Left to right: Scott Mayer, Heidi Myers, AIA, Daniela Sandler, and members of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Linda Mack, Jane King Hession, Rolf Anderson, Gary Reetz, FAIA, Martha Douglas, and Bob Frame.

MINNEAPOLIS, September 3, 2019 — AIA Minnesota honored Scott Mayer, Heidi Myers, AIA, Daniela Sandler and the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians with 2019 Special Awards.


The AIA Minnesota Special Award seeks to encourage, stimulate and recognize exceptional contributions made by individuals and organizations that improve the quality of our physical environment. This award celebrates architecture as a collaborative effort that relies on the talents and commitment of many individuals working together to achieve common goals.


Scott Mayer was instrumental in creating and executing Doors Open Minneapolis, a new event allowing the public free, behind-the-scenes access to buildings in the City of Minneapolis that are architecturally, socially, or culturally significant. The event, which took place in May 2019 and is likely to continue in coming years, featured 112 Minneapolis venues, which were visited by more than 70,000 unique visitors during the weekend.


Heidi Myers, AIA recently retired as System Director of Design and Construction at Minnesota State (formerly known as MnSCU) after serving as State Architect at Department of Administration. During her tenure, she orchestrated organizational and procedural innovations that streamlined the design and construction impacting collectively 58 million square feet of state-owned buildings. She has been a guiding force in the adoption of architectural sustainability factors in public buildings, and she has been an active member of the State Designer Selection Board during her 21 years of state service.

Daniela Sandler is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota College of Design, teaching architectural and urban history. She is an impassioned lecturer whose teaching style is innovative and inspiring and has published significant research on architecture and urban spaces as viewed through a global lens. She also volunteers for the Women in Architecture Student organization and the School of Architecture’s Committee on Diversity.


The Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (MNSAH) in honor of the organization’s groundbreaking Minnesota Modern Masters Oral History Project. In this project–the only one of its kind–MNSAH volunteer historians record conversations with Minnesota’s leading architects, educators, critics, and journalists. The videos and transcripts, which capture the enduring legacy of the lives and work of the people who have shaped the state’s architecture, are deposited in the Northwest Architectural Archives; abbreviated videos can be viewed on MNSAH’s Vimeo site.


The AIA Minnesota Special Award jury included representatives from AIA Minnesota committees and previous award winners. This year’s submissions were reviewed by including Kim Bretheim, FAIA, Housing Studio Leader, LHB Corp.; Adam Ariano, AIA, incoming co-chair of the AIA Minnesota Committee on Design and Associate at Alliiance; and Malini Srivastava, AIA, Assistant Professor in Resilient and Regenerative Design, University of Minnesota College of Design.


The jury noted that as individuals/organizations and as a collective, this group of Special Award recipients embodies the values and goals of AIA Minnesota. Their work increases the understanding of, access to, and valuation of architecture; it connects broader publics to the built environment; it fosters the next generation of the profession; and it honors and advances equity in the profession.


These individuals and organizations will receive their awards at the annual AIA Minnesota Awards Dinner on December 6, 2019 at International Market Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more about the Special 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, visit our Facebook page and pick up a copy of Architecture MN, our award-winning magazine.