The Decade of Design is a ten year, internal AIA pledge that will document, envision, and implement solutions related to design of the urban built environment in the interest of public health and effective use of natural, economic, and human resources. This CGI Commitment to Action will establish the program, lay the groundwork for the full ten year effort, and cover the first two years of the decade-long program. Over the first two years there are three key approaches that will be pursued.
The first is funded research. With a major interest in supporting interdisciplinary university-based teams, projects thus far selected for the 2012-13 year include: measuring the health effects of a new walkable community in Texas, food scenario planning for Fayetteville, Arkansas, and creating a university level cross-discipline curriculum on healthy community development. In addition, the College of Fellows 2013 Latrobe Prize aligns with the focus of this Commitment with their support of research that addresses "Architecture at 7 Billion." And additional projects will be funded over the course of this Commitment.
The second approach mobilizes interdisciplinary university teams to engage with community and professional partners in one selected city the first year, with more chosen over the coming years, to address a complex problem and provide actionable solutions through a collaborative community planning process (charrette), using design-thinking and technology innovation. The C40 Cities have been identified as those cities that will be targeted for inclusion in the program with a selected jury of practicing and academic architects selecting the best proposal after a public RFP process. Design thinking is a way of understanding and illuminating fragmented ideas into a holistic structure that takes into consideration the context of the problem, creative insights and solutions, and a rational analysis of contextual solutions. The charrette process will be led by a university team and will include a multidisciplinary group of experts that can provide the city with an action plan for positive solutions in the realm of sustainability, health, and/or resiliency. The outcome of the charrette is implementable solutions that will be presented to the city in a public community-wide meeting. The ultimate goal is to use the charrette as a lab for change that can radiate outwards.
The third part of the commitment draws on the idealism, technological aptitude, and collaborative spirit of university students, by creating a "Show Us Your APPtitude Hackathon" focused on the city in which the charrette will take place. The hackathon springboards from the charrette by providing smaller scale and more immediate design and technology solutions related to the challenges and recommendations identified in that process. This event and competition will focus energy, imagination, and creativity in service of smarter cities that support thriving citizens and potentially unleash solutions that can be taken to market. A panel of experts from the private sector will judge and help activate the products presented and awarded.
Decade of Design will unfold over the course of ten years, but this Commitment to Action only covers the first two years. Currently there are three approved research projects that will run from 09/2012 - 08/2013. The charrette and hackathon preparatory work will start 09/2012 with the goal of completion by 05/2014. Additional research projects and related activities will be launched as development funds allow, with a goal of a ten year sustained research effort that focuses on creative solutions to the diverse challenges of urban communities.
Initial research studies: Projects and teams are selected. Work and monitoring begins 09/2012, final report 08/2013.
Charrette and Show Us Your APPtitude Hackathon: 09/2012 - 12/2012 - Connect with university and municipal leaders and practitioners to refine the challenge and RFP. Reach out to potential partners for participation and funding. Create RFP and release it through the ACSA - 01/2013. Goal is to have the jury select the winner 05/2013 and begin program 09/2013.
College of Fellows Latrobe Prize: This group is composed of AIA members who have been recognized by their peers for outstanding professional achievement. The Latrobe Prize for research has been granted every two years by this group since 2000. This year's research grant aligns with Decade of Design focus and will support a project that has long-range potential to solve one or more of our 21st century built environment challenges. The RFP for
"Architecture at Seven Billion" is open now. Proposals considered 10/2012 - 03/2013. Recipient selected 03/2013. Project completed 12/2014.
Communities around the world are concerned with livability and quality of life issues including health, safety, the efficient use of natural resources, economic opportunity, and resiliency. The built environment is a key factor, and its design makes a significant difference. Thriving communities are encouraged by design frameworks that support walkable communities, access to light, nature and nurturing food, as well as healthy buildings that support the needs and functions of the community and opportunities for social connectedness, among others. With buildings accounting for a significant percentage of the world's energy use, resource-efficient design strategies are critical to our future well-being. Growing urbanization presents critical needs and opportunities for creative solutions, and this is where architects can make important contributions. Architects are trained to use design thinking that synthesizes fragmented parts into a coherent whole, to integrate a variety of needs and voices, to creatively solve problems in a practical way, and to bring ideas alive. With this perspective, architects play a pivotal role in supporting the well-being of our cities and communities, and working with community stakeholders, as well as those from other professions (such as medicine, business, agriculture, engineering), meaningful solutions unfold. The American Institute of Architects, the leading professional association for over 80,000 architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners, is committed to joining with like-minded organizations to activate positive real-world solutions that support healthy communities, efficient use of natural resources, and resiliency to natural events.
The Commitment to Action will build on long-standing AIA programs and leverage the organization's strength by tapping into existing networks established through state and local AIA chapters; Design Assistance Teams that work with communities to create broad based solutions; awards and grant programs through College of Fellows and knowledge communities that fund targeted work; policy development and advocacy outreach to affect change; and pro-bono initiatives through local components, young architects, and member firms. This commitment also builds on a strong partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), which provides a global network of schools working at the forefront of research on this subject.
Seeking financial and sponsorship support, as well as collaboration from municipalities, companies, universities, organizations active in urban planning, health, education, transportation, building products, infrastructure, technology, smart cities, or public/private partnerships. Interested to include wide range of perspectives, voices, and talents to activate urban solutions that support thriving communities for the future. In-kind participation is welcomed, including media documentation of charrette and/or Show Us Your APPtitude Hackathon.
The American Institute of Architects is interested in supporting commitments that address design interventions to support healthy, resource efficient, resilient communities. This includes best practice information, collaboration on ideas, implementation, and promotion.