Honorary AIANH Membership

AIANH periodically bestows Honorary Membership to the chapter on persons of esteemed character who are not eligible for membership in the Institute or this Chapter but who have rendered distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences within the territory of this Chapter.

Previous Honorary AIANH Members

2017 Honorary Member

John Hession, Photographer

At its 33rd Annual Awards Banquet on January 20, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH) named John W. Hession an Honorary Member of the Chapter. This award is bestowed on non-architects who have given distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the arts and sciences related to architecture within the state of New Hampshire.

Mr. Hession has been a member of the Chapter’s Environmental Guild since 2004, providing insights and working on initiatives to promote the Guild’s mission of advocating for a more productive and healthy built environment through sustainable design principles. He was involved in five of the six Integrated Design/Integrated development conferences the Guild sponsored and has been a fearless and tireless proponent of the 2030 Challenge, a goal set forth by the architecture community to reduce and ultimately eliminate fossil-fuel-emitting energy to operate buildings by the year 2030.

Over the years, Hession has provided gratis services to AIA New Hampshire, documenting countless events. He is currently filming and directing a documentary, “Net-Zero in New England,” a project of the NH Architecture Foundation. Two segments of the film were previewed last September at the Red River Theatre in Concord. He has also produced video recordings and interviews of the 2015 and 2016 New England COTE (AIA Committee on the Environment) Summits in Portland, ME, and Boston, MA.

Hession’s architectural photography is well-recognized throughout the state. Much of it can be seen in the pages of NH Home Magazine, where he is the photo editor. He and his wife, Valerie Michaud, also co-authored Wildflowers of the White Mountains, a pocket field guide to New Hampshire’s wild flowers. Hession got hooked on filming and photography after working as a lawyer for three years. (He earned a JD from Boston University in 1983.) That led him to New York where he started a production company that created new magazine shows, commercials, documentary, and dramatic films for a variety of clients. He opened his photo studio in New Hampshire in 1999 and began specializing in architectural photography in 2001.

In making the presentation, David Ely AIA, said, “We are proud to name John Hession as an Honorary Member in recognition and appreciation of his consistent willingness and commitment to document, illuminate, and promote architecture and sustainability.”


For a list of all Honorary AIANH Members, go to the member roster and search by “Honorary AIANH Members."