Posts tagged with "2017 AIA National Convention":

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AEC Cares seeking volunteers for its annual blitz build day just before the AIA Conference on Architecture

Non-profit AEC Cares will once again be putting on its annual blitz build in Orlando before the 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture. AEC Cares will work with their longtime partners, ConstructConnect, AIA, and Hanley Wood Media, to rejuvenate the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s (CFH) Center for Women and Families (CWF). CFH is the largest provider of homeless services in Central Florida and, on average, serves over 600 people a night, 63 percent of whom are women, children, and families. AEC Cares hopes to brighten up the Center and provide much-needed improvements to the facility to help CFH better serve its community. “With the help of 125+ volunteers, sponsors, architects, contractors and manufacturers, AEC Cares will perform a ‘facelift’ for the CFH, renovating the lobby, the living quarters and the TV room,” said Laura Marlow, ConstructConnect vice president of business development and AEC Cares executive director, in a press release. “Working together, we can leave Orlando better than we found it.” AEC Cares has been sponsoring this one-day blitz build for seven years now, utilizing the annual AIA Conference on Architecture to gather architects, engineers, contractors, and other industry professionals and volunteers to make a difference in the host city. When founded in 2011, AEC Cares helped rebuild five homes demolished or damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, they have helped revitalize, refurbish and renovate homes for homeless teens, facilities for disabled veterans and homeless adults, and shelters for youths in crisis, among many other projects. During last year’s blitz build, AEC Cares, with the help of 150 volunteers, rehabilitated the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center in Sharswood, a renovation project valued at $330,000. The center provides children with after-school sports programs and was in need of an upgrade. The volunteers painted four rooms, overhauled the kitchen and arts and crafts room, replaced 3,000 square feet of vinyl, and repaired the auditorium. This year’s project (named projectOrlando) will once again take place the day before the AIA Conference on Architecture, April 26, and AEC Cares is currently seeking volunteers. If you are interested in participating, visit their website here.
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Michelle Obama added as keynote speaker for AIA National Conference on Architecture 2017

Lawyer, writer, and former First Lady Michelle Obama has been added to the lineup of keynote speakers for the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference in Orlando, Florida. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon via email to AIA members.

Obama joins architects Alejandro Aravena, Nora Demeter, Dr. Eve Edelstein, Elizabeth Diller, Michael Ford, Francis Kéré, and Michael Murphy, among others, scheduled to speak at the three-day conference taking place April 27 to 29, 2017.

See below for text from speaker webpage on the AIA conference website.

Michelle Obama

 Lawyer, writer, & former First Lady

Over the last eight years while in the White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama has worked tirelessly to champion a number of important initiatives designed to make our world a better place. Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, transforming the position and becoming a role model, champion, and inspiration for women, families, and young people across America and around the world. As First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives:
  • Let’s Move! brought together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, celebrities, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity;
  • Joining Forces, which she launched with Dr. Jill Biden, called on all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities;
  • Reach Higher aimed to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university;
  • Let Girls Learn, focused on helping adolescent girls around the world go to school.

Mrs. Obama attended Chicago public schools until enrolling in Princeton, where she studied sociology and African American studies. She graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1985 and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. She then joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama.Following her time at Sidley & Austin, Mrs. Obama served as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, before becoming the founding Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service careers.As part of her continued focus on community service and engagement, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as its Associate Dean of Student Services focused on fostering connections between the campus and community. She also served as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They currently live in Washington, DC and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

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UPDATE: Architects protest as no women architect keynote speakers selected for AIA national convention

