The AIA Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community developed this year’s pop-up design competition to address the importance of architecture in establishing a sense of place. The design competition challenged the design community to activate a small footprint and create a space for people to enjoy, play and converse. Submitters were asked to create a temporary space within a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ area, using environmentally responsible materials.

The selected project, “A Sense of Place. . . Is Context”, designed by Michael Wacht, AIA, allows users to sit inside the installation and view the surrounding environment through an oversized “prop” arrows in single frame views to determine whether destinations are inviting or discouraging to a potential user.

“Frequently, we [architects] create diagrams with abundant arrows to indicate how a design fits into the existing and proposed circulation network,” said Wacht. “The installation asks architects to embody the arrows we use in diagrams and drawings when we design. Those arrows aren’t just contextual cues and visual linkages, they are actual people standing in those positions, being inspired or discouraged by the environments we build.”

Wacht is the President of IntuArch, a Los Angeles based architecture firm which focuses on developing innovative geometries in response to research in programmatic, environmental, circulatory, and contextual analysis.

You can view a diagram of the exhibit here.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit http://www.aia.org.