AIA Colorado at A’23

This year’s AIA National Conference, A’23, took place from June 7th-10th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The architecture and design event of the year is truly epic in scale with thousands of attendees, including members from AIA Colorado. Below are a series of snapshots and quick thoughts from a few of the events that AIA Colorado members and staff participated in.

Save the date and join us for A’24, in Washington, D.C., June 5–8, 2024!

AEC Cares Build Day

The AEC Cares service project has made a positive impact in national conference host cities since 2011. Bringing together AIA participants, a pro-bono design team, and donations from industry partners, a local non-profit receives a comprehensive makeover. This year, youth services non-profit The Lark Inn transformed their shelter in the Tenderloin District. AIA Colorado staff members Nikolaus Remus and Mike Waldinger were among the 140 volunteers on hand. AEC Cares was co-founded by Mike who continues to serve as a board member.

A’23 Day 1 Keynote

Barbara Bouza, FAIA: Making the impossible possible

A’23’s Day One keynote speaker shares a window into the world of Disney Imagineering.

Women at the Helm

I was honored to represent the members of AIA Colorado at A’23 two weeks ago in San Francisco.  It was the largest gathering of architects since 2019 and the energy was infectious! I spent Wednesday in the annual business meeting, voting on overall organization policy changes and listening to the national board candidates speak about how they will lead the future of AIA and its members. The voting on Thursday resulted in the election of two powerful and insightful leaders. Evelyn Lee, FAIA, won President-elect and Latoya Kamdang, AIA, as At Large Director. Evelyn is well known to AIA Colorado having spoken previously to our Business of Architecture and CKLDP groups. The days were filled with keynote speakers, presentations, panels, and a wealth of information on the expo floor.  It was great to see members of AIA Colorado at the happy hour on Thursday, thank you for coming!

My overall take aways from this importation national gathering of colleagues, is the immense opportunity and obligation we have to lead our communities, clients, and each other into the future that is balanced with nature and all humans. The nature of our work as architects at any level or role is leadership. We must continue to knowledge share with each other and coalesce to rise to today’s challenges. 

Sitting on a “Women At The Helm” panel with colleagues, Kerry Nolan, AIA, Elizabeth Leber, AIA, Angela O’Byrne, FAIA, reinforced the power of togetherness and the importance of continuing to take steps forward daily. 

— Sarah Broughton, FAIA, President AIA Colorado

College of Fellows Investiture Ceremony

Three outstanding architects from Colorado have been newly elevated to the College of Fellows, one of the highest honors bestowed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and were celebrated at the College of Fellows Investiture Ceremony.

Ron Abo, FAIA, Principal at The Abo GroupVictor Olgyay, FAIA, Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute, and Brad Tomecek, FAIA, Principal at Tomecek Studio Architecturewere recognized for their contributions to the architecture profession, and their dedication to advancing the built environment. Only 3 percent of AIA’s 95,000 members hold this distinction and only 76 new fellows were inducted this year, a historically small number. Even in a historically small group of inductees, Colorado had the largest class of new Fellows in five years!

AIA Colorado at A23

Thursday evening, A’23 attendees from all across Colorado met and enjoying charcuterie and conversation. It was great to see familiar faces, including our friends at CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning, while at A’23 and a huge thanks to HDR San Francisco for hosting us!

A’23 Day 2 Keynote

GSA announces investment in Green Proving Ground; industry experts tout sustainability and client benefits of design-build integration

Integration is the future. How can architects do it effectively?

Administrator Robin Carnahan specifically mentioned the Denver Federal Center as a case study for the work they want see more frequently.

2023 Design Award Jury

“It’s been incredibly inspiring to see the breadth and depth of the work that you all have shared with us. It’s all encompassing, it is broad, and I loved how you embraced the design measures of excellence.”

— Yiselle Santos Rivera, AIA, Jury Chair, AIA Design Awards, addressing the 2023 Design Award Submissions.

After months of anticipation and 118 projects submitted, our 2023 Design Awards Jury was finally able to meet in San Francisco and deliberate on this years’ entrants. The jury was immensely impressed with the quality of the work taking place in Colorado and thoughtfully engaged with their decisions for the whole day. While you’ll have to wait until September 19th’s Awards Celebration at Mile High Station to find out which projects won (tickets on sale soon!), we can confidently say that a lot of care and thought went into this phase of the process by a jury dedicated to the task. Thank you CRI & Canoa for hosting our jury deliberations!

A’23 Keynote Day 3

The Right Honourable Dame Jacinda Ardern

Former New Zealand Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dame Jacinda Ardern headlined the final day of AIA’s 2023 Conference on Architecture. In a conversation with AIA’s President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, Ardern discussed the climate crisis, how to ensure diversity as a leader, notable building projects completed during her tenure, and much more.

© AIA Colorado 2023