(photo courtesy of AECOM)">
Tim C. Bicknell, AIA, a graduate of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning, is one of 13 recipients of the American Institute of Architects' 2012 AIA Young Architects Award. Young Architects are professionals licensed 10 years or less regardless of their age. The award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. Recipients will be awarded at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Bicknell, an Albuquerque native, attended UNM from 1990-1994 on a Presidential Scholarship, was in the University Honors Program, and graduated from the UNM School of Architecture in 1994 with a bachelor of arts in architecture magna cum laude. He earned a master's in architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. He is both LEED and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) accredited.

Since 2006, Bicknell has been employed by AECOM, formerly Ellerbe Becket, in Minneapolis, Minn. His nominator for the award is John Waugh, FAIA, and senior design principal at AECOM.

Waugh wrote, "Bicknell is an award winning architect whose incredible dedication to both community and craft has truly distinguished his career. This dedication is reflected by his work for both clients, including non-profit clients, while maintaining a deep commitment to AIA Minnesota and other community organizations."

Among Bicknell's references is Stephen Schreiber, FAIA, director, Department of Art and Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Schreiber formerly served on the faculty at UNM.

Bicknell recalls a summer studio Schreiber taught. " emphasized both the basic introductory concepts of drawing and modeling as well as the realities of architectural practice through office tours and meetings with practicing architects. The first architect's office we toured was that of Antoine Predock, FAIA. During the tour, I was introduced to the idea that architecture is much more than the process of documenting how a building is constructed. It involves understanding the context in which one designs. This includes cultural, social, environmental, programmatic and economic factors," he said.

"I was impressed by the process in which the design team in the office balanced client requests and programmatic needs with responses to the immediate cultural and environmental context of the site for each project. This office visit left a lasting impression. I realized that architects have responsibilities at many levels, including creatively addressing the needs of society as a whole. I have not forgotten this early lesson," he said.

Internally at AECOM, Bicknell has been a member of the Sustainability Task Team and lead organizer of the AECOM Triple Bottom Line Sustainability Greenbag Presentation Series that operates under the premise that genuine sustainability must address social and economic issues as well as environmental.

Among his many design awards, Bicknell has garnered several for the YouthLink Youth Opportunity Center. For it he earned the AIA Minneapolis Merit Award, the Engineering News Record Best Small Project Award and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Best in Real Estate.

Bicknell began working with Habitat for Humanity by building houses while he was a UNM student and by participating in a design competition while in Chicago. This work transitioned him to participate in AIA Minnesota's Housing Advocacy Committee and the Search for Shelter Charettes.

Bicknell, remembering the impact of professionals who came in to critique his work when he was a student, serves as a guest critic at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and at the Art Institutes International.

"Tim Bicknell believes architects can play a strong role in social advocacy and community leadership activities while also achieving design excellence. He has strived to embrace this philosophy in his practice," Waugh said.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu