test L to R:  Sergio Palleroni, Courtney Crosson, and Bryan Bell. Photo by Timothy Niou

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AIA supports the education of the next generation of architects through our Higher Education department within Workforce and Diversity. The AIA Higher Education team serves as a liaison between higher education and practice, working with college faculty, staff and students; practitioners; and collateral organizations to support excellence in education and research and prepare future architects. We also pool our resources with AIAS, ACSA, NCARB, NAAB, and others to provide scholarships, educational programming, research, resources, and more.

  • 1.  Happy New Year!

    Posted 12-31-2019 15:17
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    Happy New Year and Best Wishes for Health, Happiness and Prosperity in 2020!

    A brief look back at 2019 and some upcoming opportunities.  See you in 2020!

    Intersections Symposium & Research Conference News
    It has been a busy year with another successful Intersections Symposium at A'19 in June and planning tor A'20 in Los Angeles in May!  We have posted the 2018 Intersections Proceedings on BRIK and the 2019 Proceedings are in the final proofing stage. We hope to post them in early 2020. Many thanks to our Co-Chairs for 2019 - Elizabeth Golden, AIA, Univ. Washington and Joshua Vermillion, Univ. of Nevada Las Vegas, plus our speakers and moderators. The topic of Bottom-Up Social Change provided many views on the impact architects and researchers can have from the venue of community, buildings and materials. Our 2020 Intersections Symposium features three research sessions on Design for Climate Action with co-chairs, Phoebe Crisman, AIA, Univ. Virginia and Kyle Konis, AIA, University of Southern California.  Don't miss A"20 in Los Angeles, May 14-16, 2020.
    AIA ACSA Intersections Research Conference: Carbon  - Call for Submissions Deadline March 18, 2020
    Announcing our second research conference in collaboration with ACSA - Oct. 1-3, 2020, Philadelphia, PA. Submit your abstract by March 18 and share your work with others concerned about our climate challenges. Our co-chairs for this conference are Corey T. Griffin, Pennsylvania State University and Erica Cochran Hameen, Carnegie Mellon University. For this conference, there will be two main tracks focused on short-term and long-term strategies for managing carbon, while acknowledging most if not all strategies, will have consequences in the short and long-term. SHORT-TERM CARBON MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES include, but are not limited to: building materials and construction  |  adaptive reuse and deep energy retrofits  |  embodied carbon accounting and life cycle analysis commissioning | post-occupancy evaluations and the role of building occupants. LONG-TERM CARBON MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES include, but are not limited to:  climate responsive design in a time of shifting and unreliable climates  |  transition to electricity-based systems  |  on-site renewables and preparing for a decarbonized electrical grid  |  how to best reduce fossil fuel-based energy use through design  |  reliability and utility of energy modeling  |  predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI)  |  energy benchmarking. Across both of the tracks, we invite all submissions to address one or more of the following measures from the AIA Framework for Design Excellence including: Design for Energy, Design for Economy and Design for Equitable Communities. View the online AIA Framework for Design Excellence.

    School Visits
    In 2019 I visited seven NAAB accredited programs, including a candidate school. These included: Catholic University, University of the District of Columbia, and Howard University in Washington, DC |  Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD | University of Minnesota and Dunwoody Technical College in Minneapolis, MN  | Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.  Another high note of the year was the fact that President Bill Bates visited all seven HBCUs with NAAB-accredited programs:  UDC, Howard University, Morgan State Univ., Hampton Univ., Prairie View Univ., Florida A&M Univ. and Tuskegee University. 
    2019 Henry Adams Medalists
    This year 144 students received the Henry Adams Medal signifying them as the top graduate of their program. 113 schools in the US, Canada and United Arab Emirates, submitted names and each school was sent a silver medal, certificate and letter of congratulations from AIA President Bill Bates and CEO Robert Ivy., for presentation at graduation. Next year's submissions will open in February 2020. A list of awardees is attached.

    ACSA Session 
    On Nov. 9, 2019, we  hosted a session at the ACSA Administrators Conference in New Orleans. CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE IN AN UNCERTAIN CLIMATE . Many thanks to our panelists for sharing their work and experience in research, development, and community engagement:  Courtney Crosson, University of Arizona (moderator); Emilie Taylor-Welty, Tulane University; Kentaro Tsubaki, Tulane University; and Dean Gwin, Gate Precast.  Our panelists highlighted their studios and work to develop a skate park, deal with water infrastructure, and a Tulane design/research studio in collaboration with a pre-cast concrete manufacturer. Gate Pre-cast funds studios and teaches students and works with faculty to research innovative uses of concrete.  Check out this video on one such project in Brooklyn.  3-D printed mold by Oak Ridge National Lab and pre-cast concrete sample shown below. 

    Exhibit at the Octagon
    Next time you are in DC, be sure to stop by the Octagon, former home of President James and Dolly Madison and later the AIA headquarters. Today the Architecture Foundation runs the Octagon and supports many scholarships and awards. On Oct. 30, we hosted a reception for a new exhibit of photography of Morris Brown College, titled "Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color" and invited two architecture students, Jiliane Leroy, Howard Univ. and Ashley Myers, Univ. of the District of Columbia to share their stories about attending a historically black college and the unique atmosphere of "family" that exists on campus. Check out the AF website and their many funding opportunities today.   

    Upcoming Conferences/Events

    AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Building Connections Congress:  Perspectives: Practice and the Future of Computational Design Technologies  - Jan. 13, 2020, 8 am to  7 pm - live streaming available. More info here.

    ASES Solar 20/20 - June 23-26, 2020, George Washington University, Washington, DC - in conjunction with the US DOE Solar Decathlon - Call for participation via dialogue and posters - closes Jan. 15, 2020. Information here. 

    Grants and Fellowships

    Civita Fellowships - apply now! 

    Education and cultural exchange between US and Italy. The 2020 Fellowship program lies at the heart of the Civita Institute's mission to inspire and promote design excellence through education and cultural exchange between the United States and Italy. Each year the Institute awards fellowships for proposed projects in the Italian hill town of Civita di Bagnoregio.

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RJWF), will start accepting applications for Cohort 5 beginning  Jan. 10, 2020. The program is a three-year research leadership program focused on forwarding RWJF's Culture of Health. The applications are team-oriented, requiring two research partners and one community partner. Fifteen teams are accepted into the program each year. In Cohort 4, two teams have representatives from the built environment.

    Velux  - Great comments on the need for manufacturers to collaborate with researchers and legislators to solve climate challenges through building products, innovation, etc.  Take a listen, but particularly from around 5 minutes here. 


    The COTE® Top Ten Awards is the industry's best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, ten innovative projects are recognized for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance.  SUBMISSIONS Close Jan. 15, 2020. 


    COTE Super Spreadsheet

    Understand and calculate metrics associated with the Framework for Design Excellence in order to analyze and improve your project. Download the spreadsheet

    COTE Toolkit  - The COTE Top Ten Toolkit is a resource, accessible to all architects, that closes the information gap to designing high performing, equitable, beautiful buildings. The Toolkit is designed to provide relevant, general guidance to architects incorporating deep green principles from the beginning of every project. The Toolkit provides focus topics, high impact strategies, resources, and more for each of its 10 measures. Each year, the COTE Top Ten Awards are ranked and chosen based on their performance in these 10 measures. A COTE Super Spreadsheet is also available to help calculate and understand the metrics that make up the Top Ten Framework, to analyze your projects, or learn more about performance metrics.

    Dr. Nissa Dahlin-Brown, Assoc. AIA
    Director, Higher Education
    The American Institute of Architects
    Washington, DC


    Learn more