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AIA Minnesota Announces 2003 Young Architect Award Recipient

The American Institute of Architects Minnesota Awards Committee selected Janis LaDouceur, AIA, Barbour/LaDouceur Architects, P.A., Minneapolis, as the recipient of the Young Architect Award for 2003. The award is given to architects who are members of AIA Minnesota, have been licensed for less than 10 years, and have shown exceptional leadership in service to the profession, the community, design, planning and/or education.

The submissions included letters of recommendation from AIA Minnesota member architects and their clients; project summaries highlighting the architects' particular contributions; photos and drawings; and documentation of other achievements. The jury consisted of Awards Committee Members Tim Carl, AIA; Paul Neuhaus, AIA; and David Dimond, AIA, who is also AIA Minnesota's 2003 president.

The jurors commended LaDouceur for the consistent thoughtfulness and storytelling reflected in her submission, especially with regard to how her architectural work reveals her passion for serving small and underserved clients in an intense, artful and meaningful way. The jurors were impressed with the social activism reflected in LaDouceur's work, as she has built a small architectural practice around intimate projects-such as cultural centers, museums, memorials and transit stations-that are community-based. Clearly, the jurors said, she possesses a value system and sense of duty that resides at the core of her practice.

A spirited commitment pervades each project as LaDouceur uses her skills as an architect to manifest her client's vision. LaDouceur's greatest strength, they added, is how she transforms her clients needs and visions into architecture, using drawings that engage the client in the process of design and which later have a life of their own as artifacts of the design process. In this way, the jurors concluded, her work combines design, community activism and education in remarkable ways.

AIA Minnesota Young Architect Award winners are encouraged to submit their work for the national award, as well. Since the AIA Young Architect Award's inception in 1993, AIA Minnesota architects have dominated the winners at a national level. The seven AIA Minnesota architects who have received an AIA National Young Architect Awards include: Joan M. Soranno, AIA, 1993; Vicki L. Hooper, AIA, 1993; William A. Blanski, AIA, 1995; Michael Fischer, AIA, 1996; Robert Rothman, AIA, 1996; Jeffry Kagermeier, AIA, 2001; Mohammed Lawal, AIA, 2002; and Paul Neuhaus, 2003.

Staff Liaison: SallyJane Mathias
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