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2011 Latrobe Prize for “Public Interest Practices in Architecture” Report now Available

      Contact: Matt Tinder

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. – July 17, 2013 –
      The 2011 Latrobe Prize, awarded to a group of architectural researchers for their study titled, “Public Interest Practices in Architecture” has completed their research and published the findings. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows 2011 Latrobe Prize for research consists of a $100,000 grant for research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession. The study investigated the needs that can be addressed by public interest practices and the variety of ways that public interest practices are operating.

      You can access the comprehensive report on this research here.

      The 2011 Latrobe prize recipients and report authors are: Roberta Feldman, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Sergio Palleroni, senior fellow for the Institute for Sustainable Solutions; David Perkes, AIA, director of Gulf Coast Community Design Studio at Mississippi State University; and Bryan Bell, executive director of Design Corps.

      Among the findings of the report is that public interest design is transforming architectural practices. This transformation to a more public interest model can be seen as a wide-spread response to the concern that the conventional model of practice responds solely to the paying client, limiting the profession’s capacity to address the problems of our time.

      The report concludes with five recommendations:

      1. Embrace and support a transformed profession

      2. Communicate the profession’s public service values

      3. Facilitate best public interest practices and strategies

      4. Expand existing and attract new funding sources

      5. Educate students and professionals about public interest design

      The 2011 Latrobe Prize jury stated that the “research will help us understand and deal with the dramatic social, economic, environmental, and technological hangs that have occurred in the wake of the Great Recession….” They further commented that “many of the assumptions that have long guided the field of architecture no longer seem relevant to the challenges we now face not only as a profession and discipline, but as a civilization… Nor can we assume that the practices that have guided architectural practice in the 20th century will serve us in the 21st.”

      The research team used three strategies -- surveys, interviews and workshops -- to collect relevant information from three perspectives: those of public interest practitioners, their partners, and general architectural practitioners.

      About The American Institute of Architects
      Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being.  Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


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