2023 Recognition Award WInners

  • Celebration of Architecture

    Gold Medal Award / Dan Pitera, FAIA, NOMA, Hon. FALA

    Professor + Dean | University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Community Development

    Dan Pitera, FAIA, is a social and political activist masquerading as an architect. For almost 40 years Dan Pitera has practiced, taught and researched methods focused on the social, ecological, equitable, and political aspects of designing and realizing thoughtful architecture and urban design for all people. After a twelve-year period of inquiry and discernment in four different US locations and five different universities, in 1999, Dean Pitera settled in at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he was named as the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC). It is here that he concentrated his efforts to directly influence students, professionals, and community/political leaders.

    In 2019, Dan Pitera, FAIA, was appointed Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture + Community Development and is currently serving as Treasurer of AIA Michigan Board of Directors. Dean Pitera recently won AIA Detroit’s 2018 Charles Blessing Award. He was a 2004-2005 Harvard University Loeb Fellow and was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2010, an honor bestowed to only 3% of all American architects. Mr. Pitera is regularly a resource member for Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD) and the National League of Cities (NLC). He has co-authored the book, Syncopating the Urban Landscape: More People, More Programs, More Geographies and co-edited the book, Activist Architecture: The Philosophy and Practice of the Community Design Center.

    During his time as Executive Director, the DCDC received the National AIA’s 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award for social justice and was included in the 2017 Curry Stone Design Award’s Social Design Circle. DCDC also won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize, and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2012 and 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture. DCDC was also awarded the 2011 SEED Award and the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. DCDC was the recipient of the National NCARB Prize in 2002 (Grand Prize) and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France.

    Dan Pitera, FAIA, has lectured and taught globally.

  • Celebration of Architecture

    Charles Blessing Award / Dan Kinkead, AIA

    Principal + Urban Design Practice Director | SmithGroup

    Dan Kinkead is a 25-year veteran architect and urban designer who has led thoughtful, evidence-based planning and design work in cities across the globe. He’s also a father of three, raising his family in his native Detroit over the last 20 years. He has committed himself personally and professionally to the city’s recovery. Knowing what’s at stake, Dan sees the outcomes of urban redevelopment as essential to ensuring broad, equitable, and durable benefits for all Detroiters. From strategic plans to the design and implementation of mixed-use, hospitality, adaptive reuse, and institutional projects, Dan works closely with his clients and communities to ensure outcomes that are as enduring and impactful as they are beautiful.

  • Celebration of Architecture

    Young Architect / Imani Day, AIA

    Founder + Principal | RVSN Studios

    Imani Day is an award-winning, licensed architect, writer, and founder of RVSN Studios. Originally from Montclair, New Jersey, she graduated early from Cornell University’s School of Architecture in 2011 and has spent her career working on culturally transformative projects across America. Imani is currently a Design Teaching Fellow with Cornell University and has previously taught at Florida A&M University and the University of Detroit Mercy. Her courses focus on social justice in design, and architecture as advocacy.

    In addition to her work as a designer, Imani continues to champion equity within the profession. As a writer and editor, Imani works to amplify underrepresented voices and uncover social issues in the industry. She is proud to be the 13th African American woman to become a licensed architect in the state of Michigan and 463rd in America.

  • Celebration of Architecture

    Young Architect / Megan Martin-Campbell, AIA, NOMA, NCARB

    Architect + Project Leader | INFORM Studio

    Megan Martin-Campbell, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, is a project architect at INFORM Studio where she brings a comprehensive understanding of design, research, community engagement, and technical implementation to projects in Detroit and across the country. One of her current projects is the A.B. Ford Park New Community Center in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood which will serve as a new community space as well as a sustainable resilience hub during emergencies, the first of its kind in the City of Detroit.

    Megan believes it is critical that architects play an active role in their communities. That is her “WHY”. By applying the problem seeking and solving tools of her design training, she believes that architects offer a unique perspective to the public and of the built environment. Megan seeks to be an active part of that conversation at multiple scales within her community; architectural practice, municipal, academia, professional affiliations, public engagement, and philanthropy.

    Megan believes everyone should have access to great design and doesn’t shy away from bringing it to non-traditional clients providing benefits to their communities on tight budgets. She has also played an active civic role as a former commissioner of the City of Pleasant Ridge Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority working to safeguard diversity and affordability in the neighborhood. With her commitment to advancing the practice of architecture Megan is also an active member of the Detroit Chapter of the AIA (since 2007) and was President in 2022.

  • Celebration of Architecture

    Honorary Allied Member Award / Laura Bade

    Graphic Design Lead, Associate | ROSSETTI

    Laura has over 25 years of professional experience as an environmental graphic designer. Her leadership has resulted in a vast number of projects that communicate each client’s unique culture, ranging from campus plans to sports and entertainment venues to local restaurants and community projects. Laura is an expert at harmonizing graphic
    design with the built environment through signage, wayfinding and experiential design. She is particularly skilled at integrating client and sponsor identities into architectural contexts to enhance the guest experience and generate revenue for each project. Laura’s can-do spirit has established her as a highly-valued team member on project teams, resulting in the most successful solution for each client.