On August 7, 2016, Jean Terwilliger, Sam Ostrow, and Ashar Nelson gave a sermon during worship at The Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Middlebury, VT. The three-part presentation entitled “Place, Path, Practice” explored the ways that architecture is spiritual. Jean (“Place”) discussed how buildings, from modest homes to magnificent cathedrals, can evoke feelings of peace and awe and offer a means to greater appreciation of the natural world. Sam (“Path”) explained how the underlying purpose of creating spaces is to increase opportunities for connection with our surroundings; how the construction of space, done thoughtfully and with care, can facilitate a deep sense of presence, much like meditation. Ashar (“Practice”) illustrated how the craft of architecture in and of itself can be a meditative and spiritual experience. Click here for the full text of the presentation.
VIA was one of 20 applicants recently chosen to participate in the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders Initiative beginning this April. Over 70 Vermont business owners applied for this year’s inaugural offering of the federal program in Vermont. Using the “Streetwise MBA” curriculum developed by Interise, a Boston-based entrepreneurial education organization, the seven-month program will help Andrea Murray, VIA’s president, develop a three-year strategic plan for the business, exploring areas such as financial planning, human resources, marketing, and profitability. Taking place at Vermont Technical College in Williston about twice each month through October, the course promises to provide Andrea with the tools to plan for VIA’s future growth and become a greater presence in our local economy.
In June 2015, Andrea Murray attended the Northern New England AIA COTE (Committee on the Environment) Leadership Summit in Portland, Maine (see video summary here). Invited by AIA-VT to represent one of several Vermont firms notably committed to sustainable design, Andrea joined a select group of design professionals from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Boston to discuss how they can work as individuals and firms as well as a regional community to achieve the Architecture 2030 Challenge. The 2030 Challenge seeks to transform the built environment from a major source of greenhouse gases to a central part of the solution to climate change, calling for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Participants in the summit explored ways to move beyond a handful of model green projects to adopting sustainability as a cultural norm throughout a firm’s portfolio and ultimately across architecture as a whole. VIA is pleased to be part of this conversation and will continue to make sustainability an integral part of our design work.
As the VIA team moved the last of the boxes into our new location, we marveled at how we possibly fit it all into our previous office space! Now at 137 Maple Street, Suite 29B in the South Marbleworks building (between Noonie Deli and American Flatbread), we are quickly back to project work while slowly settling in. With a high ceiling and large windows, the new light-filled space feels much more conducive to creative collaboration. Hopes for this new office include more efficient storage, a private conference area, and a loft, all in good time. We hope you will stop by soon and see us!
On Wednesday, April 29, Jean Terwilliger participated in a panel discussion of Home Energy Efficiency Standards in a program sponsored by the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op and moderated by board member Andrea Murray. Other panelists included Alex Carver of Northern Timbers Construction, Richard Faesy of Energy Futures Group, and Peter Schneider of VEIC. They explained the difference between different standards of energy efficiency, discussed current trends in the industry, and addressed questions from the lively and attentive audience. A video of the event is available here.