AIA Convenes in San Diego
by B.J. Novitski
The American Institute of Architects 2003 national convention was held in May in the Southern California city of San Diego. AIA members came to the seaside city for continuing education seminars, to conduct institute business, and to enjoy visits to nearby architectural attractions, such as the famous Salk Institute designed by Louis Kahn.
The last of several keynote presentations at the AIA Convention was made by Daniel Libeskind, architect of the much publicized competition-winning redesign for the World Trade Center. Although he offered few details about the design itself, he inspired the audience with a vision of architecture as a symbol of American optimism and as poetry that can reactivate a city.
Libeskind's presentation was followed by a panel discussion about how his proposal will survive the political and financial hurdles it faces. Critic Paul Goldberger noted: "We're blessed that we have an architect who is gifted as a spokesman. He will create political strength and credibility for the design."
Panelist Stanton Eckstut, FAIA emphasized the importance of the project not as a set of buildings but as the creation of public places within the city. Panelist Frances Halsband, FAIA credited the Libeskind proposal with a directness and simplicity that explained its strength in resonating with the public and the press. >>>
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