Megan Schires

I entered the professional world of architecture in 2016 after finishing my M.Arch at Iowa State University. My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Design in Architecture with a minor in Housing Studies from the University of Minnesota. Throughout my academic career my focus has been on the human factor in design and I'm particularly interested in how the built environment affects the people who inhabit it and vice versa. I love to travel and try to make as many pilgrimages as I can to architectural landmarks all over the world!


Recruiting Architects of the World: How Architect-US Helps Firms to Find International Talent

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What if hiring an international architect with great skills, qualifications, and unique insights was as easy as hiring someone from upstate New York or Indiana? Architects worldwide dream of an opportunity to enter the competitive American market and it is common for young professionals to travel internationally for study or work. At the same time, many top US firms are searching for diverse new talent, yet the cost, paperwork, and bureaucracy of hiring international candidates can be discouraging. Architect-US was created to fill that gap.

How to Render Parametric Designs & Animations Using V-Ray for Rhino & Grasshopper

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Everybody’s talking about Grasshopper. It’s an exciting way to explore parametric and generative designs in architecture — and the ability to create and render those concepts and animations to present to clients is considerably even more impressive.

V-Ray is a trusted 3D renderer that gives Rhino users the power to render everything, from quick concepts to finished designs. It also allows designers to deliver professional-quality renders every step of the way. V-Ray for Grasshopper comes with V-Ray for Rhino, which makes it quick and easy to animate and render your parametric designs.

Final Call for Entries to A' Design Awards & Competition 2020

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If you've procrastinated, now is your last chance to enter your design in the 2020 A’ Design Award Competition - the final call for entries ends February 28th, 2020 for an opportunity to showcase your work to a global audience. The international competition was "born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well-designed products" of designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields. Among other design competitions and awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale with over 100 design categories.

Manshausen Island Resort. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award Grotto Sauna. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award The Curtain. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award Impression Nanxi River. Image Courtesy of A' Design Award + 19

Call for Entries: A' Design Awards & Competition 2020

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For a chance to showcase your work to a global audience, now is the time to enter your design for an A’ Design Award. The international competition was "born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well-designed products" of designers, architects, and innovators from all design fields. Among other design competitions and awards, the A' Design Award stands out for its exceptional scale with over 100 design categories.

Courtesy of A' Design Award Courtesy of A' Design Award Courtesy of A' Design Award Courtesy of A' Design Award + 23

EGGER Shows the Versatility and Decorative Potential of Wood Products

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Every working day presents new challenges for architects, fabricators and distributors. The key to success in the building industries is the optimum and timely implementation of projects and the satisfaction of clients and customers. Versatile, easy to work with materials like wood can streamline the process without sacrificing design or options. Wood, in addition to being a structural material, can also be utilized in the form of wooden composite boards and wood-based products. EGGER is a company with a history of producing multiple different types of wood products with unique purposes and applications within a design.

5 Common Design Questions for Balancing Sustainability and Cost

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Architects of today face a common task that defies intuition – how to balance building performance and strict carbon targets against cost. Sustainability in design is certainly a worthy and necessary goal, but the amount of options can be overwhelming and the costs prohibitive, especially in the eyes of owners. How can designers best convince their clients to integrate sustainability into a project? Keeping costs low and backing up decisions with fact-based analysis are solid first steps.

Roversi Design Award Seeks Fluidity in the New Industrial Age

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CODE - COmpetitions for DEsigners has launched the “Roversi Design Award”, a competition of ideas aiming to design spaces for people’s life, work and amusement in the industry 4.0 era of fluidity and dematerialization. A cash prize of €10,000 will be awarded to the winners, selected by an international jury panel including Frans van Vuure (UNStudio), Peter Pichler, Nicholas Bewick (AMDL Circle), Livia Tani (Ateliers Jean Nouvel), Marco Costanzi, and Massimo Iosa Ghini, among others.

Bjarke Ingels: "If we can Change the Climate of the World by Accident, Imagine What we can Achieve by Trying"

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Bjarke Ingels is one of the most well-known architects of our time. During a conversation in Copenhagen between Ingels and Sky-Frame, he discussed his point of view, creating reality, immense courage and the secret behind his unwavering pragmatism.

Ensure Long-Lasting Design with Resilient Floor Systems

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From hospitals and retail stores to large commercial facilities and school buildings, resilient flooring is a popular choice for its durability. Yet like any material, it is subject to human error and neglect; if not properly maintained, even resilient flooring may deteriorate (in aesthetics, function, or both) before its time. 

Putting Wood to Work: 7 Benefits of Using Timber in Commercial and Industrial Design

When it comes to commercial and industrial buildings that need to stand the test of time, wood is proving it has the necessary resilience and strength, while offering unique advantages over steel and concrete. In retail and office spaces, wood not only offers remarkable durability, but introduces a much-desired aesthetic warmth once absent from such environments. Adding mass timber to these spaces is a kind of modern-day revival of the century-old timber post-and-beam buildings of the past. What’s old becomes new again, but with all the state-of-the-art technologies and sustainable features expected in today’s commercial buildings.

