AIA Launches Sixth Annual Film Challenge

Design has the power to solve some of the biggest issues facing cities today. The sixth annual AIA Film Challenge, which launched on June 25, 2020, is a film contest that amplifies these stories — architects partnering with communities and civic leaders to design a healthy, sustainable, just world that improves lives. The challenge is open to anyone and the creator of the winning 60- to 90-second documentary could take home up to $7,000.

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Book Review: Managing Design

Through reflective case studies and commentary, architect and author Michael Alan LeFevre, FAIA shares insights and best practices gleaned over a half century of boundary-breaking work as designer and design manager. Called a “self-help book” for those who design, Managing Design (June 5, 2019; Wiley) offers insightful, diverse perspectives, notions of empathy, inclusion, teamwork, technology, and new value propositions.

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Historic Polegreen Church: Everything We’re Missing Right Now

Contributor: Margaret Hancock

Contemplative spaces. Houses of worship. Architectural wonders. Historic sites.

These are the reflective places that we as a society need most and yet cannot currently access.

Except for the Historic Polegreen Church.

Located in Hanover, Virginia just twelve miles outside of Richmond, Historic Polegreen delineates the site of a church lost in the Civil War and commemorates the complex history of religious freedom. The silhouette structure designed by Carlton Abbott, FAIA, sits amidst a secluded, rural setting and invites a quiet walk, a look to the skies, and a visual marvel of how successfully man can intersect with nature. 

Open sunrise to sunset daily.

Artists Rally to Support Essential Workers

A collective of artists and makers, known as the Richmond Arts and Cultural Workers Coalition came together to produce face masks for health care workers; bus drivers; and other essential workers. The coalition is supported by Studio Two Three and 1708 Gallery, in collaboration with VCUarts, with funding from the VCU da Vinci Center and others. Read more about their work at the VCU Arts blog.

The Coalition also created the COVID-19 Arts and Culture Relief Fund which provides financial assistance for artists in need. They’ve assembled a catalog of resources for artists as well.

Monticello: Live Virtual Tours

Contributor: Margaret Hancock

As we continue to practice social distancing and avoid large groups, we cultural minds must identify new outlets for engagement and education. Monticello recently launched a live virtual tour that meets these needs through an hour-long look into the lifestyle, influences, stories, and, of course, architecture of Thomas Jefferson and his “little mountain” home in Charlottesville.  

Tour-goers buy tickets online, connect via Zoom at the selected start time, and follow a Monticello tour guide live-time. The red ropes are removed, the crowds are gone, and the camera is both zooming into all of the unique architectural features and out across the vast mountaintop panorama for a visitor experience like no other. The best part is that the session is not previously recorded, but an interactive experience with opportunities for questions and requests. “Can I see that Italianate detail again?” Yes, you can.

$10 per connection

Schedule your live tour here