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Newsletter | July 2022
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AAO News and Events: Network Calls, Member Survey, and Conference

Notes from the AAO International Network: In collaboration with staff at New London Architecture (NLA), AAO has been diligently conducting quarterly virtual roundtables for like-minded architecture organizations based outside the United States. The most recent meet-up took place June 22, with an agenda that covered early thoughts on the global architectural community’s potential support for reconstruction in Ukraine, as well as a discussion about the value of an in-person AAO meet-up during the UIA World Congress in Copenhagen next summer (July 2-6, 2023). Meeting delegates hailed from NLA, Architecture & Design Scotland, the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning in Prague, the Danish Architecture Center, the Saudi Architecture and Design Commission, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.

Important reminder to take the AAO survey: Help strengthen the AAO Network by sharing your opinion about our member services. 

AAO Conference Save-the-Date: The 2022 Design Matters Conference will take place November 10-12 in New York City. The conference schedule and registration will be posted later this summer. 

Addressing difficult issues

The climate crisis, contagious diseases, systemic racism, reproductive rights, labor conditions, even democracy itself... many architecture organizations are examining the role of design as it pertains to the most pressing issues of our time. Here are a few thought-provoking reads.

Access, Education, Empowerment: #TellTheFullStory

  • A photography exhibition on the legacy of Paul Revere Williams at the Nevada Museum of Art celebrates the architect's significant body of work. Pictured above is Paul Revere Williams's Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas, photographed by Janna Ireland.
  • The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, announced $3 million in grants for preservation of historic sites representing African American history, in an effort to invest in often-overlooked cultural assets and tell the full American story.
  • The Black History & Culture Collection from Getty Images provides free access to 30,000 images for educational use. The archive is intended to inspire a deeper understanding of the African/Black Diaspora within the US and UK and includes images representing people, places, and events from the 1800s to the present day.

Spatial experiences in physical and virtual realms

What does it mean to design spaces for a virtual world, especially as more and more human interactions take place online? "The metaverse has no physics, no weather, and no limitations other than human ingenuity," said Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, a metaverse real estate development firm which commissioned architects and artists to design thirty "3D architectural landmarks" to be sold as NFTs (like the design studio Six N Five's building pictured above). Owners will be able to deploy their virtual residences on properties across 26 different metaverse platforms, or immersive virtual worlds focused on social connection.

In another realm where artists explore the meaning of buildings, we look to the Venice Biennale. In the 2022 art edition, the national pavilions by Spain, Germany, and Italy use expressive architecture as storytelling, bringing attention to the space instead of objects in it and questioning the division between architecture and art.

Advocacy success: Increasing awareness and support

This month, the Chicago Architecture Center received an Award of Excellence by the Chicago chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in the category of Best Earned Media Relations for its campaign to promote the Thompson Center Design Ideas Competition and accompanying retrospective exhibit Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture; the programming and PR push helped sustain public debate about the late architect’s iconic Postmodern building in downtown Chicago, which had been under threat of demolition.

On Wednesday, Google announced it will purchase the building for use as its Midwest headquarters.

Jobs & Opportunities

DMC 2022

Please send e-news submissions or comments to aao@architecture.org.

About AAO

The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) is an international member-based network that connects, supports, and advocates for organizations and individuals around the world devoted to advancing the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society. Learn more at aaonetwork.org.

AAO Membership

We depend on you. The experience and talent of our members drives the AAO Network and helps forge a collective identity for our growing field of practitioners devoted to enhancing public dialogue about architecture, urbanism, and culture. If you are not a member, show your support and become a member today!

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Your contribution allows us to connect the many organizations around the world dedicated to enhancing public dialogue about architecture and design. Donations are appreciated in any amount. 

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