Georgia Bizios, Bizios Architect, Durham, N.C.
I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to network with other residential architects. It was nice to see that many of the things I deal with as a residential architect other people deal with as well. And it was good to see other people are going in many of the directions I want to go in too.
Ross Chapin, Ross Chapin Architects, Langley, Wash.
The conference was excellent in terms of networking. I've been wanting for years to have conversations with architects from around the country, and that part was beyond my expectations. I applaud CORA for existing and tagging onto the conference. It dovetailed really well with the focus of the conference. ... The house tour was great. I really enjoyed being with other people along the way and having conversations and commentary woven in. ... The [breakout session] with John Vetter was wonderful. Here's a guy who's out in the field and clearly he's in practice. ... I was able to put a lot of that information to use in my work. A lot of the benefit came from hearing these case studies—seeing successes, hearing about challenges, talking about communication with city councils and planning departments, relationships with developers, how the market responds. Those actual stories say a lot.
Charles Shipp, Charles Shipp/Architect, Memphis, Tenn.
It's one of the few conferences aimed at residential design. It addressed the whole craft of making living spaces. I thought it was an excellent conference—I liked meeting other people who do what I do. A lot of the value was in the breakout times. As it continues there can be a community built that has real value. As you travel, you can know somebody in that city and go to see what they do. Cross-pollination is very helpful. ... I'd heard Sarah Susanka speak before, but I thought she was excellent. I thought tying the conference in with CORA was great because that was a good way to end it and build on what had been done.
David Jameson, David Jameson, Architect, Alexandria, Va.
I came to [Reinvention] because there's a problem in housing that needs to be acknowledged. The conference was excellent because it bridged together a lot of current ideas in housing and technology. I came away with the fact that you have to build a site-specific house for it to be good and that until we can figure out a way to do that on a larger scale there will always be a problem [delivering better design to a mainstream audience]. ... The house tour was fabulous! Really interesting. I thought the range of work in terms of when it was done and what the sites encompassed was really interesting. It got people excited and talking.
John DeForest, DeForest Ogden, Seattle
The house tour was a big reason I went—it ended up being a big plus. Steven Ehrlich's house was my favorite. The most exciting thing was having a critical mass of interesting people in the same place. A lot of the really good discussions happened on the bus to and from the tours. ... I came back to the office with lots of pictures of interesting houses and lots of energy. We're going to start researching other construction technologies and learn more about sustainable design. ... It was great to talk with people who are at the same point in their practice as I am, and also to have cross-fertilization with different firms.
Philip Mathews, AIA, Philip Mathews Architect, San Francisco
I enjoyed it a lot—the tour of houses, the seminars, Sarah Susanka was great. Jonathan Segal was great. On the house tour, Ehrlich's house was my favorite. I do all residential, so if I go to the AIA convention I get a little lost. I don't go to conferences often. The fact that this was all residential was one reason I came. I'll go again.
Chip Bohl, Bohl Architects, Annapolis, Md.
I was attracted to the idea of residential architects gathering and the concept of an event specifically about residential architecture. The houses on the tour were fabulous. ... The [overall] event was very well organized, informative, and led very easily to spontaneous conversations between people doing the same thing all over the country. The camaraderie was the most energizing part of it. It was very upbeat and very, very positive. ... I'm not a joiner—I was formerly president of our local AIA chapter and have been out of that for a long time, and rather contentedly out of the AIA and other organizations. But this event was well worth the time.
William Childs, AIA, William H. Childs Jr. & Associates, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
After Reinvention, I started looking into going the route of developing our own stuff. There's a local community that may sell us a site. I came back pumped and psyched—it's good to recharge your batteries and get refocused. It's good to think about aspects outside your daily grind.
Stuart Narofsky, Narofsky Architecture and Design, New York City
Everything was great—the breakout session, the lectures, the tour. The focus of the conference was good. ... I only had one negative: The charrette wasn't thought out well enough. ... I attended the breakout with [John Vetter] from Milwaukee—what a speaker and a great guy. He was unbelievable. There was also a lot of chemistry with people coming from all over the country. I have in front of me a stack of business cards. I have been getting emails from people. ... I really came back pumped up that there are more things I should be doing and considering.
Eric Zuziak, JZMK Partners, Newport Beach, Calif.
I think one of the things that was exciting is the work of John Vetter out of Minneapolis. I think his stuff is very strong, and the whole concept of the architect as developer is really intriguing. It was timely because a lot of people are getting into that or want to get into that.
Charles Cunniffe, Charles Cunniffe Architects, Aspen, Colo.
It was just terrific. The housing tour is actually one of the reasons I chose to attend the conference. It was the highlight for me. ... The quality of the content was really great. One of the things I noticed is that no one left early. I attend a lot of conferences and one of the things that happens close to the end is that people start to leave to make calls or check voice messages. I did not see anyone leave early. It was an indication of the quality of the content and the quality of the presenters.
A special thanks to Reinvention 2004 symposium partner Andersen Windows and sponsors Acenti by Leviton, Baldwin, Brizo, NuTone, Owens Corning, Tapco International, and Whirlpool.