By Chris Kirch, B.Arch Candidate and AIAS BAC Chapter Vice President 2012-2013
AIAS FORUM 2012 was held at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia from December 29, 2012 - January 1, 2013.
Escaping the Northeast for New Years turned out to be an excellent decision for more than one reason. First, it's Savannah, Georgia, which means southern weather, beautiful oaks, and fried chicken and waffles for breakfast. Savannah, the city with a height limit of five stories, is as unique as Boston. Both cities take historic preservation seriously, but Savannah's resulting architecture is much more varied and weathered. The entire city is based on the classic American grid, checkered with park space. The city is an excellent place to visit anytime of the year, especially via road trip.
My second reason is the list of keynote speakers. This included Antoine Predoc and you may know him for his turtle creek house. Any architect who starts off with, "I am not sure if I am an Architect or a Biker…," is alright in my book. He took us through his entire life, including sketches. Let me the first to say that his first sketches were far from decent, yet by drawing all the time he mastered the art. He is an architect that travels to Europe by boat, sensitive to site, and is inspired by movie scenes. Sounds tacky, but his work is extremely well designed. On the turtle creek house from the rear he made the comment, "It looks exactly like that scene from Kill Bill Vol. 1."
My third and final reason is AIAS itself. If someone asked me why they should go to FORUM, I would know they have never been because no one who attended FORUM would ask that. You get to see and experience another city. You meet architecture students from around the world who are passionate and fun. You listen and can have personal conversations with futurists, small and large architects, and the AIA President himself (who has a fantastic personality). FORUM is also a chance to have a voice within AIAS, AIA, NAAB, and Congress for architecture…your future.