Seen & heard at A'18

This is what plurality looks like--there was a flashmob outside the Javits Center midday on Friday with calls for equity and inclusion from Beverly Willis, FAIA; Rosa Sheng, FAIA; and others; Architect covered the event

By Kira Gould

The national AIA Conference on Architecture is always very busy, and dropping it into New York City seemed to heighten that quality -- and infuse it with a keen sense of celebrating the city, which was just right for the Blueprint for Better Communities agenda and the New Urban Agenda backdrop to AIA activities. For COTE, the history and leadership around green building in New York make it perfect, too, and we had NYC leaders speaking to us at the Top Ten Toast (Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability) and the Open Forum (Gina Bocra, Chief Sustainability Officer, New York City Department of Buildings).

The buzz about those events, the COTE Top Ten winning projects (the professional winners and the student winners), and a slew of inspiring sessions focused on amazing work around resilience, resource conservation technologies, affordable housing, and issues of diversity and equity -- and much, much more -- made for an exhilarating few days.

Some of the voices (including those harvested from Twitter) about the goings-on:

Marsha Maytum, FAIA: “I heard some fascinating things in the discussion portion of our session on the COTE Top Ten for Students: Innovation 2030: 1)  If the next generation of architects is going to lead on climate change solutions – the architectural education and particularly the studio system must integrate high performance, resilient, carbon neutral design in all studios and curriculum. 2) Changing the NAAB certification requirements for architecture school accreditation and the NCARB requirements for licensure are key to systemic change in the architectural profession (similar to regulation and code changes being the pathway to true industry wide change). 3) Immediate action is imperative – what can COTE and the AIA do to push these changes forward?


Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA: “The COTE Top Ten Celebration, held at CookFox's LEED Platinum/WELL Gold office was the place to be for all folks sustainable. We were treated to an amazing summer solstice sunset on their rooftop decks while the who's who of sustainability mingled and heard from New York City's Director of Sustainability, Mark Chambers, about their ambitious sustainability initiatives and celebrated this year's Top Ten winners. Seeing the students and faculty sponsors was especially moving, reminding me that the next generation is alive and working on making the critical transformation of our built environment possible.”

The AIA COTE Open Forum was well attended this year, and fostered very lively interactions around a range of topics. AIA COTE founder Bob Berkebile, FAIA, even made an appearance; shown here with AG members Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA, and Marsha Maytum, FAIA, and past chair Bill Leddy, FAIA.

Gina Bocra, AIA, was our guest speaker at the AIA COTE Open Forum, and she made codes seem like the compelling issue of our time. They may well be the path to change. Her challenge to us all: Make awful unlawful. #makeawfulunlawful

Great way to celebrate the solstice from the @COOKFOXarch #greenroof for the @AIA_COTE Top Ten Toast! #AIA18CON #aiacote #archdaily #greenbuilding @AIANational

@SnarkitectDC: Enjoying the summer #solstice sunset at the lovely office and rooftop at cookfox in #nyc for the #COTETopTen reception. #A18CON @ COOKFOX Architects …

@kimshinn: #AIACON18@AIA_COTE⁩ Top Ten Reception. Great friends, great projects.

@zesmith3 (Z Smith): “One of the most important skills to master is the ability to get out of your own way.”  —Mark Chambers @growacity @newyorkcity #Sustainability @AIANational 

Kira6.png@Julie_Hiromoto: Karen Robichaud inspires ME306 participants with @AIA_COTE #TopTen measure: social equity. #A18CON @payettepeople

@Julie_Hiromoto: Corey Squire reviews the new @AIA_COTE #TopTenToolkit download it today:
#A18CON @AIANational @LakeFlato

@RandyDeutsch: The COTE Top Ten Toolkit is a resource, accessible to all #architects, that closes the information gap to designing high performing, equitable, beautiful buildings … #AEC #A18CON #aia2018 @AIA_COTE

@AIA_COTE: Congrats to former COTE Advisory Group members @zesmith3 & Rand Eckman for being elevated to the College of Fellows today at #a18con!

@zachkunstk (Zachary Kuntskman): Community outreach helps educate how good design may change their concerns and positively impact and serve their neighborhood. - Vanna Whitney, AIA
#affordablehousing #discussion #A18CON #VannaWhitney @AIA_COTE #vision #understanding #community #impactfuldesign #socialimpact

@Andrew_Frontini: Presenting @torontolibrary Albion branch @AIA_COTE top ten #performingbeautifully @perkinswill_ONT

@Julie_Hiromoto: Ed Mazria shared new Zero Code developed by @Arch2030 with @DFC_Global Education and Talent Forum: ASHRAE 90.1 2016 compliant PLUS all renewables will guarantee alternative energy demand. @AIA_COTE


@Julie_Hiromoto: Marsha Maytum introduces the @AIA_COTE Student Top Ten Award to the  @DFC_Global Education and Talent Forum, with Justin Brown, Anthony Guida, and Brook Mueller @MASSDesignLab @MeowWolf @uoregon #A18Con

@LakeFlato: “For this project to achieve the energy savings and sustainability that it did was really outstanding.” Thank you
#AIACOTETopTen Jury for the kind words on our Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building, a 2018 COTE Top Ten Award project designed with

@SnarkitectDC (Jon Pennford): “You cannot avoid an accident by looking in the rearview mirror.” -John Englander in his #A18Con session on designing for #flooding & sea level rise. @AIA_Resilience @AIA_COTE #resilience #climate

@MikeDavisFAIA: At yet another #A18con seminar, it is revealed that only 27% of attendees have signed the AIA 2030 Commitment. @AIANational @AIA_COTE . What’s up with that? Discuss. #sustainability #design

@eecoverstone (Ethan Coverstone): “The US has added 20 billion square feet to our skylines but energy usage levels have remained stable since 2006.” - Carl Elefante, FAIA @ #A18CON #Keynote Day 1 #architecture #sustainability #aia

Kira Gould, Allied AIA, is principal of Kira Gould CONNECT, a communications consultancy to the AEC industry with a focus on sustainable design excellence, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.