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Call for Submissions: AIA Upjohn Research Initiative

You have until September 1 to apply for the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) Upjohn Research Initiative. The Upjohn program funds up to six research grants of $15,000-$30,000 per recipient annually for projects completed in a six to 18 month period. Proposals should address the value of design, practice issues, or novel materials and methods of construction. The research should relate to architectural knowledge that can readily be applied/transferred within the discipline. Read on for 2015's preferred themes. 

July ABI Remains Strong

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has reported a "healthy and sustained" Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for the month of July. Though slightly down from a mark of 55.7 in June, the July ABI score was 54.7, reflecting an increase in design serves within the US. The new projects inquiry index was 63.7, up slightly from a reading of 63.4 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights and foresight from the AIA Chief Economist, after the break. 

Compare Your Salary with the AIA Compensation Calculator

Alongside the release of the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) annual Compensation Report comes a new (free!) Salary Calculator Tool that allows you to compare your income with 17 architectural staff positions - from CEO to Intern 1. You can use the tool to see the overall mean and median salaries throughout the US or by region, and even by firm size (organized by annual firm revenue). Compare your salary here. 

9 Projects Selected for AIA Education Facility Design Awards

William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography
William Rawn Associates / The Berklee Tower. Image © Robert Benson Photography

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.

Find out which projects received awards, after the break.

AIA Launches Campaign Against Unpaid Internships

The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Emerging Professionals has announced its newest campaign, called Know Your Worth, which seeks to inform “all generations of architects about the value Emerging Professionals bring to the field, and the importance of getting paid for internship hours.”

While the issue of unpaid internships in the architecture field has gradually been improving, many students and emerging professionals are still faced with the dilemma. Thus, through the campaign, the AIA hopes that it will be able to inform students, architects, and others of federal compensation requirements, as well as to instill a sense of value for emerging professionals and the important work that they do. 

ABI Jumps Four Points in June, Equals Highest Mark Since 2007

After demonstrating a modest increase in demand for design services last month, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for June showed its largest single-month jump in almost four years, rising to 55.7 and falling just a tenth of a point short of matching its post-recession high of 55.8 in June of last year. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the increased demand has been spurred by schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings, as the index for the institutional sector rose to a mark of 59.1.

A breakdown of regional and sector highlights, after the break.

The Architects Foundation Launches Reconstruction Program for Nepal

Responding to the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the American Institute of Architects' Architects Foundation has launched a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action alongside the All Hands Volunteers to execute a replicable $3 million reconstruction plan for the Himalayan nation. Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA), Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA), Department of Small Works (an organization founded by Cameron Sinclair) and local architects will all partake in the program.

Open Call: AIA Look Up Film Challenge

As a part of its #ILookUp campaign, the American Institute of Architects has announced its Look Up Film Challenge, a competition that invites filmmakers and architects to collaborate on a short film that illuminates how architecture enriches our lives and our communities.

ABI Rebounds into Positive Territory

After two months of a decreasing demand for design services, the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has bounced back into positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, May's ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. This growth was lead by a growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards Honor Housing Projects

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Housing Knowledge Community, together with the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has announced two selections for the 2015 AIA/HUD Secretary Awards, which recognize innovative housing projects with excellence in design. This year's projects were selected in the Excellence in Affordable Housing Design and Creating Community Connection categories. 

The Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award was awarded to Brooks + Scarpa for their Step Up project in Santa Monica, California, which embodies the award’s recognition of “architecture that demonstrates overall excellent design responses to the needs and constraints of affordable housing."

Gossens Bachman Architects was announced as the winner of the Creating Community Connection Award for their Co-op Plaza Redevelopment in Brattleboro, Vermont. This award “recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purposes of either revitalization or planned growth.”

More about the winners, after the break…

Morphosis Architects Headline AIA's 2015 Technology In Architectural Practice Innovation Awards

The AIA has announced four projects as the winners of its inaugural Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Innovation Awards, with Morphosis Architects' Emerson College Los Angeles taking away the headline "Stellar Architecture" award. Started in 2005, the TAP Knowledge Community has led efforts to acknowledge and disseminate the best use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies, and the AIA hopes that the new TAP Innovation Award will "enliven the discourse on how these innovations can advance the profession and practice of architecture and further the mission of the Institute."

See all four awarded projects after the break.

The building and site utilize best ‘green’ practices, including capturing stormwater in the landscape. Image © Tom Holdsworth The three main massing elements (south bar, atrium and north tower) are each designed with their own structural systems and floor-to-floor heights to maximize efficiencies. Image © Alene Davis The design's canted glazing intensifies reflections of immediate environment. Image © Point B Design A grand stair provides space for social gatherings, connecting the students to Sunset Blvd below with a view of the Hollywood Sign ahead. Image ©  Iwan Baan

AIA Signs Cooperative Agreement with Africa Union of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) has signed a cooperative agreement to "share practice tools and resources, creating a framework for American and African architects to work collaboratively in achieving development and infrastructure goals in Africa." The agreement articulates their mutual interests to advance the “Africa Sustainability Campaign” in spirit of the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reinvigorate and formalize the AIA's relationship with our colleagues in Africa,” said AIA 2015 President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “We look forward to increased knowledge sharing on topics such as health and resilience which are critical to the sustainable future of our planet."

ABI Slows in April

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

Thomas V. Vonier Elected 2017 AIA President

Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, has been elected as the 2016 First Vice President and 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M.Arch. and a B.Arch. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President. To see all other newly elected officials, follow this link

Future of Architecture Competition Winners Revealed

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Houzz have announced the winners of their Future of Architecture Residential Design Contest and Showcase. Receiving entries from students and emerging architects around the world, the competition highlights prominent approaches to residential architecture in an effort to both recognize the work of young professionals and inform viewers about the worth of “good design.”

The winners emerged within five design categories and were chosen by Houzz’s extensive community of subscribers. To jumpstart their careers, the winners will receive prizes tailored to professional advancement, including participation in an upcoming community revitalization project and expenses-paid attendance to the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. See all of the winners after the break. 

Atlanta Bridgescape Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition were announced today at the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) National Convention. The urban design challenge sought proposals for creative interventions at two existing freeway overpasses in the city’s Midtown and Downtown districts, with a referential budget of $3 million per bridge. The winners were selected from five finalists by a panel of industry experts. 

See the two winning proposals as well as the winners of the People’s Choice Award after the break. 

An Architect's Story: AIA Documentary Profiles Blind Architect Chris Downey

As part of their #ILookUp campaign to raise awareness about the importance of the architecture profession, the AIA has produced this short documentary about Chris Downey, an architect who lost his sight in 2008 and has gone on to become a pioneer in designing for the blind and visually impaired. Screened for the first time earlier today at the AIA convention in Atlanta, "An Architect's Story" takes a look into the life and work of Downey and one of his students, Sana Jahani, as they explain what architects can offer the world - and what the #ILookUp campaign means for an architect who is "without sight, but not without vision."

AD Interviews: Elizabeth Chu Richter / 2015 AIA President

In the midst of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2015 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, we had the chance to sit down with Elizabeth Chu Richter, CEO of Richter Architects and the AIA President for 2015 to discuss some of the important issues facing the architecture profession today.