The Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) Honors Academy invites future leaders from architecture firms, local communities, and the profession. It accelerates architects’ growth, provides insight into the practice of architecture, service to society, and community leadership. This year, there were seven intensive, day-long seminars focusing on essential skills such as financial management, presentation and communication skills, negotiation techniques, legal requirements, ethical issues, and community service. The program also included a year-long project with three, dedicated work sessions, all concentrating on a real-world project with a real client so that the participants learn to apply the knowledge and skills from the sessions.” The goal of the Emerging Leaders in Architecture program is to produce a well-rounded class of professionals, all who are at different stages of their new careers. The class was expected to attend all sessions, contribute to the discussion, and participate in the group project. The Class of 2020 experienced an exceptional year as part of the AIA Virginia ELA Honors Academy. Already anticipating challenges of working in a large group, the class became the first virtual class of the AIA Virginia’s thirteen-year-old program. The global pandemic prompted the class to adapt to new forms of communication, switching to video calls instead of in-person meetings. The team expected this format for a portion of the project, but little did they know that the first two sessions would be the last before moving to the virtual world. The contents of this document showcase not only the class project, but input from sixteen individuals who sought to help an existing city envision new opportunities for growth. Although there were a number of challenges along the way, the goal was to create a sense of connection between a historic port town and its waterfront. The diversity of backgrounds, ages, and professional experience allowed for a rich collaboration in designing for the community of Portsmouth.



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Projects by ELA 2020

United States
Nov 29, 2020 - 23:01 • 1870 Academic