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Posts tagged ‘emerging professionals’

Emerging Professionals Firm Tour: Shah Kawasaki Architects

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
6:30pm
Location: 570 10th St., #201, Oakland

Open to all, space is limited.
RSVP required to events@aiaeb.org.

Come join the AIA East Bay Emerging Professionals Committee for our first Firm Tour of the year at Shah Kawasaki Architects. There will be a brief presentation by SKA, a tour of their office space and then ample time for networking. Light refreshments will be provided. A social hangout will follow at a local bar for those who are interested.

About the Firm:

Shah Kawasaki Architects (SKA) is a public sector practice specializing in managing complex projects within limited budgets. Since its inception in 1999, the Oakland-based firm has utilized a hands-on, collaborative and tailored approach in order to deliver a full range of architectural, planning, and interior design services. Throughout its 18 years in business, SKA’s primary focus and source of pride resides in the design, renovation, and restoration of civic and commercial facilities. Led by Alan Kawasaki, AIA and Philip Luo, AIA with a staff of 13 personnel, Shah Kawasaki Architects is passionate about providing quality services that enhance the user experience and thoroughly and thoughtfully satisfy the needs and wishes of the client.

ARE 5.0 Means Big Decisions for Emerging Professionals

For the next 16 months, future architects will have more exam options than ever before at their fingertips. On November 1, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) launched ARE 5.0, the next version of their architecture licensure exams.

The first new version in eight years, ARE 5.0 is NCARB’s reassurance that its exams will stay relevant with current practice. Its divisions—six instead of ARE 4.0’s seven—include Practice Management, Project Management, and Project Planning & Design, an attempt to better test emerging architects on elements of daily architecture work. It will also include case studies and adopt a more modern, graphical feel through-out, as opposed to the dated and pixelated graphic vignettes that will be retired with ARE 4.0.

With this new version comes uncertainty: which exam path is best? For a limited time, an unprecedented three options will be available: ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, and a mix of the two. Each option has its drawbacks and its benefits, and each emerging professional should evaluate all three to find the right path based on their individual needs.

“Playing to win”

“To me, it’s about playing to win,” says Drew Bell, Assoc. AIA, of Robert M. Cain, Architect. Bell is going with the “3+2” approach, which allows licensure candidates to take three specific exams in ARE 4.0 followed by just two more in ARE 5.0. It’s the most efficient option, one with both time and financial benefits. It also appeals to those who don’t fear a mix of known and unknown.

“The people who want to take it all in 4.0 seem to be doing so because they have all the study guides and they know what they’re getting into; it seems like playing not to lose,” he says. “I understand the risks, and I don’t know exactly what 5.0 will be like. But theoretically, the exams are there for people to prove that they’re good enough. I plan on being good enough, one way or the other. It shouldn’t really matter how the tests are structured.”

Sticking with a classic

The traditional approach isn’t dead and buried, however. As Bell noted, a smorgasbord of study guides and test prep materials await licensure candidates who aren’t interested in the new and unfamiliar. That’s the approach Jason Takeuchi, Assoc. AIA, of Hawaii-based Ferraro Choi is taking.

“There are so many resources to support anyone taking 4.0,” he says. “You can ask licensed colleagues, look at forums online, read through all the study materials. If I were to move to 5.0, there would be a huge learning curve.”

He also looks at his exams as an educational process, not something to rush through as quickly as possible: “The more tests you study for and pass, the more you’ll learn. And the better you’ll be at your job.” And while he sees the financial benefit in taking fewer tests, ultimately he feels the exams are “an investment in my future, not a financial roadblock.”

Something new

Then there is ARE 5.0: still freshly released and underexplored, but the wave of the future and a boon to those who haven’t yet begun the process. Hannah-Hunt Moeller, Assoc. AIA, may be leaning 5.0 for logistical reasons but still sees the value in NCARB’s latest offering.

Moeller received a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, which led to complications when she decided to practice rather than pursue research. She is currently based in Colorado, at Denver-based RNL Design, which means she can eventually be licensed but needs more experience hours. This will take roughly 18 months, pushing right up against the June 30, 2018 date when ARE 4.0 will be removed from test centers and making ARE 5.0 her most realistic path.

