Sunday, August 26, 2012

Welcome to Design Excellence!

Visitors peruse the 2012 People's Choice Awards display at the Eugene Celebration, August 26, 2012 (my photo).

This dispatch comes from the 2012 AIA-SWO People’s Choice Awards display in the lobby of the Broadway Commerce Center during the Eugene Celebration. It’s the last day of the Celebration, the city’s quirky, something-for-everyone, end-of-summer bash. As it has been for many years, the People’s Choice display is a fixture at the Celebration.

This year, the exhibit strived to be more than simply a beauty contest. AIA-SWO expanded it to shine a spotlight on the Ten Principles for Design Excellence, which I featured in my post about the 2011 People’s Choice Awards. Collectively, the principles provide a foundation for raising public appreciation of the importance of good design. 

Another addition to the 2012 People’s Choice display was a presentation of the City of Eugene’s 7 Pillars of Growth. The city manager created the pillars with the help of a 70-member citizens’ committee called the Community Resource Group. Public hearings, open houses and online surveys also were used to gather public opinion during the city’s land analysis process, dubbed Envision Eugene. Each of the seven pillars is accompanied by strategies and tactics to achieve the objectives. 
The 7 Pillars of Growth are: 
  • Provide ample economic opportunities for all community members
  • Provide affordable housing for all income levels
  • Plan for climate change and energy uncertainty
  • Promote compact urban development and efficient transportation options
  • Protect, repair, and enhance neighborhood livability
  • Protect, restore, and enhance natural resources
  • Provide for adaptable, flexible, and collaborative implementation
How we grow and what we design and build in our community contributes powerfully to our cultural identity and satisfaction as a city and region. Design excellence has the power to improve the character and economic viability of our community and region. The decisions we make today will have a lasting impact on our community. 
Michael Fifield, FAIA, with a customer at the Architecture 5-Cents booth (my photo).
The impetus to increase the public’s awareness and expectation for design excellence came in part from Architects Building Community. ABC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (and adjunct to AIA-SWO) dedicated to community outreach and well-informed public involvement in planning design excellence for our communities and public spaces.(1) 
Announcement of this year’s winners of the People’s Choice Awards will take place at the Friday, September 7 City Club of Eugene meeting. The Colleague’s Choice Awards presentation will occur later at the monthly AIA-SWO chapter meeting on Wednesday, September 19.    

(1) I presently serve as a member of the ABC board of directors. I’ll soon write another post further explaining the mission of Architects Building Community.

No comments: