Second Annual Toronto Int'l Design Festival

At the end of January, more than 30,000 people gathered in Toronto for a week-long celebration of design. The 2011 Toronto International Design Festival included exhibits, symposia, discussions, fairs, and parties at 23 locations throughout the city, including events at Harbourfront Centre, an AAO member. "Crowdsourcing Creativity and Community" brought together ten leading thinkers for a day-long symposium on tapping into the talent of a crowd, while "Designers in the Classroom" paired professionals and students to create projects together. We got in touch with Rachel Gotlieb, TIDF Symposium Director, for a behind-the-scenes look at the festival.

Read our interview with the TIDF Director here.
Click here for the TIDF website.

  Renowned Architect Visits Middle School

"Is it hard to be an architect?" Phil Freelon, FAIA, fielded this question(answer: work hard but love what you do) from students at Ryan Middle School in Houston, where 98% of the children are black or Hispanic. Freelon, one of the architects of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, also discussed the scarcity of diversity in the field: less than 2% of licensed architects are black. Freelon is known for designs that celebrate African American heritage, including the proposed restoration of Houston's Emancipation Park, which he presented to the children. Lisa Gray tells the story of this inspiring classroom visit in the Seattle PI.

Read "Making Kids Care about Architecture and History."

  AAO Member Milestones


The Architectural League of New York hosts a book launch event for Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space, based on ALNY's 2009 exhibit.
Talking Books: Sentient City

Walter Wilson was honored with a designation of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), in recognition for his volunteer work.
2011 FAIA Announcement

The Community Design Collaborative celebrates its 20th anniversary. Earlier this month, CDC launched a series of events to commemorate their years of strengthening Philly neighborhoods through design.
CDC 20th Anniversary Urban Energy Initiative

  Proving the Value of Creativity

Earlier this month in Psychology Today, Mark Batey compiled a helpful list of studies on the importance of creativity as an economic driver. The research provides evidence that creativity in the workplace fuels success.
Read the article with links to research studies here.

On a related note, we were intrigued to see the PTA of Palo Alto getting in to the mix. The group recently invited parents and teens in their school community to attend a free lecture by neuroscientist, engineer, and Stanford teacher Dr. Tina Seelig. The topic: unlocking creativity levers at home, school, and work.
View the PTA event announcement and flier here.

  Job Opportunities in Architecture Organizations


Development Director
Unity Temple Restoration Fund, Oak Park, IL.
Director, Education and Advisory Group
Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC.
Editor in Chief
Contract Magazine, New York, NY.
Executive Director
Wisconsin Green Building Alliance, Milwaukee, WI.
Producer of Events, Exhibits, and Digital Platforms
Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY.
Program Manager
Architecture for Humanity, San Francisco, CA.

  New Handbook Demystifies Zoning

The New York City Zoning Handbook, released earlier this month, takes the dense, 1,500-page Zoning Resolution and translates it into something the public can understand. According to Commissioner Amanda Burden, it not only "demystifies zoning, but I think it's entertaining - it's fun to read." In a New York Times interview, Burden discussed the power of zoning to solve problems, and how the new handbook will empower the general public to become more involved with the zoning of their neighborhoods. In her honor at the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) gala, Paul Goldberger said, "She is the city's chief advocate for architecture, and recognizes that every work of architecture in the city, public or private, has a public role to play."

Read AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell's report on Commissioner Burden's AAF award presentation.

  Government + Architecture News Update


There were some large government pronouncements on the future of the built environment this past month. Here's your chance to brush up on a few top stories we should all be keeping tabs on...

Better Buildings Initiative. President Obama announced in his February 3 State of the Union Address a proposed initiative that will save businesses $40B a year by making commercial buildings more energy efficient.

CABE to merge with the Design Council. After a funding cut, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment will join the Design Council to provide a "one stop shop" for UK design support effective April 1.

Ireland's Government Policy on Architecture. In February, the government released a report on the implementation of its architecture policy, "Towards a Sustainable Future: Delivering Quality within the Built Environment."

  Facebook Marketing Tips


Beth's Blog, "How Networked Nonprofits are Using Social Media to Power Change," recently interviewed Alison Zarrella, co-author of The Facebook Marketing Book, and uncovered some practical tips for improving your Facebook marketing strategy. They discussed the best approach for creating posts that represent your organization and encourage engagement. For instance, did you know that posting at 3:00pm EST will yield the highest number of responses? Read the interview with more helpful hints here.

Want to learn more? Watch the free webinar "10 Steps to Getting More out of Facebook for Your Nonprofit" on March 14 at 1:00pm EST at CharityHowTo.com. Other upcoming webinar topics include "How to Use Google Analytics" and the "A to Z of Mobile Fundraising."

  February Exhibits Roundup


Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century at the Milwaukee Art Museum, February 12 - May 15.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Review

Juugad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities at the AIANY Center for Architecture, February 10 - May 21.
Fast Company Review

SOUPERgreen at the Architecture and Design Museum LA. February 14 - April 14.
ArchDaily Review

Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery. February 7 - May 6.
Hartford Courant Review

Did we miss your exhibit? Let us know what you're up to in March by contacting aao@architecture.org.

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