Celebrating the People and Projects that Shape Our Environment

AIAS Students at 2019 Gala

Philip Murphy Photography

Another amazing Gala on the books! Did you miss the most exciting night of the year? Check out the photo gallery!

The expanded role the profession plays in the diverse communities we serve has uniquely positioned architects to address the opportunities of today, and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. As architects, we are solution-seekers that bring design-thinking into strategic partnerships that connect citizens, clients, and communities around a shared vision for a better future. This occurs both in and outside of our work.   Many of the stories of impact, collaboration, and service have been left untold. It's not just the architect’s story, but the story of clients, neighbors, the young and the old.

AIA Memphis has launched a multi-year campaign to tell those stories, which kicks off at the Honors and Awards Gala on April 6 at Ballet Memphis with the introduction of three new awards: Firm Service Award, Member Service Award, and the President’s Award. Not just simply an award to be given, each serves as a model to inspire stories of partnership, dedication, and the critical importance of service to society. Each of the service awards will be announced at the Gala with a story telling campaign to follow on social media, leading up to the presentation of the awards at a community event hosted by AIA Memphis this summer at the sites of service.

We are excited to recognize those recipients alongside their community partners, and celebrate with the people being served.   The President’s Award will be given to Chooch Pickard, AIA in recognition of his distinguished service and leadership in the profession as an advocate for strategically connecting the profession with neighborhoods in need. Pickard launched this year the Memphis/Shelby County Community Leaders Summit – an AIA Memphis program that invited citizen leaders from neighborhoods across the city to work with architects for a day. They explored neighborhood challenges, and learned how to apply design-thinking to their ongoing work in their communities.  

The impact made by the profession in communities across our city and beyond reaches far past the buildings and communities we design through fee-based work. The Member Service Award and Firm Service Award recognize an outstanding single or reoccurring contribution to the community through service, design, or design-thinking outside of fee-based work.   The recipient of the Member Service Award is Valentina Cochran, AIA. Valentina began her service in the AIA, and the community, almost two decades ago as an emerging professional championing some of AIA’s most meaningful public outreach programs. She has since become an outstanding leader and volunteer in the profession and in the community, balancing her architectural practice with service year-after-year. Whether it is applying design-thinking to assist nonprofits in achieving their missions, or rolling up her sleeves to serve those in need, service to others is an inseparable part of her role as an architect.   The recipient of the Firm Service Award is HBG Design. Social responsibility and giving back to the community has long been a part of HBG Design’s culture. Recognizing that being an effective agent of change in the community requires intention and focus, HBG Design launched the Kirk Bobo Creating Impact Grant last year to support community revitalization through design-thinking and hands-on service. The grant provides the framework to partner with a community organization to radically effect change by focusing the talents of their employees, and substantial funds, towards a philanthropic effort to do the greatest good. HBG Design continues to work with its inaugural grant recipient Heights Community Development Corporation through its multi-year partnership.  

In addition to the unveiling of the Firm Service Award, Member Service Award, and the President’s Award, we will be announcing the winners of the AIA Memphis Design Awards winners. Please refer to included documents for details on the jury and the winners for this year.   Other previously announced honors and awards being recognized at the Gala on April 6 include the Francis Gassner Award, awarded to Josh Flowers, FAIA; recognition of our newest Fellow to the American Institute of Architects, Jimmie Tucker, FAIA; and recognition of Jason Jackson, AIA, recipient of the national AIA Young Architects Award.    

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AIA Memphis is a Chapter of The American Institute of Architects. Our mission is to promote architecture and the profession; advocate for livable and sustainable communities; and serve as a resource for our members.

Image credits

AIAS Students at 2019 Gala

Philip Murphy Photography

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