2014 COD Events

Fall Conference: Big Cities | Big Ideas – London, September 7-12

 photo credit: Lies Thru a Lens cc

The 2014 theme of Big Cities | Big Ideas is leading the COD on explorations of bold and often groundbreaking big ideas in architecture and urban design in the two most influential cities in the world. In the highly successful New York City Conference, we experienced boldly innovative new work at a multitude of scales. Journey with us now in the COD's inaugural visit to London, where these discoveries will continue in a city that is witnessing resurgence with a number of large-scale urban development projects in many areas of the city. Explore with us the new work and the forces behind them in this mega-city that makes it an international destination for culture, tourism, and business. Inside the history of this iconic city are lessons that can guide the rapidly growing cities of today.

Conference Tours are divided into major segments, focusing on the Big Ideas of specific areas of the city. The areas include West London, East London, Battersea/Vauxhall/New Covent Garden/Nine Elms, City of London and Southbank. We will open the conference with a boat tour of the city from the River Thames. Please note that the tours and the speakers are in the final planning stages and are subject to change.

Click HERE for detailed conference information and to register.


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.

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Latest Blogs

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  • Steven K. Alspaugh AIA, LEED AP

    Big Cities | Big Ideas New York Conference

    This past May, the Committee on Design's Spring Conference in New York featured many outstanding tours, including the first two segments of the High Line. The third and final segment of the elevated... more

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  • Ann Kirsten Thompson

    AIA YAF Connection Magazine Article on COD's 2014 Big Cities | Big Ideas Conference in New York

    Take a moment to enjoy an article on COD's Big Cities | Big Ideas Conference in New York from the recent issue of YAF's Connection magazine. The article contains interviews of attendees including Chicago's... more

  • Mike A. Mense FAIA

    When is a design unique enough to be plagiarized? cod3q japan1111


  • Mike A. Mense FAIA

    navel gazing on a parking garage cod3p Denver613


Latest Discussions

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    Apply for the Architect in Residence Program 2015

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    The Paolo Soleri Amphithetaer a talk at TEDxABQ

    Repost (TEDxABQ changed the link) The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater, Architecture Ahead of its Time TEDxABQ talk by Conrad C Skinner AIA on the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater at the Santa Fe Indian School....

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    The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater - a TEDxABQ talk

    TEDxABQ talk by Conrad C Skinner AIA on the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater at the Santa Fe Indian School. The talk encapsulates the historic collaboration between Cherokee Lloyd Kiva New and Paolo Soleri...

  • Michael James Crosbie FAIA

    Join the ACS Forum Linked-In Group

    The Forum for Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality (ACS Forum, at acsforum.org) has just started a professional group on Linked-In that might be of interest. You can join this group if you are Linked-In...

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    Design Competition in Poland

    Only a few days left to register to enter an international design competition to design a memorial to those gentiles who aided the Jews in Poland during the Holocaust. Final designs are due in December....

Latest Shared Files

COD Design Legacy Video Series: Palm Springs, 2013

In May, 2013, 100 or so members of the Committee on Design went to Palm Springs, California for our spring conference. Studio 216 filmed architects Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, Jim Jennings, William Kreisel, AIA and Leo Marmol, FAIA as they discussed Regionalism and Relevance: Modern Architecture  in Palm Springs.

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.