napkin sketch The AIA's new awards program for housing, Futureshack, was this past week on Wednesday.  The best thing about the program is the attempt to engage the public in a discourse about housing, density, green building.  The awards even had a People's Choice award, based on online voting.

matt at Speed-Date-Design

This year the AIA also premiered a new feature, Speed-Date-Design--7 minutes to bounce your ideas of an architect (then onto the next person).  As one of the Speed Daters, I talked with a couple interested in a multi-family development--almost a co-housing concept, plus a couple of homeowners about northwest contempory design and sustainable construction.  They picked my brain about dormers, backyard cottages, and recycled building materials. After the Speed Date session, one of the bartenders working the event asked me about getting a permit for his garage.  The informal format really helped make people who might not think that they could engage an architect feel comfortable about soliciting a little advice about building. I hope that the AIA does more of this kind of activity.

Both photos are courtesy of Andrew Buchanan--www.SubtleLightPhoto.com