John Dwyer (B.A. Arch '96, M.Arch '02) and Alissa Luepke (B.A. Arch '99, M.Arch '02) are recipients of the 2013 AIA Young Architects Award. The award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2007, Dwyer moved to New Orleans and founded a community design studio in the Lower 9th Ward. In the first 6 months, he provided pro bono design services to over 60 returning households. In an announcement about the award, members of the jury recognized his leadership in restoring parts of the Ninth Ward as, "inspiring and demonstrates his strong commitment to designing for the public interest. John strives to incorporate humanitarian architecture in community advocacy and teaching."
In 2009, he returned home to pursue new design ideas within the changing economy. Among them was a single family home which came to be known as "the house for the new economy" as well as one of the winning entries in a national competition for affordable, sustainable multifamily housing. Dwyer is the founder and principal of John Dwyer Architect.
Luepke served as commissioner of the City of Minneapolis Board of Adjustment and is currently a commissioner on the city's Planning Commission. She consistently distinguishes herself through community and volunteer service. When a tornado struck northern Minnesota, she was instrumental in soliciting design professionals to volunteer their time to devastated neighborhoods.
As a principal in a small architecture firm, A.D.L. Pier Design, Inc., she has designed dozens of projects throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and California. Over the past few years, she has also been a skilled educator. In her role as an adjunct faculty member, she has taught and inspired hundreds of students in the design field. She is passionate about helping people, places, and buildings reach their full potential.
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