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Several member-architects, including two School of Architecture affiliations, have recently been raised to the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows level of recognition. Prof. Lori A. Brown and Joanna L. Schmickel (B.Arch.) have been awarded this distinguished accolade in recognition of their significant contributions to promoting the profession of architecture during their careers.
A member’s election to the AIA College of Fellows is one of the most prestigious individual accolades that the organization can bestow. Only 3% of the AIA’s overall membership of more than 94,000 people have achieved this distinction throughout their careers.
Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects is awarded to architects who have served the profession for at least ten years and have demonstrated influence in at least one of the following nomination categories: improved the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of their profession; advanced the science of planning and building by promoting standards of architectural education and training; coordinated the building industry and the work of architecture through leadership in their respective fields, and coordinated the building industry and the creation of architecture through leadership.
Fellows are chosen by a Jury of Fellows, which consists of seven members. Steven Spurlock, FAIA, Quinn Evans Architects served as chair of this year’s jury, which included Rainy Hamilton Jr., FAIA, Hamilton Anderson Associates; Lisa Lamkin, FAIA, Brown Reynolds Watford Architects, Inc.; Rebecca Lewis, FAIA, DSGW Architects; RK Stewart, FAIA, RK Stewart Consultants; Allison Williams, FAIA, AGWms studio; and Anna Wu, FAIA, University of North.
This year, 88 member-architects from around the country and two overseas architects were raised to the status of fellows.
We congratulate these talented architects on their elevation to the renowned AIA College of Fellows, says Michael Speaks, dean of the School of Architecture. “We are delighted for them,” adds Speaks. In addition to their unique accomplishments, which are exceptional, they have made significant contributions to the profession and society on a national level, as shown by this honor.
Lori A. Brown, FAIA, has developed a creative research practice that focuses on the relationships between architecture and social justice issues, with a particular emphasis on gender and its impact on spatial relationships, in the hopes of broadening the discourse and involvement of architecture in our world. Lori A. Brown, FAIA, is a member of the American Institute of Architects.
As a co-founder of ArchiteXX, Brown directs women and architecture group dedicated to bridging the gap between the academy and practice in New York City. The group works to raise awareness of women in architecture, establish support and mentoring networks, and take design actions that increase the exposure of architecture around the world, among other things. The Graham Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts have all funded ArchiteXX’s current curatorial project, Now What?!, advocacy, activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968, touring the country. Brown is also currently collaborating with the Australian group Parlour on #wikiD, a project that has received support from the Wikimedia Foundation, to write more female architects into Wikipedia.
Among Brown’s publications are “Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture” (Routledge, 2011), an edited collection of international women designers and architects who use feminist methodologies in their creative practices that started as a traveling exhibition, and “Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Women’s Shelters, and Hospitals” (Routledge, 2013), which examines highly securitized spaces and the impact of legislation and the First Amendment on their operations. She collaborates with two abortion clinics to develop interventions for their public face-to-face interactions. The author’s current book projects include “Birthing, Borders, and Bodies” and co-editing “The Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture 1960-2015” with Karen Burns, as well as “The Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture 1960-2015.” An Emerging Voices award from The Architectural League of New York was given to Brown the following year, in 2021.
In Brown’s words, “having my work acknowledged by the only organization that architects have in this nation is rewarding and an enormous honor.” “I am happy for the recognition I have received from the AIA, as well as for being accepted into the College of Fellows.”
Brown is a professor at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, where she also works as the school’s director of diversity, equality, and inclusion. As a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, she represents the faculty interests of the institution. Brown is an architect licensed to practice in the state of New York.
The principal of cox grace + spack architects (previously KressCox Associates), Joanna L. Schmickel, FAIA, LEED AP, has been in the practice of architecture in Washington, D.C., for more than 35 years and is a LEED Accredited Professional. During this time, she has overseen a varied range of award-winning local and national projects for various customers, including educational, institutional, commercial, and residential institutions and individuals. Schickel has served as the principal designer on projects ranging from single structures to whole campus master plans, which have resulted in the design and construction of several buildings. She has proudly supported and mentored a new generation of architects involved in the worldwide architectural design and construction industry throughout her career.
With the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), Schmickel has developed and delivered several youth workshops for the Washington Architectural Foundation. He has also led an Architecture in the Schools team and was the founding director of the Archi-Builder Studio, which teaches students about the design processes used by architects and is now in its third year.
As Schickel explains, “exposing young people to architecture and the design process prepares them to join the world with a deeper understanding and appreciation of how architecture and the built environment affects the lives of individuals and communities.”
Among her many accomplishments is founding the Design Like a Girl Mentor program, which matches female design experts with middle school girls to expose them to architecture and other STEM-related areas. In appreciation of her contributions to the development and implementation of the program, Schmickel was awarded the John “Web” Wiebenson Award for Architecture in the Public Interest by the Washington Architectural Foundation in 2017.
“Being elevated to the College of Fellows is an acknowledgment that the work I do to expose young people to architecture is appreciated,” says Schickel of his elevation to the college. “I hope that my promotion will serve as an inspiration to other women and people of color to pursue careers in the field, as well as to encourage them to enhance diversity within the design and construction business.”
A licensed architect in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, Schickel is also a LEED Accredited Professional and a LEED Green Associate.