Some tradition-breaking news from the AIA convention last week in Denver: AIA’s board of directors approved a proposal to revise eligibility criteria for the group's prestigious Gold Medal award to include either an individual or two individuals working together, but only if the collaboration over time is recognized as having created “a singular body of distinguished architectural work,” says AIA.

The change is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1. Mickey Jacob, the 2013 AIA president, says the change reflects current architectural practice, which has become more collaborative. The medal is the highest award the AIA can bestow on an individual or, soon, two individuals. It recognizes a significant body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.  The 2013 winner is Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis Architects, Los Angeles.

Mayne is the 69th AIA Gold Medalist. He joins a list that includes Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Louis Sullivan (1944), Le Corbusier (1961), Louis Kahn (1971), I.M. Pei (1979), Santiago Calatrava (2005), Renzo Piano (2008), Peter Bohlin (2010) and Steven Holl (2012).

Among his work is San Francisco Federal Building, which was somewhat controversial from a design standpoint; the Wayne L. More U.S. Courthouse in Eugene, Ore.; and 41 Cooper Square in New York City, which looks like it was unsettled by an earthquake.

In any case, the prospect of two gold medalists is interesting. Who knows, it could become a trend. Soon we might have two actors in the same movie win the Oscar for best actor. Or, two people win the ENR Award of Excellence!