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Architects produce designTHUNK

January 18, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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West Michigan Design Week unites industry
The American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids is comprised of members from more than 100 firms. Photo via

A design, development and networking series is continuing tomorrow and over the next few months.

The Grand Rapids chapter of the American Institute of Architects, or AIA, will put on its fifth lecture of the second season of designTHUNK at noon on Jan. 19 in Grand Rapids at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State, at 17 Pearl St. NW.

The series is a reincarnation of one put on years ago by the AIA, said Matt Gerard, an architect with Visbeen Architecture who helps put on the series as a board member of AIA Grand Rapids.

“I dusted it off two years ago as a way to network and create casual conversation about design,” Gerard said. “The first season was just architects. We have a great design culture, but not a lot of presentations on it. Now I’m trying to tap local developers.”

The presenters will be Jen Boezwinkle, VP of business development for Rockford Construction, and Bruce Thompson, president and co-founder of urbaneer.

The discussion is free, with lunch provided by Belden Brick and Supply.

Earlier this season, designTHUNK discussions have featured representatives of 616 Development, Progressive AE and Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber.

February’s discussion will be led by GMB Architecture and Engineering, while March is Integrated Architecture, and the season will end in April with CWD Real Estate Development’s Sam Cummings.

Gerard said he tries to keep the discussion to under an hour for easy lunchtime access.

“I’m hoping to draw more than just architects,” Gerard said, noting that students from local colleges and Grand Rapids Public Schools come to the meetings.

“I would be happy for engagement beyond architecture.”

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