2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture

Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum / HGA Architects and Engineers © Paul Crosby Photography

Eleven projects have been selected to receive the ’ (AIA) 2014 Institute Honor Award for Architecture, an award known as the profession’s high recognition for works in the United States that exemplify excellence in architecture. These projects, and the architects who designed them, will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

A glimpse, after the break…

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge

Shenzhen Stock Exchange HQ / OMA / Photo © Philippe Ruault

Opened to a full house, last year, at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge, explores the elegant, and oftentimes, elusive intersection between the aesthetics of architectural form and the technicality of structural design, through the lens of earthquake engineering. Curated by Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng and founded/curated by Dr. Effie Bouras, of the McGill University Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, this exhibit emerged from their research on the of emergency shelters and civil protection buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in earthquake zones throughout the world.

Envisioned as a “science center” for design, the exhibition, which is tailored not only for the architecture and engineering communities, but an invested public as well, will feature full-sized seismic technology utilized in buildings, architectural and structural models, seismic testing videos, including clips from Tomas Koolhaas’ new documentary titled REM, and a 500N shake table from North American Wave Spectrum Science and Trade Inc.

AIA Announces Three Award Recipents

Louisiana State Museum. Image © Timothy Hurlsey

The American Institute of Architects recently announced that three of its distinguished members have been awarded some of the Institute’s top honors. Each recipient has made significant contributions to the advancement of the architectural profession or education, helping to shape the field for future generations. The awards include the 2014 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion, the 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award, and the 2014 Edward C. Kemper Award. Read more about the recipients after the break…

The Indicator: What the Julia Morgan AIA Gold Medal Says about Equality in Architecture

Interior of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, CA. Image © Mark Anthony Wilson

“Is the building really in charge of a woman architect?” I asked the foreman… The man read me a powerful sermon of just three short sentences, punctuated with the earnestness of a reform orator. “An architect’s an architect,” he said, “and you can count them all on the fingers of one hand. Now, this building is in charge of a real architect and her name happens to be Julia Morgan, but it might as well be John Morgan.”

Journalist in 1906 upon learning of Julia Morgan winning a new commission. (Courtesy Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library)

The recent announcement that Julia Morgan has posthumously received the 2014 Gold Medal, the ’s top honor, while positive and inspirational, raises some important questions concerning the recognition and advancement of women in the profession. She is the first woman, living or dead, to receive the honor in the award’s 106-year history. From 1907 to 2012, all recipients have been men.

AIA Focuses on Neighborhood and Community Growth for Q3/2013

Americans are indicating that they prefer higher-density, more walkable neighborhoods. Image Courtesy of AIA

The AIA just released its third quarter Design Trends Survey for 2013. Key findings have been made since the previous survey, specifically on neighborhood and community trends.

Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Inaugurated as 2014 AIA President

. Image © William Stewart

Helene Combs Dreiling, , executive director of the Virginia Center for Architecture, has been inaugurated as the 90th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She succeeds Mickey Jacob, FAIA, in representing nearly 83,000 AIA members.

“During my term as president, I want to look towards the future of our profession and society in general.  We need to stimulate research to benefit the design and construction industry, emphasize a culture in firms that nurtures emerging professionals and promotes diversity and inclusiveness for under-represented groups, and advance the profession in the eyes of the public,” said Dreiling. “Ultimately, our efforts will be focused on bringing a shift to our own professional culture – the way we think, act and behave to transform the way that our culture regards architects and architecture.”

Design: A Long Term Preventative Medicine

New York City’s High Line. Image © Iwan Baan

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s has produced a new report examining urban in eight of the USA’s largest cities, which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 – the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our cities.

Eskew+Dumez+Ripple to Receive 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award

Rosa Keller Library / . Image © Timothy Hursley

Just two days after the passing of R. Allen Eskew, FAIA, the New Orleans-based architect’s practice, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (EDR), has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 Presented by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the annual award is the highest honor bestowed by to a firm by the national institution. EDR is being recognized for “rigorously crafting Modernism to repair, restore, and enhance the exceptionally unique cultural and historic context of New Orleans.”

Julia Morgan Awarded 2014 AIA Gold Medal

, FAIA (1872-1957)

The American Institute of Architects () has announced today their decision to posthumously award the 2014 Gold Medal to Julia Morgan, FAIA (1872-1957), “whose extensive body of work has served as an inspiration to a generation of female architects.”

“Julia Morgan is unquestionably among the greatest American architects of all time and a true California gem,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in her recommendation letter. “Morgan’s legacy has only grown over the years. She was an architect of remarkable breadth, depth, and consistency of exceptional work, and she is widely known by the quality of her work by those who practice, teach, and appreciate architecture.”

Toward a Fit Nation: 18 Projects that Promote Healthy Lifestyles

© Benjamin Benschneider

From Atlanta’s Beltline to ’ Spring Street “Parklets,” architecture and design is increasingly more relevant in the fight against obesity and chronic disease, conditions which have reached epidemic levels in the United States. In the article, “Toward a Fit Nation,” the AIA and FitNation identify 18 projects from around the country, ranging from large complexes to temporal installations, that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles. The AIA National Headquarters will be curating the FitNation exhibit till January 31, 3014. Read the article here.

