Just today the American Institute of Architects' 21st Century Embassy Task Force issued a 40-page report with 59 guidelines and suggestions for how America's embassies can face the challenges and meet the opportunities of our young century. The report, "Design for Diplomacy: New Embassies for the 21st Century" is a treatise on how the State Department can better integrate security concerns with design excellence. This all may sound rather familiar insofar as in May I hosted a panel at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC on just this topic. Over the next couple days we'll be revisiting Dwell's take on the state of America's embassies.
Washington Post Culture Critic and Dwell contributor Philip Kennicott was one of the speakers on my "Designing Diplomacy" panel in Washington DC in May. He was most interested in how American embassies abroad and foreign embassies in Washington shape the kinds of diplomacy we practice and what they might say about a given nation's diplomatic posture. We spoke for a few minutes after the panel to give dwell.com readers who couldn't attend the event at the Embassy of FInland a taste of the issues we addressed.