California’s Emerging Architects Recognized by American Institute of Architects California

Composition of 2023 recipients demonstrates changing landscape of genders leading firms

(March 13, 2023—Sacramento, California)  A continued tradition of excellence, innovation, and commitment to communities through the field of architecture relies on a pipeline begun with the education and mentorship of, support for, and then the recognition of next-generation turned this-generation leaders in the field of design.

AIA California Academy of Emerging Professionals is delighted to recognize three individuals who, in 2023, demonstrate a new generation of architectural practitioners through its 2023 AIA California Academy of Emerging Professionals awards.

This year the academy recognizes two California members with the Young Architects Award, the highest award bestowed by AIA California to emerging professionals: Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, NOMA, and Andrew Goodwin, AIA.

The Young Architect award recognizes an individual who has shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in the early stage of their architectural career.

Honored with the Associates Award, for designers exhibiting leadership while in the process of gaining full licensure as architects in California, is Madhubala Ayyamperumal, Assoc. AIA.

“In relatively early years in their career, these three award recipients are demonstrating leadership in the field, with Leah and Andrew driving their respective practices in realizing meaningful design,” said AIA California President Scott Gaudineer, AIA.

About the Award Recipients

Leah Bayer, AIA

Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, NOMA, is a force for change and the kind of change that we need as a profession,” noted the AIA California Awards Committee in making its decision.

Bayer is the President of Architects FORA, a 100% women-owned, 100% virtual mid-sized architecture firm specializing in affordable housing. Skilled in creative business management and storytelling, Leah designs systems and teams at FORA that are transparent, equitable, and healthy, which then carries into the work that FORA creates. Prior to FORA, Leah founded a virtual firm with an award-winning business plan, EVIA Studio, which specialized in high-quality sustainable housing along the Pacific Coast.

Passionate about equity, progressive business practices, and improving the future of the profession, Bayer regularly advocates to improve the profession. She has held active leadership roles in the American Institute of Architects locally, on a state level, and nationally, particularly in EDI and Practice, for nearly a decade.

Andrew Goodwin, AIA

Andrew Goodwin, AIA, holds an impressive focus on goals, outcomes, and advancing the built environment for all mankind,” described the awards committee of the second Young Architects Award recipient.

In 2015, Goodwin formed his own practice, AGD (Andrew Goodwin Designs), which holds commissions ranging from residential, boutique commercial, and hospitality to civic projects. The office is based in San Luis Obispo, but Goodwin has deployed architecture to contribute to communities across the world. His passion for public interest design led him to create RED Studio Foundation, focusing on providing socially responsible design services for non-profits. In 2013, RED Studio Foundation became part of the non-profit Journeyman International (JI), which Goodwin served as Director of Architecture from 2014-2016, overseeing the design of community-enriching projects in countries from Rwanda and South Africa to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Goodwin has been an architecture faculty member at Coly Poly San Luis Obispo for nearly a decade, accumulating a breadth of knowledge about designing for the chronically homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, and those living with mental illness.

Madhubala Ayyamperumal, Assoc. AIA

Associate Award recipient Madhubala Ayyamperumal, Assoc. AIA, “offers impressive credentials and a diversity of activities and involvement that advance architecture as a profession. Her accomplishments are significant” noted the awards committee in honoring her.

Ayyamperumal is a designer, mentor, and sustainable design advocate, who believes in improving people’s lives through socially and environmentally responsible design. Having worked in Asia, Middle East & United States, her experience spans across Healthcare, Life Science, Tenant Improvement, Hospitality, Mixed use and Workplace Design. She currently works as a designer with a focus on design experience at Gensler at Oakland. Madhu brings the fluency of sustainability and wellness-centric design to her projects.

A recipient of the Paul J. Welch ARE Scholarship, she supports through her contributions to the ACE Mentorship and SFNOMA leading mentorship initiatives, shaping the future generation of the profession and advocating for diversity & inclusion.

The 2022 AIA California Awards Committee, which selected the 2023 Academy of Emerging Professionals awards, is comprised of: Amy Eliot, AIA; Anne Cotter AIA; David Garcia, Assoc. AIA; Matthew Harris, AIA; Dan Hogman, AIA; Edward Ogosta, AIA; Scott Mackey, AIA; and Liz Ranieri, FAIA.

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