Newsletter | June 2022
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2022 Design Matters Conference: Nov. 10-12 in NYC and online

We are pleased to announce this year’s Design Matters Conference will return to an in-person format, and we will also offer an option to attend several of the sessions virtually. Our primary conference venue will be the Center for Architecture in Lower Manhattan.

If you believe public support for design and deeper engagement with architectural ideas is essential for strengthening communities and unlocking new possibilities, we encourage you to come be part of this year’s Design Matters Conference.

The conference schedule and registration will be posted later this summer. Save the date for November 10-12 in New York City!

Conference Details

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Notes from the AAO (in-person!) meet-up during AIA Conference

At last week’s A’22 convention for The American Institute of Architects, we were pleased for the chance to spend time with directors from several AIA chapters around the country. In a meet-up at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), we discussed current issues in our respective cities, recent and upcoming public programming, and toured the CAC galleries. In attendance were AAO members from Baltimore, Columbia, Dallas, Honolulu, Minneapolis, and, of course, Chicago.


  • Congratulations to Kimberly Dowdell (2019 Design Matters Conference speaker) on being elected AIA's 2024 President. She's the 100th person to hold this position and the first black woman. Pictured above: Kim at I-NOMA's Project Pipeline Summer Camp in Chicago. She served as the 2019-2020 president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
  • Congratulations to Pascale Sablan (2020 Design Matters Conference speaker), the 2023-2024 President-Elect for NOMA. Pascale, the recipient of the 2021 AIA Whitney Young Jr. Award, founded Beyond the Built Environment and curated SAY IT LOUD, which is now on view at the Octagon in Washington, D.C.. Just this month, she was featured by Oprah and House Beautiful in "Why Pascale Sablan Thinks Activism Has to Be a Part of Design."
  • Speaking of elections, this will be one to watch: voting is now open for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2023 Presidency, and there are candidates who want to shake up the 188-year-old institution. Will Jennings, who writes for the RIBA Journal, argues that "The UK's RIBA Must Become an "Activist Organization".
  • Congratulations to Maya Bird-Murphy (2021 Design Matters Conference speaker) on opening a brick-and-mortar space for Chicago Mobile Makers at the Kimball Arts Center with funding from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Legacy Project. Also congrats on launching Mobile Makers Boston in partnership with Boston Architectural College (BAC).

Spotlight on Collaborations

  • The Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP) presents "Prague Meets Europe." The Czech Republic hosts the rotating presidency of the European Union for the next six months and CAMP programs spotlight built environment connections to the past, present, and future host cities of the EU presidency: Paris, Prague, and Stockholm.  
  • The exhibition Light Space Life about the South African architecture firm SOATA is now on view at Miami Center for Architecture & Design, after premiering in Cape Town and traveling to Zurich. 
  • After being part of the Danish Architecture Center's Women in Architecture exhibition and the Architecture and Design Film Festival, the architecture studio Dorte Mandrup is opening an exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin in July which will travel to Paris in September.
  • The Municipal Art Society's Elizabeth Goldstein, AIANY's Benjamin Prosky & Open Plans' Jackson Chabot jointly authored the opinion piece “Better Managing Public Space is Key to New York City’s Recovery.” 
  • Lipsey Architecture Center Buffalo is partnering with Preservation Buffalo Niagara to offer historical tours of the Richardson Olmsted Campus, designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson and landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

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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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