The Schirmer Service Award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated distinguished leadership and service on behalf of AIA Kansas and the practice of Architecture over an extended period of time. Such services exceeding those expected in any official capacity has advanced the cause of our profession and provided an inspiration to fellow practitioners.
This year we present the 22nd Henry Schirmer Distinguished Service Award to Bob Condia, AIA. Bob has been a member of the AIA since he graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1980. He transferred his membership to Kansas in 1989 when he became a faculty member in the Department of Architecture at Kansas State University.
Now a full-professor Bob teaches architecture as an art form with due consideration to the real; construction; metaphysics; and poetics. In that time Bob has been active in mentoring emerging architects emphasizing a culture of design and critical thinking. He has earned Kansas State University’s Commerce Bank Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2008 and the College of Architecture, Planning and Design’s Wayne McElwee Faculty Teaching Award in 1996. In his most recent sabbatical he studied neuroscience in architecture with a focus on mood and aesthetic experiences.
He has been active in AIA Kansas including acting as chair of the Committee on Design Excellence, beginning in 1999; being a member of Disaster Assessment Teams, since 2004; and treasurer of AIA Flint Hills since 2006. He was a co-instigator of AR34, helping to edit, publish and finance the first five issues beginning in 2000.
Bob has been an architect for 32 years and is licensed in California and Kansas. He is the design partner, with his wife and business partner Wendy Ornelas, in Condia + Ornelas Architects. The firm focuses on intimately articulated experiences and material interventions, and has earned four AIA Kansas design awards, plus collaborated with Team Norheim for another AIA Kansas Unbuilt award. Condia + Ornelas has also earned several Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture regional design awards.
Bob believes in drawing by hand, the possibility of architecture as palpable spaces, and the unlimited potential of students. He earned his master’s degree in Architecture and Building Design at Columbia and Bachelor of Architecture at Cal Poly. We all knew Bob was certifiable, but he proved it by becoming a Certified Fly Casting Instructor in the Federation of Fly Fishers.
We congratulate Bob Condia, AIA, on receiving this much deserved award.