2021 Design Matters Conference

Throughout the tumult of the past year, many architecture organizations distinguished themselves as critical resources for binding their local communities and advancing efforts to make the field of architecture more equitable. At this year's virtual meeting, we celebrate this progress by investigating the work of designers and organizations who are launching new initiatives, conceiving new partnerships, and, in the process, advocating for new thinking.

At the same time, the newly expanded outlook of architecture organizations and the still unfolding processes of re-opening cities and identifying top priorities to support civic life has conjured more questions than answers. The networking and small group table topic formats allow you easy opportunities to connect with colleagues from peer organizations, whether your aim is to collect new program ideas and practical know-how, meet potential new collaborators, or just establish more general connections with people who do similar work as you. 


Who Should Attend

The Design Matters conference is perfect for architecture organization staff (at all levels), as well as design professionals, educators, and independent curators and consultants interested in public dialogue/public engagement and related issues concerning the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society.


At-A-Glance Schedule: Mark Your Calendar

To help you reserve time in your personal calendar, we are sharing the basic conference schedule below. 


Day 1, Thursday, December 2 (all times listed EST)

12:00pm-12:30pm: Welcome and Introduction
12:30pm-1:45pm: Plenary Session
1:45pm-2:15pm: BREAK
2:15pm-3:30pm: Breakout Sessions
3:30pm-4:45pm: Open Networking / Optional Table Topics (Targeted Small Group Discussions)


Day 2, Friday, December 3 (all times listed EST)

10:15am-11:30am: Plenary Session
11:30am-12:00pm: Break
12:00pm-1:00pm: Affinity Meetings / Table Topics / Open Networking
1:00pm-2:15pm: Breakout Sessions
2:15pm-3:00pm: AAO Annual Meeting
3:00pm-3:15pm: Wrap-Up

For more details, see the full Schedule and Speakers pages.


Registration Rates

The conference is designed to benefit staff at all levels. Take advantage of the group discount and attend with your colleagues!

AAO Member Single Ticket             $75
Non-Member Single Ticket              $90
AAO Member 2-Ticket Package    $130
Non-Member 2-Ticket Package     $170
AAO Member 5-Ticket Package    $310
Non-Member 5-Ticket Package     $390