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June 30, 2018

Last week I had the privilege of attending my first convention, hosted by the American Institute of Architects, which was located in NYC this year. This is one of the most well-attended events for an architect (over 26,000 registered this year!), as well as the most-promoted event. As a first-time attendee, I was thrilled to pack in as much as possible over the course of 4 days while in New York City. I went to 16 AIA events on 7-ish broad topics and some other fun things with emerging professionals and Virginia Tech alum.


I've got a whole bunch to say about a lot of things after absorbing so much from this conference, but I thought I'd take out all the noise and share a quick TL;DR before taking a deep dive into some of the topics. 


PS! If you are new to the AIA or are a recently licensed architect, your conference cost is either free or reduced!!




  • Thematic concepts of events

A. Advocacy for equity through the workplace and the greater industry. Specifically, an intentional discussion regarding the subtle ways in which inequity continues to manifest itself, despite what might be good intentions. 

B. Commitment to investment in our public realm; with focus on holistic, sustainable, and community-centric design for people of all walks of life. Increasingly pertinent for cities that will undergo great transformation in the near future (looking at you, Triangle area!)

C. Be a champion for yourself or your group - firm culture, your values, design expertise, and quality of services. Advocate for what matters to you, but be willing to act to see it through. 

  • Favorite lecture topics

A. Towards Biophilic Urbanism and an interactive Map of Projects

B. Albermarle County Public Schools - Charlottesville, VA on Alternative Learning Styles

C. Keynote Day 2 - Sheela Sogaard on The Business of Architecture

  • Number of steps

A. Wednesday: 10,129

B. Thursday: 20,184

C. Friday: 18,734

D. Saturday: 11,053




  • Some new reading

A. Lean In - Susan Sandberg (2013)

B. Resilience for All - Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design - Barbara Brown Wilson (2018)

C. Nature Contact and Human Health - a Research Agenda (07/2017)

  • Some more reading

A. The Other Highlines

B. 2030 Commitment

C. What Emerging Professionals Want

  • Favorite spots

A. Highline area in general: Highline Design - Diller Scofidio + Renfro;  The Vessel - Thomas Heathwick; The Whitney - Renzo Piano

B. Momofuku Noodle Bar

  • Some new names for 'Environmental Design'

A. Archi-bio-tecture

B. Enviro-text (environmental context)

C. Environmental Expressionism

D. Bio-centric Design



*TLDR = Too Long; Didn't Read.




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