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AIA Seattle Honors 2005

April 2005

AIA Seattle Honors, given annually, recognize outstanding achievements by architect and their allies that have advanced the profession in the mission areas of AIA Seattle. At the Honors Gala June 25, their friends and colleagues will celebrate recipients of AIA Seattle Honors 2005, along with 2005 electees to the AIA College of Fellows and other distinguished guests.

The AIA Seattle Board of Directors acted March 16 to accept the recommendations of the Honors Nominating Committee for AIA Seattle 2005 Honors, on the basis of statements (as below) presented by Committee Chair Don Miles FAIA.

AIA Seattle Medal 2005:
·David Hewitt FAIA
AIA Seattle Honorary Members 2005:
Thomas L. Berger ASLA
·Karen Guzak
·Bill Ptacek
Ellen Southard

Diane Sugimura
Lara Swimmer
Allied Organization Award 2005:
ARCADE
Community Service Award 2005:
·Dr. Sharon E. Sutton FAIA

AIA Seattle Medal 2005:
David Hewitt FAIA
The highest award that AIA Seattle can confer on one of its own Members, the AIA Seattle Medal recognizes distinguished lifetime achievement in architecture including design and professional practice and service to the profession, the community, education, and the arts, or any combination of these. AIA Seattle first gave the Medal in 1984 to Paul Hayden Kirk FAIA and Paul Thiry FAIA. Then and since, it recognizes architects who have had a substantial influence in shaping and advancing the architecture of the Northwest as it grows in national and international importance.

As urban design has professionalized over three decades as a practice shaping Northwest communities, David Hewitt FAIA has pioneered and exemplified the role of the architect in civic life. Beginning with advocacy as one of the "Gang of Five" that in the early 1980s illuminated urban issues for the then-emerging Seattle Weekly, David Hewitt has raised a quiet but insistent voice for design quality, endeavoring to improve public understanding of and involvement in city-shaping. Through service and leadership on numerous civic boards (Allied Arts of Seattle, Seattle Design Commission, and Seattle Architectural Foundation among others), he has exemplified the architect as guardian of excellence in design and planning. As AIA Seattle President in 1976, he helped guide his fellow professionals in a time of profound questioning of concepts of professional ethics. His engagement has transcended the practice of architecture, as he has invested his heart and soul into urban design as a way of making change, exemplifying our highest ideals for civic leadership and guidance.

Since founding (in 1975) the interdisciplinary practice known today as Hewitt Architects, David Hewitt has led the design effort for some of Seattle's most visible projects of the recent era, shaping Seattle's central waterfront "front door" - Harbor Steps East and North, the Port of Seattle's Bell Street Pier, as well as major projects connected with the area's transit systems. All along the way, his broad perspective and quiet leadership have inspired his fellow professionals and public constituencies alike, and profoundly influenced both the form and the civic culture of the greater Seattle urban region.

AIA Seattle Honorary Members 2005:
AIA Seattle Honorary Membership recognizes those who have contributed notably to achievement of the mission and goals of AIA Seattle.

Thomas L. Berger ASLA
For more than three decades, Tom Berger has collaborated with architects on projects that have become emblematic for Northwest design and our landscape tradition, including the REI Seattle Flagship Store and Two Union Square, and Islandwood on Bainbridge Island among others. Architects value his inventiveness and the sensitivity to the special qualities of the Northwest environment that he brings to projects as Senior Principal, The Berger Partnership. He has also aligned with architects in public awareness endeavors, including service on the Board of Trustees of Seattle Architectural Foundation.

Karen Guzak
An accomplished painter and public artist, much valued as a collaborator with architects, Karen Guzak has also developed several successful artist housing projects, including the Sunny Arms Cooperative in Georgetown and Union Art Cooperative, recognized as the 1993 Seattle Times/AIA Home of the Year. Her work with architects includes project management for Suyama Architects' innovative renovation of On the Boards in the former ACT space, and numerous public art projects - for instance in 2003, a monumental time piece at Redmond Town Center, with William Polk Architects. In her current phase, she and partner Warner Blake have developed Angel Arms Works, a special arts center in Snohomish, including an award-winning garden.

Bill Ptacek
As Director of the King County Library System since 1989, Bill Ptacek has helped communities throughout the greater Puget Sound region to realize place-making goals through the construction and renovation of libraries. His development of the King County Library portfolio has effectively engaged architects in civic processes in Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, Bothell, and Kirkland among other emerging urban centers, with outstanding results for the communities engaged and served. We commend this partner in "liberal" community-building endeavor.

