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Fiona Mckay

Welcome to issue No 76 of the AIA UK Chapter Newsletter, the latest issue in a long tradition of AIA news, features, commentary and event reporting started in May 1994.

In May, we issued a trial online AIA UK Newsletter via email to all chapter members.  If you didn’t read it then, check it out now as issue No 75 from here. 

We have also added a Journal section to our website where we publish all of the articles. You can either click and navigate to Journal from the Newsletter or directly go to the Journal from our website . Do not forget to check the AIA UK Journal regularly to be up to date!
Since the trial, the feedback from the membership has been primarily positive, with general agreement that the loss of the hard copy is well offset by a new, simple format that is both flexible and interactive. As well as the built in opportunity for comment on format changes and individual articles, the online Newsletters also allow readers to search through content for specific events, names, etc.

As well as the individual email versions – which will continue to be issued on a more-or-less quarterly basis – recent newsletter articles will be maintained on the website under the heading “Journal” and will be fully accessible to a wider audience of website viewers as well as AIA members.  

With the issue of each new newsletter, a numbered copy of the previous version will also be placed on the website under the heading “Archive.” Currently the Archive contains older newsletter versions dating from 2010.  However, all earlier issues from 1994 onwards have now been scanned and will eventually be accessible on the website. 

To compensate for the loss of the “souvenir” hard copy issues, all future Member Directories will included an expanded series of photo gallery of each year’s events.

The first AIA UK Newsletter from May 1994 was headlined “In the beginning …” and celebrated the arrival of the AIA to the UK on 17 June 1993, when AIA National granted AIA London/UK (as we were then called) a charter as the first international chapter.

Leafing briefly through other past issues from just the years 1994 to 1996 is an exercise in nostalgia by which one can chart the changes that have happened in London and the architectural profession over the last twenty years.  At the same time it is clear that not everything has changed.  Many of the today’s issues and many AIA events retain the same concerns and character as their original versions.
With a view to enticing readers into the archives, a brief summary of other 1994 to 1996 headlines includes:

“AIA and RIBA Pledge Cooperation” – To this day we have maintained a high level of trust and cooperation with the RIBA, but there was a time during the middle years when cooperation reached a low point over the use of the AIA “title.”
“NCARB to Seek Reciprocity Agreement with UK” – In answer to recent members’ frequent questions, yes, the early AIA did try to push for reciprocity from the very beginning with research and analysis of the issue led by Justine Kingham among others.  But even as long ago as 1997, a second headline “NCARB Committee Set Up to Rekindle US/UK Reciprocity” indicated that all was not going to plan. It has been ongoing saga of attempts and disappointments…

“UIA Convention Mobbed as AIA Candidate Elected Vice President” – This intriguing headline merely reports that the UIA Convention was oversubscribed from seven thousand attendees to ten thousand, including our own delegate.

The range of events in those first years also matched our more recent contributions:
The first Annual Design Awards was held in February 1995 and the newsletter article featured pictures of Rick Mather, David Leventhal, Stephan Reinke and jurist, Zaha Hadid, among others. 

The first formal Summer Parties was held at Syon Lodge; the first “Buba” inspired Family Bar-B-Ques was held in Bedford Square.  Coincidentally, this year’s Summer Party turned out to be a Bar-B-Que…

The first Design Charette was held at the US Embassy, with a brief – given long before the current Timberlake design was envisioned for Vauxhall - to consider what should be the best outward expression of America on British soil.  Lee Polisano’s team won the “Best Adaptation of the Existing Building”; Pierre Baillargeon’s team won the “Best New Building”. 
An AIA conference was held in Hong Kong to explore marketing and architectural practice in Southeast Asia

For two years, the AIA was officially represented at NIPIM with circa 10 chapter members - including notably Stephen Yakeley, Stephen Reinke, David Walker, Jonathan Dinnewell and Michael Lischer - participating. The first Continuing Education “brown bag luncheon” seminars were held at KPF, HOK and SOM when CEU credits became mandatory. 

A serious and well attended AIA/RIBA panel discussion on UK and US Planning Laws and Methods included Larry Malcic, Roger Kallman and Peter Rees, then Chief Planning Officer for the Corporation of London.

A dinner at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects curtesy of Noel Hill brought out the AIA membership in formal black tie attire. 

The first AIA Continental Europe Chapter conference was held in Paris, with Pamela Harriman greeting each and every member attending the Gala Dinner at the US Embassy.
The AIA UK Chapter first went online in June 1996 with a Home Page on Archinet…

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