Introducing EPN’s 4th Annual Design Charrette

by TruexCullins, October 24, 2019

AIAVT is a professional organization that advocates for the value of architecture and supports its members with the resources required to produce high-quality work. As part of the larger AIA organization, AIAVT works to create positive change through the power of design and serves many purposes via numerous committees. Through AIAVT, the Emerging Professionals Network (EPN) was established to serve the young professionals in the architecture industry as they develop their careers in the architecture community. The EPN supports this diverse group of professionals with many resources and events (see below).

The largest EPN event of the year is the annual design competition, which challenges professionals to utilize their design and presentation skills in a fast-paced, charrette-style competition. Competitors bring their tools and are given the design prompt at the outset of the event. They then have only 4 hours to design a beautiful and functional solution to the prompt before presenting their ideas and design to a jury of local architects. Past prompts have included artistic installations that encourage the connection between two cultural locations, a new light rail station that promotes alternative transportation options, and a mixed-use, seasonally adaptive outdoor event venue.

This year the EPN is excited to expand their annual Design Competition in a couple ways: First, they are hosting the event at three locations instead of one with the intention to make the event more accessible for professionals in other areas of the state. The event will be held at Middlebury College, Norwich University, and Vermont Technical College.

Second, the event is now open to all professionals, emerging professionals, and college-level students. Since the EPN helps professionals transition through each stage of their career, the group felt by opening the event to all-phase professionals, it would allow a broader opportunity for networking, education, and comradery. Competitors will compete in their respective category: Professional, Emerging Professional, or Student. Second and First place winners in each category are determined by the jury and winners are awarded tickets to AIA-VT’s annual awards dinner where they will be presented with their winnings: $750 first-place awards to each category (3 total) and $250 second-place awards to each category (3 total).

Additional Event Details:

  • November 2, 2019
  • No Entry Fee
  • Reception with refreshments at each location:
  • Middlebury College – Intro & design prompt at 8:30am, Design time from 9:00am – 1:00pm, Judging at 1:00pm, Reception to follow judging
  • Norwich University – Intro & design prompt at 11:30am, Design time from 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Judging at 4:00pm, Reception to follow judging
  • Vermont Technical College – Intro & design prompt at 1:30p, Design time from 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Judging at 6:00pm, Reception to follow judging.
  • Teams of one or two professionals can register in their respective category.
    • Professional
    • Emerging Professional
    • Student

Professionals (architects, engineers, interior designers, construction managers, etc.) interesting in competing should reach out to Lealoni Coathup, Director of the EPN at


Meetups & Discussions

2012-Present: An ongoing series of social meetings happen throughout the state.  Professionals meet at a local brewery, bowling alley, or park to discuss topics such as the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), the Architectural Registration Exams (ARE’s), experiences within and outside of their workspace, and catch up with and meet new peers and colleagues.

Architecture & Design Film Series:

2013-Present: Monthly Film Screenings and discussions in both Burlington, VT and Brattleboro, VT.  The film series engages, provokes and inspires the Vermont community by exploring the impact and importance of design and beauty in our lives. AIAVT and its EPN co-sponsor these events.

Educational Lectures & Presentations

Hosts several lectures and educational presentations. In 2018 the EPN organized a 2-Part Rendering & Technology Series – Revit, Rendering, and Emerging Technologies in Architecture and featured local architects and designers Lincoln Brown and Jess Gardner who introduced several techniques for modeling and rendering.

ARE Resources

The EPN purchases provides up-to-date study guides and materials to AIA members at no cost. The committee also often hosts and organizes prep classes and study sessions co-hosted by experts on ARE topics.

Special thanks to our Charrette Sponsor:

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