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Aia National Convention: The Latest Architecture and News

William J. Bates Elected 2019 AIA President

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the election of William J. Bates, FAIA, as the 2018 First Vice President and 2019 President-elect. Currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors (since 2011), Bates has served terms as a vice president and the chair of the Board Community Committee from 2015-2016. He twice served as president of AIA Pennsylvania, in 1991 and 2010, and was president of AIA Pittsburgh in 1987.

Michelle Obama Joins List of Keynote Speakers for 2017 AIA National Convention

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the addition of former First Lady Michelle Obama to the lineup of keynote speakers presenting at the 2017 AIA National Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Florida.

Obama will participate in Day 1 of the conference, on Thursday, April 27. Her event is billed by the AIA as “A Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama,” where it is expected she will speak about the key initiatives she led during her time in the White House.

Architects Speak Out on Lack of Female Speakers at AIA National Convention

Update: Several new female speakers have since been added to the lineup, including Nora Demeter, Dr. Eve Edelstein, Elizabeth Diller, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

A group of over 50 architects, firms and architecture students has spoken out at the lack of female representation among the keynote speakers selected for the 2017 AIA National Convention. Of the seven keynotes lectures to be given over the conference’s three days, just one will be led by a woman, and none by a female architect.

In a letter sent to the Architect’s Newspaper, the group calls for the AIA to reevaluate the conference program, and to consider selecting participants more “reflective of the diversity in architecture.” The letter also questions the organization’s dedication to upholding the values outlined in the diversity and inclusion statement listed on their website, suggesting the statement does not go far enough to promote the work of the organization’s diverse membership.

Rem Koolhaas, Neri Oxman and Kevin Spacey to Speak at AIA National Convention 2016

Update: In addition to the previous announcement of Neri Oxman and Kevin Spacey as keynote speakers, the AIA has now announced Rem Koolhaas as the headline speaker for day three of this year's convention in Philadelphia. Koolhaas' speech will be titled "Delirious Philadelphia," a playful twist on his seminal book Delirious New York. The following article was originally published on February 11th.

AIA Happy to Announce Pharrell Williams as Keynote Speaker

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 Chicago. 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.

AIA 2013: Top Ten Lessons of Leadership by General Colin Powell

"It's not where you start in life, it's where you end up and all the places you went in between." - United States General Colin L. Powell

For the closing keynote speaker of the stimulating, three-day “Building Leaders” convention in Colorado, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected one of America’s most admired public figures to share wisdom and insight to becoming a great leader. 

General Colin L. Powell, a first-generation American born from Jamaican immigrants in 1937, is the epitome of the American dream. Starting life in the South Bronx, Powell paved his way to becoming a highly respected, four-star general in the United States Army and the first African American to serve as Secretary of State. A natural storyteller, Powell effortlessly captivated the audience of architects with a series of experiences and lessons he had learned throughout his lifetime of service.

General Colin Powell’s top ten lessons of leadership after the break...

AIA 2013: Citizen Architect

Cameron Sinclair at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver © ArchDaily
Cameron Sinclair at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver © ArchDaily

“When you build a beautiful building, people love it. And the most sustainable building in the world is the one that’s loved.” - Cameron Sinclair, Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity

Cameron Sinclair is a man who sustains his passion for helping improve the world, one project at a time, by tapping into the skilled enthusiasm of like-minded architects from all over the globe. Since co-founding of his non-profit organization with Kate Stohr in 1999, Sinclair and his interdisciplinary teams of citizen architects have provided shelter for more than two million people worldwide.

Under his leadership, Architecture for Humanity’s infectious mantra has inspired thousands to join its cause every year, allowing the organization to expand at an unbelievable rate and become the exemplar of public interest design. Considering this, it is no surprise that Sinclair was selected to be the keynote speaker on day two of the 2013 AIA National Convention.

As his speech continued the momentum of yesterday’s inaugural presentation, in which TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie shared his success story of “doing well by doing good,” Sinclair urged architects to hold close the true value of their profession.

Learn what Cameron Sinclair believes to be the true value of architects after the break.

AD Interviews: Mickey Jacob, President AIA 2013

Since we’re in Denver for the AIA National Convention, we seized upon the opportunity to interview Mickey Jacob, FAIA, managing principal at Urban Studio Architects and the President of the AIA for 2013. We sat down with Jacob to get his opinion on some important issues facing the architecture profession today.

'Regional Design Revolution Ecology Matters' 2011 AIA National Convention

The AIA New Orleans chapter will also be providing a variety of educational tours that explore the soulful flavor of the city’s architecture. There is still time to register for the convention, more information can be found here.

Architecture City Guide: New Orleans

The Architecture City Guide: New Orleans list and corresponding map after the break

Volunteer Outreach Opportunities with AIA New Orleans

The AIA New Orleans chapter will offer three volunteer outreach opportunities for the upcoming 2011 AIA National Convention attendees and supporters. Convention-goers and the interested public can volunteer prior to and after the Convention, which is scheduled for May 12th – 14th. The three organizations include Hand On New Orleans, the Preservation Resource Center’s Rebuilding Together New Orleans program, and New Orleans Operation Helping Hands. If you are interested in volunteering more information can be found here.

Fumihiko Maki 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner

© Imogene Tudor
© Imogene Tudor

In recognition of his contributions to architecture in both theory and practice Fumihiko Maki was recently named the 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner. Maki, arguably one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, will be honored with the award in New Orleans at the AIA National Convention.