Message from Session Leader Klaus Philipsen, FAIA
Session Descriptions and Materials
Printable CivicLAB Program Package
Lauren Bostic, Assoc. AIA, Maryland Statewide Coordinator, Intern Development Program
This spring, another group of AIABaltimore’s Emerging Professionals is learning about leadership and advocacy in CivicLAB, a series of educational sessions to mobilize members interested in taking on or expanding leadership roles in their communities. The program, originally granted partial funding from AIA National, is now in its second year. It aims to promote opportunities and skills for civic engagement by architects and build a network of leaders. The sessions will demonstrate how architects can respond to critical issues facing our communities and the profession. The meetings take place in a variety of locations, including local architecture firms and organizations that foster an understanding of civic leadership and advance advocacy efforts.
The first session on March 18th, Citizen Lobbying, presented by Chris Parts, AIA, gave an overview of Maryland’s legislative process and demonstrated how architects serve as a valuable resource in helping legislators make more informed decisions and policy. Participants worked in groups to discuss legislation that could benefit from architects’ input. In a role playing exercise, volunteers portrayed multiple roles in an effort to understand the importance of communicating effective messages to legislators that affect architects as well as their constituents. The session served as preparation for AIA Grassroots Legislative Advocacy Day in Washington DC on March 21st, where CivicLAB participants visited congressional leaders and staff on Capitol Hill to discuss federal issues that are important to the architectural profession.
In April, the sessions continued with a lession on advocacy: the timely issue of Baltimore County school design prototypes. Jim Determan, FAIA, led participants in understanding the issues and arguments to advocate for design excellence for public schools that are specific to the site, and responsive to the needs of the school and community, rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ prototype.
Gordon Ingerson, AIA will lead the group in May with a session called Art and Practice of Urban Design. This session will cover general principles and goals of good urban design at all scales, from the private to the public realm. Finally, Klaus Philipsen, FAIA, will present Sustainability, Smart Growth and Preservation. The session will enlighten participants on how to become active contributors to sustainability, smart growth and preservation and the importance of these areas on design.
New to CivicLAB this year is an opportunity for participants to share their leadership and advocacy skills with others. They will have the opportunity to lend their skills to organizations that benefit from leadership and advocacy and present their experience in a public forum as part of Baltimore Architecture Month.
to advance leadership development
Apply to participate in CivicLAB 2013 to hone your leadership skills and make a difference in your community!
In 2012, AIABaltimore introduced CivicLAB (Leadership. Architecture. Baltimore), a series of participatory educational sessions that will help to mobilize AIA members interested in taking on or expanding leadership roles in their communities, their professional lives, and in academia.
As a result of participation in CivicLAB, AIA members will be prepared to help guide and implement public policies and community initiatives that ensure healthy, livable, sustainable, and high-quality built environments for future generations. These sessions will introduce participating architects, interns, and allied professionals to opportunities for civic engagement across the full spectrum of their careers. We invite the chapter's emerging leaders to expand their role in critical issues facing our communities and the profession, and to communicate and demonstrate how architecture makes a difference.
The goals of CivicLAB are to promote opportunities and skills for civic engagement by architects and to build a network of leaders. The program will explore core topics that affect our profession and the region within which we practice. During monthly sessions, and hands-on research and fieldwork, participants will learn about approaches to advocacy from proven leaders who have guided communities to achieve results at local and national scales.
Participants will learn tools of engagement and the impact of architects in multiple areas of advocacy. Group activities, assignments, research, and fieldwork will illustrate how we can make a positive change within our community. AIABaltimore’s membership includes leaders who have been successful at leading initiatives through the AIA and other institutions, and who are valuable assets to CivicLAB.
The Importance of Training New Architect Leaders
Thanks to the increasing awareness of environmental and social justice concerns, as well as a general realization that the built environment, indeed, plays a huge role in the well-being of both the planet and its people, architects are presented with a huge opportunity and responsibility. As professionals who are trained to coordinate many disciplines and solve problems holistically through the integrated approach of design, we are uniquely positioned to address these concerns. But even for us generalists, truly integrated design requires that we move out of our comfort zone and into areas which are adjacent and outside our fields of training. Learning to engage community and achieve acceptance; to influence legislators and the regulatory framework; how our designs fit into the bigger picture; how to reform established methods and procedures for better outcomes -- these skills are not only essential for progress in our society, but are increasingly necessary for personal advancement in our industry.
