The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced that it has elevated 102 members to the AIA College of Fellows, including MSR Design principal Paul C.N. Mellblom, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C. The honor is awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the architecture profession. The fellowship program elevates architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Only three percent of AIA members have this distinction.
One of four AIA Minnesota members elevated to fellowship this year, Paul was nominated under Object Five, recognizing architects who have made notable contributions to the public through alternative careers or volunteer work with organizations not directly connected to the built environment. Paul’s focus on historically underserved people has improved lives in dozens of neighborhoods through tenacious, consistent leadership in volunteer service—and by bringing design excellence to nonprofit and pro bono clients.
In his letter nominating Paul for elevation to the AIA College of Fellows, Alliiance principal Thomas Hysell, FAIA, states, “Paul has challenged himself and others to deal proactively with issues of inequity through his practice and, even more so, in his volunteer leadership—especially in the design of affordable housing.” Thomas continues, “Through Paul’s admirable and extensive efforts, he has brought the best of what our profession has to offer to the greater community. He is truly a citizen architect.”
The fifth MSR Design principal to be elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, Paul joins the firm’s other AIA fellows: founders Thomas Meyer, FAIA, Jeffrey Scherer, FAIA, and Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, and former firm president Jack Poling, FAIA.
This year’s Jury of Fellows included chair Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA, Drexel University; Mary Johnston, FAIA, Johnston Architects, LLC; Rebecca Lewis, FAIA, DSGW Architects; Steven Spurlock, FAIA, Quinn Evans Architects; RK Stewart, FAIA, RK Stewart Consultants; Allison Williams, FAIA, AGWms_studio; and Anna Wu, FAIA, University of North Carolina.