The Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) and two of the WAAC’s adjunct and affiliated faculty members received awards at an event hosted by the Washington Architectural Foundation to recognize members of the Washington, D.C. metro community who demonstrate the transformative power of architecture.

Li Ren and Scott Archer of the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design at the WAAC each received the 2021 Emerging Architect Awards. Ren, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, is an affiliate faculty member whose research focuses on urban regeneration and technology, sustainability, and cultural, architectural strategies in the Washington, D.C., area. Archer, AIA LEED AP ND, an alumnus of the WAAC, serves as an adjunct instructor. He is currently working with an international team on the master plan for the American University in Cairo, Egypt and practices as an associate of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, LLP in Washington, D.C. Ren and Archer view educating the general public about architecture as a key responsibility of design professionals.

The Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center received the 2021 Architect Educator Award. Susan Piedmont-Palladino, director, noted that the WAAC is uniquely positioned to shape the future of architecture by utilizing the surrounding city as a “laboratory and classroom.” She said that the WAAC fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills that “help students to tackle the issues of their environment and prepare them for roles in future design and planning initiatives.”

-Written by Elizabeth Quill

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