Breaking Ground! Meet the Keynotes

August 21, 2019

Breaking Ground!

The 2019 AIA Tri-State Conference


The American Institute of Architects has been the leading professional membership organization for licensed architects, associate members, and allied partners since 1857.

This exciting multi-state event is the second collaboration of AIA New Jersey, AIA New York State,  and AIA Pennsylvania that collectively have a membership of more than 13,000 members.

Continuing Education Seminars, Expo, Tours, Design Awards, Networking, and more…


Keynote Speakers:


Principal and Editor at Large, Designintelligence

Foresight and Vision for a Future Ready Practice

Bob Fisher occupies professional roles that provide him both a macro and micro view of the architecture, engineering, construction and design industry. He is a principal at DesignIntelligence, where he serves as an editor-at-large of DI Media. In that role, Bob looks industry wide, overseeing the editorial and creative direction of DI Media and published research on the business and leadership of A/E/C and design businesses and educational institutions. As the managing principal of the Strategic Identity practice of DI Strategic Advisors, he works one-on-one with A/E/C and design firms on developing vision, translating it into firmwide strategy, and leveraging it for greater market influence.


Partner, Johnston Markleey & Associates Los Angeles, CA

Sharon Johnston, F.A.I.A., is a partner of Johnston Marklee & Associates, based in Los Angeles. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 30 major awards.

Sharon is Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; has taught at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles; and has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.

Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, which opened in November 2018; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, completed in September 2017; the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California; and the design of the new Dropbox global headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Together with partner Mark Lee, Sharon was the Artistic Director of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Author, The Underground

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet

Will Hunt is an urban adventurer who has explored caves and catacombs, subway systems, ghostly mines, and all varieties of holes in the ground. He’s tracked down people who, for one reason or another, have shared his underground fixation, each an incarnation of Hermes, who could see and touch the underworld in ways others could not. Underground is a place of overlapping, often contradictory associations: We excavate in search of scientific truth even as we recognize it as the ultimate wellspring of mythology, magic, and spirits. His writing, photography and audio storytelling have appeared in The Economist, The Paris Review Daily, Discover, and Outside, among other places.

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