm - 7:30pm

  • Location

    Hickok Cole

Join the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee for our 2023 Open House Series at leading design firms in DC as they showcase projects currently in planning, design, or construction phases.

Hickok Cole is a forward-focused design practice. We connect bold ideas, diverse expertise, and partners with vision to do work that matters. For 35 years, we’ve worked hard to design projects that inspire change and leave a positive impact, bringing the best of our creativity and expertise to every opportunity across our diverse architecture, interior design, and creative branding practice. From landmark projects to conceptual explorations, we’re at our best working as part of a team pushing the boundaries of design. These collaborations have resulted in 300+ design and industry awards, record-breaking real estate transactions, and the first mass timber and net zero renovations in the Mid-Atlantic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how design strategies can be utilized to strengthen connections with local communities at the intersection of Architecture & Urban Design

  • Discuss how Architecture & Urban Design interact with and contribute to the theme of “Smart Cities”

  • Identify strategies for incorporating technology and best practices of design into design projects

  • Explore various urban design and architectural projects that are transforming the district and other cities around the world.

Sponsored by:

Hickok cole logo

Exhibition Opening—Architecture as Freedom

Join us to celebrate the opening of our latest exhibition, Architecture as Freedom.

Architecture as Freedom features the design of five regional offices across rural Bangladesh constructed for BRAC, the world’s largest non-governmental development organization.

A broader philosophical motivation undergirded the design: How do we create buildings that offer its primary clients—poor rural communities who come to BRAC offices to receive different services—an experience of hope and freedom? These projects highlight architecture’s ability to play transformative roles in spatializing freedom by ensuring people’s unobstructed accessibility and movement, thermal and social comfort, and by creating spaces where their ability to co-design development solutions is enhanced.

About BRAC

The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) was founded in 1972. This organization seeks to create a “world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential.” This globally known organization works in 11 countries, including Bangladesh, to eliminate extreme poverty and empower people with financial mobility and capacity building.


Architecture as Freedom is organized by The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning with the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism (Ci+AU) at BRAC University in cooperation with the District Architecture Center for the SIGAL Gallery.

Curator: Adnan Z Morshed, PhD
Co-curators: Md. Faysal Kabir and S.M. Shafaiet Mahmud
Research Assistants: Esrat Jahan Onty, Adnan Sakib, Juliana Dimeglio, Brad Tigges, Tawsif Munawar, and Sadia Ishtiaque, Juliana Keagle, MaryJane Hughes, Melissa Kazanci, Noshin Tasfia Proma, Matthew Zernis, Juan Soto, Braden Gilmore

Photo Credit
Roofscape, BRAC office, Jhikargacha, Jashore / Photo © Asif Salman

Annual WIELD Event 2023

Having It All: Balancing Work-Life Stages

Women are renowned for their ability to multitask and juggle numerous responsibilities in their careers and personal lives. They strive to excel in all fronts, upholding high expectations at work while navigating pressures within their personal lives. Not all women have the same aspirations, nor are fortunate to have choices in their careers. However, amplifying women's voices at the leadership level allows for greater support and opportunities across all workplaces.

The AIA DC Equity Committee by WIELD celebrates its eighth Annual WIELD Event that provides a storytelling platform for four female leaders in the building industry to share what “having it all” means to them, how they achieved it (or didn’t), and what compromises they faced along the way. Join us for inspiring, personal stories about challenges and triumphs along the path of “having it all.”

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore stories of empowerment and resilience as it relates to gender equity in the building profession.
  • Identify internal and external obstacles women face in their careers and strategies to overcome them.
  • Describe ways to help women overcome their mid-career pinch points and maintain career paths to leadership.
  • Plan ways to become advocates for emerging female leaders.

Presented by:

Renée Byng Yancey

AIA National Chief Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Officer

Renée Byng Yancey is the Chief External Equity, Diversity & inclusion Officer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a dynamic network of more than 96,000 architects and design professionals throughout over two hundred chapters committed to enhancing the built environment. During her tenure, she has held two inaugural senior leadership roles. Renée’s global portfolio includes enterprise-wide strategic leadership of three teams—Knowledge & Practice, Member & Component Engagement and Marketing & Communications—each led by a senior vice president. She is a direct report of the CEO, and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  Her combined teams encompass nearly half of the AIA workforce, management of hundreds of volunteers and four board-level committees. Renée is committed to coaching leaders to bring about transformation in business practices, individual professional growth, and member excellence.

