As the novel coronavirus makes waves across the world, its impact in the U.S. is only just beginning. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced Friday evening that its annual Conference on Architecture (A’20), which was scheduled for May 14–16 in Los Angeles, has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to its website, the organization is currently “working with its partners and vendors to try to reschedule A’20 or offer an alternative.”
AIA released a statement about its decision to move the conference. “Your health and safety are paramount, and AIA feels compelled to postpone the annual conference to minimize the risk to all concerned. By making this decision in advance, we also hope to minimize any stress or inconvenience.” Bjarke Ingels and Virgil Abloh were scheduled as keynote speakers for A’20.
A frequently-asked questions section on the AIA website assures attendees that all registrations will be automatically cancelled and refunded to the card on file within 30 days. All workshops, tours, events, and donations will also be refunded. Likewise, exhibitors can receive a refund but also have the option to credit their registration forward to the rescheduled A’20 event, or to next year’s A’21 in Philadelphia.
The announcement is the latest in a string of event cancellations and postponements affecting the profession. Beginning in February, as the outbreak seized Europe, major trade shows including the Venice Architecture Biennale, Milan’s Salone del Mobile, and Light + Building in Frankfurt—among many others—have been rescheduled.
Since then, many cultural institutions in the U.S. have also temporarily shuttered their doors. In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Philharmonic have all suspended operations. In Los Angeles, the Broad, the Getty Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Griffith Observatory, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have temporarily closed.
It was announced in April that A'20 is canceled and will not be rescheduled.