Christy DiBartolo, AIA, Emphasizes Mindfulness In The AIA New Jersey Women In Architecture Showcase

March 16, 2022

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Christy DiBartolo, AIA, Emphasizes Mindfulness In The AIA New Jersey Women In Architecture Showcase

Christy DiBartolo juggles a lot. Most days she manages well, as the busiest person usually is the one who gets it all done. Other days she is not so lucky; she acknowledges that life is a series of ups and downs. Nevertheless, she strives to maintain a good spirit.

She attended the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and has had a wide variety of project roles and types under her belt. She was a Facilities Manager for a major hospital. She was one of the Project Architects on large-scale projects such as Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA. While at larger firms, she was part of the QA/QC Committee, the Project Management Committee, and a member of the Future
Leaders program. She is highly technical, loves being a part of the Construction Administration, but also enjoys managing budgets, staffing, and scheduling.

In recent years, her volunteer roles have included her local Junior Women’s Club, the elementary school School-Community Association, her Town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, building up to her current presidency of AIA Newark & Suburban.

Her husband, Sean, has had a huge impact on her life as they have learned valuable lessons in their 20 years together. He is a geotechnical engineer, an Eagle Scout, also a volunteer, a great dad, and her “puzzle piece.” As a family, they enjoy the great outdoors, RVing, hiking, baseball, and spending time with extended family.

After having children, Christy wanted to take a hiatus from large-scale work. She wanted to focus on family and spend time with them. Children are a reminder of the inherent joys and challenges that life has to offer. They see the world with pure, unbiased eyes and they can teach us, adults, a lot if we are open to those lessons. Several years back, she became a sole practitioner of Mindful Architecture; allowing her to see the kids at pick-up, watch their progress on the soccer field, and mingle with the other parents, which enhances their community.

She formed Mindful Architecture in 2017. Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, to what is going on in the world around us, without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can decrease stress, increase focus, self-awareness and self-control, improve health and overall well-being. The spaces in which we live shape our lives. They should be well thought out.

What is Mindful Architecture? It’s Christy’s solution to marrying mindfulness with the built world:

1) Incorporating design decisions and elements that make sense. Sometimes this is programmatically driven or budget-driven. Sometimes it has to do with views & site, alignment, or style. There is a lot of architecture out there that is simply mindless.
2) Her approach also has the foresight during construction to minimize complications, which end up costing the client more money. Christy builds with her mind before a design is constructed.
3) A way of life. Mindfulness has changed her life and her approach to her career. It involves patience, understanding, and compassion towards clients and the environment. It involves open communication, responsiveness, a willingness to learn, follow-through, and taking responsibility.

Ultimately she would love to work on projects in which money is not the driving force. She has experienced financially focused projects where good judgment and priorities become clouded, pressure is applied, and few parties seem to be satisfied. Working on projects like homes, schools, or religious centers often yields a very different experience for the architect.

She is always willing to sit and chat openly, willing to listen, open to new experiences and has a great passion for what life has to offer.

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Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has over 2,000 members across six sections. For more information, please visit


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