More than a competition – A New Way of Design Thinking.

ZeroThreshold is a design competition that is about more than creating accessible spaces. It’s about elevating the idea of accessibility through intentionally beautiful design.

This competition is an important step in changing the conversation about accessibility. Not only will it launch Cleveland towards being the world’s best “barrier- free city”, the solutions that surface can be broadly applicable to cities throughout the United States and around the world.

In partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, and others, North Cost Community Homes has launched a design challenge for 2019 meant to help rethink how we envision and talk about accessibility in housing. Not only will students and professional competitors be designing accessible housing solutions for one of multiple categories for cash prizes totaling $11,000, the winning design will have the opportunity to be built in the Cleveland, OH neighborhood of Old Brooklyn. The competition is open to national and international designers. There is also a special student division.

For more information, see the brief below.

Download (PDF, 1.51MB)

2019 Diversity Recognition Program—Apply today!

The AIA Diversity Recognition Program recognizes people, programs, and AIA chapters whose work challenges the norms and helps diversify the architecture profession. We’re looking for submissions that showcase work, influence, and change in five different categories.
Deadline: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Building a Respectful and Harassment-Free Workplace Culture

In this eLearning series provided by the AIA, participants will learn the nuts and bolts of workplace harassment, how to address it, and the best practices, strategies, and solutions for how to initiate and sustain a workplace culture transformation. The course is free for members and is accessible through AIAU.

AIA 2030 Commitment By The Numbers

The drumbeat of news about effects related to a changing climate—and the resulting loss of life and property—refuses to stop. The 2018 IPCC report clearly communicates the urgency to take substantial steps towards reducing our energy consumption and combating climate change—for our well-being and that of our environment.

With 40 percent of US energy consumed by buildings, architects play a key role in making significant reductions in COemissions. The AIA 2030 Commitment program offers architects a way to publicly show their dedication and track progress toward a carbon-neutral future. Since 2009, participants in the Commitment have reported the performance of their firm portfolios over each calendar year. The data, collected via the 2030 Design Data Exchange (DDx), includes building type, area, baseline energy performance, and predicted energy performance.

Firms who have joined the 2030 Commitment are already putting in the work. In this single year, the 2030 Commitment participants reported energy savings equivalent to the carbon that would be sequestered by 21 million acres of forest in the US in a year. That’s nearly as big as the state of Maine.

Learn more about the impact 2030 Commitment firms are making in the 2017 by the numbers summary report, now available for download.

Download (PDF, 9.16MB)

House Bill 504 Moves to the Senate

Akron AIA members and associates –

The House of Representatives has approved the HB 504 this past week.  As this bill moves to the Senate for review, AIA Akron asks that all our members please take the time and understand what this can potentially mean for the Architect profession.  Though the bill provides opportunity to the Interior Design profession, it will also provide hardship for the Architectural profession as well, especially in the current economic position of our region.

As a practicing professional I can attest to the current competitive nature of our profession.  We are currently in a construction market and there is a lot of opportunity.  In this situation the architectural fees tend to trend downwards.  Imagine adding an additional profession that are able to bid on the same projects further diluting fees and expanding the owners possibility for selection.  This will drive fees down further for the same amount of work in order to stay competitive.

In addition to potential lost fees and increase work load to maintain profit and revenue, the greatest concern is the health, safety and welfare to the public.  The HSW of the public is what architects have been taught and practiced their whole educational and professional careers.  We have sworn to protect the inhabitants of our buildings and surroundings, hence our elevated standard of care for the public.  Though the interior design education and professional system is robust, there are additional HSW elements that may be missed.  The Architectural profession provides a holistic approach that combines multiple building elements to provide safe shelter for its inhabitants.

As AIA members and Architectural professionals please take the time to reach out to our representatives to express your concerns.  We believe HB 504 provides multiple issues for the architectural profession and can provide hardship for our profession in the future.

Thank You,

Benjamin Riha, AIA
Project Architect

175 Montrose West Ave, Suite 400
Akron, OH 44321

DIRECT:  330.396.5669
OFFICE:  330.665.0660

Annual Meeting Recap & Upcoming Events

AIA Akron Members-
Thank you to everyone who participated in the annual meeting on Monday. The votes have been tallied, Julie Whyte will our 2019 president-elect and Melinda Scalfaro will be the AIA Ohio DirectorIf you were unable to attend our Annual Meeting and would like to know what was discussed, please reference the attached document, and let me know if you have any questions.
We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming events:
  •  October 23, 2018, 7:00 pm @ KSU’s CAED Building – KSU’s AIAS Napkin Sketch
    •  AIA Members are invited to participate in a Napkin Sketch competition hosted by Kent State’s AIAS chapter. Attendees will participate in a 60-second sketch competition, providing AIAS members the opportunity to interact with their professional counterparts in learning about critiques and design in a less formal atmosphere. Prizes will be awarded to the top three sketches.
  • October 25, 2018, 5:00 pm @ Missing Mountain Brewing Company in Cuyahoga Falls
    • The OH KY Chapter of IIDA invites members and guests of ASLA, CSI Akron-Canton, IIDA and AIA Akron to our next Akron Design Professional Happy Hour Social. This event is open to everyone -including non-members, guests and potential members. No RSVP needed.
  • November 1, 2018, 5:30 pm @ The Tangier – AIA Akron’s Dueling for Schooling Fundraiser
  • November 12, 2018, at 5:15 pm – 2019 AIA Akron Planning Meeting
    • Join the AIA Akron board as we discuss AIA Akron’s goals and events for 2019. The meeting will be held in the Fairlawn area, and information regarding the meeting location will be sent soon.
  • December 6, 2018, 5:30 pm @ Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar– Joint Holiday Social

As always, let me know if you have any questions. 

Jillian R. Tipton 
Executive Director


Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
The lecture begins at 5:30 pm
Cene Lecture Hall
CAED Building, Kent State University


AIA and CSI members and guests are invited to Kent State University’s campus on Tuesday, October 9th to attend a this year’s Toguchi Lecture, presented by Billie Tsien. Titled “Practicing”, Tsien’s lecture will focus on built projects.


There will be limited seating available in the Cene Lecture Hall- attendees are encouraged to arrive early. If seating is unavailable in the Cene Lecture Hall, seating will be available in classrooms throughout the CAED Building, with the lecture presented on screens in each room. AIA & CSI members and guests are invited to join the KSU community for a reception with heavy hors-d’oeuvres following the lecture in the CAED Building. There will be no formal dinner for AIA & CSI members and guests this year. The nearest parking deck is the Kent Central Gateway, located at 201 E. Erie Street, Kent Ohio 44240.


Registration closes October 4, 2018.