May 4, 2017

Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program – Detroit


See testimonials from CKLDP Detroit Scholars, Alumni, Co-Chairs, & Co-Founders Here.

See the Recording of the 2020 Info Session + Q&A Here

For the second time, AIA Detroit is accepting applications for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program from potential scholars located all over the state of Michigan! All applications and supporting documents are due no later than 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 7th. Please see the 2020 CKLDP Info Packet for a full description of the application requirements. Interested Candidates are encouraged to reach out to the Program Committee at with any questions.

Dates & Deadlines:

  • June 1, 2020: The Call for Applications for the 2020-2021 Cohort
  • June 17, 2020: Virtual Info Session + Live Q&A
  • July 7, 2020: Application & Supporting Documents Deadline (APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED)
  • July 31, 2020: Notification of Acceptance into the Program

To begin the application process, please complete the following steps:

  1. Thoroughly review the full application requirements in the 2020 CKLDP Info Packet
  2. Solicit or draft a Letter of Interest
  3. Solicit 1-3 Letters of Recommendation
  4. Review and update a current Resume, focusing on relevant qualifications like volunteer activity, organizational involvement, and prior leadership opportunities.
  5. Complete, with your employer, the Memorandum of Understanding, affirming your commitment to the program, should you be selected to participate.
  6. Complete the online application form, including written essay responses, and upload the above supporting documents at the end of the of the application form.


The year-long program will consist of nine (separate) half-day sessions attended by a group of 16 emerging professionals from across the state of Michigan, selected by our hand-picked jury. The curriculum focuses on core skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, the art of negotiation, bringing in new clients, community leadership, industry culture, and developing one’s future within the practice. The program participants are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions.


Sponsorship Opportunities for the 2020-2021 program are now available for both Benefactor (Annual) and individual Session Sponsorships.  The Program Committee is also for potential speakers.  If you are interested in speaking or providing financial support, please contact the Program Committee at




The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2019-2020 curriculum included:


Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Benefactor Sponsors!

Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Session Sponsors!

Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Session Supporters!



Kevin Bouchey, Strategic Energy Solutions

Leland Curtis, SmithGroup

Ethan Dome, HKS

Justin Fiema, SmithGroup

Bria Johnson, Hamilton Anderson Associates

Joshua Maddox, SmithGroup

Frank Majewski, SmithGroup

Nate Meade, GMB

Timothy Morris, Bedrock Detroit

Karin Neubauer, Quinn Evans Architects

Lauren Pedigo, SmithGroup

Erin Porter, Spackman Mossop Michaels

Bryan Seef, SmithGroup

Samantha Szeszulski, Stantec

Zachary VanOverbeke, Integrated Design Solutions

Margaret Whitfield, Yamasaki

The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2018-2019 curriculum included:

The AIA Detroit CKLDP is made possible with the support of the AIA College of Fellows 2018 Component Grant for Emerging Professionals, and 2018-2019 Benefactor Sponsors Quinn Evans Architects, SmithGroup, and The Eisen Group. For more information on how to support or sponsor the program or individual sessions, please contact



The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) was founded in 2013 by the Emerging Architects Committee as part of the AIA|DC Chapter. The program is in memory of Christopher Kelley, an employee of Gensler and an active member of the DC architectural community. Christopher was a recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award in 2010 and an exemplary, emerging young leader. Since its founding, the CKLDP has been established in Washington DC, Denver, Detroit, and Miami, and strives to carry forward Christopher’s legacy by actively training and nurturing the next generation of leaders within the architectural profession.

The year-long program consists of nine individual half-day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of 16 emerging professionals from in and around Detroit.  The curriculum focuses on core skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, the art of negotiation, bringing in new clients, community leadership, industry culture, and developing one’s future within the practice.

The leadership program participants are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. Each year, scholars from the previous year are selected to help guide the next year’s class. In this way, the program is continually evolving, allowing the scholars to learn on an ongoing basis about thoughts and ideas relevant to the architectural profession today.

Congratulations to the 16 Scholars of the 2017-2018 Cohort
who recently completed the inaugural session of the AIAD CKLDP:

The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2017-2018 curriculum included:

For more information about The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program, visit

December 4, 2017

Future Focus: Emerging Designer Spotlight

Future Focus 2019 
Emerging Designer Exhibition


AIA National’s Blueprint for Better campaign brings to life the role of architects as thought and action leaders in improving our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. This year at Celebration of Architecture, AIA Detroit will recognize the impact Emerging Professionals have on the city of Detroit and beyond in the Future Focus Spotlight Exhibition.  

Future Focus sheds light on critical research, important conversations, diverse portfolios, and impactful work that Emerging Professionals contribute in both academic and professional settings. Selected work will be displayed at this year’s Celebration of Architecture, an event with 1,200+ industry professionals in attendance in 2018, that coincides with the Detroit Month of Design and Eastern Market After Dark. The exhibition will then be remounted for a special Future Focus event this fall.


Submissions of both academic and professional works designed within the last 5 years are encouraged. All approved entries will be featured on the AIA Detroit website. Projects selected by the Exhibition Jury will be featured at Celebration on September 19, 2019.


 All forms must be completed and materials submitted digitally to the 2019 FUTURE FOCUS Exhibit Submission Form no later than 6pm, MONDAY, JULY 29th, 2019.

  • Each submission must represent a single project, however, entrants may submit multiple projects.
  • Completed Concealed Identification Form and Waiver (for work completed with a firm, if applicable)
  • 2-5 high resolution project images – images should best represent work contributed to the project if completed in a larger team, no identifying logos or names should be included with the images – Images are to be formatted into a single 24” wide x 24” tall board and submitted as a PDF file no larger than 5MB
  • In the interest of a cohesive total display, the panel should not show more than five different views, none of which should be smaller than 6″ x 6″. One large striking image identifying the project should predominate. Diagrams, drawings, sketches and process  scan be included in lieu of one or more of the five photos. If drawings are included, they need to be graphically clean and lettering should be of sufficient size to be read comfortably from a distance. It is your discretion to use either black and white and/or color photographs to explain your project.
  • Each panel shall leave the lower 4″ of the design completely black. Please do not place anything in this band. Please keep text to a minimum in your design, as the title and other project information might eventually be included in the band at the bottom of the panel.
  • All persons or firms who contributed to the design of a project submission must be given credit for their involvement. All submissions must include a complete list of participants. Failure to disclose a comprehensive list of contributors to a project will result in the project being removed from the website and taken out of consideration for exhibition at the Celebration event.

Any difficulties in submitting work or other questions can be directed to:


The jury is comprised of members of the AIA Detroit Executive and Emerging Professionals Committees and has full discretion in reviewing projects to be included in the exhibition. Projects are judged in a blind format without consideration for author, affiliated academic institution or professional firm.


The 2019 Future Focus Emerging Designer Exhibition is presented by AIA Detroit, with generous support from Construct Connect.



The following projects were featured in the 2018 exhibition. Click on the boards below to learn more about each submission.



The following projects were featured in the 2017 exhibition. Click on the boards below to learn more about each submission.


March 4, 2015


EPC_canstructionSMALLOur Mission: To feed and inspire the world – one can at a time.

Canstruction® is a unique charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the cansculptures® go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.

Recognized for its commitment to innovation, hunger relief and collaboration, Canstruction has helped raise over 25 million pounds of food since 1992. Canstruction® events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe and Asia. Here in Detroit, Canstruction takes place every December as part of Noel Night. Typically, teams are formed by local architecture firms and schools in the fall.

If you a part of a group and are interested in joining this year’s Canstruction effort, please contact our CanStruction Chair at

Previous Entries More Entries