Newsletter | May 2022
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What does a world without gun violence look like for you?

In the wake of the recent mass shooting tragedies, what can architecture organizations do? Make space for reflection, examine the structures that led to current conditions, and issue a call to action are some of the functions that the National Building Museum is currently serving.

The Washington Post described the emotional experience of the Gun Violence Memorial Project (pictured above) by MASS Design Group currently on view at the National Building Museum. Read "At gun violence memorial, visitors reflect on two weeks of mass death."

Justice in the built environment

AAO news and upcoming meetings

After 25 years leading the Chicago Architecture Center, Lynn Osmond recently moved on to become the new President and CEO of Choose Chicago. As a founding member of AAO, we took a moment to capture Lynn’s reflections and perspective gained through her many years engaging with people and organizations across our field. "The concept is simple: as a collective we make our field stronger and realize a greater public impact."
Read our Q&A with Lynn Osmond

Leaders and staff of architecture organizations operating outside North America are encouraged to attend the AAO International Network Meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, June 22 at 12:30 GMT, hosted by Peter Murray, Chair of New London Architecture.

At this meeting of like-minded organizations, you will have the opportunity to share and update one another on your organization’s plans and provide an insight into what’s happening in each of our cities. Group discussion will then cover early thoughts for programming at the UIA Congress (Copenhagen, July 2-6, 2023), updates on AAO programming, and suggestions for the global architectural community to support reconstruction in Ukraine, at a planning stage and in delivery.
RSVP: International Network

JUNE 25: COMING TO AIA CONVENTION IN CHICAGO? AAO MEET-UP If you are actively involved with an architecture organization and will be attending the AIA Convention in Chicago this June, please let us know if you wish to join us for a peer meet-up at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). We are tentatively targeting Saturday, June 25 at 2:30pm. While intended as a casual gathering and time for catching up with friends and colleagues, we would be pleased to provide a brief tour of the CAC and overview of current and recent past exhibits, should there be interest. You can RSVP by writing us directly at and using the email subject “AAO Meet-Up @ AIA Convention.”  
RSVP: AAO Meet-Up at the AIA Convention

As April 2022 marked the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth, we approached Charles Birnbaum of The Cultural Landscape Foundation for a deeper look at the enduring influence of this first name in American landscape architecture.

The resulting lecture, The Olmsted in All of Us, is filled with discoveries about the power of architecture organizations and community activists to champion Olmsted’s work and to tell a bigger story about the central role landscape architecture plays in all our lives.
The May 12 AAO Partner Program was a collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Center. Do you have an upcoming virtual program that might appeal to an audience beyond your own city? Contact AAO about partnering to extend your audience reach with our network.
Watch Video

AAO welcomes new organizational member AIA Chicago, now led by long-time AAO supporter Jen Masengarb.

Africa as a lab for the future

AAO member the Graham Foundation announced 54 new grants to individuals. We always find the mix of exhibitions, research projects, films, and publications an interesting list to browse. One that caught our attention is Africa - A Design Utopia led by Lagos-based Nifemi Marcus-Bello (pictured above is his Waf Kiosk). According to Marcus-Bello, "the research focuses on demonstrating how ingenuity and indigenous design thinking is used to create and cater to stakeholders across a unique supply chain, highlighting how a design revolution continues to happen in Africa, without the 'design' label attached to it."

In somewhat related news, today curator Lesley Lokko announced the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale theme: the Laboratory of the Future. She writes that "Africa is the laboratory of the future," as the world's fastest urbanizing continent with a history of resilience and self-reliance. According to Biennale President Roberto Cicutto, Lokko's "approach looks very much like the proposal for a pact between the visitors of La Biennale, the world of architecture and of culture in general. "

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About AAO

The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) is an international member-based network that connects, supports, and advocates for organizations and individuals around the world devoted to advancing the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society. Learn more at

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