October ABI Reveals Decrease in Demand for Design Services

2013 October . Image © Calculated Risk

After three consecutive months of growth, the American Institute of Architect’s () Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reveal a slight decrease in the demand for design services. Keeping in mind that any score above 50 indicates an increase in billing, the ABI score fell from 54.3 in September to 51.6 this past October. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from the reading of 58.6 the previous month.

ArchitectureBoston’s Latest Issue Tackles Coastal Vulnerability

Courtesy of ArchitectureBoston,

The new issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, Coast, focuses on the thin border of continental crust that is home to 45 percent of the world’s population. The issue examines how architects and urban planners can mitigate or accommodate sea-level rise and surges associated with climate change. Coast promotes debate and offers answers and opportunities surrounding a problem that will inevitably affect most of the world’s urban residents in years to come.

Architects & AIA Respond to Devastation in the Philippines, Call for Immediate Help

A man stands atop debris as residents salvage belongings from the ruins of their houses after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 10, 2013. Image Courtesy of Flickr user, mansunides

On Friday, one of the strongest storms ever to hit land left 660,000 Filipinos homeless, with countless more desperately needing basic supplies to survive.

In the wake of catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity are calling for immediate help as survivors face severe shortages of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

Both organizations will be aiding local volunteers to help rebuild in the coming days and weeks. Through speaking with local stakeholders and professionals, they are working to begin understanding the on-the-ground situation to prioritize rebuilding needs and help affected regions build back better and stronger. Relief and reconstruction, however, cannot happen without your support. Learn how you can send aid to typhoon victims today after the break.

Does the Title of “Architect” Deserve To Be Protected?

According to some, Peter Zumthor, Daniel Libeskind, and Renzo Piano should not be referred to as architects (at least in the UK), since they are not registered with the Architects’ Registration Board.. Image Courtesy of Keystone / Christian Beutler (Zumthor); Flickr CC User Tomasz Kulbowski (Libeskind); Architectural Review (Piano)

In August, the AIA posted a topic on its LinkedIn discussion board entitled “Misrepresenting Oneself as an Architect on LinkedIn”. Ever since (and once again), the issue of protecting the title of “Architect” has been a hot topic, as explained in this article on Fast Company. This follows the revelation in BD last year that the Architects’ Registration Board ordered the British architectural media to cease referring to Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind as Architects. With the topic appearing so frequently, and in different countries each time, Fast Company conjures images of a “raging global debate”. But what, really, is going on in the world of architecture to fuel such a debate? Read on to find out more.

Cities are for People: Turning Underused Spaces into Public Places

Metrocable, architect Urban-Think Tank. Image © Omar Uran

It begins with a fundamental premise: Buildings occupy only a fraction of land in . Just as important as physical structures, are the public spaces in between.

In many cities these spaces have long been disregarded. Today, however, we are witnessing bold experimentation and innovation coming forth from cities across the globe: cities re-using and re-imagining previously underused spaces in order to uplift communities and transform lives.

September’s ABI Surges Higher

September 2013 ABI; Graph via Calculated Risk

Demand for design services in the U.S. continues to increase, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reached its second highest level this year. According to the (), September’s ABI score was 54.3, up from 53.8 in August. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index fell a few points from 63.0 in August to 58.6 in September. 

RTKL to Debut Smart Transit Hub Proposal

HALO Transit Proposal. Image Courtesy of rtkl.com

RTKL, a global architecture and design practice, announced its HALO project will be featured as part of the TransformKC Exhibition (October 4th – 25th in , ), which seeks to illustrate what the future could look like for Kansas City transit and innovative rail projects. The HALO concept is a modular, five-foot panelized, glass-enclosed, sustainable walkway for bus passengers that will utilize new technology to capture kinetic energy expended from foot traffic – approximately 7 watts per tile per footstrike. More info here.

Why This Is the Year of the Architect

Butaro Hospital, by MASS Design Group. MASS’s co-founder, Michael Murphy, spoke at the CGI Meeting, saying “We need to expand the horizons of what we expect from our built environment” . Image © Iwan Baan

Last week, we noted how the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) participation with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), as well as it’s many other initiatives, signify the organization’s commitment to putting resiliency on the agenda. The following article, written by Brooks Rainwater, the Director of Public Policy at the AIA, outlines these efforts and emphasizes how architects are tackling today’s most pressing global challenges.

Architects are increasingly demonstrating their ability to help solve large-scale problems in the areas of resilience and health. At the same time the continued ascendancy of social impact design has helped elevate the conversation and prescribed a needed emphasis on equity considerations, uplifting global populations, and the idea that design should be for and impact all people.

With more than 1,000 global leaders convened in New York last week for the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting it is an ideal time to ask the question, how does design fit into the global conversation?