Clockwise from top left: Doug Bergert, AIA; Jacob Mans, AIA; Samantha Mendiola, AIA; and Nate Steuerwald, AIA

MINNEAPOLIS, July 1, 2021 — Four architects were selected for the 2021 Young Architects Award. This award is given by AIA Minnesota to individuals who, in the early stage of their architecture career, have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession. AIA Minnesota members who have been licensed to practice architecture less than 10 years are eligible for nomination.

This year’s winners demonstrated excellence across all criteria and leadership measures: design excellence, practice, education, service, and contributions to the profession. The diversity of their built projects and mentorship of the next generation of designers make them standout leaders in our state and the profession.

2021 AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award recipients:

Doug Bergert, AIA, is an architect and Senior Project Designer with the Minneapolis studio of Perkins & Will, where he’s engaged in the design of cultural, corporate, and education building projects. Jurors were impressed by his attention to detail in both large and small projects, as well as his service as an educator and researcher, in selecting him to receive this award.

Jacob Mans, AIAis a founding member of the Decentralized Design Lab and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Through his research, teaching and practice he focuses on understanding the relationships and feedback between building-scaled technical systems and large-scaled socioecological systems. Jurors noted his innovative contributions to design, his commitment to design solutions for underserved populations, and his dedication to mentoring the next generation of the profession in recognizing him with this award.

Samantha Turnock Mendiola, AIA, is a Senior Project Designer at HGA. Through her understanding of architectural, brand, place-making, and graphic design, Samantha develops innovative ways to deliver beautiful environments with purpose. Her thoughtful solutions focus on how individuals relate to their environment, and to one another. Jurors were impressed by her steady leadership, her human-centered design philosophy, and her ability to beautifully transform environments and experiences in honoring her work.

Nate Steuerwald, AIA, is an associate at VJAA, Inc. Nate’s commitment to high design standards; focus and work ethic make him a valued leader and collaborator. His passion for material craft is seen in a range of building types, extending to each project’s realization. Jurors cited his service to AIA and the excellence of his design work at all scales as notable within the profession.

The 2021 Young Architects Award recipients will be recognized at the AIA Minnesota Awards Celebration on Friday, December 3, 2021.

In addition to the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award, recipients of this award are encouraged to submit for the AIA National Young Architects Award. To date, 29 AIA Minnesota architects have received the national award, including: Vicki L. Hooper, AIA, and Joan Sorrano, FAIA, both in 1993; William Blanski, FAIA, 1995; Michael Fischer, AIA, and Robert Rothman, AIA, both 1996; Jeffrey Kagermeier, AIA, 2001; Mohammed Lawal, AIA, 2002; Paul Neuhaus, AIA, 2003; James Dayton, AIA, 2005; Philip Koski, AIA, 2007; Michael Meehan, 2008; Matthew Kreilich, FAIA, and Michael Schellin, AIA, both 2009; Steven Dwyer, FAIA, 2011; Timothy Bicknell, AIA, 2012; John Dwyer, AIA, and Alissa D. Luepke Pier, AIA, both 2013; Bob Ganser, AIA, Amy Kalar, AIA, and Karen Lu, AIA, all in 2016; Angela Wolf Scott, AIA and Malini Srivastava, AIA in 2018; James Garrett, Jr., AIA, NOMA, in 2019; Meredith Hayes Gordon, AIA, Damaris Melo, AIA, NOMA, Amber Sausen, AIA, and Jesse Turck, AIA, in 2020; and Dagmara Larsen, AIA, and Daniel Yudchitz, AIA, in 2021.

More information regarding the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award may be found at

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 and subscribe to ENTER, our digital weekly newsletter that explores how design is shaping a better built environment for Minnesota.