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Rising Stars: AIA Honors 12 Young Architects

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

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With an eye toward the future of the profession, the American Institute of Architects has selected 12 individuals who have exhibited leadership and made an impact on the industry early in their careers.

Now in its 23rd year, the 2016 AIA Young Architects Award program honors professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age.

From Oregon to Tennessee, this year’s winners stand out as designers dedicated to influencing the built environment and the architectural profession in a meaningful way.

The Young Architects Award recipients will be honored at the 2016 AIA National Convention, scheduled for May 19-21 in Philadelphia.

AIA’s descriptions of the winners appear below. More information may be obtained by clicking on the name of the recipient.

Seth E. Anderson, AIA

Anderson graduated magna cum laude from Washington State University in 2002 and became licensed in 2007. By age 32, Anderson had earned the title of senior associate.

Seth Anderson
Photos courtesy AIA

Seth E. Anderson

He opened Ascent Architecture & Interiors in Bend, OR, in 2012 with the desire to provide clients with a personalized approach to architecture. In 2014, Anderson formally outlined Ascent’s business plan, finishing third place of 51 entries in the Charrette Venture Group’s Architectural Business Plan competition.

Anderson believes in supporting emerging professionals, the architecture profession, and the Central Oregon community where the firm is located.

Mindy Aust, AIA

Armed with a passion for public architecture, coupled with a commitment to mentorship and community involvement, Aust has devoted her career to thoughtful design of public spaces, including multiple award-winning federal government, public library, and university campus projects.

Aust, who received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Iowa State is currently an associate with Des Moines-based Substance Architecture and is the current President of AIA Iowa, the third woman to lead the chapter in its 110-year history.

Mindy Aust

Mindy Aust

A strong advocate for excellent design and its benefit to communities, Aust uses her expertise to advance the profession in multiple contexts.

Erin Carraher, AIA

Carraher, an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s School of Architecture, works to empower students to make a positive impact through an integrated approach to scholarship, creative work, teaching and service.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in architecture from Yale and practiced with BKSK Architects in New York City before moving into teaching full-time.

Carraher concentrates on developing projects that engage students with practitioners, researchers, and community organizations in the development of built work. She is active with the AIA, NAAB, and NCARB through a variety of service and committee work at the local, state, and national levels.

Bob Ganser, AIA

Ganser is an award-winning designer, educator and a mentor. He is an advocate for the value of quality design and the architectural profession. Ganser is currently an architect at MSR Design in Minneapolis.

In 2005, he co-founded CityDeskStudio Architecture and Design—the small firm he helped to shape over 11 years of practice. He has also worked in the offices of HGA Architects and Engineers and Snow Kreilich Architects.

Ganser has been a design studio instructor for the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota since 2006 and is co-chair of the AIA Minnesota Committee on Design.

Amy L. Kalar, AIA

Kalar’s passion, talent, and dedication have a profound influence on her profession and community through a combination of advocacy, education and innovative practice.

She earned her master’s degree in architecture from Montana State University and is a senior associate with HGA Architects and Engineers, of Minneapolis.

Amy Kalar

Amy L. Kalar

She practices as a healthcare architect and medical planner, using evidence-based design to bring innovation to healthcare environments. A leader in promoting women’s roles in the AEC industry, Kalar co-founded the AIA-MN Women in Architecture Committee.  

Her blog,, is dedicated to parents in architecture.

Yu-Ngok Lo, AIA

Lo graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 2004. He is the founder of YNL Architects, with offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Lo served on the AIA Long Beach-South Bay chapter Board of Directors and is currently serving on the AIA Construction Contractor Administration Knowledge Community Advisory Group, AIA Diversity Council, AIA California Council COTE and the Advocacy Advisory Committee.  He is also a senior editor for the AIA YAF CONNECTION and the editor-in-chief of the NOMA Magazine and AIBD Magazine.

Karen Lu, AIA

Lu’s commitment to design excellence and to positively impacting future generations of architecture professionals and global citizens is evident in her professional work and service to the AIA and her community. 

She received a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and is a senior associate at HGA Architects & Engineers.

She previously worked with VJAA and Selldorf Architects. Currently serving on the AIA Minnesota Leadership Forum Advisory Committee, she is also the board chair of Yinghua Academy, a K-8 elementary school and national leader in Chinese immersion education.

Shelby Morris, AIA

Morris earned a master’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University. Currently he is an associate principal at The Beck Group, Atlanta, where he has led or been part of over $500 million of design and design/build work. 

The AIA has provided Morris the opportunity to pursue one of his personal passions, education, helping initiate the AIA Atlanta Youth Architecture Fair.  Morris has served in a variety of capacities within the institute, including the Architects Forum Young Architect Regional Director for the South Atlantic.

Carey Nagle, AIA

Nagle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Iowa State University and is an Associate Principal with BNIM in Des Moines. His award-winning, high-performance design projects have helped to define design excellence as a balance of design and building performance.

Carey Nagle

Carey Nagle

Nagle is a holistic practitioner with a broad range of notable project experience, professional leadership and community contributions that demonstrate his rare combination of humility, integrity and drive.

Daniel J. Scheaffer, AIA

Scheaffer earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and currently works for LS3P in Charleston, SC, where he brings particular expertise in healthcare design and digital visualization.

He believes that the greatest responsibility healthcare architects have is to create healing environments that enhance and support the care, treatment, and healing process. 

His aim is to place human welfare at the heart of the art and science of building design. Scheaffer recently served as 2013-2015 AIA-SC State Director - Lowcountry, and is deeply committed to professional and community service.

Carissa Shrock, AIA

Shrock, senior associate at Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, based in Santa Monica, CA, holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  

Her portfolio is comprised of various complex project types, including American embassies. Shrock’s commitment to a better built environment carries into her passion as a leader and mentor. She is currently serving on the AIA/LA Board of Director and is chair of the Design Awards Committee.

As the IDP Coordinator and NCARB Licensing Advisor, she guides candidates through the extensive licensure process. Extending into the local community, Shrock energetically introduces young students to architecture as a potential career path.

Stephanie Silkwood, AIA

Silkwood is a graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an associate at RMW architecture & interiors in San Jose, CA. 

She is a leader in raising the bar for the architecture profession through service, advocacy, and by empowering and educating future leaders of the profession. Throughout her early career, Silkwood has continuously focused her energy on elevating and improving the public image of the architecture profession through her involvement with AIA Santa Clara Valley, AIA California Council, AIA National Young Architects Forum, California Architects Board, and NCARB.


Tagged categories: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Architecture; Awards and honors; Color; Color + Design; Designers; North America

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