For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. – December 14, 2010 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it was sponsoring a Haiti reconstruction conference in early January that will bring together a host of organizations to identify and coordinate opportunities in Haiti for design assistance teams, building assessments, resources and other programs.
The AIA Summit on Haiti will be held on January 13 – one day after the first anniversary of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 – at the Loew’s Hotel in New Orleans. Organizations participating in the AIA’s Haiti conference include The American Red Cross, National Urban League - Greater New Orleans, Adecco Group North America, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Architecture for Humanity (AFH), National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Public Architecture and Black Design Network News. More organizations are expected to attend.
The meeting comes as the AIA works to implement a resolution passed unanimously in September by its Board of Directors that expresses support for the Haitian architectural community and commits to developing a process under which AIA volunteers will be able to provide assistance to those affected by the earthquake. That resolution followed a joint AIA/USGBC announcement in July naming Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP, as the Architecture for Humanity (AFH) Sustainable Design Fellow to lead AFH’s sustainable rebuilding efforts in Haiti. McMahan has been working directly with community members in Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Ms. McMahan will also be attending the conference.
The Haiti conference is the latest AIA effort this year to assist Haiti with expertise and contributions. Immediately after the earthquake, the AIA offered assistance to its members on where to send financial donations and resources. In April, the Puerto Rico Chapter of the AIA hosted a conference that united Haitian design experts with other Pan Caribbean professionals to examine the current status of Haitian infrastructure, identify strategic areas of support and plan for local, regional and national development. A website was also developed: www.aiaforhaiti.org
“The challenges of Haiti reconstruction are mammoth and daunting, and were of necessity delayed while the need to provide first aid and temporary housing took precedence,” said AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA, who visited Haiti in August. “One of the goals of this conference is to establish a framework for how the architectural profession can provide volunteers for the Haiti reconstruction effort, either through training Haitian architects in the United States or by helping establish best practices for architectural design on the ground in Haiti.”
About the American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media