AIAVT Architectural Trivia Night Makes Triumphant Return!

Special thanks to Danny Sagan, AIA for being this year's Emcee

By Jeff McBride, AIA

On June 16th, AIA Vermont hosted its Third Annual Trivia Night. Trivia Night started in 2019 (canceled in 2021 due to COVID), Trivia Night has become a fixture in the annual AIAVT schedule.  A portion of the proceeds go to the Carol Miklos Community Outreach Grant: a funding source to support initiatives that have the potential to foster engagement with architecture and design in Vermont's communities.  The Community Outreach Grant is named in honor of Carol Miklos, who served as AIAVT's Executive Director from 2008 to 2018. Trivia Night was sponsored by Systems Integrators, Engineering Ventures, Whiting-Turner, and Pella.  In addition, numerous local companies provided prizes for the winning teams, including: American Flatbread, ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Gardener’s Supply Company, Hunger Mountain Co-op, Kestrel Coffee Roasters, Kingdom Trails, Pella, Positive Pie, and Shelburne Museum.

This year, 38 people, divided into eight teams, enjoyed pizza, drinks, and fun at Pizza 44 in Burlington.  Danny Sagan hosted the event as the MC and demonstrated a deep knowledge of all things architecture as he delivered questions on a variety of topics: History, Before-They-Were-Famous Photos of Architects, Vermont, Movies, Architect Quotes, and Specific Code Information.  There were several changes in leaders over the evening but ultimately the team from Duncan Wisniewski Architecture, named Solid Void, won the evening.

While there’s no substitute for the actual event, here are ten questions taken at random from this year’s Trivia Night for your enjoyment.  The answers are at the bottom of the article. Members are encouraged to print them out and host a mini trivia with colleagues, friends or family!  Good luck and we hope to see you at more AIA Vermont Trivia Nights in the future!

Question 1: This word was originally used in architectural design at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, where final architectural drawings needed to be put on a cart within an allotted period of time.  What’s the word?

Question 2: These are some of the terms you’ll learn when reading about this movement in architecture: “metaphysics of presence”, “semiotic analysis”, “archetypal construction”, “trace and erasure”, “tectonics of making”, and “form deformed.”  Name the movement. 

Question 3:This band wrote the song “Closer to Fine” when visiting a family cabin in Vermont. The song won the 1989 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.  Name the band.

Question 4:In 1923, this US President took his Oath of Office in the parlor of his childhood home in Plymouth Notch. Name the president.

Question 5:Woody Harrelson plays David Murphy, a down-on-his-luck architect considering an offer to save his house from foreclosure.  Name the movie.  

Question 6:Henry Fonda plays the justice-seeking architect Davis and is the only juror to initially vote “not guilty” in a criminal court case with 11 other jurors.  Name the movie. 

Question 7:This Roman architect and engineer, author of the Ten Books on Architecture, once said that architecture must honor these three things, “Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas.”  Translated to English: “Strength, Function, Beauty.”  What was his name?  

Question 8:Name the architect that said, “98% of what gets built today is s$#t.”  

Question 9:Handrails are required to have a minimum 1 1/2” clearance from a side wall and the inside face of a handrail.  NFPA, however, has a completely different requirement, with a minimum dimension between a side wall and the inside face of the supporting handrail bracket.  What is this minimum dimension?? 

Question 10:According to the IBC and OSHA, what is the minimum allowable head height clearance in a flight of stairs? 


A big thanks to Ryan Edwards, Jeff Stetter, Leon Ogden, and Sarah O Donnell for helping to organize the event.