Monday, November 15, 2010

Talks, Tours, and Tables

AIA members and associates engaged in spirited discussions during "round table" sessions at the 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference this past October in Eugene (photo by Erik Bishoff)

This will be my final post about last month’s 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference. This one spotlights the wonderful photography of Erik Bishoff, Associate AIA, and Janet Jansen Knoblach. The conference was hosted by AIA-Southwestern Oregon, October 13-16, 2010 in Eugene.

We dubbed the 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference “An Emerald Vision.” Why? Because we wanted to look forward, to a near future for architecture and society that is holistic and integrated, a time when being green is a given.

The conference examined the prospects for an architecture that is truly sustainable, amid the realities of climate change, dwindling resources, and the rapid transformation of current professional practice paradigms. Through three fundamental tenets – equity, economy, and environment – An Emerald Vision explored how design excellence, the future, and genius loci coalesce and inform contemporary architectural practice.

The 2010 Conference Trade Expo featured over 50 vendors displaying an impressive range of building products and services (photo by Erik Bishoff)

Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA, spoke about the importance of place-making (photo by Erik Bishoff)

Corvallis City Council member Dan Brown, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, and HUD Senior Advisor for Sustainable Housing & Communities Shelley Poticha pondered Placemaking & Parochialism: The Conundrum of Mid-Sized Communities (photo by Erik Bishoff)

The Silva Concert Hall stage at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts was filled by a lunchtime audience for the Placemaking & Parochialism panel discussion (photo by Erik Bishoff)

The conference schedule almost always had a distinguished speaker giving a lecture (talks), an intriguing panel hosting a roundtable discussion (tables), or an excursion to explore a noteworthy example of architecture (tours).

UO faculty member Nico Larco, AIA defined urbanism as a social condition rather than as a geographic phenomenon (photo by Erik Bishoff)

Former GSA Chief Architect Ed Feiner, FAIA, recounted the history of the federal Design Excellence program (photo by Janet Jansen Knoblach)

The University of Oregon's new Matthew Knight Arena, one of several outstanding projects toured by attendees of  the 2010 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference (photo by Erik Bishoff)

I participated as a panelist for the Design Excellence/Oregon 1: Defining Excellence session (photo by Erik Bishoff)

Audience members enjoy the discussion during the closing plenary session (photo by Janet Jansen Knoblach)

We viewed the power of good design from the vantage of the widest possible context. We considered transportation, civic leadership, land-use planning, even the effect of natural disasters on place-making. We heard from architects and deep thinkers. It was a design conference.

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