By Ar. Salman Malik
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) organized its annual Convention & Expo from 14-16 May 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a great opportunity for ARCASIA & AIA working group to meet & work together on various projects therefore a special meeting between ARCASIA President Ar. Sathirut Nui Tandanand & his team & AIA President Ar. Elizabeth Chu Richter & her team was arranged on 16 May 2015 at Georgia World Congress Centre.
AIA officially invited ARCASIA Office bearers to attend this convention which was attended by President ARCASIA, Ar. Sathirut Nui Tandanand, Immediate Past President ARCASIA Ar. Tan Pei Ing and Chairman ACYA (ARCASIA Committee on Young Architects).Ar. Fawad Suhail Abbasi.
During the meeting President ARCASIA presented the Nepal Earthquake situation and assessment at the International Presidents’ Forum as well as to AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter and Directors at our AIA-ARCASIA Meeting. Architects Foundation Director, Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop who runs the philanthropic arm of AIA was also present at the meeting. Architects Foundation reached out to ARCASIA with a proposal to help with the Earthquake Reconstruction in Nepal. In the proposal, ARCASIA and Architects Foundation will act as facilitators to link SONA, All Hands Volunteers, and Small Works to work together for the reconstruction of homes in historical towns and villages. The raising of funds will be through Architects Foundation network. No money will be coming from SONA nor the Government of Nepal. The meeting was also attended by Robert Ivy, EVP/Chief Executive Officer George Kunihiro, Executive Region Director, AIA Strategic Council, Christine Bruckner, International Region President and Rachel Minnery, Director, Built Environment Policy.
Lindsey Mullarkey, Specialist, Strategic Alliance + Initiatives. AIA representatives touched upon their disaster Assistance criteria that covers advocacy, training, education, policy, research and Network/ partnership.
The meeting also touched upon continuing professional Development Program for Young Architects, an Interface between ARCASIA Committee on Young Architects and AIA Emerging Architects Network , Architectural Education and Architecture Facility Training Program and especially Joint Emergency and Disaster Programs after the Nepal earthquake.
Ar. Fawad Suhail Abbasi met with Young Architects of the AIA Emerging Professionals including Ar. Erin Murphy, Sr. Director, Center for Emerging Professionals and they spoke in detail on various projects and exchange programs they can collaborate for the future. They also discussed how they can share information to improve cross cultural programs between young architects and students.
The delegation attended the Welcome dinner, presentations by Key Note Speaker Former President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton, various award ceremonies’s where Ar. Peter Eisenman received the AIA 2015 Award for Education and Ar. Moshe Safdie received the Gold Medal of 2015 from AIA. Other awards included young startup firms who have done well and devised good models of practice. There were presentations and discussions by some well known medium size firms that talked about their business model and design approach which was a great learning experience.
The convention was most well organized with AIA Members from across the country and abroad while ARCASIA, UIA & CAA were also represented. Architects from PAM. KIRA, IAP, JIA, ASA and others also attended the convention.
The convention came to a close on the eve of June 16′ 2015 with the Convocation dinner. This black tie event was attended by international delegates, AIA Fellows & Associates. The Chancellor and AIA President were the hosts of the evening and thanked everyone for coming from various parts of the world and across America to attend this annual convention. It was a grand evening, enjoyed by all.