AIA CRAN: Annual Symposium Moves to a Virtual Format

Over the past 11 years, AIA CRAN, the Custom Residential Architects Network, has offered various locations around the country for residential practitioners to find collaboration, community, and education focused on our profession. This year, with the impact of COVID-19, that location is online. Our Miami symposium has been canceled, but we have an interesting, informative, and topical set of online presentations instead. Beginning in October of this year, we will provide monthly sessions through December. Those unable to attend these sessions when presented may later view them through AIAU. Complete descriptions, specific learning objectives, and presenter biographies are available on the CRAN website and the RD website. We are excited to share these sessions with you and believe they will be not only informative, but also useful as we each look to advance our practices in this challenging and evolving environment:

October 21, 1 p.m.:

Beauty and Performance—Exploring the Framework for Design Excellence on Residential Projects (1HSW/LU)

Tate Walker, AIA

Presented by Tate Walker, AIA, this seminar introduces the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, adopted in 2019, that builds upon the AIA COTE Top Ten Award criteria, introduced in 1997. The session will focus on measures of economy, materials, and wellness, and how these are uniquely applied to custom residential projects.

November 4, 1 p.m.:

AIA’s 2030 Initiative—Are You Up for the Challenge? (1HSW/LU)

Nate Kipnis, FAIA, LEED BD+C,

Presented by Nate Kipnis, FAIA, LEED BD+C, a founding member of the AIA 2030 Commitment Working Group, this webinar will provide a thorough understanding of the commitment goals. He’ll address what’s required to sign on and debunk common misconceptions. And he’ll present several case studies to show how the goals can be achieved for differing project types, sizes, and locations.

November 11, 1 p.m. (tentative, confirm schedule online):

The COVID Practice (1LU)

Joy Meek, AIA

To understand the ramifications of the “COVID Practice,” four architects from around the country will discuss their practices considering the current worldwide pandemic. Each will comment on ways their offices have adapted to the pandemic and its influence on the way they practice. A live panel discussion will follow the presentations, bringing together the voices of a diverse group of architects to discuss practice management, project management, and project planning during a global pandemic.

Presenters: Alice Kimm, FAIA; Joy Meek, AIA; and Luis Jauregui, FAIA

November 18, 1 p.m.:

Black Stories in Architecture (1LU)

In response to the inequities within the architectural profession that have taken center stage in the recent months, this program will feature Joclyn Oats exploring, in an interview setting, issues of race and inequities within her own struggles as a professional. Joclyn, who is an associate professor in Columbia College Chicago’s Design Department, will also review strategies she used to move forward to achieve her goals while progressing from student to practitioner to educator. Finally, she will help us examine means of mentoring young architects of color, giving them access to architectural paths previously closed.

December 2, 1 p.m.

Solid Resilience (1HSW/LU)

In this session, Shawna Meyer, AIA, and Chris Meyer, AIA, principals at Atelier May who also teach at the University of Miami School of Architecture, will present the project Solid Resilience, which acknowledges an obligation to confront the blasé attitude toward architectural decisions responsible for shaping our environment. The project Solid Resilience takes a bold approach to this problem by establishing the design process through the lens of ecology, material, and resource.

December 16, 1 p.m.:


Hiroko Yamamoto, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Utah, will present DesignBuildBLUFF, a graduate architecture program focused on immersing students in hands-on cross-cultural experiences, in partnership with the rural and native communities of San Juan County in the Utah Four Corners. Recognizing an overwhelming need for affordable and culturally appropriate housing within the Navajo Nation, students developed a flexible housing prototype that could be easily built by students and native would-be homeowners. The concept of “sweat equity” is one in which clients use their own labor as a form of contribution to the building process.

We look forward to bringing you these sessions and we have more that we hope to bring into the next year.—CRAN Advisory Group and Executive Committee

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