By Connor Janzen, Associate AIA; RS&H

Connor JanzenAs designers begin their careers, it can be difficult to fully understand the breadth of knowledge required to work effectively and efficiently in the field. Doing anything challenging requires time, of course, but it also helps to have the resources and knowledge available to us as quickly as possible. Even in simple applications, architectural design differs greatly from the theoretical presentation of ideas that inform our profession. As a recent graduate myself, I was faced with challenges and opportunities that both surprised me and defined my goals as a designer.

I know that my own struggle in entering the “real world” of architecture was daunting, and I hear that from many of my colleagues. In our school and internship environments, we can typically only gain so much experience that actually informs us of the design interface throughout any project. In light of this, it feels increasingly necessary to provide individuals with more tools that drive their success. I joined the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Bootcamp Committee not only to bolster my knowledge, but to extend the same opportunity to others who are currently or will soon be faced with those initial stages of this career.

Our hope in establishing the Emerging Professionals Bootcamp was to begin fostering better relationships between experienced and resourced individuals and new designers looking for a foothold. Even with years of experience, we found that there are numerous people with a desire for better access to the kinds of resources that are pushing architecture into new territories.
We focused on developing crucial topics and speakers for the design submittal process, costing and AIA agreements, project management, life safety and code review, accessibility and the creative avenues of developing good graphics and using the most current technologies. We’re excited to see how people react as our pilot boot camp launches on September 28 in Colorado Springs. For me, simply working with the team members of this committee has helped develop my understanding of good design, and I’m excited to expand our ideas further.

Please consider joining us if you can, as we will look forward to developing this program further based on the needs of our attendees and their experiences in their careers. We’re excited about the potential of this program and cannot wait to see you there! And if you miss it, don’t worry! Our plan is to offer this program throughout the state in the coming years.