Kate Aoki
Contributed by:
Kate Aoki
Nick Thorn
Contributed by:
Nick Thorn

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Welcome to 2018 and to Communities by Design!

Last year was an exciting year for the AIA Dallas Communities by Design Committee and we're looking forward to good things in 2018. Join us as we continue the dialogue about the urban environment and introduce new programming with AIA Dallas.

Welcome to 2018, and to Communities by Design!

We are excited to greet the new year with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and motivation. We have been working tirelessly over the last year to come up with ideas and strategies for the committee which will propel us forward. 2017 meant a deep dive into the mission and focus of Communities by Design, and what we want to accomplish as a committee; what do we stand for? What is the focus of our values? How can we impact not just the architectural community, but the wider Metroplex?

We began by rewriting the Communities by Design mission statement, which now reads:

The AIA Dallas Communities by Design committee is a forum for the exchange of ideas about how the built environment can improve the vibrant communities within North Texas. We are committed to increasing and imparting architects’ knowledge of urban design and advocating for excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment.

Building on the updated statement, we used our meetings to sort out those questions above. We heard from inspiring local leaders and thinkers, traveled to meet and collaborate with other urban design committees in the state, and did some real soul-searching.

…and we are truly excited by the year coming up.

Through our members’ consistent involvement with community groups, our continual dialogue with elected city officials, and regular advocating for design excellence within the built environment, our committee strives to uphold the mission of AIA Dallas, which reads: AIA Dallas empowers architects to excel and impact their practice, profession, and community.

In the spirit of this mission, we are planning several new and compelling events for the year ahead. These events showcase what we have heard is important to our communities such as “Ditch the Car Day” in March which will challenge local residents to abandon their comfy cars for one day and travel solely with multimodal means of transportation. Our goal is to highlight the highs and lows of the transit options in Dallas while using our collective voice as design professionals to improve mobility within our community.

We are also collaborating with other committees within AIA Dallas to produce crossover events, and we have just begun planning a “Missing Middle” event in conjunction with the Tour of Homes Committee to highlight the growing disparity in housing types in Dallas. Based on a successful and beautifully conceived program from the AIA Austin Urban Design committee, we are working to adopt and tailor the program for Dallas and the unique urban challenges our city faces.

Finally, we are pleased to be partnering with Columns magazine, AIA Dallas’ resident publication which features articles highlighting urban design in the Dallas area. This partnership will carry the discussion about topics beyond the pages of the magazine to a greater audience by hosting panel discussions or other events in the community.

We can’t wait to get going. We are so appreciative of our stellar committee members, and we are thrilled to show you what we’ve got. We would love to have you join us at any of our events, or at our committee meetings. We meet monthly on the fourth Thursday of the month at noon—and lunch is on us.

Stay tuned for more from the Communities by Design Committee. We will be sharing more news, thoughts, and plans in the days to come.


Kate Aoki, Assoc. AIA

Nick Thorn, AIA