SEATTLE, January 25, 2013 - A jury of five Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected fifteen recipients of the 2013 Young Architects Award, including Rachel Minnery, AIA, of Seattle firm Environmental Works. The Young Architects Award is given to individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural career.
Rachel’s commitment to architecture in service to society is plainly evident in the extraordinary leadership she has shown in disaster response and pro-bono design. Her work and her leadership make her a role model for many, demonstrating the potential of architects to shape and empower communities. Her volunteer service to disaster-stricken and developing neighborhoods has attracted major attention in the professional and public media and has also stimulated her involvement in AIA activities, where her leadership inspires her professional colleagues to share her commitment to volunteerism and community activism. Her teaching and mentorship has mobilized, inspired, and motivated individuals at all phases of their design careers, through her AIA service at the local, state, and national level, and with related organizations.
Specifically, her “boots on the ground architecture” has made a visible difference in the life of numerous communities. Her work was first recognized in 2005 with the “Mississippi Missions,” in which she trained Mississippi state officials and organized teams of Seattle-based design professionals to join her on the Gulf Coast assessing and addressing built environment conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Rachel has played an active role in mounting several subsequent hurricane-, flooding-, and earthquake-related building-assessment endeavors in communities throughout Washington, the United States, and Haiti. Her community outreach included the establishment of Architects without Borders Seattle, a vehicle for engagement, collaboration, and financial support of interdisciplinary design teams in post-disaster assistance and pro-bono design services.
Good design makes a difference