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Posts tagged ‘emerging professionals’

CSE Meetup

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Free and open to all.
Click here to RSVP.

Planning to take the CSE in the next year? Meet up with others who are and set up study groups. Recently licensed architects will be on-hand to share best practices in studying and test-taking. RSVP to

Young Architects vs. Emerging Professionals Trivia Night

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
$3 AIA Members / $5 Nonmembers
Click here to register.

Win a ticket to the 2018 Home Tours before they even go on sale! Everyone is welcome to join the Young Architects and Emerging Professionals in a battle to test their architecture expertise. Pizza and beer will be provided – don’t miss this fun event and the chance to show off your skills.

Each member of the winning team will receive a ticket to the 2018 Home Tours – a $50 value!

Important Messages for ARE 4.0 Candidates

Anyone currently testing in ARE 4.0 should be aware of the following key points:

The last day to take an ARE 4.0 division in a test center is June 30, 2018. Candidates who have not completed ARE 4.0 by this date will need to complete any remaining divisions in ARE 5.0 to satisfy the examination requirement for licensure.

Now is the time to make a plan to finish the exam if you are currently testing in ARE 4.0. There are several resources available on to help candidates make their plan. NCARB’s Customer Relations team is also available to help candidates understand their individual testing options.

Your rolling clock will not change if you transition to ARE 5.0. Candidates must still complete the test within five years of their first pass—whether through ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, or a combination of both. Expiring ARE 4.0 divisions could impact the credits received in ARE 5.0 when transitioning.

Prometric test centers fill up fast, so candidates will need to plan ahead when scheduling their remaining divisions in ARE 4.0.

When the exam transitioned from ARE 3.1 to ARE 4.0, candidates encountered difficulty finding test appointments in the final months before the exam retired. If candidates plan on testing in May and June, they should book these appointments as soon as possible.

The ARE retake policy will remain the same. Candidates must wait 60 days before they can retake a division of the ARE, and can only take a division three times within 12 months.

This means if a candidate has taken a division of ARE 4.0 since the end of June this year, they will only have two more opportunities to take that division between now and the retirement of ARE 4.0. They will also need to take their second attempt before April 30, 2018, to have the option of one more retake before ARE 4.0 retires.

Happy Hour: Hosted By Emerging Professionals

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Location: Drake’s Dealership, 2325 Broadway, Oakland

All are invited to join the Emerging Professionals at their September Happy Hour! Have a pint at Drake’s Dealership and get to know them–they’d like to meet you and learn about the work that you do, the path you took, etc.

Drakes has indoor and outside seating, serves food and drinks and is located four blocks from 19th Street BART in downtown Oakland.

Firm Tour: HKIT Architects

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Location: 538 Ninth St #240, Oakland, CA 94607
RSVP Required: email
(Note: Space is limited, so RSVP early)

Come join the AIA East Bay Emerging Professionals Committee for our April Firm Tour at HKIT Architects. There will be a brief presentation by HKIT staff, 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:
Founded in 1948, HKIT Architects is a 40-person office specializing in multifamily housing, schools and municipal projects. The multifamily housing includes affordable and senior housing specialties. School work focuses on public K-12 facilities with additional projects for independent and higher education clients. Our work for Municipalities includes water and wastewater treatment plants and corporation yards. The firm’s focus on community-oriented facilities is an expression of our mission: to design thoughtful, meaningful and valued buildings that enrich the community and the environment.

Emerging Professionals Firm Tour: Shah Kawasaki Architects

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

Open to all, space is limited.
RSVP required to

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

ARE Bootcamp: Building Systems

Sorry, this Bootcamp is full.

Begins Monday, February 27, 2017
$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:

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!

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