October 21, 2021


Please join the AIA Detroit Board and membership at our 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, taking place on Tuesday, November 9th, beginning at 6:30pm via Zoom Meeting. This meeting will include the annual report to the membership; the election of the 2022 AIA Detroit Board of Directors; and a reflection on this year and how that will affect the organization going forward.

We will also include a question & answer session with questions submitted either through Eventbrite or during the meeting!

We hope you will attend! The Annual Meeting is one of the few times throughout the year that we, as an organization, can reflect on our progress and discuss the future of AIA Detroit with our members.

Those unable to attend the 2021 Annual Meeting may request an absentee ballot by emailing elections@aiadetroit.com with your name and AIA Member number by Nov 8, 6pm. Absentee ballots must be completed by 2:00pm on November 9th. (You must be an AIA Detroit Member in good standing to vote)

RSVP Here for the 2021 Annual Meeting


Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
September 21, 2021

Eastpointe: Winner of AIA National & Mayors Innovation Project Grant

The Mayors Innovation Project is a national learning network for mayors committed to shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. This year, they partnered with The American Institute of Architects (AIA) to help mayors build zero carbon, resilient, healthy, and equitable cities.

AIA National is bringing together communities, civic leaders and architects to re-imagine a built environment that addresses the urgent needs climate change presents through their Blueprint for Better Campaign. Three cities, including our very own Eastpointe, have been offered the opportunity to partner with an architect to tackle a local renovation, reuse or retrofit challenge that aims to reduce environmental impact and equitably serve the surrounding community.

Architects know that the greenest building is the one already built. And many cities across the country have an overabundance of vacant, deteriorating, or underused buildings that could be transformed into community assets.


The City of Eastpointe is planning the installation of a permanent open-air gathering space that will be set up similarly to a farmer’s market in the City’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) District.

AIA Detroit will be hosting a Designer’s Charrette on November 20th to generate ideas around this concept.  Please contact the AIA Detroit Staff (staff@aiadetroit.com) if you are interested in participating virtually or in-person.


September 6, 2021

AIA Detroit 2022 Board Elections – Call for Candidates

All current AIA Detroit Members are encouraged to save the date for the AIA Detroit Annual Business Meeting taking place on Tuesday, November 9th.  This meeting will include the annual report to the membership on milestones, events, and activity throughout the past year, and the election of the 2022 AIA Detroit Board of Directors.

Please send nominations for the 2022 AIA Detroit board to elections@aiadetroit.comNominations are due by 5pm on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15th.

2022 Board of Directors
Open positions and Certified Candidates

Director Positions eligible for election:
• (1) Detroit Director (3-year term)
• (1) Affiliate Director (Must be Professional Affiliate Member; 1-year term)
• (1) Associate Director (Must be Associate Member; 1-year term)

Executive Committee positions eligible for election:
• (1) Secretary (Must be Architect or Associate Member; 2-year term)
• (1) Vice President/President-Elect (Must be Architect Member; 3-year term, including succession to President and Past-President)

Declare Your Candidacy

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
May 17, 2021

20 in Their Twenties: Monique Becker, 27, Elyse Wolf, 27

Co-founders, Mona Lisa Development

By Kirk Pinho | Crain’s Detroit Business

They grew up together and went to college together. Now they live together and have a development, general contracting and consulting firm together.

Not much can separate Monique Becker and Elyse Wolf, who have been best friends since they were 4 years old. Even the name of their company, Detroit-based Mona Lisa Development, is a combination of their first names, a testament to their lifelong bond. (more…)

April 14, 2021

Call for Teams: Designing for The Veterans Project at Sugar Hill

AIA Detroit, in collaboration local chapters of the Interior Designers Coalition for Change (IDCFC), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and in partnership with Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), Develop Detroit, and Volunteers of America (VOA), is calling for teams that will employ trauma-informed design to finish 14 apartments for veterans in the nearly-completed Sugar Hill project in Midtown Detroit.


