AIA National Conference, Atlanta

When I wrote the Sergeant Jasper blog, I was in the car on my way to Atlanta for the AIA National Convention.  That was Wednesday evening around midnight.  And now Saturday afternoon I am writing this guessed it..........from my car on the way back from the convention.

And I have to admit....I am exhausted!

I began the convention early Thursday morning running on fumes thanks to the previous night's late drive and midnight blog writing session.  And from that point on my convention agenda was jammed full of seminars, lectures, workshops and.............a little bit of fun.

So due to my lack of energy, and to preserve my sanity, I am going to keep this post brief. This was my first national convention and it exceeded all of my expectations.  There was one consistent theme throughout:

The AIA National Convention is not about architecture, it is about people.

I met some incredible people and made some amazing connections.  At the convention you will find yourself surrounded by thousands of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the importance of architecture and the elevation of our profession.  It is powerful stuff.

So I just wanted to say thanks to all the great people I met in Atlanta.  I am thrilled about the new connections and am reminded of why I wanted to be an architect.

Thanks to the #ArchiTalks crew.  I have had many great exchanges with these folks on social media so it was great to meet them in person.  Thanks to Mark LePage, Cormac Phalen, Neal Pann, Evan Troxel, Jess Stafford, Bob Borson, Marica McKeel and Andrew Hawkins.

Daddy D'z BBQ Joint.  Where I met some of the bloggers and podcasters.  This place was legit.  As if that wasn't already obvious.

I went to an urban sketching session led by some amazing architects: Frank Harmon, Tom Kundig, Marlon Blackwell and Ellen Cassilly. lucky am I?

That is Marlon Blackwell on the right.  Giving his group a critique of their sketchbooks.

The best speaker I saw was not President Bill Clinton.  It was not Gold Medal winner Moshe Safdie, FAIA.  They were both great.   The real highlight of my trip was 2 presentations by architect James Waldbridge, AIA of Tekton Architecture.  Mr. Waldbridge captivated the audience and delivered amazing lessons on how to give "Rockstar Presentations" and tips on how to be a great leader.  Mr. Waldbrige brought it!

And how can I forget this guy?

Charlie's claim to fame was a scene in which he was shot in the head by an arrow and then gutted.  I know....awesome.

That is Charlie Leach.  Charlie was our tour guide for the 'Big Zombie Tour.'  On this tour we visited a ton of sights where television shows and movies were filmed with the primary focus on the show 'The Walking Dead.'  It turns out Charlie played a 'feature zombie' on the 'The Walking Dead.'  He was full of all sorts of behind the scenes movie knowledge and was hilarious.  Definitely one of the highlights.

There were many many more, but remember...I said I was going to be brief!  So thanks again to all of the wonderful people I met in Atlanta.  You rock!

Did you go to the convention?  What was your highlight?

Steve Ramos, AIA

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