Event: Minnesota Conference on Architecture

HGA experts will speak on a variety of topics at the Minnesota Conference on Architecture.

This year Minnesota’s Conference on Architecture hosted by AIA Minnesota will hold three one-day virtual conference events in lieu of their typical conference. Each day will feature a different theme. October 13’s theme is Design for Positive Climate Impact & Environmental Justice, October 20’s theme is Resilience & Collective Recovery, and the final day of the conference, October 27, the theme is the Future of Design.

October 20: Resilience & Collective Recovery

Program: Well-being, Trauma, and Resilience: The Science of Thriving

Speakers: Ariane Laxo (HGA), Haley Nelson (HGA), Ashley Ochiagha (Atmosphere Commercial Interiors), Lori Tuominen (Pruitt Center for Mindfulness and Well-Being at the University of Wisconsin–Superior)

Time: 10:15 A.M. – 11:45 A.M. CT

COVID-19 has created a state of collective trauma. How does this trauma impact our brains and our ability to do our best work? Based on a literature review of positive psychology research – the science of human thriving – presenters will demonstrate what the science of trauma, well-being, and personal resilience can teach us about working in a global pandemic. Researchers have long associated happiness and well-being with productivity in the workplace, but how can we foster happiness and well-being in the global workforce in this time of collective trauma? While we adjust to a new normal, our ability to remain productive at work and maintain positive relationships with our colleagues and clients depends on our adaptability and personal resilience. Attendees will leave this session with a deep understanding of what happens to their brains and work output due to traumatic events or stress and evidence-based strategies for enhancing personal resilience and fostering thriving working relationships. The research presented will prove that thriving at work is possible even in the most challenging circumstances.

Program: The Ethics of Remote Work

Speakers: Meredith Hayes Gordon (HGA), Christine Cavataio (Cuningham Group), Anjali Ganapathy (Dunwoody College of Technology), Wade Goodenberger (CRW architecture + design group), Stephanie Howe (Studio E Architects), Stefnee Trzpuc (BWBR)

Time: 4:00 P.M.– 5:00 P.M. CT

While many of us periodically worked remotely before 2020 –  from home, the job site, or from the road – the pandemic has shifted almost all activity in architecture to be remote in nature. What are the ethical implications of this shift? What does it mean for creating work environments that are equitable and free from discrimination – especially in the context of caregiving and virtual schools? How does working remotely affect our ability to facilitate the professional development and high performance of our teams? How can fully remote work continue to ensure competent and professional service to clients? Take stock of our society-wide, pandemic-fueled experiment with remote work through an ethical lens.

Program: Urban Determinants: Increasing Agency Through Socio-Political Analysis

Speakers: Ashleigh Grizzell (HGA), Amber Delgado (Creator of Curated Tolerance), Erin Kindell (University of Minnesota M Arch Graduate), MacKenzie Kusler (Ryan Co), Denise Pike (Public Historian, Co-creator of Owning Up), Adam Rosenthal (AWH)

Time: 4:00 P.M.– 5:00 P.M. CT

In the last several years important conversations about equity, diversity, and inclusion have begun in firms across the Twin Cities. These conversations have focused primarily on the architect’s workplace: implementing processes for advancement, pay, mentorship, etc. However, few are directing this same analysis and commitment to equity to the spaces we design, which can also be embedded with inequities. Urban Determinants seeks to expand this exploration into our work to rethink our approach to site analysis. Urban determinants are spatial conditions that decisively shape people’s lives. They shape where we live and work, and manipulate our access to justice, health care, education, and wealth. To uncover and understand how these conditions shape space, we employ architectural representations to represent research, data, and policy documents. This approach considers the impacts of a project far beyond the legal boundaries of the site. As an architectural community, we have a responsibility to become fluent in these determinants and understand how our work affects them. Our ambition is to inspire action, increase the agency and value of design, and foster more responsive design to empower a more inclusive, passionate, empathetic future.

October 27: Future of Design

Program: 2+2: Achieving Outstanding Design – Engaging Communities to Shape the Future of Design

Speakers: Steven Dwyer (HGA), Damaris Hollingsworth (Design By Melo), Donovan Nelson (Perkins & Will), Margaret Parsons (Cuningham Group)

Time: 10:15 A.M.– 11:45 A.M. CT

This program will examine the impact that experienced architects have made in achieving outstanding design through community engagement, as well as the influence that young architects wield in shaping the future of design for our next generation. Work will be presented by two AIA College of Fellows members recognized for design and two recipients of the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award. The session will explore the importance of how designers can shape our industry and communities, how architecture connects with the public, and how industry leaders are key to the success of outstanding design.

To learn more or register, visit AIA Minnesota.