Each team will consist of 5-8 individuals from across Michigan, and is to have at least:

• 1 Architect
• 1 Emerging Professional (recently graduated, unlicensed)
• 1 Interior Designer
• 2 Students (not required, but strongly encouraged)

This cross-discipline approach to the team will ensure a variety of perspectives are represented throughout the process. You do NOT need an entire team to sign up, professionals and students are welcome to sign up individually. Final teams will be organized and assembled after registration closes; registration here does NOT guarantee selection for the final 14 teams.

Download the Team Informational Packet Here


MAY 17 Prospective Team Member Info Session: a virtual event to answer questions before team registrations are due – click the link to view the recording!
MAY 24, 12:00pm – Team & Individual Registrations are Due
MAY 24-28 – Final teams are assembled & contacted
JUNE 1 – Team Orientation: a mandatory virtual session for team members to learn more about project details and receive trauma-informed design training
JUNE 13 – IDCFC Cornhole Tournament: some light-hearted competition with the other teams + a major project fundraiser, sign up to play or sponsor!
JUNE-JULY 30 – Team fundraising, design work & order placements
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 15 – Apartments are furnished & decorated by teams
LATE SEPTEMBER – Public-facing event to discuss teams’ processes & trauma-informed design

If you are interested in sponsoring this Project, please visit the IDCFC Cornhole Tournament page & select your preferred sponsorship!

If you are a vendor and have other services/products you can offer the Veterans Project at Sugar Hill, please fill out the Vendor Survey on IDCFC’s website.

Trauma is pervasive among American adults and can lead to lifelong physical and mental health consequences. It not only can have a lasting impact on the body and brain, but also, if left unaddressed, can negatively impact resident and community success. (more…)

April 21, 2021

A follow up to the BCRC’s discussion on “Shaping & Adopting Form-Based Codes: Why Architects Should Engage”

As a follow up to our “Shaping & Adopting Form-Based Codes: Why Architects Should Engage” session on December 17th, 2020, below are the links to the information packet and the video recording of City of East Lansing Planning Commission.

April 14, 2021 Planning Commission Information Packet:
Shaping the Avenue Work Session – Review of Public Comments and Action Items (civicweb.net)
February 10, 2021 Planning Commission Video Recording (On-demand)

Our Committee would like to gauge interest in forming a sub-committee on this topic. Please email your interest in joining this committee or if you want to send in any other examples of Form-Based Codes in Michigan to BC&RC at this email: BCRC@aiadetroit.com

March 5, 2021

Why it’s so Important for YOU to be a Part of AIA MI’s Legislative Day

The annual Legislative Day event serves to establish AIA as an active participant in Michigan government affairs. 

We are in the first quarter of a new legislative session, the ideal time to get involved. REGISTER BY MARCH 12th HERE!

Advocacy requires (among other things) relationship building, visibility, awareness, and vigilance. The political environment is constantly evolving, so displaying a consistent presence by AIA is vital. Our professional lobbyist provides an important measure of stability, but Legislators must be convinced that AIA Michigan represents a significant, active constituency that is engaged in the public forum and will continue to be so engaged. 

AESLC (Architects-Engineers-Surveyors Legislative Committee) represents a cooperative effort between ACEC Michigan, AIA Michigan, MSPE, and MSPS and was formed to address political issues affecting professional engineers, architects, and surveyors.

AESLC meets at least quarterly and coordinates legislative activities for the four organizations. AESLC retains and provides direction to a multi-client lobbyist, Kelley Cawthorne.

Why Attend?

  • Advocacy –Legislative Day is AIA Michigan’s largest advocacy event of the year, organized specifically for AESLC. It is the one day of the year where architects, engineers, and surveyors from all over the state come together (virtually in 2021) to show strength in numbers and share their concerns and experience with legislators.
  • Knowledge –You’ll learn about the issues, how the legislative process works, and how the potential outcomes can affect our profession.
  • Educate –Lawmakers need you to educate them on the role professional architects and engineers play in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.   We are here as a resource for them.
  • Impact– Lawmakers need to hear from YOU, their constituents before they make decisions on legislative proposals that could significantly impact the architecture profession, construction industry, and our communities. By attending Legislative Day, you’re building relationships, helping to influence change, and make a difference.

