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Save The Dates: 2016 COD Events

Awards Reception- Philadelphia, May 19, 6-9:00pm at the Barnes Foundation

Fall Conference- Portland, OR: October 6-8




Conference Overview- Havana, Cuba, April 17-24

Registration Deadline: December 15, 2015

The AIA Committee on Design Spring Conference will take place in Havana, Cuba, April 17-24, 2016. The city of Havana is home to an endless treasure of architecture but is also known for its friendly people and world-class cultural venues. The participants will visit the neighborhoods of Old Havana, Miramar, Vedado, Playa and Cerro.

This conference will provide architects, professors, researchers, specialists, and restorers dedicated to the study, preservation, and popularization of Cuban architecture. It will offer lectures, exhibitions, architectural tours of the city, forums, discussions, and social activities.

Earn up to 20 AIA LUs; # of HSW TBD

More Info

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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Latest Discussions

  • Holiday pop-up installation: bakery Pop-up installations are all the rage. What is more pop-up than an open air market? It is in the nature of such markets to be not there one day and there...

  • Can Expert Panels Change the World? Introduction : Diminished city government, underfunded and understaffed planning departments, the short attention spans of citizens and politicians, waning...

  • Please be advised that a contributor of this thread has libeled another contributor of this thread by making contact with said contributor's employer and misrepresenting his actions. It is recommended...

  • After two trips to Cuba you learn to go with the flow. Things work well in a group setting and the tour people, I experienced, in Cuba were excellent . On the last trip I stayed at the Hotel Nacional...

  • Roger: Our largest room block is at the Hotel Nacional. Additionally, the morning activities will occur in other locations, not the hotels, and transportation will be provided. The schedule is...

Download the 2016 AIA/COD 
Sponsorship Prospectus

2015 COD Norway Conference Video

Norway ; Locally Grown AIA COD Summer Conference 2015 from tom rossiter on Vimeo.


In June, 2015 COD Locally Grown attendees visited projects in Oslo, Bergen & Stavanger, Norway. Huge thanks to photographer Tom Rossiter for once again capturing the delights of the conference for posterity.

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

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

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.

City Guides

Headed for Boston? Seattle? Tokyo?

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

BerlinBostonColumbus  |  DetroitHouston | Nagoya+Takayama+Kanazawa |
Palm SpringsPhiladelphia | Phoenix | Prague | Seattle | SpainTokyo


See other conference resources.


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.










Convention Events

Recognizing Excellence

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

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.









COD On Pinterest

Love To Look At Images?

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

2015 COD Supporting Partners

Diamond Partners


                   Gold Partners



Silver Partners


Patron Partners

Centerbrook Architects & Planners

Ennead Architects

Jahn Foundation

Kieran Timberlake

Olson Kundig Architects