2011 Recipient | AIA Associates Award

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Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA | Notes of Interest

Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA, believes that architecture is a social art, inextricably linked to furthering community and quality of life. As a designer at LHB, Bui's focus is on designing sustainable, affordable homes in Minnesota. Her career mission is to be "socially responsive" and help to alleviate homelessness while promoting decent homes for all.

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Bui immigrated with her family to the United States in 1990. She has her Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Throughout graduate school, she participated in AIA-Minnesota's Search for Shelter Charrette program which assists non-profit housing agencies design project boards to raise awareness and funds. She joined the AIA in 2003, and in 2005 became co-chair of the AIA-MN Housing Advocacy Committee. Her role as co-chair was to organize the annual, 100-person Search for Shelter Charrette.

In addition to her involvement with AIA Minnesota, Tu-Anh has been a member of Architecture for Humanity's Minnesota chapter since 2005. With AFH-MN, she collaborated in the design of a community building in Sri Lanka, a school in Uganda, and homeless lockers in her hometown, Minneapolis. As a co-leader in the fundraising efforts for the Homeless Locker Project, she helped raised over $3000 for the construction and installation of new lockers at two local homeless shelters.

Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

In 2008 Bui was selected as the AIA Regional Associate Director (RAD) to the National Associates Committee (NAC). As a RAD, she has promoted web-based ARE preparatory courses for South Dakota Associate members, organized a "power of the pen" napkin sketch competition with the NAC and Architectural Record, and hosted networking opportunities for local Emerging Professionals through AIA MN's "Draughting Club" and Speed Portfolio Review.

At the 2010 AIA Convention, Bui was elected as the incoming Knowledge Director for the NAC. As Knowledge Committee Director, her main mission is to revive the AIA's Legacy project with volunteering opportunities for Associate members at the 2011 AIA Convention in New Orleans.

Perhaps most important to Bui is her focus on linking different groups together in the profession for the benefit of all. This is exemplified through her participation in the Mentorship Taskforce, a collaborative group that unites all three components of the NAC (knowledge, advocacy, and communication) together with the Young Architects Forum (YAF). As the incoming NAC Knowledge Committee director, Bui has goals to extend the concept of mentorship, involving not only experienced professionals "mentoring down" to younger generations but also inexperienced professionals "mentoring up" to the older generations.

"Tu-Anh is a creative powerhouse, strongly committed to making the world a better place through her commitment to architecture," notes Beverly E. Hauschild-Baron, Hon. AIA, in her nomination letter, "She leads by example and lives a life that inspires."


  • Photo Credit: © Rich Koechlein; George Heinrich

Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA

Tu-Anh Bui, Assoc. AIA

Jury Comments

Tu-Anh is the quintessential example of a young, inspiring citizen architect.

Tu-Anh is impressive in her commitment not only to the profession but to the difference that the profession can make in the broader community, particularly in her focus on affordable housing. She also has some really creative approaches to engaging young architects.

She represents a very fresh face of architecture.

2011 AIA Associates Award Jury

  • Bill Wilson, FAIA, Chair
  • WKMC Architects, Inc.
  • Corpus Christi, Tex.
  • Adam Palmer, AIA
  • Schmidt Associates, Inc.
  • Indianapolis
  • Lisa Richmond
  • Executive Director, AIA Seattle
  • Seattle
  • William J. Stanley III, FAIA
  • Stanley Love-Stanley, PC
  • Atlanta
  • Patrick Thomas Weber, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
  • Smith Gee Studio
  • Nashville

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