One of three architects to receive an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota Young Architects Award, MSR Design director of sustainable practice Simona Fischer, AIA, CPHC, is being recognized for her dedication to advancing sustainable architecture through design, education, research, and advocacy. Jurors noted her commitment to education and sustainable design, as well as her work in public policy, as outstanding contributions to the profession. The AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award honors individuals who, in the early stage of their architecture careers, have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession. AIA Minnesota members who have been licensed to practice architecture less than 10 years are eligible for nomination.
As MSR Design’s director of sustainable practice, a firm associate, and a registered architect, Simona is passionate about developing and implementing processes to integrate sustainable design seamlessly into the workflow of architectural practice and sharing what she learns with members of the profession and the public. In addition to her professional experience, she has presented at national conferences and served as a guest lecturer and research fellow at the University of Minnesota. Simona is a member of the Healthy Building Network HomeFree Champions advisory group, which works to build momentum in selecting healthier materials for affordable housing, and cochair of the AIA Minnesota Committee on the Environment (COTE).
“It is critical that policymakers and the public become better informed about the principles and practical application of sustainable and resilient building design in the context of a changing world,” says Simona. “Sustainable design experts have a responsibility to share their knowledge with a broader audience through the avenues of public policy and beyond.”
“Simona is a national expert in healthy materials and a valuable sustainable design leader for all architects and society,” states Richard Graves, AIA, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research, in his letter nominating Simona for the award.
This year’s winners (including Kyle Palzer, AIA, and David Wilson, AIA, along with Simona) demonstrated excellence across all criteria and leadership measures: design excellence, practice, education, service, and contributions to the profession. The diversity of their built projects and mentorship of the next generation of designers make them standout leaders in our state and the profession. This year’s Young Architects Award recipients will be recognized at the AIA Minnesota Awards Celebration on 2 December 2022.