Call for Submissions: Diversity by Design Exhibition

The AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia invite B.C. architects and architecture firms to submit their work for inclusion in an exhibit of complete or in-process projects expressing the theme of “Diversity by Design”.  The exhibit will highlight individuals and businesses in both Washington and B.C. whose works reflect the spirit of gender and cultural inclusiveness, in keeping with the AIBC Council’s commitment to supporting new and diverse membership.

The exhibit will be mounted at the 2013 Conference, hosted by the AIBC and AIA Northwest and Pacific Region, October 23-26 in Vancouver. It will tell the story of diversity in the profession of architecture through final design products as well as processes that engage architects from gender or ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the profession. This might include work for clients representing ethnically-oriented or social service enterprise/organizations, or other projects or actions that address issues of race, gender, and ethnicity.


In keeping with intent of this exhibition, submissions must reflect firms, practitioners and projects that demonstrably support diversity within the profession – particularly through the encouragement of leadership by minority and women architects. The submission must also feature a project completed within the last five years, and whose lead architect is AIBC-registered.


  • Interested firms and individuals are asked to submit:An exhibit panel in PDF format. The exhibit panel should feature a single project along with proper project attribution information (see AIBC Bulletin 44: Attribution: Giving and Taking Credit for Architectural Services), and be designed in keeping with the exhibit template provided (click here), which calls for a printed board at 22”x34”. Please use the following naming convention for your exhibit panel file: firmname_projectname_board.pdf
  • A one-page (8.5” x 11”) overview document (also in PDF format) detailing project information. This should include project name and location, design team, contact information (name, phone, e-mail address), and a statement about the relevance of the project to the “Diversity by Design” theme. Please use the following naming convention for your project overview file: firmname_projectname_cover.pdf.

To access the required templates as well as a sample version of a completed submission, click here.


Submissions will be reviewed and selected based on the message of architectural diversity and inclusion conveyed by the project team and/or the project itself.


There is no cost to submit. If selected, exhibitors will be responsible for all costs related to the printing and shipping of their exhibit boards.

Submission Deadline

5:00 p.m. PST on October 11, 2013. Submissions should be directed to:


Rachael Kitagawa 206-624-5702

Titus Uomoto 206-898-9354

David Wiebe 604-522-6964

Call for Submissions: 2014 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

RAIC | Architecture Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts invite submissions for the 2014 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. These awards recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently-completed built projects by Canadian architects. They also provide an important source of understanding about the nature of Canadian architecture and the regional, cultural and historic forces expressed in Canada’s built environment. Submissions are open to projects built in and outside of Canada, completed between January 1, 2006 and September 1, 2013, and which involved lead design by licensed/registered architects who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and licensed/registered with a Canadian provincial jurisdiction. A total of 12 medals will be awarded by a jury that includes Roberta Brandes Gratz, journalist and urban critic; James KM Cheng Architect AIBC FRAIC, Principal- James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc. (Vancouver); Maxime Frappier MIRAC, Associate – ACDF architectes (Montreal); Dorte Mandrup, founder and owner of Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter (Copenhagen, Denmark); and David Miller MRAIC, Partner, Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (Toronto). Submissions must be received before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013. For more information, click here or contact

Is The Internet’s Appetite For Sexy Renderings Hurting Architecture?

By Jenny Xie, The Atlantic Cities
September 24, 2013

Last fall, a public art competition invited designers around the world to dream up a temporary summer pavilion that could inject some life into Flint, Michigan, a city regularly ranked as one of the U.S.’s “most dangerous” and still plagued by repercussions of the housing crisis. The winning entry was “Mark’s House,” an elevated dwelling designed to reflect—quite literally, through a coating of mirror-like Mylar material—what the city has experienced. More …

Supersized Skyscrapers: Win-win Developments?

By Chris Atchison, Globe and Mail
September 16, 2013

Look up into the skies of many North American great metropolises and you’ll see towers that soar 70, 80, even more than 90 storeys above their sprawling cities. A residential high-rise, for example, will stretch a staggering 96 storeys into the sky in New York at 432 Park Ave., making it possible to live (almost) in the clouds. In Toronto, at least four mixed-use skyscraper projects of more than 75 floors are under way or have been proposed. More …

Parks Make us Smarter — Science Proves it!

By Henry Grabar, Salon
September 21, 2013

Last year, a group of Edinburgh architecture researchers asked a dozen students to take a walk. They began on a tree-lined shopping drag, turned along the tranquil northern edge of the Meadows, one of the city’s larger parks, and wound up in a busy commercial district some half-hour later. The pastoral section of an otherwise urban jaunt, the researchers found, induced a significant increase in meditative thinking. This may not strike you as a novel discovery. Thanks to Henry Thoreau’s trip to Walden Pond, Teddy Roosevelt’s sojourn in the Badlands, and America’s other legends of retreat, the idea that nature has restorative powers is deeply embedded in our culture. Science is in support: A raft of studies credit bucolic settings with reducing aggression, alleviating depression, and improving mental function. More …

