Sunday, May 16, 2010

An Emerald Vision

The following post is intended for publication in the Summer 2010 edition of the Oregon Architect newsletter. It’s a mash-up of previous blog posts by me, and the writings of members of the 2010 Conference marketing committee and AIA-SWO Executive Director Don Kahle that promote the upcoming AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference we’re hosting here in Eugene.

AIA-Southwestern Oregon invites architecture professionals and their guests from Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii, Guam/Micronesia, Japan, and Hong Kong to gather October 13-16 in Eugene for the 2010 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Conference. Dubbed “An Emerald Vision,” the conference will examine the prospects for an architecture that is truly sustainable as we awaken to the realities of climate change, dwindling resources, and the rapid transformation of current professional practice paradigms.

What does the future bode for architecture and society as we move toward the development of a holistic, integrated, and long-term worldview where being green is a given? Through three fundamental tenets – equity, economy, and environment – An Emerald Vision will explore how design excellence, the future, and genius loci coalesce and inform contemporary architectural practice.

Hult Center for the Performing Arts (photo by Cacophany, Wikimedia Commons)

We’ll look at the power of good design in the widest possible context – considering transportation, civic leadership, land-use planning, even the effect of natural disasters on place-making. We’ll be hearing from architects and deep thinkers. It will be a design conference.

As a design-focused conference, AIA Oregon charged An Emerald Vision with extending the Design Excellence/Oregon initiative rolled out at the 2010 Oregon Design Conference (ODC). The Design Excellence/Oregon goals include developing a statewide culture of design excellence, an expansive constituency of community leaders and others who are intent upon improving the quality of the built environment. This October in Eugene, Region Conference participants will take stock of the lessons learned at the ODC and further pursue the formula for excellence, with the potential of its application outside the borders of our state.

The conference will offer different ways to learn: talks, tables, and tours.
TALKS – To address the key themes of An Emerald Vision, AIA-Southwestern Oregon has arranged an outstanding lineup of nationally-prominent design leaders and local luminaries, including:
  • Ralph DiNola – Principal, Green Building Services, Portland, OR; Board Member, International Living Building Institute
  • Alan Durning – Founder and Executive Director, the Sightline Institute, Seattle, WA
  • Julie Eizenberg, AIA – Principal, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Santa Monica, CA; Advisor, Mayors Institute on City Design
  • David Lake, FAIA – Principal, Lake/Flato Architects, San Antonio, TX
  • Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA – Eva Li Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Design, UC Berkeley; past Editor, Places
  • Clark D. Manus, FAIA – CEO, Heller Manus Architects, San Francisco; 2011 AIA Institute President
  • David Miller, FAIA – Principal, Miller/Hull Partnership, Seattle, WA
  • Shelley Poticha – Senior Adviser for Sustainable Housing and Communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • William Sullivan – Author, Hiking Oregon’s History, Listening for Coyote, and Oregon’s Greatest Natural Disasters
TABLES – Many of these same speakers will participate in panel discussions on varied topics ranging from architectural education to place-making, sustainable cities, and future trends in construction materials. We also want to be sure we share our message with non-architects who care (or want to learn to care) about good design. Accordingly, we are co-hosting one panel discussion, Place-making and Provincialism, with the City Club of Eugene.

TOURS – A series of optional tours will also be available to conference attendees, with visits to Eugene projects by Morphosis, TVA & Ellerbe Beckett, ZGF, and travel further afield to Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House and Alvar Aalto's Mt. Angel Library. We’re also organizing tours of “local gems” and the historic architecture of the University of Oregon campus.

Mt. Angel Abbey Library (photo from Abbey website)

We’ve fashioned the schedule to almost always have a distinguished speaker giving a lecture, an intriguing panel hosting a roundtable discussion, or a respected colleague giving a tour. It will be possible for participants to receive the 18 continuing education units required annually to maintain AIA membership by mixing and matching the three learning modes.

An Emerald Vision will draw heavily upon the contributions of the future generation of design leadership throughout the Region. For example, we plan to highlight the University of Oregon in several ways. We’re arranging alumni get-togethers, and time with professors and students. We’ll be spending almost all of Saturday, October 16 on campus. We timed the conference to fit the academic calendar.

University of Oregon (photo by Erik Bishoff)

We’re meeting in Eugene so we can mix it up with the students, but we’re doing more than that too. We’ve invited ARE and IDP officials and we’re co-hosting the AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Leadership Institute during the same time. DesignSpring, the Eugene-based emerging design professionals group will produce Design Throw-Down, a Pecha Kucha style event that is sure to be a hit.

The 2010 Northwest & Pacific Rim Regional Conference will be centrally based at the Hilton Eugene Hotel and Conference Center. We have reserved a block of rooms to ensure that our out-of-town guests have accommodations. If you haven’t already done so, register for the Conference online at the following URL and secure your space at the Hilton(1):

No other region of the Institute comes close to being as geographically and culturally diverse as the Northwest & Pacific Region. This is why there is great value in convening annually as a region to strategize, exchange ideas, network, and simply enjoy each other’s company. There is so much to learn from the multitude of perspectives represented at each AIA Northwest & Pacific Region conference. Join us this October in Eugene. We promise gorgeous fall foliage, innovative thinking, and design excellence. We’ve developed a can’t-miss program with balance and depth – An Emerald Vision.

(1) Online conference registration will be available as of June 1.

No comments: