American Institute of Architects and Architecture Month


Since 1926, AIA Honolulu has served its membership and the community by promoting design excellence in Hawaii’s built environment. Its continuing education programs promote leadership and professionalism among its membership of 850 architects and allied building professionals, educate the public about architecture and the value of quality design. Architecture month is held during April and is a time to celebrate design in Hawaii and its role in shaping and inspiring our communities. Architecture month has always been about showcasing the various ways that design impacts our community. Among the many things this pandemic has highlighted, is just how significant of a role design plays in our everyday lives. Architects have a leadership role in everything from keeping your office space healthy and ensuring your home can accommodate telework, to addressing homelessness, sea level rise and climate change. We view this time as an opportunity to spark the public’s interest and getting our youth excited about why design matters.

Jim Nicolow the AIA Honolulu Board Vice President gave us an idea of what attendees can expect. “One of the most popular free events is our Virtual film night on Thursday April 15, featuring The Human Shelter. Join this fascinating virtual watch party screening the award-winning documentary filmmaker Boris Bertram’s latest project, The Human Shelter: An Expedition Into What Makes A Home. Told in seven chapters, the film weaves its way in and out of different dwellings around the world, opening with Sámi reindeer herders in Norway and ending at a remote cabin in Iceland. In between, we visit New York, a refugee camp in Iraq, a NASA habitat in Hawaii, a tree house in Uganda, tiny living quarters in Tokyo and a lagoon shanty town in Nigeria.

An online discussion of the film will follow the showing. On April 23, you can join the UHM School of Architecture for a presentation of student design portfolio award winners selected by a talented design jury including members of the AIA Honolulu Chapter. We have the virtual photography workshop on April 10. Architectural photographer David Franzen and architect Ted Garduque, FAIA will present a lecture on composition, strategies and techniques for capturing images in black and white, followed by a three-hour self-guided photo shoot in an urban/industrial area between Nimitz Highway and Honolulu Harbor pier frontage. A three-hour critique session will follow with the opportunity for each participant to share two to four images to be critiqued, and Ted will also share editing tips with Lightroom software.

There is also the popular self-guided architectural walking tour of historic downtown neighborhoods, which is available throughout the month. It costs $10. A COVID-friendly alternative to our popular guided walking tours, this year the AIA Honolulu Chapter will release a hyper-linked, self-guided walking tour highlighting more than 20 significant historic buildings in downtown Honolulu, with links to learn more about the significance of each. Participants will be encouraged to post selfies in front of featured buildings to social media with #AIAHonoluluWT21 for a chance to win prizes.” Just go to and click the Register Now button at the top of the page. That will direct you to a full listing of events and information to help you register.

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