Laura Wheaton, AIA, pictured third from left, with other CivicLAB participants at AIA National Grassroots Legislative and Leadership conference.
By Laura Wheaton, AIA – AIABaltimore Board of Directors
Baltimore architects have recognized since Whitney M. Young’s call to action in 1968 that the design community has a responsibility to help build an equitable, sustainable, and, yes, more beautiful society through our development of the built environment. At the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), I witness daily the rich history of that ongoing struggle and the vibrancy of the numerous architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and other designers and community members working in support of dozens of neighborhoods through NDC’s programs promoting design partnership with underserved communities.
I plan to use the next four years to redouble my commitment to doing everything I can to serve through design. I hope my fellow “citizen architects” will also see this as an opportunity to listen to and work with all our communities in their daily practice. Existing venues for continued service such as COTE | R at AIABaltimore, the Community Design Works program at NDC, and the Baltimore City Storefront Improvement Program, a Maryland DHCD program supported by a collaboration between NDC and AIA Baltimore, offer paths for architects seeking ways to promote positive change.