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AIA Convention 2022 Chicago – A Review

Returning from the 2022 AIA convention in Chicago. When they ask, “How was it?” It certainly had ups and downs, hits and misses, the parts that worked and the parts that didn’t.

A good flight; a train stuck on the tracks. A perfect and seamless check-in; an app that didn’t work at all. Mask-less environment, back in rooms with friends; scheduling that didn’t always post on the right day. A gargantuan room full of suppliers and renders and excellent props; a gargantuan room with thousands of chairs and inhumane finishes and services. A beautiful and meaningful tour down the river, and a fear of missing out, away from the plenary celebrity speaker.

Perfect weather, perfect views, safe and sweet time in the city, very, very sore feet! Diversity on the platform (diversity through wholesale change); speeches with very little to say about this profession. Pros and cons, hits and misses.

Inspired, maybe, but with very few new ideas, very little to go on. Coming back with this reminder that bigger is better, that listening is better, that doing the right thing is the only way to succeed, that what our clients expect isn’t good enough, that to give clients only what they say with words – isn’t good enough.
I’m inspired to see that the projects on our boards have a future, they have a next step, they have design development. I’m inspired to see the threat of everything else, my days of meetings and accounting, my phone calls that no one else will answer. I’m inspired to see the hole that I’m already dug into, with hours and weeks before I can escape.

I’m inspired to read more and to write more. Like a new year’s resolution, any new conviction with the word “more” can be a problem. We live in a place of temporal poverty, not enough time, never enough time, and still never less time from one day to the next.

And to do things “more” is to do something else less. We hope it’s simpler to do things better the first time. More exercise. More reading, more writing, more time at home. More drawing. More smelling the roses. Lass eating junk food. Less Netflix and YouTube.

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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