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President's Message
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President's Message

October 1, 2014

Design, Design, Design.

As architects we take pride in one thing and that is improving lives through design.

Our Chapter recently held its Design Awards Gala and the event was exceptional. I was very pleased to see many of our sponsors there and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support. It is because of them we were able to organize a great event to celebrate outstanding design.


Board Members + Design Awards Committee + Event Sponsors (L-R: Bill Baquet of CSI Fullmer, Doug Ewing, Alek Zarifian, Nazanin Zarkesh, Farooq Maniar of Farooq Maniar, Inc., Brian Stewart of Collins Collins Muir + Stewart, Mitch Sawasy, John Luttrell, John Basso of RJ Builders, David Barker, Collins Collins Muir + Stewart.)

Also, helping to make the Design Awards a success was the jury which included Andrea Cohen Gehring, Brian Dougherty, Robin Donaldson, Peter Grueneison and Stephen Farneth. I had an opportunity to observe the jury in action on Jury Day. I have to say, it was an eye opening experience and fun day for me. It was a reminder of why I became an architect and why AIA is important. I observed how the jury reviewed the projects and what they considered important in the design. It was good to see their passion, enthusiasm and appreciation of a thoughtful design. Watching and listening to their discussion made me excited, revived and inspired all over again.

Their process was an impressive collaboration where they exchanged ideas, discussed the pros and cons and, as a team, selected the award winning projects.

So why AIA? Because it creates opportunities - and a community - for us as designers to share ideas beyond our offices and those we work with on a daily basis. We can be enthusiastic and talk about our designs beyond our daily routine. We can share stories, knowledge and accomplishments that inspire us.

I believe any design can be just as important as the award winning projects. But a successful design is one that meets client‘s need and has simple, creative solutions. It’s creating something that the user can relate to and at the same time elevating their quality of life which is a priority in good design. We like outdoor living, flexible spaces, privacy and rooms with controlled natural light. It is an architect’s responsibility to raise the bar and design more livable spaces and communities.

The built environment affects and shapes our sense of place. As architects we are creating and forming the space that people will enjoy and experience every single day. We use a variety of different features and technology to innovative projects. But something as simple as a single line where we transform one room into two can make a world of difference. So the next time we draw a line in our design, think of the impact that one line can make.

Nazanin Zarkesh, AIA, LEED AP
2014 AIAPF President

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