Newsletter | February 2022
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Notes from the field: arc en rêve (April 14 A+DEN webinar)

Save the date for a virtual meet-and-greet with the education team from Bordeaux-based arc en rêve: April 14 at 10am ET.

Since 1981, arc en rêve centre d’architecture has elaborated a cultural awareness-building strategy focusing on contemporary architecture and extending into city planning, landscape design, and object design. Its children's and teen programs are based on developing a sensitive approach to space and on helping learners discover design via contemporary architecture. Activities include guided visits to arc en rêve exhibitions, building visits in the Bordeaux area, and workshops. The overriding strategy is to learn from living spaces with an emphasis on sensitivity: feeling, emotions, perception, reception, and appreciation.

Join the Architecture + Design Education Network (A+DEN) for this meet-and-greet and introduction to the work of one of AAO's newest organizational members, arc en rêve. Hosted by Sara Meunier, arc en rêve education director.

Architecture center news

  • News regarding fees for SPUR events: “We believe education empowers people to take an active role in creating a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous region. So, beginning March 1, we’re making the majority of our programming free to the public.”
  • "To build individual and group capacity to work effectively across people’s differences—whether that work is an architectural project, association leadership, advocating for legislative action, or creating a more equitable profession—it is essential to understand one’s own culture and to grow the skills of intercultural competence." AIA Minnesota shared insights from its National Intercultural Leadership Program at Grassroots last week. Spots are still available for the next cohort, which runs April 12 - June 28 with virtual weekly meetings.
  • Maria Nicanor, the former director of the Rice Design Alliance, is now the new director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • The San Francisco Center for Architecture + Design is expanding and this video shows the new space under construction in the historic Hallidie Building.
  • March 2: virtual Jane’s Walk Kick-off and Info Session, presented by MAS (New York) and the Jane's Walk Steering Committee (Toronto). Tours during this annual festival of free, community-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs take place in hundreds of cities around the world. 

AAO welcomes new members

This month, we're spotlighting recent work by three new AAO members.
  • The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture works with community-based organizations to provide design services for constituencies who are underserved by the architecture and design professions. In addition to design-build projects for nonprofits, the Center also works with youth and hosts exhibitions. For example, the "Our Neighborhoods, Our Way" exhibit was developed by local middle schoolers during a summer architecture intensive led by Tulane students and faculty, in partnership with the local YMCA and NOMA.
  • Established in 1887, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) is a non-profit volunteer-led organization that is part of the Ontario Association of Architects. TSA's programming includes Urban Affairs Forums, architecture tours (in-person and virtual), professional development for architects, and initiatives during Doors Open Toronto. Check out TSA Playlist, curated lists of free online design films reflecting a monthly theme.
  • Originally from Colombia, architect Graciela Carrillo immigrated to the United States in 2003. She is the co-founder of the Immigrant Architects Coalition, founder of the Powerful Speeches platform that champions women architects, 2020-2021 President of AIA Long Island, and current New York State Representative to the AIA Strategic Council.

Trend report: What's next for cities

Have you seen these food delivery robots on sidewalks (pictured above)? What's next, flying taxis? Potentially yes, according to the APA's 2022 Trends Report for Planners. It identifies 100 existing, emerging, and potential trends that are relevant to urban planning.

Curators, public program managers, and design educators may find this thought-provoking content on how the design and planning professions can prepare for — and influence — the future in a rapidly changing world. 

Integration of physical and virtual space

Speaking of the future, Blain Brownell writes about new advances in immersive projections and interactive spaces in Expo 2020 Dubai Hints at a Sea Change in Display Technology. "If the Dubai Expo is any indication, based on my visit earlier this month, the way people encounter digital information in space is undergoing a tangible transformation."

While many architecture and design centers use projectors for displaying information and touchscreens for interactivity, the Expo offered a glimpse of how seamlessly new display and sensor technologies can be integrated into the built environment. 

Brownell concludes that "as the built environment becomes increasingly infused with virtual data, the line between the real and the ephemeral will blur."

Jobs & Opportunities

As architecture organizations look towards a future with fewer COVID restrictions, there are more jobs, internships, and fellowship opportunities becoming available.

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