2020 Young Architects Award Recipient

Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

By providing ample opportunities for architects to examine and improve upon the profession’s status quo, Jennifer Hardy, AIA, has made significant contributions to Boston’s design community. She calls upon all design professionals to adopt new behaviors and seek out collaborations that ensure the environments they build will be more beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive.

Hardy was born and raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis and was introduced to the arts and built spaces around the world during her time as a ballet dancer. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she holds a bachelor’s degree in dance. Inspired by texture, form, and materiality and the ways in which they shape culture, she pursued her master’s of architecture at the Pratt Institute, where she received the Sydney Katz Award for Design Excellence. During her graduate studies, she uncovered her keen interest in performance-based design while working as an intern in BuroHappold Engineering’s computational simulation and analysis group. As a student studying architecture in an engineering office, her unique skillset greatly informed the firm’s daylighting analysis for the Queens Museum of Art.

In 2018, Hardy joined the staff of Payette after stints at Leers Weinzapfel Associates and Safdie Architects, where she translated design visions generated in Boston to countries across the globe. At Payette, she reconnected with building science and quickly joined its newly assembled mass timber group that researches the design, code, and cost implications of mass timber in science and health care projects. The group is currently studying new hybrid cross-laminated timber structures that can meet the low-vibration criteria necessary for research laboratories.

Hardy has long been a member of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and is a key driver in the chapter’s work to advance the profession. As a member of the BSA Membership Committee, she serves as an ambassador for the membership’s diverse voices and concerns. The committee, drawing on the success of the Now Practice Now series and summit, has implemented programming for design professionals to explore architecture’s value and the ways architects practice. After consulting with the chapter’s Women in Design committee, Hardy founded the Emerging Leaders Group to support women on a leadership track. The group meets quarterly to focus on a variety of topics and welcome guest collaborators. In 2019, Hardy began her two-year term as the co-chair of BSA’s Women in Design committee and was tasked with setting its vision and agenda and steering its four subcommittees to develop a slate of programming.

Exemplary in her commitment to the profession and her peers, Hardy breaks the mold as a true Renaissance woman. Informed by her years as a dancer, she applies her innate knowledge of how the human body moves through space to her work, enriching every project she is involved with.


Edward Vance, FAIA (Chair), EV&A Architects, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada

Peter Kuttner, FAIA, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

John Castellana, FAIA, TMP Architecture, Inc., Bloomfield Hill, Michigan

Roger Schluntz, FAIA, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Frances Halsband, FAIA, Klimet Halsband Architects, New York, New York

Lora Teagarden, AIA, RATIO Architects, Inc.,  Indianapolis, Indiana

Image credits

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Aamodt Plumb Architects

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Safdie Architects

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Ben Gebo