American Institute of Architects

By Lynda Millner   |   December 28, 2021
Bill Mahan and wife, Nyna, after winning the Lutah Maria Riggs award

The American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara (AIA) hosted their Design Awards Gala for 2021 in December. It honored the achievements of local architects and architecture. The annual event provides a showcase of the members’ contribution to the architectural legacy of Santa Barbara and the value of well-designed work. The group recognizes design excellence in architecture, residential architecture, restoration/renovation, and urban design.

Criteria to be used by the jury include quality of design, resolution of the program idea, sustainable responsibility, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique. This year’s jury was Mariana Ibanez, Aaron Jon Hyland, and Alvin Huang. We were all gathered in the Pacific Ballroom of the Mar Monte Hotel for cocktails and a buffet dinner and to await the announcing of the competition awards.

AIA president Tai Yeh praised the group for always being there when things needed to be done. Robert Ooley, FAIA made award presentations and was also the chair of this fete. One of the extra special awards is the Lutah Maria Riggs Presidents Award. She was a well-known local architect and Fellow of the local AIA Chapter who worked with George Washington Smith (Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara Cemetery Chapel). The award was named after her because of her unwavering dedication to the profession of architecture and the idea that design can improve our daily lives and make our communities better places to live and work. The deserving winner was Bill Mahan, who also received a standing ovation.

 The award-winning firms were: Blackbird Architects, Kieran Timberlake, Loh Architects, DMHA Architecture + Interior Design, Anacapa Architecture, Tim Gorter, and Shubin Donaldson.

For more information regarding AIA and all it does call (805) 966-4198.

Robert Ooley, Michael Holliday, and Ed De Vicente

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