The Issues we will be discussing:

  • Support the funding of infrastructure including clean water, public buildings, roads, bridges, dams, and energy systems.
  • Support legislation requiring a Qualification-Based Selection Process for design professionals on State of Michigan projects.
  • Support legislation updating Public Act 132  (important to the work of surveyors).

“What if I haven’t done this before?” Relax—you will be prepared!

Agenda & Expectations:

  • Register for the event.  http://aiami.com/Legislative-day
  • Note that a donation to APAC (of any amount) is requested, but not required.
  • 17 March: You will receive your meeting times, issues, talking points, instructions, and a list of others who will be in the meetings with you.  Note that the earlier you register, the best chance of meeting with a legislator rather than staff!
  • 18 March, 8:00am-9:30am: Attend the preparatory webinar to go over the issues, understand the talking points and how to plan your 30-minute meeting.  Contact your groups outside of the webinar to plan who is going to open the meeting and who will discuss which talking points.  There may be some different people attending your meetings.  All first-timers? If your group needs an experienced member to attend your meeting—just ask!
  • 19 March, 8:00am-5:00pm:  Keep the event day flexible on your calendar for legislative meetings. You will be scheduled to virtually meet for one to four 30-minute meetings with your state senator(s) and/or representative(s) from your home and/or work districts). Sometimes you will meet with their staff if a legislator is not available.
  • Legislators receive a packet of our issues and talking points ahead of the legislative day. They also receive a list of those who will be meeting with them.
  • Take notes of any questions you can’t answer or follow up that you or AESLC should make.  Complete an online survey about your experience.

Follow up:

AESLC will deliver a thank you and information from all of our organizations to each legislator after the event.

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
February 25, 2021

AIA commends Biden Administration for reversing Trump federal design mandate

WASHINGTON – Feb. 25, 2021 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) commends the Biden Administration’s decision to overturn the Executive Order, “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.”

“By overturning this order, the Biden Administration has restored communities with the freedom of design choice that is essential to designing federal buildings that best serve the public,” said AIA 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA. “This is fundamental to an architect’s process and to achieving the highest quality buildings possible. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration towards developing policies that create healthy, just and equitable communities.”

Under former President Trump’s Executive Order, government agencies could mandate an architectural style preference for federal courthouses and other federal buildings. It also promoted “classical” and “traditional” architecture above other designs and required extensive justification to use other styles. Additionally, the order conveyed misinformation about the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence Program, which the AIA strongly supports. Overall, the mandate inappropriately elevated the design tastes of a few federal appointees over the communities in which the buildings would be placed.

The AIA and its members have been working to stop the order for more than a year. (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
February 24, 2021

Architectural billings continue to contract in 2021

WASHINGTON – Feb. 24, 2021 – A slight improvement in business conditions has led to fewer architecture firms reporting declining billings, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for January was 44.9* compared to 42.3 in December (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings). Last month’s score indicates overall revenue at U.S architecture firms continued to decline from December to January, however, the pace of decline slowed. Inquiries into new projects during January grew for the second month in a row, with a score of 56.8 compared to 51.7 in December. The value of new design contracts also reflected an easing in the pace of decline, rising to a score of 48.8 in January from 47.0 the previous month.

“The broader economy entered a soft spot during the fourth quarter of last year, and business conditions at design firms have reflected this general slowdown,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “While federal stimulus and the increasing pace of vaccinations may begin to accelerate progress in the coming months, the year has gotten off to a slow start, with architecture firms in all regions of the country and in all specializations reporting continued declines in project billings.” (more…)

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
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