This year’s Monterey Design Conference (Oct. 9-11) promises to help us “Rethink, Renew, Reboot,” all important steps after a crash. Thirty years after George Bissell, then the president of the AIA’s California Chapter, organized a design session at the organization’s annual conference, the gathering has grown in size and importance. This year’s speakers include Thom Mayne, Kazuyo Sejima, Craig Hartman, Craig Hodgetts, Rick Joy, Gilles Saucier, Michel Rojkind, Nader Tehrani, and Francine Houben and hail from such exotic places as Los Angeles, Tokyo, San Francisco, Tucson, Montreal, Mexico City, Boston, and Delft, Holland.


I’ll be going for the first time, so I’m curious to see what happens when you put all these architects together in a place designed by Julia Morgan and blessed with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Will everyone be distracted by the sound and smell of saltwater splashing against the rocky shore? Has the economic meltdown of 2008-9 changed the way we think and talk about architecture? It will take more than a three-day conference to reboot our profession, but I’m hoping for at least a start.


To learn more about the conference or to register, go to: