AIA Cancels 2020 Conference

17. April 2020
Downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day during the coronavirus quarantine (Photo: "waltarrrrr"/Flickr)

The American Institute of Architects has announced that the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020 is canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A'20, as it's referred to by the AIA, was originally scheduled to take place May 14-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. On March 13 — the day the White House proclaimed a national emergency — the AIA indefinitely postponed the Conference, indicating it was "exploring options to reschedule."

The annual event was canceled yesterday. The splash page for the Conference says simply: "Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, AIA has made the difficult decision to cancel the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020 in Los Angeles. A’20 will not be rescheduled."

Photo: Screenshot of conferenceonarchitecture.com

Yesterday's announcement is hardly surprising. Other architecture- and design-related events — most notably the Salone del Mobile — have been canceled after initially being postponed. While the arc of coronavirus cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 has slowed due to stay-at-home measures in California and many other places in the world, the practicalities of "reopening" cities and countries still needs to be figured out, with the timing of widespread air travel still a big question mark.

The AIA is exploring "hosting a virtual event later this year," but American architects who were looking forward to seeing friends, colleagues, and speakers in person will have to wait until June 17-19, when A'21 will take place in Philadelphia.

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