We had a blast at this year’s 2018 AIA Conference in New York with eight staff members speaking about six different topics. We also were thrilled to see Payette Principal Peter Vieira receive his AIA Fellowship medal during the Investiture of Fellows Ceremony. Congrats Peter!
One of our recently licensed architect and first time attendee, Megan Brown shares her experience at this year’s conference.
As a newly licensed architect, I took advantage of my free admission to the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018, held in New York City this year. The location was the biggest draw. The backdrop and energy of the city was the perfect setting for discussions on the conference theme of “Blueprints for Better Cities.”
I spent two days at the conference, attending lots of seminars, Architalks and keynotes.
Analyzing the types of seminars for which I registered, I noticed a pattern starting to emerge. Most of my interests were on improving equity and diversity both within the profession of architecture and in the city fabric through building design. In particular, encouraging diversity and equity for underrepresented groups and women and designing to benefit underprivileged populations and refugees. The Day 1 keynote speakers discussed some of these topics. Tamara Eagle Bull, recipient of the 2018 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award, spoke on the importance of a diverse group of designers in the architectural practice. While it has improved over the last 50 years, there is still much to do to create a varied, diverse profession. She also emphasized the need for more Native American architects and designers. There are currently very few Native American licensed architects. Having lived near and worked on a Navajo Nation reservation in southern Utah in the past, I recognized many of the issues she noted that Native Americans face today. There is still a great need there. The best people to design new buildings and cities for their communities would be those who truly understand their culture. Bull shared some examples of her designs for culturally relevant buildings and spaces. Her talk was brief, but the standing ovation she received was well deserved.
The best part of attending the conference was meeting like-minded people who share a desire to improve the profession of architecture and provide accessible and impactful design to all people. I had the opportunity to meet other Boston architects and to see the amazing work a group from the BSA is doing to help refugee children through the design and construction of play structures. It was great to tap into the pool of inspiring work that is going on all around the world. There are excellent examples of ways that design is benefitting cities, communities, families and individuals.
It was an exciting, fun and invigorating few days. How was your conference experience?