Once a year, architects from around the country and abroad gather for the AIA Convention.  At the last minute, we joined in the fun and education of ChicAIAgo.  So here's our AIA Convention 2014 - recap:


We were there to primarily learn.  I was lead to believe Pharrell was going to be there (which he wasn't)... but to my surprise there was Theaster Gates.  Awesome.  He inspired us to RE-imagine how spaces are RE-activated how to raise money.  i.e. issue marble etched bonds.  Brilliant.  Thank you Theaster.


Then there are the more technical seminars, but we can talk about energy efficiencies gained by splitting a large floor plate, how you decide to top or bottom support a folding door, or why your proposal cover letter is a bore over an espresso one day.  Not here.

Besides the knowledge shared of knowledge, it’s always great to catch up with friends and colleagues at conference that span the continent..  And doing so on the backdrop of this famous architecture competition was a bonus.  It had been a while since I had hung out with gargoyles.  


Truthfully though, I probably get the most excited by what I get to experience and observe when I travel.  So here's the rest of the Chicago story through the lens of an ITZEN.

What I was really trying to get a glimpse of here is Jeanne Gang Studio's Aqua Tower, but the awesome spire shadow still makes me smile.  

What I think Robert Ivy was trying to say...

And just in case anyone was wondering about Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Architecture undergrad program receiving a nationally ranking of #1, there was a booth to show off the creative projects being explored on the Central Coast.  It was great meeting Assistant Professor Mark Cabrinha, some of the his past students, and then catching up with Margot McDonald and the always delightful Tom di Santo.  Can't say enough about all that is going on up there.

Jana found a few moments down in the subway.  I find this gesture on the wall tile awesome.  There are times we don't need to be blindsided, we just need the subtle hint, subtle gesture to lead us to what we are looking for.


Light, it tends to come at us from all directions, but does it need to?

How to spot an architect.  

We tend to focus so much on things like adjacency and how that affects property value.  It is reality.  But throw in the juxtaposition of railroad tracks next to the Modern Wing of the Art Institute and you wonder.  Did anyone say "Why are we spending all this money for Renzo Piano to design a bridge with a cantilevered overlook of the railroad tracks?" I mean, I enjoy it.  But..

Always putting Tom Fowler's lessons into practice.


This convention was especially great as it gave some needed quiet moments to look a bit more closely at our business and the image we are portraying. 

One of the unique aspects of ITZEN architects is that we want to be a part of telling your story.  We are passionate about design, design that goes beyond architecture and extends into many different aspects of our daily lives. Well designed spaces create opportunities for interaction, for growing relationships with others. They can create space for quite reflection and productive work. Design can influence our attitudes and set the tone of the atmosphere we are trying to create. Be it in our home, our place of work,  or our place of worship.

The title of our blog is OUR STORY, which is really our client's story interwoven with ours.  Thanks Chicago for the many facets of education we soaked in.