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Taliesin, where a woman can be a fellow here.

As Architect Barbie, the doll from "BARBIE® I CAN BE...™” series hits stores on August 15th, I can’t help but think about a girl, whose story of wanting the doll upon seeing an image of it from the internet earlier this year. When Catherine Lorraine Johnson requested her grandfather for an Architect Barbie, it struck a chord and gave me an a-ha-moment. I sensed an imaginary bond that connected that four-year-old girl with the grandpa, who happens to be the respected architectural designer, Michael P. Johnson.

photo by Elizabeth Melas
3 people recommend this.
Activities : Special Projects, Walking Tours  Publications : Articles, Case Studies, Research  Knowledge Communities (cross tag) : Committee on Architecture for Education, Committee on Design, Committee on the Environment

One of the first things people do when they decide to become a homeowner is to go see houses in which they would want to live. We all have dreams about what would that ideal house be like. It is probably the single most expensive purchase one will make in a lifetime, and as such, carefully thought-out designs need to be made.

photo by Elizabeth Melas


3 people recommend this.
Activities : Special Projects, Walking Tours  Publications : Articles, Best Practices, Reports / Essays  Knowledge Communities (cross tag) : Committee on Design, Committee on the Environment

This Earth

Do you think demolition of 25 year old convention center is wise for the environment?
.....think again..... 
did !
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Live Blogging: CAE Fall Conference, Architect Recognition and Realtors, Big Corporations making Copyright Grabs, Call for Entries: 2013 Small Project Awards, What the Heck Does an Architect Do Anyway?


Recent Communications | News & Discussions | Free Continuing Education | Upcoming Events

Recent Communications

Blueprints for Senior Living

View in browser | Published by the Design for Aging Knowledge Community

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From client requests to notes on vendors, your online bookmarks are getting out of control and your Evernote notebooks are a fierce hot messHundreds of design ideas and inspirational stylings zip through your mind and your inbox on a daily basis.

A new social bookmarking / photo sharing / shopping gallery website is changing the way brands engage potential customers and it can help you get organized, attract clients, and connect with like-minded designers. 

Pinterest is an "online virtual pinboard" that "lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web." (from their website

5 people recommend this.

The Changing Role of Architects: Can Traditional Practice Continue to Survive and Thrive?

I first voiced this concern at a Saturday morning seminar on Life/Work Balance at the 2008 National AIA Convention in Boston, MA while participating in a small group talk.  In that 4-hour seminar, we were set in groups of 10 at round tables to discuss issues we face as architects and how we approach them.  When our group leader listed our top concerns about the profession, he did add mine at the tail end, namely, that "architects, as sole practioners, seemed to be facing obsolescence." 

To my surprise, no one said anything.  No one screamed.  No one argued.  No response- good or averse.

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Nowadays, it is mainly modern architecture which inspires the design of most of the buildings. So, if you are thinking of how to finance your modern architecture, you can take out a construction loan, which is going to help you with getting the required money which you will be required to use towards the construction of the building. The construction loans, just as any of the other kind of mortgages are a part of housing finance.

Housing finance now

Housing finance has the power to bring together all of the different housing issues together. Like, it can handle the single family home issues, and also the complex and the multi-sector issues which are mainly driven by the on-going changes, with regards to the local features. These local features can be the legal standing of the country, its environment and in addition its culture, the status and the details of the economic situation, the regulatory environment, and even the political system.

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Review of

Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction, Second Edition, 2010

About a month ago I posted a question on the Residential Knowledge Community board asking if anyone had seen the second edition of Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction, and if so, what they thought. Though I did not get any review comments back, I was fortunate enough to receive a note from the AIA asking if I would like to review the book myself and post my review as a blog on the AIA KnowledgeNet. I accepted, and they sent a copy of the book to me. See below for my review.  I have been an architect for many years, but most of my work has been on large scale commercial projects, so I approached this book as someone that knows about construction, but also as one wanting a refresher on residential construction.

The introductory notes to Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction

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King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital and largest city. Riyadh, located in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, has experienced very high rates of population growth, from 150,000 inhabitants in the 1960s to approximately 5 million people today.  The project is located on 200 hectares between the outskirts of Riyadh and King Khalid International Airport (KKIA), just north of the proposed Princess Nora Bin Adulrahman University.  Designed by Zaha Hadid with all aesthetically parameters of Modern and Muslim Architecture. KAPSARC consists of five major buildings interconnected under single steel structure roof. 


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The Human Paradigm

Are we currently witnessing a major milestone in human evolution?

Are Post Millennials and their future offspring “newly evolved beings” (Gene Hall, President, Gartner)?

