The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles
Chapter Establishes The Robert Kennard, FAIA Award
To Recognize the Advancement of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity in the Architectural Field


For immediate release – Los Angeles, April 12, 2019: The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter (AIA|LA) announces the establishment of an annual award that recognizes the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. These democratic ideals are organizational core values advocated for at all institutional levels of the American Institute of Architects: nationally, in Washington, at state level, in Sacramento, and locally, here in Los Angeles.

Named for the Los Angeles-based architect who used architecture as a tool to improve the fabric of society, “The Robert Kennard, FAIA Award” honors an AIA|LA member architect or designer, or an architectural organization that embodies social responsibility and actively promotes ethnic and cultural diversity, gender equity, and the inclusion of marginalized groups of citizens through design and/or practice. This social engagement or initiative is not restricted to architecture—it can be expressed in any area of the nominee’s life or work.

“The Robert Kennard, FAIA Award for Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity” will be part of an existing suite of awards, known as the “Presidential Honorees,” bestowed by the AIA|LA’s Board of Directors during the organization’s design awards ceremony each fall. The board will select the inaugural recipient from nominations put forth by: members, self-nominating members that include a reference from a second member, AIA|LA board members and staff. Nominations for the 2019 award close on April 30, 2019.

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“The AIA|LA Presidential Honoree awards celebrate individuals and firms who significantly alter our profession and contribute to the region. The advancement of AIA core values—gender equity, diversity and inclusiveness—is as essential to the field as the work of an Emerging Practice or Gold Medal recipient,” noted 2019 AIA|LA President Barbara Bouza, FAIA.

The award’s instigation follows a number of AIA|LA-led initiatives that expand opportunities in architecture for all peoples. These include an annual conference, dialogue with public agencies regarding procurement policies, panel discussions that introduce minority architects to clients, and a set of guidelines that are a blueprint to greater diversity in firms.

“By becoming more inclusive and equitable, the field better serves clients and our region,” said AIA|LA Executive Director, Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA|LA. “This is one of the many benefits of fielding more diverse firms.”

The AIA|LA also conducts a plethora of programs to assist students at all levels, from university down to elementary school and even kindergarten aged. We follow the late Robert Kennard, FAIA, in this respect.

Recognized for his significant contributions to Los Angeles’ civic landscape, Robert Kennard, FAIA is remembered for his commitment to mentorship and encouragement to young people, especially underrepresented ethnicities and women, to pursue careers in architecture. As an active and engaged community member, Mr. Kennard founded the Minority Architecture and Planning organization, a precursor of the National Organization of Minority Architects. He was involved, from its inception, with the Inner City Cultural Center, a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural arts organization founded after the 1965 Watts rebellion, and numerous other civic organizations. He received the AIA’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Award in 1991 in recognition of his mentorship of young people. Mr. Kennard’s legacy lives on through the students and others who he touched from the time he established his firm in 1957 until his death in 1995.

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Tibby Rothman, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Marketing and Public Relations
t: 213.639.0763