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AIA Arkansas Newsletter                                                    July 2017 
In This Issue
From the President
Save the Date for the 2017 Leadership Institute
Design Camp Students
Employment Opportunities
Fire Guts House in Fayetteville
Kwendeche Elevated to Fellowship Status
Governor Appoints Lejong to State Board
Member News From WER Architects
WER Architects Hires Elizabeth Stinnett
Exhibit of Work by Murphree
AIA Small Firm Exchange
Opitz Receives Young Architect Award
Section News
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AIA Arkansas Members,

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Message  from the President
2017 has already proven to be a busy and exciting year for AIA Arkansas.  Your Board of Directors is busy actively implementing the 2016 AIA Arkansas Strategic Plan. Your committees are engaged in moving AIA Arkansas forward by looking at our digital presence, preparing for the next election cycle, planning the convention and working with other professional organizations to provide education on procurement laws. Your sections are providing intriguing lectures, eat and educate events, golf tournaments, hard hat tours and have all hosted the 2016 AIA Arkansas Design Award boards.
Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design
The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design held its Honors Recognition Reception and Ceremony where it honored 77 students. AIA Arkansas members and sections are involved in this event and help raise scholarship money through many events held throughout the year.  We are proud of the work and accomplishments these students have been recognized for.
This summer the Fay Jones School held Design Camp '17 in Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Wilson and Little Rock. Design Camp offers the chance to learn about the design professions through hands-on projects, tours, presentations and discussions led by architecture, landscape architecture and interior design faculty of the Fay Jones School. Students had the opportunity to work closely with faculty and collaborate with peers in a fun and creative studio environment while exploring the design process.
AIA Orlando 2017
The AIA Conference on Architecture was in Orlando this year and began on Wednesday with pre-conference delegate accreditation, regional caucuses and an introduction of the national candidates followed by the annual business meeting.  A'17 kicked off Thursday with a keynote address from Alejandro Aravena - Pritzker Prize winner and CEO of ELEMENTAL, Elizabeth Diller - founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro,  Diébédo Francis Kéré, Hon. FAIA - architect, Kéré Architecture, and  Michael Murphy - co-founder of MASS Design Group, challenging architects to be socially engaged and anticipate need with a design that cares. The afternoon keynote address was a conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Thursday wrapped up with the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design Alumni Reception. The reception was a great way to reconnect with classmates and meet fellow alumni from the school. 
At A'17, AIA Arkansas member Jonathan Opitz, AIA was honored as one of 14 2017 Young Architects. This honor is given by the AIA to individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their career.  In addition, AIA Arkansas member Kwendeche was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows.  This honor is awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession of architecture and society. Kwendeche was honored at the investiture ceremony in Orlando.
Join me in congratulating Jonathan and Kwendeche on their accomplishments.
Friday offered many opportunities to learn inside and outside of the convention - plus browse through the immense exhibition hall full of vendors from Autodesk to Zurn. Friday was capped by the Gulf States reception and awards ceremony. AIA Arkansas members from Polk, Stanley Wilcox Architects, Marlon Blackwell Architects, Modus Studio and Allison + Partners Architects received Gulf States Region awards.  AIA Arkansas was well represented in Orlando - next stop New York City for the A'18 - AIA Conference on Architecture 2018.
AIA Arkansas Convention 2017
The 2017 AIA Arkansas State Convention will be held in Hot Springs from October 18-21. Kyle Cook and his committee are working to continue the excellence of past conventions. A top-notch lineup of speakers has been assembled, social events are planned and the vendor hall will be the place to find the latest in furniture, finishes and architectural materials. Our AIA Arkansas State Convention is a prime example of AIA Arkansas members' talent at work.  Registration will open up shortly on what is shaping up to be another excellent event!
In July, AIA Arkansas leadership convened in Little Rock for the Past President's Luncheon, Board of Directors meeting and the annual Gold and Silver Allied Sponsors reception.  Leadership spent the day awarding members the Fay Jones Gold Medal, the Dick Savage Award and the Emerging Professional Award. The award recipients will be honored during the Awards Banquet at the 2017 AIA Arkansas State Convention. The Allied sponsor reception gave us the opportunity to thank our Gold and Silver Allied sponsors - our Allied sponsors are a tremendous asset to AIA Arkansas. They provide education, design assistance and valuable trade specific knowledge to all of our membership throughout the state. 
As president, I am excited to see so many AIA Arkansas members engaged in leadership on committees, within their communities and within their sections throughout the state. 
Thank you for allowing me to serve.
Travis Bartlett, AIA
AIA Arkansas President
MAHG Architecture
Save The Date

