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Video: How does the AIA Framework for Design Excellence impact our work?

In this short video, Global Design Principal Dennis McFadden, FAIA, and Chief Sustainability Officer Mitchell-Kozack, AIA, LEED BD+C, WELL AP, discuss the role of AIA’s framework in our constantly evolving design practice

Recorded over Zoom, June 2021. Transcript below:

Dennis McFadden, FAIA: One of the things we’ve come to is that we’re never going to be designing buildings that are the same buildings – that look the same. We’re not trying to find a common design language so that our buildings look alike. What we’re trying to do is to find a common language to communicate, and that starts with asking, maybe, the same questions. I think that we don’t need the same answers, but if we’re all asking the same questions, we’re all looking for the same thing. And that’s the basis of our agenda.

I think that’s where the AIA Framework for Design Excellence comes into play, because it offers us an objective, third-party set of questions to ask ourselves about the work we’re doing that leads to multiple answers. But it’s the questions themselves that are important.

Ellen Mitchell-Kozack, AIA, LEED BD+C, WELL AP: To me, it’s one of those things that if we can figure out how to incorporate that into our design process… I like how you say, “This isn’t a design process. Bring your own design process!” But using it as an overlay to make sure we’re looking holositically at design opportunities, I think is hugely imprtant.

And it’s one of those things that, if we can figure out how to get that right, and scalable, based on all the different constraints on project scope or client aptitude – if we can figure out how to get that right and depoy it consistently, then I think some of the other objectives around goal-setting, around energy performance, around all of those things starts to fall in place because they get covered as a consequence of thinking through that framework.