IDIBC Awards

The Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia’s 2013 Awards of Excellence were handed out on September 20, 2013, with a strong AIBC representation. Awards were given in nine categories. Nine projects were honoured with the IDIBC Award of Excellence, while 18 others received awards of merit. The prestigious Robert Ledingham Award (formerly Best in Show, renamed in memory of the renowned Vancouver interior designer who passed away earlier this year) was presented to Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning for its Esker Foundation Gallery. Other awards include:

  • Public and Institutional Spaces Category: Esker Foundation Gallery (Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning)
  • Food and Beverage Category:  Project Bosk Restaurant (mcfarlane green biggar architecture + design, now office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers and Michael Green Architecture)

President’s Message

Picking up on the efforts of the previous AIBC Council, your current council representatives have carried forth the development of a five-year strategic plan that will guide council decision-making for the coming years. Amongst the agreed-upon priorities is pursuit of modernized legislation to govern the profession in this province.

It’s a goal that was pursued by previous councils with little in the way of success before being put onto the back-burner as the institute dealt with other, internal matters. However, the current message from members – expressed directly to council through the recent survey and voiced loudly at the 2013 Annual Meeting – is that such efforts should be resumed. It is a direction upon which your elected council is in agreement.

Recently, an AIBC delegation made its way to Victoria to discuss with government representatives the possibility of revisions to the Architects Act. On August 26, Executive Director Mike Ernest, AIBC Council Member Gord Richards and I met with Joe Thompson, a former Lieutenant Governor Appointee to council who happens to be Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Advanced Education. Also in attendance were current LG Appointees Mark Zacharias and Steve Simons, and AIBC Council Member Catherine Nickerson who works in the ministry. The central purpose of the meeting was to review the legislative process in Victoria and to seek guidance on how best to communicate with the government regarding legislative change.

The meeting was both informative and insightful. It was also a bit of a reality check.

The effort required to bring about legislative change is significant. In a very simplistic overview, there is a three-step process for getting a law enacted. First, a Request for Legislation is developed and approved by the minister responsible. This is, in essence, a policy paper that outlines the public interest for the proposed law including a benefits/risks analysis.

Once the request is approved, Legislative Council is then directed to draft the proposed law. The third step is debate in the provincial legislature, with various readings and committee work.

On average, it takes at least three years to complete the process – with no guarantees of success. As an example of the volume of requests for legislation our provincial government receives, the next spring sitting in Victoria has allocated a total of 20 bills to be brought before the house, selected from some 120 requests based on the priorities of the government. This is common for each sitting of the house.

Here’s another bit of sobering news: in the next sitting of the house, the Ministry of Advanced Education – our ministry – has not been allocated any of its bills to be introduced.

As architects, it is understandable that we would expect that priority should be given to our act, which is now approaching 100 years of age. However, there are many existing laws that also urgently need revision. As an example: it was described during our meeting that the government has been working on a new Waters Act – a piece of legislation likely to have a profound impact on a majority of B.C. citizens. The current Waters Act is more than 100 years old. The provincial government has been working on its revisions for three years now.

I do not want to give the impression of being pessimistic. In truth, we are well-positioned for positive and meaningful dialogue with government. Though no longer part of AIBC Council, Joe has indicated his willingness to assist the Institute and the profession in bringing matters to the attention of our minister. In addition, Steve, Mark and Catherine are in direct daily contact in Victoria.

In our meeting, we also discussed a new act versus substantial revision to the existing act. It was agreed that a request for major revisions to the Act probably stood a better chance for success. A major revision would likely entail changes to 1/3 to 1/2 of the existing clauses, of which our act has 85.

Moving forward, we are pleased to have been given an introductory meeting with our new minister this week. However, it is not likely to present an opportunity to discuss our interest in legislative renewal in any depth. To that end, we hope to meet with our deputy minister, preferably by the end of the year, followed ideally with a focused meeting with the minister in April or May, during the spring sitting of the house.

The next question is, “What revisions do we want?” It has been a difficult time for B.C.’s architectural profession of late, with much time and energy spent dealing with various contentious issues that themselves have ramifications for any potential reworking of our governing legislation. The signal from our members is loud and clear: Now is the time to put the past behind us and start a productive, meaningful dialogue focused on how our collective future can and should be crafted. If there is any one direction with the potential to impact our profession well into the future, it is act renewal and the possibilities that flow from it.

What act revisions do you think should be pursued? How best should your council communicate with the membership on this matter? We are seeking direct input from you, our members.

I encourage you to share your personal thoughts on act renewal, including whatever concerns you might have, and how best you’d like us to proceed. You can do so via e-mail to As always, you can also contact me directly at any time.

Council will be deliberating on this topic in the weeks and months ahead. In addition, over the coming year council will be scheduling opportunities to meet and hear directly from members and associates, on this important direction as well as whatever other professional concerns might be on your minds. It is part of this council’s renewed commitment to engaging with the membership, another of the priorities identified in our new five-year strategic plan … which itself will be shared with the membership in the days and weeks ahead.

I look forward to hearing from you, and to involving you in this important process.


Scott Kemp  Architect AIBC
AIBC Council President