The Next, Biggest, Best Thing(s)
The AIA is a wonderful blend of regions, chapters, sections and individuals. We are involved in sustainability, advocacy, design, component services, and technology. We represent the needs of small firms, large firms and those in between. Our interests are focused on the economy, on methods of delivery and on how we attract new talent to the profession. We seek growth and we seek profitability. As you can imagine, we are not all concerned about the same thing. While we may embrace the idea of advocacy, our true passion might lie in design or climate change. The more than 94,000 members of the AIA represents a combination of individuals who are as unique and different as the buildings we design.
While our energy and enthusiasm might focus on a variety of needs, there is much that we can mutually embrace. We need to have an organization that listens to us. We need to be part of a network that shares our interests and our passions. We need to be able to find information that allows us to prosper. And we need to create strong networks that allow us to connect with each other and champion our own interests. To succeed, the AIA has to be great at the most basic things we do: meeting the expectations of our members, stakeholders and those with whom we collaborate. We are part of a connected network that thrives when we work together and suffers when we go alone. The AIA has to reach out to those outside of the architectural community to let them know we exist and why we bring value. When we do all of these things well, we become the organization that our members can embrace.
But what’s next? The AIA can embrace what’s next by elevating those issues that our members feel passionate about every day. We can’t be all things to all people, we know that. But there are commonalities upon which we can focus our energy and attention. Somewhere in the middle are matters that we all find important to the profession, our communities and the understanding of architecture. This is who we are, and this is what we do.