AIABaltimore has stepped up to this challenge and offers a program that teaches these very skills to our young, promising emerging professionals. This new and unique program, which is partly funded by a grant from The American Institute of Architects, relies upon local business leaders to nominate and sponsor promising young architects. AIABaltimore is one of the leaders in the nation in its level of committee activism and involvement in a wide range of topics relevant to the profession. We can only remain successful if we foster and support new talent. Please think of the talent you have discovered and nominate one or several people. Please support them with your encouragement and tuition. All sessions involve several architect leaders and are interactive.
- Klaus Philipsen, FAIA, CivicLAB Session Leader
We appreciate the planning assistance of Glen Tipton, FAIA, and especially thank Lauren Bostic, Assoc. AIA for writing our grant proposal to National AIA.
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CivicLAB Session Descriptions
Session 1: Citizen Lobbying
Chris Parts, AIA, LEED AP
Monday, March 18, 5:00-7:30
The session will provide an overview of the many avenues for citizen lobbying and ways to navigate the regulatory process. Whether your goal is to create focus on a specific local issue, or to pursue a greater cause, your voice can have a powerful impact. Like architects, legislators need to be generalists, assisting them with specific, well-founded information will enable them to make informed decisions and policy. This session will offer an understanding of the legislative process and share strategies that have been effective in creating policy and affecting regulations. We will discuss opportunities to advocate, make connections, build support, create an effective message, and stay engaged. These opportunities enable us to lead by example and be proactive in our aim to create better buildings and communities.
In this session, Chris Parts will give a brief presentation on legislative advocacy at the state and federal levels. Following this, there will be an interactive role-playing exercise in order to introduce you in-depth to one of the issues in AIA National’s federal agenda (Student Debt Relief) for the Grassroots lobbying day on Thursday, March 21, as well as a Maryland General Assembly issue (HB1249, the Baltimore City school block grant financing bill).
AIA National Grassroots Legislative Advocacy Day
Thursday, March 21
CivicLAB participants are invited to attend the AIA National Grassroots Legislative Advocacy Day on Thursday, March 21st in Washington, DC. This full day of events includes visits to Maryland’s federal legislators as part of AIA Maryland’s delegation, federal issues briefings, sessions on civic engagement with other AIA National leaders, and an open house at AIA’s National Headquarters to meet staff and learn about advocacy resources
Session 2: Schools - The Value of Design
Jim Determan, FAIA
Thursday, April 25, 5:00-7:30
Hord Coplan Macht, 750 East Pratt Street, Suite 1100, Baltimore, MD 21202
The AIA believes school facilities should be designed and built to fit the environment, the location and the specific needs of children and teachers using those schools. Economical school construction is possible by designing school buildings that are strategically adapted to specific locations and needs. Architects can minimize costs by determining in advance the size and equipment needs of classrooms based on the academic priorities and teaching techniques of the school. Standardized, or stock, plans, fail to incorporate individual communities’ specific educational needs. Cookie-cutter design of schools is a risky approach that may undermine the effectiveness of the learning environment.
The issue of prototype school design is an important topic among local architects and an advocacy action in Baltimore County is currently being taken by a group of local firms. This topic is especially relevant as Baltimore City is on the brink of a multi-billion dollar school construction program. The schools are critically important to the future of our city, and the value of design is about to be front and center in this effort.
Field Trip to AIA National Headquarters: AIA National Advocacy Resources
Wednesday, May 1, 3:00-5:00
Meet members of AIA National’s Advocacy team, and learn about current issues at the local, state and national level, and tour AIA’s Headquarters in Washington, DC. CivicLAB participants will also meet recent architecture school graduates from Morgan State University who will be attending an informational session on AIA programs and resources, and inspire them with the community leadership and advocacy you are engaged with through CivicLAB.
Baltimore City Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) Hearing
Thursday, May 9, Time TDB
The Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel’s goal is to achieve the highest quality for the planned and built environment of Baltimore City by providing the Planning Commission and the Department of Planning with design review expertise in the areas of urban design, architecture, and landscape design for all proposed master planning efforts and significant development projects.
