August 23, 2018

Each year, regional conferences take place annually in the spring in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West Quads. These gatherings, known as Quad Conferences, are hosted by local chapters who have been selected to organize the event by their Quad at Grassroots! Themes vary based on the city, local culture, and architectural topic of choice.

Quad Conferences are a terrific way to meet other students in your region, learn about architecture outside of the classrooms and engage with professionals. This past year at AIAS Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, the following schools won the bid to host their Quad’s conference.  Each one of these conferences has its own unique identity and schedule. Take a look at the conference descriptions of each quad below:

West Quad Conference

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Host School: Montana State University

Dates: April 4-7, 2019

Home to Montana’s land-grant university, Bozeman is a town with character and nature. Visit Bozeman to experience the rich environment and explore the many social, political, and architectural phenomena through the lens of TEXTURE.  Here students are bonded by a similar lifestyle threaded together by our wilderness, our mountains, our nature. As a growing community there have been successes and failures of development, but even still we call this home. Seeking to make West Quad a tangible event the planning team will organize activities and seminars to reflect three scales environment, community, and individual. Prepare to get outside, tour the projects defining our future, and get involved with the human act of making.

Midwest Quad Conference

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Host School: University of Kentucky

Dates: April 11th – April 14th, 2019

Lexington, Kentucky is home to a unique variety of events: Thursday Night Live, Keeneland Horse Races, March Madness, and in April of 2019, the AIAS Midwest Quad Conference! With the planning team’s proposed theme of Our Carbon Footprint, they plan to explore how architects can create a sustainable future through interdisciplinary networking. The conference will be held primarily at the recently completed University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center.  The weekend will be kicked off with dinner, drinks, and live music in Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington at Thursday Night Live.

The track sessions; Social, Political, and Environmental, will be hosted in collaboration with multiple departments of multiple disciplines at the University of Kentucky. Social Sustainability will discuss the architectural perspective on the processes and systems of their communities, it will be hosted in collaboration with the Interior Design department. Political Sustainability will discuss the architect’s influence on current cultural and economic structure, it will be hosted in collaboration with the College of Engineering, the Office of Sustainability, and the Physical Plant Division. Environmental Sustainability will discuss the architectural impact on the environment and our carbon footprint, it will be hosted in collaboration with the Department of Historic Preservation, School of Materials and Chemical Engineering, and the Office of Sustainability. We are very excited to lead a discussion on the abilities and advantages of architectural perspective.

Northeast Quad Conference

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Host School: Wentworth Institute of Technology

Dates: March 7th – March 10th, 2019

Boston Quad 2019 will focus on the cyclical process of design on an urban scale. With its deep historical roots, Boston is a perfect example of how design evolves with the social fabric of the communities. You will have the opportunity to explore four tracks based in four prime neighborhoods in the city that display how communities and architecture react to the changes in history, culture, and design. Each track will have a focused theme which will show what makes it unique to the makeup of Boston and how it is impacted by the reflexes of the city. At the end of the conference, the planning team will invite attendees to enjoy their last day exploring Boston and share what they’ve learned in their track with others. The planning team hopes to inspire students to think and challenge themselves to influence their environment and take their reflex and regenerate the field of design and community.

South Quad Conference

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Host School: University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dates: February 28th – March 3rd, 2019

Knoxville is the home of Makers. The planning team wants to show their quad what that looks like. Historically, a large range of industries operated in and around their city and although Knoxville has shifted away from industrial manufacturing, it has preserved this history by turning to adaptive reuse and by championing sustainability. Today, the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee embraces this history of manufacturing. At the CoAD, they call themselves Makers because they see how important design is to the world around them and they recognize that design extends beyond buildings themselves and into the fabric of their everyday lives.

They are a small community within a charming city that has much to offer. Their bustling downtown has myriad options for shopping, dining, and entertainment – including a thriving arts district. In addition, their Greenway and nearby Ijams Nature Center provide incredible opportunities for those who enjoy spending time outdoors.

In the regional context, Knoxville is the Heart of Appalachian culture and is known as the “Gateway to the Smokies.” As people, Knoxvillian’s are known for their Volunteer Spirit, commitment to the arts, and overall southern hospitality. During the conference, attendees will be exposed to the spirit of the Knoxville arts and manufacturing district and will have hands-on experience through a number of Maker-led workshops. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville chapter is honored to have this extraordinary opportunity to serve their quad by sharing.