2014 COD Events

Spring Conference: Big Cities | Big Ideas – New York, May 15-18

One World Trade Center and the Manhattan Skyline © 2012-2013 Tower 1 Joint Venture LLC/Image courtesy of SOM.

Join us as we explore the Big Ideas taking shape in New York City as part of this year’s theme Big Cities | Big Ideas. The best big ideas create memorable architecture and exterior spaces; places where we love to be. They embrace bold and often ground-breaking design approaches and inspirations; a different way of envisioning design possibilities to advance the development of our built environment.  Big ideas also have the ability to profoundly impact the quality of life in the areas they occupy and their surrounding neighborhoods. 

Seeing these projects and hearing first-hand what was involved in realizing them will allow you to return home with more tools in your toolkit for making a difference in your own projects and their influence on the community. Moreover, we’ll also learn about the value of design in mitigating the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Sandy’s damage and after-effects have brought a renewed attention to resilient design and we will hear about current thinking and long-term strategies throughout the conference. 

Click HERE for detailed conference information and to register.

Robert Hull, FAIA 1945 - 2014

By Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal

Architect Robert Hull, a founding partner of The Miller Hull Partnership, has died due to complications related to a stroke he suffered while on sabbatical in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the Seattle firm said on Tuesday. He was 69.

Hull, along with his business partner David Miller, led The Miller Hull Partnership to national prominence as a leader in the practice of Pacific Northwest regional design.

The two met while studying architecture at Washington State University after which Hull served four years in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan where he designed more than 100 sustainable schools. He began his design career in the New York office of Marcel Breuer which honed his modernist aesthetic, eventually joining Miller at Rhone Iredale in Vancouver, British Columbia, and later opening The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle in 1977.

Hull had a significant impact on the architecture of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, receiving numerous awards and honors. Among the most prominent was his design guidance contributed to the firm receiving the 2003 AIA National Firm Award for sustained design excellence. He and Miller received the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award in 2006 and jointly earned the American Institute of Architects' Seattle Medal of Honor in 2010.

Along with numerous residences throughout the San Juan Islands, regional design credits include The Open Window, Epiphany, Bertschi and Bush schools in Seattle, Conibear Shellhouse at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University Science Building and University Center for Performing Arts, Discovery Park Visitors Center and the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. In Oregon, his work includes the Tillamook Forest Center and Yaquina Interpretive Center on the Oregon Coast.

Hull had recently returned to Herat and Mazar e Sharif Afghanistan, where he was leading the design of a health clinic and a girls' school, in communities where he had served in the Peace Corps.

He participated in numerous regional and national design juries, including the national AIA Honor Awards. He is a former president of the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

Hull is survived by his wife and two sons.

A family funeral service will be held in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday. Details of a public Seattle celebration of Hull’s life will be announced when confirmed.

2013 COD Awards Reception and Dinner

By Ann Thompson, MLS

Photos by Oscar Einzig

How appropriate that as the Committee on Design celebrates their 50th anniversary this year, they hosted the AIA’s 2013 top award winners in a building rich in history itself: the McNichols Civic Center Building, a recently-restored Carnegie Library in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The Denver Public Library, designed by Burnham Hoyt in 1955 with a Michael Graves addition in 1990, and the Denver Art Museum, designed by Gio Ponti (1971) and Daniel Libeskind (2006), are close neighbors.

Read more

Latest Blogs

  • Ann Thompson

    2013 Member Slideshow: Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Member Slideshows are created each year for the Spring Conference to illustrate the recent work of the attendee’s firms. All COD members are welcome to participate. Attendees have 6 slides and 60... more

  • Ann Thompson

    2013 Member Slideshow: Dirk Denison Architects, Chicago, Illinois

    Member Slideshows are created each year for the Spring Conference to illustrate the recent work of the attendee’s firms. All COD members are welcome to participate. Attendees have 6 slides and 60... more

  • Mr. Walter Hosack

    Tacit Knowledge

    I've been out of touch working on a new book that I hope will be complete by the end of this year. I'm including the first two paragraphs of the Introduction. They represent a synopsis that I've... more

  • Ann Thompson

    2013 Member Slideshow: Bentel & Bentel Architects, Locust Valley, New York

    Member Slideshows are created each year for the Spring Conference to illustrate the recent work of the attendee’s firms. All COD members are welcome to participate. Attendees have 6 slides and 60... more

  • Ann Thompson

    2013 Member Slideshow: Smith And Thompson Architects, New York, New York

    Member Slideshows are created each year for the Spring Conference to illustrate the recent work of the attendee’s firms. All COD members are welcome to participate. Attendees have 6 slides and 60... more

Latest Discussions

  • photo not available


    I was on board for non profit organization. even i explained thoroughly on the role of architect and the process involved. naturally questions and ideas revolve around on the "can do". i did explain...