“In my position, I can’t currently be working and testing at the same time,” she says, “so I’ll have a lot more experience when I get there. That, plus the fact that 5.0 is supposedly going to be more context-based with-in the profession, is compelling.”

“Also, logistically and financially, less exams is a great thing,” she adds. “Even just to have one fewer is a huge benefit.”

Uncertainty abounds

Though the paths to licensure are ampler than ever, not everyone has made up their mind on which to take. Julia Mollner, Assoc. AIA, is a designer at Carleton Hart Architecture in Portland, Oregon, who is still deciding between ARE 5.0 and the “3+2” approach. An initial foray into ARE 4.0 is what’s keeping her on the fence.

“On my first exam,” she says, “I did fine on the multiple choice but failed the vignette. And because there’s no specific feedback on what you did wrong in that section, it’s really a shot in the dark to figure out what happened. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, which also makes me wonder which approach to take going forward.”

In her spare time, Mollner also teaches as an adjunct professor at Portland State University, which makes a five-exam slate more enticing than six. Yet she’s also only a year into her professional career, raising the question of whether she has the experience or the time left to try ARE 4.0 again. The whole process also raises a larger question: should she get licensed at all?

“For a very long time, I set my goal to being a licensed architect,” she says. “But recently, I’ve realized that it’s not right for everyone. There are people in architecture who find parallel avenues that suit them just as well.”

That said, Mollner remains committed to exploring her ARE options and ultimately pursuing licensure. She wants a bigger role in the social advocacy of architecture, which would be difficult to achieve without a license. It’s also distinctly important, she notes, for women in the profession: “It is a really great credential for a woman to have, with the lack of diversity and the pay gap and other issues that aren’t always voiced.”

Ultimately, most emerging professionals view the ARE with this mix of necessity and reverence. While it’s a lengthy process that compounds the stress of being an oft-overworked, full-time employee, passing the exams is a badge of honor that demonstrates your worth to all the architects who came before. And while many future architects are now debating which path suits them best, it’s likely that NCARB will fulfill at least one of its ARE 5.0 goals: increase the flow of traffic.

“I feel like more people are going to get licensed,” Takeuchi says, “and that’s a good thing.”

For additional exam resources, visit AIA’s ARE Prep page. AIA East Bay members can also receive a 20 percent discount when purchasing Brightwood Architecture Information materials by using promo code AIAEB.

Steve Cimino is the digital content manager at AIA. This article has been reprinted with permission from AIA.org.

ARE Bootcamp: Building Systems

Sorry, this Bootcamp is full.

Begins Monday, February 27, 2017
6-8pm
$50 AIA Members & Employees of Chapter Member Firms/ $75 Non-members
Space is limited to 14 participants.

Cost includes a set of Building Systems ArchCards flashcards and access to study materials and knowledge experts.

From February 27 to April 17, AIA East Bay will hold a weekly ARE Bootcamp, providing a structured, rigorous study group for the Building Systems section of the ARE, with the goal of every person passing.

Participants must schedule to take the Building Systems section of the ARE between Tuesday, April 18, 2017 and Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Participants must provide proof of test registration to AIA East Bay by the second day of the Bootcamp (3/6). Please do not register if you cannot attend at least seven of the eight meetings.

Help Your Candidates Transition to ARE 5.0

The newest version of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), ARE 5.0, launched on November 1. In case you missed it, here are a few basics about the updated exam:

■ ARE 5.0 features six new divisions organized around current architectural practice.

■ NCARB has updated the testing technology—which means smoother testing and no more vignettes.

■ Candidates will see two new item types on the exam: hot spot and drag-and place, along with case studies.

Preparing Candidates for ARE 5.0

Ready to help your candidates transition to the new exam? Here are a few ways you can guide early testers:

■ NCARB is offering $100 Visa gift cards for candidates who test early on each ARE 5.0 division. This benefit is guaranteed for anyone testing by January 31, 2017. Encourage your candidates to test early and take advantage of this incentive!

■ If your candidates have had trouble using or learning the ARE 4.0 vignette software, transitioning to ARE 5.0 will enable them to focus on the content being tested, not how it’s tested.

