Newsletter | May 2020
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Message from AAO Executive Director Michael Wood

The last several weeks have been trying for us all, to say the least. As we continue to come to grips with COVID-19, it has been so heartening to see how quickly our member organizations are transitioning to the new normal. Just yesterday, I attended the Society of Architectural Historians’ conference and you would hardly have detected how much stress and upheaval and breakneck learning that staff and their volunteers have been through in the past few days to produce such a seamless, well-executed virtual conference. It speaks volumes about the talent and resolve of our field.

With this newsletter, we are pleased to share several ways we are endeavoring to support you. We have assembled a number of resources and identified exemplary programs from AAO Members. This past month, we also unveiled a new AAO Partners Program by which we aim to communicate your offerings to a wider audience—and hopefully bring some new revenue your way. And, of course, we continue to organize regular meet-ups, so you can swap insights and experiences with your colleagues at peer organizations across the US and beyond.

Now is certainly a time for us to come closer together. To that end, we encourage you to complete the short survey in this newsletter, so we can better glimpse where we all stand today and consider how we might better work together to amplify the impact of our field—and strengthen your own organizations in the process.

Continued best wishes for the road ahead. And please, stay safe everyone!

Michael Wood
Executive Director
Association of Architecture Organizations

AAO Snapshot of the Field: Navigating COVID-19

Please take this brief, five-question survey to help us understand how AAO can best serve our community during the pandemic, and to glimpse how we might collectively emerge from this even stronger than before.
Take Survey

Introducing AAO Partner Programs 

AAO is pleased to announce two upcoming public programs that we are co-presenting with specific AAO Member Organizations. We hope you'll consider sharing these events with your constituents. Working together we can help one another reach an even larger audience. Visit the AAO Partner Programs webpage often for new additions and recordings of past programs, including a panel discussion with the directors of four international architecture organizations (pictured above) and an interview with Seattle Planning Director Sam Assefa.
AAO Partner Programs
Do you have a program with broad appeal that you'd like to present in partnership with AAO? Contact Us

AAO Network Member Discussions

AAO is organizing networking meetings for architecture organization staff, including the following: Visit the AAO Member Discussions webpage often for new additions and resources from past meetings, including discussions from the CEO, A+DEN, and Public Programs networks.
AAO Member Discussions
Do you have a topic you'd like to discuss with other AAO members? Contact Us and we'll put you in touch with other organizations facing the same challenges.

Inspiration From Architecture Organizations 

We've seen some organizations quickly pivot to present engaging online programming in lieu of in-person offerings. Here's a sampling of innovative programs presented by AAO Members:
  • The Architecture Foundation (London) presents the 100 Day Studio, "a daily diet of online lectures, interviews, building tours, panel discussions and quizzes."
  • The Carnegie Museum of Art presents An Architectural Tour of a City on Pause: Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle, in which curator of architecture Raymund Ryan documents how the city has changed over the last 30 years.
  • The Community Design Collaborative paired designers with an organization that serves meals to Philadelphia's homeless population in order to rapidly develop new designs for food distribution with social distancing, as outlined in Our COVID19 Response: Design SWAT Team.
  • Open House New York presents virtual Conversations on the City, "a series of conversations about the enduring value of cities at a moment of uncertainty about the future of urban life."
For even more inspiration, visit the AAO Member Program Highlights webpage to view a collection of exemplary online offerings.
Member Program Highlights

Resources and Things to Watch

Every minute there seems to be new information about the coronavirus and how it is impacting our lives and our work. We've found the following resources to be particularly relevant and helpful for architecture organizations. For more, view AAO's Resources for New Ways of Working and Learning during the pandemic. 
COVID-19 Resources for Architecture Orgs

New Members 

AAO welcomes new organizational members AIA East Tennessee, National Design Alliance, and Baltimore Architecture Foundation.

If your nonprofit would benefit from networking and sharing resources with other architecture and design organizations, consider joining the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO).
Become an AAO Member

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About AAO

The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) is an international member-based network dedicated to enhancing public dialogue about architecture and design. Learn more at

AAO Membership

We depend on you. The experience and talent of our members drives the AAO Network and helps forge a collective identity for our growing field of practitioners devoted to enhancing public dialogue about architecture, urbanism, and culture. If you are not a member, show your support and become a member today!

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