AIA Strategic Council

Formed in 2015, the Strategic Council advances the architecture profession by informing the Board and other Institute bodies about important professional issues, opportunities, and threats. For more information about the council, see here.

Matt Hutchins AIA CPHD

Matt Hutchins, AIA CPHD co-founded CAST architecture in Seattle and has led the firm for more than two decades. In addition to a diverse practice executing custom residential, multifamily, and civic works, Matt is a longtime public advocate for affordable and abundant housing. He serves on the Seattle Planning Commission and is Co-Chair of the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee. At AIA Seattle, Matt is currently a Director for Public Policy, the former Co-Chair of the Housing Task Force, and has helped mount the Residential Design Forum, Honor Awards, ADU Tours, seminars on urban design, and worked extensively on AIA Seattle’s effort to improve Design Review and the Seattle Comprehensive Plan. He has taught design studios at the University of Washington and Arizona State. He was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine in 2019 for his work passing Seattle’s ADU reform, the nation’s most progressive regulation on the type.

Young Architects Forum

AIAWA is looking for our next Young Architects Forum representative (YAR) for the 2025-26 term. The AIA Young Architects Forum is the voice of recently licensed Architects and the catalyst for progress within the Institute.

Specific goals of the group are to:

  • ENGAGE recently licensed Architects in leadership to become agents of change within the Institute and the profession overall.
  • INSPIRE professional growth among recently licensed Architects through fellowship within the Institute.
  • ADVOCATE for issues of particular relevance to recently licensed Architects to the Institute.
  • SERVE to make AIA memberships meaningful to recently licensed Architects through programs and services that effectively anticipate, meet and exceed their needs.
  • PROMOTE mentorship at all career stages to enhance personal growth, community involvement, and professional development.

For more information about the YAF program, see here.

If you are interested in being AIAWA’s next YAR, visit here


Tanya is an Architect at Weber Thompson, serving the community by designing affordable housing that advances the health and wellness of occupants throughout Seattle and Tacoma. She is a fierce advocate for affordable housing beyond project work too. In her hometown of Edmonds, she was chosen to join the Citizen’s Housing Commission to devise policies that expand the range of housing options across the city.

In addition to being a LEED Green Associate, Tanya is a WELL Accredited Professional, a standard that focuses on the impact of a building on human health and wellness. Sustainability is one of Tanya’s core passions and she seeks to integrate sustainable strategies into her projects whenever possible. She is a member of Weber Thompson’s Sustainabiliteam, helping set goals and lead sustainability initiatives within the firm.

Tanya is also part of the inaugural cohort of AIA’s Next to Lead program which is a pilot association program that removes barriers to AIA leadership positions for ethnically diverse women.

State/Territory Associates Representative (STAR)

The National Associates Committee represents and advocates for associates, both mainstream and non-traditional, at all components of the AIA. By promoting excellence, providing information and leadership, fostering inclusiveness and encouraging individual, community and professional development, the NAC strives to integrate the growing associates community of the profession into a strong voice within the AIA. More information about the NAC is available here.

Chien-Yi Chu, Assoc. AIA

Chien-Yi Chu, as a Design Professional with a background in landscape architecture, believes in a holistic approach to design, considering both building and landscape. I am passionate about creating meaningful connections between people and their surroundings through comprehensive spatial design. Architecture should be inspired by people and make them feel connected to the spaces they inhabit. I am interested in exploring the possibilities of architecture through hands-on projects, thoughtful research, and embracing new technologies to boost creative energy and thinking.

I believe that architecture has the power to shape our world and improve our lives. By combining my passion for design with my love of making via hands, research, and technology, I hope to create innovative and inspiring spaces that make a positive impact on the world.

Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

AIA National’s Small Firm Exchange works to advance the interests of architects practicing in small firms by advocating for the value of small firms; developing and disseminating resources and information; and informing the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas in which current resources and information are lacking.

Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (10 employees or less), which equates to 14,288 small firms within the organization. SFx exists to leverage that size for collaboration and influence.

More info about SFx is available here.

Thomas Lawrence AIA

Thomas represents Washington on the SFx Board. The Board is currently comprised of 22 representatives. Members serve three-year terms with an optional one-year extension.

Tom has lived and worked in Seattle for almost 40 years, focusing on single-family projects. He worked at architectural firms in the Seattle area, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida prior to starting his own small firm in 1995. Tom has a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University.

He has been an active member of AIA Seattle. Among other chapter activities, Tom has served on the Board of Directors 2003-2006, as a member of the Small Office Roundtable 1999-2008 (chair 2003-2008), on the Residential Design Forum organizing task force 2002-2008 (Chair 2003-2006) and 2015-2020, as a member of the Future Shack awards program organizing committee 2009-2012, as a member of the Small Practice and Residential Committee 2016-present (co-chair 2017-2020), and a member of the Honor Awards Committee 1989-present (chair 1994).

As the Washington representative for the Small Firm Exchange (SFx), Tom is looking forward to connecting architects in Washington with those in other states and regions.

Email Thomas here: