AIA Convention Time One More Time

December 2nd, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

November is the month of the Minnesota American Institute of Architects annual convention and this year was no exception. I attended some very interesting seminars and learned about some exciting new products, too.

Two themes were very strongly present in all of the seminars: Sustainability and Leadership.

The AIA has embraced sustainable design with both arms, requiring AIA members to acquire continuing education hours in this regard. FYI: 2030 Challenge and 2030 Toolkit.

Leadership has been a sub-plot of the architectural community for a long time, but this year it was underscored for me, both by James P. Cramer, the founder of DesignIntelligence and by a local architect with whom I had lunch. As we chatted about our work, and he offered (unprompted) that the leadership of his major client has made all the difference in their success as a national restaurant chain.

These were heartening ideas for me, given my involvement in the Boy Scouts of America and my interest in designing low-impact buildings.

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