Greetings readers! It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything on the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Blog but I am excited to announce that we are BACK! Since most of our readership are students, interns, and young architects I know I don’t have to tell you that the life of an architect can get busy – there are always deadlines demanding time, midterms and finals need our attention, there are jobs and summer internship to obtain, and ARE’s to pass – truth be told, that is exactly what happened to our lives, all at once.  The unfortunate outcome of our busy, but good, life is that the blog fell out of sight. To all our loyal readers, we must apologize. But it is because of you that we are back, committed once again to making this Blog a spot where we not only share our personal experiences, but also give the Emerging Professionals a national voice.

In 2010, Meg Kullerd Hohnholt (then, just “Meg Kullerd”) started the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Blog. Meg had a voice and she wanted a forum to share it with other emerging professionals. Meg’s vision for the blog was something she shared with the original bloggers. Equally as excited, we joined together to make the success of the blog surpass any of our wildest dreams. Since that first blog post on October 1, 2010 we have had 7 full-time writers and a number of guest writers. The blog has had a total of 44,307 all time views and has reached out to all parts of the world. To this day, The Ted Mosby Illusion is our most viewed post, with 1,830 total views. To add to its success, some of our writers have been published in national publications in the past. Though the years, this blog has provided a voice for Emerging Professionals, near and far, and we will continue to do so in the future.

Over the next few months we will introduce you to new writers and a number of invited guest writers. We will strive to provide you with our own personal experiences as well as share with you information we find intriguing, thought-provoking, and just down right cool.  You can expect our “traditional” 500 word essays, as well as links to other articles around the web that we want to share with our readers. I invite you to come back often, encourage you to share our site with other professionals, and hope you comment on our posts as we want to provide an open forum for all to share their thoughts along side ours. We want to thank you for supporting us through the years and coming back over and over again!  We look forward to sharing so much more with you in the future!

Time of Change…

I’ve been writing about “change” a lot lately, but can you blame? It seems as though what we once knew is no longer, and what is yet to come is undetermined – AIA Colorado is in the process of reposition itself, NCARB will soon be rolling out the still-mysterious next version of the ARE, even the AIA Colorado Practice and Design Conference is mixing things up this year – as Bob Dylan put it “Times are a-changin’.” Change, to me, shows progress and movement forward. Change is a step in a new direction. Change is a commitment to the future.

Here at the AIA Colorado Emerging Professional Blog we, too, find ourselves in a time of change.  As the year winds down, we will begin to say good-bye to some of our original talent and hello to new opinions, perspectives, and passions. It’s exciting and bittersweet at the same time.  The writers that will be leaving us at years end, and those who have already departed, have made everlasting footprints on this blog. This blog has grown into something more than any of us could have imagined on day one – we have readers all around the world, our daily “hits” continue to increase, our writers have been published in national magazines, and a few of us were given the opportunity to represented the blog and fellow AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals at the AIA National Convention this summer by presenting a 90 minute presentation. This blog has given all of us a platform to speak our minds, share our opinions about the profession, and engage our readers with our own professional experiences. As hard as it is to say good-bye to the ones we have come to love, we are excited to let the next generation of bloggers leave their own lasting impression.

I think I speak for everyone involved with this blog when I say that we will miss our departing bloggers but we’re excited for what’s to come. Between September 15th and December 1st we will be accepting “Letters of Intent” from any AIA Colorado member interested in being a blogger for the AIA Colorado EP Blog. In December, we will select 2 Young Architects, 1 Associate and 2 AIAS Students to join our 2014 Blog team. A formal call for entry will hit your inboxes next week! If you’re passionate about architecture, excited about our profession and a talented writer than we want you to join our team! Feel free to contact me directly with any questions – heatherludwig29@gmail.com.

Over the past couple of years writing for this blog, I have seen change. I’ve seen change in our profession. I’ve seen change here at the blog. I’ve even experience change in my professional life. Through it all, one thing has stayed consistent – this blog has always been a voice for the Emerging Professionals. As we move forward with the blog you will see change. You will read new writers that will come with fresh ideas, different perspectives and a wide range of backgrounds. You will gain new insight to the profession and be exposed to different individuals with diverse opinions. But as we move forward with these changes one thing will remain the same – the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Blog will continue to be the of the Emerging Professionals.

