Eddie Fortuna
Credit: Eddie Fortuna
Contributed by:
Eddie Fortuna
Assoc. AIA

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Last Page: AIA Fellows Share Their Must-Haves

We asked four AIA Fellows to share with us some of their essential items. We selected our five favorites from each.

David Dillard, FAIA

Principal at D2 Architecture

These things live literally within arm’s reach of my desk at home and symbolize what I carry around in head and heart in the great “out there.” I have half-dozen rabbit bookends because of my immeasurable appreciation for Watership Down, a 1972 English novel about a rabbit that was neither the smartest, the strongest, nor the fastest of his traveling warren but he perfected the art of collaborating with others to produce extraordinary and disproportionate results. I am still working on that and remain in debt to “Hazel-Rah” for his template in leadership. The rest is about recordings. With the sketchbook I record (read: internally visualize) what I see when I travel and occasionally (shamelessly!) transpose into designs du jour back home. Lower right: the ubiquitous means by which I have – since 1968(!) as a freshman at UT – explored, recorded and conveyed those designs ideas to myself and to others. And still do. Lower left: His recorded ideas … which are never wrong, never irrelevant, and have everything to say about how to treat others along the way.

Marcela Abadi Rhoads, FAIA

Owner at Abadi Accessibility

I am defined by my passions: My family, my community, and my profession. My family is how I came to be. It is who has supports me and gives me the courage to achieve my goals and succeed. My community includes my Jewish community, my architectural community, and my Dallas community. (Go Rangers!) They make me happy! My passions are enhanced by my sense of giving back. I give back by giving charity to different causes, thus the charity box that you see pictured. Additionally, I give back by teaching about the laws of building access, which is shown by the ADA guidebook shown in the photograph. I give back by being of service to my community and family. I am very grateful for all I have and for the ability to make a difference when I can, which makes me even happier!

Nancy McCoy, FAIA, FAPT

Principal at McCoy Collaborative Preservation Architecture

When I gathered these objects, I was challenged by the idea that a few things could somehow describe me as a whole, make a representation of myself with things. Selecting them was easy – I identify with many objects in my home and office for many different reasons and I tried to use every-day as well as special items. Each discloses something about my life experiences and the choices I have made, but as a collection of things, I find them disparate and incomplete.  I need more filler to connect them to one another. I need more of them too. I would have had no trouble finding 100 objects to tell the story of myself, not the history of the world. I do think 1,000 objects would be too many. But I am not sure that 100 objects would have been enough either. From top left: I collect Hans Wegner-designed furniture, started collecting with McCoy Pottery pitchers, intimately know the work of S.C.P Vosper at Texas A&M, enjoyed post-modern literature in my 20s, and wear drugstore readers.   

Dan Noble, FAIA

President and CEO at HKS Inc.

These represent our passions, purpose, and connections in life:

Family … Home … Place ... Relationships … Roots … Design … Architecture … Quality … Craft … Rich Experiences … Activity … Culture … Art … Recreation … Sport … Golf … Precision ... Travel … Capturing a Moment ... to feel it again and again…


We are the sum of our experiences and our effort … our connections in life.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

We have tried to cultivate rich ground.

Contributed and photographed by Eddie Fortuna, an architectural designer at Omniplan.

Originally published in the Spring 2019/ Belief issue of AIA Dallas’  Columns magazine.