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    Request for an AIA 2020 Field Manual

    Orhan Ayyüce
    May 13, '20 1:53 PM EST


    An Archinect blogger’s brief response to “AIA approves updated five-year Strategic Plan for 2021-2025” (AIA strategy in bold.)

    • Climate Action: To have the AIA and the profession focus on real action that mitigates climate change.
      Of course, who wouldn’t? Anything less than that would be a public suicide by AIA. Now, how do we act is totally another thing. Do we define “green washing” clearly and simply? Do we warn people who spend a lot of carbon footprints on structures and their publicity bombarding the bandwidths and printing press? Yes, that ultra minimalist lakeside getaway house from it all that regular folks will never have?
    • The Role of the Architect: To elevate awareness and understanding to help society see who architects really are, that architects collaboratively help to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
      I smell a couple of expensive tv ads here and I hope I am wrong this time. But before we go public on the subject, we should have some internal memos for our own.
    • Research and Technology: To recognize that knowledge is a valuable currency that defines who we are and what we do, and that innovation allows us to create a better world.
      Sure, so wide and vague. Whatever it is, cushioned and elastic sounding strategy.
    • Architectural Education: To better prepare architects for the future ahead and to include a true cross-section of society. 
      Last few words here are meaningful. "True cross section of society."
    • Equity: To further promote equity in the profession and for all who inhabit the built environment we design. The Strategic Plan, based on member input and feedback, also emphasizes collaboration and prioritization.
      The whole paragraph is a great strategy if not wash.
    • Create a bigger tentand collaborate with all those who care about architecture and the world we all inhabit.
      Awards night event party tent? Joke aside, the real emergent here is a main character candidate to “The Role of the Architect” info-ad.
    • Focus selectively on issues that really matter…and mobilize our resources, educate and preparing architects, advance knowledge, and shed things that are not part of our core values.
      Sure, but can we take fresher look at “core values?”
    • Raise up a whole new generation of leaders…and prepare architects for the leadership these roles require.  The Board approval allows the association to begin creating the necessary plans to carry out these directives. The new Strategic Plan will be shared broadly soon.
      The words leadership and leadership preparations give me the creeps. Don’t try to patronize the new generation as if they are your interns.

    Overall, could AIA take a less corporate language and call these policy words a Field Manual or something? This is a wartime FM. Get it out loud and clear. It’s a rare moment in history and things can be said more directly and urgently. At least in spirit.
    Lastly, c’mon AIA, not a word on housing and homelessness? It should be the overarching item in AIA’s five year strategic plan so are the job securities and other survival issues.  

    Orhan Ayyuce, AIA

    * illustration from Doorn Manifesto


    • square.

      love it, had the same thoughts (or lack there of) reading the statement the first time... banal corporate jargon. just more affirmation that the aia is incompetent and borderline useless for anything other than propping up the status quo. the lack of urgency is astounding.

      May 13, 20 2:13 pm  · 
      3  · 

      Orhan, first off, thank you for being our digital commander in this epic battle and insisting on its righteousness. I am however shocked and surprised about all the hoo-haa surrounding climate change. I am baffled how nobody can see that there is a direct relationship between development and environmental detriment. These two are mutually exclusive. Development is the very foundation of Capitalism and the developed world. The more countries steer towards Capitalism, the greater this deterioration becomes. For every person that ages in a Capitalist society, you need three more people to sustain them. That means, three times the consumption of natural resources. This is an inevitable fact that we are trying to close our eyes to. As much as the system tries to imply that the burden is on the individuals (Architects, Communities, People, etc), it is not. This is a systematic failure and originates from the top. Until we can change the pattern, altogether there is nothing that can be done to avert this. AIA is a cute little puppet that collects member dues and tries to stay relevant. It has minute impact on the profession as a whole. It can't even set rules about who can practice architecture and who cannot. 

      May 15, 20 1:07 pm  · 
      1  · 

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