Friday, August 7, 2009

AIA-SWO August 2009 President's Message – Part Deux

Last year's People's Choice exhibit at Oveissi & Co. (my photo)
Once a year, we focus our attention on how our profession is portrayed popularly. What do regular people think about architecture and architects? How can we influence those thoughts and how can we make that influence both deep and wide?

The fall is always the best time to influence habits in a college town, and positive changes are accomplished best in a positive atmosphere. We're fortunate to have become a significant anchor for the Eugene Celebration, staging our People's Choice Awards display inside the Oveissi & Co. store at the corner of Broadway & Willamette. We will once again be in the middle of the action for the Eugene Celebration this year -- September 5-7.

The winners of the People's Choice Awards (and its newer sibling, our Colleagues' Choice Award) will once again be announced in a special insert inside The Register-Guard. This effort has grown over the past few years, both in size and influence. It conveys to a large swath of the public that design professionals are active and vital to our community.

Looking down the road, our influence appears to be increasing. The public is becoming fluent in the value of “going green,” which is old-hat for most for most of us now. Society seems ready to embrace infrastructure investments during these difficult economic times. Now that the bubble has burst, people are once again valuing their homes and offices for their functionality and beauty – not only as an investment.

In short, now is the time for us to be visible and available for the general public. Whether they are remodeling their home, or expanding their business, or voting on a bond measure, or writing their legislator — it's important to us that they understand what they can expect from us and our buildings.

All of us benefit when the public’s awareness about the benefits of design excellence and the work of AIA architects is raised. This year, in addition to the People’s Choice Awards program and The Register-Guard insert, we’re also co-producing a juried Design Awards program with AIA-Southern Oregon, our first since 2005.

In previous announcements, I hinted at some surprises for you that deliver real value for all firms who participate in our awards programs and this year’s Register-Guard special newspaper insert. Here’s a summary:

2009 AIA-SWO Newspaper Insert (to be published in The Register-Guard)
We’re offering significant discounts this year to participating AIA-SWO firms or individuals who also submit entries to the People's Choice Awards or Design Awards programs. The offers are as follow and apply to the first entry to either program:

  • Firms that purchase any size ad in the insert and also submit an entry to either the People’s Choice Awards or Design Awards programs will receive a 15% discount on the price of the ad.

  • Firms that purchase any size ad in the insert and also submit an entry to both the Peoples’ Choice Awards and Design Awards programs will receive a 25% discount on the price of the ad.
I've asked Renee Benoit, our first-ever summer intern for AIA-SWO, to give you a call sometime during the next week, so we can tell the committee how much space to reserve in The Register-Guard. Please talk with Renee about what you'd like to see this year.

2009 AIA-SWO People's Choice AwardsRefer to the People's Choice Intent to Enter form, which will soon be posted on the AIA-SWO website, which details the submission requirements and the entry fees. As mentioned above, the submission of the first Design Awards entry qualifies the entrant for significant discounts on ads purchased for the 2009 Register-Guard insert. The deadline to submit the Intent to Enter form is Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

2009 AIA-Southwestern Oregon and AIA-Southern Oregon Design AwardsWe have assembled a truly outstanding roster of distinguished professionals for our 2009 Design Awards jury:
Napa Valley Museum - Fernau + Hartman (photo from the Fernau + Hartman website)

  • Laura Hartman, AIA – Fernau + Hartman, Berkeley, CA
    Laura Hartman and her firm Fernau + Hartman Architects have won numerous awards and been published widely. Laura has been profiled in numerous publications, including a substantial interview in GA Houses: 64. Laura frequently taught design and drawing in the Architecture Department at UC Berkeley in the 1980s and has since taught at the University of Utah and the University of Oregon, as the Pietro Belluschi Distinguished Visiting Professor. Also an artist, Laura’s paintings and collages have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Laura frequently serves on architectural design juries; she sat on the UC Berkeley Campus Design Review Board and is currently on the Sea Ranch Design Committee. Laura’s long term interest in vernacular buildings has recently led to research on the mining structures and landscapes of Appalachia.

