Save The Dates: 2015 COD Events


» Download Norway Itinerary | » Register Today!

Images by Ann Thompson, MLS and Jim Childress, FAIA

May 14  COD National Awards Reception at the AIA National Convention  Atlanta, Georgia

June 21-30 International Conference: Norway

                  June 21-24 Oslo

                  June 25-27 Bergen

                  June 27-30 Stavanger
Early Fall (date TBD)  Domestic Conference: Providence, R.I.

The Norway conference will be arranged so you can attend all three sections, the first two, or the last two. There are international flights to all three cities.  

Conference Overview

We will visit three cities - Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger - as well as rural places and projects in between.  We will get an historical prospective by visiting a few key structures - a traditional wood farm village, a Stave Church as well as some 19th and 20th century projects.  We will then visit new projects, with their architects, to learn how the evolving culture is influencing today’s architecture and design.   

These firms represent a wide variety of ages, nationalities, sizes of practices, and types of work. Some projects are bigger, some very small.  In all cases the projects are rooted in Norwegian traditions while being innovative in their form and craft.  



2014 Conference Booklets On Sale Now

The 2014 Conference Booklets for both New York and London are now available for purchase.  The purchase of the booklets is open to all COD members, regardless of whether you attended the conferences.  Those who did attend will recall that this year’s in-conference speaker and project resources were in the form of a free Guidebook app, which allowed for much greater flexibility and interactivity with websites and other information on the app during the course of the conference.  We made the choice to do so because we felt it was a more enhanced in-conference resource.

We also understand that for many past conference attendees, the opportunity to have hardcopy booklets is also desirable whether simply as a conference keepsake or to maintain your “library” of COD Conference Booklets.  This year, the COD is partnering with Indianapolis-based Reprographix, an Indianapolis-based reprographer who will manage not only the printing, of the booklets for us, but the ordering, payment and delivery process. as well.  The cost of the New York Conference booklet it $20.00 and the cost of the London Conference booklet is $25.00.

If you would like to place an order for one or more copies of either or both booklets, please send an e-mail to Brian Harpold at with the information listed below.  Brian will follow up with you regarding your specific payment information, including the shipping cost.

  • Name
  • Mailing Address (address to which you’d like the booklets shipped)
  • E-mail Address
  • Phone Number (the best number at which to reach you)
  • Which booklets and quantity of booklets you wish to order

Please feel free to contact 2014 COD Chair Steve Alspaugh ( if you have any other general questions.

2014 COD Awards Reception and Dinner


By Ann Thompson, MLS

Photos courtesy of Andrew Bruah

One of the happiest events at the 2014 AIA National Convention was the COD Honors and Awards Dinner & Reception which celebrated the 2014 winners of the AIA’s most prestigious Awards: the Gold Medal; Architecture Firm Award; Twenty-five Year Award; Honorary Fellowship, and Institute Honor Awards for Collaborative and Professional Achievement.

The Arts Club of Chicago, renovated by Vinci/ Hamp Architects, provided the perfect setting for the event: beautiful galleries, a Mies van der Rohe staircase, plenty of space for cocktails and chatting with this year’s award recipients.  All that and room for dinner!

Read more

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    I am writing to inform this group about a conference that my chapter is organising in Milano, Italy this upcoming May. The AIA Continental Europe Chapter of the AIA organises two conferences a year...

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    RE: Tiny houses as solution to affordable housing

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    RE: Tiny houses as solution to affordable housing

    "Tiny" houses may be ok for one (or two?) people, but not families of 3 or more. Other factors that have to be considered are: 1. Will cities create zones where very small lot sizes can be purchased?...

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    RE:Tiny houses as solution to affordable housing

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Latest Shared Files

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Download the 2015 AIA/COD 
Sponsorship Prospectus

2014 COD London Conference Video

AIA COD London; Big Cities Big Ideas from tom rossiter on Vimeo.

In September, 2014 COD Big Cities|Big Ideas Conference attendees visited projects in London. Thanks to Photographer Tom Rossiter, FAIA who captured some special moments for all to experience. Begin with a thrill ride in the glass elevator of 122 Leadenhall ("The Cheesegrater") which whisks visitors up the approximate 700 ft climb to the top in just a few seconds. Progress through the successfully-renovated and restored St. Pancras Station and Hotel to see why the video is set to The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" as many of the projects we visited were 'developed' by London's major developers--who are not, perhaps, always perceived as the hero in every instance when transforming blighted areas. We learned about the current dearth of affordable housing in London from multiple speakers during the conference. The challenge for both developers and architects is making the new work affordable.

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

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.