While in London for meetings with the RIBA, National AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA took the opportunity to meet with AIA UK board members. Bea Sennewald, Robert Rhodes, and Michael Lischer, all AIA UK past presidents and Fatos Peja, current AIA UK president elect met with Russell for a lunch meeting on the 3rd of October.
Russell described the AIA's efforts to raise the profile of the profession and make the AIA more inclusive. Efforts include launching programs for kindergarten through 12th grade students to introduce them to the profession and the importance of good design. This program is particularly appropriate for Russell as his 35 person New York practice specializes in education.
Another initiative currently being studied by the national board is to open the AIA's annual convention to the general public. The goal is to engage all those with an interest in architecture, including building owners, developers, contractors, users, and the public. This may require changes to the continuing education program and the design exposition.
The meeting with Russell was very informative and left us with the impression good things are happening at the AIA and the next few years promises to be very interesting for the AIA and its members.
By Michael Lischer FAIA