January ABI Reports “Modest Uptick”

January ABI via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Business in the United States has started the New Year on a more positive note, as January’s (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 Institute Honor for Architecture Recipient: Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) Campus / KPMB Architects

The (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 Chicago.

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 American Institute of Architects () 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 ’ (AIA) 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 AIA’s Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design at the 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in .

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 United States,” 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 transportation, 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 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 resiliency 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 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 , 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, FAIA, 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 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 () and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism has produced a new report examining urban health 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 health 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 / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Image © Timothy Hursley

Just two days after the passing of R. Allen Eskew, FAIA, the -based architect’s practice, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (EDR), has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award. Presented by the (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

, (1872-1957)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced today their decision to posthumously award the 2014 AIA 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 Los Angeles’ 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 . In the article, “Toward a Fit Nation,” the 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, Society of Architects

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 storm 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.