With an early career in commercial banking, Renée is dedicated to social change, strong and thriving organizations and communities leveraging equity, diversity, inclusion, and effectiveness. 

Renée works at the intersections of the AIA’s strategic priorities to advance racial, ethnic and gender equity and climate action for human and ecological health. She currently serves on the board of trustees of Peirce College in Philadelphia. An avid sports fan, Renée is proud to root for her hometown Philadelphia sports teams. She earned a Master of Science degree from Drexel University and holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Peirce College. 


Joanna Schmickel, FAIA
CGS Architects

Joanna Schmickel, Principal of CGS Architects (formerly KressCox Associates) has been a practicing architect in Washington DC since 1985. During this period, Joanna has managed a diverse set of award-winning local and national projects for educational, institutional, commercial, and residential clients. She has been the lead designer on projects ranging from individual structures to full campus master plans concluding in design and construction of multiple buildings.
In partnership with the AIA, Joanna has created and delivered multiple youth workshops for the Washington Architectural Foundation, led an Architecture in the Schools team, and was an inaugural creator of the Achi-Builder Studio. She is the founder of the Design Like a Girl Mentor Program, a STEM mentorship program focused on introducing young women to Architecture and inspiring them to take leadership roles in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction. The Program is in its 8th year in Washington DC, its 2nd year in Bucks County PA, and about to begin its 1st year in Denver CO. In 2017 Joanna was awarded the Washington Architectural Foundation’s John ‘Wieb’ Wiebenson Award for Architecture in the Public Interest in recognition of her work to develop and execute the Design Like a Girl program.
Joanna received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University (1985). She is a registered architect in the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Patricia Mao Booker

Patricia Booker applies nearly 20 years of industry experience to her work as a director of production at KTGY’s Tysons office. She currently serves as a member of the company’s Key Leaders group, the body responsible for refining and implementing a successful corporate strategy. She also leads KTGY Community, an employee-driven community outreach program. Her day-to-day duties include design development, code analysis, multi-discipline coordination as well as field and office construction administration. Extensive experience in multifamily design and production has earned her a portfolio of multifamily communities, childcare facilities, senior and military housing, and affordable developments. She is passionate about finding ways to address housing affordability, and previously served as a committee member for HomeAid Northern Virginia. In her down time, you can find Ms. Booker spending time with her family and two children.

Morina Peterson, NOMA, AIA, LEED AP
HDR + DC NOMA Vice President

Morina Peterson is one of the founding members of WIELD (Women Inspiring Emerging Leaders in Design). Throughout her career, Morina has served as a mentor and enthusiastically championed various career development initiatives. These efforts include the DC NOMA Project Pipeline (volunteer), the NOMA HBCU Professional Development Program, and serving as a juror/portfolio reviewer at the Howard, UDC, and Marymount Universities. She has held various positions since graduating from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Architecture, including owner's representative, project architect, staffing manager, supervisor, IDE Ambassador, and LEED Coordinator. Morina is a Senior Healthcare Project Manager and employee-owner at HDR, a global architecture and engineering company. With over 25 years of experience in the architectural industry, she has worked on approximately three million SF of healthcare projects ranging in scale from a 915 SF renovation to an 850,000 SF clinical research new construction. Most of these projects have focused on welcoming the community and improving patient care. Morina has a successful track record of being proactive and highly collaborative. This approach has consistently met project requirements and client/user aspirations in Design and Construction Administration Phases. She is excited and honored to have this opportunity to share her journey with you.

