Session 6: Industry Trends

Date: March 02, 2018
Location: StreetSense, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Led by: Chelsea Thompson & Stacey Bringar
Session Sponsor: Insite VR
Venue Sponsor: StreetSense


Chelsea Thompson and Stacey Bringar hosted the sixth session of the year exploring Industry Trends at the StreetSense offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. Their program focused on practice adaptation, local food production, emerging design technologies, and real estate market shifts, all with the intent of exploring how innovative ideas can create lasting impacts in the profession.

Presentation #1 – Putting Resilience into Practice: Planning and Adapting:

Jon Penndorf, FAIA, of Perkins+Will presented planning for Resilience as an emerging school of thought for the architectural profession. The first question we must ask is why do architects need to be concerned with Resilience? A professional duty to the healthy, safety, and welfare of the public requires that architects pay attention to the environmental resilience of our planning. Additionally, our contractual duty to our clients demands that we evaluate the economic costs of non-resilience and the relatively low cost of minimal resilient interventions. Resilience can mean designing for shocks, which are sudden events like hurricanes or terrorist events; or stressors, which are gradual or long-term such as drought, sea-level rise or war. Penndorf illustrated the a variety of resilient strategies through several case studies and tools to determine resiliency risks such as National Climate Assessment report, FEMA Flood Maps, and NOAA Sea Level Rise Projection Tool. The next step in the Resilience movement is to quantify and regulate the standards. RELi – a resilience standard developed by Perkins + Will was recently acquired by the USGBC. This standard coalates to LEED, and other third-party certified standards, and creates a gold standard for planning Resiliency into the practice of architecture.

Presentation #2 – Incorporating Agriculture: The Why and How:

Next, the session dove into the weeds on one specific trend in the broader realm of sustainability, Urban Agriculture, and incorporating local food production into buildings and communities. Meredith Sheperd, the founder and CEO of Love & Carrots, presented her business and the intricacies of incorporating urban agriculture into architectural design. The United States has a public health crisis in which 1 in 3 adults is obese and our food production system is broken. Love & Carrots is a small business that provides productive food garden planning, design, and installation, as well as coaching and maintenance. There is substantial research and regulation currently focused on using urban agriculture to address both the obesity epidemic and the food production system. Sheperd then presented several case studies where Love & Carrots has established a working garden or local food supply. Love & Carrots works with the architect or community to locate and optimize the garden for production, builds and installs the garden, and then provides either some maintenance and coaching or fully manages the garden production.

Presentation #3 – Practical Uses of VR within the Design Industry:


Justin Benjamin is the Design Application Manager for Perkins + Will DC, and create a two-part session for the CKLDP scholars. In the introduction, he talked our class through his philosophy on incorporating VR into the design process and how it can be an effective tool if the focus is on project deliverables rather than simply innovation. Benjamin works to create reliable workflows for teams that require little start-up training. His primary tools are Enscape, IrisProspect, Revit Live, and Insite VR. After a brief overview of the software products and process, scholars then participated in a lively VR demonstration and exploration.

Everyone was able to test the goggles and move around in a project environment. There were several challenges to accomplish, for example: navigating to a specific location in the project, testing different movement types, drawing redlines in the 3D environment, and changing design elements in 3D. Overall the presentation and demonstrating gave the class a feeling for the possibilities of working with VR in a typical design process.

Presentation #4 – An Experience Consultancy:

The session concluded with a wide-ranging talk on commercial, residential and retail trends by two senior StreetSense consultants, Bruce Leonard and Cassandra Cullison. StreetSense is a collective of architects, designers, graphic designers, marketing & branding, analysts, brokers, and consultants that work with clients every step of the way through a real estate project. They specifically discussed their firm’s structure and strategy and the changing paradigm of retail real estate. The built environment has moved from commodity to strategy – turning the built environment into a user-interface. They spoke about the crisis retail real estate is facing, that the U.S. has 23 sf of retail per capita compared to 12 sf in Canada and 8 sf in Europe; with over 13 billion square feet of that retail space unoccupied or under-utilized. While there are not a lot of obvious solutions to this over-supply of retail real estate beyond demolition, StreetSense is working to create future facing solutions. Leonard and Cullison outlined a few of the paradigm shifts necessary for the current market: national anchor tenants vs. boutique, local retail & amenities, horizontally phased mixed-use vs. vertically phased, and consistency vs. sense of place. They used several case studies from across the country to illustrate these concepts, from Reston, Austin, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.

Chelsea and Stacey ended the afternoon with a happy hour at The Old Ebbitt Grill, a D.C. institution.


