SETH ANDERSON RECEIVES AIA YOUNG ARCHITECTS AWARD
Through his professional momentum, Seth uplifts his clients, his community, and the architectural profession as a whole. He has worked tirelessly to galvanize the architectural scene in Central Oregon, all with limited support from the larger AIA component located over three hours and one mountain pass away.
As the sole owner of Ascent Architecture and Interiors in Bend, OR, Seth espouses core values of integrity, technical know-how, client service, and stewardship. Since the firm opened its doors in 2012, it has expanded to a 10-person team that has built a reputation for providing quality design and a high level of client service. The team at Ascent has designed everything from ground-up senior living communities, custom residences, multi-family housing, hotels, breweries, and distilleries.
In addition to design excellence, Seth has striven to create a positive and collaborative environment where architects and designers can continue to grow and work on meaningful projects. Seth formally outlined his business plan in 2014, and it finished in third place – out of 51 entries – in the Charrette Venture Group’s national Architectural Business Plan competition. While the plan is ever evolving, it features a shared leadership model with little hierarchy but clearly delineated responsibilities, a 36-hour workweek to encourage work/life balance, time-and-a-half pay for overtime, and a comprehensive community and nonprofit giving program.
Seth is a founding member of the Central Oregon Professional Architects’ Network (COPAN), in which he works closely with other firm leaders to increase educational and networking opportunities. COPAN organized the first-ever Central Oregon Architecture Showcase, which put architects’ work on view to the public during a Friday night art walk in Bend’s downtown.
Seth is active with AIA Southwest Oregon, and serves on its board as Director of Extra Metropolitan Affairs. Central Oregon, which has a regional population of 150,000, is represented by the chapter that lies 130 miles to its west. Until recently, there was little local representation and fewer than 15 AIA members among the 65 local architects and 10 firms. Since joining the chapter, he’s helped bring educational programming to the area such as organizing the first ever AIA-SWO program in Bend and working to bring the chapter’s monthly lunch and learn series to the area. Seth is heavily invested in AIA membership and has created a multimedia conference room at his office to host virtual events and Ascent pays 100 percent of eligible employees’ membership dues.
The son of a teacher, Seth is an eager mentor. His firm has provided a paid summer internship for a University of Oregon master’s degree candidate, two days for high school students to shadow his team, and he supervises the firm’s associate members’ IDP progress.
Seth is an excellent ambassador of architecture. Whether it is the Central Oregon community, his clients, or the profession, Seth can be counted on to provide focus and conviction.