The Intern Development Program (IDP) prepares future architects for the requirements of our profession. However, it is through the AIA that the Leaders of Architecture are made.
Every day we listen to advocacy for the profession. When you open AutoCAD each morning, when you point a major design flaw in a project and even now by reading this article, you are advocating for architecture!
It is easy for us to talk about architecture. What is not easy is talking about architects. Furthermore, it is even harder to talk about yourself. Buildings are stagnant, they are what they are. We can classify buildings by period, style, and recall a number of facts that would impress your college history professors. But can you talk about yourself in the same way, with the same passion, as you can your favorite building? If your answer is no, then you should consider becoming more involved in the AIA and its programs.
One simple problem for emerging professionals is the fact that we are not architects; how can you speak for something you are not. Let’s forget the term architect for the moment (as that is an entire lengthy discussion in itself), and replace it with the term Leader. What the AIA is good at accomplishing is evoking passion for what you do and passion is what inspires leadership. There are no state laws that prevent you from calling yourself a Leader!
As a 2nd time attendee of the annual Grassroots Leadership Conference held in D.C., I have noticed a drastic change between 1st time attendees and those who return. During my 1st conference, I followed my local chapter and only sat next to somebody I knew. What I missed was the wealth of information and mentorship every person in that room possesses. When I had the opportunity to attend the conference again, I was not shy about asking people to share their knowledge with me!
In hopes of inspiring you, I will begin my conversation with you by instilling some knowledge…
Let’s reimagine this quote by Louis Kahn where the Brick is not your building, but it is YOU!
And if you think of Brick, for instance,
and you say to Brick,
“What do you want Brick?”
And Brick says to you
“I like an Arch.”
And if you say to Brick
“Look, arches are expensive,
and I can use a concrete lentil over you.
What do you think of that?”
“… I like an Arch””
Jason Peist, Assoc. AIA
Regional Associate Director | New Jersey Region