I am a great believer in conventions.  They are an incredibly efficient and effective way to gain knowledge, see new things, create and reinforce relationships, get creative batteries recharged and enjoy oneself all in a compact couple of days.  Though I attend and generally enjoy the national AIA convention, my best such experience every year is at the Texas Architects convention in the fall.  I have probably been to 20 of these over the years, and I have never been disappointed.

This convention is just the right scale to get your head around.  The exhibit hall has materials and manufacturers that actually make sense to use (instead of all those luscious German systems at national that are incredibly expensive and have huge carbon footprints by the time they get to Texas), and you run into people you know at every turn.  The Continuing Education sessions seem very carefully selected and somehow more relevant and better crafted than at national.

This year’s convention, Oct 18-20 in Austin, promises to be the best one ever.  I am blown away by how many people I respect and admire are taking the time to speak there–among them, Max Levy, Frank Welch, Emily Little, Don Gatzke, Tommy Upchurch , Gary Furman, Mel Lawrence, Kevin Alter, Burton Baldridge, Ted Flato, Heather McKinney, Peter Gluck, Arthur Andersson, Dick Clark, Juan Miro,  Chuck Armstrong,  Thomas Taylor, Matt Fajkus, Jana McCann, Jay Barnes, Scott Ziegler, Jim Sussman, Filo Castore, Jason Haskins. Michael Malone, Mark Wellen,  Bob Meckfessel, Donna Kacmar, Peter Pfeiffer, Jennifer Workman,  Betsy del Monte, Charles Thompson, Val Glitsch, Natalye Appel,, etc.

There are also two extraordinary keynote speakers who I am really looking forward to hearing–Robert Hammond who will be speaking about his work on the High Line and especially Roman Mars whose radio podcasts are incredible.  Check it out