AIA Conference in Review – A Utah architecture firm’s review

AIA Convention 2017

CMA at the American Institute of Architects Annual Conference on Architecture 2017

This past spring, architects from Curtis Miner Architecture (CMA), a Utah based architecture firm, joined other industry leaders for The American Institute of Architecture Conference on Architecture 2017. CMA team members traveled from Salt Lake City, Utah to Orlando, Florida for the event.

“A strong component of the CMA culture is continuing education, and the AIA conference offers a broad range of topics and tours to give professionals a fresh perspective.” Says Principal Curtis Miner, “Our firm’s participation is just one of many tools we utilize to remain on the top of our game and deliver the highest quality to our clients.”

Over the past several years CMA has sent architects and interns annually to this event hosted in different cities across the US.

The Wonderworks Building in Orlando, Florida, an “amusement park for the mind.”

The Wonderworks Building in Orlando, Florida, an “amusement park for the mind.”

One of the benefits of the conference being hosted in a different city each year is the opportunity to tour architecturally significant neighborhoods, projects, and buildings. In years past AIA conference tours have included Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and Denver, to name a few.

This year, Project Manager Scott Bingham was eager to tour the Florida Southern College campus, which boasts the largest collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Scott is a details guy, known for diving into the details of each of his projects. Prior to touring the campus, he found the pictures of these buildings to be a great inspiration. However, while on tour he soon realized the pictures lacked the up-close detail that he gained of how these buildings were constructed. It is the “how” that motivates Scott.

Interior back side of original building block wall by Frank Lloyd Wright, Southern Florida College. The holes in the block are filled with cast colored glass.

Interior back side of original building block wall by Frank Lloyd Wright, Southern Florida College. The holes in the block are filled with cast colored glass.

With 19 years of commercial architectural design experience, Project Architect Jason Sandburg came away from the conference with a renewed appreciation of design and the stories inherent to every building. Jason participated in classes focused on thermal protection of buildings, stonework, architectural storytelling, and wood construction. He also went on a tour of Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. This tour revealed how Disney focuses on storytelling and how history can be a driving force in visitors’ experiences.

Says Miner, “CMA strives to exceed the needs and expectations of our Utah architecture clients by remaining current with industry trends and technology. Many of the training sessions are technical and deal with building products, processes, and applications. Other sessions deal with architectural firm leadership and management, environmental and sustainability issues, community engagement, and design. These conferences provide an ideal opportunity for industry networking, and for team building among the people who attend.”

The experiences of Curtis, Scott and Jason are just a few examples of the insights gained by the CMA professionals in attendance. This year’s conference provided an ideal opportunity for these leading Utah architects to engage in industry networking and team building. Being a full service architectural firm in Utah, these experiences help CMA to continue in exceeding the needs of their clients by remaining current with industry trends and fostering innovation. Plans are already in place for their participation in the 2018 AIA conference in New York City.