Architect's Knowledge ResourceDocuments
For those of you who have not been to one of the AIA|CRAN Symposiums, you missed a great one this year. Held August 22-25 in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, we experienced that city’s walkable downtown and beautiful countryside, while touring seven prestigious local homes ranging in styles from contemporary to historic styles of the southwest. The first evening started with a gala reception held in the Georgia O’Keefe Museum where we were surrounded by wonderful art. The symposium itself was held in the La Fonda Hotel, adjacent to the Santa Fe Plaza, the heart of downtown, which provided evenings of musical entertainment. Our evenings were also filled with some of Santa Fe’s finest dining opportunities. Attendees were organized into small size groups that were hosted by our gracious sponsors.
I would like to thank our Advisory Group (AG) members who helped plan and manage the event, AIA staff who took care of all the logistics in our preparation, local Santa Fe AIA members without whom we could not have planned our house tour—with special thanks to Allan Baer, AIA, and John Dick, AIA, our twenty sponsors without which we could not have produced the event, and the eleven outstanding speakers that provided interesting, engaging and informative educational content.
James Cutler, our keynote speaker, started the symposium by presenting his philosophy of having respect for nature and learning from the context of a given situation, or program, and how these inform his designs. Having spent several years of studying building performance in Rome, Matthew Bronski demonstrated how the lessons learned from the durability of ancient monuments could be applied to design today. Don Brown, AIA Vice President, spoke to how CRAN fits into the overall picture of the AIA and invited all to provide him with constructive feedback on how the AIA can shape the future. Veteran CRAN speaker, Claire Conroy, spoke of the importance of maintaining your relevancy, and voice, in the constantly evolving landscape of technology and media. Local Santa Fe architect, John Dick, shared examples of his work and some of the challenges he grapples with in the life of his practice, and additionally educated us on the three predominant historical residential building types of New Mexico. Lake Flato’s Tenna Florian articulated the importance of measuring the performance of sustainable homes through a detailed review of a case study of one of their firm’s recent high-performance homes. Stuart Narofsky, using a riff on Frank Lloyd Wright’s book, The Natural House, presented the ‘The New Natural House,’ where he explored the evolution of the natural home using historical examples as well as experiences from his own thirty plus years of practice. Design psychologist, Toby Israel, demonstrated the importance of how our own personal history and experiences influence our work throughout our careers. The husband and wife team of Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker presented design strategies for adding onto houses by using examples from history and their own firms’ work. The concluding speaker of the symposium, Bobby McAlpine, expressed himself with the mind of a writer, and captivated the audience by sharing and explaining his work in his own very personal and authentic style.
For those of you who could not make it to the symposium this year, we hope you can join us next year in Charleston. For those of you who did attend, thank you, and we hope it was a meaningful and productive event for you. Again, thanks to all who made it happen!