March 30, 2022 by Anne Smith, Scott Cornelius

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is pleased to welcome Anne Smith, FAIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, to the 2022-2023 Board of Directors. Anne is a Partner at Lominack Kolman Smith Architects (LKSA) and is a licensed architect in Georgia and South Carolina. At Grassroots 2022 Anne will sworn in as the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB)’s liaison to the AIAS for a three-year term, from 2022-2025. This is following the three-year term of Kristine Harding, FAIA, NCARB, of KPS Group, whose service to the AIAS, advice, and mentorship has been incredibly appreciated. Below are Anne’s responses to our interview questions; please take a few minutes to get to know our new NCARB Liaison better!

Please describe as much of your background and architectural education as you’d like.

BS Arch 1985, Georgia Institute of Technology
As a second-generation architect, I started early working in my father’s office in high school. First running blueprints and then on to drafting, visiting jobsites, and helping on projects. It all seemed so interesting, and I learned a lot about what to expect from a career in architecture. I learned that it would be very challenging but also rewarding in many ways. After graduation from Georgia Tech, I returned to Savannah and worked with my father for 15 years (the last ten as a full partner). Upon his retirement, our firm merged with another and became Lominack Kolman Smith Architects. We have a practice in downtown historic Savannah located in the heart of the city.

Is there anything in your past that particularly inspired you to join this profession?
As a result of growing up around architects and construction, I learned about the power of what we do and how the results of our work can make change. My family traveled to Expo ’67 just to see Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome and Moshe Safdie’s Habitat. Amazing and important work was being done and I was so impressed. Also, living in an historic city, I saw beautiful buildings being neglected and deteriorating. The efforts to save these treasures and putting them back to productive use teaches us many lessons.

Please tell us more about your NCARB involvement, and any specific programs or initiatives you’ve been particularly focused on.

NCARB Board of Directors, 2015 – 2016
Georgia State Board of Architects and Interior Designers, 2004 – present

IPAL; I am a great supporter and served on the task force to develop the program and review applications. Our firm currently employs an IPAL student and she is progressing through the program and the exams very well. I would like to see this program grow. The ability to learn, apply, learn, apply while in school can provide the strength and confidence needed to pass the exams and to launch a career.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; We must have mutual respect for everyone and recognize the value of both similarities and differences. It is important to create opportunities and mentor our future leaders. We must look through other’s eyes and learn from everyone we meet (even if it is what not to do).

Future of Licensure; we must explore how we practice, how capabilities and competencies are measured, our duty to protect the public, responsible control with remote workers, multi-jurisdictional compacts, the level of education required, and so much more. Changes in our practice and responsibilities are happening rapidly and we must be ready to respond.

We must promote awareness of what architects do and how they can contribute to our communities. Take opportunities to serve on non-profit boards, participate in public and governmental initiatives, and serve as a resource whenever possible to give back.

What is the “big picture” impact that you would like to have on the profession?

I want to set an example of how important it is to volunteer. The involvement allows growth personally, socially, and intellectually. Stepping out of your comfort zone will challenge you and make you better equipped to deal with whatever comes before you. Learning how to run a meeting, developing collaboration skills, dealing with conflict are just a few of the lessons learned while serving and giving back to your community and profession.

Please elaborate on any engagement you have with your community outside of work or outside of architecture, or any personal achievements of which you’re proud.

As president of the board of directors for Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, I was able to negotiate for this non-profit to gain funds to build a new facility. They were forced out of the building that they were in for 60 years with a $1 per year lease. It was interesting to act as the client and see the entire process through another lens. The new center is beautiful, and I was proud to help make it happen. It wasn’t easy, but nothing good is easy.

Thank you to Anne for the time and thought she put into this first introduction to the AIAS membership, and for her interest the next generation of architectural leadership! It is clear that her experiences and perspectives will be a great asset to our organization in the years to come. We’re so excited for Anne to join the AIAS family, and for her to be a part of our Re-Union at Grassroots 2022 this summer!