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Save The Dates: 2015 COD Events

»  Providence Registration & Travel Information

2015 Locally Grown
Providence, Rhode Island Conference October 1-4

Conference Overview

Providence is experiencing a rebirth, culturally and economically.   This smaller city provides one of the best examples anywhere of how good design, innovative small-scale architecture, creative use of old infrastructure, and an urban planning vision can help smaller cities thrive.   

We will open the conference on Thursday, October 1st with a dinner and our traditional Member Slide Show held in the recently-renovated Providence Public Library.

On Friday, we will learn about how the city has evolved and where future planning and development is going.  We will then visit specific projects downtown and on the ‘East Side’ at the Rhode Island School of Design and around Brown University.  These projects illustrate ways to integrate new architecture into existing contexts; creating new places that make more of what already exists.  We’ll host a cocktail party/petcha kutcha with local architects and craftspeople. Friday dinner is on your own allowing you to explore Providence’s terrific array of restaurants. 

On Saturday we will hear from two very talented local architects about the opportunities and challenges in making a difference in a smaller city. We will then explore highlights surrounding Providence, including a talk by Peter Bohlin, FAIA on "Locally Grown" design and a visit to a house he designed nearby. Our closing dinner will be held in the RISD Museum. On Saturday night we'll enjoy Providence WaterFire - an urban event not to miss! Sunday morning's breakfast will include the annual meeting of COD--open to everyone. Please join us!

For a detailed Providence itinerary, scroll down to the Latest Shared Files or click here.



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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Download the 2015 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.

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.

2015 COD Supporting Partners

Diamond Partners


Gold Partners


Silver Partners


Patron Partners

Centerbrook Architects & Planners

Ennead Architects

Jahn Foundation

Kieran Timberlake

Olson Kundig Architects


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