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FIU Architecture faculty and students honored at 2020 AIA Miami Design Awards

Students and faculty from FIU’s Department of Architecture shined bright at the annual American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter (AIA Miami) Design Awards Gala on Oct. 3, 2020.  

This year, AIA Miami held its annual design awards ceremony for outstanding design projects to architects and architecture students via Zoom. Like many organizations and institutions, AIA Miami found a way to adapt its annual gala and host it virtually to adhere to social distancing and safety precautions.  

The Design Awards virtual gala, Sequins & Sweats honored members of the architecture community across South Florida in an unconventional way and among the honorees were four FIU Architecture students.  

Recent alumnus Timothy Cobo, ‘20 was honored with the Student Design / Merit Award for his master’s thesis studio project, Interscape.”  The project was supervised by Nick Gelpi, associate professor from the Department of ArchitectureInterscape” is a campus of three pavilion structures, each consisting of intersecting hyperbolic surfaces and hybrid conditions. The intersecting hypars create four interstitial spaces. All exterior and interior spaces were grouped together through multiple programs such as, skateable surfaces, roof gardens, amphitheaters and bridges.  

Alumna, Amalia Tomey ‘20 also received a winning award in the student design category for her project, Miami CRUNCHsupervised by Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter. Her project consisted of a case study area for a high-rise building that addressed dynamic changes for renewable energy, water and food using the Urban Living Lab (ULL) approach – identifying data and mapping baseline for the city’s needs, developing tools and framework and testing and analyzing data-driven models using different carbon-neutral and resilient scenarios from now until 2100.  

Both student design awards, were selected from a pool of students throughout the Miami-Dade area by a jury from the AIA New Orleans chapter. 

Two FIU Architecture students were honored with achievement awards at the AIA Miami Design Gala. Matheus Stancati was awarded the Student of the Year Award for FIU. Stancati was nominated by the Department of Architecture for his exemplary academic standing and his extracurricular activities which benefitted the department. Stanley Evans received the AIA Diversity Honor Award. For this award, the AIA Miami board gathered submissions from African American applicants from all schools in the area and picked a student from each institution. 

In addition to our four architecture students who were honored at the gala, FIU courtesy instructor in practice, Daphne I. Gurri won the Architect of the Year Award. Gurri and her firm, Gurri Matute PA, is one of the participating FIU Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) firmsproviding architecture students with the opportunity to receive their licenses while also earning their degrees.  

For a complete list see of award winners visit, AIA Miami.

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