Abigail Hammett AIA
Associate principal / managing director
principal / workplace strategist
C&J Katz Studio
Timothy Lock AIA
COTE co-chair, AIA Maine
assistant professor of interior design
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Awards incentivize behaviors. The jury attempted to focus on equity and sustainability as the main criteria, with big-idea thinking and emotional responsibility. There were a number of well-rounded projects that engaged each of the Design Excellence criteria (or at least attempted to). We encourage this typology to be more forthright with clients to participate in achieving goals, and, at minimum, report on the work.
It was a challenge to evaluate certain projects on interiors alone—any project that was part of an integrated architecture & interiors project seemed to have an advantage, and with interiors, certain types of projects have a clear advantage by virtue of factors that are outside of the design team’s purview. There should be a conversation to be had about how AIA awards can reinforce a problematic, closed-circle dynamic in our industry as a whole, but for public and institutional work especially.
There were notable projects of diverse sizes, scales, and budgets and the jury was especially excited to see projects that can achieve more for less. Successful projects reward integration and partnerships with design and architects.