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Los Angeles Convention Center

AIA postpones 2020 architecture conference due to coronavirus

The American Institute of Architects' annual conference, which was set to feature Virgil Abloh as keynote speaker, has been postponed this year following US outbreaks of coronavirus.

The 2020 Conference of Architecture was set to take place in Los Angeles from 14 to 16 May but is now postponed until further notice.

AIA president Jane Frederick said the decision followed close monitoring of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreaks in the US and advice from officials on how to contain the spread.

"AIA has been closely monitoring directives from city, county, and state officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization throughout this crisis," said Frederick.

AIA postpones conference to "minimise risk"

"The health and safety of our members, colleagues, exhibitors and speakers is paramount and we feel compelled to postpone the annual conference to minimise the risk to our valued participants and partners," she added.

"By making this decision in advance, we also hope to minimise any stress or inconvenience for our participants and partners."

The 2020 Conference of Architecture was due to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Just last month, the AIA announced that designer Virgil Abloh would be the keynote speaker.

The organisation is now exploring ways to reschedule the event and will provide refunds to current registrants.

The event's postponement comes as the US continues to tighten measures in a bid to contain coronavirus outbreaks.

US schools, galleries and eateries are closed

US schools including Harvard UniversityStanford University, Columbia University and Yale University are suspending in-person lessons and switching to digital learning materials and lectures. Harvard gave all students just five days to move out of their dorms and instructed them not to return after Spring Break.

The institutions join a number of other schools, universities, events and brands that have moved to online practices because of the virus.

Museums and galleries, such as New York's MoMA, The Met and Solomon R Guggenheim, and California's SFMoMA meanwhile are shut entirely until further notice.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have also banned all gatherings of more than 50 people, while New York City will is restricting restaurants to delivery and takeout services from tomorrow.

The states of California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington have also closed bars and restaurants.

Architecture and design events are postponed or cancelled

The coronavirus outbreak has caused dozens of architecture and design events scheduled for 2020 to be postponed or cancelled. Berlin Design Week 2020 announced it was cancelled today.

Italy has quarantined the entire country following a major outbreak in the north leading to the postponement of the industry's two key events, Milan's Salone del Mobile and the Venice Architecture Biennale. The Salone del Mobile furniture fair will decide next month whether it will still take place in June.

DesignMarch in Iceland and 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen have also been postponed, while NYCxDesign "continues as planned". Visit Dezeen Events Guide's list of affected events for more information.

Photograph is by BotMultichillT, courtesy of Wikipedia.