October 31, 2008
  It’s the Economy, Architect! Two New Podcasts for You
Navigating the Economy, the AIA’s Web site dedicated to providing you and your firm with the resources you need to survive even thrive in an economic slowdown.
  • Credit and the Impact on the Design Profession
    Access to credit has been severely constricted for consumers and businesses alike. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, discusses repercussions of the current credit crunch—and particularly how tight credit for both clients and architecture firms is affecting the design profession. (16 minutes)
  • The Federal Government Wants You Practicing Overseas
    Senior International Trade Specialist Mark Wells describes U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service programs proven to match American architects with foreign clients, provide customized market research, and intervene when problems arise, such as overseas clients that withhold payment. (25 minutes)

Plano’s New Medical Center Brings Nature and Healing to Pint-Sized Patients
The Children’s Medical Center Legacy in Plano, Tex., designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP (ZGF), in association with architect of record PageSoutherlandPage, officially opened its doors after a dedication ceremony last month. The new hospital opens with 24 inpatient beds (of a future 72 beds), emergency services, four operating rooms, four procedure rooms, and dedicated transport services. Ancillary services, such as laboratory and radiology, also operate 24 hours a day. The 184,000-square-foot building radiates from a semi-circular glass entry façade fronting a slope-roofed cylinder clad in blue-green aluminum tiles and two juxtaposed limestone walls. Children’s Legacy’s open space and natural light lend the look and feel of a community center rather than an institutional medical facility. All patient rooms have large windows looking out on the 155-acre property of fields, streams, and horses. Family living rooms at the end of each patient wing, playrooms, and adult great rooms also have magnificent outdoor views. Children’s Legacy has applied for LEED® certification, based on extensive use of local and recycled materials, from locally quarried stone to recycled natural wood ceilings, as well as high-efficiency, Energy Star HVAC equipment.

AIA Awards Four 2008 Upjohn Research Grants
Four projects received Upjohn Research grants October 1 for work to be completed within 18 months. Named for the AIA’s first president, Richard Upjohn, these grants provide matching funds of up to $30,000 for applied research projects, which this year include environmental design case studies, ceramic materials innovation, environmental learning libraries, and thermally active surfaces.

Gensler Launches 2009 Scholarship Program for African-American Architecture Students
Each year, fewer than 150 African-American students receive accredited degrees in architecture in the U.S. Gensler, one of the largest architecture firms in the country, is committed to the value of diversity within the firm and the design industry. And to help support the education and mentorship of this community of design talent, firm leadership has launched the 2009 Gensler African American Internship and Scholarship (GAAINS) program. The program annually awards two African-American students from NAAB-accredited architecture programs between $5,000 and $10,000 for their final year of academic study. A summer internship opportunity will also be awarded to the top scholarship winner. For more information, visit Gensler’s Web site. Applicants can e-mail GAAINS@gensler.com with questions or submission materials. (Photo, Craig Curtis, Gensler 2005, Tuskegee University.)

Get Out the Vote on November 4!
This is one last Get out the Vote Reminder before Election Day on Tuesday, November 4, to remind you of our special duty: voting for our leaders. It is crucial that you insert your voice in the election of everyone from city council members all the way up to congressional representatives, senators, and the president. Please exercise this right … that is, if you have not already done so like so many of your fellow Americans.

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Welcome to the News Zone
This is where you will find the latest happenings in the Institute, the profession, and the wider world of building design and construction. The News Zone also carries commentary from AIA elected representatives as well as major new commissions, completions, and openings.