The following letter was sent to the Architect's Newspaper in response to the announcement of the 2017 AIA National Convention's Keynote Speakers. Signed by 50 architects, firms, and architecture students, the letter calls for the AIA to take a more meaningful action on advocating for gender equality in the architecture profession. UPDATE: The AIA has added a special keynote on day three of the conference titled "Anticipate Change - What’s Next in Architecture," featuring Nóra Demeter (Int’l. Assoc. AIA) of Demeter Design Studio, Michael Ford (Assoc. AIA) of BRANDNU DESIGN, and Cheryl McAfee (FAIA) of McAfee3. The panel will be moderated by Frances Anderton of the weekly radio show DnA. Where is the Female Representation: shouldn’t we ALL be outraged? How is it that the AIA could not come up with a single female architect as a keynote speaker at the convention? If you have not seen the AIA’s keynote speaker list for their newly rebranded national convention, it is shocking to see that out of the seven speakers listed only one is a woman (and she is not even an architect). In what seems to be a string of missteps by the AIA, this announcement of the keynote speaker list for the national convention is not surprising. AIA CEO Robert Ivy and AIA President Russ Davidson recently apologized to the architecture community for their ill-conceived letter of support of the Trump administration which does not respect women and minorities. Ivy and Davidson, also, announced a nationwide listening tour to find out what the AIA membership wanted. After additional criticism of that response, Ivy and Davidson produced a video apologizing for a second time and promised to commit $1 million to boost diversity in architecture. The financial support is a weak attempt to cover their errors in judgment and misrepresenting the desires of AIA membership, specifically, and all architects in general. The AIA currently dedicates a small corner of the national website to the Equity in Architecture Commission with a generically worded “Diversity and Inclusion Statement.” The stunningly short statement totals 175 words, including title and dates, and merely ensures rights that are already protected by federal law. Apparently, the apologies are only lip service. The organization continues to not put equity issues front and center in ALL of its programming and events. Why are they only TALKING about change and not MAKING change? In their annual conference literature, the AIA states “it’s about tapping into the collective intellect and entrepreneurial spirit of architects and design professionals who are shaping our industry.” However, their actions speak volumes against such sentiments. The keynote panel is in no way representative of our collective intellect. If the AIA was serious about changing its image—and we do not mean a superficial marketing strategy—then they should lead the profession and put forward a panel of keynote speakers that is reflective of the diversity in architecture. When the AIA states that they are committed to “broadening equity, diversity, and inclusion in the profession of architecture through dedicated leadership,” we must ask where are the diverse leaders? A recap of the AIA leadership as it relates to equity issues can be found in the 2012 Places article by Gabrielle Esperdy titled, “The Incredibly True Adventures of the Architectress in America.” The article thoroughly documents the history of the AIA’s refusal to act on behalf of women members. Particularly depressing is the fact that women pressed for these same issues of equality in the 1970s. The latest Equity by Design report seems to indicate that while our schools continue to graduate almost 50% women into the field, keeping women once they have entered the profession has reached a point of stagnation. We are calling for a more active and aggressive stance on equity by the AIA, starting with the National Convention keynote speaker line-up. Following this, we request more diverse representation on the AIA board and presence for the Equity by Design initiative on the AIA National website. If you are equally outraged by the lack of female representation for keynote speakers at the AIA convention we encourage you to reach out to your AIA boards and the national organization including CEO Robert Ivy (robertivy[at] Tell them the following: 1 – That you are outraged 2 – Who you would like to see as a keynote speaker Making the AIA leadership aware of our outrage and changing the demographics of the keynote speakers at one convention is clearly not a solution to the larger issues of systemic homogeny in the organization. But it is a step in the right direction and will show the leadership that we expect more than platitudes on issues of diversity and inclusivity within the AIA. Signed Mo Zell, RA, Women in Design - Milwaukee Jori Ann Erdman, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP Ali Kopyt, AIA, NCARB Angie Tabrizi, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Ursula Twombly, AIA Patricia Frost, AIA Allyson Nemec, AIA, LEED AP, Past President AIA WI Paula Verboomen, AIA Kristin Dufek, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP Alexa Wojciechowicz Angela Kehl, Allied ASID Taruna Gupta Ganesh Nayak Barbara Hughes Ellie Lange Shannon Criss Marie-Alice L'Heureux, PhD, AIA, NCARB Kathryn e. Martin-Meurer Ai Csuka Lyssa Olker Bridget Owen Erica Chappelear Vaishali Wagh RA, LEED AP Kathy Osowski Rosheen Styczinski, PLA  FASLA Sara A. Maas Patricia S. Algiers, ASID, CNU-Accredited Maria Wenzel, Associate AIA Nicole Craanen Nikole Bouchard Rachel Momenee Nancy Chu Layla Qarout, LEED GA Brian K Schermer Mark Keane Linda Keane, AIA, NCARB, (office of STUDIO 1032) Emma Price Don Hanlon Matt Rinka AIA NCARB (and firm of Rinka Chung) Chris Cornelius Mike Utzinger, RA, PE Karen W. Plunkett, AIA Jacki Kinney Laura Gainer Nader Sayadi Kyle Reynolds Jennifer L. Lehrke, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB Melinda Pogwizd