American Institute of Architecture Students

For Immediate Release Contact: Kevin Mulvaney, Director of Advancement T 202.626.2564 E

Students Take the Lead

Shine Light on the Architecture Situation in the Region
Atlanta, Georgia (February 25, 2009) — Hundreds of design students from architecture schools across the

southeast will meet in Atlanta next week for South Quad 2009: SEE. SPEAK. DESIGN. The event, the annual spring regional meeting of the American Institute of Architecture Students, is co-hosted by the local AIAS chapters at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Polytechnic State University. South Quad 2009 begins Thursday March 5, 2009 with a keynote speech by award-winning architect Richard Meier. Meier, best known in Atlanta for his work on the High Museum of Art, will speak to students and local professionals on the topic of Light in Architecture and join students for a reception at the High Museum thereafter. The remainder of the conference will focus on issues and opportunities relevant to the design leaders of the future, especially as graduates prepare to enter an unfriendly job market for architects, one hurt dramatically by the housing crisis and decreases in lending and commercial construction. The lecture is not the only activity of the evening. The occasion also offers an opportunity to celebrate. 2009 marks the fifth anniversary of Freedom By Design™ a program of which students from SPSU are at strong leaders. In association with Niles Bolton & Associates and the Housing and Community Development Division of City of Marietta, student leaders in 2007 and 2008 designed solutions for the home of Marcella, an eleven year old girl struggling with Muscular Dystrophy and upper respiratory problems. First through improving the surface area of the interior of the home so Marcella could move around more freely, and then my creating an accessible play area with an elevated sand box, pavers and convenient gate, students drastically improved the quality of life for a family in need. In response to this service program and the numerous leadership initiatives of the AIAS, the Georgia chapter of The American Institute of Architects will present national leaders of the American Institute of Architecture Students with a gift to their Beyond Architecture campaign, a national effort dedicated to securing resources for leadership and service programs for architecture students. JW Blanchard, an Atlanta native, SPSU graduate and current national President of the 7,000 member organization, will be in Atlanta to accept the check on behalf of the AIAS.

The keynote begins at 6:00 pm at the Georgia Tech Conference Center. Local media are invited to attend. Please RSVP to if you wish to attend. Pictures will be available following the event.

About the AIAS Headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Institute of Architecture Students was established in 1956 and is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, student-run organization. The mission of the AIAS is to promote excellence in architecture education, training and practice, foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines, enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration and organize students to combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture. With almost 7,000 subscribing members on more than 130 college and high school campuses throughout North America and several other countries, the AIAS represents the interests of and connects the 20,000-plus students studying architecture. You can learn more about the organization at About Freedom by Design Freedom by Design™ is the national community service program of the AIAS. It utilizes the talents of architecture students to radically impact the lives of people in their community through modest design and construction solutions. Vital modifications are made to enhance the homes of low-income elderly and disabled individuals by addressing their struggles with everyday tasks such as bathing, ascending stairs and opening doors. Our priority is improving the safety, comfort and dignity of the home’s occupants. Through more than 40 AIAS chapters, Freedom by Design™ teaches students how to resolve accessibility issues while simultaneously providing them with the real world experience of working with a client, mentorship from a local architect and constructor, and an understanding of the practical impact of architecture and design. For more information about Freedom by Design™ visit About The Beyond Architecture Campaign In an effort to make a lasting impact on its members and the communities they serve, the AIAS launched a major capital campaign in 2007. The first in the history of the organization, the Beyond Architecture campaign seeks to raise at least $2 Million to assist the organization in providing innovative leadership and service programs, including Freedom by Design™, for generations to come. For more information or to contribute to the campaign, please visit About AIA Georgia The primary functions of AIA Georgia are to increase the public's general knowledge and awareness of architecture and the role architects play in the built and planned environment; and government affairs to monitor state legislative and regulatory activities to promote and enhance the profession of architecture, those who practice, and to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public it serves.  Over time, national AIA membership has grown from an original 29 founding members in 1857 to more than 73,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners who express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings and communities.  Members adhere to a code of

ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and the colleagues of an AIA-member architect's dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.  AIA Georgia is the local voice of the architecture profession dedicated to serving its members, advancing their value and improving the quality of the built environment by reaching out to the community at-large. We continue to enjoy a remarkable growth in membership with 7 local chapters --nearly 1900 members including over 60 Fellows -- bustling under the guidance of the AIA Georgia Association. To learn more about AIA Georgia visit

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