ArchiWEB Explorer: American Institute of Architects

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The Nature of Design

The Nature of Design: Principles, Processes, and the Purview of the Architect
M. Scott Lockard
ORO Editions, May 2017



Paperback | 9-3/4 x 11-1/2 inches | 272 pages | English | ISBN: 978-1939621429 | $39.95

Publisher Description:
In this insightful, irreverent, and beautiful exposition of the design process, one of the world’s most prolific practitioners proposes an absolutely clear distinction between Design and Art.

Lockard asserts that the design profession itself accepts and often promotes a misleading definition of design, and here challenges professionals, their clients, and students of design to examine the fundamental nature of the discipline.

Conversational yet uncompromising in its message—illustrated throughout by hundreds of actual design drawings from real-world projects of all types demonstrating Lockard’s highly effective and versatile process—the book’s overarching principles will find application in all fields of design.

The Nature of Design also offers compelling insight into today’s biggest challenges for the field of design: the co-opting of the process by bureaucratic and industry forces, the disconnection of academia from practice, and the very real difficulties facing designers that encourage brain drain to related fields.
dDAB Commentary:

Ehrlich Yanai Outside-In

Ehrlich Yanai Outside-In: New California Modernism
Steven Ehrlich and Takashi Yanai; Zahid Sardar (Introduction)
The Monacelli Press, April 2019



Hardcover | 9-1/2 x 11-3/4 inches | 240 pages | English | ISBN: 978-1580935029 | $60.00

Publisher Description:
Recipient of the 2015 Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects, EYRC Architects is internationally recognized for elegant design in a modernist spirit. Residential designs are at the heart of the practice, which now encompasses commercial and institutional projects. Sixteen houses are presented in the book, the majority in Southern California and others near San Francisco and Houston. These designs are characterized by the fusion of powerful, simple forms, with the cultural, climatic, and contextual particulars of place. Accompanying the drawings and luxurious color photography are sketches and source material that reveal the genesis of the design as well as the completed project. As Ehrlich says, “Blurring the boundaries between the built and natural environment, our designs merge California modernism with vernacular design elements. Through details and materials, we maximize the home owner’s connection with the site and natural surroundings.”
dDAB Commentary:

The International Style

The International Style
Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Philip Johnson
W. W. Norton, June 1995



Hardcover/Paperback | 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches | 269 pages | English | ISBN: 978-0393315189 (PB) | $22.95 (PB)

Publisher Description:
Initially produced as the catalog to accompany a controversial and groundbreaking 1932 Museum of Modern Art show of the then new architecture emerging in Europe and America, The International Style quickly became the definitive statement of the principles underlying the work of such giants as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and other pioneers. It might be said that Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson discovered as well as defined "the International Style," and over the decades their book has served as both a flashpoint for criticism and a frame for growth in the architectural profession. It has never been out of print in over sixty years.

This new edition has been completely redesigned and reset, and it features a new foreword by Philip Johnson, who reflects on the legacy of the International Style and examines the still-precarious power of architecture in our public life.
dDAB Commentary:

Why Equal Representation for Women in Architecture is Better for Everyone

This article is an updated version of its original post on March 15th, 2016.
"In the ongoing debate about women in the architecture profession, you rarely hear an argument for why equal representation is important; it's generally assumed to be an unquestionable moral imperative. However, in this article originally published on the Huffington Post as "Why Women's Leadership Is Essential for Architects," Lance Hosey argues that, regardless of your position on equality as a moral imperative, better representation of women in architecture could benefit everyone in the profession—in very tangible ways.

Today, on International Women's Day (March 8) we want to share again the American Institute of Architects (AIA) publication "Diversity in the Profession of Architecture," its first diversity report in a decade. The release follows the creation in December 2015 of the AIA's "Equity in Architecture Commission," a panel of twenty architects, educators, and diversity experts to investigate diversity and inclusion in the profession. The new report documents a survey of over 7,300 professional architects and students, including men and women, 79% of them whites and 21% people of color.

18 Spectacular Photographs recognized at the AIA Los Angeles Photography Awards

Michael Moser / Ragnarock - Museum of Pop, Rock & Youth Culture Roskilde, Denmark. Image © via American Institute of Architects Michael Moser / Ragnarock - Museum of Pop, Rock & Youth Culture Roskilde, Denmark. Image © via American Institute of Architects

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter has announced the winners of their 2019 Architectural Photography Awards. The 18 images, awarded in the Honor, Merit, and Citation tiers, were selected from 450 submissions of stellar quality, a two-fold increase on the 2018 edition.

The awards were founded as a “celebration of the use of architecture as a subject to make art, rather than a photograph as a documentational tool.” Recognizing the individuals driven to communicate the works of architects, the awards “celebrate the photographer’s eye, skill, and talent in expressing the transcendent nature of space."

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27 Projects Win 2019 AIANY Design Awards

Tata Consultancy Services, Banyan Park. Image © Michael Moran Tata Consultancy Services, Banyan Park. Image © Michael Moran

The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has presented 27 projects with 2019 Design Awards. AIANY announced the results after two days of deliberations by a a jury of independent architects, educators, critics, and planners. For each of the five categories, winning projects were granted either an “Honor” or “Merit” award, and were chosen for their design quality, innovation and technique.

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I’m Nine Years Old – The Birth Year

Happy Birthday to me … and by “me”, I mean this website, Life of an Architect. On January 14th, 2010 my life was irrevocably changed, mostly for the better, when I decided to start a blog site and start talking about what it meant to be, and work with, an architect.

In my effort to recognize this milestone, I thought I would take this entire week and write a blog post where I will isolate a year (or two or three) and talk about what happened, what was important, and why it matters. Consider it the ultimate peek behind the scenes … you might just be surprised by what you find out.


Life of an Architect – Year One (2010)

Best decision I made was to name my site ‘Life of an Architect’ … a decision at the time I didn’t consider much. I came up with the name based on a class I took as a Freshman when I was in college. That class was Architecture and Society and was taught by the great (and extremely popular) Larry Speck, FAIA. On the first day of class, before any of us knew who Larry was and just how important a figure he is within the architectural landscape of Texas and beyond, he moseyed on stage and told us that we were in “Architecture and Society” and that he named the class this because the “Architecture” part was self-evident, we were going to be talking about architecture, and “Society” because this gave him the ground to talk about whatever else he wanted to talk about. I applied this same logic when naming my site because I am an architect, and the “Life” part would allow me to talk about whatever I wanted.

The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change

Mundo Verde at Cook Campus / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture Mundo Verde at Cook Campus / Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

A misconception often surfaces in design circles that architectural beauty and evidence-based environmental performance are mutually exclusive. To address this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is releasing a new tool that can assist architecture firms in designing high-performance energy-efficient buildings.

Despite the federal stance on paramount environmental issues, the AIA upholds and advocates for the responsibility of architects to mitigate against the effects of climate change. Aware that the construction industry consumes nearly 40% of the energy supply nationwide, the AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit presents a series of strategies to promote sustainability without compromising the design.

Richard Rogers Wins the 2019 AIA Gold Medal

Centre Georges Pompidou / Richard Rogers + Renzo Piano. Image © Flickr user dalbera licensed under CC BY 2.0 Centre Georges Pompidou / Richard Rogers + Renzo Piano. Image © Flickr user dalbera licensed under CC BY 2.0

Richard Rogers has been awarded the 2019 AIA Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects. The world-renowned architect and founding principal of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has been recognized “for his influence on the built environment [that] has redefined an architect’s responsibilities to society.”

Honoring “an individual or pair of architects whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture,” the AIA Gold Medal is often considered the highest honor awarded in the United States for architecture.