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Filtering by Category: Article

Chapter Board Members Meet AIA President

Fiona Mckay

While in London for meetings with the RIBA, National AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA took the opportunity to meet with AIA UK board members. Bea Sennewald, Robert Rhodes, and Michael Lischer, all AIA UK past presidents and Fatos Peja, current AIA UK president elect met with Russell for a lunch meeting on the 3rd of October.

Russell described the AIA's efforts to raise the profile of the profession and make the AIA more inclusive. Efforts include launching programs for kindergarten through 12th grade students to introduce them to the profession and the importance of good design. This program is particularly appropriate for Russell as his 35 person New York practice specializes in education.

Another initiative currently being studied by the national board is to open the AIA's annual convention to the general public. The goal is to engage all those with an interest in architecture, including building owners, developers, contractors, users, and the public. This may require changes to the continuing education program and the design exposition.

The meeting with Russell was very informative and left us with the impression good things are happening at the AIA and the next few years promises to be very interesting for the AIA and its members.

By Michael Lischer FAIA

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Construction payment charter updated – a missed opportunity?

Fiona Mckay

The Government’s Construction Leadership Council has published an updated Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter to reflect commitments in the original charter. In our view much more could have been done to strengthen the updated charter; the onus remains very much on the industry to tackle the issue of late payment.

READ our article which details what's new and what impact the new charter will have.

By Will Buckby and Andrew Croft

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Fiona Mckay

Welcome to issue No 76 of the AIA UK Chapter Newsletter, the latest issue in a long tradition of AIA news, features, commentary and event reporting started in May 1994.

In May, we issued a trial online AIA UK Newsletter via email to all chapter members.  If you didn’t read it then, check it out now as issue No 75 from here. 

We have also added a Journal section to our website where we publish all of the articles. You can either click and navigate to Journal from the Newsletter or directly go to the Journal from our website . Do not forget to check the AIA UK Journal regularly to be up to date!
Since the trial, the feedback from the membership has been primarily positive, with general agreement that the loss of the hard copy is well offset by a new, simple format that is both flexible and interactive. As well as the built in opportunity for comment on format changes and individual articles, the online Newsletters also allow readers to search through content for specific events, names, etc.

As well as the individual email versions – which will continue to be issued on a more-or-less quarterly basis – recent newsletter articles will be maintained on the website under the heading “Journal” and will be fully accessible to a wider audience of website viewers as well as AIA members.  

With the issue of each new newsletter, a numbered copy of the previous version will also be placed on the website under the heading “Archive.” Currently the Archive contains older newsletter versions dating from 2010.  However, all earlier issues from 1994 onwards have now been scanned and will eventually be accessible on the website. 

To compensate for the loss of the “souvenir” hard copy issues, all future Member Directories will included an expanded series of photo gallery of each year’s events.

The first AIA UK Newsletter from May 1994 was headlined “In the beginning …” and celebrated the arrival of the AIA to the UK on 17 June 1993, when AIA National granted AIA London/UK (as we were then called) a charter as the first international chapter.

Leafing briefly through other past issues from just the years 1994 to 1996 is an exercise in nostalgia by which one can chart the changes that have happened in London and the architectural profession over the last twenty years.  At the same time it is clear that not everything has changed.  Many of the today’s issues and many AIA events retain the same concerns and character as their original versions.
With a view to enticing readers into the archives, a brief summary of other 1994 to 1996 headlines includes:

“AIA and RIBA Pledge Cooperation” – To this day we have maintained a high level of trust and cooperation with the RIBA, but there was a time during the middle years when cooperation reached a low point over the use of the AIA “title.”
“NCARB to Seek Reciprocity Agreement with UK” – In answer to recent members’ frequent questions, yes, the early AIA did try to push for reciprocity from the very beginning with research and analysis of the issue led by Justine Kingham among others.  But even as long ago as 1997, a second headline “NCARB Committee Set Up to Rekindle US/UK Reciprocity” indicated that all was not going to plan. It has been ongoing saga of attempts and disappointments…

“UIA Convention Mobbed as AIA Candidate Elected Vice President” – This intriguing headline merely reports that the UIA Convention was oversubscribed from seven thousand attendees to ten thousand, including our own delegate.

The range of events in those first years also matched our more recent contributions:
The first Annual Design Awards was held in February 1995 and the newsletter article featured pictures of Rick Mather, David Leventhal, Stephan Reinke and jurist, Zaha Hadid, among others. 

The first formal Summer Parties was held at Syon Lodge; the first “Buba” inspired Family Bar-B-Ques was held in Bedford Square.  Coincidentally, this year’s Summer Party turned out to be a Bar-B-Que…

The first Design Charette was held at the US Embassy, with a brief – given long before the current Timberlake design was envisioned for Vauxhall - to consider what should be the best outward expression of America on British soil.  Lee Polisano’s team won the “Best Adaptation of the Existing Building”; Pierre Baillargeon’s team won the “Best New Building”. 
An AIA conference was held in Hong Kong to explore marketing and architectural practice in Southeast Asia

For two years, the AIA was officially represented at NIPIM with circa 10 chapter members - including notably Stephen Yakeley, Stephen Reinke, David Walker, Jonathan Dinnewell and Michael Lischer - participating. The first Continuing Education “brown bag luncheon” seminars were held at KPF, HOK and SOM when CEU credits became mandatory. 

A serious and well attended AIA/RIBA panel discussion on UK and US Planning Laws and Methods included Larry Malcic, Roger Kallman and Peter Rees, then Chief Planning Officer for the Corporation of London.

A dinner at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects curtesy of Noel Hill brought out the AIA membership in formal black tie attire. 

The first AIA Continental Europe Chapter conference was held in Paris, with Pamela Harriman greeting each and every member attending the Gala Dinner at the US Embassy.
The AIA UK Chapter first went online in June 1996 with a Home Page on Archinet…

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Fiona Mckay

On the 7th of July chapter members gathered to say goodbye to Bob Schmidt and wish him well as he retires back to his hometown of Chicago.  Bob is a founding member of the AIA UK and a past president.  He worked as a planner and moved to England with SOM in the late 1980s to work on Canary Wharf.  Bob retired from Halcrow’s planning practice earlier this year and is already enjoying life back in the Windy City.  

We wish him a happy and relaxing retirement!

L to R: Robert Rhodes, Harry Goforth, Bob Schmidt, Michael Lischer, Lorraine King, Lester Korzilius, R.D Reber

L to R: Robert Rhodes, Harry Goforth, Bob Schmidt, Michael Lischer, Lorraine King, Lester Korzilius, R.D Reber

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Fiona Mckay

New AIA UK Chapter sponsor Beale & Company has launched a free legal telephone helpline for all AIA UK members.  This is an exciting and useful new benefit of AIA UK membership!

Beale & Company is a commercial law firm with a long history of acting for consultants and architects, with specialist experience in the construction, engineering and infrastructure sectors, both in the UK and internationally.  

Beale & Company is pleased to provide AIA UK members with guidance in respect of issues
arising in connection with their practice as architects, including in relation to:

  • Appointments and collateral warranties
  • Assignment and novation
  • Non-payment
  • Disputes
  • Intellectual property rights
  • IT
  • Employment
  • Corporate and commercial matters

To get in touch, please use the following contact details: 

  • Tel: +44 (0) 20 7469 0400 (please quote “AIA UK Helpline”)
  • Email:
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Fiona Mckay

AIA UK’s sister chapter, AIA Continental Europe – the 2nd International Chapter – is launching an AIA Honors and Awards programme with submissions due by 31 July 2015. 

AIA UK Architects and International Associates who are not members of AIA Continental Europe are eligible to participate if their projects are located within the Chapter’s assigned territory.  

Although AIA Continental Europe often self-styles itself as “AIA Europe,” its assigned territory is both wider ranged and more limited.  It includes the following countries not all of which are in Europe, but is exclusive of the UK:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldavia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

Unlike our own Design Awards, CE’s programme is open only to AIA members and has defined categories –


  • Architectural
  • Interior
  • Urban and Environmental Design
  • Unbuilt
  • “Other” Projects.


The CE programme is also designed to recognise leadership and achievements by individuals or organisations that benefit the profession.

Please click on the links below for further information:

Submission Guide

List of Jury


We hope that many of the AIA UK’s members who fit the criteria will consider submissions.  

Good luck to you all!

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