March 9, 2018

Meet our Panel for the March COMMONS, “ABSTRACT: The Art of Design – Architecture / Bjarke Ingels”

As part of the 2018 AIAD:COMMONS monthly programming, AIA Detroit will host a four-part screening and interdisciplinary panel discussion series, focused on four installments of the Netflix-produced documentary, “Abstract: The Art of Design“, beginning in March with a feature on Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Following the screening, we’ll reconvene in Emagine’s SkyBox Lounge for pizza, cocktails, and a lively and interdisciplinary panel discussion on some of the topics addressed in the documentary, the parallels they illustrate across design professions, and the unique opportunities we face as a design community here in Detroit.

Learn more about our distinguished panelists:

John Gallagher, Panel Moderator

John Gallagher is a veteran journalist and author whose book, “Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City,” was named by the Huffington Post as among the best social and political books of 2010. His most recent book is “Yamasaki in Detroit: A Search for Serenity,” a biography of architect Minoru Yamasaki.  John was born in New York City and joined the Detroit Free Press in 1987 to cover urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan, a post which he still holds. He is a 2017 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. John and his wife, Sheu-Jane, live along Detroit’s east riverfront.


Kimberly Montague, AIA Detroit President

Kimberly Montague has been a licensed architect for over 20 years and has worked in many capacities, both as an architect, planner and health care design strategist. In her current role, she serves as the Manager for the A&D team, and works to partner with architects and designers for knowledge sharing, resources and collaboration on healthcare projects. Prior to joining the health care team at Herman Miller Healthcare, Ms. Montague was the Director of Design Consultation Services for Planetree, Inc. As Director of Design Consultation, her primary focus was dedicated to assisting a variety of health care institutions improve not only the patient-centered aspects of care, but also the safety and health of those who work and are treated in these facilities.


Olga Stella, Design Core Detroit Executive Director

Olga Stella leads Design Core Detroit, an organization that works to strengthen Detroit’s design-driven businesses and champions their role in the economy. In this role, she is applying her experience in economic development, public policy and coalition-building to Design Core’s work which ranges from business education, advocacy, storytelling, and activating Detroit’s designation as the only UNESCO City of Design in the United States. Olga helped facilitate over $200 million in investment in the city of Detroit through her work at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, where she played multiple roles, including Chief Operating Officer. Her political experience includes serving as an Assistant to the Mayor for Economic Development to Mayor Dennis Archer and as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Steve Tobocman. Olga lives with her family in Detroit and is active in the community, serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.


 Anne Wilkinson, IIDA Michigan Past President

Anne Wilkinson, IIDA has been involved in the design community in the metro Detroit area her entire career. With both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Interior Design, she has practiced her talent for many years. She has worked for Harley Ellis Devereux, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Henry Ford Health, to name a few, as well as owning her own design practice, WB Interiors Inc. She has been an adjunct professor at LTU and EMU and was the Interior Design Program Chair at IADT. Anne has expanded her experience by working in the flooring industry and currently is the Detroit area Account Executive at EF Contract (formerly BOLYU), a manufacturer of both carpet and LVT.  Anne has been involved in IIDA most of her career and in 2010 was the first Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. She has contributed tirelessly to the Chapter over the years, including holding seven different Board positions, serving on numerous Committees, and recruiting potential Members to the Chapter and to Board positions. In addition, Anne started the Chapter’s now Annual Board Retreats and her Annual Board Meeting inspired the Finish to Fashion Event.


Kimmie Parker, AIGA Detroit Past President

Kimmie has been a graphic designer in metro-Detroit for the past 10 years. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Oakland University, where her research explores the rational vs. the emotional within the creative process and the ever-changing role of design within culture. She also maintains an active freelance design business, as well as a studio art practice that challenges her more practical design skills through materials and process explorations. Kimmie holds a BS in Merchandising from Michigan State University, a BFA in Graphic Design from Wayne State University, and an MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Prior to joining Oakland University, she worked as an in-house environmental graphic designer and art director, and as a design consultant. Kimmie is President Emeritus of AIGA Detroit, the local chapter of a nationally-situated professional organization for visual designers. Today, she continues to serve on AIGA Detroit’s Board of Directors as Editor of


Register now for this exciting event, and stay tuned for announcements about future screenings planned for June, September, and December.

Questions? Reach out to for more information about this series.

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership   Uncategorized  
March 5, 2018

Thank You, from the AIAD Executive Director

Cancer, in its many forms, is all too prevalent in today’s world. Everyone is at least aware of someone who has fought the disease; too many of us personally know individuals who have lost that battle. For my 27-year-old self, however, cancer always happened to “other people”. Young and healthy, with little history of cancer in my immediate family, there were numerous other health problems that ranked higher on my list of “Things to Worry About in the Future”. (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Board Members  
February 28, 2018

HKS Announces Three Promotions in Detroit


HKS Announces Promotions

(DETROIT) – HKS rewards outstanding performance, drive and ambition with the promotion of the following individuals in the Detroit office.

Kendall Ruhberg, AIA, LEED AP, was promoted to associate principal; Steve Stroman, IIDA, LEED AP, was promoted to vice president; and Jacqueline Colaianni, WELL AP, was promoted to associate.

Ruhberg is a project manager with experience managing large, complex design teams. He is a registered architect in Michigan and a graduate of Lawrence Technological University.

Stroman is a senior interior design with over 24 years of experience with healthcare and hospitality projects. He is a graduate of Lawrence Technological University.