Cynthia Bailey
Fairfax County Attorney’s Office

Cynthia Bailey currently serves as a Deputy County Attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia, and has served in the Fairfax County Attorney’s Office for almost 25 years. Her work there has covered a variety of legal areas including litigation, the First Amendment, and procurement. Most recently, she leads the County’s legal team in support of affordable housing development and the management of public records. She is the immediate past chair of Leadership Fairfax Institute and has served as the chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Local Government Section. She is also the past chair of two non-profits devoted to early childhood development: Infant Toddler Family Day Care and Main Street Child Development Center. She is an adjunct professor of Legal Writing at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and is a graduate of both Boston College and Boston College Law School. She claims Fairfax County as home—a place where she raised three children and lives with her husband.

Organized by:

AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD

Sponsored by:

KTGY logoCGS Architects logo


Funding School Infrastructure: Advocacy and Impact

  • Date

    Thursday, October 05 2023

  • Time

    2:00pm - 3:30pm

  • Location


With this virtual event, the AIA National CAE Advocacy Committee brings together leaders from the AIA, the 21st Century School Fund, the U.S. Departments of Education and Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the state of our K-12 school facilities. We will report on recent legislation resulting from stakeholder advocacy, available funds, and resulting programmatic impacts. Together, we will explore how we might leverage our influence as facility professionals and educational architects to ensure equitable access to healthy, safe, sustainable, resilient, educationally exceptional learning environments.    

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify current conditions at public PreK-12 school facilities - the “state of our schools”.
  • Describe potential improvements and strengthen aspirations important to public-school communities.
  • Identify federal resources currently available to improve public school facilities.
  • Understand and advocate for legislation designed to develop appropriately scaled federal programs that encourage equitable access to healthy, safe, sustainable, resilient, and educationally excellent PK-12 buildings and grounds.


Andrea Swiatocha, U.S. Department of Energy

Becky Cook-Shyovitz, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Andrea Falken, U.S. Department of Education

Mary Filardo, 21st Century School Fund 

Stephanie Lamore - AIA Senior Manager, Advocacy



Tracy Hucul, Co-Chair of the AIA National CAE Advocacy Committee

Jeff Luker, Co-Chair of AIA|DC CAE

Organized by:

AIA National Committee on Architecture for Education

AIA|DC Committee on Architecture for Education

Bouncing Off The Walls: Music and Architecture, presented by Postclassical Ensemble

Music and architecture share a vocabulary and they overlap through analogies and metaphors. Composers "build" symphonies, which are highly structured. And architects dream of buildings that unfold to the senses like music, a seamless flow of experience through time and space. Both forms use terms like ornament, balance and symmetry. But is architecture really "frozen music," an idea that emerged in the late 18th century when musical forms were becoming longer and more complex? Join PCE for Bouncing off the Walls: Music and Architecture, a concert which explores the complex relation between the two art forms, from music that was specifically written for particular buildings to early 20th-century modernist efforts to reduce both forms to their elemental materials. The program includes an overture by Beethoven written to celebrate a newly remodeled theater and opera house, works by Gabrieli, composed for the mighty Basilica of San Marco in Venice, a symphony by Haydn featuring one of the most complicated “architectural” forms ever composed, a short but volcanic work by Anton Webern and a classic overture by Rossini, reassembled to maximize the acoustic possibilities of the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. 

Organized by: 

Postclassical Ensemble

Lunchtime Learning: Drainage and Drying

  • Date

    Wednesday, October 18 2023

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:00pm

  • Location


Today's building envelope is built tighter than ever before. Recognize the integral role of a gap within the exterior wall and understand the selection criteria to consider when designing for moisture management in wall systems. Learn the appropriate ways to determine drainage and drying principles for a variety for cladding systems. Selecting the appropriate moisture management system for the building envelope can be a daunting task. Determining the appropriate rainscreen application can be based on several contributing factors – climate, building codes, cladding, and a variety of others. This course will explore the importance of rainscreens as a moisture management solution, as well as the characteristics of the assortment of applications.​

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the integral role of a gap within the exterior wall
  • Understand the performance characteristics of drainable housewrap & rainscreen systems
  • Understand the selection criteria to consider when designing for moisture management in wall systems
  • Understand how products are installed to achieve optimum performance

Presented by:

Michael Lee

Michael is the Market Development Manager for Benjamin Obdyke. He's got experience in the residential, commercial, and civil / industrial markets.

Organized by:

Benjamin Obdyke