Illustration: Lauren Nassef | Art Direction: Jelena Schulz

Driving Forces
Chicagoans will proudly tell you that a century ago the leading edge of architectural research in design centered on their hometown heroes: Adler, Burnham, Jenney, Root, Sullivan, and, of course, Wright. Fittingly, the Architectural Research Centers Consortium’s 2015 conference, “FUTURE of Architectural Research” will take place there, April 6–9. Learn more at

Pulleys, Gears, and Wheels
When you can’t find the right machine for the job, your only option is to invent one. Practical machine foundations—the basic investigation into building a machine to fabricate, analyze, or otherwise produce any number of useful things—is one part physics and two parts Archimedean ingenuity. The Practical Machine Foundation Design Workshop in Calgary, Alberta, April 13–14, is billed as an event for engineers but has implications for practicing architects in the mode of architectural research. Learn more at

Growth Sector
Just a month ahead of the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta, architects will find another good reason to travel there: the 2015 Laboratory Design Conference (April 27–29), which will focus on designing sustainable facilities and offer tours of representative local labs that have set the bar high. As the biotech sector continues to grow in the U.S., so too will opportunities for architects. Learn more at labdesignconference. com.

The New Normal
If one thing is certain about the near future of architecture, it’s that net-zero energy buildings will become increasingly more affordable, desirable, and prominent—not just in practice but in the public realm. To prepare architects for that eventuality, AIA Connecticut will offer a workshop on April 21 that will cover thermal envelopes, mechanical systems, and solar electric systems. Learn more and register at

Spare Forms
The architect Tatiana Bilbao, who has offices in Basel and Mexico City, claims to work in a “simple and archaic way,” yet the houses, worship spaces, pavilions, and galleries that define her eponymous firm’s output over the last decade are refined and elegant—they’re simple, and virtuously so. Bilbao, the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University’s School of Architecture, will deliver a talk, “Lessons from 2 Gardeners” on April 9. Learn more at