  • Mr. Walter Hosack


    We've all been run over by opinion too often. It's time to build a stronger foundation. The future of shelter will involve the correlation of symbiotic complexity. Logical correlation of disparate...

  • Ann Thompson

    New York: Suggested Reading

    Another suggestion for a book to read in preparation for COD's Spring Conference in New York (May 15- 18): Luke Barley's blog "Regular New" has a recent post, "New York City's Transforming Storefront...

  • photo not available


    My answer is short and sweet. Anything that increases the public's interactions with architects is a good thing. Crowdsourcing isn't going away. The choice is to either embrace it or get run over...

    1 person recommends this.
  • David Clarke, AIA


    What the article describes is not "crowdsourcing" in the same way that people are raising capital via the internet for projects through crowdsourcing. Try designing a church--that's crowdsourced design....

Latest Shared Files

COD In Berlin, Germany Video

In September, 2013, 100 members of the Committee on Design went to Berlin, Dessau and Potsdam, Germany for our fall conference. Photographer/Architect Tom Rossiter, FAIA put together this video of many of the projects that were visited.

For more information on the projects we saw and the people we met, please see the Committee on Design Guide to Berlin here.

Past Events

COD In Columbus, Indiana Video

In April, 2012, 120 members of the Committee on Design went to Columbus, Indiana for our spring conference.  Together we explored the architecture of the community, talked with many of the architects who designed the projects, and met with citizens who have been active in championing modern architecture.  We also discussed and considered how to measure design excellence.  Boaz Ashkenazy and his crew at Studio216 created this trailer and film as an overview of what we saw and experienced. 

For more information on the projects we saw and the people we met, please see the Committee on Design Guide to Columbus, Indiana here.

Defining Architectural Design Excellence - Columbus, IN

The Committee on Design visited Columbus, Indiana in April, 2012. Click here to read the conference report written by John Morris Dixon, FAIA. Illustrated by Jim Childress, FAIA, Ann Thompson, AIA Affiliate.

Crafting The Future - Japan

Photo by Tom Rossiter, FAIA, of the D.T. Suzuki Museum by Yoshio Taniguchi in Kanazawa, Japan.

The Committee on Design visited Japan in November, 2011. View the conference page to see itineraries, more photo montages from Tom Rossiter, FAIA, blog posts, and material from the AIA Associate Members selected as Knowledge Scholars.

View the Japan conference page.

The Culture of Craft

Committee on Design City Guides

The Committee on Design creates city guides of not-to-miss architecture in the cities they visit. Download a copy and take it on your next trip.

| Denver | DetroitHouston | Nagoya+Takayama+Kanazawa |  Philadelphia | Phoenix | Prague | Seattle | SpainTokyo
See other conference resources.

The Handbook of Architectural Design Competitions

The AIA’s previous edition of the Handbook of Architectural Design Competitions was published in 1988. While not wholly outdated, that document needed to be revised in view of the proliferation of the new varieties of competition types and because competitions have become more visible and common. As architectural practice has grown to be more global and as the collaborative nature of the profession’s work has become more linear, the competition model demands a more sophisticated methodology. Download the 2010 edition.

About COD

Columbus, Indiana City Hall by SOM, photographed by James Bowen, AIA, during the COD 2012 spring conference.

The Committee on Design (COD) was founded to promote design excellence among members of the AIA, the broader design community, and the public at large, both nationally and internationally.  The Committee on Design is led by a volunteer advisory group of eight architects and an adjunct leadership team of 16 additional individuals. 

In realizing our mission, we promote a range of activities intended to encourage a dialogue on the art of building. Our goals are:

    to examine and promote knowledge of contemporary design issues; 
    to compare current design and historic precedents; 
    to learn from the contrast or progression of ideas; 
    to advocate leadership roles for architects within the fields of design and planning. 

In addition to visits to and consideration of great architecture, COD also nominates candidates for many of the AIA's most important design awards and organizes design related events at the national convention.  Volunteer assistance and corporate sponsorships are always welcome.

Question? Contact our communications coordinator, Ann Thompson at annthompsonmls@gmail.com

City Guides

Headed for Denver? Copenhagen? Tokyo?

Check out our City Guides to these cities and more for the not-to-miss architecture.

Convention Events

Recognizing Excellence

Read accounts of COD's inaugural and second dinners recognizing the AIA Award Recipients.

COD On Pinterest

Love To Look At Images?

COD has a Pinterest page with boards of images from our conferences and events.

2014 COD Supporting Partners

Diamond Partners

Gold Partners

Jim Childress & Ann Thompson


Silver Partners

Patron Partners