Glenn Carels’ FAIA Induction Focuses on Fellowship

AIA College of Fellows elevates Glenn Carels of sustainable design firm, LPA Inc.LPA Design Principal Glenn Carels was inducted into AIA’s College of Fellows, one of the greatest individual honors from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Carels has received more than 50 national, regional, state and component AIA awards for his design work, in addition to serving the AIA in various leadership roles.

Held June 27-29, more than 16,000 AIA members, architects and designers gathered in Denver for the 2013 AIA national convention, a celebration of outstanding architects and their work. LPA’s Dan Heinfeld, Steve Flanagan and Glenn Carels were in attendance, receiving a national design award honor for Cal State Northridge’s Student Recreation Center and for Carels’ FAIA invocation.

We sat down with Glenn after his return from Colorado to learn about his experience at the ceremony and what this means for his future. In his response, Carels focuses on the concept of fellowship and its strong significance in the world of design today. We hope you enjoy his exclusive Q&A, below.

Glenn Carels, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Q. Congratulations, Glenn. How does it feel to receive this honorable recognition?

A. It feels great to share this fellowship honor with my clients and colleagues that I have been privileged to work with throughout my career. Becoming a Fellow is more than recognition for a single person. It is a wonderful reminder that I am part of something that's much bigger than me as a single practitioner or me as a part of an architectural firm.

AIA College of Fellows elevates Glenn Carels of sustainable design firm, LPA Inc.Q. What aspects of the ceremony stood out to you?

A. The entire conference provided opportunities to experience the strong sense of fellowship that exists within the AIA membership, and the camaraderie of the new Fellows made the ceremony so special. I love that I found myself mingling with architects that practice so differently than I do. We all have architecture in common and share the same passion for positive change through design. And what stood out to me is the celebration of what’s possible in a collaboration-based profession that incorporates diversity, creativity and community.

Q. How did you celebrate this tremendous occasion?

A. I celebrated with my wife, family and friends. I was honored that my family and work colleagues flew from different parts of the country to attend the invocation. And because my family and I have such a strong connection to Denver, it made the entire experience that much more special. It was wonderful to share the greatest moment of my professional career with everybody that attended the event on my behalf.

Q. What does being a Fellow mean for the future?

A. I've realized how I can do more—and not just as an individual practicing architecture—but more for the profession, more for others. At the conference, we discussed the concept of an “Architect Citizen,” and how we can expand to become more involved as a citizen in our communities. The ways in which we, as architects, identify social opportunities as we design spaces and places is powerful, and it pushes you to consider the ways your entire community interacts.

Becoming a Fellow of Architecture creates collaborative opportunities with people who think and design differently than you. Together, we can collaborate to make an even bigger impact within the profession and within our communities.  The College of Fellows members represent the great diversity of our architectural profession.  It makes me feel very proud to be part of this profession and how diverse it really can be. The result of that diversity is ultimately how we as a profession can serve society to make it better.

Glenn Carels, FAIA, is a Design Principal at California-based LPA Inc. He has devoted his career to making higher education more effective through good design, by introducing better ways of nurturing student life and achievement within an environmentally conscious setting. During his 29-year career, he’s garnered 56 American Institute of Architects awards for his design work in Higher Education facilities.


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