July 6, 2020 / Member News

July 2020 Presidents Letter: Now Comes the Tough Part

In the first six months of 2020, we have experienced a pandemic, an economic shutdown, and a reckoning of systematic racial injustice. We are still in throes of each of these events and will be for the foreseeable future.

As we personally, professionally, and as an institution reevaluate our daily routines through these new realities, it is now that we must start the hard part – follow through.

We have released our statements, tweeted our support, and placed pictures of ourselves on Instagram.  The tedious, hard work, self-reflecting phase is beginning, and this is the most important phase.  For the new normal to be better than the old it will take commitment to change.  We must reach out, broaden our perspectives, and work together for this commitment. These challenges are so wide-ranging that they can seem overwhelming.  There are multiple opportunities for us to engage our peers, clients, and communities.  Below are the two most current examples.

AIA brought together a diverse team of experts to develop strategies for reducing the spread of pathogens in buildings, accommodating physical distancing practices, promoting mental well-being, and fulfilling alternative operational and functional expectations.

The conclusions of these teams are cross-referenced in the report:  Reopening America: Strategies for Safer Buildings.

Another opportunity occurs this week.  AIA Architects in Action 2020 is a free virtual conference and workshops starting with the general session on Thursday, July 9th continues with workshops and other special events throughout the month of July.  You will be able to see successful advocacy techniques and strategies developed by your peers in working with state and local governments.  These workshops will also help you find your voice and acquire the tools you need to advocate for the change you want to see in the profession.

Please register by July 8th

As we embark on the summer vacation (staycation) season please take a moment to reflect and recharge.  Please keep “what comes next” in the forefront of your thoughts.  Powerful sparks have been ignited by these series of events, now is our opportunity to nurture these sparks to make the new normal better, more equitable, and more accessible to everyone.

Scott M Walters, AIA, LEED AP Hord Coplan Macht