National Building Museum and Metropolis Magazine contributor Andrew Caruso takes you “inside the design mind” of three prominent figures in the 9/11 rebuilding process with this recent interview conducted at the 2012 AIA National Convention. Heroic. Contemplative. Grieving. Victorious. The rebirth of the former World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan has engendered significant public reaction and reflection. With implications as complex as they are profound, it is not surprising that it has taken more than a decade to heal the urban scars of September 11, 2001. I had the rare opportunity to sit down with three architects working on the site, Santiago Calatrava, David Childs, and Daniel Libeskind, at the recent American Institute of Architects convention in Washington, D.C., where they were honored along with four others, as “Architects of Healing.” We discussed their experience of reshaping one of the most culturally significant sites in the history of the United States.
Partially cloudy with a high in the mid-seventies, this was weather we couldn’t say no to on the Sunday after the 2012 National Convention. Therefore we took advantage of the Washington D.C. Capital Bikeshare and set off on a self-guided tour of the National Mall. Although the National Mall was packed with graduates and tourists, we managed to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic quick enough to visit many of the historic buildings and memorials before heading off to Eero Saarinen’s beautiful Dulles International Airport. What a perfect way to wrap up an eventful week in the nation’s capital.
After three days of inspirational keynote sessions, informative seminars, exclusive tours, invaluable networking opportunities and an impressive expo, the American Institute of Architects concluded the 2012 National Convention with a special tribute to the architects responsible for the post-9/11 memorials and rebuilding efforts. These “Architects of Healing” tirelessly worked together to transform the darkness of grief brought on by the 9/11 attacks into the triumph of hope in the wounded areas of Shanksville, Pennsylvania; the Pentagon; and the World Trade Center site.
AIA President Jeff Potter welcomed everyone this morning by restating his promise that the 2012 convention would inspire all who attend. With a consistent theme focusing on the architects commitment to service, President Potter welcomed Shaun Donovan – the 15th United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – as today’s keynote speaker. However, before Secretary Donovan took the stage, the 2012 AIA Vice President and 2013 President-elect Mickey Jacob invited the crowd to come, stay and explore the mile-high city of Denver for the 2013 National Convention.
Thousands of architects crammed into the grand ballroom of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this morning to kick-off the 2012 National Convention hosted by the American Institute of Architects. Invigorating speeches, led by AIA President Jeff Potter, urged architects to re-envision the profession and question the role of today’s architect. Although the economic downturn has caused many hardships, it presents a unique opportunity for architects to reshape the profession.
According to its Web Site, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) aims to be two things for the architecture profession: a resource and a voice. There’s no doubt that as a resource, the AIA plays its part well. But what does it mean to be a “voice”? Can an association speak for a profession? And, if so, what is it saying? Today, over 17,000 architects and designers, contractors and project managers, magazines and bloggers (including us) will converge on the Capital for the AIA’s 144th National Convention, Design Connects. Over the course of three days, connections will be made, conversations had, and three keynote speakers present. If the AIA represents how we conceptualize and communicate architecture, then let’s take a closer look at those speakers who will be its living mouthpieces: a famed historian, a member of the Obama administration, and the architects who participated in the 9/11 Memorials. The past, the present, the future. Taken together, they tell a story – of where we’ve been, yes, but, more importantly, where we’re going.
One week from today, ArchDaily will be joining you at the AIA 2012 National Convention! Knowledge, inspiration and connection are the three primary reasons architects are attending this year’s convention. In just three days (May 17-19), you can fulfill your annual Learning Units with nearly 200 education sessions, gain insight on the latest products and technologies at the Design Expo, and expand your professional network with the opportunity of meeting thousands of architects from around the country. Also, with AIA DC as your host, you will have the opportunity to explore the highlights of our nation’s capitol with a number of exclusive tours. Continue after the break to learn more!