I traveled to Denver last week to participate in the annual convention for the American Institute of Architects. Young architects and emerging professionals (aka those on the path to getting their license) had a bigger presence than ever this year. The emerging professionals lounge in the middle of the expo floor was the place to be, with Cameron Sinclair, Thom Mayne, and Colin Powell dropping by for casual chats with members on the floor. Judging from photos I must have missed Colin Powell's visit by just a minute.
We had this year's young architect award winners take the stage along with all the AIA's past presidents to award this year's AIA gold medal to Thom Mayne, who wondered aloud in his speech how he could continue to be the 'bad boy' of architecture with that prize around his neck. Click here to read more about this year's Young Architect Award Winners.
Marc Kushner from Architizer gave a presentation at the EP lounge, essentially saying the next iteration of their website will have exactly what I was wishing existed the night before - a yelp like forum where peers discuss and rate products. Can't wait for that!
Denver is a fun city which caters to the outdoor lifestyle that so many people move there to take part in. I utilized the 16th st mall's free shuttle bus every day on visits to nearby events and museums. I managed to tour Charles Deaton's "Sleeper House", named after the Woody Allen movie that gave it pop culture fame, which all the locals know as that most unusual hilltop home along the highway. The homeowners gave us a spirited tour of the sculptural building that Deaton built with almost no drawings.
The Clyfford Still Museum was another favorite stop, its a jewel of a building made specifically to showcase Still's artwork. Its quite rare to see a museum built for one and I think the architects did a great job of creating an environment that puts you in the mood to appreciate Still's work.