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AIA-NJ conference includes industry's top architects.

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-N J), has announced that noted architects Antoine Predock (FAIA) and Michael Graves (FAIA) will be guest speakers at its daylong Design Conference 2007 to be held at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, N. J., on Sept. 20.

Both speakers will address the subject of the relation between a building and its setting and the question of whether there are timeless architectural values with regard to the role of the building in the space it occupies.

"We are delighted to have two of the world's foremost architects as guest speakers for our Design Conference," said Jerome Eben, AIA New Jersey president. "One of the themes of our organization is 'design matters,' and no one could illustrate that point more eloquently than these two accomplished architects."

The Design Conference will also be the setting for the release of"New Jersey's 150 Best Buildings and Places." The list was developed by AIA 150, a local committee formed to celebrate the 150TH anniversary of the national organization.


"As one of the nation's earliest and most densely populated states, New Jersey offers a wealth of outstanding buildings and places," Eben said. "AIA New Jersey is commemorating AIA's 150 years of service to the profession by raising public awareness of these buildings and places--and of good design in general."

The Design Conference will also be the venue for the announcement of the winning design projects in AIA New Jersey's annual design competition. About 100 architectural firms have submitted entries for 18 awards in the prestigious competition. The keynote speaker for the event will be Predock, who is the recipient of the 2006 AIA Gold Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in architecture. Predock, who is principal of the Albuquerque-based Antoine Predock Architect, will speak about "architecture as geomorphic abstraction" in a talk entitled "Landscape Apparitions."


"NOT Kindergarten Chats" will be the title of a conversation between Graves, principal of Michael Graves and Associates, professor emeritus of architecture at Princeton University and winner of the 2001 AIA Gold Medal, and Alan Chimacoff (AIA), principal of Princeton-based Ikon 5 Architects and a former Princeton professor.

In this interactive, audience-participation "multi-logue" Graves and Chimacoff will explore the changing measures of architectural quality in the context of the belief that there are timeless architectural values and phenomena. Their concern is that an "object fixation" has overtaken the role of the building in its setting.

Graves is concerned primarily with the urban environment where his work has directly influenced the transformation of concerns in urban architecture from those of the abstraction of commercial modernism to a greater interest in context.

Graves's firm has designed over 300 buildings worldwide, including, in New Jersey, the Newark Museum.

Other speakers at the Design Conference will include Dr. George C. Skarmeas (AIA), principal of RMJM Hillier, an international firm with offices in Princeton, who will talk about how the practice of historic preservation creates new opportunities for design and specialization, and John Nastasi (AIA), principal of Hoboken-based Nastasi Architects.

Nastasi will talk about the Product-Architecture Laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.

The goal of the Product-Architecture Laboratory, which is a pioneering graduate program, is to overcome deficiencies in design education by creating a fusion of design and technology.

The setting of the conference is one of the buildings that will be honored on the list of "New Jersey's 150 Best Buildings and Places."

The Great Auditorium, dating from 1869, was founded by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization, for the purpose of providing a permanent seaside meeting place for spiritual renewal.

The wood-framed building, which seats close to 10,000 and is almost as large as a football field, features sliding doors and hinged windows that can be opened to the ocean air.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with lunch included. The conference is open to the public, with a full-day session costing $150 for members and $195 for non-members. Half-day sessions cost $75 for members and $125 for non-members. There is a $25 late fee for registrations received after Sept. 6.

For more information or for registration forms, visit
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Comment:AIA-NJ conference includes industry's top architects.(ASSOCIATIONS, EVENTS & AWARDS)
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Conference news
Date:Sep 19, 2007
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