AIA Committee On Design And Life-long Scholarship by Jim Lord, AIA


An article in Connection Magazine’s Edification issue published in December, 2016 highlighted thoughts from a selection of active COD members on the relationship between COD and life-long learning. The magazine’s space limitations wouldn’t allow for the full text of each contributor so we’re presenting them here in their totality.

The practice Architecture is a life-long scholarship. There is a continual need for an ever-expanding basis of facts or ideas acquired by study, investigation, observation, and experience. And unlike many other professions, much of an architect’s learning occurs outside the formal methods of classrooms and textbooks.

The AIA’s Committee on Design (COD) was created to foster the scholarship of its member architects with an emphasis on the design portion of the creative process. For over fifty years, the COD has been gathering in locations around the world to experience Architecture up close, in the actual environment and in the critical time frame of today. Each city’s visit attempts to understand the history of the place and those key factors that make it unique. The most influential buildings of each era are visited included contemporary structures.

The COD’s studies are further expanded through dialogues with the creators of the buildings both today and in the past. Special effort is taken to get the group to the locations that a casual passerby would not be able to experience. In today’s world of the two-second sound bite, the COD strives for total immersion.

And the final enrichment comes from the COD group itself. It is not a lecturer and a group of listeners, but a continual exchange of ideas, while looking, touching, walking and sometimes dinning, with some of the most influential peers practicing today.

The COD article appears on pages 28-31.


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