    Lake Washington Residence - MillerHull Partnership (photo by Benjamin Benschneider)

  • Robert Hull, FAIA – The MillerHull Partnership, Seattle, WA
    Robert Hull established The MillerHull Partnership with David Miller in 1977. Since then, the MillerHull Partnership has become widely recognized as a design leader in the Pacific Northwest. The firm has received over 150 design awards in 30 years, including the 2003 Firm Award from the National American Institute of Architects. Robert’s work has appeared widely in national architectural journals and books and has been published in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Japan. The “10 Houses - The MillerHull Partnership” book by Rockport Press was published in 1999 and a firm monograph, “The MillerHull Partnership - Architects of the Pacific Northwest”, by Princeton Architectural Press was published in 2001.

    Bluffview Residence - LakeFlato Architects (photo from the LakeFlato website)

  • David Lake, FAIA – LakeFlato Architects, San Antonio, TX
    Along with business partner Ted Flato, David Lake runs San Antonio-based LakeFlato Architects, one of the nation’s preeminent architecture firms. David’s lifelong passion for Texas and the outdoors has shaped many of his design choices, from an emphasis on natural light and water efficiency to the use of salvaged and recycled materials. That commitment to sustainability is reflected in some impressive professional recognition. In 2006, two LakeFlato designs were selected by the AIA Committee on the Environment as Top Ten Green Projects—the first ever double win for a firm. The firm’s innovative redesign of the Pearl Brewery compound in San Antonio is a culmination of years of sustainable building experience. LakeFlato received the 2004 AIA Firm of the Year Award.
Regarding our Design Awards program, keep in mind that a prerequisite for eligibility in the annual AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Design Awards is that a submitted project must have already won an AIA chapter design award from a professional juried awards program. AIA-SWO is hosting the 2010 Region Conference; this year’s AIA-SWO and AIA-SO Design Awards program is your only opportunity to secure one of our chapter awards in advance of next year’s Region Conference.

Refer to the Design Awards Intent to Enter form, which will soon be posted on the AIA-SWO website. It details the submission requirements and the entry fees. For AIA-SWO members in particular, the submission of the first Design Awards entry qualifies the entrant for significant discounts on ads purchased for the 2009 Register-Guard insert. Again, read the RG insert info above for details. Like the Peoples’ Choice Awards, the deadline to submit your Intent to Enter form for the Design Awards is Wednesday, August 26, 2009.
Streaming Video on The Register Guard WebsiteWe want to capitalize on various forms of media to get our design excellence message in front of the public. An ideal forum is the opportunity to broadcast, via the Internet on The Register Guard’s website, live streaming video of the October 10, 2009 Design Awards presentation. During this broadcast, viewers will see the recipients of the 2009 AIA-SWO and AIA-SO Design Awards as they are identified. Our jurors will provide commentary on their selection criteria and process. After the event, we will post an edited version on the AIA-SWO website. Our video may not quite achieve the viewership of the Academy Awards, but it’s a small step in that direction.
David Lake, FAIA

Lecture by David Lake, FAIAOne of our Design Awards jurors, David Lake, will present the work of his firm, LakeFlato, at the University of Oregon on Friday, October 9, at 5:30 PM. AIA members are eligible to receive one (1) AIA continuing education learning unit for attending David’s lecture, which will also be open to the public.

So there you have it: Our chapter is poised to make a splash and raise our community’s consciousness about design excellence and the contributions we make as design professionals. As I mentioned, Renee Benoit will be calling you soon about The Register Guard insert. And you'll soon be able to find the entry forms and eligibility requirements for the Peoples’ Choice Awards and the Design Awards programs on the AIA-SWO website. The deadlines for submitting your Intent to Enter forms for each of these events is Wednesday, August 26, 2009. This date is almost upon us, so don’t hesitate to sign up!

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