Last weekend was the 2016 American Institute of Architects’ Annual Conference, held this year in Philadelphia. It was an invigorating weekend with energizing speakers, hundreds of interesting seminars, city sketching tours, playful installations, the unveiling of new technology and gadgets, and even a historic moment. Here are some of the highlights below.
Neri Oxman, an architect and a professor at the MIT Media Lab, was the Keynote speaker for Day 2. She captivated the crowd with a presentation on the intersection of technology and biophilic design, and the possible applications for that work in the future of design and architecture.
In a historic, and emotional moment, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi were awarded the 2016 AIA Gold Medal. As the AIA states,
“The Gold Medal is the highest honor the AIA can confer on an architect or architects. It acknowledges a significant body of work that has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. “
This recognition is so noteworthy because not only was it the highest award an architect could receive, but never in the award’s 109 year history has it ever before been awarded to a duo. In fact, the AIA changed their bylaws so that they could award the medal to both Venturi and his wife, and life-long collaborator, Scott Brown. Mrs. Scott Brown was escorted to the stage and greeted by a powerful standing ovation.
This years’ #ILookup Film Challenge was launched during the conference. “The I Look Up Challenge calls upon filmmakers to share their vision with a 2-3 minute video exploring the power of architecture to create solutions and uplift communities.” – AIA. To kick off the challenge, the AIA released a short film documentary featuring Rural Studio, a community design-build program through Auburn’s Architecture school that several of our BPA architects and designers have had the privilege of participating in over the years. Here are both links to the Rural Studio Film and the ILookUp Film Challenge.