Jay Silverberg, AIA
Principal | Design Director with Gensler
2013 AIA Arizona Design Awards Chair

What kind of design trends or innovations did you see in this year’s submissions?
This year’s submissions were highly contextual to our desert environment and regional in their response. Thoughtful use of material, site position and  shade to develop indoor/outdoor programs was very creative. I believe the integration of innovative social and interactive spaces was a predominant theme in a number of the award-winning designs.

In what ways do you think the market affected this year’s designs – for better or worse?
Our challenging economic climate led to a decrease in the number of overall submissions received by the AIA this year. With a limited number of  projects in the market, Arizona architects rose to the challenge to deliver creative solutions for clients, oftentimes within challenging parameters. We saw more projects on the public side versus private, and the market driving design trends including more multi-purpose and flexible spaces, renovations and sustainable solutions to extend the life of existing building assets.

In what way did your Awards Chair role affect how you appraise Gensler’s work?
Gensler as a firm is always pushing the limits of integrating user experience with the built environment. Reviewing the amazing work being done by Arizona architects is truly inspirational; it pushes us to do better work.