NOVEMBER 16, 2017

The 2017 Leadership Institute will be held in Bentonville, Arkansas at the Crystal Bridges Museum on November 16, 2017 !

Early registration for this event begins on August 1st, 2017. The hotel block at 21c Hotel is available and ready for reservations. 

The Leadership Institute is a national leadership development program of the  American Institute of Architects. Using a digital conferencing model, the program connects multiple locations for an interactive, one-day learning experience. Over 600 architects and emerging professionals have participated since 2015.
Leadership Institute 2017 is a one-day leadership training event for architects. Join local and industry leaders on November 16 for an essential training experience that includes:
  • learning leadership best practices and how to apply them in professional, industry, community, communication, and design leadership
  • connecting to a network of local and industry leaders who are changing the leadership dialogue
  • accessing relevant content for your career and professional journey
  • a free copy of Living Your Life as a Leader, a reference guide and workbook that will support your personal leadership development during and after the event.
Design Camp Students See Exhibition of Project Boards
The exhibition of 40 project boards prepared for the 2016 AIA Arkansas Design Awards competition was displayed in May and June at the Fred and Mary Smith Exhibition Gallery in Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville as its final stop of the year.

A closing reception was organized by the NWA  AIA  to  host 70 Fay Jones School of Architecture Design  Camp students. Firm representatives Jason Wright from Modus Studio, Bradford Payne of Marlon Blackwell Architects and Lisa Skiles with Skiles Architect gave short talks on their award projects and interacted individually for the Q & A while students enjoyed catered snacks and perused the exhibit .

