Saturday, February 18, 2012

February AIA-SWO Chapter Meeting Recap

Professional PIN-Up, February 15, 2012 (my photos)

For its February chapter meeting, AIA-Southwestern Oregon partnered with Design|Spring (the emerging professionals group, now a committee under the wing of AIA-SWO) and the University of Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) to produce the Professional PIN-Up. The event took place at Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon campus and drew a rapt (and hungry) audience of students from the School of Architecture andAllied Arts

PIN-Up featured eight AIA-SWO member firms. Each firm showcased one of its current projects by discussing the design concept, design process, and dynamics of getting the job done. The latter aspect of the presentations was of particular interest to the students as it provided a glimpse into how “book learning” translates to the realities of professional practice. Extending the school-to-profession theme, each team elaborated upon the contribution of a young emerging professional to the execution of the featured project.

The following firms participated (their respective projects are listed in parentheses):
Jenni Rogers of Robertson/Sherwood/Architects presenting the VA Roseburg CLC Expansion project

In past years, AIA-SWO produced similar student/professional project review sessions; however, these “reverse critiques” tended to be poorly attended by students or failed to generate substantive discussions. The organizers of this year’s Professional PIN-Up attribute its success in part to re-branding of the meeting. The previous notion of a reverse crit (that is, student reviews of the professionals’ real-life projects) imposed what many students misguidedly believe was an unrealistic expectation upon them. Who were they to question the judgment of experienced professionals? Because this event was characterized merely as a “pin-up” by local firms, the students appeared much more comfortable, regarding it a learning opportunity rather than a gauntlet thrown down before them by the professional community.

All in all, the Professional PIN-Up was a hit: 206 Lawrence was packed and the energy was palpable. AIA-SWO will no doubt look to repeat its success in the future.

The evening benefitted from the contributions of two generous sponsors:

The Power to Pass, an online company providing exam review materials for engineers and building professionals. 

Track Town Pizza, my favorite pizzeria, provided sustenance for the starving students and professionals alike who participated in the Professional PIN-UP.


Heidi Peschel said...

This was a great event. It's fascinating to see the range of challenges such a varied array of projects have, as well as the differing processes used by the firms represented. It's helpful to see projects in a larger context, rather than say, just a floor plan version. I only wish there had been enough time to thoroughly review each project. I hope this event is repeated next year.
As always thanks for blogging it Randy!

Randy Nishimura, AIA said...

Thanks Heidi! I agree, it was a great event and will hopefully occur frequently again in the future.