2019 Young Architect Award Recipient
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.
Guided by a vision of practice that contributes to the community through public and professional service, Asheley Scott St. John, AIA, is a thoughtful and energetic leader. Deeply dedicated to the profession, she is eager to mentor the next generation of architects and continues to find new and innovative ways to broaden access to it.
When St. John first stepped into her freshman dorm at Clemson University, she believed she would never return to her hometown of Columbia, S.C. However, in less than a year her first internship led her back there, and she quickly learned to embrace the unknown, a philosophy that has powered her practice since. After several years as an intern architect at Atlanta’s Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (now tvsdesign), she returned to Columbia, this time for good, where she endeavors to build on the capital city’s evolving character.
St. John founded her firm, 1x1 Design, in 2011 as the country slowly recovered from the 2008 recession. The first and by far the youngest woman to open an architectural firm in Columbia, she has built an inspiring and equitable workplace that embodies professional and design excellence. Now with a staff of six, the firm operates much like an extension of graduate school for the emerging professionals who seek out St. John’s mentorship. With invaluable insights into the inner workings of firm management and the profession, St. John oversees a wide variety of award-winning projects, from residential renovations to higher education and airports.
Since her days as an intern, St. John has been active with AIA Greater Columbia. Beginning as a volunteer who helped with summer events, she has been committed to the chapter for nearly 20 years. She has held numerous leadership roles on the chapter’s board of directors, including its second-ever woman president. During her term as chapter president, Colombia declared April 10–16, 2011, Architecture Week and celebrated the profession and the positive impact architects have made in the city. St. John has also helped create and maintain some of the chapter’s most influential programs, including a design scholarship studio with Clemson and a gingerbread house competition, produced in collaboration with a local children’s museum and Children’s Trust of South Carolina.
In 2011 she was asked to join the board of the Clemson Architectural Foundation, becoming its youngest trustee, and is currently the second woman president in the foundation’s 62-year history. In her role, St. John supports the university’s School of Architecture through fundraising and volunteer support efforts. Last year, thanks to her leadership, the foundation recorded its largest fundraising year and added to its surplus fund for the first time since she joined the board.
Held in high regard by nearly everyone with whom she interacts, St. John has produced transformative outcomes through her practice and service. Always willing to roll up her sleeves, she has established herself as a role model for design professionals dedicated to making a difference in their communities.