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Trends: A 2012 Graduate and Associate AIA Welcomes the 2013 Convention to Denver, and Looks Forward to Her Next Career Move.

About Chelsey Berg, Assoc. AIA: Ms. Berg is a 2012 graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and moved to Denver in 2013 to pursue job opportunities. During her time at Virginia Tech Ms. Berg spent one year at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ms. Berg is inspired by her instructors to create the practice that best suits her, and her focus is on her next career move after her AmeriCorps term ends in August 2013.

You graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 and joined the AIA earlier this year. As a young professional, please talk about the state of the architecture profession.

For me, the potential for architecture to change and help build communities is the most exciting aspect. I’m more interested in the humanitarian perspective of design.

I took an AmeriCorps position in Habitat for Humanity because I wasn’t finding jobs in architecture. It’s tough to find work because I don’t have a lot of experience. I’m hoping to find a job when I finish my AmeriCorps term in August.

Is it common for young professionals to think of service as a part of the profession?

I think that it’s becoming more common, especially in organizations like Architecture for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity that have a need for architects and design professionals. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s becoming an important part of architecture and design as a whole.

Architects are open to thinking about things in different ways, which is helpful when working with communities, neighborhoods, engineers, and other stakeholders on a project.

During your architecture education, did you take any courses or notice any trends that you believe may signal where the profession is moving?

I had two professors at Virginia Tech, Keith Zawistowski, Assoc. AIA, and Marie Zawistowski, who taught a course titled “Designing Practice.” Students decided how they would practice architecture and what they wanted their practices to be.

For instance, if a student was interested in a service-oriented practice with a humanitarian focus, the student needed to think about how that could be accomplished and still make a living.

What made you decide to join the AIA after you graduated?

I attended a couple AIA events where I met some people, and I decided to join to network and meet more people in Denver. I wanted to lay the groundwork for getting a job after my AmeriCorps term ends in August.

You signed up for the convention. What are you hoping to experience or see there?

This is my first convention. I don’t fully know what to expect. I’m excited to hear Cameron Sinclair, and I’m excited to visit the AIA Expo 2013 and see all the different products, materials, and companies. I look forward to meeting a lot of people and maybe getting a job out of it.

For those traveling to Denver, I would recommend a stop by the Central Library of the Denver Public Library. AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves, FAIA, designed it, and it has great views of the city.

2013 AIA National
Convention and Design

June 20–22, 2013

Registration is now open!
Register to Attend

Reserve your Hotel

View the Schedule

Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a
nonprofit design services firm
founded in 1999. They are
building a more sustainable
future through the power of
professional design. [more]

2013 Convention Speaker,
Cameron Sinclair

Cameron Sinclair is the co-
founder and 'chief eternal
optimist' for Architecture for
Humanity. Register for his Keynote Presentation.

GS200 Design Like You Give a Damn

Member Spotlight

Chelsey Berg, Assoc. AIA
AmeriCorps Member
Neighborhood Revitilization
Habitat for Humanity of Metro
3245 Eliot Street
Denver, CO 80211

Phone: 303-534-2929

Habitat for Humanity of Metro
Denver builds and sells homes
to people in need of decent
and affordable housing. They
are one of the most energy-
efficient homebuilders in


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