Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
With a flair for leadership and a deep commitment to his community and profession, Eric M. Roberts, AIA, has continuously enhanced the AIA’s service to society. He has channeled his passion for the built environment into advocacy that has addressed important issues at the local, state, and federal levels.
Now CEO and principal at Knit, Roberts has been a catalyst for change since his student days. He emerged as a leader when he became president of the University of Idaho’s AIAS chapter, where he was recognized with the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for attaining the highest levels of architectural achievement and leadership. In 2005 he joined the AIA as an associate member and quickly went to work representing emerging professionals on the AIA Nevada Executive Committee, where he served for two years.
Since achieving licensure in 2010, Roberts has championed the AIA and served on a number of committees. He was elected president of AIA Las Vegas in 2013 and, a year later, president of AIA Nevada. As AIA State Government Network representative, a role he held for six years, he shared his considerable knowledge of practice law with representatives from AIA chapters across the country. Because of his uncanny ability to envision the future, he was tapped to lead AIA Las Vegas in the development of the chapter’s five-year strategic plan, which features strategies to strengthen member services, boost membership, and prepare the city to host the A’19 AIA Conference on Architecture in June. As the local chapter co-chair for the conference, Roberts has been instrumental in coordinating 140 different tours, fundraising, and inspiring business to support the event financially.
As a way to engage architects through their love of sketching—and get more use out of his own sketchbooks—Roberts founded Urban Sketchers Las Vegas in 2013. The group, which now includes more than 30 regular members from all walks of life and varying levels of artistic ability, meets regularly for sketch crawls through the community. With Urban Sketchers, Roberts has created an environment where accomplished architects, elementary school students, and members of the police department are comfortable working alongside one another.
Though he is still a young architect, his exemplary contributions to the profession and community were recognized in 2017 with the AIA Nevada Silver Medal, the highest recognition that can be bestowed upon an architect in Nevada, and the AIA Service Award. Roberts is the only member in the chapter’s history to receive both awards in the same year.