AIA Emerging Leaders Project Concludes

The Emerging Leaders in Architecture program, an honors academy of the Virginia Society AIA, is an annual program comprised of sixteen young architects and architecture students from across the state of Virginia.  The program is designed to develop future leaders within the architecture profession through a series of seven day-long seminars and workshops.  Each session was built around a specific topic of focus such as presentation and communication skills, understanding legal and ethical issues, and public service. In addition, a year-long class project is incorporated into the program allowing participants to experiment and test bold ideas in a risk-free environment.

This year’s project focused on the downtown area of Falls Church, VA.  This Northern Virginia community has numerous assets, yet continually struggles with urban planning issues and place-making.  The participants of the ELA program spent the past year studying the area, meeting with members of the community and city officials, and developing proposals for improvements to the area that could be implemented incrementally.  The project culminated with a series of presentations to the Falls Church Planning Commission and City Council as well as a presentation at the annual Architecture Exchange East conference in Richmond this past November.  BCWH architects, Kylan Shirley and Emily Hogan, were two of the three program participants that delivered the ELA presentation at the 2014 ArchEx. At the conclusion of the program, we asked Emily what this program and this past year meant to her in her career as an architect.

What Emily had to say:

“I had high expectations for this program as I initially entered into it– having heard extraordinarily positive things about it– but even still, all my expectations were well exceeded.  The VASAIA has created an invaluable program for architects in the early stages of their career.  While I enjoyed many aspects of this program, including getting to know other young architects from across the state, interacting with the professionals who volunteered their time to the program, and visiting different regions of the state every month, my favorite aspect of the program would certainly be the guest speakers that were a part of the monthly sessions.  These speakers—including architects, lawyers, government officials, developers, and planners— had a wealth of experiences, lessons learned, and advice they were kind enough to share with us.  The opportunity to have meaningful discussions every month with these individuals who have dealt with different aspects of the architecture profession throughout their careers was pretty incredible.  I’m thankful to have been a part in this unique, extraordinary program.”


For more information about the Emerging Leaders in Architecture program, we encourage you to visit the AIAVA page here.

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