Above: Project photo by Chad Holder.

MINNEAPOLIS, April 5, 2022
 — Jessica Harner, AIA, LEED AP, is the 2022 AIA Minnesota Residential Emerging Talent Award recipient.

The Residential Emerging Talent Award (previously the annual Emerging Talent of the Year Award) is given every two years to an emerging residential architect, licensed ten or fewer years, who demonstrates an innovative approach to design, the emergence of a unique architectural voice, and a developing mastery of architecture.

Jessica is an architect at Christian Dean Architecture and holds a master’s in architecture from Rice University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Duke University. Jessica’s design philosophy integrates a background in art and art history with her training as an architect. She notes the influence of abstract painters and minimalist sculptors on her use of texture, space, and surface to bring depth and balance to minimalist projects. “Of course, architecture is not art, and serves a very practical purpose,” she adds. As such, her design philosophy prioritizes client needs, lifestyles, and interests as a starting point in her projects.

Christian Dean, AIA, noted in a letter of recommendation Jessica’s growth as a leader within Christian Dean Architecture, and said that “she is one of the most talented architects I have worked with,” and “Her ability to distill a design to essential and impactful moves while maintaining a conceptual clarity throughout the typical challenges we face in the residential arena has produced a portfolio of homes that are distinctive, unexpected and loved by our clients.” A homeowner testimonial stated, “Her professionalism, sense of humor, and grace are not without notice; her way with people is as impressive as her architectural finesse.”

The AIA Minnesota Residential Emerging Talent Award jury included co-chair of the AIA Minnesota Committee on Design Ligeia Cholensky, AIA; 2006 AIA Minnesota Emerging Talent of the Year Award recipient and 2019 AIA Minnesota Architect of Distinction Award recipient Jean Rehkamp-Larson, AIA; 2021 AIA Minnesota Young Architect Award recipient Doug Bergert, AIA; Dunwoody College of Technology faculty Molly Reichert, Assoc. AIA; and National Organization of Minority Architects Minneapolis St. Paul chapter president Aarón Regla Bretón, Assoc. AIA, NOMA.

The jury noted the elegance of Jessica’s projects, admiring the way her background in art and art history informs the composition of her designs. They felt her projects strongly demonstrated an authorship and an innovative approach to design, while still successfully meeting the clients’ desired outcomes. The jury was also impressed by dramatic yet successful transformations achieved in the renovations. The jury also appreciated the clear connection between Jessica’s stated design philosophy and her completed projects.

Jessica will receive her award at the annual AIA Minnesota Awards Event in December 2022. Learn more about the Residential Emerging Talent Award here.

The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment, and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, reference our website.