Brewster Thornton Group Architects, LLP, recently promoted Christen Robbins, AIA, to Associate level in the firm. Robbins has been with the company for two years and is an invaluable member of the practice, participating in the design of and leading the construction management of the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, RI. The Home consists of six neighborhoods, each with 32 resident rooms creating a non-institutional feel for the veterans. These small-scale communities are arranged around a communal space that offers the conveniences and services of a town core. Robbins’ background in the hospitality industry gives her a strong perspective on how the buildings’ design affects the level of comfort of and convenience for its occupants.
Lerner Ladds Bartels, is pleased to announce that Neal H. Bijlani, Director of Design Technology, and Jonathan M. Taylor, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP have been named Associates in recognition of their significant value to the continued growth of the firm.
Neal Bijlani graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Since joining LLB Architects in 2005, he has been instrumental in strengthening the firm’s architectural digital practice. He has also served as the primary engineer for the development of the technological infrastructure needed to support the firm’s Facilities Assessment Solution, a space inventory and building assessment service. Neal resides in Providence. “For a long time, Neal in his role of Director of Design Technology has been a leader, teacher, and mentor in the area of our architectural digital practice,” said Principal Kathleen Bartels. “He has been instrumental in ensuring that our firm explores and adopts the many technological developments our industry has seen in recent years. Our success in introducing new technological infrastructure and software is directly due to Neal’s ability to evaluate their fit with LLB’s goals as well as manage the implementation of these initiatives within the firm.”
February 2 – March 10, 2017
Closing Reception on Friday, March 10, 5-7pm with a speaking program featuring Shawn Hesse (emersion DESIGN, Boston) on the role architects play in upholding human rights through their design work and C. Morgan Grefe (Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society) on the stories that prison museums tell about incarceration and race.
Shawn Hesse leads the Boston office of emersion DESIGN. He is a member of the board of directors for Architects/Designers/Plannersfor Social Responsibility, a national group that works to end the design of solitary confinement and spaces for execution. He has taught courses and guest lectured on the topic of social justice and the built environment at Harvard, Northeastern, Brown, and the Boston Architectural College. C. Morgan Grefe is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society. She holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown; her recent publications include “‘Jews, Turks, and Infidels:’ How Rhode Island’s Lively Experiment Helped Chart the American Way” and “Sourcing a Rhode Island Legend: The Story of Kady Brownell.”
Solitary Confinement is a multi-media exhibition that examines the widespread use of solitary confinement in America’s prisons. Curated by three students at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage – Matthew Branch, Thaddeus Gibson and Cherise Morris – working with Marisa Angell Brown, the Center’s Assistant Director of Programs, the exhibit focuses on the experience of what Departments of Correction often refer to euphemistically as “segregation,” the disciplinary practice of isolating prisoners in solitary cells for 22-24 hours a day for periods ranging from a few days up to entire decades. The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School estimates that 80,000 to 100,000 of the 1.6 million incarcerated Americans were held in solitary confinement in 2014.
The three-gallery exhibition begins with a Virtual Reality experience of solitary confinement produced by The Guardian newspaper. Google cardboard VR viewers and headsets are available for use by the public with instructions on how to download 6x9 from the iTunes store. The curators chose to open the exhibition with this experience to pull people out of their quotidian mindset so that they are better able to absorb the information and the experiences that are shared in the next two galleries.
The second gallery, titled Solitary Confinement: Inhumanity in Rhode Island, includes a full-scale mock-up of a 6’ 9’ solitary confinement cell lent by Black and Pink, a national organization that works to support LGBQT prisoners, as well as audio and written testimony of solitary “survivors” in Rhode Island and information about RI State Representative Aaron Regunberg’s current campaign to limit the use of solitary in the state.
The final gallery, Sentenced: Architecture and Human Rights, includes nearly forty drawings of solitary confinement cells made by prisoners in the San Francisco area that were first exhibited at the University of California Berkeley in 2014. The collection, lent by Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility -- a national organization that is pushing the American Institute of Architects to adopt language in their Code of Ethics barring architects from designing spaces of torture and execution – includes haunting visual and poetic testimony about the state of mind in solitary. All of them are profoundly affecting, expressing hopelessness, anger, and despair. One wall includes architectural plans for an execution chamber at Ely State Prison in Nevada with “before” and “after” photographs of the project during and after construction. Chilling.
On the way out, exhibit attendees can read and respond to letters written by prisoners in the Rhode Island state prisons who were in solitary when the letters were written. The curators also offer information on how Rhode Island residents can contact their State Senators, State Representatives and the Governor’s office to make their opposition to the use of solitary confinement heard.
Derek Bradford died on January 23, 2017, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. Born in London, England, Derek earned a Diploma in Architecture from the University of North London. He received a Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Derek taught for 40 years at the Rhode Island School of Design and held the faculty position of Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Landscape. While at RISD, he was the first recipient of the Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. After retiring from RISD in 2004, he joined the faculty at Roger Williams University.
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is now accepting applications for the Kate Goldstein Scholarship for Emerging Professionals spring 2017 cycle.
Recipients of the scholarship will each receive
a pass to BuildingEnergy Boston Conference + Trade Show, Boston's premier event for professionals and practitioners working on energy efficiency initiatives, high performance buildings, and renewables.
recognition at the Opening Plenary and on nesea.org
a one-year NESEA Membership
You can access the scholarship application here - you must be logged in to view the form.
We are encouraging all eligible candidates to apply and asking the extended NESEA community to help spread the word to qualified emerging professionals.
These scholarships will be underwritten by the Kate Goldstein Fund for Emerging Professionals, which supports individuals who have been working in the industry for less than 5 years.
If you have any questions about the process, please email
The 2017 ACX Conference and Expo, brought to you by the Vermont Chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) and the Constructions Specifications Institute (CSIVT), is scheduled for May 11. This year, the 2017 ACX Conference and Expo will be a full day event to highlight and focus on Leading By Example: how today’s design professionals are setting the course for the future built environment.
Submittal Themes: Presentations appropriate to the conference focus, audience members, and targeted areas listed below are invited for submittal.