Newsletter | June 2021
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Learning from Neighborhoods Now: AAO Program July 29

Join Us! AAO Partner Program
Thursday, July 29, 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Lessons from the Pandemic: Learning from Neighborhoods Now

In the early days of the pandemic in New York City, the Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute launched a platform for pro bono design support to communities in need called Neighborhoods Now.

In this live interview with executive directors Daniel McPhee and Deborah Marton, we unpack the story of how this initiative allowed these leaders to recalibrate and better focus their own organizations, from defining equitable practice and managing a shifting workplace culture to applying new learning to long-range planning.

This FREE online public program is hosted by the CEO Network of the Association of Architecture Organizations, and is open to all AAO members and the architecture and design community at large.


NEA Funding Available to U.S. Cultural Organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received $135 million in the American Rescue Plan Act, and now U.S. arts and cultural organizations may request a grant of $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000. The NEA encourages applications from first-time applicants and will provide assistance throughout the process. The application deadline is August 12, 2021.

Member News Briefs

  • To make the SPUR Bay Area Regional Strategy for 2070 accessible to the public, the organization published an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, "Greetings From 2070. The Bay Area Is Thriving. Here’s How We Staved Off Dystopia." 
  • The UK Built Environment Virtual Pavilion, coordinated by the UK Green Building Council in partnership, with 100 organizations including RIBA and New London Architecture, will demonstrate the built environment's contribution to carbon emissions at the COP26 climate conference.
  • "The Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady" was voted the Best Boat Tour in North America in the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice awards.
  • Houston Visions 2020 is an exhibition at the Architecture Center Houston created by the AIA in partnership with the City of Houston to imagine a more resilient future.
  • The inaugural New Voices in Architectural Journalism fellows from Pratt School of Architecture will be mentored by staff at the Architect’s Newspaper (AN) and will publish original articles in AN.
  • The Fabricated Landscape, an exhibition highlighting the work of 10 global architecture firms, is now on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center.
  • AAO welcomes new member Rochelle Muñoz (Honolulu, HI).

People in the News

  • Peter Murray (pictured above), curator-in-chief at New London Architecture and member of the AAO Board of Directors, was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for leadership in the arts, architecture, city planning, design, publication and charity.
  • We wish Lisa Richmond well as she steps down from 15 years of leadership at AIA Seattle. We'd also like to thank Lisa for lending her expertise to the AAO Board of Directors.
  • Rosa Sheng, co-founder of AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design committee, discusses how the JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) agenda has changed in the year following George Floyd's death. 
  • Katie Swenson, senior principal at MASS Design Group and former director of the Enterprise Community Partners’ Rose Fellowship program, received the 2021 AIA Award for Excellence in Public Architecture.

New Architecture Organizations, Centers, and Museums

  • In 2014, the UK government-commissioned Farrell Review called for the creation of "urban rooms" in every city where the public could view and discuss development proposals. Now, Sir Terry Farrell has partnered with Newcastle University on the Farrell Centre, an urban room slated to open in 2022 that will host discussions, exhibitions, events, tours, and youth programming on architecture and urban planning.
  • Thornton Education Trust, a new nonprofit from former Open House London/Open City founder Victoria Thornton, aims to be a peer-to-peer network for design educators. The inaugural Inspiring Future Generations Awards is accepting applications (deadline Sept. 20) for initiatives that demonstrate best practices for engaging children and youth with the built environment. 
  • Cosmic House, a museum and archive being developed in the former London home of postmodern architect Charles Jenks, will open to the public in September. The Jenks Foundation is planning a full slate of tours, programs, exhibitions, publications, and residencies.
  • The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will host its first-ever architecture exhibition in 2022. Curated by Dylan Turk, Architecture at Home will showcase five commissioned full-scale housing prototypes displayed on the museum's grounds.

Jobs and Opportunities

Please send e-news submissions or comments to

About AAO

The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) is an international member-based network dedicated to enhancing public dialogue about architecture and design. Learn more at

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