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Put on your architecture hat


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POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2009

You've grown accustomed to phoning in votes for your favorite singers and/or dancers thanks to shows like “;American Idol,”; “;Dancing with the Stars”; and “;So You Think You Can Dance”; - and AIA Honolulu is hip to the jive.

The Honolulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects is, for the third year, inviting the public to choose its favorite architectural design from among projects submitted by local AIA members.

Creation of the People's Choice category was spurred by AIA's mission to engage the public in awareness and discussion of the built environment, said Amy Blagriff, executive vice president of AIA Honolulu.

Prospective voters won't have it easy, however, as the numerous choices are all beautiful, unique, inspiring or some other superlative.

Just as sumptuous photos of food are called food porn and tempting images of technology gadgets are called tech porn, those who would vote in the AIA contest must ogle and drool and dream over architecture and design porn - and the site has tons of it - in slideshows.

The nominated projects were submitted by local AIA member-architects and include residential and commercial work - including some work done in surprising locations, such as the South Pole.

“;Something I've always wanted to do is to feature the works of our members, to let people know what great work's being done,”; Blagriff said.

“;People whiz by in cars, and a lot of the houses are below fences.”;

Peruse the residential projects and the reasons for the fences become evident.

Driving traffic to the Web site is one reason for the People's Choice category and public voting, but the reason AIA wants people to go to its site “;is to hopefully encourage a dialogue, so people can see that design matters and that we can all have a part in shaping the communities that we want to work in and live in and play in,”; said Blagriff.

Voting ends June 15, and the winner will be announced at the AIA Honolulu Design Awards Gala on June 23 and posted online shortly thereafter.

Will the real ...

Job losses in the past two months have “;a radio station and a half”; worth of radio personalities “;out on the street,”; observed one of your columnist's former radio colleagues.

It used to be that there was at least one live person working in a radio studio for morning drive, middays, afternoon drive, evenings and overnights.

There also might be a morning, afternoon and evening news person, but that was when dinosaurs walked the earth - way back in the 1990s.

From the “;where are they now”; department, “;The Real”; Ron O'Neil, former weekend personality at what is now KKOL-FM 107.9, is still around and can be heard weekday mornings during KHNL-TV's “;News 8 Today.”;

His feature, called “;On This Day,”; talks about mileposts in history, such as a famous person's birthday - and, where relevant, includes a new project in which the person is involved.