The Board of Directors and the Strategic Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are honoring Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, with the Edward C. Kemper Award 2024.
The Edward C. Kemper Award, named in honor of AIA’s first executive director, is given annually to an architect who has contributed significantly to the profession through service to the AIA.
A champion for women in design, Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, made a remarkable impact on the profession throughout her lifetime, and her enduring legacy continues to inspire architects across the nation. As a leader, Chin was able to simultaneously instigate and inspire, whether heading a project team, engaging her clients, or serving alongside her colleagues at AIA. Through her various efforts, she changed the practice of architecture at the national level, and her advocacy advanced the roles of women in the full spectrum of architecture, urban design, sustainability, and social responsibility.
As a principal at Boston’s Payette, Chin was committed to elevating the design of health care facilities, improving their efficiency and humanizing clinical spaces with natural light and material palettes soothing to both patients and staff. Chin, in her role as a firm leader, eagerly welcomed talented young professionals from across the world, including India, China, and Turkey, embracing their differing viewpoints and experiences to expand our common architectural heritage.
No matter a project’s scale or budget, she challenged project teams and clients alike to envision uplifting spaces. Her careful consideration is clear in a broad swath of projects, from the $200 million Children’s Hospital at Hershey Medical Center to the pro bono St. Boniface Hospital in Haiti, built in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Among Chin’s most significant contributions to the profession was founding and leading the Boston Society of Architect’s (BSA’s) Women Principals Group in 2006. Since its inception, the group has grown into a critical resource for the city’s current and future architectural leaders. In collaboration with BSA’s Women in Design group, Chin helped launch a mentoring program to share knowledge and experiences with the next generation of women leaders.
Chin’s positive BSA experiences spurred her to look beyond the Boston region and organize the Women’s Leadership Summit, the first national AIA gathering of women leaders held in Chicago in 2009. The first gathering drew 150 attendees from 23 states; today, the summit draws more than 1,000 participants from all 50 states and is the most significant gathering of women architects in the country. To ensure the continued development of emerging women leaders, a memorial fund in her name was established by colleagues, family, and friends to provide grants that cover the costs of attending the summit.
Learn more about Chin’s selection as the Edward C. Kemper Award 2024 winner.