From July 18 to 20, 2007, the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' (AIA DC) will hold the DesignDC '07: Leading Design conference and exhibit for Washington, D.C.-area architects, designers, engineers, and contractors. DesignDC will address a range of environmental issues that impact architecture and design with a variety of classes, tours, vendor displays, and speakers, all geared toward inspiring and empowering architects to become leaders in sustainability. DesignDC will be held in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

On opening night and throughout the day on July 19, attendees will have the opportunity to calculate their carbon footprints through the Cool Capital Challenge's online carbon footprint calculator, which will be made available on a dedicated computer at the conference. The Cool Capital Challenge, of which AIA DC is a member, is an organization uniting individuals, schools, businesses, governments, and others with the goal of reducing the Washington, D.C. region's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by one billion pounds by April 2008. Attendees can calculate their carbon footprints by logging on to the Cool Capital Challenge's website at www.coolcapitalchallenge.org and filling in data such as yearly electricity expenses, yearly propane or natural gas purchases, vehicle mileage, number of people per household, and airplane flights per year. Interested parties can log on to the organization's website at any time to calculate their footprint and make pledges of reductions.

DesignDC's opening night keynote lecture will be given by Canadian sustainable-design activist and author Bruce Mau. Mau was tapped for the opening keynote "not only because he has a lot of incredibly important ideas to convey relating to sustainable design, but also because he's so inspiring in the way he gets them across," says AIA DC Chapter executive director Mary Fitch. Mau is the author of the book Massive Change and the museum exhibit of the same name, which relates the ways in which design is interconnected with transportation, energy, and economy and how design can help solve some of the most pressing world issues. To register, visit www.aiadesigndc.org.