AIA National ConventionI survived the AIA national convention in Chicago last week. As the Colorado North Chapter President, now referred to as “Section Chairman”, I was busy attending speeches by architects running for National AIA office, attending AIA business meetings and actually seeing a lecture or two. There was a lot of drinking at night. This is referred to as “invaluable networking where ideas are exchanged, contacts are made, and a sense of purpose refreshed”. Chicago is a great city and I can think of no better location to have an architecture convention. Great architecture is everywhere.

The theme of the conference was, “Coming to terms with and succeeding in the New Normal. Advancing the profession in ways that transform the new challenges into new opportunities is the goal; the theme, Design with Purpose.” I am not exactly sure what this means, but the AIA realizes that without significant change they may not exist in ten years. They have taken the first steps to reorganize the structure so they can be more responsive to change. It is a big ship to change course and I am not sure that it is possible.

AIA Colorado is not waiting for National to catch up with the times. Colorado is becoming much more action oriented and member driven. We are lining our ducks in a row to be ready for an incredible 2015.

Here are some of the iconic Chicago buildings I saw while at the AIA National Convention:

Marina Towers by Bertrand Goldberg
Marina Towers by Bertrand Goldberg (which may seem familiar from this Wilco Album Cover
Chicago Tribune Tower
Chicago Tribune Tower
Chicago Tribune Tower - AIA National Convention Party on Rooftop
Chicago Tribune Tower – AIA National Convention Party on Rooftop