AIA Happy to Announce Pharrell Williams as Keynote Speaker

Pharrell Williams. Image © Flickr CC User Merlijn Hoek

UPDATE: Sadly, according to ARCHITECT, Pharrell has canceled his appearance due to a “scheduling conflict.” 

Pharrell Williams, the Grammy awarding winning musician and entrepreneur whose recent collaboration with Despicable Me 2 has inspired the world to be “happy,” will be joining architect Jeanne Gangand “Cool Spaces” producer Stephen Chung as the featured keynote speakers at the 2014 AIA National Convention in . As reported by ARCHITECT, Williams is likely to discuss issues that transcend music, as his interests seem to be evolving from furniture and fashion design to architecture; he has even mentioned collaborating on a pre-fab home with the dame: Zaha Hadid

Earthquakes – How Well Are We Prepared?

CCTV / OMA – © Frank P. Palmer. Image Courtesy of Chapter / Organizing Team

In a symposium at the AIA New York Chapter, seismologists, engineers, seismic code experts, emergency response managers, and architects conversant in seismic design will assemble for a conversation on available technologies and testing capabilities that, surprisingly, are located in New York State. They will “clarify the evolving role of design professionals, the building industry, and municipal and federal agencies in safeguarding our local communities”, as well as “educate the audience about the earthquakes, subsurface conditions, and construction approaches.”

February ABI Reveals Slight Improvement

February . Image Courtesy of CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After starting the year with a “modest uptick” that disrupted a three month cycle of decline, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for Feburary has revealed that design services in the United States are continuing to (slowly) improve. As reported by the American Institute of Architects (), last month’s ABI score was 50.7, up slightly from a mark of 50.4 in January. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index continued to fall, dwindling from 58.5 to 56.8 in February. This however, as AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker believes, could be due to harsh weather conditions that stalled construction activity throughout many parts of the country over the past few months .

More information and regional highlights, after the break… 

ArchitectureBoston’s Latest Issue Offers Design Recommendations For A New Boston

Available today, the spring 2014 issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, Blueprint for a New Mayor, investigates the critical design challenges facing ’s first new leader in two decades. The issue focuses on the city’s challenges surrounding housing, , public space, and regionalization, plus offers recommendations for designing a that is more open, safe, beautiful, and fair. Visit architectureboston.com to read the latest issue.

2014 Emerging Visions Winners Announced

Helsinki South Harbor. Image © Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell (PORT)

The Architectural Club has named Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell of PORT Architecture + Urbanism and Grant Gibson of CAMES/gibson winners of this year’s Emerging Visions. Since its inauguration in 1998, the portfolio competition has sought to recognize significant endeavors by young architects, designers and new practices in Chicago. Works designed by the recipients will be on display at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago. More information, here

AIA, AIAS Urges Congress to Support National Design Services Act

Image via "5 Things to Keep in Mind After Graduation by Nicholas Kreitler" (Click image to read). Image © Caro Wallis

The (AIA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students () have committed themselves to pushing a bill that would provide U.S. architecture graduates student loan relief in exchange for community service, an offer already granted to lawyers and doctors. The bipartisan legislation, known as the National Design Services Act (NDSA), was introduced today in an effort to free young professionals from the crushing cost of education (architecture being one of the disciplines with the highest loan balances) and aspire them to contribute their design service to the betterment of their communities. Learn more, here, and sign the petition in support of NDSA

Doctors in the Studio: The Right Medicine for Healthcare Architecture?

Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, designed by a joint venture between HDR + Corgan. HOK is responsible for the hospital’s furnishings and equipment, and has also been executing a study of the role of furnishings and artwork in inpatient care. Image Courtesy of HDR + Corgan

This article, written by Kim A. O’Connell, and first published on the AIA website as “Is there a Doctor in the Firm? (Or a Nurse in the Studio?)” discusses the growing overlap between architects and healthcare professionals, who collaborate or even learn both disciplines to design more effective – relying on research more rigorously than ever before.

