Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Interview with Max Strang, AIA

I recently had the opportunity to interviewed Max Strang, AIA of Miami, the Kick-off speaker for the 2008 EP Conference, where he discussed the relevance of the Sarasota School of Architecture (SSoA) movement and what it means to a new generation of architects.

Jedd Heap (JH): What is the relevance of the Sarasota School of Architecture to Today's Emerging Professionals?

Max Strang (MS): Some of the early SSoA work is especially relevant now as today's young architects need to focus on how buildings can better respond to their environment and use less energy. Sarasota School Architects had to design buildings prior to the widespread use of air-conditioning.

JH: What is the relevance specifically, for you?

MS: The work of the original SSoA has always been an architectural "touchstone" for me. I had the great experience of growing up in an original Gene Leedy home and being exposed to many of his other projects. I specifically remember being invited into Syd Solomon's Siesta Key residence at the age of twelve. It was a really bold and structurally expressive home. I consider myself a direct descendant of the SSoA movement. It's easy to find parallels in my own work.

JH: How can we learn from the movement?

MS: The Sarasota School movement was 'regional modernism' at its finest. It perfected timeless principles such as 'honesty of materials', 'clarity of structure' and attention to detail. These principles are essential to quality architecture.

JH: How important do you think it is to restore and save the historic Sarasota School buildings?

MS: It's extremely important to save these buildings, not because they're old, but because they are great examples of quality design. I hope that many can be "saved" so that they may continue to inspire another generation.

JH: How do you feel about the School Boards decision to demolish Paul Rudolph's Riverview HS?

MS: I'm simply appalled. It is ironic that the School Board, which provided so many opportunities for the Sarasota School Architects, is responsible for this shameful decision. Philip Hiss isn't smiling.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

EXCOM Retreat

I need your ideas and comments to bring with me to the Florida AIA Executive Committee Retreat.

As you may know the State is looking to change the By-Laws to have the Associate Position added to the EXCOM. This will provide us with better representation within the membership.

To this effect I'd like to bring with me a list of suggestions for the board, that represents the Associates' needs and desires. Any issues either at the state level or at your local chapter level.


Monday, November 10, 2008


Welcome to the new AIA Florida Emerging Professionals Blog.

This blog is a place for Florida's Emerging Professionals to keep in touch and discuss issues relavent to our Profession.