Words: Bronzella Cleveland

The Architectural Institute for Architecture Students (AIAS) comes together every year in one city during winter break to network, attend informative sessions with other leaders, discuss relevant issues and topics that are related to architecture, interact with the organization's sponsors, conduct official business for the organization, and much more. Additionally, the new Board of Directors is elected from an established pool of candidates, each candidate had the opportunity to deliver his or her respective speech, engage in debates and network with others in the organization.   

AIAS’s mission is based on advancing leadership, design, and service among architecture students. This year four PNW public universities hosted AIAS FORUM; the University of Washington, Washington State University, Montana State University, and the University of Calgary.  

The conference ran from December 29th, 2018- January 1st, 2019 in Seattle, WA., and was held at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Dan and I attended FORUM PNW for the first time last December and it was an amazing time. We were fortunate to meet members and leaders of the organization, interact with other sponsors while showcasing MASONRY DESIGN. There was a ton of things to do, see, and learn while attending this conference, so here's a brief recap of the AIAS FORUM PNW 2018.  

The Sessions  

AIAS FORUM PNW offered over 40 educational, general, and architectural tour sessions called Tracks. These tracks were categorized into four tracks: History & Environment, Technology, Equity, and World of Design. AIAS members had the option to of attending a variety of these sessions daily on a first come first serve basis. A different keynote speaker with his or her own engaging topic relevant to architecture hosted every general session.  

During each general session, every chapter was given 90 seconds to do their own creative roll call, which were broken down by region. In every track session, the students had the opportunity to interact with one another as well as network with the speakers at the end. Free professional headshots were provided to the students as well as helpful tips for students at every level.   

While AIAS FORUM PNW offered a wide range of entertaining sessions, tours, and activities for its members to partake in, it is also where the Council of Presidents come together and govern AIAS. Additionally, the 2019-2020 AIAS National Board elections were conducted at the conference. Each candidate was given the opportunity to campaign, network with members of the organization, and debate with fellow candidates.  

Networking, Firm Tours, College Career Expo 

The attendees of the AIAS FORUM had the opportunity to network not only with other respective members of the organization but, with representatives of different design schools and colleges and architecture firms. The College and Career Expo was open Sunday, December 30th, 2018 from 11 A.M.-2 P.M., providing the students with a wide variety of architectural firms from around Washington and potential graduate school programs ready to answer questions when asked. The National Council of Architecture Registration Board (NCARB) was also there to explain the licensure process and answer any questions students may have had to help further their careers in architecture.  

Firm tours are a regular activity at FORUM. Students venture out and visit architecture firms in the surrounding Seattle area. Boutique firms such as Gensler, MG2, and B9 Architects were among the tour options the students could visit.   

FORUM After Dark  

Honor Awards Reception at the Mad Art Gallery, a creative fashion show and movie night, a futuristic ball, and a silent rave could all be found during FORUM PNW’s After Dark. Following the days filled with informative sessions, meet and greets, and networking, the students had the opportunity to wind down and do something fun in the nightly After Dark session.  

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 the Honor Awards reception was at the Mad Art Gallery. This gallery is a local artist’s workspace transformed into the reception area to celebrate design, service and the high quality of leadership displayed by AIAS members throughout the past year.  

On Sunday, December 30th, 2018 the students had the opportunity to design and create original works of fashion and model them on the catwalk, followed by a movie. This was hosted in the AIAS’s Student Lounge, which was open to the students 24 hours throughout the entire conference. 


The Beaux Arts Ball was held on Monday, December 31st, 2018, at the University of Washington’s Gould Hall. This year’s theme for the ball was World’s Fair — Emerald City, so the attendees of the ball wore their best futuristic-inspired silver and/or green attire.  

On Tuesday, January 1st, 2019, After Dark presented their Silent Disco powered by Silent Events. The students were each given his or her own respective wireless headphones to dance their way into the New Year. This event was also held in the Student Lounge.  

There was something for everyone to enjoy during the 2018 AIAS FORUM PNW. Dan and I were so happy we were able to experience all of the creativity and fun firsthand. We’d like to thank everyone at AIAS for having us and extending such a warm welcome.  

Words: Bronzella Cleveland 
Photos: AIAS  
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