Inspiring the Next Generation of Architects

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Having worked on many exciting projects, I have to say that being a dad has been one of the most rewarding to date and raising two girls has been an incredible experience. They often ask me what I do and I am happy to indulge them in everything that is architecture, except for door schedules, which they could not fully understand just yet…. but I am hopeful that they will someday enjoy them as much as I do.

When I remember my childhood, growing up in the inner city of Chicago, the only architectural role model I had was none other than Mike Brady. As silly as it may sound, I consider myself lucky to have been exposed to the career of architecture through a television show. Now, I find myself wondering how many life trajectories can be altered by exposing children to people who can inspire them to broaden their possibilities in terms of a career path and life potential.

My oldest daughter, much to my delight, has been participating in a program that introduces students, ranging from ages 8-15, to the field of architecture and design. She has learned a variety of things and her confidence has increased as a result of this, but what really amazes me is that the intentional diversity in the program introduces her to kids from all walks of life. The work that is produced by the participants is amazing, thoughtful, and creative. When my daughter brings home her projects, I think about how great it is that this program exists and I wonder what her creative outlet would be if she did not have this in her life.

The Alberti program, which is run through the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, is a studio workshop that teaches students about Architecture, Community, and Environmental Design. Sustainability is the general theme of the program and the students get hands-on experience solving problems through design providing them with an invaluable opportunity to meet with design professionals from various backgrounds. Through the process of working in groups and presenting their work, participants also learn critical thinking, collaboration and presentation skills.

The core mission of the program is to create a diverse environment and inspire students that would otherwise not have access to college level resources by reaching out to underserved schools in the St. Louis Public Schools District. The far reaching goal is that the program will lead to a more diverse population of professionals in the field of architecture and design. As such, the program recently was honored by receiving the 2016 AIA Diversity Recognition Program. This award recognizes programs that actively commit to increasing diversity and inclusion within the architecture profession.

The Alberti program is led by Gay Lorberbaum, senior lecturer at Washington University, and is assisted by students enrolled in the architecture program. The program is free to all participants and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and generous donations from other sources.

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Local Professionals are often a regular part of the program curriculum. They provide lectures, tours, and are leaders that educate the students on a variety of topics to serve as fodder for the project at hand. The program runs during the fall, spring and summer. During the summer period, participants are able to use the studio spaces as their desks while making their creations. Imagine being a kid again and realizing that you are creating in the same space as someone you aspire to be.

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The Alberti program is a wonderful example of how we, as creative leaders, should share our knowledge and inspire those that dare to dream but don’t know how to get there or don’t have these examples in or near their lives. Your local schools, universities, AIA chapter, and the 1+ website are great resources to find similar possibilities to engage. I encourage everyone to get involved and inspire because you never know whose life you can change.

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Current participant quote: “I like going there because I can express how I am feeling through art”

Former participant quote: “Because I attended, it greatly influenced my decision that architecture was the career path for me!”

Former student teacher quote: “Seeing the kids design freely was inspiring. It gave me an appreciation for children as thinkers and an understanding for how important this work is.”


Pictures provided by the Alberti Program



Opportunities to support The Alberti Program:

• Be a guest lecturer, host a field trip, or site visit

• Donate materials and supplies

• Give a tax-deductible financial support


Contact for more information:

General information and enrollment:

Gay Lorberbaum:


Posted by Martin Padilla, Project Designer

Quality in 20

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Every Tuesday at 1:10, someone rings the bell to indicate that it’s time to head to the lunch area. It’s time for Quality in 20, our weekly company-wide meeting. In this format, our entire office comes together to learn something related to the practice of architecture. Each week, a different Trivers staff member is given 20 minutes to present on a topic of their choice. With presentations ranging from conference synopses to professional interest group affiliations and project experiences, Quality in 20 presentations provide the opportunity for individuals to share their personal experiences and expertise with their colleagues.

Far more interactive than just slide sharing, Quality in 20 presentations start and enhance conversations that lead to better understanding and greater quality work by all. These conversations inspire further investigation and inspire innovation for potential design solutions. Most importantly, Quality in 20 presentations create opportunities for every member of our staff to learn something new and further our development as professionals in the architecture industry.

You can follow our topics of discussion by following #Qualityin20 on our Facebook and Instagram.

Posted by Amy Beaman, Office Administrator + Marketing Assistant 

Processed Concrete Floors in Renovations

Durable | Sustainable | Beautiful

Architects have been enamored of concrete’s beauty for a very long time; the general public - not so much. Never mind that Pliny the Elder praised the virtues of Roman “Opus caementum” in monumental constructions of the 1st century CE, “It looks unfinished” was a typical lament of the consumer of the vernacular, particularly up until the turn of the 21st century. Then came finishing techniques, densifiers and sealers that made concrete counters, tabletops, and floors chic, if only because their finishes afforded them looks that were less like concrete and more like stone.

Today, contractors can transform a once-utilitarian factory floor into a dramatic walking surface for lobbies and lofts. With a substantial history of successful adaptive re-use projects, the architectural team at Trivers Associates specifies the latest in proven techniques and materials to leverage the value potential of century-old concrete slabs into distinctive designs.

“Concrete Polishing” is commonly used to refer to changing an existing concrete surface by means of a mechanical process involving cutting and/or refining the surface to a desired finish. However, the correct terminology is “Concrete Processing,” as not all processed concrete can be called “polished” (if, for example, only Grinding and Honing steps are undertaken).

There are three fundamental visual aspects of a processed concrete floor finish – surface cut (i.e. degree of aggregate exposure), reflection (degree of polish), and enhancements, if any (stains, dyes, saw-cut patterns).

Finishing levels - basic, medium and premium - drive the amount of work entailed, both in terms of aggregate exposure and reflection/sheen.

Basic-level grind-finish, Medium-level honed-finished, Premium-level polished 


Aggregate Exposure Class


frosario Class A cream exposure
Class A- Cream Exposure

Class B- Fine Aggregate Exposure
Class B- Fine Aggregate (Salt & Pepper) Exposure

Class C - Medium Aggregate Exposure
Class C- Medium Aggregate Exposure

Class D Large Aggregate Exposure
Class D- Large Aggregate Exposure


Gloss Levels


Densifiers are water-based chemical solutions that first work by penetrating into the surface of the concrete and reacting with calcium hydroxide to produce calcium silicate hydrate (CSH). The CSH that is produced fills the open pores of the concrete, increasing its density. The three types of densifier most commonly used are- sodium, potassium, and lithium. Lithium-silicates penetrate without scrubbing or adding large amounts of water. This saves time, money and energy. They also penetrate completely, which eliminates flushing, waste containment, collection, and disposal—and their costs.

Variables within a concrete processing contractor’s control:

    Weight, RPMs, speed at which machine moves over surface in a linear motion.
    Configuration of diamonds’ face/tread
    Saturation of diamond grit in the bonding
    Hardness of diamond bonding
    Point at which operators switch abrasives
    When applied
    What type
Physical grinding, honing, and polishing
    Degree to which the concrete surface is cut
    Level of clarity of the cut surface
    Refinement of the concrete from one grit to the next
    How well the floor is cleaned between each grit adhesive

Variables of Existing Conditions not within a processing concrete contractor’s control:

Concrete Surface
    Imperfections that need to be removed
    Surface flatness and levelness
    Presence of coatings, glues or mastics
    Finish: hand-troweled or mechanically-troweled
Concrete Mix Design

Going forward, exposing and processing existing concrete floor slabs will increasingly be among the most popular value-added choices available in adaptive re-use buildings. Trivers Associates stands committed to delivering current and reliable specifications and detailing of this environmentally responsible process.

An Introduction to Concrete Processing
A Quick Guide to Polishing Concrete Floors
Polished Concrete Information and Options
Levels of Concrete Polishing 
Technical Resources for the Concrete Industry
Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA)

Published by Frank Rosario, AIA, Project Manager 

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