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. "
"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.
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