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The 2016 AIA National Convention

Fiona Mckay

The 2016 AIA National Convention was held in Philadelphia from 18-21 May, convening over 20,000 people from around the world in one of the largest and most exciting annual gatherings of architects and industry leaders. This year's keynote lecturers included Julia Louis-Dreyfus (interviewed by radio host Terry Gross), Neri Oxman (performing revolutionary digital morphogenesis research at MIT) and Rem Koolhaus. The star studded line-up also included Denise Scott Brown receiving the AIA Gold Medal for the duo, as Robert Venturi couldn't make it to Convention.

The AIA UK was well represented at Convention; a few members were even inducted into the Fellowship this year. Lester Korzilius and John McAlsan received the honour of joining the FAIA. UK chapter president Frederick Grier presented a lecture about architects working abroad which drew interest from the many American's considering such a career move in their future. 

After attending three days of lectures, workshops and presentation, the highlight for Fred was a special behind the scenes tour of the Barnes Foundation. This project, completed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (AIA UK keynote lecturers last year) is an outstanding example of how architects solve problems and make the world a better place for all. Sustainability, Education, Cultural Enrichment and Access made this a highly difficult and controversial endeavor which was met with grace and beauty from every angle. If you are visiting Philadelphia in the future, please make an effort to see this exceptional museum.  

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