Meet the Jury for the 2023 AIAVT Annual Design Awards

Ben Franceschi, AIA
Katie Potts, AIA
Tod R. Stevens, FAIA
Sarah Carter, Assoc. AIA
Dan Tyrer, AIA

The 2023 jury is comprised of members of AIA Grand Rapids, who gathered together to review the entries and select the winners of the AIAVT Annual Design Awards. Winners will be announced at the AIAVT 75th Anniversary event on December 7th- get your tickets here!

Ben Franceschi, AIA is an architect and principal at MATHISON | MATHISON ARCHITECTS. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Ben’s family provided a strong influence in the fields of painting, carpentry, psychiatry, and religion. This combination lead him to explore architecture and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He went on to complete his education at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he graduated with distinction.

He began his career at Huntsman Architectural Group in San Francisco, then in Boston at Jonathan Levi Architects and Moshe Safdie Architects before working alongside Evan Mathison at Maryann Thompson Architects. His project experience has ranged within educational environments, libraries, workplaces, parks, and housing.

Katie Potts, AIA, is a licensed Architect at Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering, working in their Grand Rapids, MI office. She has been practicing architecture for 8 years on commercial, historic and residential buildings. Katie was on the 2019 AIA Michigan Strategic Planning Committee and was in the 2020 cohort of Grand Rapids Chamber’s Leading Edge program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Calvin University and a Master of Architecture from Montana State University.

Tod R. Stevens, FAIA is a designer, researcher, practice leader and educator. His educational architecture engages research, sustainability, and craft, to impact learning and provide inspirational environments for generations in their scholarly pursuit of knowledge. Tod is an outspoken champion of sustainable principles and, as a leader, has evoked architects and engineers to elevate their work to combat the existential crisis of climate change. He is the Higher Education Practice Leader for Progressive AE and is sought to present his design work and research on a national stage and locally to his peers.

Sarah Carter, Assoc. AIA, is an Architectural Designer with Fishbeck, responsible for coordination and design. Sarah's professional experience is centered around the creation of inclusive and engaging cultural infrastructure ranging in scale from interior installations to multi-institutional campuses. Prior to joining Fishbeck, Sarah's talents were employed at the intersection of architecture and urban design, where she explored experimental strategies for equitable urban transformation, and multidisciplinary approaches to environment sustainability and economic development. Sarah has also held positions with boutique Architecture + Interior Design firms in Brooklyn, NY and Ann Arbor, MI. She received an M.Arch from the University of Michigan and a BA from Lehigh University.

Dan Tyrer, AIA is an architect and design leader with GMB, a professional services firm focused on the design of K- 12 and Higher Education projects. He is creative at heart, believing in high quality design detailing and craft, rooted in strong conceptual ideas, to deliver impactful experiences and solutions for clients and communities. He has led architectural design with clients and project teams for more than 20 years as a champion for design throughout all phases of a project from the initial vision through construction. Additionally, with a passion for learning, he has growing roles in mentoring staff and researching forward-thinking education design strategies. He is a licensed architect in the State of Michigan and previously served as the president of the AIA Grand Rapids chapter.