2011 Recipient | AIA Young Architects Award

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Sean Stadler, AIA

Sean Stadler, AIA | Notes of Interest

Sean Stadler, AIA, would be a notable young architect for his design practice alone, but his recognition of and dedication to the next generation of industry professionals truly distinguishes him in his field. From his leadership roles in professional organizations to redefining the standard of design leadership at his firm, Stadler's commitment has helped to increase the potential for the industry's young leaders and the next generation of design excellence.

Stadler's gift for leadership and his commitment to the profession emerged early on when he became the Acting President of the Kent State Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) in 1992. Later, as the Chair of the National AIA Inter/Associate Committee, Sean attended the first Internship Summit in 1999. The summit sought to provide a more flexible path for interns seeking licensure. As a result, architectural interns have been granted the opportunity to begin taking their exam upon graduation.

As soon as he entered the profession in Cleveland, Stadler's focus on young architects was clear. He served as the Associate Director for AIA Cleveland and founded a group called the Cleveland Architectural Interns to ensure that the needs of young professionals were met effectively. As a result of his success, the Cleveland chapter presented Stadler with the AIA President's Award in 1998, one of his numerous awards to date.

Stadler made a name for himself early in practice, working for GSI Architects on projects like the Patriot Newspaper Production Facility (for which he was lead designer) and the Applied Industrial Technologies' corporate headquarters. He then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1999 to work for the firm of David M. Schwarz (DMS), where he contributed to projects like the American Airlines Center Arena and the Dr. Pepper Ballpark. In 2001, he joined the firm of WDG Architecture; here he quickly entered the firm's leadership ranks, was promoted three times, and became the firm's youngest principal. But throughout this success in design practice, Stadler's focus on emerging talent was not lost: he has been instrumental in bringing in progressive design talent to the firm, and has even created a senior design group to nurture younger designers in the office.

Sean Stadler, AIA

Stadler's commitment to the profession and the Institute is passionate and clear. He has been a panel speaker, moderator, and presenter at events such as the AIA National Convention; he has served as an awards juror for national AIA Honors & Awards programs; and he served as the Programs Advisor on the AIA National YAF Advisory Committee, where he was selected to continue his work as Vice Chair in 2009 and Chair in 2010. As chairman, Stadler led the YAF through its first ever national design competition, provided resources for mentoring including hiring a consultant for the National Mentoring Program, and helped to create a solid financial foundation for the forum in difficult economic times. As Sean exits his current AIA-National responsibilities, his involvement will shift to the DC-AIA, where he has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for 2011 and 2012.

Stadler is included as one of Building Design + Construction magazine's "40 under 40," and it is fitting that he is now a recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award, as he has not only proven himself a worthy young architect, he has also fostered the potential of young architects everywhere.


  • Photo Credit: © Craig Kuhner

Sean Stadler, AIA

Sean Stadler, AIA

Jury Comments

Sean's contribution thus far offers a strong balance of design, service to the profession, and leadership.

His tireless work at all levels within the AIA, in addition to his dedication to his practice, is remarkable and inspiring. His efforts and leadership within each of the organizations he's taken a hand in are astounding, as evidenced by his notable work within the Y.A.F.

He is a unique individual of outstanding talent and clear commitment.

Sean absolutely encapsulates this award.

2011 AIA Young Architects Award Jury

  • 2010 Chancellor:
  • Edward J. Kodet, Jr., FAIA
  • Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd.
  • Minneapolis
  • 2010 Vice Chancellor:
  • Chester A. Widom, FAIA
  • WWCOT Architecture & Interiors
  • Santa Monica, Calif.
  • 2010 Bursar:
  • Norman L. Koonce, FAIA
  • McLean, Va.
  • Secretary:
  • Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, FACHA
  • HKS, Inc.
  • Dallas
  • 2011 Incoming Bursar:
  • William J. Stanley, FAIA
  • Stanley Love-Stanley, PC
  • Atlanta

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