AIAF, AIA and ACSA Add Three New Members to the National Resilience Initiative

The American Institute of Architects Foundation (AIAF), along with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), announced three new members of the National Resilience Initiative, creating a nationwide network of six resilient design studios geared toward helping local communities become better prepared to bounce forward from the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

The new members of the National Resilience Initiative network are the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Building Research, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Hampton University in Virginia. All are already conducting research into coping with a variety of climate change/resiliency issues, from rising sea levels (Hampton University) to drought/earthquake preparedness (CalPoly) to disaster planning and response (University of Minnesota.)

“These new studios—along with the three existing NRI studios—represent six regional areas of focus for resilience planning within the 10 federal regions designated as at-risk for the effects of disaster by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” says AIAF Executive Director Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop. “These six members will form a strong resilient studio network backbone that can serve as a point of entry to decision-makers and stakeholders who need to access design solutions for pressing issues in resilience.”

Established in 2013 as a Clinton Global Initiative commitment, the NRI network will convene existing and emerging university-based design centers that are engaged in planning, facilitation and project implementation within their communities. The NRI’s goal is to act as a clearinghouse of resilience design ideas and planning approaches that can be shared with local communities. The first annual convening of all six NRI charter members will take place this summer at the American Institute of Architects’ headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The new members will complement and share best practices about disaster preparedness and resilience with the three existing NRI studios—Mississippi State (Gulf Coast/Southern Region), The University of Arkansas (Lower Mid-West Region), and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (East Coast Region). The foundation recently issued its first annual report on what the NRI studios have achieved, and a map of the network and the risks being addressed by each studio. View a map of all the Design Studios.

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