Five Takeaways
AIA|LA Board Members Share Observations and Takeaways from the AIA California Council’s July 2017 Meeting

In July 2017, AIALA Board members joined counterparts from across the state. Here are their takeaways:



Lisa Matthiessen, FAIA
AIA/CC Representative

1. During the Thursday sessions, most of the teams identified climate change and social equity as major areas for action by AIA/CC. However, the final action items of each team did not address those two big themes. To some extent, I think that was because the teams focused on ways that architects can take leadership - so the actions were about training and education and activism. However, I wonder if AIA can look at coming up with tools that can help architects with the technical aspects of our work around climate change and social equity.

Some examples might be:
> publish a "how-to" guide for reaching net zero energy requirements. This would include reviewing passive and active design approaches for a variety of building types in all 9 climate zones within California, summarizing the trajectory of code requirements, etc. AIA CC has a proposal in hand for something along these lines, which I am currently reviewing, but the proposed scope stops far short of a really useful guide.
> publish a document that identifies best practices in creating diversity within the profession. Again, not rocket science, but it might be really helpful for firms that are interested to know that AIA LA can provide resources. Maybe a guide, maybe speakers.
> Woodbury University is doing an amazing job of growing a next generation that does not look like ours (old and white). Can we help publicize what they are doing and amplify the results?

2. The demographics from the AIACC dashboard say that the average AIA member in CA is 50. What do we do to reach the younger ones? How do those numbers look in LA?

3. I think the energy peaked somewhere around the ballgame on Thursday night (?), Friday descended into red tape and it felt like the energy in the room dissipated quite a bit. I'd love to see the LA Chapter jump in and take over some of the goals and actions we came up with - lets show them how its done!



Greg Verabian, AIA
Treasurer, AIA|LA

I would add that AIA/CC would benefit itself and the architects of this state by supporting investment or continuing education in development of new types of services (or creating through collaboration with academia).

In a sense many folks were concerned about our scope being taken away from us or “us giving it away” but, rather than trying to win it all back from Contractors and PMs or CMs, we need to embrace technology and start to use it to help us lead in sustainable building, and in the end show how it helps our client’s bottom line and how it matches up with their company/corporate principals.

Also closer alignment with other engineering, construction and creative professions as-in-a-group we may be more influential to the Policymakers and public. We should focus more on “What does the Future Look Like.”

Lastly, a stronger focus on Diversity (both gender and racial) would suit the Council well to encourage a profession which more closely follows the demographics of our state.

I enjoyed the first day and it was good that it was more interactive.



Tania Van Herle, AIA
Vice-President/President Elect, AIA|LA

My takeaways are somewhat in line with what others have expressed. It was quite apparent that we need to communicate what we do better to the community-at-large and that in turn we have an obligation to demonstrate our value to society--the notion that we need to be at the table or ‘get back’ to the table, as some suggested.

We need to have demonstrated leadership at governmental levels (e.g. the Next President of the US is an Architect!).

With the increased use of technology, our relevance may be challenged and may redefine what we do. How do we ensure that we control our destiny?

We need to build a culture of diversity.

I agree that the first day was really valuable in terms of the interaction, engagement and ideas that were developed.



Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA|LA
Executive Director, AIA|LA

My takeaway is that AIA|LA can still do better in educating government, students and the community at large to what architects do and the value of architecture in general. I believe we are slowly moving in that direction but need to pursue it further if we want to make sure we preserve the profession and enhance its value. It might be a conversation, a large picture, but if we break it down in small steps and a series of achievable goals we might be going somewhere…
Last updated: 08-Aug-2017 01:00 PM
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