Ellen Southard
With a special perspective based on a love of design and history, Ellen Southard has proven a valuable ally to architects and architecture in bringing design into the public eye. Taking a special interest in design history, she undertook and extensive research project to bring forward the history of the unique and popular Seattle Times/AIA Home of the Month feature. Her effort made possible exhibits and publications for both the 40th and, in 2004, the 50th anniversary of the program - and thus a special public and professional celebration of Northwest residential design. Other recent projects include The Bra Show, a community program for breast cancer awareness, with a bra design competition drawing widespread participation by the design community and considerable public attention. Currently a Principal with Swenson Say Fagét, she takes a vital and supportive interest in the AIA Knowledge Initiative, and the Knowledge by Design Conference slated for August 4-6, 2005 in Seattle.

Diane Sugimura
In nearly three decades with the City of Seattle in variously-named planning offices and projects, the building regulatory agency then known as DCLU, and now as Director of Seattle's Department of Planning and Development, Diane Sugimura commands the opportunity to put into practice long-held visions of urban density and sustainability. Throughout her tenure, she has kept her door and her mind open to the design community, and found ways to bring reality to our best ideas - only for instance, in the 1998 Housing Design Demonstration Project which resulted in legislation to produce several exemplary projects toward the establishment of new traditions for urban housing. Ongoing commitments, amply demonstrated in her work with AIA Seattle and AIA national endeavor, include streamlining the permitting process to facilitate good development as good business. We commend her example as a thoughtful and inventive urban administrator.

Lara Swimmer
Photographer Lara Swimmer has spent the past 10 years documenting many of the Puget Sound area's most significant civic building projects, through construction and as finished monuments -- beginning with the Paramount Theater renovation in the early 1990's. She photographed the Seattle Symphony's Benaroya Hall, renovation work at the Key Arena, the Cinerama, Union Station, and SoDo Center; and new construction at Safeco Field, the Experience Music Project, and the Tacoma and Bellevue Art Museums. Her 2004 publication Process: Seattle Central Library and the companion exhibit at the Library offer key tools for advancing public understanding of both the process and the results of a special design and construction achievement.

Allied Organization Award 2005:
ARCADE
The Allied Organization Award, first given in 1993, recognizes "... an organization which has notably contributed to the goals of AIA Seattle."

For 25 years, ARCADE has brought fresh, independent views of Northwest design to light. Assembling talents and perspectives from a variety of disciplines, the publication has developed a unique voice. Always experimental, it has grown in strength and reach - as recently recognized by Seattle Magazine, which named ARCADE among "most influential of 2004." We salute ARCADE as a mature and continually evolving force for design understanding and excellence.

Community Service Award 2005:
Dr. Sharon E. Sutton AIA
First given in 2001, this award recognizes "an individual or group, including an AIA or Assoc. AIA Member of AIA Seattle, for the achievement of significant community service objectives and for exemplifying the application of architectural skills, values, and dedication to the advancement of community goals."

Since her 1998 arrival in Seattle as a Professor at the UW Department of Architecture and Director of the Center for Environmental Education and Design Studies (CEEDS), Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton FAIA has advanced her lifelong effort to engage K-12 youth with the power of design. In Spring 2000, CEEDS assumed leadership of the Architecture Department's annual spring charrettes, reorganizing them as interdisciplinary, intergenerational events serving communities in the Seattle area. Her most recent book, Weaving a Tapestry of Resistance: The Places, Power, and Poetry of a Sustainable Society, derives from a K-12 urban design program she founded while at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Sutton's research, focused on youth participation in community development, has received funding from the Aspen Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Tukwila School District, University of Michigan, the University of Washington, and most recently the Ford Foundation. Formerly a Kellogg National Fellow and a Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), in 1997-1998 she served as President of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). She has served on the Seattle Design Commission and on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Parks Foundation.

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AIA Seattle recognizes with gratitude the achievements of many who have helped advance the community and the profession, and welcomes all to join in congratulations and in celebration of these honors.


David Hewitt FAIA


Thomas L. Berger ASLA

Karen Guzak

Bill Ptacek

Ellen Southard

Diane Sugimura


Lara Swimmer

Sharon E. Sutton FAIA

Reference: background & previous recipients
* AIA Seattle Medallists 1984-
* AIA Seattle Honorary Members
* AIA Seattle Allied Organization Award 1993-
* AIA Seattle Community Service Award 2001-

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