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From the Executive Director: August
Welcome to August! This is typically the time when we think about new beginnings as the summer ends and a new school year begins for many. It is also the time when cities prepare for the start of their new fiscal year and kick-off their budget town hall meetings. For us at AIA Dallas, it also feels like preparing for the start of 2020 as we prepare to host the signature events that were rescheduled from the spring due to Covid-19. It is a time of great anticipation as we continue to experience new drivers of change affecting how we practice, live, and socialize.
Over the past five months, our focus has been on keeping you, our members, informed about relevant national, state, and local mandates and resources related to Covid-19, social and design justice, and the role architecture plays in contributing to these issues, as well as how to adjust or pivot due to furloughs or layoffs during this economic slowdown. To further the conversation, we held:
- Two Mid-Year Firm Leaders’ Outlook panel discussions to address firm concerns, research, and resources developed to manage WFH and client solutions;
- A Design Justice Panel conversation about how the practice of architecture might implement the principles of design justice or be used as a tool for social justice;
- Coffee & Conversation events with Sue Alvarez, PE about CECAP, and Roddrick West, AIA about the proposed soccer fields development under I-345;
- An Architecture on Tap panel on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the profession of architecture exploring actions to attract and retain minority architects;
- Town Hall discussions centered around advocacy, technology, small firms, women in architecture, and allied members to check in on needed resources and how we can best serve;
- And the first Pivoting series chat with Waldo Rivera Ortiz, Assoc. AIA about teaching as a career path in architecture; part of a new Instagram Live series created to explore a variety of career paths.
These programs were held in addition to our regularly scheduled professional development and networking opportunities that have largely moved to a virtual format, as well as the new digital programming offered through the Architecture and Design Exchange.
As part of our advocacy efforts, we offered our expertise and provided letters to the City of Dallas in support of the Dallas Forward initiative and the CECAP. We are planning advocacy webinars this fall in advance of the upcoming 87th Legislative Session in 2021, to prepare you for Architect’s Day. Please keep an eye out for those! Our committees remain vibrant and active. Community Honors will host Celebrate Architecture on September 17th, where we will recognize our 2019 national, state, and local honorees! WiA is currently in the planning stages for the 4th annual Empowering Conference that will be held on October 2nd; LiA has issued the call for submittals for Enlaces; and the calls for entries are now open for the Built Design Awards and KRob Delineation Competition. Our Bark and Build teams are already at work for the doghouse and cat condo competitionand our first virtual Home Tour is also in the works. The TxA Conference will be held virtually in late October – we encourage you to attend and represent AIA Dallas, the host chapter.
We appreciate the continued support of our sponsors and allied members as we have pivoted to a virtual delivery format. Our CE programs remain strongly attended and in demand. Design Excellence continues through the end of the year, as well as the Practice Management Series. We will continue to provide our educational and social programs virtually for the remainder of 2020.
Lastly, we wish to congratulate Gianna Pigford, AIA, who was recently elected to the AIA Strategic Council. We are proud to have her as part of the AIA Dallas membership.
We look forward to a dynamic second half of 2020! Please follow us on social media and contact us with your ideas or concerns, but most importantly we hope to see you at our virtual events this fall. AIA Dallas staff is available Monday through Thursday, as we remain closed to the public Fridays and Saturdays.
You make this chapter great and we count on you to keep us strong as the 6th largest chapter of AIA!
Zaida Basora, FAIA