As the calendar rolled over from 2017 to 2018, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) held its annual national conference, Forum 2017, in Austin, TX. CTA is proud to have been a sponsor for this conference and to have presented programs for the attending students. AIAS Forum is a well-rounded conference hosting around 600 students from colleges throughout the country. We saw heavy participation from East Coast colleges, as well as strong representation from schools out west (and from Texas, of course). Based on conversations with some of the students, the programs, studio, and project site tours were all very interesting, and the conference was a great success.
CTA’s Austin office (#CTAATX) provided two programs to help students gain a better perspective on the world of professional practice, hoping to equip them with insights for more successfully completing their architectural education.
On Friday, Dec. 29, we presented a program called “How to Design a Design Charrette.” Led by CTA architects James Foster, AIA, and Blair Onyekanne, in collaboration with sustainable design specialist Ashleigh Powell, the presentation provided a deeper perspective for students to understand how to make the most of the design process through truly effective design charrette exercises. We explained how the charrette has evolved into the robust creative exercise it is at CTA and outlined the critical role charrettes play in the design process. Look for a follow-up post to recap the highlights of this presentation.
On Saturday, we facilitated a three-hour interactive workshop focused on “The Design Profession of the Future” that began with a short panel discussion covering a wide range of topics from career paths, to factors influencing (or influenced by) design, to industry trends. Our panelists were Onyekanne; Joshua McCalip, PE; and Daniel Verdin, owner of Rise Building Co., a design/build firm. Foster served as both panelist and moderator for the workshop.
We then used an “un-conference” format, letting students choose the workshop focus, and transitioned into breakout groups to do a deeper dive into the topics they were most interested in discussing. We had a fantastic dialogue with many brilliant and highly engaged students from all parts of the country. We were able to help address their questions and provide insights into professional practice, and what the future might hold for them. We promised the attendees a follow-up blog post recapping this session as well and will include links to many resources we referenced during the workshop.
It was a privilege for CTA to participate in the AIAS Forum, and we came away feeling inspired and excited for this next generation of design professionals!