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ArchDaily Founders to Discuss Globalization and "Going Viral" at AIA Convention 2015

A week from today the 2015 AIA National Convention will kickstart in Atlanta, Georgia. With a plethora of options to consider, we encourage those attending to sign up for the hour-long discussion "Going Viral: Blurred Borders and Globalization." Presented by ArchDaily co-founders David Basulto and David Assael, and organized by the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee, "Going Viral" will discuss how you can take your practice (and profits) to a global level. The discussion will occur at 5PM on Friday, May 15th. Sign up for the course here, using the code "FR418."

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015

Ten projects have been named the top examples of sustainable and ecological design by the AIA and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) for the year 2015. Now in its 19th edition, the COTE Top Ten Awards program recognizes projects that adhere to the highest integration of natural systems and technology to produce spaces that positively impact their surroundings and minimize their environmental footprints.

All of the projects will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. See this year's top ten sustainable designs, after the break.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Image © Timothy Hursley University Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Image © James Ewing Sweetwater Spectrum Community / Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. Image © Tim Griffith Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse / Overland Partners. Image © Dror Baldinger

March ABI Continues to Increase

For the second consecutive month, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has indicated a "modest increase" in design activity in March. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 51.7, up from a mark of 50.4 in February. The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, up from a reading of 56.6 the previous month.

“Business conditions at architecture firms generally are quite healthy across the country. However, billings at firms in the Northeast were set back with the severe weather conditions, and this weakness is apparent in the March figures,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The multi-family residential market has seen its first occurrence of back-to-back negative months for the first time since 2011, while the institutional and commercial sectors are both on solid footing.”

AIA Names 10 Most Impressive Houses of 2015

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have announced the recipients of the 2015 Housing Awards. Currently in its 15th year, the awards are designed to “recognize the best in US housing design” and “promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” This year, the jury awarded ten designs in three categories. See them all, after the break. 

Marlboro Music: Five Cottages / HGA Architects and Engineers Broadway Affordable Housing / Kevin Daly Architects 160 Massachusetts Avenue Tower / William Rawn Associates. Image © Bruce T. Martin Photography Bayview Hill Gardens / David Baker Architects. Image © Matt Edge

Win a FREE Full Pass to the 2015 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

In just over a month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Atlanta to celebrate world class innovations in architecture, new materials and technology. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend one of the largest architecture events, free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the AIA National Convention ($1,025 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with wood in mid-rise, and even high-rise structures.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before April 20 at 12:00PM ESTWhat is your favorite example of wood in architecture?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA National Convention after the break.

AIANY and the Center for Architecture Name David Burney as Interim Executive Director

After the unexpected departure of Rick Bell last week, the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture have named David Burney as interim Executive Director until a long-term replacement can be found. Currently an Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking at the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Board Chair for the Center for Active Design, Burney worked as an architect at Davis Brody Bond until 1990, when he embarked on a 24-year career as one of New York's key civil servants: first as director of design at the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) until 2003, and then as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) from 2004 until 2014.

AIA Names 6 US Libraries as 2015's Best

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed six libraries they believe to be the year's best. In collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA), the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards are intended to promote and honor exceptional designs in library architecture. Taking into account the evolving role of the library, these six award recipients are believed to have elevated the institution to one of congregation and community-specific programs.

See the winning designs after the break.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center / Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects. Image © Timothy Hursley Vancouver Community Library / The Miller Hull Partnership. Image © Benjamin Benschneider Slover Library / Newman Architects with Tymoff + Moss Architects. Image © Newman Architects Mission Branch Library / Muñoz and Company. Image © Chris Cooper

“Drylands Resilience Initiative” Awarded AIA Latrobe Prize

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected a team led by Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute for its “Drylands Resilience Initiative: Digital Tools for Sustainable Urban Design in Arid and Semi-Arid Urban Centers” to receive the 2015 Latrobe Prize.

The Latrobe Prize, named for architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, is awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession. The $100,000 award will enable the Arid Lands Institute (ALI) and its cross-disciplinary partners to further develop and test a proprietary digital design tool, known as “Hazel,” that eventually will enable arid communities anywhere to design and build the infrastructure needed to capture, retain and distribute stormwater runoff. 

Rick Bell Resigns as AIANY's Executive Director

As reported by the Architect's Newspaper, AIANY and The Center for Architecture have released a joint statement announcing the resignation of Executive Director of the AIANY Rick Bell, effective immediately. Bell helped to lead the AIA's New York Chapter to a period of success, with significant growth during his tenure. The statement explains:

February ABI Reports "Nominal Increase" in Design Activity

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to a healthy state, recovering from its first negative score in ten months. Showing a "nominal increase" in design activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported February's ABI at a score of 50.4, up from a mark of 49.9 in January. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

AIA Awards Two with 2015 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

The Lyceum Fellowship Inc. and Transsolar KlimaEngineering have been awarded the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The annual award is intended to “recognize and encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.” Both winners will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. 

Two Architects Selected to Receive the 2015 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing their excellence for architectural advocacy and achievement. This year’s award recipients will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. Learn more about the winners, after the break. 

January ABI Falls into the Red

After nine consecutive months of growth, January’s Architecture Billing Index (ABI) reported a “softening” in US design activity. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the January ABI score was 49.9, down from a mark of 52.7 in December. This score reflects a “very modest decrease” in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.7, down from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

“This easing in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market over the past nine months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Likely some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions in January. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

AIA Elevates Five International Architects to the College of Fellows

The 2015 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elevated five international members to its prestigious College of Fellows, including two architects from the Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos that recently won the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. The award is given to those who have made significant contributions to the profession. All Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the 2015 National AIA Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. The complete list of newly inducted Honorary Fellows, after the break.

AIA Construction Forecast Predicts Increased Spending

This week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released the results of its first Consensus Construction Forecast of the year. The forecast is compiled based on predictions of the industry's leading forecasters and is conducted bi-annually to anticipate shifting business conditions in the construction industry. The dominant trend in this forecast (projected for 2015 and 2016) is an overall increase in spending in the construction sector.

Architecture & Human Rights: AIA Rejects Controversial Ethics Amendment

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) recent rejection of a proposed amendment to its existing ethics code has sparked debate over the issue of design and human rights violations. The proposed addendum was drawn up late last summer by Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), a nonprofit organization advocating social consciousness in the design field. It stipulated that all AIA members would refrain from designing spaces involving human-rights violations, specifically those "intended for execution or for torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including prolonged solitary confinement." This would include execution chambers, interrogation rooms intended for torture, and "supermax" security prisons in which prolonged solitary confinement take place.

However, the main controversy arose when considering whether or not the amendment would be an attainable goal for the AIA. Although the content of the amendment was never in question, its clarity and ability to be enforced were.

Read more about the AIA’s decision to reject the ethics amendment, after the break.

14 Architects to Receive 2015 AIA Young Architects Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 14 recipients for the 2015 AIA Young Architects Award. This award, now in its 22nd year, honors young architects - licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age - who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. All recipients will be presented the award at the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. View them all, after the break. 

Code of Context: The Uneasy Excitement of Global Practice

Global, the Winter 2014 issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, out now, is an examination of the challenges and opportunities facing architects working abroad, from the Middle East to Africa to Asia. The topics explored in this issue include how to value resource-constrained approaches, honor local vernacular, and learn from the urbanization precedents set in other parts of the world. In this article, Jay Wickersham FAIA examines how in a globalized market, architecture firms can take steps to ensure that their designs act in the best interests of the foreign communities they affect.

The signs of architecture’s globalization are all around us. Foreign students flock to Boston to study architecture, prominent buildings are designed by foreign architects, American firms build practices around international projects. Globalization has allowed architects to work outside their own regions and cultures, at a scale and with a freedom of design they might never enjoy at home. But beneath the excitement and glamour of international practice, I sense an unease. Are we creating vital and original new architectures, or are we homogenizing cities and landscapes and obliterating regional differences? Are architects helping to strengthen and develop the economies of host communities, or are they acting as unwitting tools of inequality and repression?

Sasaki Associates. Technologico de Monterrey. Monterrey, Mexico Machado and Silvetti Associates. Vietnamese-German University. Binh Duong, Vietnam Kyu Sung Woo Architects KAIST IT Convergence Building Daejeon, Korea Höweler + Yoon Architecture. Sky Courts. Chengdu, China