A Convergence of Ideas

April 1, 2004
Highlights of the 2004 AIA Convention and Exposition.
HappeningsA Convergence of Ideas
A city known for making design history hosts the
2004 AIA Convention and Exposition.
The AIA 2004 National Convention and Design Expo for building and design industry professionals is slated for June 10 to 12 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. This year's event will include over 150 continuing education programs, 45 tours, 50 special events and added attractions, plus 700 leading-edge companies exhibiting their products and services.One of this year's highlighted events are a series of theme speakers—change-makers on the cutting edges of the issues design practitioners confront every day in their creative natures, in the business of design and in the culture that shapes their clients and their lives. These speakers will provide stimulating ideas and unique perspectives and discuss how design can help invigorate communities, encourage growth and instill civic spirit. For example, a Mayor's Panel will explore how architects translate civic inspiration into the reality that shapes society. Leading designers will discuss the global marketplace, technological innovation, cutting-edge design and how they, combined with civic pride, can lead to new opportunities and more livable communities. A leading entrepreneur will share how today's technology has changed design—how discussions about design are no longer constrained by the limitations of technology and the possibilities of design are about what you can imagine. And, an award-winning commentator and author will discuss aesthetics and their fundamental importance to our personal, social and economic lives and the economic implications of current social trends.For those attendees who want to experience firsthand some of the local Chicago architectural flavor, numerous tours are being offered that illustrate the city's rich architectural and cultural history as well as its diversity, energy and spirit. Tour choices include: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio, Robie House and Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL; view Tiffany glass at the Art Institute and the Chicago Cultural Center; a river tour around the downtown's famous "loop"; City Hall's green roof with a discussion of Chicago's plans to become America's greenest city; Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum; tour all of Louis Sullivan's greatest remaining works; Mies van der Rohe's legacy of buildings; a walk through two downtown neighborhood projects that are addressing the challenges of urban redevelopment and infill housing; the transformation of Soldier Field; bike around Chicago's lakefront; sketch Chicago's cityscapes with an architect-illustrator; tour Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum; or visit Frank Lloyd Wright's three Wisconsin masterpieces.New for 2004The AIA is also launching two new programs this year that are intended to stimulate the exchange of ideas and vision and to reinforce professionals' commitment to bold thinking. The first, called Knowledge Networks, will provide an opportunity to discuss issues and share innovative ideas with colleagues in structured, yet informal groups of 10 to 12. On Friday and Saturday, network sessions facilitated by the AIA Knowledge Communities, will explore a single issue. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions, best practices, lessons learned or ideas for value-added strategies to this lively discussion. In addition, Evening Exchanges will supplement scheduled seminar programs offered during the regular continuing education program tracks. These are intended to further knowledge creation and sharing by more fully exploring the information presented during the seminar. As the name implies, these programs promote the exchange of ideas, information and practices, drawing from the participants as well as the presenters. The 150-plus continuing education seminars are categorized this year by tracks that align subject matter with the 13th edition of The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice. Tracks include: Clients and Partnering, Business and Planning, Delivery and Process, Design and Services, and Profession of Architecture.For more information about the 2004 AIA Convention and Design Expo, call (800) 242-3837 or visit

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