ARE 5.0 Resources

NCARB has created a number of study tools and resources to help candidates prepare for ARE 5.0, including:

ARE 5.0 Video Prep Series—These videos explain each division, walk through sample questions, and explore the new exam format.

ARE 5.0 Demonstration Exam—Available for free in My NCARB, the Demo Exam lets candidates explore the exam interface and practice using the new item types.

ARE 5.0 Community—Candidates can get help from NCARB experts, share testing tips, and find local study groups on the new community.

ARE 5.0 Handbook—This document includes a breakdown of each division, sample questions, helpful formulas, common abbreviations, and more.

ARE 5.0 Guidelines—The guidelines provide details on scheduling appointment times, what to expect at the test center, receiving your score, and more.

See more at: http://www.ncarb.org/News-and-Events/News/2016/Help-ARE5-Candidates.aspx

A Great Mixer

Emerging professionals from around the Bay gathered at Mad Oak in downtown Oakland in the evening of June 22. This was a joint program of AIA East Bay’s Emerging Professionals group and BAYA (the Bay Area Young Architects). The weather was perfect, the drinks were cold, and the conversation was good. Looks like another mixer is a must!

mix1 mix8 mix7 mix6 mix5 mix4 mix3 mix2

Emerging Professionals: Mixer at Mad Oak

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
6:30-8:30pm
Location: Mad Oak, 135 12th St., Oakland
Click here to register.

Catch up with fellow emerging professionals and members of BAYA over drinks at this social event at Mad Oak by Lake Merritt!

An Inside Look at the New IDP: Practice Management

On June 29, the Intern Development Program (IDP) will be updated to reflect six broad areas of architectural practice—and renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). The following
is a breakdown of the Practice Management portion of AXP, including real-world examples of opportunities that count toward the AXP.

What is Practice Management?
Practice Management is where aspiring architects will gain competency in running an architecture firm. This is your chance to learn the ins and outs of managing a business—marketing the firm’s capabilities, securing new projects, working with clients, and sustaining a positive and professional culture, for example.

Practice Management Tasks (Required Hours: 160)
Upon finishing AXP, you should be able to competently perform the following tasks:
■ Adhere to ethical standards and codes of professional conduct
■ Develop professional and leadership skills within firm
■ Comply with laws and regulations governing the practice of architecture
■ Prepare proposals for services in response to client requirements
■ Prepare final procurement and contract documents
■ Participate in community activities that may provide opportunities or design of facilities that
reflect community needs
■ Understand implications of project delivery technologies
■ Develop procedures for responding to contractor requests (Requests for Information)
■ Participate in professional development activities that offer exchanges with other design profes
sionals
■ Understand implications of policies and procedures to ensure supervision of design work by ■ Establish procedures for documenting project decisions
■ Maintain positive work environment within firm that facilitates cooperation, teamwork, and
■ Develop procedures for responding to changes in project scope
■ Develop and maintain effective and productive relationships with clients.
■ Establish procedures to process documentation during contract administration

Are you having trouble gaining Practice Management experience? Reference the above tasks when meetingwith your supervisor, and make a plan to complete AXP.

Real-World Examples
During my first internship, I had the opportunity to develop some promotional materials that showcased the firm’s projects. The flyers were given to potential clients and were also featured in a local magazine! This type of experience would fall under the task, “prepare marketing documents that accurately communicate firm’s experience and capabilities.” Do you help manage your firm’s website or social media accounts? You might be able to earn a few hours in Practice Management.

Some of the tasks in this area can be tough to tackle early in your career—for instance, you might not “develop procedures for responding to changes in project scope” at your first job. That’s why it’s important to have regular conversations with your supervisor to ensure you’re exposed to a variety of tasks. Sometimes, you just might have to get creative. To “understand [the] implications of project delivery technologies,” you could outline the firm’s project delivery methods, and set up a meeting with your supervisor to learn why the firm chose each of the methods

IDP Experience Calculator

Use the IDP Experience Calculator to see how your current hours will merge into the six new experience
areas!

