By Matt Cecere, AIA and committee chair and principal of 4240 Architecture

March 20, 2018–Our firm [4240 Architecture] has been interested in this conference for the better part of the last decade.  What has drawn us to this event is the unique focus on design.  Not just the big ‘D’ and not just to get continuing education credits but truly to understand how inspirational architects across the country, and even internationally, are solving our world’s most challenging design problems in amazing ways…leaving us completely replenished.

This is my second year as a committee leader, now as chair of the committee. I have always wanted to find a way to share in the inspiration of the conference and couldn’t think of a better way.

This year, we have come up with a new strategy to ensure that a diverse number of the AIA Colorado members are included on the Practice + Design Conference Planning Committee. In February, we sent out a call for interest to the entire membership and found a great group of people representing various firm sizes, different regions of the state and with different backgrounds. Most are in architectural practice, but we have a few committee members who are engineers, in real estate, or even work with the National Park Service. It has quickly become evident how valuable it is to the committee, and to the conference in general, to have a diversity of perspectives represented.

March is a busy time for the committee.  We’ve settled on a theme—“A State of Growth”—which really captures what is happening in communities across the state. Growth is seen as a great opportunity if is carefully considered as part of the local town and city plans, and we are eager to explore that at the conference. Recently we, for the first time, sent out a formal RFP for conference speakers, which will help us to highlight the talent in Colorado and beyond, feature diverse topics and speakers and attract new conference attendees. Next month we will review the proposals and from them select the official speaker lineup.

Drawing upon some ideas last year, we are looking to bolster the conference with an expanded expo hall with opportunities to gain more information about products, and even get credits. The breakout sessions were very well received last year, so we hope to continue them and perhaps even expand that option this year.

I encourage you to come and be inspired by the great speakers and poignant topics of our day.