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State Associate Director's Message

Architecture is what you make of it.  As Associate AIA members, we have an opportunity to positively contribute to the growth and evolution of our profession.

My name is Joanna Beres, and I am the new AIA PA Associate Director.  I urge all budding architects seeking involvement to heed to four key ideas to become more involved with the AIA: Patience, Listen, Collaborate, Contribute.

Patience.  This practice is key towards both humbling us as professionals and to be mindful of difficult economic times.  Hard work and perseverance lead us towards achieving our goals.  This sense of calm amidst uncertain times enables renewed energy, focus, and lends itself to innovation via seeking out new approaches to the practice of architecture.

Listen.  Architecture, first and foremost, is a service profession.  Keen listening skills are essential to allowing us to realize our clients’ goals.  Listening to our mentors enriches our understanding of the practice, and listening to one another spawns creativity.  Open dialog and clear and concise communications are essential skills that are necessary to successful practice.  Effective listening skills coupled with our visual presentations enable us to meaningfully realize our client’s aims, whilst becoming more well rounded professionals.  Listening gives us a moment of repose, to pause as we gain insight from those around us.  We, in turn, may thoughtfully contribute our problem solving skills to better design solutions.

Collaborate.  Architecture is not a solitary profession.  It is only through collaboration with our peers, clients, and consultants, that we successfully reach desired design solutions.  Involvement with the AIA allows for many opportunities to collaborate.  We may learn from our peers and shape the continued growth and change of the architectural profession.  There are myriad occasions to participate locally, at the state and national levels of the AIA.  As an associate member, we are able to collaborate with our peers across Pennsylvania and beyond to foster the next generation of leaders.  We learn from each other in sharing our ideas for sustained involvement.  Some of the opportunities for involvement include Architects Day in Harrisburg, NCARB school visits, AIA Grassroots in Washington, DC, and National Convention in Denver.

Contribute.  How can you collaborate to effectively contribute to emerging professionals in Pennsylvania?  Step up to the plate and lend your time and energy.  The AIA is the voice of our profession, and we are that voice.  Participate to hone your patience, to sharpen your listening skills, to have the opportunity to collaborate with architectural professionals, and to contribute to shaping the future of our field.

Architects Day in Harrisburg affords us the opportunity to address legislative affairs that impact the practice of architecture.  Reaching out to state legislators sharpens our presentation skills, impacting laws that govern practice in Pennsylvania.  It an opportunity to engage in civics, bridging the gap between how our profession is practiced, and where those laws are established.

NCARB in the schools is another means of collaboration, engaging future AIA members at the academic level.  In tandem with the AIA State IDP coordinator, this aim is to reach out to current architectural students, to elucidate the path towards licensure.  Teaming up with local universities and the coordinator, to share our experiences with IDP and our paths may encourage future young professionals to participate in the AIA once they graduate.

AIA Grassroots in Washington, DC, is another opportunity for emerging professionals to voice their concerns and goals, at the national level.  Speaking with our federal legislators allows us to communicate and guide laws that govern our practice at the national level.  This interaction strengthens our voice and impact nationally.

Finally, AIA National Convention, is the chance to collaborate and convene with a broad range of practitioners across the nation.  This event is ripe with the opportunity to learn from and engage with members across all facets of the profession. It is an opportunity to enrich our education through continuing education seminars and through engaging with a diverse array of associates from across the states.  This yearly event is an opportunity to share ideas and learn from seasoned professionals.  It is a chance to view how associate members are growing the profession by our commitment to growth and change as the practice of architecture continues to evolve.

Carpe diem.  Seize the day and get involved.  Whether locally, or through the state or national AIA, become a voice of young architects as we embrace the ever changing profession of architecture. Incorporate Patience, Listening, Collaborate, and Contribute to the growth and impact of the Associate members within the AIA.

Joanna Beres, M.Arch., Assoc. AIA