Cheers to Change!

AIA Repositioning Creating Changes

I spent this past weekend in a conference room with 50 of my fellow AIA Colorado chapter board members. Organization leaders, representing all parts of our state, gave up a good portion of their weekend to spend debating the future of our organization.  We were asked to attend this All-Board retreat to discuss the repositioning of AIA Colorado.  The AIA Repositioning initiative was first introduced in March at the annual AIA Grassroots Leadership conference in Washington DC. Since then, those of us on AIA Colorado chapter boards have been told that this national initiative was going to affect our state and local chapters. Turning the focus to the AIA membership, and creating an “A(WE)A” campaign, AIA National dedicated itself to change the context, business, and practice of architecture. The AIA has realized that in order to stay relevant with the “New Normal” of our profession our organization needs to change.  And change, we will.

This weekend we were charged with the task of taking a long hard, very hard, look our organization and evaluating how we could make it better – putting our focus on the members of AIA Colorado. As a member-driven organization, AIA Colorado’s primary responsibility is to provide the best programs, educational opportunities, professional services, networking opportunities, etc. to its members. This weekend, we asked ourselves the questions “How are we doing?” “What can we do better?” and “How can we align ourselves with the current and future trends of our profession?”  With the help from Harrison Coerver, author of the book Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations, and the AIA Colorado staff we began our debate over what, if anything, needed to change.

Everything was on the table – from the number of Boards we have as a state to the number of people on each board to whether or not the annual golf tournament provided true member value. We discussed how our organization operates as a non-profit, how the AIA Colorado staff spend their time and how might they spend their time if we began to restructure the organization, and why, in today’s age of technology, our conference call lines still sound like we’re calling China, in the 1980’s. Our conversations got heavy, people’s ideas where challenaged, radical ideas were suggested, voices were heard, and changes were made. Changes are coming.

The idea of change often makes us want to stay the same even more. Change makes most of us uncomfortable. When faced with change we’re often afraid, scared, skeptical to step through the door into the unknown. But, what if that door leads us to a better future? Isn’t it worth taking a step forward rather than staying in a present that clearly isn’t working any more? That answer, by the way, is yes it is worth it. What’s going to happen within our organization in the next couple of weeks, months, years is going to be different. It’s going to be unfamiliar and will probably take some time to get used to. You’re beloved annual event might not take place in the future. You’re favorite committee might no long exist. But, if you put your trust in your leaders and fellow AIA members, I can promise you that all of this will be for the better. These changes are going to make us a better organization. These changes are going to make us better professionals. These changes are going to make us better architects. And really, when it comes right down to it, is that what we all want?

Convention 101

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you, by now, are aware that the AIA National Convention will be in Denver next week! You may also have noticed that this national event has taken over our blog for the past several weeks. To say that we are excited is an understatement.  Many of us, as a part of AIA Colorado, have been working for the past year to making this the best convention ever!  We are proud members of AIA Colorado.  We are excited to show off our great city. We’re thrilled to welcome you all with big open arms to our beautiful state.  So, in preparation for your visit here next week I thought it would be appropriate for me to dedicate my final blog post before the convention to what I like to call Convention 101 – Everything you need to know in 500 words or less!

Social Media – AIA National, AIA Colorado and its members have made a commitment to use social media before, during, and after the convention to help attendees get up-to-date news about events and happenings at the convention and around the city.  Want to know where to go for happy hour? How about a suggestion for dinner? Interested in who’s speaking at Architect Live? Check out the follow Facebook and Twitter accounts to get the most information!

  • “Like” AIA Colorado on Facebook!
  • Follow these people on Twitter:
    • @heather_ludwig
    • @AssocAIA_DEN
    • @ArchiAdeventures
    • @AIANatlConv
    • @RNLDesign
    • @AIA_NAC
    • @extraNrG
    • @mkullerd
    • @AIADenver
    • @AIAS_Denver
    • @AIACO_EP
    • @initial_aec
    • @AIANational
    • @AIAColorado

Don’t miss these events – With so many events happening in three short days, it’s hard to keep them all straight!  Here are a few highlighted events that you DON’T want to miss!

  • Thursday, June 20 @ 6:00 pm – Join AIA Colorado at Rock Bottom Brewery as Brew Master John McClure taps an exclusive custom beer – Building Bock. Free samples will be given out during the taping celebration. During the convention, pick up a coaster at the Host Chapter Lounge (booth 919) and then stop by Rock Bottom for a free pint of Building Bock. 
  • Friday, June 21 @ 7:00 pm – Don’t miss out on the convention party! Infinite Energy: AIA Colorado Host Chapter Party promises to be the best Host Chapter Party to date.  Experience everything that Colorado has to offer – food trucks and craft beer, performance artists, and so much more! Held on the lawn at the Denver Performing Art Complex, you will get find an endless range of Colorado inspiration.  Don’t miss this event!
  •  Friday, June 21 @ 9:00 pm – What’s a party without an After Party? Attend the Friday night after party at Studio Loft AIAnnex, a pop-up lounge designed, in the historic Ellie Caulkins Theater right next to the Convention Center. This happy hour is free and open to everyone! I hope you join the Associates Committee of AIA Denver at this event as well as other Emerging Professionals!

Convention Sessions you MUST attend – I can’t end this blog without plugging the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals! On Saturday at 8:30 am I will be presenting along with 3 of my fellow Emerging Professionals – Nathan Gulash, Adam Hillhouse, and Megan Kullerd Hohnholt! Our presentation, Do You Know Your Emerging Professionals will dissect characteristic traits of the EP’s in today’s work space, unpack the realities and challenges that EPs face in today’s architectural practice, discuss the different employment opportunities available to EPs, and why mentoring is so important to us.  I hope you attend our sessions (SA 216)!!!!  After our presentation, we will be answering questions at the Architect Live booth on the Expo floor.

Come, Stay, Explore – Wash Park!


Wash Park lake and boat house

While visiting our great city during the AIA National Convention next month I highly suggest you check out my neighborhood, Washington Park – or better known to us locals as “Wash Park.”  Located just south of downtown you will find one of the best parks in town surrounded by some of the best neighborhoods in the city. The Wash Park neighborhood is a beautiful blend of historic and contemporary architecture style homes. To the east you will find tall, iconic 70s-style apartment complexes that are offset by rows and rows of brick Bungalow single-family homes to the west.  One of the most popular neighborhoods in Denver, Wash Park is the ideal location for young professionals in between owning their first place and still needing a roommate. With 300 days of sunshine, this park gives locals a place to play all year round. Ask anyone in town and they will tell you what Wash Park is the place to be on any given Saturday afternoon.

Wash Park 1

Volleyball in Wash Park

Like the neighborhood would suggest, the Wash Park neighborhood surrounds a 165-acer park. This urban park has it all – 2 lakes, tennis courts, 2 playgrounds, large stretches of open lawns, a large flower garden, recreation center, a historic boat house, and a number of walking/running/biking trails that loop 3.5 miles around the park. On any given day you will find people walking their dogs, running, or riding their bikes along these paths. But the recreational activities don’t stop there. On the weekends you will find hundreds, if not thousands of people playing volleyball, soccer, and any other park-like activity on the open lawns.


Wash Park Tavern patio

Like most neighborhoods in Denver, Wash Park is not without its share of great restaurants. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed foodie like me or more of a burgers-n-fries kind of guy, you’ll be able to find exactly what you are looking for in Wash Park. For Brunch, I highly recommend checking out Lucile’s Creole Café on Logan Street. Don’t be turned away by the long line at the door, I promise you the food is well worth the wait. For great burgers, beers, and an outdoor patio, check out Wash Park Tavern or the Washington Park Grill on Gaylord Street. After dinner stick around and enjoy some of the great local pubs that Wash Park has to offer. Sing karaoke at Ogden Street South or sit outside on the back patio at Pub on Pearl. For more information on where to eat and drink in Wash Park, I recommend checking out Urbanspoon.com.


B-Cycle Station

The best way to get around Wash Park is to jump on a bicycle and peddle your way around the neighborhood.  Didn’t bring a bike with you? Not a problem! Check out B-Cycle –  Denver’s own bike sharing program. With a number of B-Cycle stations all around the city, you’ll be able to get from downtown to Wash Park in a short 15 minute bike ride. So while you’re enjoying all that Denver has to offer while at the National Convention I hope take the opportunity to explore my great neighborhood!