Session 3: The Art and Practice of Urban Design: The Messy Path Towards Design Excellence
Gordon Ingerson, AIA, LEED AP
Monday, May 13, 5:00-7:30
We will discuss the methods used to generate, and then realize, urban design concepts in the real world quest to achieve a sense of place. We will cover the general principles and goals of good urban design at all scales, from the private to the public realm, and from the point of view of different participants in the process -- developers, politicians, public officials, and community representatives -- as well as designers. Case studies will illustrate positive and negative outcomes in the real world. Participants will create their own urban design process which will then be compared with both a theoretical idealized process and the real world methods as they were actually applied – in response to the needs of constituents, funders, and authorities. Participants and panelists will discuss how their proposals might be improved, and how their suggestions might have improved the real world process. Emphasis will be on discovering how the designer can accept and use an untidy formula to achieve superior results for the entire community while elevating the profession.
This session will present the Hope VI project that redeveloped the Lafayette Courts public housing project as the current Pleasant Gardens. This case study is an example of a complex project involving multiple parties that made a big difference in the city.
Dan Henson (former Commissioner of the Baltimore City Housing and Community Development and Executive Director of the Housing Authority)
Session 4: Sustainability, Smart Growth and Preservation
Klaus Philipsen, FAIA
Thursday, June 6, 5:00-7:30
1000 Friends of Maryland, 1209 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, Karen Lewand Hon. AIA Conference Room
We will learn through best practice examples why sustainability needs to be achieved, both on the building level as well as the community and regional level. We will discuss how the skills of urban design and place-making can be employed to achieve sustainability, and how smart growth and historic preservation are elements in this quest. We will not focus on the extremely broad field of green design tools, but rather on how new “design thinking” can help us reach a full integration of the many fragments. We will discuss the various arenas in which sustainability, preservation and smart growth are significant, and how to become an active player instead of an observer. We will learn how sustainability and preservation actually result in smart growth, and how these requirements are not added nuisances for architects but the very gateways to Design Excellence.
Johns Hopkins, Baltimore Heritage
Kimberly Golden Brandt, 1000 Friends of Maryland
CivicLAB Fieldwork Projects and Architecture Month Presentations
All CivicLAB participants are invited and strongly encouraged to pursue an independent fieldwork project on a topic that you are most passionate about to apply the lessons learned in CivicLAB, and to make a difference in our communities firsthand.
Through AIABaltimore, you will be introduced to committees or other allied organizations where your advocacy skills are needed. Organizations with which you might become involved include: Neighborhood Design Center, Citizens Planning and Housing Association, 1000 Friends of Maryland, Architecture for Humanity Baltimore Chapter, and many others. AIABaltimore committees that are currently engaged in advocacy projects and efforts include: the Committee on the Environment, Disaster Assistance Committee, Historic Resources Committee, and Urban Design Committee.
CivicLAB participants will have the opportunity to present projects in a public forum during AIABaltimore’s Architecture Month in September/October, to demonstrate the positive impact that architecture and design have on our communities.
If you would like guidance in developing a project, please contact Kathleen Lane, Assoc. AIA.
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Civic Lab Program Details
Sorry, Enrollment is Now Closed for 2013 CivicLAB.
Application and Selection Process
Participation in CivicLAB will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants: AIABaltimore members recruited from the emerging professional demographic within the chapter (Associate AIA or AIA members within their first 10 years of licensure). Participants will be selected on the basis of a nomination and statement of interest. Criteria for acceptance to the program will include prior involvement in community organizations or expressed interest in increasing one’s involvement. Each participant should be sponsored by a member firm, as evidenced by a signature below from a representative of the firm; however, scholarships will be available for members who are unemployed or employed by non-member firms. Applicants may self-nominate.
Download the CivicLAB Application Form (PDF)
Open with Adobe Acrobat or other PDF Form editor, or simply print and scan.
Five monthly sessions will be held on weekday evenings from March-June from 5pm – 7:30pm. Applicants are expected to attend four meetings and a workshop session: dates and locations will be announced. Additional outside preparation time for assignments, research, and fieldwork will be required to complement the monthly sessions, and to broaden and enrich participants’ experiences with interactive community engagement.
A light supper will be provided at monthly sessions.
Participants will also be encouraged to attend AIA National Grassroots Legislative and Leadership Conference from March 20-23, 2013. Additional meetings and opportunities may be suggested after the program begins.
Tuition and Funding
Tuition is $100 per participant and covers food, administrative fees, and other miscellaneous meeting expenses. Scholarships are available to participants for whom funding is a challenge. Tuition is due after applicants are selected for the program and prior to the first session in early March.
If you have questions, please contact AIABaltimore Executive Director, Kathleen Lane, Assoc. AIA, at 410.625.2585 or email@example.com.
Completed applications and nominations are due by Friday, February 22. Each applicant will be notified of selection results by March 1.
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