On the weekend of November 3rd – 5th of this year, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) hosted a three-day architecture and design conference featuring DPZ’s Lizz Plater-Zyberk as the Saturday evening keynote. The conference included a diverse selection of panel discussions, talks, and tours focusing on three themes at the heart of classical design: craftsmanship, preservation, and sustainability.

Charles Barrett design for the Johnson & Wales gate, a collaboration with architect Randall Imai, in Providence, RI

Lizz gave the keynote lecture at the conference weaving together the missions and achievements of the ICAA and the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). Lizz has long observed the relationship of these two organizations, and the collaborations across their memberships that have over several decades produced many beautiful places.

The ICAA mission of recovering a building design language and its craft has been reinforced by the parallel focus on traditional urban design of the New Urbanism. New Urban communities have provided a welcoming context for traditional architecture, extending its presence beyond the individual building to the creation of a sense of place.

The slides in Lizz’s presentation illustrated classical architecture in recently designed traditional urban settings, including Charles Barrett’s gate in Providence, RI, Steve Mouzon’s buildings in Providence, AL, and Scott Merrill’s building in Alys Beach.

I’On development in SC (DPZ and Dover Kohl)

In addition to the beautiful projects, Lizz touched upon the ‘wicked problems’ of the time which designers and architects are addressing, showing examples of designs for affordable housing, rebuilding in response to catastrophes, and adaptation to climate change impacts. The conference also included tours of historic buildings and urbanism in Charleston and surrounding areas — including I’On, where Andres Duany and developer Vince Graham led a guided tour.