Are we at a transformative moment in human evolution as profound as the dawn of abstract thinking and syntax?
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An Interview with Todd DeGarmo

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Knowledge Communities (cross tag) : Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

Another highlight of the day was a visit to the The National Art Center, by Kisho Kurokawa in the Art Triangle of the Roppongi area of Tokyo.  On the site of an old army barracks, the building’s glass front meanders around the entry and forms one side of a small urban garden.  The other side is enclosed by a modern renovation of a small remnant of the barracks.  The curving glass curtain wall, with fritted glass sun shades, seems so simple but must have been a challenge to build.  The catwalks on the inside are unfortunate but I assume are required for glass cleaning.

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Design is a part of every person’s daily activities. Most of us wake up inside a building which was designed by an architect or builder. Our morning rituals often include interactions with bed linens, personal products, kitchen dishes and utensils, and clothing, all simply or elaborately designed and selected by us to complement our personal style, mood and use. It’s possible to study how all aspects of design affect our lives, but I would like to compare architecture and fashion as I believe that have an equal impact on our lives.

With either discipline, the term “design” may bring to mind the image of an expensive item. Perhaps it is unique and possibly considered avant garde. This can be true, but the term “design” can also include those items which are functional and regarded as plain or uninteresting. Regardless of its appeal to a certain population segment, buildings and clothing are both designed by someone. Decisions have been made regarding the proportions, material selections, and use.

Our homes are often selected after carefully considering many options. That home may be an apartment, townhome, or single family residence but regardless of its location or size, we usually spend several hours, days, weeks or even months selecting the one that we want for ourselves. It’s also true that when it comes to our clothing, many people will spend a significant amount of time browsing through stores to find the correct item which has the right proportions, material and color.

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Can architects/ designers/ interior designers use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. to find work or new project opportunities? What about funding for projects, or even winning an online contest? How is social technology increasingly paving the way for co-working?

I've shared some of this information with some of you once during the 2011 AIA National Convention in New Orleans.

I'll share it again, and even more. I'm collaborating with the Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA), AIA Chicago, and Porcelanosa to bring this presentation (selected as one of AIA Virtual Convention's "Best of San Francisco, Miami and New Orleans") to Chicago.

Register today
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The AIA Small Project Practitioners and the AIA Housing Knowledge Community are proud to announce Jason Fleming, Assoc. AIA, Peter Muessig, Assoc. AIA, and Andrew Daley, Assoc. AIA, as recipients of the 2012 AIA Innovation and Practice in House Design Research Grant for their project InHouse OutHouse.

Copyright © 2012 InHouse Design

The InHouse OutHouse, submitted by three colleagues from Rice University, quickly rose to the top of the pile and created a sense of unity among the jury. The idea is to create a prefabricated “core” containing central services of a home such as kitchen, bath, HVAC, etc. off-site where manufacturing can be controlled. Once inserted, the InHouse OutHouse acts as the "guts" of the house, and can be used in existing homes or used in new construction.  Whether deployed in Houston, Los Angeles, or any other American city or town, the InHouse OutHouse will allow communities to retain their character while being infused with modern conveniences.

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Founding Principal, Envision Design
Chair, Interior Architecture Knowledge Community Advisory Group

My interview with Lauren Rottet, of Rottet Studio Architecture and Design, is the first in a series of interviews with highly acclaimed architects that have a specialty in interior architecture.

Lauren Rottet is one of the most-celebrated interior architects today with an extraordinary record of awards, publications, and honors. Ms. Rottet is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the International Interior Design Association, a member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame, and a Designer of the Year. In 2006, Rottet was inducted as an Inaugural Member of the Women in Design Hall of Fame.

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Knowledge Communities (cross tag) : Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

An Interview with Billie Tsien, AIA
Principal, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

By: Annie Chu
Principal, Chu+Gooding Architects
Professor of Interior Architecture, Woodbury University

“ The American Institute of Architects Board of Directors awarded the 2013 AIA Architecture Firm Award to

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The state of Alabama is currently in the process of have a new psychiatric hospital designed. The patients will be fed in the new hospital, however, the food will be prepared in another facility and transported to the new building. I have been told that the new building will be required by The Joint Commission to have a dishwasher in the building even though the food is prepared elsewhere. Is this true and where can I find the regulation?
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As a full-time research professional within a design firm, I spend a great deal of time scouring the web for new sources of information.  In the hopes of spreading this knowledge further, I thought it might help to share a few with others in the AIA. When I get asked to seek out information on a particular subject, these are the first places I go (in no particular order):

  1. InformeDesign (FREE) This UMN managed website is sponsored by many leading architectural associations and features summary's and abstract for countless studies related to architecture, construction, and the impact of the built environment on occupants.
  2. Research Design Connections (Subscription) This is a great resource for concise reviews of the latest design research, and most studies are directly applicable to the day to day practice of design.  There is also a free blog with very short snapshots of new research.
  3. Center for Health Design Research
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