AIA conference cancelled until 2021 due to coronavirus

AIA conference cancelled until 2021 due to coronavirus

The American Institute of Architects has cancelled its annual conference, which was set to take place in a month, as the US continues to battle the spread of coronavirus.

The AIA had previously planned to postpone the conference scheduled for 14 to 16 May until a later date this year. It revealed today that it will instead take place next year.

Decision amid "uncertainties" of the coming months

"After carefully monitoring Covid-19 developments, we have determined that we will not be able to reschedule conference given the number of uncertainties we face as a nation in the coming months," said AIA president Jane Frederick.

"We believe this decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of our members, colleagues, exhibitors and speakers and out of consideration for all attendees."

The AIA is offering refunds to those that have purchased tickets to the 2020 Conference of Architecture, which was set to take place in Los Angeles with designer Virgil Abloh as the keynote speaker. It has not yet released dates for next year's event.

AIA to focus efforts on issues caused by pandemic

Now that the event is cancelled, the institution said it would instead be focusing on other ways to address issues caused by the pandemic.

The AIA has previously urged Congress to provide financial support small architecture firms and their employees. It applauded the $2 trillion (£1.61 trillion) emergency rescue package that president Donald Trump signed shortly afterwards for the way that it could help architects and their firms.

The institution also established a task force to consult on how to adapt buildings into healthcare facilities. As part of this project, it launched a tool for assessing alternative care sites for treating Covid-19 patients.

"At this time, we are focusing all of our efforts on assisting our members through these economic uncertainties and supporting their important work in contributing to the Covid-19 response," Frederick added.

Major architecture and design events cancelled or postponed

A majority of architecture and design events that were planned for spring and summer have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. They include Salone del Mobile in Milan, which has been cancelled until 2021, and the Venice Architecture Biennale, which has been postponed.

Keep up with developments by following Dezeen's coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. For news of impacted events, check Dezeen Events Guide's dedicated coronavirus page.

Photograph of 2018 conference in New York's  Radio City Music Hall, courtesy of AIA.