The Weight of Architecture 2017

The Weight of Architecture 2017

The Weight of Architecture Design Service Grant is a program that offers pre-development design assistance to a local nonprofit organization or community group who could benefit from the services of skilled architects.



 About The Weight of Architecture

How can architecture help solve a challenge your organization faces and help achieve your mission?” This design service grant is intended to provide design assistance to local 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that can benefit from the services of skilled architects and designers and that would not otherwise have the resources to retain such services.  Our team is prepared to meet with selected nonprofits to assess and analyze a challenge identified by their organization. Suggested projects can range in scale from a redesign of a food pantry’s storefront or the reorganization of a nonprofit office to the design of a pavilion in a local community park or the renovation of a local halfway house. 


  • Problem Solving – To help identify a challenge and propose a solution for local nonprofit organizations.
  • Education – To raise public awareness about the value of good design in community revitalization and service efforts.
  • Connection – To establish a dialogue and build connections between the nonprofit community and the local architectural profession in Columbus.


Identify the Challenge – Up to four organizations will be selected to develop project proposals with assistance from a dedicated team of architects and designers. The design process will include a walk-through of the site and a team meeting in order to develop an appropriate understanding of the challenge(s) the organization faces.

Develop a Solution – Beginning in late June 2017, the design teams will begin developing a specific conceptual design for each project based upon the stated goals of the proposals. As part of that process, we will host a Design Charrette in August: a half-day event that will bring together the nonprofit organizations’ stakeholders with a skilled group of architects to brainstorm and develop proposed solutions.
Project Execution – The team will develop a final design solution to a schematic design level of completion, including conceptual floor plans, elevations, and renderings (if applicable). Each team will then present and promote their design proposals to the AIA Columbus membership, nonprofit organizations and the public on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Annual Chapter Meeting. 


Nonprofit Application Due: Friday, May 19, 2017
Notification of Acceptance: Friday, June 2, 2017
Assignment of Initial Proposal Teams: Friday, June 9, 2017
Design Teams Meet with Organizations: June – July, 2017
Design Charrette: Date TBD, August, 2017
Deliverables Complete and Presented:Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Check out photos and the project boards from the 2014 Weight of Architecture project!

2014 Project Video:

AIA Columbus presents: The Weight of Architecture from Flicker-lit Productions on Vimeo.

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