2019 Al Beck Award Goes to NAC Principal Philip Riedel
On June 21, Philip Riedel
received this year’s Al Beck Award from the Washington Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE). Congratulations to Philip on this well-deserved recognition! Al Beck is one of the founders of A4LE in the Pacific Northwest, and this award is given in his name to honor a Washington State member who exemplifies the principles of service that were so diligently represented by his contributions to the organization.
Having been actively involved with A4LE for the last 20 years, Philip is currently on the A4LE PNW Region Board and the LE North America Task Force. He also served for four years on the Washington Chapter board and as Chapter President. “I believe the Washington Chapter of A4LE has a strong positive influence on school design throughout the state,” says Philip, “and is one of the most dynamic chapters in the entire global organization.”
In addition to his Chapter Board service, Philip has served widely on Chapter committees, including Promotions Committee Chair, Logistics Committee Chair, Conference Co-Chair, and Spring Bus Tour Chair. Facilitating design submissions, he aligned the requirements for the Polished Apple Award, Pinnacle Award, and the LE Solutions Awards. He has mentored teams and served as a juror in A4LE’s SchoolsNEXT student design competition. At the international level of A4LE, he participated in the Strategic Visioning Session and co-chaired the Knowledge Center Steering Committee. He is also certified by A4LE as an Accredited Learning Environments Planner (ALEP).
Philip is a Principal and the PK-12 Market Sector Leader at NAC Architecture, a firm with a long history of supporting A4LE and the values it represents. Retired NAC Principal, Guy Overman, received the Al Beck Award in 2015, and NAC Associate, Liz Katz, is currently an At-Large Member on the Washington Chapter Board. Also this year, NAC received a Project of Distinction Award in A4LE’s PNW Region Pinnacle Awards program for Bennett Elementary School in the Bellevue School District.
Another aspect of Philip’s involvement with A4LE is that he has helped to inspire passion in others at NAC Architecture for linking pedagogy to school design and incorporating the student voice in the firm’s projects. His work with Mike Wierusz at Inglemoor High School led to an NAC internship program, hosting several students in the office over the summer. His involvement with the Vera Project, an all-ages arts and education space at Seattle Center, has resulted in several pro bono projects for interiors improvements. NAC has followed Philip’s lead with participation in the A4LE SchoolsNEXT program, including hosting the Washington Chapter competition for several years at the firm’s Seattle office. He has also helped Liz Katz to champion NAC’s involvement with the Bureau of Fearless Ideas in Seattle, an effort which was selected this year for recognition by the AIA Diversity Initiative.
Philip has seen first-hand how A4LE improves school design in our region by encouraging professionals and school district planners to come together to share ideas and best practices. At NAC Architecture, our great collaborators enable us to continuously improve our practice—catalyzing communication, school tours, and impactful conferences. Philip works closely with our Research and Experience Development (RED) department to pursue evidence-based innovation in PK-12 planning and design. He is one of NAC’s many thought leaders helping to hone our designs to benefit our clients and future generations.