Lori Santa-Rita welcomed the students and spoke on her career path and the benefit of AIA, and RT Hughen offered closing commentary on community service
through design. The NW Section contributed to the '17 Design Camp scholarship fund to support approximately nine need-based scholarships for the Fayetteville location. Design Camp was held in four locations statewide in June with grade ranges from 3 to 12 depending upon the location.
Allison + Partners, a 20-year firm based in Little Rock with an impressive portfolio of award winning design in architecture, interior design and historic preservation, is seeking to add to its downtown Fayetteville office a licensed architect, preferably with 5-10 years experience. The ideal candidate is capable, dedicated, self-motivated and knowledgeable in all aspects of project management. Familiarity with Revit is helpful, as is design talent and rendering capability. If you are interested in a new challenge with potential to be a leader, please email your resume.
Please send resume to Aaron Ruby at
Project Architect/Manager
MAHG Architecture is currently seeking a project architect/manager to join its team in a full-time position. Established in 1935, MAHG is a growing and highly collaborative design firm located in Fort Smith. The firm's work encompasses award-winning sustainable projects, college and university, medical and civic projects. Responsibilities: project team collaboration, consultant coordination, production and scheduling, architectural, sustainable design and detailing, and construction administration. Requirements: registered architect, NCARB certified, with demonstrated expertise in architectural materials and systems detailing, client and contractor relationships, communication and organization skills, software proficiency, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, solid leadership, excellent work ethic and enthusiastic attitude. Experience: seven to 15 years, preferred.
Contact:, 479-782-1051.
Aaron Ruby,  AIA, LEED AP
200 West Capitol Ave., Suite 1400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Fire Guts House in Fayetteville Designed by Jones That Was Once Home to Clinton
  In June, a fire extensively damaged a house designed by Fay Jones that was former President Bill Clinton's first home in Fayetteville.
Clinton lived in the one-bedroom house at 6725 Huntsville Road from 1973-75 when he taught law at the University of Arkansas.
Robert Dzur and his wife, Stephanie, own the house. They are UofA alumni who live in Albuquerque, N.M.
Built in 1957, Jones designed the house for Adrian and Marie Fletcher. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house was deemed a total loss by the fire. "It will have to be torn down," Stephanie Dzur said. "It is too damaged to fix. The supporting beams are more than 60 percent burnt through."
The Fletcher Residence was featured in the national magazine House Beautiful in March 1960 and won Jones one of his first architectural design awards, a "Homes for Better Living" Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1961, according to the National Register application.
The Adrian Fletcher house isn't "the" Fayetteville house that comes to mind when most people think of Clinton. Clinton bought a one-bedroom house at 930 California Drive in 1975. Clinton and Hillary Rodham were married in the California Drive house and began their life as a family there. That building now serves as the Clinton House Museum.
  Kwendeche Elevated
To Fellowship Status
Kwendeche, FAIA, a Little Rock native, was recently elevated to Fellowship status with the American Institute of Architects.
He is the second African-American architect from Arkansas to receive this prestigious honor. His mentor at Howard University, Anthony F. Johns, FAIA (Texarkana, Arkansas) was the first to be honored in 1994.
"AIA Fellows are recognized with the AIA's highest membership honor for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society."
Kwendeche was one of 178 Fellows (along with eight Honorary Fellows) honored at the April 28 investiture ceremony at A'17, the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Fla.
Governor Appoints Lejong to State Board
On June 21, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the appointment of Michael Lejong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal at MAHG Architecture, Inc., in Fort Smith to the State Board of Architects, Landscape Architects and Interior Designers.  
Michael is the recent recipient of the Arkansas Chapter's Dick Savage Memorial Outstanding Member Award. In 2012, he served as AIA Arkansas Chapter president. He has been involved in the chapter's legislative affairs committee and has represented AIA Arkansas on the AIA State Government Network (SGN) national committee for several years. In 2015, he was appointed by the Gulf States Region director, Rob Walker, AIA, as the Gulf States regional representative on the AIA National Small Firm Exchange.
Michael will replace longtime state board member David French, AIA. His appointment will expire on April 26, 2022.
Member News From WER Architects
WER Architects is thrilled to announce that Lauren Dickey, director of interior design, and James Swann, project architect, have both passed their licensing exams. Lauren now holds her NCIDQ designation and James is a registered architect, AIA.
Betsy Long and Jack Harris are interning at WER Architects this summer. Betsy is starting her senior year at Harding University this fall for interior design, and Jack is starting his fourth year of architecture school at the University of Arkansas.

