Thursday, June 14, 2012

AIA Michigan Gold Medal: June 8, 2012

AIA Michigan Gold Medal Honor - Acceptance Speech - June 8, 2012

I grew up believing that the A in Architect was always capitalized – which continues to amuse my husband, my frequent editor. I want to thank all of you, those of you whom I dragged  and will continue to drag into AIA committee meetings, insisted that you come with me to help with a charrette, conned you into being on a jury for just one more student project and gave to me your generous gifts of time to work for this profession and allowed me to use your projects as case studies in my ever growing career as an architectural writer.  

I want to thank my sponsors, Gene Hopkins AIA and Tamara Burns FAIA to whom I told they were crazy when they asked to nominate me for this award.  My husband Jim and my two sons for their support and faith that whatever it was that I was doing it meant something.  My son Adam is here tonight and he continues to work for AIA in political advocacy – he may ask you for donations to help the PAC. To my mother whose example as both a mother and a leader in the American Association of University Women AAUW showed me that women can succeed in many ways even while raising a large family.

To my father, an architect, who brought us wood blocks from many jobsites to play with as a child and who would have been so proud to know that all of those hours at council meetings, and leader in the Farmington community as well as those AIA steak parties and love of his work sent me on my way to receiving this honor.

Within 100 years, climate scientists believe that this planet will be too hot for human comfort. Within 300 years 75 percent of all species are slated for extinction. My new granddaughter and her granddaughters will live with the impact of our decisions today as architects. I am driven to be able to tell her that I worked to change these projected timelines.  I found this quote from Ghandi in a brochure by one of my clients Voices for Earth’s Justice, that seemed appropriate as I struggled with acceptance of this honor.  “Everything you do may seem insignificant.  But it is very important that you do it.”  I continue to work on making no “little plans” and developing a nontraditional practice as an architect , passionate about design, communities and sustainability.

thank you – my colleagues, my clients and my family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Occupy Beaubien House - women as leaders

In a conversation yesterday with a few principles of  major architectural firms in Detroit, the conversation of women as leaders in AIA and architecture came up for discussion.   I returned home to find this great article in my email box.

In my mind, the next task is to find a way to mentor women as leaders in our professional society as well as in architectural firms.   It is time to break a few barriers and as one of the former AIA president's said: Occupy Beaubien House.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Barbie and Architects week

For Architect's week 2011 a group of Ann Arbor women met to celebrate being architects.  We represented a wide variety of career choices, from those who were principals of firms to young interns looking for IDP experiences.  Our collective work included historic preservation, sustainability, residential practices, architectural writing, hospital facilities management and healthcare consulting. We toasted Barbie who is well on her path to a career as an architect.  We wish her luck knowing that we have been lucky to be part of this great profession.

Barbie is an Architect

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Michigan Audubon

Three dimensional modeling helps the committee
understand the design opportunities for
this project.
The Michigan Audubon is developing their new headquarters building on Delta River Road.  The first phase of this design is focused on making this an example of their continued stewardship of the environment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Photos of completed Name Brand Tattoo.

Connie Rizzolo Brown designed the new interior for  Name Brand Tattoo on State Street in Ann Arbor.   She made the expected, into the unexpected,  with color, light and careful detailing.


Water experts like Gunnar Baldwin make writing about sustianable design products fun.  As a member of the USGBC Technical Advisory Group, he has made many contributions toward sustainable water conservation planning.  This Webinar will provide architects with  HSW Continuing Education credits. (Click on the Title to go to the Webinar)  SUSTAINABLE PLUMBING: Valuing Design, Innovation, Quality.  I wrote this script working with the enthusiastic Gunnar Baldwin and the creative marketing staff at TOTO USA.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wall Street Parking

Contacted by the Wall Street Neighborhood Association regarding plans by the University of Michigan to build two large parking decks on Wall Street, Celeste Allen Novak of rizzolobrown + novak participated in a series of meetings and discussion groups to come up with alternatives and successfully mediate greater communications. With the help of Lawrence Tech students who visualize the potential for alternative sites, such as the Fuller Road future transit center, the Wall Street neighborhood association was able to discuss their visions for this area. City council members, the mayor and University staff all listened as members of this vibrant neighborhood expressed their concerns. Neighbors are planning a celebration and plan to continue to push for more transparent development processes in the future through communications with the University and the City.