Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) is what the AIA (American Institute of Architects used to call its portion of its membership devoted to housing design. This has been recently changed to become the AIA’s Residential Knowledge Community.
There are certain architectural design firms that might specialize in the design of houses, such as Rand Soellner Architect, the HOME ARCHITECTS TM. These housing-oriented designers share ideas online through the National, State, and Local area networks. These typically take the form of websites hosted by the National AIA, State AIA chapters, and local (county- region or city AIA chapters).
An architect who sees something interesting to him or her, or that he or she has special knowledge of, or feels impassioned enough to want to make a comment, may do so at any of these online forums. The AIA creates opportunities for professionals to share techniques and information for custom residential practices. Knowledge obtained during exchanges of thoughts yield helpful information to those participating, as to what are some of the most beneficial techniques used throughout the nation. Also, each firm can improve their individual practice by learning from fellow residential practitioners.
While each house design firm can probably do well on their own, the idea behind the AIA Residential Knowledge Community is to allow thousands of similarly-minded licensed professionals to share their experiences and knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. In this manner, we all can learn from each other’s best advice and counsel.
Rand Soellner, AIA, remembers back at the University of Florida Graduate Design School. He said that while the professors there were highly competent, it was often in the wee hours of the night or otherwise long after classes were over that groups of other graduate design students would walk around and engage in discussions about each other’s projects. In this fashion Rand found that those participating in such one-on-one detailed probing questions and answers might find themselves learning more than during a full-blown class environment. Such is the intent of the AIA’s Residential Knowledge Community.
The AIA has often said, throughout its history, that there are few, if any architectural practices that are more complex and detailed or challenging than the design and detailing of housing. Rand Soellner should know, he was the architect of record on about half of Jurassic Park for Universal Studios in Orlando, and has designed major water treatment facilities for County governments, the programming, concept design and master planning for the new Florida Solar Energy Center years ago, has designed complex hospital intensive care facilities, NASA projects, military work and other unique efforts during his 28 years as a licensed architect. He selected house design because he loves it. One of the reasons is because of the challenge and stimulation it gives him. “There’s never a dull moment,” said Soellner, “even between projects, there is always something interesting and unique about housing design to attract your mind and get you thinking: ‘What if?’ ”
Soellner and the AIA continue the Custom Residential Architects Network, now through the AIA Residential Knowledge Community, along with thousands of other interested licensed design firms.
Link to the AIA Residential Knowledge Community: