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DES MOINES, IOWA
Launchpad

At its annual convention in September, AIA Iowa released the new Iowa Architect magazine, with a fresh design, new editorial departments, and eight residential projects. “There are so many great things going on in our region,” says Ben Hildebrandt, AIA Iowa’s new executive director, “and I think we’re in a better position now to amplify those things.”
Learn more at aiaiowa.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Diversity’s Divide

In his 1968 AIA Convention keynote address, civil rights activist Whitney M. Young Jr. criticized architects for their “thunderous silence” on civil rights and social issues. Since then, the AIA has helped replace that silence with voices, but more work remains. This year, the AIA began an oral history and research project entitled AIA Diversity/Then+Now+NEXT to chronicle those voices. The project won’t be complete until we've heard from you, so email diversity@aia.org to find out how you can participate.

HOUSTON
Hire Education
The Menil Collection in Houston’s Museum District has commissioned the Rice Building Workshop, an annual studio at Rice University’s School of Architecture, to design its café. Museum director Josef Helfenstein approached the school after seeing its ZeRow House entry in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. Based on the forms and openness of a taco truck, the café will engage the neighborhood and provide a quick bite for museum visitors. Construction is slated to begin next month.
Learn more at arch.rice.edu.

DAYTON, OHIO
Smackdown
Poetry slams are so ’90s, but design slams are the new wave. AIA Ohio Valley Region kicked off its annual convention, Discover.Design.Dayton, at Dayton’s car-themed function space, the Taj Ma Garaj, with a simple challenge: Design a one-Porsche garage and “man cave.” Participants were required to use BIM and complete their design in 60 minutes or less in front of more than 200 attendees. At the checkered flag, it was Team Indiana’s Megan Crites, AIA, and Jack Faber, AIA, who took home the trophy.
Learn more at aiaohio.org.

RICHMOND, VA.
Ed is in the Details
When Edward Ford, AIA, writes books, people pay attention. Close attention. Ford covered craft, material, and tectonics with The Details of Modern Architecture (Vols. 1 and 2, 1990 and 1996), and this fall, the Virginia Society AIA recognized the University of Virginia professor with its Prize for Design Research and Scholarship for his most recent book, The Architectural Detail ($40; Princeton Architectural Press, October 2011).
Learn more at aiava.org.