Practice and Teaching: How Each Informs the Other

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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by ASI Group, Benjamin Moore, Kingspan, SINY, OMINY, Vitro Architectural Glass
Moderated by Beth Broome. Presented by Miriam Peterson, Brad Tomecek and Elizabeth Whittaker

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the growing subset of firms that simultaneously engage in both active design with clients and instructional education for architectural students.
  2. List some of the key challenges to workflow, time management, and growing the bottom line that firms face when teaching architecture.
  3. Discuss the potential financial and emotional rewards for established firms that are engaging in architectural pedagogy.
  4. Explain how both students and established architectural firms can benefit when engaged in creative problem-solving through formal architectural instruction.


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

This webinar will explore the challenges and opportunities of running a firm while also teaching architecture. The speakers will share their experiences juggling both practice and pedagogy, and how the topics of studios, and insights gained from them, can enrich the work of the office and vice versa.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Beth Broome, Former Managing Editor for Architectural Record


Miriam Peterson, is a Principal at Peterson Rich Office, an interdisciplinary design studio working on cultural projects with social impact. Founded in 2012, the office currently employs a diverse team comprising 6 countries and 5 languages. Over the past ten years, the practice has grown to oversee $80 million of ongoing and realized projects for leading clients in the cultural, residential, retail, and public sectors. This includes 55,000 SF of gallery space, four artist studio buildings, and numerous exhibitions. Through an ongoing 8 - year partnership with NYCHA (NYC Housing Authority) PRO has created and conducted inclusive community design exercises that provide critical insights and recommendations aimed at helping to improve the country's largest public housing program. Peterson Rich Office is currently working on cultural, residential, and commercial projects in New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Washington, California, and London.

Miriam holds a BA in Economics and Italian L iterature from Cornell University and an M.Arch I from Yale University School of Architecture, where she was awarded the William Edward Parsons Memorial Medal for the student showing the most promise in urban design. She currently teaches at Yale Universit y School of Architecture and Columbia University Graduate School of Art Architecture and Preservation.


Brad Tomecek, is the founder of Tomecek Studio Architecture, Brad graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design and Masters of Architecture. He worked in smaller award winning firms in Colorado and Florida before launching the studio in 2003. His work has been featured in Architectural Record, Architect, Builder Magazine, international books and local magazines.

Brad is actively involved with the local AIA and has served on the AIA Denver Board of Directors. His outreach takes the form of speaking nationally on methods and manifestation of meaningful projects. Currently Brad combines full-time practice with teaching at the University of Colorado College of Architecture and Planning. His explorations blur the boundaries between poetic solutions and innovative building systems. He has been presented with over 55 AIA awards including the AIA National Young Architect Award, AIA Colorado Innovative Practice & Young Firm Awards. Brad was recently named the 2022 AIA Colorado Architect of the Year.


Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA, is the founder and principal of MERGE Architects, a practice focusing on contemporary craft, reinterpreting typologies, and the social ecology of place. The work of MERGE combines both digital fabrication and the hand made to produce a low tech/high touch architecture that embraces the art of making within a larger agenda: to redefine the urban and social boundaries in and around the city. Whittaker’s research and projects range from multi-family housing throughout the US, to redefining work and maker space for clients such as Google. The current work of MERGE includes the Brush Park Carriage Homes and Duplexes in Detroit, Basecamp workforce housing in Jackson Hole, and various infill housing and hotel in downtown Boston.

Whittaker approaches architecture as a discipline embedded in both practice and academia. She received a bachelor of architecture in environmental design from North Carolina State University and a master of architecture with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is currently serving as an advisor for the US Department of State’s Industry Advisory Board (IAG) for the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), and is an Associate Professor in Practice in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Sponsored by

ASI BenMoore Kingspan OMINY
SINY"/ Vitro"/

Supporting Partners

EAC Kansas City AIA StLouis
LeaderDev Young Architect AIA_Austin
Originally published in October 2022