2023 Design Matters Conference

We are delighted to be returning to in-person programming this spring. Please join us for the 2023 Design Matters Conference this March 16-18 at the Center for Architecture. This annual meeting is produced to support professional networking and idea sharing among architecture organization staff and individuals interested in expanding public engagement and dialogue on issues concerning the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society.

The 2023 Design Matters Conference sessions will focus on ways we can drive collective impact in our field. Over the past few years, many of us have had to re-learn the simple fact that in-person meetings should be reserved for activities where place and sustained dialogue and interpersonal dynamics are privileged, while virtual offerings generally perform more as a platform for distributing content that is succinct and mainly presentational in nature. So, we have crafted this year’s meeting to take full advantage of the unique resources and thought leadership available to us in New York City.

We will explore strategies for collective impact from multiple perspectives. First, in conversation with noted grantmakers, then with organization leaders re-engaging city life with new programming at different scales, and, finally, by hearing from the vanguard of architecture media who are tasked with sharing stories of architecture’s larger relevance. 

In other words, this year’s conference will explore:

  1. Why we fund the work of architecture and design organizations and the many independent designers and talented individuals and civic and community entities that engage with architecture organizations.
  2. What we choose to do with our limited resources to conceive and deliver programming that can achieve our desired outcomes, near-term and long-term.
  3. How we both interrogate and celebrate our work in an ever-changing media landscape.

As with all Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) events, we are mindful to be efficient with our schedule and frugal in the expenses being asked of our attendees. The 2023 conference is structured with optional activities beginning the afternoon of Thursday, March 16, plus a post-conference dialogue the morning of Saturday, March 18. The conference schedule also includes regular allowances for networking and affinity groups to join up in smaller settings. And with several architecture organizations dotting New York, plus so many exhibits and tours and events taking place this March, we want you to take full advantage of the new experiences and new connections we can deliver for you in this unique gathering with your peers.

We look forward to seeing you in New York this March 16-18!

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.

Registration Rates

$175 AAO Member Conference Pass   

$215 Non-Member Conference Pass

 Small Group Dine Around Single Ticket 

Saturday Architecture Tours (schedule and rates to be announced in late February


Register now!


Conference Sponsors