Saturday, February 27, 2010

Poticha, Robertson elevated to AIA Fellowship

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that two AIA-SWO members, Otto P. Poticha and James M. Robertson, have been elevated by the American Institute of Architects to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to individuals who have made contributions of national significance to the profession. I’m especially thrilled by the news because I’ve known both of these deserving architects for many years, as each has served the roles of my teacher, mentor, professional colleague, and friend.

The Institute elevated a total of 134 architects to fellowship status. Of this number, only seven hail from the Northwest & Pacific Region, and Otto and Jim were the only Oregon recipients. Overall, there are fewer than 2,600 AIA members distinguished with the honor of fellowship out of a total membership of over 84,000. It is conferred on architects with at least 10 years of membership in the AIA who have made significant contributions in the following areas: the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession; the standards of architectural education, training, and practice; the building industry through leadership in the AIA and other related professional organizations; advancement of living standards of people through an improved environment; and to society through significant public service.

Otto P. Poticha, FAIA

Otto was elected to receive this honor because of his contributions to education in architecture. He taught, shared his wisdom with, and demanded excellence from literally thousands of students of architecture at the University of Oregon. He continues to challenge young minds to think broadly and independently, to take risks, and to learn by taking those risks. Otto is also notorious for simply being Otto: he has made an indelible mark here in Eugene by being our own architectural conscience. His teaching has long extended beyond the bounds of academia to inform and educate the public. He has never been reluctant to speak honestly and directly (some say bluntly) about the state of architecture and urban design in our community, often taking local architects to task if they produce particularly egregious or banal work.

James M. Robertson, FAIA, FCSI

Jim was elected to FAIA status primarily because of his leadership of a related organization, the Construction Specifications Institute. Through his exemplary leadership in CSI, Jim has helped to develop and promote international standards for design documentation and construction contract administration. These include CSI MasterFormat and contributions to CSI’s Manual of Practice, which is recognized as a leading resource for architects on the proper principles, techniques, and formats for writing and organizing specifications. In addition, Jim was appointed by the Governor to the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners, where he serves as its Chair. He also is a member of NCARB’s ARE Site Planning and Design subcommittee.

Otto and Jim, who are now entitled to use the designation "FAIA" following their names, will be invested in the College of Fellows at the 2010 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami on June 11.

Congratulations Otto and Jim on being elevated to fellowship! Let’s celebrate!

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