T3 West Midtown / DLR Group. Image Courtesy of DLR Group Diamond Foods Innovation Center / ZGF Architects. Image © Eckert & Eckert Cheese Dairy De Tijd, Westbeemster / Bastiaan Jongerius Architecten. Image © Luuk Kramer Wood truss roof at Whole Foods Market in Atlanta, GA. Image © Scott Lockyear + 8

Rethinking Volume Builders through Customizable Contemporary Designs with Metricon

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Use the term ‘volume builder’ in front of an architect, and there’s a fair chance they’ll shudder. Conjuring a vision of homogenous, mass-produced boxes squished together, ruining the look of leafy suburbs traditionally populated by impeccably designed homes, volume building is often seen as the poor cousin.

However, not all volume builders are cut from the same cloth.

Supercharging Workflows with Real-Time Visualization Tool Twinmotion

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Forward-thinking architectural firms, infrastructure consultancies, and interior design businesses are increasingly leaning on real-time architectural visualization to explore, evaluate, and present designs. By affording clients and project stakeholders the opportunity to experience future spaces in interactive and immersive environments, real-time technology provides a compelling immediacy that 2D drawings cannot. 

A Building Shaped by Views: Living with 'Sky-Frame' in Hamburg

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The leaves are still sprinkled with delicate drops of morning dew.
Outside, in Hamburg, the bustling metropolis in northern Germany, the streets are already a hive of activity as another working day begins.

Time to savour a long, leisurely gaze over the Alster.
To watch the seagulls glide silently across the sky.
As you take in the great, boundless expanse, from a room flooded with natural light, the borders between indoors and outdoors begin to blur, as though the laws of physics no longer applied.

You feel the first rays of warm sunlight on your face.
Aren’t these precisely the kind of moments which give you the energy you need for yet another hectic day? – A view, not a window.

Call for Ideas: Ghost Town Refuge

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YAC - Young Architects Competitions launches “Ghost Town Refuge”, a competition of ideas aiming to design contemporary refuges among the ruins of the ancient Craco in order to delight visitors with a sublime experience: living among ruins and falling asleep under the uncovered vaults of a ghost town. A cash prize of € 15,000 will be awarded to the winners selected by an outstanding jury panel comprised of David Chipperfield, Joao Carrilho da Graça, Ian Ritchie, Alberto Veiga, Benedetta Tagliabue (Miralles Tagliabue), among others.

Streamline Construction Administration with Digital Tools by Archireport

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Most architects can agree that they would prefer to spend more time designing and less time managing. Management is a vital role architects play, yet increased efficiency is always valuable. Whether it involves coordinating consultants or ensuring a job site is progressing to meet the contract documents, architects are in charge of orchestrating many moving parts throughout the life of a project. With an app like Archireport, architects can keep track of projects in the office or on site, wherever the work day may lead.

Flexform's Versatile Furniture Enhances Projects Worldwide

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Architectural design of a space and the furniture chosen to fill it can work together to define a room's function, set a certain vibe, and make a statement. While an architect or designer may want specific furniture to create a certain look at the time of design completion, versatility is also important over the course of a building's life. Not only do the needs of building programs and inhabitants shift over time, but owners of commercial and public spaces often want the ability to react to both aesthetic and social trends to keep up-to-date. 

Promoting Biophilic Design in Commercial Spaces with Authentic Natural Veneers

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Biophilic design enhances occupant connectivity to the natural environment and continues to influence commercial architecture and interior design. Biophilia, the idea that humans innately seek connections to nature, can be reflected in a broad range of elements when it comes to design; daylighting, views of nature, and the use of organic patterns are examples of ways to include biophilic design in a space. A designer may also incorporate the careful use of natural materials such as wood products, stones, and leathers. This design aesthetic’s proven effects on building occupants’ wellbeing is evident in reduced stress for office workers, faster healing times for healthcare patients, and higher test scores for students.

A' Good Architecture Design Award Winners Showcase Integrative Design

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The A’ Design Award’s annual Accolades reward the top designers worldwide in all design disciplines. It is a peer-reviewed, anonymously judged international award whose aim is to provide a platform for these designers to showcase their work and products to a global audience. This year's edition is still open for entries until the Late Deadline on February 28th, with winners announced on April 15th; designers can register their submissions here today!

Hotel Pino Nature - Hotel / Studio ZEC. Image © Damir Dautbegović Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore - Bookstore / Xiang Li. Image © Feng Shao Manshausen - Hospitality, Sport, Hotel, Wellness/Spa / Snorre Stinessen. Image © Steve King PONE Transparent Shell - Exhibition Space / PONE ARCHITECTURE. Image © PONE ARCHITECTURE + 21