WER Architects Director of Marketing Kate Dimitrova was listed as one of the 2017 Women to Watch by Little Rock Soiree. Kate has been with WER since 2013 and serves on the Board of Directors for Ballet Arkansas.
WER Architects has hired Daron Harris as a BIM Technician. Daron joins the WER team with over 20 years of experience as an architectural designer and draftsman. He holds an associate's degree of applied sciences from ASU-Beebe and has been an active volunteer with CARTI Tour de Rock for the last 12 years. 
WER  Architects/Planners Hires Elizabeth Stinnett
WER Architects/Planners is pleased to announce the hiring of Elizabeth Stinnett, intern architect, in its Northwest Arkansas office. 
Elizabeth grew up in Siloam Springs where she cultivated an early interest in design and how people use and perceive space. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas and when not designing buildings, she enjoys experiencing and traveling the world.
During her studies, Elizabeth got the opportunity to work with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on the fabrication of a pavilion that is the entrance to Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman Wilson House. Through this she learned metal fabrication, welding, wood construction and numerous other skills that have informed her design and understanding of architecture. She also had the opportunity to work with the city of Mayflower after it experienced consecutive disasters with an award-winning reconstruction design and plan for recovery that is currently being implemented.
"I believe the best part of design happens in the details and am really excited to bring my skills to the amazing projects that WER designs," Elizabeth said.
"I am very excited to have Elizabeth join the WER team," said John Langham, AIA, managing principal of WER Architects/Planners Northwest Arkansas. "She is tremendously talented in building design and has a real passion for the built environment. Her hands-on approach, skill and character will be a great asset to our growing Northwest Arkansas office."
Exhibit of Work by Murphree on Display at Fay Jones School
An exhibition titled "Vi Machina: Drawings and Ideations Towards a New American Power" will be on display through Aug. 11 in the Fred and Mary Smith Exhibition Gallery in Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. It is presented by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.
A closing reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 11.
The collection of work created by David L. Murphree over about the last nine years resulted from a collision of various aspects of his life and his interests. He is an artist, architect and educator. He also once owned a trucking company and put 1 million miles on his own rig, a Kenworth T600.
 "Witnessing and being part of the logistics industry, and watching rail, truck and air systems, changed the way I see the world," Murphree said. "No longer will I ever go get a head of lettuce at Walmart without understanding the incomprehensibly huge system of machinery that we have in constant motion to allow this. My life was changed from the perspective of seeing it with an architect's and artist's eyes and from being a component, part of the fluid dynamic of the whole industry."
Since his youth, he's owned motorcycles and sports cars, and he's driven big farm equipment. "I've always been around machinery, and have always had a fascination and a mechanical aptitude."
But over the years, he's also grown concerned about the environmental effects of some of these systems, and he has studied ways to evolve mechanized systems and industries to help improve the climate. He calls his approach "anthropogenic climate disruption correction."
As a result, this is an exhibition of his vision, and it focuses on two main areas: the locomotive and a self-powered manufacturing facility.
"I'm always coming at this from the aesthetic view of an artist, as well as someone who has a consciousness about where we need to move our focus in the climate disruption position," he said. "All of this has sort of converged, knowing that we have to innovate into the absolute cleanest, most efficient systems, or we're in deep trouble."
The exhibition features original sketches and precise hand and line drawings, as well as beautifully finished giclée computer-generated renderings. Murphree designed and drew much of this work, and he then enlisted the help of Fay Jones School students to produce the three-dimensional modeling and computer renderings. Six students have assisted him over the past five years, working part-time during their breaks from school.
The exhibition also includes related ideas and investigations. Murphree has designed a graphene based solid-state ultra capacitor, and he designed his locomotive around the ultra capacitor system. The ultra capacitor works like the lithium ion battery in a Tesla car, and it serves as the main component for all of the systems.
He's also designed the manufacturing facility that will produce the capacitor and the locomotive. "The capacitor is going to have applications that are endless," he said.
This facility that holds the factory and corporate headquarters was also designed with heliostats that direct large amounts of solar light into the top of a tower and collect concentrated solar power. This developing technology exists in Spain and Nevada and is being testing in California, he said.
In addition to designing a beautiful tower that collects the solar energy, Murphree also has added four vertical axis wind turbines to the tower. This hybrid system to harness natural energy is something that no one has done, he said.
That energy is collected in the hundreds and hundreds of capacitors inside the facility, and the facility is always working off of stored energy, rather than produced energy, he said. As a comparison, gas and coal combine to provide about 60 percent of the electricity used in United States.
"This eliminates any and all energy from any fossil fuel, hydrocarbon source. We're manufacturing these completely efficient locomotives," he said.
Murphree also has one three-dimensional piece in the show - a full-scale custom motorcycle that he designed and built several years ago. The built machine isn't exactly as he first designed it; it was the first iteration of a series he once planned to build.
This prototype for a pro-street drag bike has a 142 cubic inch engine, and it was built for his 6-foot frame. He worked on this with an engine builder and fabricator, while he was still working in trucking.
"Every component on this thing is jewelry; the motorcycle is an assembly of little jeweled pieces," he said.
Admission to the exhibition is free. The exhibition gallery is located on the first floor of Vol Walker Hall, and it is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

AIA Small Firm Exchange

Submitted by:  Michael Lejong, AIA - Gulf States Regional Representative AIA SFx
Are you in a small firm?  The AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) advocates for small firms within AIA and in outside organizations and agencies.  SFx promotes leadership in small firm professional development and practice, and facilitates support of local component and small firm networks.
Our latest SFx newsletter gives you an update on our practice committee's efforts to bring you a business plan, recaps the A'17 Conference on Architecture in Orlando, plus invites you to take our small firm Business Model Survey.  You may also select the link at the bottom of the newsletter to "Join the Small Firm Exchange" and sign up to receive these insights directly in your inbox!

Follow this link to view the newsletter:

Opitz Receives Young Architect Award at National Convention
In April, Jonathan Opitz, AIA, received the AIA Young Architect Award at the national convention in Orlando. He was one of only 14 in the country to be so honored this year.

Young architects are defined as professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age. Since AIA believes emerging talent deserves recognition, it selected the recipients for the 2017 AIA Young Architects Award based on the individuals' exceptional leadership and significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.
Also, he recently was recognized by Arkansas Business in its 40 Under 40 class for 2017. Each year, the weekly business newspaper honors 40 intriguing business leaders under 40 years old who bear watching. This year there were more than 400 nominations. 

NorthWest Arkansas

NW Section Preparing for August Scholarship Bowling Tournament
The first half of 2017 has had much to offer for our 121 active local NW members, from monthly Lunch and Learns with Allied partners, Hard Hat Tours of firm projects and Baggo Tournament to a spring Member Appreciation Dinner.
More than 250 CEU hours have been earned through section programming year to date. Turnout was especially strong for the Hard Hat Tours and we have appreciated collaborations with Polk Stanley Wilcox - AR Children's NW, WER with Nabholtz Construction - UofA Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences and Modus studio with USGBC AR - Uptown Apartments.
It was a special evening in April when members and guests gathered at James at the Mill to acknowledge 20 years of leadership and scholarship support by NW Section AIA AR members. Among the program highlights: Tim Maddox presented NW member service award to Thad Kelly III for his long history of AIA service and an honorary NW Section Founder acknowledgement to Steve Miller; Doug Hurley and Julia Jernigan gave heartfelt remembrances for past Section Chairs Perry Butcher and Sharon Hoover; after introductions by Bo Ebbrecht, Dean MacKeith presented an appreciation plaque from the Section to Laleh Amirmoez for her role as Section Chair in establishment of the giving agreement in 1997 for ongoing NW Section UofA design scholarships.
Current Section Officers (Lisa Skiles, Thomas Merritt and Ann Hamilton) presented engraved "thank you" plaques, Chroma red cubes sponsored by 3Form, to attending past chairs, tracing a history of the Section for 20-plus years (attending and in sequence of service):  RT Hughen, BJ Phillips, Lori Santa-Rita, Bob Kohler, Leanne Baribeau, Christopher Sullivan, Tim Maddox, Larry Perkins, Rich Brya, Ken Emanuelson, Doug Hurley, Thad Kelly, Julia Jernigan and Laleh Amirmoez.  Additional honorees included AIA member volunteers serving on architectural boards:  Ethel Goodstein-Murphee, Peter MacKeith, Lowell Wetherbee, Bo Ebbrecht, Steve Miller, Casey Hoffman and Randall Hurban.
The evening concluded with an update on current happenings from Executive Director Brent Stevenson with brief remarks about the November regional AIA Leadership Conference to be held in Bentonville and from current AIA AR Board Members Tim Maddox, Lori Santa-Rita, Leanne Baribeau and Casey Hoffman who are involved in leading AIA AR committee initiatives for membership diversity and emerging professionals.  Arkansas Press publications were presented to our current NW AIA AR Board members in appreciation.  It was a fun night of good food and renewed connections.
Now, the NW AIA officers and leadership committee look forward to a full house at Fast Lanes bowling alley on August 4 with members, Allied partners and associates for a great tournament.  We appreciate our participants and supporters, including CEU kickoff lunch with Plunkett Distributing and Wilsonart.   Let's bowl!

Lisa Skiles
NW Section Chair 2017

Laleh Amirmoez with Dean MacKeith

Honorees pose after the banquet - past NW Section chairs and current volunteers with various architectural boards.

AIA AR Treasurer Lori Santa-Rita offers closing remarks about current initiatives, with fellow Board members Casey Hoffman and Leanne Baribeau.

Thad Kelly, recipient of the NW Section Member Service Award 2017, regales crowd with humor in typical fashion.


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