150 Years Of Architecture

By Amy Blagriff
Wednesday - August 15, 2007
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The AIA Team (from left): Karen Sakamoto, Geoffrey Lewis, Amy Blagriff, John Fullmer and Keith Tanaka
The AIA Team (from left): Karen Sakamoto, Geoffrey Lewis, Amy Blagriff, John Fullmer and Keith Tanaka

The American Institute of Architects, Honolulu Chapter (AIAHonolulu) believes that each of us enjoys a special privilege by living surrounded by such natural beauty. That privilege, however, requires that every member of our community is also a responsible steward of our lands and our built environment.

That is particularly true for the architecture and design community as this year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the national non-profit AIA organization. Throughout 2007, AIA Honolulu is organizing public events that are inspired by the AIA 150 theme of “Celebrating the Past. Designing the Future” to foster local awareness of our built environment so that future generations continue to enjoy our unique island lifestyle. By encouraging community conversations, AIA hopes to reinforce the values of good design in making our communities a better place to live, work and play.

We at AIA Honolulu are especially pleased to announce the first annual People’s Choice Award, allowing the general public to determine its favorite of 32 distinguished entrants to their annual design awards program in the completed projects category. The AIA Honolulu’s Annual Design Awards is Hawaii’s oldest program of its type-held annually since 1958. All project types are eligible for submission by AIA members-from small home renovations to multi-million dollar resorts.

Public online voting will take place at www.aiahonolulu.org/peopleschoice through Aug. 24. The People’s Choice Award winner will be announced on Aug. 28 at AIA Honolulu’s gala awards celebration at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

The nominated projects were submitted by local AIA member-architects. Institutional and commercial projects entered include the Honolulu Design Center, Waipahu Intermediate School cafeteria, Bishop Museum’s Science Adventure Center and the Visitor Center at Pu’ukohola National Historic Site. The public will also have the opportunity to select from a number of single and multi-family submissions and recent renovations as their 2007 Peoples’ Choice selection.

In addition, on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Honolulu Design Center, the Honolulu architecture community is hosting a free public showing of the documentary film TransitOriented Development: Reshaping the Great American City. The one-hour film exposes the negative impacts of urban sprawl in the largest American cities and suggests transit-oriented development as an alternative. Film highlights include profiles of emerging transit-oriented developments in San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Boston and Washington, D.C.

A post-film expert panel of architects, planners and City officials will discuss issues of critical interest at this juncture in Oahu’s history. Island architects hope to use the film as a launching point for larger community-wide discussions about how transit and development must be considered in concert over the coming weeks, months and years.

Visit www.aiahonolulu.org to vote for the People’s Choice Award online, or to RSVP to the free Aug. 21 presentation of the Transit-Oriented Development

film or Aug. 28 Gala Awards Celebration. RSVPs for both events are also being taken by phone to 545-4242.

Since 1926, AIA Honolulu has served its membership and the community by promoting design excellence in Hawaii’s built environment. Its continuing education programs promote leadership and professionalism among its membership of approximately 800 architects and allied building professionals, and educate the public about architecture and the value of quality design.

For 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real.

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