Auburn professor Hinson receives prestigious 2021 AIA Alabama Gold Medal of Honor Award

Published: October 28, 2021
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David Hinson, a professor of architecture in Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, was honored on Oct. 16 as the 2021 Alabama American Institute of Architects, or AIA, Gold Medal of Honor Award winner at the Alabama AIA Excellence in Design Awards Gala.

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction, or CADC, professor was honored for a nearly 40-year career in architecture practice and academia. Hinson, a member of the architecture faculty since 1997, served as head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, or APLA, for more than 10 years, is an alumnus of Auburn’s architecture program and is an AIA Fellow.

Community service and advocacy have underpinned Hinson’s extensive career as an architect and teacher. Since his early days in Philadelphia, Hinson has worked to mobilize the talents and energy of his professional peers and students to effect meaningful community change, and he has used leadership roles in almost every significant organization of the profession to champion these values.

“It is a wonderful honor to be recognized by my friends and colleagues in the architecture community this way,” said Hinson, who earned architecture and environmental design degrees at Auburn before getting his master’s at the University of Pennsylvania. “The state is fortunate to have many architects who’ve made a lasting impact on the profession, and it’s humbling to be considered among that group.

“I feel especially fortunate to be teaching and practicing in a state with such a strong tradition of support for architectural education. It is a privilege to be able to work alongside so many peers and colleagues who share a passion for the profession of architecture and a commitment to its future.”

The Alabama AIA Gold Medal of Honor Award recognizes consistent visionary leadership and service to the profession of architecture in the state of Alabama over a lifetime. It is the highest award bestowed upon an architect member of the AIA in Alabama whose “leadership, service and contributions have directly benefitted AIA, their community and/or the design and construction industries.”

Helene Drieling, an AIA Fellow and former national president of the AIA, wrote in support of Hinson’s nomination that, “David’s remarkable dedication to his students as the promising future of society, as well as his extraordinary efforts to initiate cross-collateral projects for the benefit of the greater profession are, when considered collectively, attributed of the highest order for a scholar and practitioner of our discipline.”

In addition, the recipient is measured by the regard of their peers and the community.

“It is evident that the qualities that identify David as a regarded recipient of this award extend to his interactions within APLA,” said Vini Nathan, the McWhorter Endowed Chair and dean of CADC. “Under the influence of David’s belief in advocacy and community support, his students develop into strong leaders. APLA students, faculty and programs benefit greatly from his influence and experience.”

Hinson serves as coordinator of the architecture program’s fourth-year design studios and is coordinator of APLA’s international exchange programs. His research interests include affordable housing, energy performance, building technologies, resilient design in residential architecture and collaboration and leadership in interdisciplinary teams.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.