AIA California Design Awards Come to Cal Poly

by Kai Benjamin Parel-Sewell

The awards ceremony in the Business Rotunda featured multiple Cal Poly students and faculty, including Andrew Goodwin, a lecturer and design studio instructor.

On Nov. 17, for the first time in its history, the California chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA California) came to Cal Poly to hold its annual design awards and meet with students.

Every year, AIA California honors notable architects and architecture projects across California with a ceremony. This year, with so many award-winning architects coming to San Luis Obispo, Greg Wynn, an architecture professor and president of the local AIA Central Coast chapter, and Mark Cabrinha, architecture department head, used this opportunity to set up a series of events allowing students to meet with these key industry figures in the Berg Gallery.

Architecture students fill the Berg Gallery, attending lectures with industry leaders throughout the day.

In the morning, Mark Jensen of Jensen Architects discussed his firm’s design thinking, specifically regarding their work in the arts community, ranging from renovated warehouses to collaborating with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Mark Jensen and Camden Greenlee gave presentations about their firm’s design perspectives and portfolios.

The afternoon was kicked off by Camden Greenlee presenting Clayton Korte’s extensive portfolio of wineries and vineyards around San Luis Obispo and the firm’s home state of Texas.

Later, Maybeck Award winner and Cal Poly alum Lorcan O’Herlihy discussed his paths through architecture, art and history that have led him to his status as one of the leading architects in California. The Maybeck Award recognizes “outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over a period of at least ten years.”

After O’Herlihy’s discussion, some honored firms and organizations, such as Gensler, Clayton Korte, and the San Francisco Public Works Bureau of Architecture, set up booths, allowing students to further engage with the award recipients about their work and firms.

(Left) Lorcan O’Herlihy talked with students about his varied path to architecture.
(Right) After the lectures, students were able to meet other award winners.

The awards ceremony was honored in the Business Rotunda, with the recognized coming on stage to receive their framed awards. Among the awardees was Andrew Goodwin, a lecturer and design studio instructor at Cal Poly, who received a Young Architect Award from the Academy of Emerging Professionals. Cal Poly AIAS President Alex Jenkins and Cal Poly NOMAS Co-Presidents Katherine Nguyen and Zoe Paris were a part of the ceremony, helping distribute awards to recipients furthering the day’s theme of connecting industry and students.

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