If you aren’t one of the 200 million Facebook users, now might be a good time to set up an account. 

Starting next Monday, the American Institute of Architects is using the popular social networking site to host a series of “virtual” conversations about issues related to architecture. The forums are being held in conjunction with the third annual National Architecture Week, scheduled for April 13 to 19.

AIA’s “Virtual National Architecture Week” page in Facebook

Each day on the AIA’s “Virtual National Architecture Week” page (pictured at left) on Facebook, the association will present a different discussion topic. The lineup is as follows: Monday, community revitalization; Tuesday, school construction; Wednesday, affordable housing; Thursday, sustainability; Friday, inclusiveness; Saturday, historic preservation; Sunday, the future of the profession.

To view the forums and to post a comment, you must be a registered Facebook user. Everyone, not just AIA members, is encouraged to participate in the conversations and to submit material to the site, including comments, photos, and videos.

In 2007, the AIA launched National Architecture Week to coincide with the association’s 150th anniversary. It’s a government-recognized occasion: On February 8, 2007, Congress passed a resolution stating that National Architecture Week should be held each year in honor of the AIA’s founding in April 1857.  It was held April 9 to 14 in 2007, and April 7 to 14 in 2008.

The goal of the awareness week is to foster public discourse about design and the built environment through lectures, tours, and other events held throughout the United States. Its inaugural year included the debut of the online exhibition, America’s Favorite Architecture, which showcased photographs of the 150 structures in the U.S. that were selected in a public poll conducted by the AIA.

To participate in this year’s forums, go to Facebook.com. If you are not a registered user, set up an account. Registered users should type “Virtual National Architecture Week” into the search box to pull up the page.

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