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Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA, receives 2015 AIA Young Architects Award

Tuesday, January 27, 2015   (0 Comments)

Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA, receives 2015 AIA Young Architects Award

Sobiech Munson is the fifth Iowan to receive this national honor

Des Moines, Iowa (January 26, 2015) – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA CSI CCS, an architect and specifier with Substance Architecture, in Des Moines, Iowa, is a recipient of the 2015 AIA Young Architects Award. This national award recognizes individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their architectural careers. Sobiech Munson will be presented the Young Architects Award at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, along with other recipients from around the country.

In its announcement, the AIA writes: “Sobiech Munson is one of those rare architects who combines a passion for practice, energy, and insight for teaching along with the capacity for communicating about the environment. Her contributions exemplify a holistic approach to the ways in which architectural training and expertise may lead to innovation, both within and outside the profession. In the spirit of ‘repositioning the architect,’ she reaches beyond the boundaries of architecture to engage others in conversation about the built environment, broadening public understanding of the profession and bolstering the value of its expertise. Within the profession, she leads research and discussion that urges practitioners to update the ways in which they design and implement their business practice. Through Ann’s leadership, iaWia—Iowa Women in Architecture, a nonprofit she co-founded to empower individuals and advance women in design—is leading the national discourse about diversity in architecture and the critical need of a more research-based approach to identifying and documenting key issues and potential solutions.” (

Sobiech Munson has degrees in English (BA, Central College, 1991) and architecture (March, Iowa State University, 2000). After completing her internship at Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture (2001 AIA Firm of the Year), she joined the architecture faculty at Iowa State University (2004-2011), where she taught studios, professional practice, and beginning design courses. During four of her seven years with ISU, she led the college-wide beginning design program as director. She returned to practice in 2011, where she writes and coordinates Substance Architecture’s specifications and leads the firm’s Building Information Group (BIG). In 2014, she began a four-year term as an elected City Council member in Slater, Iowa.


For the AIA, Sobiech Munson has presented workshops, written for Iowa Architect, and served on the inaugural Diversity Task Force; she is a participant in the AIA Citizen Architect program, in recognition of her role as a City Council member. She is involved in the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), formerly as chapter treasurer and currently as chapter certification chair. She has written and presented on topics of writing and architecture, beginning design, and diversity in architectural practice at local, national, and international conferences. Previous awards include a 2013 Design Achievement Award from the College of Design at Iowa State University for founding Iowa Women in Architecture, along with her three co-founders; and a 2006 Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) for the seminar “Writing About Architecture”, with co-recipient and former colleague Thomas Leslie.



Substance Architecture is a collaborative design practice established in Des Moines, Iowa in 2005. The firm has a staff of 25, bringing together the talent and expertise of some of the region’s most recognized design professionals engaged in the disciplines of Architecture, Interior Architecture, Master Planning and Design.



Since 1857, the American Institute of Architects has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. AIA Iowa, headquartered in Des Moines, is a statewide affiliate of national AIA with nearly 1,000 members.  AIA Iowa members are committed to excellence in design and are proactive in the design of livable communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA member architect’s dedication to the highest standards of professional practice.


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To schedule an interview with Ann Sobiech Munson, please contact Amy Kline at Essman/Associates at

(515) 282-7145, or e-mail her at

AIA Iowa Firm Members