A'22 to Kick Off in Chicago

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2022

Tomorrow (June 22), the American Institute of Architects will kick off its A’22 Conference on Architecture in person after a two-year hiatus.

Taking place at the McCormick Place in Chicago from June 22-25, the AIA has scheduled a collection of seminars, practicums, tours, keynote speakers, networking opportunities and its architectural expo. In addition, A’22 will also see the return of its largest party, “The Block Party.”


Chicago-based photographer, author, lecturer and architecture critic Lee Bey is A’22’s keynote host, where he will introduce each speaker with a rich narrative about the ability of Chicago’s architecture to drive new thinking.

Kicking off the first day are keynotes Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, AIA’s new EVP/Chief Executive Officer in conversation with Madame Architect Founder Julia Gamolina, Assoc. AIA. The duo is expected to speak on unique architecture profession opportunities and the future.

On day two, A’22 will see keynotes Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA, Founder and Creative Director of PAU; Renée Cheng, FAIA, the John and Rosalind Jacobi Family endowed dean of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington; and Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Founding Principal of Studio Gang.

All slated to be in conversation with Bey, the collective is slated to speak on society and the architecture grapple with uncertainty.

On the final day of the conference, A’22 will feature a moderated conversation with the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

In addition to the keynotes, other speakers and instructors leading at A’22 can be viewed here.

Networking & Activities

There are over 60 tours in which attendees can explore Chicago’s architecture. Some highlights include:

  • The University of Chicago;
  • Architecture Meets Nature at the Lincoln Park Zoo;
  • Jackson Park & the Presidential Center: Past to Present (NWA);
  • Living Urban Canvas: Wabash Arts Corridor; and
  • Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park (NWA).

In addition to the architect-led tours, attendees can also experience exclusive access to over a dozen local firms’ staff, space and projects.

The conference also boasts over 50 networking opportunities, including dozens of alumni events. Receptions will be held for both first-time attendees and new AIA members, as well as the Emerging Professionals Happy Hour, College of Fellows Investiture Ceremony and honors and an awards celebration.

The Expo

For two days, the McCormick Place will be turned into what A’22 is being called a “product playground” where conference-goers can explore and experience some of the industry’s newest products and technologies from 500 building product manufacturers.

From witnessing product demos or launches to taking CE courses (registration required), AIA reports that attendees can also utilize the 166,000-square-foot expo floor to talk to technical and product experts, and get free samples ordered for their offices by using the Swatchbox Mobile App.

Also new this year, attendees will have the option to schedule one-on-one meetings with exhibitors and technical experts using the A’22 app.

Expo hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Continuing Education

As part of A’22’s educational offerings, the conference has a collection of over 90 seminars, various practicums, more than 100 expo CE sessions and over 75 exclusive architecture tours. The more than 400 sessions cover over 20 different topics and three overarching tracks so attendees can get the most out of an education best suited for their professional lives. The topics include:

  • Accessibility & inclusive design;
  • Education facilities;
  • Emerging technology trends;
  • Equity, diversity, & inclusion in the profession;
  • Global practice;
  • Leadership;
  • Operational carbon/energy;
  • Residential;
  • Technology in practice;
  • Water;
  • Business of architecture;
  • Embodied carbon;
  • Equitable communities;
  • Existing buildings;
  • Health care facilities;
  • Materials;
  • Research;
  • Resilience;
  • Urban planning & design; and
  • Well-being.

The tracks are split into Climate Acton, Emerging Professionals and Community Engagement options.

New this year, A’22 will also be offering a virtual education series. Available exclusively online on July 28, attendees who purchased a Platinum or Gold pass (or added this option to their Silver or other pass forms) can gain access to 15 additional CE sessions focused on business solutions and sustainability. All courses will be made available on-demand for 30 days.

Other AIA Events

Last year, the AIA announced the launch of a new multi-event that aims to bring manufacturers and architects together.

The virtual “Smarter Together Series” took place June 2, 3, 8 and 10 and aimed to provide “inspirational leadership insights and tactical, pragmatic tools based on the assessment of the construction ecosystem, analysis of architecture practice, the adaptation of marketing strategies, and alignment of organizational values.”

Programming for the event focused on a range of topic areas, including:

  • Assessing the state of the construction ecosystem;
  • Analyzing the evolution of architectural practice;
  • Adapting new strategies for sales and marketing excellence; and
  • Aligning corporate values to drive new business value.

AIA noted at the time that it was presenting the event to support its new Smarter Together Campaign, which aims to strengthen ties between the building products industry and the architecture profession.


Tagged categories: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Architects; Architectural coatings; Architectural history; Architecture; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commerial/Architectural; Conferences; Design; Design - Commercial; Designers; Landscape architects; Modernist architecture; NA; North America

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