ACX Conference Seeks Design Challenges from Vermont's Cities, Towns, and Non-profits

The American Institute of Architects, Vermont Chapter (AIAVT) is partnering with the Constructions Specifications Institute, Vermont Chapter (CSI VT) to offer a new format for their annual ACX conference this year, which will take place on May 21st at the Hilton on Battery St. in Burlington. As part of this year's event, ACX VT invites proposals from Vermont nonprofits, municipalities, and community- based groups for pro-bono design and planning input.

The ACX conference is an annual design and construction expo, now in its sixth year. The conference theme for this year is Inclusive Design; this daylong conference will include a keynote speaker, break-out sessions and, new this year, an afternoon workshop that will give attendees the opportunity to work on real solutions to problems that are being faced by Vermont towns and organizations.  The event will bring together 125+ architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and business leaders from across the country.

Vermont's cities, towns, non-profits and community groups are encouraged to submit to the Request for Proposals. ACX VT invites proposals from Vermont nonprofits, municipalities, and community- based groups for pro-bono design and planning input. Proposals must be for a specific project (i.e. not for ongoing design services for the organization), and the project must address a stated need that exists in Vermont.

The RFP offers an opportunity for groups to propose projects focusing on design visioning. The proposals will be reviewed and ranked based on our mission and our capacity. We prioritize inclusive design projects that foreground equitable approaches to addressing race, gender, and socioeconomic status in the built environment. 1 or 2 representatives are required to be present at the ACX Event to discuss their project.

Do You Qualify for the Program?
If you are a Vermont based nonprofit group (or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a nonprofit organization), and you have a specific project for which you need design and planning input, then you qualify for this program. AIA and CSI VT members have worked with both large, established nonprofits and small, less formal community organizations, and we welcome proposals from groups at either end of the scale.

Services Provided to Selected Organizations
We will use our architecture skills and knowledge to work with community-based organizations to provide design input for constituencies who are underserved by the architecture and design professions, often in the form of design drawings, graphic booklets, and small scale models.

In working with numerous community-based organizations, we see our partner organizations consistently thinking big to overcome complex challenges. We also understand the significant budget limitations that most nonprofits face daily. Often a great idea benefits from professional services that can help to define the project and attract the funding and support needed to execute a built project. This event exists to fill that gap and ensure each group is prepared to realize their visions.

The day of the event, a group of design professionals will meet with the project representatives to discuss the project in an interdisciplinary design process called a charrette. The charrette will entail a 2-3 hour period of discussion, analysis, and development of conceptual ideas. Deliverables will vary as most appropriate for each project, but typically will include hand sketches, narratives, and conceptual drawings.

Applications and RFP instructions can be found here.