Five Recent Graduates make AIA’s 2020 “Emerging Professionals” Short List

By Maggie Haslam / Jan 19, 2021 / Updated Jan 22, 2021

The Green Gap mixed-use, urban farming hub rendering.
Image Caption
"The Green Gap", a mixed-use, urban farming hub designed by Zebi Brown (M.ARCH '20), Sara G. Samar (M.ARCH '19) and Adam Knoebel M.ARCH '20).

Projects by five recent graduates of the University of Maryland’s Architecture Program were selected for this year’s Emerging Professionals Exhibit by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Designs by Maria Fernanda Farieta, Kyle Huck, Zebi Brown, Sara Ghafar Samar and Adam Knoebel joined a highly-competitive national roster of 20 creative projects from “who to watch” emerging professionals.

Since 2016, the annual AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit has celebrated the work of emerging or rising professionals in the design industry. This year’s theme, “environmental excellence,” highlighted projects that leverage creative, sustainable design solutions to combat climate change and its social, economic and environmental ramifications.

"It is an absolute thrill to have Maria, Kyle, Sara, Adam and Zebi recognized nationally by the AIA," said Brian Kelly, director of the Architecture Program. "Design that frames the natural environment as an equal stakeholder in our urban fabric is integral to creating sustainable, just places, and touches everything we teach her at Maryland. All of these former students are carrying those values into the practice." 

UMD had the largest showing in this year’s exhibit, delivering three out of the four university-level projects included; the remaining 16 projects in the 2020 exhibit hail from professional design firms and architects nationwide.


Meet UMD’s AIA Emerging Professionals:

Maria Farieta: Greenscape
Maria Fernanda Farieta’s project, a design for a sustainability center on UMD’s campus, was completed during her senior year as a B.ARCH student, as part of ARCH 402. Maria is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree in architecture and urban planning. See Maria’s winning design


Kyle Huck: MeadWorks
Kyle Huck, a December 2019 M.ARCH graduate, is an architectural designer at Perkins Eastman in Washington, D.C. See images of his design for a waterfront brewery operation that redefines public infrastructure in the online exhibit.


Zebi Brown, Sara G. Samar and Adam Knoebel: The Green Gap
Zebi Brown, a May 2020 M.ARCH graduate, is practicing her creative and innovative design skills at Hill and Hurtt Architects in Washington, D.C. Sara Ghafar Samar, who graduated in December 2019 with her M.ARCH, is a designer at Pyatok Architects in Oakland, California. Adam Knoebel, who graduated May 2020, is an architectural designer for Ayers Saint Gross. Read about Adam, Zebi and Sara’s design, a 100 unit affordable housing mass timber project outside of New York City, and see pictures in the online exhibit.


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