Advocate for small architecture firms Joshua Zinder appointed to key professional committee

Joshua Zinder

Most architectural firms are small practices with fewer than 20 employees, which according to Joshua Zinder, AIA — managing partner of JZA+D, the 14-person integrated design firm he founded in 2006 — puts them in a position to produce important innovation and bring value and growth to their communities.

Now Zinder will have additional opportunities to support the work of startups and emerging firms, having been appointed as New Jersey’s representative to the American Institute of Architects Small Firm Exchange (AIA SFx). Each year, the SFx selects practitioners from across the country to advance the mutual interests of architects with small firms. According to AIA, SFx representatives are integral to AIA communications, connecting small firm leaders in their local and state components to the national organization.

AIA members practicing in small firms in New Jersey are encouraged to reach out to Zinder to discuss how the national organization could better support them.

Having served as president of AIA-New Jersey for the 2021 calendar year, Zinder brings to the Exchange a deeply personal view of the role of the small architectural practice in enhancing communities and spurring sustainable economic growth. Boasting a global portfolio of residential, commercial, hospitality, and academic design work, JZA+D has weathered two economic downturns and become a pillar of the Princeton, New Jersey community where it is headquartered and where much of its work is focused.

“Starting one’s own firm is stressful and requires a lot of time doing things other than architecture, but there are rewards for our partners, our staff and the communities we serve,” says Zinder. “I wouldn’t change a thing.” He adds that he hopes to work within the Exchange to elevate the perception of emerging firms, and to encourage practice leaders to focus on mentorship, networking, and responsive design.

Zinder has also been appointed to serve on the SFx Executive Board in the role of All-Call Workgroup Chair, placing him in a key position overseeing collaborative efforts among representatives to the Exchange.

The selection to represent the Garden State with AIA SFx follows Zinder’s recent presentation at the virtually-held AIA Tri-State Small Firms Symposium. Titled “Progress Through Storytelling: How to Win Approval for Innovative Design,” the session focused on communication strategies for competing with larger firms when presenting to approval-granting agencies and authorities. This June in San Francisco at the 2023 Conference on Architecture, Zinder will present the session in person alongside architect and engineer Charles F. Bloszies — who operates his own small firm in the Bay Area — and land-use expert John McDonough.

About Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D)

Located in Princeton, New Jersey, the emerging practice JZA+D was founded in 2006 by principal Joshua Zinder, AIA, to deliver multidisciplinary services for sustainable and contemporary buildings, interiors and product designs. The collective educational and professional experience of JZA+D’s staff spans more than 95 years in global markets, and its staff is encouraged and inspired to be cooperative partners, good listeners and creative problem-solvers. JZA+D has won numerous design awards and its work has been seen in publications around the world. The staff actively participates in trade and professional organizations such as AIA, NCARB, USGBC, ACSA, IIDA, IOREBA, NJRA and Gotham Networking. More than half of the firm’s architectural staff is LEED accredited. For more information, please visit

About AIA and AIA New Jersey

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has over 2,100 members in six local sections. For more information, please visit