Washington, D.C.

Value Added

The intrinsic value of good design is about quality of life. If architecture demonstrably improves our health, it’s a value proposition that trumps all others. Starting next month, the AIA’s Young Architects Forum (YAF) calls for entries in its annual Ideas Competition, which takes up the theme of wellness as it relates to social and environmental sustainability. YAF, a program of the American Institute of Architects, highlights issues facing recently licensed architects. As always, the competition is open to architects, interns, students, and allied design professionals. Learn more and register at aia.org/ideascompetition.

Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; New York

Peak Potential

Unbuilt projects hold a special place in the public imagination, which helps explain why “Unbuilt Washington” at the National Building Museum has been popular—be sure to catch the exhibit before it closes on May 28 (nbm.org). This fall, Los Angeles’s Architecture and Design Museum will debut “Never Built: Los Angeles (1940–2010)” on Oct. 4 (aplusd.org). On your way to these exhibitions, open up the iPhone app Museum of the Phantom City: Other Futures, which plots New York projects that never quite made it (phantomcity.org). Or, just reread Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, which celebrates 40 years in print this year. Architecture doesn’t always have to be built to matter.


Field Work

This month, upwards of 80,000 architects, interns, and educators will be asked to take the 2012 National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) Practice Analysis of Architecture Survey. The survey, which is conducted every five to seven years, identifies the tasks, knowledge, and skills necessary for the independent practice of architecture. It was developed in cooperation with the AIA, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB). Learn more at ncarb.org.


Social Studies

The architecture seed is often planted early for architects. Knowing that, the Chicago Architecture Foundation launched the program “Discover Design: A Student Design Experience” to foster curricular interest among teenagers using a building type they all know well—the high school. The program chronicles the design challenges for several recent schools and outlines a series of sample projects, such as a school food stand or a new technology wing. Teens interested in architecture can connect through the site and share their work. Importantly, “Discover Design” doesn’t pander; it begins with the premise that everyone has design intelligence. Learn more at discoverdesign.org.



Balthazar Korab, Hon. AIA, holds a special place in the pantheon of architectural photographers. Trained as an architect at the École des Beaux-Arts, he documented Modernism with an insider’s eye. Of course, stints with Le Corbusier, Hon. FAIA, and Eero Saarinen, FAIA, didn’t hurt either. Korab used color with the same aplomb that photographer Ezra Stoller used black and white, offering posterity a cache of vivid documents about the everyday life of buildings. To commemorate his career, 100 select images (out of approximately 360, dubbed “the Modern Collection”) were exhibited in Michigan at Lawrence Technological University’s UTLC Gallery last month, in a show made possible by LTU and the AIA.