Since it opened last fall, a cardiac hospital in Bulgaria is already operating at full capacity and is among the most technologically advanced of its kind in Europe. Project delivery for the City Clinic in Sofia was remarkably fast—only a year from the time Dallas-based HKS Architects was hired until doctors began seeing patients. A former car dealership was renovated to create the 38,000-square-foot, 55-bed facility, helping to expedite matters.

The other major contributing factor may have been that, from its earliest beginnings, a physician played a leading role—from landing the project to identifying specific medical needs and seeing the design through to completion. It’s a model that seems to be taking hold in architecture. More and more, architecture firms are bringing health professionals into their design studios to help them create the next generation of healthcare architecture.

Read on after the break to find out how this shift is producing better buildings for healthcare

AIA Awards Four with 2014 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

The American Institute of Architects () has selected the recipients of the 2014 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The award, to be presented at the 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago, recognizes and encourages 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. Among this year’s winners include the ACE Mentor Program, the National Building Museum, the AIA New York’s “Post-Sandy Initiative,” and computer-aided design pioneer Rick Smith. You can learn more about the awardees here.

2014 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture Recipients

Convention 2014, June 26‒28, Chicago

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected James L. Abell, , Carole J. Olshavsky, , and Robert G. Shibley, , as recipients for the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. The award recognizes excellence in architectural advocacy and achievement in three categories: Private-sector architects who have established a portfolio of accomplishment in the design of architecturally distinguished public facilities (category 1); public-sector architects who manage or produce quality design within their agencies (category 2); and public officials or other individuals who by their role of advocacy have furthered the public’s awareness and/or appreciation of design excellence (category 3). Learn more about the recipients, after the break.

January ABI Reports “Modest Uptick”

January via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Business in the United States has started the New Year on a more positive note, as January’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) revealed the first increase in design services after three consecutive months of decline. As reported by the American Institute for Architects (), the January numbers rose from December’s score of 48.5 to 50.4, indicating an increase in billings. However, the new projects inquiry index was 58.5, down a bit from the reading of 59.2 the previous month.

“There is enough optimism in the marketplace that business conditions should return to steady growth as the year progresses,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.

2014 AIA Young Architects Award

2014 AIA Recipient: Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) Campus / KPMB Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 18 recipients for the 2014 AIA Young Architects Award. Defined as professionals who have been licensed ten years or fewer, regardless of their age, the “young architects” will be honored for making significant contributions to the profession and providing exceptional leadership early in their careers. All recipients will be presented the award at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in .

December ABI Dips Again

December 2013 ABI. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Following consistently increasing demand for design services throughout most of 2013, the (ABI) has posted its first consecutive months of contraction since May and June of 2012. The (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 48.5, down from a mark of 49.8 in November.  This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 59.2, up from the reading of 57.8 the previous month.

More highlights from the December ABI, after the break…

2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design

Denver Union Station Neighborhood Transformation / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP © Sponge Production

Six US projects have been selected by the ’ () for honorably expanding the role of the architect beyond the building and into the realms of urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. These projects will be honored with the ’s Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design at the 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

SoHo Loft / Gabellini Sheppard Associates LLP © Paul Warchol

The ’ (AIA) have selected nine projects for the 2014 Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture. Recognized as some of the most “outstanding building interiors created by architects licensed in the ,” these  projects will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

Washington DC Metro Awarded AIA 25 Year Award

© Flickr CC User Sergio Feria

The AIA has given the 25 year award - for architectural projects which have stood the test of time – to the Washington DC Metro System. Designed by Harry Weese and opened in 1976, the metro system has been praised for its application of a sense of civic dignity to the function of , as well as the consistency of the design across its 86 stations. You can read an accompanying article about the design of the Metro System here.

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 American Institute of Architects’ (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 .

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 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 resiliency of emergency shelters and civil protection buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in 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 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…