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from AIArchitect / News Headlines
January 23, 2009

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honors Six for Collaborative Achievement

Summary: Recognizing the collaborative contributions of two individuals, a photographer and an engineer; two publications, a textbook and a magazine; a preservation organization; and an essay competition, the AIA announced the 2009 Collaborative Achievement Awards on January 22.

The AIA awards the Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement to encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.

The Architecture Handbook
Drafting students in Chicago high schools had been using a text authored in 1951 until, only two years ago, a joint effort of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Architecture Foundation produced The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings, by Jennifer Masengarb with Krisann Rehbein. The guide, along with its accompanying CD and a teachers’ edition, came together via a collaborative process including educators, practitioners, and students and reaches well beyond the mechanics of CAD and BIM skills.

“The book refocuses emphasis away from strictly acquiring technical drawing skills and towards the application of those skills in the service of studying the design process, architectural history, preservation, geography, urban studies, and sociology to explore the built environment,” writes Peter G. Ellis, FAIA, RIBA in support of the nomination.

Fariha Wajid, a Chicago high school student who was among the first to use the new text book also writes in support: “The Handbook has been a great motivation for me to pursue my dream of becoming a successful architect, one who will not only design aesthetically, but will also consider the beneficial factor in helping humankind live economically and sustainably.” The book is now in use throughout Chicago and finding its way into high school curriculums nationwide.


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