Colaianni is an architect with experience in healthcare and commercial project. She is a WELL Accredited Professional and a graduate of The University of Michigan.

HKS, Inc. is a team of more than 1,400 architects, interior designers, urban designers, scientists, artists, anthropologists and other professionals working together across industries and across the globe to create places that delight, heal and stimulate peak performance. The firm has nurtured a culture of extraordinary people with curious and creative minds who are passionate about delivering elegant solutions. HKS has a dedicated research team that digs deep to discover processes and ideas that improve outcomes for everyone. In everything HKS does, it is mindful of the fragility of all life and of the planet.

For more information, contact Judy Little at

Categories: AIA Detroit News  
February 6, 2018

President’s Letter: February 2018

 2018 AIAD Programs Promote Diverse Professionals, Perspectives, and Paths

What will the City of Detroit and the architecture profession look like in the years to come?

If the excitement of the young visionaries in our first-ever K-8 outreach program are any indication, we will all be in great hands! This past Friday, February 2nd, we welcomed over 40 students from the Center for Success, and representatives of several City of Detroit departments, to the Butzel Family Rec Center in Islandview for the conclusion of the first iteration of Architecture Building Communities: Detroit [ABC:D]. I had the opportunity to see these young students, ranging from first through fifth grade, present their big plans for not only their neighborhood, but the broader community at-large to a panel of city officials. Fueled by young energy, unfiltered creativity, and a bit of sugar, each team presented their ideas for Butzel and the surrounding neighborhood of Islandview, addressing issues like adaptive reuse, new development, and streetscape placemaking. (more…)

January 8, 2018

2018 AIA Detroit President’s Message

A letter from 2018 AIA Detroit President Kimberly Montague:

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”

Auld Lang Syne, a traditional Scottish poem written by Robert Burns, is sung all over the world on New Year’s Eve. Roughly translated, the tune means “for old time’s sake” and the lyrics are essentially about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the past year, often with a certain reverence. As I reflect on 2017, it was a time of change for AIA Detroit; change that was positive and will allow us to grow, strengthen, and prosper in 2018 and beyond. But it was also a time to remain true to our mission and strategic objectives; seeking to improve the value of great architecture and design in our communities.

Many existing AIA Detroit events and programs remained constant, with improvements based on your suggestions: (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
December 15, 2017

3 Interesting Easter Eggs in the new Hudson’s renderings

by Charlie Klecha, Assoc. AIA

—On a bitterly cold Thursday morning, Bedrock Detroit, along with a host of city and business leaders, finally ‘broke ground’ on the high-rise that will soon occupy the historic site of the former J.L. Hudson’s department store. Being the top of a parking deck, there was no ground to actually break, so dignitaries symbolically held on to golden shovels, as heavy equipment awkwardly bashed and disfigured an existing elevator tower popping out of the garage just behind them.

The building is expected to rise to 800 feet, making it the tallest in both the City of Detroit, and the State of Michigan. Bedrock’s design team on the project includes a partnership between Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates, represented at the event by founding principal Rainy Hamilton, Jr., FAIA, NOMA, and New York-based SHoP Architects, represented by principal Bill Sharples.

Included in the presentation were a handful of juicy new renderings, mixed in with slightly-revised versions of the views we’ve been seeing for the last few months. For many, these are the most highly-anticipated parts of the announcement of any new development—we in the design profession just love to scrutinize an image to see what we can glean about the early concepts for the project. In that spirit, here are three observations from the new renderings, and speculations on the fun features that these renders might imply are being considered (or are soon to be value-engineered out!).


Categories: AIA Detroit News  
October 27, 2017

2018 AIA Detroit Board Nominees

Please Join AIA Detroit for our Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 16th, at 6:30PM. The meeting will be held at the Madison Building off Broadway in downtown Detroit.

We hope you will join us for some cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres as we wrap up another successful year at AIA Detroit.  We encourage you to RSVP for this free event.  If you cannot make the meeting in person and wish to participate in the election, you must request an absentee ballot by sending your name and AIA Number to by November 10th, 2017.

RSVP Here for the Annual Meeting


Categories: AIA Detroit News   Board Members   Membership  
October 24, 2017

AIA Detroit 2017 Annual Meeting


All current AIA Detroit Members are encouraged to join us for the 2017 Annual Meeting, taking place on Thursday, November 16th, at the Madison event space on Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit. This meeting will include the annual report to the membership on significant accomplishments, events, and programming throughout the past year, and the election of the 2018 AIA Detroit Board of Directors.

The Annual Meeting will begin with elections proceedings for the 2018 Board of Directors. Certified Candidates will be permitted to make brief statements, after which all current Architect and Associate members will cast votes for the contested positions up for election. See below for a list of Certified Candidates, and read more about the candidates and their written statements here. (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Board Members   Membership  
September 19, 2017

New AIA Detroit K-8 Outreach Program Seeking Volunteer Mentors

AIA Detroit is pleased to announce the launch of a new K-8 education outreach program, designed to provide students in underserved areas of Detroit with principles of design thinking, and engage them in the planning process for the communities in which they live. Architecture Building Communities: Detroit [ABC:D], recipient of the 2017 AIA National / Armstrong Foundation Education Grant, is a pilot collaboration between AIA Detroit, Cranbrook Art Museum & Academy—a world-renowned institution with a rich architectural legacy and a pioneering collegiate architecture curriculum—and The Center for Success (C4S), a nonprofit organization committed to impacting youth in underserved areas through education and exposure to social interactions and activities. (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
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