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Save The Dates: 2016 COD Events

Awards Reception- Philadelphia, May 19, 6-9:30pm 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

2015 COD Awards Reception

COD Begins New Tradition At 2015 Awards Reception

In 2011, at the instigation of COD’s then-Chair Anne Schopf, FAIA, the Committee on Design began hosting a special reception at the annual AIA National Convention to celebrate the recipients of five of the AIA’s most prestigious design awards: the Gold Medal; National Firm Award; AIA Honorary Fellows; the Collaborative & Professional Achievement Award winners, and the Twenty-five Year Award. This reception has grown in attendance each year and, in collaboration with the AIA in 2015, COD began to include all of the national award recipients in its evening of “Recognizing Excellence”.

 2015 COD Chair Jim Childress, FAIA listens as Robert Ivy, FAIA, EVP/Chief Executive Officer of the AIA speaks about the importance of design excellence.

Read more

Latest Blogs

  • What would you do if you found yourself with an abandoned airport on 1000 acres of formerly beautiful land surrounded on three sides by a fjord---AND it's on the outskirts of a city which also happens... more

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  • COD members who attend the Norway conference in June will be treated to an in-person overview of current work there but for those who can't wait, or who can't attend, one of the best resources online... more

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  • We'll be visiting the Rundeskogen housing designed by Helen & Hard on the Stavanger segment of COD's upcoming Norway conference in June. COD Chair Jim Childress says, "It makes you look at everything... more

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  • 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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  • 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

Latest Discussions

  • The Canadian Wood Council is creating a database of projects in the Large Shopping Centres, Retail and Warehouses categories built out of wood in the US and internationally. Potential examples may...

  • Sure seems like these 65 story high rises all over SF are put together with mostly glue (call it caulk if you want)…what happens in 45 years..just saying…Alan Rudy AIA(big fan of mechanical fasteners)...

  • From Putty to Silicone - How Caulk Changed Architecture The invention of the arch, the use of steel, reinforced concrete, glass, and the elevator are well understood as innovations that...

  • The 2016 Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program is now open to architects, designers, liturgical design consultants, artists, landscape architects, interior designers, clergy, and professors...

  • North Carolina's week of bathroom talk escalated into a civil rights issue of sorts prompting input from divergent authorities such as Bruce Springsteen, the Deutsche Bank, Paypal, Pepsi and many others.....

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. 

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 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.

2016 COD Supporting Partners

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