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With AIA 2012 Inside the Beltway, There's No Dodging the Politics

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified May 18, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Paula Melton last modified May 17, 2012

Author name:  Paula Melton Blog Category:  AIA Convention The opening keynote at AIA 2012 dishes up a surprisingly politicized main event but transitions smoothly to end on a high note. Welcome to AIA 2012 in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: Paula Melton A lot of things come to mind when I think about the annual AIA Convention; electoral politics isn't one of them. But today's opening keynote put politics front and center in a variety of ways. And judging by the vibes I felt coming off the standing-room-only crowd, the topic was about as welcome here as it is at Thanksgiving dinner when your crazy uncle (regardless of political persuasion) gets started with his conspiracy theories. Perhaps the most awkward moment was when Mayor Vincent Gray, after an appropriate and lovely speech about D.C. as "a museum of historical design and a living hub of architectural innovation" couldn't resist the urge to bring up D.C. Statehood —an issue most of the people in the room were unlikely to know or care about (as a former resident of the District, I confess applauding, but I was almost alone). No designated bike lanes in D.C. last time Then Earl Blumenauer, Hon. AIA—U.S. Representative from Oregon and member of the Congressional Bicycle Caucus —took the stage to address a topic that's a lot closer to home for architects everywhere: livable cities. Did you know that the last time the AIA Convention was held in D.C., there were no designated bike lanes? read more






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