AIAS-MN Freedom by Design Honored For Impacting Lives With Design

377453_421041474623001_1611514341_n.jpgThe University of Minnesota American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Freedom by Design program received the very first 2013 AIAS National Freedom by Design Honor Award. AIAS is a student led community service program at the U whose aim is to positively impact the lives of people in their community through modest design and construction solutions.

The Freedom by download (2).jpgDesign Honor Award recognizes chapters that make efforts to achieve the mission of AIAS to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; show an exemplary level of engagement from students with the client, architect, contractor and community; and have a clear understanding of the practical impact of architecture and design.

The Freedom by Design Honor Award is the highest award bestowed upon an AIAS Chapter's Freedom by Design Program for radically impacting the lives of people with accessible design. This was the first year an award was given to recognize Freedom by Design chapters. Nearly a dozen Freedom by Design chapters nationwide were nominated for the award.

 429508_439617912765357_964093047_n.jpgBrent Castro, AIAS Honor Awards Chair, reported that the U chapter was selected because:

  • "[We] enjoyed the overall organization and graphic quality of your submission along with its content. They were also impressed with your success in elevating the core mission of Freedom by Design - to give freedom to those who do not have it. They were also impressed with your ability to forge new relationships with other organizations to expand the power of design. (Mainly the Courage Center, now called the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute) This experience is imperative while studying in the academy. Through design you have the power to change your communities, and the jury felt that this program was strong. It will continue to grow for years to come."

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In the past year the chapter was involved with two client projects, an art auction fundraiser (pictured above), and multiple design charrettes. To learn more about these activities visit their Facebook page. The announcement of the recipients of the 2012-2013 AIAS National Honor Awards took place at the annual AIAS Grassroots Conference in Washington, DC during the Council of Presidents Meeting on July 28th, 2013. The award will be bestowed upon the AIAS MN Freedom by Design Board at the 2013 AIAS FORUM in Chicago later this year.

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