January 02, 2018
A Look Back on 2017, a Look Ahead Toward 2018

In 2017, we had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects. We are proud of the work completed in the past year, and are eager to see what the future holds for IAA, and for the architecture community as a whole. As we embark on 2018, we asked our design team to reflect on the past year and also look toward the future.

What has been your favorite IAA project this past year and why?

Andy Short:  The Kansas City Museum has been my favorite because it’s been a combination of so many aspects of our profession: historic preservation, contemporary renovation, and planning for new construction. I have also enjoyed the challenge of trying to incorporate modern technology and amenities into a 100-year-old building in a way that preserves the historic fabric.

Morgan Robinett: My favorite IAA project that I have worked on so far is also the Kansas City Museum. I have a background in both architecture and interior design, and throughout this project, I’ve been able to use that experience to help with a broad range of design challenges, including finish selection and architectural drawings. I also am excited to work on this project because of its cultural and historical importance to Kansas City and the North KC neighborhood. It’s such a local treasure, and I am honored to be a part of its restoration/renovation.

Mckenzie Liebl: One of my favorite projects this past year has been the Francis Quad Columns at MU.  Although the project was not a standard ‘architectural’ project by any means, it involved a lot of the aspects that make a good project great. We were able to be creative with the drawings and documentation and were able to experiment with new technology. We worked with a great team of people who were enthusiastic about the project and proud to contribute to an iconic landmark on Columbia’s campus.

What is your favorite design trend from 2017 or one that you are anticipating in 2018? 

Andy Short: Something I find very interesting is sustainability in the design and construction industry and its impact on design.

Morgan Robinett: My favorite interior design trend for 2017 was the increasing integration of technology into the workplace. We saw a push for integrating power in furniture design, as well as product design for smart technology in the workplace. A great example of this is the Designtex Cloaking Technology that makes it possible to have private presentations behind glass walls. I’m excited to see what products develop in 2018 as technology advances for the built environment.

Mckenzie Liebl: As far as design trends, I’m most excited about the emerging timber trend, both for its environmental and aesthetic impact; I’m hoping we can find opportunities in KC to utilize this trend. I’m also looking forward to architecture becoming more collaborative and interdisciplinary. Our field is continuously evolving outside the physical box of architecture and there’s a greater need to engage with experts in other fields.  This is an exciting opportunity that IAA has been incorporating into more and more projects, most recently consulting with veterinarians and orthopedic surgeons.

Sarah Tappe: One of the reasons I moved to Kansas City is because of its efforts to revitalize its core downtown areas, and this is a trend that I have recently found across many cities.  I enjoy design styles that come from this and that restore the character of old buildings yet have a new and modern feel that reinvents the building.  Since I’m still fairly new here, I haven’t had the chance to work on a project like this yet, but it is a movement I would love to be a part of.

Lex DeWitt: During school I liked architecture, but it wasn’t until I got involved with preservation and rehabilitation that I became passionate about what I was doing. My goal is to honor the past while also updating and designing for the future. I get to be part of a team that does just that every day here at IAA. I am excited for new technology to continue to develop in a way that helps bring historic buildings up-to-date in energy efficiency.

Jordan Lake: While working at IAA and being able to interact with multiple historic structures, I have come to appreciate the quality of craftsmanship and construction that was necessary for these structures to last for over a century.  These buildings have stories to tell, and being able to add to the pages is very exciting. As environmentally conscious and sustainable practices become ever more necessary, I look forward to continuing the trend of preserving and celebrating, instead of erasing.