2019 Associates Award Recipient

The AIA Associates Award is given to individual Associate AIA members to recognize outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession.

Early in her career, Fuller Hanan, Assoc. AIA, has led benchmark initiatives that have made her a nationally recognized resilience leader. Dedicated to improving the public’s quality of life through professional, educational, and community leadership, she is a role model for peers seeking to improve the built environment.

As a project manager for Pfeffer Torode Architecture, a boutique firm headquartered in Nashville, Hanan is heavily involved in the firm’s business operations and leads its recruiting, marketing, and business development efforts. Previously she was the community development manager for the Nashville Civic Design Center during one of the fastest periods of growth for any large U.S. city. Operating at the intersection of community action and architecture, the center is a nonprofit entity that elevates the quality of the city’s built environment while promoting public participation. Hanan leveraged the work of the center’s Design Your Neighborhood program, which provides high school students with a curriculum for relevant and intensive leadership training, with her work in the community to initiate the design process for a park in nearby Madison, Tennessee.

“Fuller is making design relevant and accessible to populations that would otherwise be voiceless,” says Melody Gibson, education manager at the Nashville Civic Design Center. “As a leader, Fuller relates to people in a warm and approachable way. She meets communities where they are, and values their voice and treats them as partners in creative problem-solving.”

In 2011, during her final year at Auburn University, Hanan served as a student volunteer on Birmingham’s Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team Program when devastating tornadoes swept across Alabama. Long after news coverage faded, Hanan remained in place, helping to find design solutions for the more than 1,000 affected residents. By engaging with residents and an interdisciplinary team, Hanan helped craft a framework recovery plan that, at 114 pages, was one of the longest and most in-depth in R/UDAT history.

Her reflections on the vital work she undertook in Alabama were documented and featured in the remarks of then AIA president Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, during the opening session of the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia. In 2018 Hanan was invited to lead one of six plenary sessions featuring an R/UDAT case study at the 2018 Grassroots Leadership Conference on post-disaster recovery.

“Fuller is a true leader,” says Hunter Gee, FAIA, principal of Nashville’s Smith Gee Studio. “She is altruistic in her endeavors and has acted with undeniable integrity in all that I have observed. She is going to make a great architect, and she already represents our profession and the AIA with high esteem.”


Katie Wilson, AIA (Chair), Vera Iconica Architecture, Jackson, Wyoming

Mark Chambers, NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability , New York City

Curtis Fentress, FAIA, Fentress Architects, Denver

Stephanie Herring, Assoc. AIA, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., Boston

Margaret Montgomery, FAIA, NBBJ, Seattle

Image credits

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Daniel Toner