The annual AIAS FORUM meeting for 2011 will take a break from the snow of the past two years (2009 Minnesota, 2010 Toronto) and be held in sunny downtown Phoenix, Arizona. FORUM is the annual meeting of the AIAS and the premier global gathering of architecture and design students. The conference provides students with the opportunity to learn about important issues facing architectural education and the profession, to meet students, educators, and professionals with common interests, and to interact with some of today’s leading architects through keynote addresses, tours, workshops and seminars, last years FORUM was attended by over 1,000 young and ambitious architecture students and AIAS members. This years Keynote Speakers will be Jeffrey Inaba, founder of C-Lab and former project manager with Rem Koolhaas and OMA, Brad Lancaster, author of www.harvestingrainwater.com, and University of Californa, San Diego architect and professor Teddy Cruz.
This years FORUM 2011 is in part sponsored by The Design School at Arizona State University, the College of Architecture and Design at The University of Arizona and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West. These sponsors will also play host to some of the events taking place at this years FORUM Conference. Some of this years events will include personal and in-depth tours of Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, Peter Eisenman’s design of University of Phoenix Stadium, and also local architecture in both Phoenix and Tucson by Debartolo Architects, Architekton, Will Bruder, Rick Joy, Line and Space and Jone’s Studio.
Other activities that are being offered this year are group design charrette’s at The Design School at Arizona State University, tours of the Roosevelt Dam, graphics & rendering workshops, and the infamous scavenger hunt that will let loose over 1,000 architecture students and AIAS members all over Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Arizona. Let us also not forget to mention the opportunity and luxury to wear shorts and play golf in December/January. Professional practice opportunities will also be offered by some of the leading professionals giving advice on NCARB, IND and ARE certification and also with dozens of local architects opening their offices for a firm crawl, providing the opportunity to meet and mingle with some of Arizona’s top architects and designers.
Some of the top speakers at this years FORUM include Jeffrey Inaba, who teaches architectural theory and design studios at Columbia (where he is the founding director of C-Lab) and SCI-Arc (where he and Paul Nakazawa run SCIFI, the Southern California Institute for Future Initiatives); he heads Inaba Projects; and he regularly contributes to a wide variety of publications, not the least of which is Great Leap Forward: The Harvard Design School Project on the City. Also speaking at FORUM is Brad Lancaster who is the author of the best-selling, award-winning books Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volumes 1 and 2, and creator of the information-packed website www.harvestingrainwater.com. Living on an 1/8th of an acre in downtown Tucson, Arizona, where rainfall is less than 12inches annually, Brad practices what he preaches by harvesting over 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year.
The Keynote Speaker for FORUM 2011 will be University of California, San Diego Architect Teddy Cruz. “If you doubt that the derelict shantytowns of Tijuana could work as a template for redevelopment in a quaint, upscale town in the Hudson River Valley, you’re probably underestimating Teddy Cruz. Teddy Cruz has spent the better part of a decade strolling through Mexico’s bustling border towns in search of inspiration. Where others saw poverty and decay, he saw the seeds of a vibrant social and architectural model, one that could be harnessed to invigorate numbingly uniform suburban communities just across the border.
The annual highlight for the FORUM Conference is always the Beaux Arts Ball. The Beaux Arts Ball is one of the highlights of FORUM, allowing students to get creative with their costumes and party together welcoming in the New Year. This year’s theme is “A Noble Experiment,” an AIAS celebration of the end of Prohibition in the 1920s. This year’s FORUM New Year’s Party will be held in Phoenix’s Historic BENTLEY PROJECTS. Bentley Projects stands at the center of historic downtown Phoenix and offers a remarkable 22,000 square feet of interior gallery space devoted to “art of our time.” Originally a linen laundry dating back to 1918, this renovated warehouse features distinct architectural details such as original brickwork and soaring ceilings with exposed wood bow-truss beams. The interlocking gallery rooms display world-class contemporary painting, photography, sculpture and prints by both major international and local artists. Exhibitions change frequently, providing guests a unique experience at each visit.
Registration for the AIAS FORUM 2011 has already opened and can be found HERE. The AIAS has setup a “Pay 1/2 now & 1/2 later” system that allows you to pay half of the registration fee now and half 30 days prior to the event. Faculty advisors/mentors are invited to attend for free, so if you have a faculty member who would like to attend please contact the AIAS for further information.
Registration includes: access to over 20 sessions (FBD training, Career Development Workshops, Presentations Skills, Panel discussion on Architecture and Design, Graphic Rendering, and multiple sessions of roundtables to connect and discuss your future with your peers), 4 Keynote Presentations and General Sessions, participation in one of the 2 design charrettes, participation in the quad breakout sessions, ability to attend the Council of Presidents meeting (only chapter delegates may vote), attendance for the College and Career Expo, participation in the scavenger hunt, participation in the Architectural Firm Crawl, Lunch on Friday during the College and Career Expo, Access to the Opening Night Reception, 1 ticket to the Beaux Arts Ball New Years Eve Gala, all materials and giveaways for conference attendees.
FORUM 2011 provides the opportunity and experience for networking with the nations AIAS members. This will truly be the event of the year for all architecture students and should not be missed. Look at it this way, you’ll get to wear shorts in December, be a part of endless learning opportunities and end it all with a 1920′s prohibition themed Beaux Arts Ball! Get your tickets today and support your local chapter of AIAS. Also, don’t forget that a large part of the architecture field is “who” you know, so go out, be seen and mingle at this years FORUM 2011 Conference in sunny Phoenix Arizona.