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AIA 2x8: The Journey

16-Nov-2017 -  By: Derek Wong, Associate AIA
This year marks the return of the AIA 2x8 exhibition. I am honored to have been a part of the committee to design and re-launch such an influential and vital platform showcasing the next generation of designers and architects. If you are unfamiliar with the AIA 2x8 program, it is both an exhibition and a competition. Twelve design schools from all over California were invited to present two projects that represented the core values of their school. Seven winders were chosen to receive scholarships of varying values totaling $10,000.

This year our exhibition runs for three weeks
and will be deconstructed on November 27.

The exhibit is graciously being hosted by The Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles. This location has been a blessing, allowing the exhibit to be open to the public at any hour and having our reach expand beyond the architectural community. All the planning culminated into an opening night for the exhibit where the winners were announced and the scholarships were awarded. It was a rambunctious and celebratory night attended by hundreds of our colleagues, friends, family and most importantly, the students of the projects exhibited.

Let me rewind a couple of months, to the beginning of this journey. It started for me when my colleague here at STIR Architecture, Francisco Arias, invited me to attend the kick-off meeting with him. After learning what 2x8 represented, I was committed to providing an exhibit that put the student’s work front and center and locating a venue to garner the most exposure for them, because it’s important for me to provide students opportunities I may not have been afforded when I was in school.

The journey has been filled with ups and downs, laughs and frustrations, but in the end the experience was both educational and inspiring. Through this process, I’ve had the privilege of working with other great designers and architects from various design firms located throughout Los Angeles. I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with the representatives of The Bloc, with contractors, and the faculty and students of the schools. All of this would not have been possible without the collaboration between all of these entities. I want to thank them for the donation of their time and resources. I want to also issue a special thank you to my fellow committee members. Each and every one of them put in a countless amount of time and effort to reinvigorate this exhibit and it wouldn’t have been a success without them.

This journey has been such an enriching and rewarding experience, and if you have not seen it yet, I encourage you to make your way down to The Bloc. It will be up for another couple of weeks and my hopes are you will be as enlightened and inspired as I was after seeing their work for the first time.


Derek Wong, Associate AIA
STIR Architecture
  
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