the world's most visited architecture website

February ABI Reveals Slight Improvement

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 (AIA), 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 Boston’s first new leader in two decades. The issue focuses on the city’s challenges surrounding housing, transportation, public space, and regionalization, plus offers recommendations for designing a Boston that is more open, safe, beautiful, and fair. Visit to read the latest issue.

2014 Emerging Visions Winners Announced

The Chicago 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

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) 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?

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 healthcare architecture - 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 (AIA) has selected the recipients of the 2014 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The award, to be presented at the 2014 AIA 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

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected James L. Abell, FAIA, Carole J. Olshavsky, FAIA, and Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, 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"

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 (AIA), 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

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 Chicago.

December ABI Dips Again

Following consistently increasing demand for design services throughout most of 2013, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has posted its first consecutive months of contraction since May and June of 2012. The American Institute of Architects (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

Six US projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects’ (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 Chicago.

2014 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

The American Institute of Architects’ (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

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

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 Chicago. 

A glimpse, after the break...

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge

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

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...

AIA Focuses on Neighborhood and Community Growth for Q3/2013

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. 

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

The recent announcement that Julia Morgan has posthumously received the 2014 AIA Gold Medal, the AIA’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.

It seems Morgan was destined to be first. She was the first female graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1902) and the first woman to obtain an architecture license in California. She is known principally as architect of the extravagant and stunning Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California and the designer of over 700 buildings.