Session 5: Marketing and Business Development

Date: February 02, 2018
Location: JLL Offices, 2020 K Street NW, #1100, Washington DC 20006
Led by: Siobhan Steen & Derek Roberts
Venue Sponsor: Society for Marketing Professional Services, Hickok Cole Architects, JLL


Siobhan Steen and Derek Roberts organized the fifth session of the year focused on marketing and business development. The session kicked off with a presentation by Laura Ewan on the basics of marketing, and expounded on content marketing and personal branding. Next, we presented our personal branding statements and received feedback from Ms. Ewan and the group. Next, we listened to a presentation from IA Collaborative, discussing how to proactively develop project leads and generate a pipeline of work from repeat and new clients. A roundtable discussion followed, with discussions focusing on business development as it relates to proposals, interviews and post-interview debriefing. The session concluded with a panel discussion with local practice leaders and session presenters on their own experiences with marketing and business development.

Presentation #1 – Marketing 101: Content Marketing & Branding

Laura Ewan’s presentation focused on the at of branding and steps to effectively establish and maintain a positive image to one’s intended audience. She explained how marketing is the art of connecting with customers without selling. This is now accomplished through various platforms including blogs, social media, video, and conferences where expertise can be shared and presented in person. The group was encouraged to interface with their own marketing team and gain a better understanding of the firm’s strategy and the various tasks that comprise the effort to publish firm information through formal and informal means. The second part of the presentation focused on personal branding, where Laura shared her experience and evolution of personal branding and the differing opinions in the industry. Branding in the age of the internet has allowed for greater exposure outside of traditional geographic and size constraints. A discussion continued to pursue this topic, followed by the scholars presenting their personal branding pitches. Feedback from Laura and the rest of the scholars helped inform a successful pitch.

01 Marketing 101

Presentation #2 – Proactive Pitching: Developing Project Leads and Pipeline

The next presentation focused on innovative approaches to business development from IA Collaborative’s Patrick Jones and Rebecca Gimenez. The presentation was organized around three steps of innovative business development: leading with user experience in order to identify the gap and learn the market, predicting the future by knowing clients and their needs, winning the work by illustrating a compelling solution and future. Expressing the value of design to the client is tantamount; synergies around what is viable, desirable and possible will yield potential design solutions. To create a successful outcome, the IA Collaborative strategy is to show the client the end-user. How will they experience the design solution and what can be learned from understanding their needs. The summary of the presentation was a call to expand the problem that is being solved for, design for value cycles and to test opportunities.

02 Proactive Pitching

Venue Tour

Laura Maples, one of the project leads for JLL’s new office space, gave a tour of the office space to the scholars. The tour reinforced how companies use their office space as a marketing and business development tool for current and potential clients as well as employees. The client area was developed to create a hospitality feel, while the employee and working areas were collaborative and provided a variety of meeting spaces.

03 Venue Tour

Presentation #3 – Business Development Roundtables

The third presentation was a series of roundtable discussions in small groups with business development experts that led scholars through interactive exercises focused on the inner workings and real-life examples of proposals, interviews and debriefs.
Jen McGovern, the regional marketing manager from VHB discussed how winning work is challenging and takes valuable time and money for a firm to execute. Proposals must be compliant, compelling, concise, client-centric. Jen discussed what is typically included in the content of a proposal and provided numerous resources for writing effective proposals for varying scales and types of work.
Stacey Sheperd, a federal client manager from Jacobs explained the importance and strategies for successful interviews when competing for work. Her presentation focused on the following: developing the value-add proposition; applying your expertise to the client’s needs; understanding the audience; being flexible and malleable in the moment to address the dynamic tendencies of the interview process.
Laura Roth, Business Development Director at Hickok Cole facilitated a discussion on the importance of a client debrief for both successful and unsuccessful pitches for new work. Conducting a debrief creates the perception that the company is serious about their work and is continually advancing. Understanding the results of the debrief should inform the next proposal and become an evolving metric for evaluating success.
The exercise shed light on how to engage a group of community members in order to solicit their ideas and input.

04 BD Roundtables

Presentation #4 – Business Development Mythbusters and Panel Discussion

The group rounded out the day with a brief presentation breaking down some common perceptions of marketing and business development by Laura Roth from Hickok Cole. She discussed how business development differs from marketing, the importance of formal and informal networking, and the idea that not everyone should be in business development. Personality, platform and positions help define the individuals in an organization that are primary actors in business development.
Laura then introduced members of the panel discussion. Previous presenters Patrick Jones and Stacey Sheperd joined Brian Miller (Edit Lab) and Greg Kearley (Inscape Studio/ Publico) to participate in an open discussion on their own experience in business development and marketing. The discussion was led by Siobhan Steen and produced a robust discussion on how each firm leader began getting work, unique lineages of client development, how to cultivate practice expertise while being open to new opportunities.

05 Panel

Session 3: The Art of Negotiation

Date: December 01, 2017
Location: City Market at O, Rooftop Lounge – 800 P St NW
Led by: David Kaplan and Adam Crain
Venue Sponsor: City Market at O

In this year’s third CKLDP session, David Kaplan and Adam Crain organized an event on The Art of Negotiation featuring three compelling presentations. Michael Hraber started the afternoon speaking from his experience working with architects from the perspective of an insurance broker. This presentation focused on managing risk and role of contracts in that process. Following that presentation, Meredith Moldenhauer spoke to the scholars about her experience leading architects and clients through various approval processes. She shared strategies for negotiating with neighbors, councilmembers, ANC’s, and various other stakeholders that may initially oppose a project. After a short break the scholars were led on a building tour of City Market at O by architects Joe Corridore and Andrew Taylor from Shalom Baranes. The final presentation was led by Tiana Russel, an attorney at the Department of Justice, which taught scholars negotiation tactics though a series of bargaining simulations. After each simulation, Tiana broke down the critical steps that lead to a persuasive argument and successful negotiation.

