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In some more hopeful, though slightly confusing words, the new president of the American Institute of Architects, Marvin Malecha, told the crowd at last week’s Ecobuild conference that the business of architecture is on its way back, that things should pick up again after about six to eight months. Perhaps he has information we don’t, or he’s just a big time optimist, or no one has been showing him the depressing data his own organization has been releasing lately. We’re just not sure which it is. But the AIA has been managing to keep spirits higher this week, with their recent batch of social issue awards, like the Whitney M. Young Jr. and the Twenty-Five Year. Also, there’s been a lot of talk about what president-elect Barack Obama might mean when he keeps mentioning his ideas for a massive “public works construction program.” So who knows? Personally, we’re hoping Malecha is right. It’s not much fun to keep writing those sad pieces.