The AIAS signature conference, FORUM, is the largest annual gathering of architecture students in the world. The 2015 AIAS FORUM was held in San Francisco from December 29, 2015 to January 2, 2016. Under the theme “Bandwidth” the conference explored the influence of entrepreneurship, public interest design, and the tech industries on the practice and education of architecture, and in turn the impact on the built environment.
Crystal E. Chan | 5th Year BArch | Minor in Urban Design
“AIAS Forum was an amazing experience because I got to experience the beautiful city of San Francisco and most importantly be inspired by the AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students). The lectures were very intriguing because they debated topics that have been discussed for years by architecture students and the industry.
As a student, I was able to learn about the real world of architecture giving me an insight into the next part of my life. I have to admit it made me very excited to graduate, and I can’t wait to get out into the real world and conquer my dreams. The AIAS FORUM showed me the flexibility of being a designer. We don’t have to stay in one firm or one job all our lives; the possibilities are endless. That’s what makes studying architecture special: since we are equipped with so many tools in school, we have a lot of choices once we graduate.
Being able to meet other students from across the nation and listening to inspiring lectures at the AIAS FORUM was great. It gave me additional confidence and motivation to be an architect. Seeing fellow students who were so driven was inspiring.
AIAS FORUM has changed the direction of my life. I now see my goals are not impossible. Thank you to Woodbury University for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2015 AIAS FORUM and most importantly equipping me with design tools required in the industry.”
Dana Seaman | Woodbury School of Architecture, 2018
Resident Advisor and AIAS Chapter Secretary ’15 – ’16
“The 2015 AIAS FORUM in San Francisco provided me with three invaluable insights.
The first is direction. Sitting through workshops gave me insight to what I can involve myself in after graduating architecture school. There are specific avenues I would like to embark upon after my time at Woodbury University, and I have the drive for them now after learning about opportunities in different workshops. FORUM is the reason I have a greater and more sturdy vision.
The second is connectedness. I was able to sit in a room with like-minded students from all over the nation. My aim has always been to effect as many cities as possible starting with different regions of the U.S. It was amazing because I left with relationships with students from New York City, Texas, Detroit, and Vegas to only name a few.
The third is confidence. I spoke with the past AIAS National President simply about how our stories for pursuing architecture were so similar. I spoke with women who learned that the best thing they could do for architecture was to leave the field, pursue something else and come back later. I sat and listened to lectures about a new design strategy that seems to suit me much better than the boundaries found in studio. I heard about opportunities that I will be applying for later this year. I used to not believe in my own story, my past or my future pursuits. Speaking to others with whom I share similar experiences showed me how my goal is more than just a possibility because it’s been done before. I also found confidence to bring new ideas back to the Woodbury campus to grow our AIAS chapter.”
In addition to students attending the 2015 AIAS FORUM, the Woodbury School of Architecture career office was present with a table at the College + Career Expo that was part of the FORUM. Career and Outreach Coordinator and Architect Licensing Advisor, Catherine Roussel, AIA, met with students from all over the nation and answered questions regarding architectural practice and how Woodbury School of Architecture supports architecture students as they transition into their career.