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WID + SPARC: What Am I Paying For?! The Value Proposition of Architectural Services

This will be a lively Pecha Kucha style event focused on the value of architectural services and the role of the architect in the future.

Historically, the architect was conceptualized as a ‘master builder’ who oversaw every aspect of making buildings from design to construction. While there is still truth to this, the modern building industry has become increasingly complex and spawned a proliferation of specialized sub disciplines. Scope that used to naturally flow to the architect now often goes to sub consultants, third party construction managers, or GCs.

What then is the role of the generalist architect? What do architects bring to the table other disciplines don’t? What value are architects adding to building projects? What should architects be doing more of? How can architects better convey the value of architectural services? What will the role of the architect look like in 10, 20, or 50 years? What are our clients paying for?!


Click here to view a full recording of the program.

This live, virtual program is presented by AIA Seattle’s Women in Design and Small Practice and Residential Committee.  with full closed captioning. Please indicate in your registration if you would like to be contacted to discuss specific accommodations to fully participate in this program. Contact Connor Descheemaker, Member Engagement Manager, with any questions or concerns.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the unique skills and knowledge architects bring to project teams
  2. Discuss how architectural services can add value to teams and elevate the project
  3. Discuss how the role of the architect has been shifting in the last two decades, and hypothesize what it might look like in the future
  4. Identify new services architects can provide to bring further value to projects


Jack Chaffin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Jack is a Partner at Johnston Architects in Seattle, Washington, where he leads JA’s innovation lab and champions the firm’s involvement in the JUST program, a voluntary disclosure tool that challenges companies to elevate their commitments to social and environmental justice. Jack holds 25 years of experience in the design and planning of projects of every size and scale, with an emphasis on civic and community projects, education, housing, and hospitality. Jack is a recognized industry leader in design technology and has spoken at conferences and events on topics ranging from BIM to parametric design and the future of architecture. He holds a BA in English & Religious Studies from Kenyon College and a Master of Architecture from Morgan State University. JA is a women-owned small business.

Darren Chang AIA
Darren has had 14 years of extensive experience in the design and development of luxury residential, large public buildings, office, retail, hotel, and cultural institutions. He has been responsible for projects in the US as well as abroad. He has also published in international journals and given lectures at universities and international conferences on his research in performance-driven form generation. He is the founder of Darren Vinci Studio, a boutique design studio focusing on high-quality design and construction in the Seattle area. Previously he served as the vice president of design and construction at Hongkun USA, and the director of design and marketing at Strategic Capital, both New York-based real estate development firms, and worked at world-renowned architecture firms including KPF, RTKL and OMA. He is a registered architect in the states of New York, New Jersey and Washington, and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He obtained his master degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and aerospace and system engineering degrees from MIT and Cornell University.

John DeForest, AIA
A native Seattleite, John DeForest received architectural degrees from Yale and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. After working with firms in New England, San Francisco, and Seattle, John founded DeForest Architects with a vision of developing a more collaborative, client-inspired approach to design. The firm now has an office in Tahoe and wide-ranging projects from the Pacific Northwest to the Hudson River Valley.

Erica Loynd, FAIA
Erica is the Northwest Justice+Civic Studio Sector Leader, working to ensure all projects fulfill DLR Group’s design ethos statement, provide complete documentation for efficient and positive construction, and develop a portfolio of recognized and innovative design solutions for public clients. She is particularly passionate about sustainability, restorative justice, and the impact of the built environment on human wellness. She focuses on unifying all team members to explore design options that take advantage of passive opportunities in building orientation, envelope design, daylighting, natural ventilation, and material choices–strategies that are the essence of sustainability, and significantly reduce reliance on mechanical and electrical systems. Acoustics, material colors, textures, and space planning influence all occupants of the building from public officials to staff to detainees.

Adrienne Nelson, AIA, IIDA
Pickard Chilton is a global architecture studio that designs innovative buildings and transformative environments that deliver value and inspire community. The 50 person studio practices exclusively as a Design Architect and collaborates with experienced Executive Architects to meet the unique needs of each client. This practice model ensures that clients have access to the most highly qualified professionals for all aspects of design, project management, building technology, and construction administration. Adrienne is a registered architect and associate with Pickard Chilton. She has been with the firm for 8 years, and serves as a design team leader on multiple large scale projects while also participating in business operations and development.

Melissa Nordquist
Melissa has been an architect with DeForest Architects for over 9 years, and she enjoys complex projects at a variety of scales. She gradually made her way to the Seattle area from her native New York, with stops in Boston, Houston, and San Francisco. She received her undergraduate degree at Williams College, and her Master of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design


November 11, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit
1.5 LU


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938