Presentation #1 – Risk Drivers & Contractual Pitfalls in the Practice of Architecture
Michael Hraber, an insurance broker at CBIZ, spoke to the scholars about lessons learned from his experience working directly with architects. He explained the concept of risk; strategies for avoiding, transferring, assuming or controlling that risk. These concepts were further developed by reviewing historical insurance claim data broken out by project type. Following this discussion, Michael went on to present various owner-architect contract types. While the AIA contracts are preferred, owners often strategically modify these contracts or provide contracts of their own that can leave the design team exposed if the risk is not properly managed.

Presentation #2 – Zone, Development & Community Engagement
Meredith Moldenhauer is a lawyer who utilizes strategic negotiations to lead architects and clients through various approval processes. She opened by debunking several common myths of negotiation which led into discussion on the importance of compromise. In DC there are a host of regulatory agencies, neighbors, and other critical stakeholders that often oppose your project and the architect should clearly demonstrate how successive designs compromise by responding to stakeholder feedback. Responding to these concerns can be done creatively by considering a wide range of negotiation issues; materials, height, use, or even construction timeline. Meredith went on to emphasize the role of overdesign in project development. Successful projects build in margin that allow room for negotiating down to the bottom line during public review processes.

Tour of City Market at O
The afternoon’s series of presentations was punctuated by a building tour of City Market at O by the design architects Joe Corridore and Andrew Taylor of Shalom Baranes. Scholars were taken though around the buildings, though the grocery store, and even into an apartment unit. The tour included fascinating stories about the design and construction process that led to the successful completion of the project.

Presentation #3 – Techniques and Process of Negotiation
The last presentation of the day was led by Tiana Russel, an attorney at the Department of Justice, which taught scholars strategies for negotiation through a series of bargaining simulations. Scholars were broken up into groups of two, each member was given a separate set of instructions which initiated a series of negotiations. After each simulation, Tiana spoke about the conversation mechanics that lead to a successful negotiation. Scholars went on to perform additional bargaining simulations, further refining their body language and ability to construct persuasive arguments.

2017 Call for Applications


In 2013 the AIA|DC Chapter established a program to help train and develop the next generation of architectural leaders.  Demonstrating sustained success since its inception, the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program looks to continue this trend by calling for applications to the 2017 class.

The year-long program consists of nine monthly half-day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of sixteen emerging professionals – defined as someone who has earned a degree in architecture and is within ten years of their first licensure.  Prospective participants will go through an application process for selection through which they must demonstrate proven career success, community involvement, and full support by their firm/agency.


The CKLDP focuses on core professional skills, such as: entrepreneurship and firm management; teamwork and collaboration; negotiation skills; client development; community leadership; understanding industry trends, and; developing your future within the practice.  The selected scholars to CKLDP will plan and participate in each of the sessions.  The program is kicked off with a “Boot Camp” session to introduce the participants and develop the curriculum for the year.


Applications for the Program are due by Monday June 26th 2017 at 11:59 pm. To apply, visit the following link: Application Link
Please have the agreement completed (Agreement Link) and ready for upload.

If you are applying for tuition assistance, please visit the following link and fill out the form along with your application: Tuition Assistance Link

Want to learn more before you submit your application?

CKLDP Applications 101 is on June 5th 2017 from 6:30pm-8:00pm @ HKS (1250 Eye St NW Suite 600).. The CKLDP 2017-2018 Selection Committee will discuss the benefits of participating in CKLDP and how to successfully apply. Register and find out more via the following link:


What is the difference between a Letter of Nomination and Letter of Recommendation?

Letter of Nomination – a letter of nomination should come from someone who is familiar with the program and Institute as a whole, as well as the applicant themselves. The letter should address specific leadership skills that the candidate will bring to the program, as well as what the candidate expects to gain from the program. The nomination letter should also explain why the author and/or author’s firm see the candidate as a current and/or future leader. A self-nomination letter from the applicant is also acceptable, but note that self-nominations are highly encouraged to provide additional letters of recommendations as support.

Letter of Recommendation
– a letter of recommendation speaks to the leadership character of the applicant. Individual and specific stories are shared, which reinforce both the personal qualities and professional traits of the applicant. Letters of recommendation are encouraged to be provided by others who have worked closely with the applicant, but do not have to be from within the industry (church, university, client, contractor, coach, etc.).


The Fifth Year sessions will be held monthly from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, September 2017 through May 2018. You can find more information here.  Please contact Kate Renner (Chair) & Ricardo J. Rodríguez (Past-Chair) if you have any questions.