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Meet the 2024 Design Award Jury


The annual AIA Colorado Design + Honor Awards are upon us, and we’re pleased to introduce the 2024 jury below. Reminder, the deadline to submit is Friday, May 17th, at 5pm.

Design AwardsSubmission Instructions

Honor AwardsSubmission Instructions

Jury Chair

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, is the founding partner of Marlon Blackwell Architects (MBA) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, and the Spring 2024 John Portman Chair at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Blackwell is the recipient of the 2020 AIA Gold Medal, the Institute’s highest honor recognizing those whose work has had an enduring impact on the theory and practice of architecture. Blackwell is a lifetime member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2023 inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Science, a 2019 Resident Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a 2014 United States Artists Ford Fellow. Work produced in his professional office, MBA, has received recognition with significant publication and more than 180 design awards including the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. A monograph of Marlon’s early work, “An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell”, was published in 2005 and a new monograph titled “Radical Practice”, was published in 2022.

Nicole Hilton, AIA

Nicole is the founding principal and design architect at Cole Hil, an emerging full-service architectural design firm focused on education, community development, and commercial project types. She has been honored for a multitude of professional awards including being recognized as the Louisiana State University’s first licensed African American female Architect. Nicole has found her passion in continuing the competitive evolution of the architectural profession in relevance, creativity and financial wellness. She demonstrates Equity, and looks forward to evolving her architectural practices and leadership.

Chad Oppenheim, FAIA

Chad Oppenheim founded Oppenheim Architecture in 1999 to design a new kind of sensory, site-specific architecture. Working across scale, typology, and geography, every Oppenheim project is a sensitive contextual response guided by the philosophy that design follows life and form follows feeling.

A graduate of Cornell University and a Fellow of the AIA, Oppenheim has served as lead designer for countless place-making assignments around the world. Working closely with clients to realize and amplify their vision, he is backed by strong technical and project teams in Miami and Basel who execute large and complex projects on any continent.

A traveler and cultural nomad from a young age, Oppenheim uncovers the power of a place to optimize how people live, play, or work in that particular environment. His monumental, timeless architecture enhances lives, realizes a site’s full potential, and protects and celebrates the natural environment. He shapes buildings and places to achieve the optimal balance between creativity and pragmatism, function and experience, construction and aesthetics.

Oppenheim has lectured widely and taught at various architecture schools, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and, most recently, Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. He has published two books – Spirit of Place (2018), a monograph about the practice featuring seven award-winning projects, and Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains (2019), an academic investigation into the cultural associations of modernist design with villainy in cinema.
Oppenheim’s international design practice has received over 90 industry awards, with more than 60 from the AIA, including the AIA’s highest distinction, the Silver Medal, as well as a 2018 National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the 2023 American Prize for Architecture from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

Amber Wirth, AIA

Amber Wirth is the Director of Sustainability at HKS with 20 years of industry experience. She leads the HKS Design Green team of sustainable design leaders working to improve the firm’s environmental impact through design excellence and performance on projects. She believes it is our fundamental responsibility to care for our common home, and the ripple effects of individual acts of service, sustainability, and stewardship. Amber is the founder of HKS’ global Month of Service initiative that encourages employees in every office to connect with their local communities, through which employees have volunteered more than 32,700 hours of service in the past 9 years. Amber is also the chair of the AIA AAH Sustainability Committee working to elevate social and environmental impacts industry wide.

Anosha Zanjani, Assoc. AIA

Anosha Zanjani is the Principal Behavioral Health Consultant and the heart and mind behind Mindful Insights Consulting, a vanguard enterprise dedicated to revolutionizing mental health environments through architectural ingenuity. Her role encompasses design, planning, research, strategy, and assisting clients in developing an overarching vision for creating impactful mental health facilities and healing spaces. She also specializes in integrating mental health and regenerative design principles across a wide array of architectural projects beyond the traditional mental health continuum of care. Her journey into this specialized field is underpinned by extensive experience in psychiatric facilities, academic environments, and private practice. Engaging in clinical research and offering direct support to individuals dealing with severe mental health disorders and neurocognitive conditions has deepened her understanding of the vital role physical spaces play in both recovery and workplace well-being. This realization prompted a career shift toward architecture, fueled by a mission to improve these environments. Her time at HDR’s renowned Healthcare Studio was pivotal, allowing her to contribute to behavioral health projects along the continuum of care and grow her thought leadership in mental health design, workplace well-being and environmental psychology. Her dedication to redefining mental health spaces stems from a firm belief that thoughtfully designed environments can significantly affect the lives of those facing mental health challenges. This belief forms the foundation of Mindful Insights Consulting, reflecting a commitment to promoting healing, supporting recovery, and enhancing well-being through the built environment.


AWARDS COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

Renée del Gaudio, AIA

Renée del Gaudio is a nationally-recognized architect for her buildings that convey a strong connection to place. Her work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Dwell, and the Thames & Hudson book Off the Grid: Houses for Escape. She is the recipient of fourteen prestigious American Institute of Architecture Awards, including 2022 AIA National Housing and Small Project Awards.

Renée received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in Architecture from the University of Washington. In the San Francisco Bay area, she worked with the ecological design firm of Leger Wanaselja Architecture, and the residential and winery design firm of Backen Gillam Architects. Before opening her own practice in 2011, she worked with Semple Brown Design in Denver, Colorado. Renee’s work is also influenced by her design-build work in Cuba, Mexico, and Kenya.

Renée is an active member of the American Institute of Architects, NCARB Certified, and a Registered Architect in Colorado. She has been a juror on numerous architecture and design awards programs, as well as a studio critic at the University of Colorado Department of Environmental Design. She has recently been a lecturer for Colorado Month of Modern, Boulder Women In Design, and the University of Colorado.

AWARDS COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

Brad Tomecek, FAIA

The founder of Tomecek Studio Architecture, Brad graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design and Masters of Architecture. He worked in smaller award winning firms in Colorado and Florida before launching the studio in 2003. His work has been featured in Architectural Record, Architect, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, international books and local magazines.

Brad is actively involved with the local AIA and has served on the AIA Denver Board of Directors. His outreach takes the form of speaking nationally on methods and manifestation of meaningful projects. Currently Brad combines full-time practice with intermittent teaching at the University of Colorado College of Architecture and Planning. His explorations blur the boundaries between poetic solutions and innovative building systems. Tomecek Studio is an Architectural Record Next Progressive and has been presented with over 70 design awards including the AIA National Young Architect Award, AIA Colorado Innovative Practice Award & AIA Colorado Young Firm Award. Brad was recently named the 2022 AIA Colorado Architect of the Year and elevated to Fellowship in 2023.

© AIA Colorado 2024
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