Emerging Professionals Sketching Event

Saturday, May 14, 2016
10am-12pm
Location: PIQ Bakery: 91 Shattuck Sq, Berkeley. BAMPFA: 2155 Center St, Berkeley
Museum entrance is $12 Adult, $10 Student
Click here for the event page.

Join the emerging professionals of four chapters with fun networking opportunities! We will be meeting at 10am at PIQ Bakery for brunch and head over to BAMPFA at 11am to sketch and visit the museum. BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive) is a new arts complex by architect diller scofidio + renfro opened in California. This is a joint event of the emerging professionals of AIA San Francisco, AIA San Mateo County, AIA Santa Clara Valley and AIA East Bay.

Understanding the New AXP: Project Planning & Design

On June 29, the Intern Development Program (IDP) will be updated to reflect six broad areas
of architectural practice—and renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). To help
prepare for this change, NCARB launched a monthly blog series that breaks down the tasks
associated with each area. In addition to the blog, they offer real-world examples of opportunities that count toward the AXP.

What is Project Planning & Design?
Project Planning & Design occurs during the schematic design phase of a project, when you will begin to layout your building design, meet with your client, review applicable codes and coordinate schematics with your consultants. You will gain experience reading and applying building codes and regulations, coordinating with mechanical and structural engineers, design specialists, and other consultants and communicating the plan with the client.

Project Planning & Design Tasks (Required Hours: 1,080)
Upon finishing the AXP, you should be able to perform the following tasks:
■ Perform building code analysis
■ Develop sustainability goals based on existing environmental conditions
■ Prepare code analysis documentation
■ Define requirements for site survey based on established project scope
■ Select materials, finishes, and systems based on technical properties and aesthetic requirements
■ Determine design parameters for building engineering systems
■ Prepare design alternatives for client review
■ Present design ideas to client orally
■ Oversee design integration of building components and systems
■ Evaluate results of feasibility studies to determine project’s technical viability
■ Determine impact of existing utilities infrastructure on site
■ Apply principles of historic preservation for projects involving building restoration or renovation
■ Understand implications of evolving sustainable design strategies and technologies
■ Design landscape elements for site
■ Develop mitigation options to address adverse site conditions

Are you having trouble gaining Project Planning & Design experience? Reference the above tasks
when meeting with your supervisor, and make a plan to complete the AXP.

Real-World Examples
“At one of the firms I worked at prior to licensure, we would typically put together a few pages on building codes and zoning regulations pertaining to a new project. These “cliff notes” became a vital reference during schematic design and beyond. If anyone ever had a question about the project, we could easily find them in this document. The time I spent preparing this document would qualify for the task ‘perform building code analysis.’”

“Prepare cost of work estimates” can be difficult to gain right out of school. I started gaining experience by familiarizing myself with the materials and products we were planning to use on the project and talking to product/materials reps about costs and installation. This information was useful in determining what types of products meet the client’s budget and what needed to be adjusted. Sometimes, we would need to inform the client if we needed to set aside more money or change the scope of the project.”

IDP Experience Calculator
Use the IDP Experience Calculator to see how your current hours will merge into the six new
experience areas. Any hours that fall outside of the six new areas can be used to fulfill additional
jurisdictional requirements.

Other Useful Links:
Understanding the New AXP: Practice Management
Understanding the New AXP: Programming & Analysis

ARE Seminar: Schematic Design

Saturday, April 16, 2016
10am-3pm
Cost: $40 AIA Members & Employees of AIA East Bay Chapter Member Firms / $75 Guests

Register here.

4 CES LUs

Jeremiah Tolbert, AIA, instructs this ARE Seminar on Schematic Design. This seminar is offered to those looking for a prep seminar in studying for the ARE.

Learning Objectives

1. Attendees will review and access sites; incorporate the implication of human behavior, historic precedent, and design theory in the selection of systems, materials and methods related to site design and construction.
2. Attendees will learn how to interpret site and environmental conditions. Assess and apply systems, materials, and construction methods – incorporating principles of sustainability.
3. Attendees will learn how to incorporate building codes, specialty codes, zoning and other regulatory requirements in site design and construction.
4. Attendees will learn how to analyze the implication of design decisions in the selection of systems, materials and methods incorporated in site design and construction