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Design Matters Conference: Registration now open

We are delighted to be returning to in-person programming this spring. Please join us for the 2023 Design Matters Conference this March 16-18 at the Center for Architecture. This annual meeting is produced to support professional networking and idea sharing among architecture organization staff and individuals interested in expanding public engagement and dialogue on issues concerning the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society.

The 2023 Design Matters Conference sessions will focus on ways we can drive collective impact in our field. We will explore strategies from multiple perspectives. First, in conversation with noted grantmakers, then with organization leaders re-engaging city life with new programming at different scales, and finally by hearing from the vanguard of architecture media who are tasked with sharing stories of architecture’s larger relevance. 

In other words, this year’s conference will consider:

  1. Why we fund the work of architecture and design organizations and the many independent designers and talented individuals and civic and community entities that engage with architecture organizations.
  2. What we choose to do with our limited resources to conceive and deliver programming that can achieve our desired outcomes, near-term and long-term.
  3. How we choose to both interrogate and celebrate our work in an ever-changing media landscape.

As with all Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) events, we are mindful to be efficient with our schedule and frugal in the expenses being asked of our attendees. The 2023 conference is structured with optional activities beginning the afternoon of Thursday, March 16, plus a post-conference dialogue the morning of Saturday, March 18. The conference schedule also includes regular allowances for networking and affinity groups to join up in smaller settings.

We look forward to seeing you in New York this March 16-18!

Register Now


Nick Axel
e-flux Architecture
Felix Burrichter
PIN-UP Magazine
Carson Chan
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Beatrice Galilee
The World Around
Justin Garrett Moore
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Judilee Reed
United States Artists
Jacquelyn Sawyer
National Building Museum
Marquise Stillwell
Deem Journal
Sally Tallant
Queens Museum, New York
Ann Yoachim
Small Center for Collaborative Design
Conference Schedule


Main conference venue: AIA New York / Center for Architecture
Thursday site visits: a83 Gallery
Thursday site visits: Architectural League and Urban Omnibus offices
Thursday site visits: Storefront for Art and Architecture

Saturday: Explore NYC

From singular explorations of Piranesi at the Morgan Library and Guimard at Cooper Hewitt to the must-see Panorama and Water Supply models at the Queens Museum to MoMA’s current group show entitled Architecture Now: New York, New Publics, you really should take advantage of the breadth of offerings and explore the city with a few fellow conference attendees.

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) and AIA New York will also be offering a range of individual building, neighborhood, and topical walking tours, plus the Classic Harbor Line boat cruise around Manhattan is worth a try. Pictured above: a Jane's Walk tour organized by MAS.

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Conference Sponsors

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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

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