Annually around this time of year, the American Institute of Architects convenes for its National Convention and Design Exposition. This year, the convention takes place in Denver, CO., where the theme this year is “Building Leaders”. Now that day one of 2013 AIA National Convention is complete, I wish to provide a few briefs about the stories made today at the show. Here are my five (5) favorite stories from day one of the 2013 AIA National Convention.
1) Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Receive AIA Firm Award
A meticulous sense of material craft is rewarded with the AIA’s top honor for an architecture firm.
2) Ten Grants Available for Community-Based Leadership Training
2013 AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, is awarding 10 grants for leadership training programs this year to further encourage the leadership ability of its members, who seek to build on their leadership expertise and create a larger network of leadership opportunities for members across the country. The grants aim to offset the financial commitment of AIA members participating in programs outside of the profession of architecture, including those sponsored by a local or state chamber of commerce. This program has the ability to help the AIA become better prepared in involvement in political issues affecting community planning and development, and address issues important to the design environment and community quality of life. CLICK HERE for further details on the grant program
3) Two Architects Practicing Together Eligible for AIA Gold Medal in 2014
The AIA Board of Directors announce that they recently changed the AIA Gold Award eligibility requirements to allow not only an individual but also two individuals working together on a single project will be eligible to receive the award, in order to better reflect the collaborative and multidisciplinary way that architecture is designed. The change, announced by 2013 AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and helps show that architecture is a collective, creative endeavor that utilizes a vast diversity of expertise and aspirations to solve complex, multifaceted problems.
Renzo Piano’s first American project set the bar for lovingly-scaled museum architecture that celebrated natural light, which has become a signature of his style for decades and has been emulated in museums since.
5) TOMS Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie: Make Giving Work as a Business Strategy
Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, discussed how his multi-million dollar footwear brand started as a spontaneous act of giving during an Argentina vacation seven years ago. Mycoskie said that “giving feels good, and it is good in and of itself, but what I have learned in the last seven years is that giving not only feels good, it can also be good for your business. It can be a strategy for your business and your personal brand.” TOMS is well-known for its “One for One” policy, in which a pair of shoes is given to a child in need for every pair sold. Mycoskie explained how incorporating giving can turn clients into a company’s greatest marketers, and can attracts and retain talent,including corporate partners (like Ralph Lauren and AT&T in the case of TOMS).