In a period of rapid and constant change, communities and environments face increasingly escalating pressures. The developments of the “modern” society put many advancements within an easy arm’s reach but have also stressed other vital parts of life—well-being, equity, ecology, and more. This discussion focuses on the power of design to strengthen communities by tapping into and celebrating the cultural, historical, and environmental contexts that are specific and unique to each place.

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Oct 20 2023


10:30 am - 11:30 am




  • Bill Askey
    Bill Askey
    Cofounder/Principal, EVOKE Studio

    Billy generates design solutions in dynamic cultural, social, and economic frameworks with his compassion for the human condition and optimism for the ways architecture can improve it. With almost 20 years of experience, including several years in DC and NYC, his approach to architecture has inspired teams to successfully design and execute projects of varying scales and typologies. Billy balances composition, poetry, and pragmatism by amplifying design excellence with technical innovation.

    Billy’s success is characterized by a variety of professional accolades. As a cofounder of EVOKE, the firm has been awarded a Progressive Architecture Award, the 2021 AIA Triangle Firm of the Year Award, and exhibited work in the 2021 Venice Biennale. In addition, his projects have been recognized with numerous AIA design awards. In 2019, he received the AIA North Carolina Young Architect Award.

    A North Carolina native and graduate of North Carolina State University, Billy is an exceptional scholar, teacher, and mentor. He has been a Professor of Practice at North Carolina State University since 2014 and an invited critic at various universities. In 2018, he directed the NC State’s award-winning exhibit at the European Cultural Centre’s “Time Space Existence,” a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

  • Edwin Harris
    Edwin Harris
    Co-Founder/Design Principal, EVOKE Studio

    As Co-founder of EVOKE, Edwin believes that remarkable architecture enhances our lives. He consistently generates designs that are decisive, focused, and rooted in clear objectives and novel concepts. Edwin’s design aptitude has resulted in several competition wins including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. These striking achievements complement the 50+ design awards that Edwin’s projects have achieved. He has served as design award juror for the Society of College and University Planning, AIA Detroit, AIA New England, AIA South Carolina, and AIA Tennessee. Edwin currently serves on University of Washington’s Architectural Commission. While at The Freelon Group and Perkins+Will, his visioning for projects like Emancipation Park garnered him recognition as an Emerging Designer for the global firm. Renowned architect and Edwin’s mentor, Phil Freelon, declared Edwin a supremely talented architect on the rise in Architectural Digest Magazine.

    Edwin is a 2022 National AIA Young Architects award winner. In 2020, he was named to the TBJ 40 under 40 for his professional achievements and community service. He is a Professor of Practice at North Carolina State University and a founding board member for Diversify Architecture, a non-profit which reaches grade school students to increase diversity within the architecture profession.