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AIA Northwest Washington 2020 Design Awards Virtual Event

The 2020 AIA Northwest Washington Design Awards celebrate the best architectural designs available from the AIA members in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties. These projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance, inclusion, and overall integration with client and surrounding community.

Submissions CLOSED

We invite you to join us for the live virtual event!
Date: October 15
Time: 6 – 7:30pm PDT
Cost: Free
Registration closes at 12pm PST on Wednesday, October 14.

Registration is CLOSED

Click here to view the complete program and submission catalogue.
Click here to view a full recording of the awards ceremony and keynote presentation.

Click above to register for the live event! Contact Section Program Manager, Karen Bacon, with any questions or concerns.

The awards presentation will follow the keynote speaker presentation: Who has the Power to be Inclusive? by Karen Braitmayer FAIA, founder of Studio Pacifica, and world-renowned accessibility expert and 2019 Whitney M Young, Jr. Award winner.

Join us for this timely and essential conversation about equity in design! It is a rare opportunity to hear Karen’s perspective on the issues we deal with every day.

Karen will be sharing with us her view on who has the power to be inclusive in Architecture. Is it the press, who can influence the vision of what is beautiful design? Is it the architecture schools, who help create that pipeline to the profession? Is it the profession as an agent of change or the architect themselves as the ultimate control of who is included in the design process, the team, and the creator of the design? Please join us as we explore these topics as well as Karen’s insight on accessibility within the profession.

Don’t miss it!

Meet the Jury

Karen Braitmayer FAIA | Studio Pacifica

Headshot of judge and keynote speaker Karen Braitmayer FAIA

Karen Braitmayer, FAIA is the founder and managing principal of Studio Pacifica, an accessibility consulting firm in Seattle. She and her team provide consulting services to local governments, school districts, architects, engineers, companies and individuals concerned with complying with Federal laws and State codes, as well as simply creating spaces that work for the unique needs of individual users. Karen also leads presentations and workshops around the country to further educate professionals about codes, standards, and inclusion.

Early in her career, it occurred to Karen that as an architect and a wheelchair user, it was possible for her to make a unique contribution to the field. Her professional focus on accessibility and her advocacy efforts for inclusion have certainly done that!

As a registered architect, Karen was admitted to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 2010 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Access Board, a policy position that she still holds today. Most recently she was awarded the 2019 Whitney M. Young Jr. award by the American Institute of Architects in recognition of her leadership in civil rights for people with disabilities, social sustainability, public policy and universal design. Karen is also an active volunteer and non-profit board member.

Linda Smeins | Western Washington University

Headshot of Design Awards juror Linda Smeins Linda Smeins is Professor Emeritus, Western Washington University, with specialization in the history of architecture and the built environment. Linda’s interest in architecture began early, working on jobs with her carpenter father. Following a BFA in interior design from the University of Denver, she worked in Los Angeles for 9 years in commercial interior design. After moving to the Northwest, Linda completed a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia with emphasis in the history of architecture and cultural theory. At WWU, she served as Chair of the Department of Art and as Interim Dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts. Her publications include two books, Building an American Identity: Pattern Book Homes and Communities, 1870-1900, and Romancing the Honeymoon (co-authored), with her study of honeymoon destination sites, most of which introduce questions about self and other in tourism. With this turn to architecture and tourism, Linda presented papers at international conferences in Italy, France, and England, and she served as visiting lecturer at the University of Lincoln School of Architecture, UK. With research on village life, local craft, and tourism in Slovakia, Linda was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Comenius University, Bratislava. Now retired, she continues to pursue her interests, including being a volunteer leader of senior citizen craft classes in Reggio, Emilia, Italy, as a means to better understand the effects of tourism on community spaces for the aging.

Susan McCants | Splice

Headshot of Design Awards juror, Susan McCants

Susan McCants is a Construction professional with 24 years of construction experience. Her education background started in Architecture in the Philippines, then Construction CAD drafting at North Seattle College. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management at the University of Washington.

Her construction and project management experiences include a wide variety of projects in interiors, K-12, healthcare, laboratory, multi-family residential and large GC/CM public projects. She has worked on projects ranging from 6 months to 5 years and project volume up to $250MM. Susan has held several positions in construction: Project Coordinator, Project Engineer, Project Manager and Project Executive. She’s currently working for a Project Management firm, Splice, as Director of Owner Representation. One of her biggest feat in breaking gender barriers in construction was being the first woman presented with AGC’s Build Washington Project Manager of the Year award in 2016 for her work on the Sound Transit Capitol Hill Station.

In addition to her project experiences, Susan is an active member of the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) for the last 5 years. She has been a Board of Director for the past 3 years and was elected President of the Puget Sound Chapter in 2018-2019.


Multicolored logos on white background: Title Sponsor - Freeland & Associates Civil Engineers; Platinum - HB Hansen Construction Inc, Tiger Construction, Geotest, Aldrich, Fisher Construction Group; Gold - TFWB Engineers, GeoEngineers, Lund Opsahl, Dawson, FSI Engineers, The Greenbusch Group Inc, RAM Construction, HKP Architects, Kingworks Structural Engineers, Judd & Black Appliance, K Engineers Inc.


October 15, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Price


AIA Northwest Washington


WA United States
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