AIA Cites Loudoun Design Cabinet as Model for Virginia

The American Institute of Architect presented its Virginia Honors award to the Loudoun County Design Cabinet during its Nov. 8 Visions for Architecture gala.

         The award recognizes organizations that have inspired, influenced, or complemented the architecture profession in Virginia through research, education, planning, legislation, architectural writing and more.

         “We’re thrilled to receive this honor, in recognition of Loudoun’s placemaking efforts through intentional design and architecture,” stated Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “Creative design is about more than just aesthetics—studies have linked it to an enhanced sense of community. Every new construction project creates opportunities to build Loudoun’s identity.”

         Loudoun Economic Development spearheaded the creation of the Design Cabinet in 2003 with the goal of promoting high-quality, environmentally sustainable, and culturally respectful architectural and landscape design in the county.

         The cabinet, comprised of private sector design professionals, holds charrettes to collaborate with business leaders on design standards and organizes the annual Signatures of Loudoun Design Awards that help incentivize and reward creative architecture and design in Loudoun. The Design Cabinet is also asked to collaborate on a variety of community design-related projects, such as streetscape improvement, campus planning, sustainable design, and modifications to the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance.

         “This started as a unique experiment nearly 20 years ago to determine whether design professionals could effectively work with their communities rather than for their communities,” AIA Virginia’s Managing Director Rhea George said. “The collaborative approach taken by the Design Cabinet is a wonderful model for communities across the Commonwealth.”

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