Letter from the Chair- September 2020

By Julie Hiromoto AIA posted 09-17-2020 12:15


Fall is my favorite season.  I love the vivid colors of the leaves and the briskness in the air (and relief from the summer heat).  It is also time usually associated with getting back into the swing of things: kids going back to school, college students starting a new adventure, more structure after the relaxed summer.  Things feel different this year.  If we do have a routine, it is anything but normal.


As we continue working in the virtual realm and build upon the remote learning experiments from the end of the last academic year, there is still so much to learn, explore and grow into.  COTE is also adapting, evolving and stretching.  Last year, the AIA formally adopted the COTE Top Ten Measures as the ten principles of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence.  This year, we’ve aligned and refreshed the 2021 COTE Top Ten for Students Competition and the Top Ten Awards (more coming soon on this later).  


We recognize that the COTE Top Ten for Students Competition is a critical component of transforming practice.  The competition has been hosted collaboratively with our partner the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) since 2015.  Check out the 2020 winners if you have not seen these yet! 


The program not only captures innovative ideas and fresh perspectives from students exploring architecture as a profession, but it provides a bridge between academia and practice.  A hearty thank you to our COTE Top Ten for Students Competition working group: Marsha Maytum, Billie Faircloth, Elaine Gallagher Adams, Alison Kwok, Betsy del Monte, Z Smith, and Billie Tsien.  Comprised of educators and practicing architects, this team updated the competition program to align with the Framework, refreshed the call for entries, revised the studio guide and created additional supplemental resources to help facilitate these conversations between students, professors and other collaborators.


The program is now live, and rolling registration and submissions will be accepted until January 13, 2021.  If you didn’t already plan on hosting a 2020 fall design studio, please consider this for the Spring 2021 semester, or Fall next year.


We are identifying jury members now and hope to have these posted on the ACSA website in October.  Thank you again to our 2020 jury (Elgin Cleckley, University of Virginia; Carly Coulson, COULSON; Michael Horan, Clemson University; Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig; and Adrian Parr, University of Texas at Arlington) for your commitment to the success of this program.

Julie Hiromoto  

AIA 2020 COTE Chair  
2020-2021 COTE TT students