Washington, D.C. – The
American Institute of Architects
announced it was sponsoring a Haiti reconstruction conference in early
January that will bring together a host of organizations to identify
and coordinate opportunities in Haiti for design assistance teams,
building assessments, resources and other programs.
The AIA Summit on Haiti will be held on January 13 – one day
after the first anniversary of the Haitian earthquake of 2010
– at the Loew’s Hotel in New Orleans. Organizations
participating in the AIA’s Haiti conference include The
American Red Cross, National Urban League – Greater New Orleans, Adecco
Group North America, United States Green Building Council, Architecture
for Humanity, National Organization of Minority Architects, Public
Architecture and Black Design Network News. More organizations are
expected to attend.
The meeting comes as the AIA works to implement a resolution passed
unanimously in September by its Board of Directors that expresses
support for the Haitian architectural community and commits to
developing a process under which AIA volunteers will be able to provide
assistance to those affected by the earthquake. That resolution
followed a joint AIA/USGBC announcement in July naming Stacey McMahan,
AIA, LEED AP, as the Architecture for Humanity (AFH) Sustainable Design
Fellow to lead AFH’s
sustainable rebuilding efforts in Haiti. McMahan has been working
directly with community members in Architecture for
Humanity’s Rebuilding Center based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Ms. McMahan will also be attending the conference.
The Haiti conference is the latest AIA effort this year to assist Haiti
with expertise and contributions. Immediately after the earthquake, the
AIA offered assistance to its members on where to send financial
donations and resources. In April, the Puerto Rico Chapter of the AIA
hosted a conference that united Haitian design experts with other Pan
Caribbean professionals to examine the current status of Haitian
infrastructure, identify strategic areas of support and plan for local,
regional and national development. A website was also
“The challenges of Haiti reconstruction are mammoth and
daunting, and were of necessity delayed while the need to provide first
aid and temporary housing took precedence,” said AIA
President George H. Miller, FAIA, who visited Haiti in August.
“One of the goals of this conference is to establish a
framework for how the architectural profession can provide volunteers
for the Haiti reconstruction effort, either through training Haitian
architects in the United States or by helping establish best practices
for architectural design on the ground in Haiti.