The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition will be held May 15-17, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. This year’s theme, “We the People,” will explore the power of architecture on behalf of all people and society. It’s the right topic for a growing profession that has been challenged to engage the public in designing a more sustainable world.

The AIA National Convention and Design Exposition is the premier event for architects and building industry professionals. This year in Boston, many educational and entertaining activities can be found through more than 300 continuing education programs, 75 professional tours, 60 special events, and 800 leading-edge companies exhibiting their products and services. The 2008 convention is the opportunity to earn the continuing education credits required for AIA membership and state licensure.

In its first visit to the East Coast in almost nine years–and a first to Boston in 16 years–the AIA will host its convention in one of the most dynamic cities in America. Often referred to as the last European city in the country, Boston’s historic buildings and public spaces are well known. Attendees may take this opportunity to discover the old, and the new, Boston. From McKim Mead and White’s fin de siècle masterpiece, the Boston Public Library, to today’s reinvention of the Institute of Contemporary Art by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Perry Dean Rogers Partners, Boston encompasses the wondrous breadth and depth of architectural history on this continent.

As always, this year’s theme presentations feature topics and speakers of great distinction. The AIA and the Boston Society of Architects welcome three very prominent members of the architecture community to discuss this year’s theme, “We the People.” On Thursday, May 15, Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, will speak on sustainable design. Friday will feature a panel discussion moderated by Thomas Vonier, FAIA, RIBA. The topic, “Urban Security in the 21st Century,” will examine new ways to make cities and citizens safer while enhancing the quality of urban life. Saturday’s theme speaker is Ambassador Andrew Young, whose topic is “Forty Years-the Anniversary of Whitney Young’s Presentation to the Institute.” It was in this speech that Whitney M. Young Jr. challenged the architecture profession to take a greater role in helping to right the injustices of society.

A wide variety of special events offer plenty of opportunities to network, relax with colleagues, and take time out from the business of the convention. Join the Boston Society of Architects/AIA and colleagues for the Host City Celebration at the Boston Public Library. The evening will be full of the best of Boston’s food, music and revelry. Throughout the convention, there will be an opportunity to wine and dine at some of Boston’s leading architecture offices and network with the people who work there.

For the most up-to-date convention information including enhanced continuing education program offerings, and to register online, visitwww.aiaconvention.comor call (800) 242-3837.