Executive Director’s Letter
We have been working together for 17 years now?!?! How is that even possible??
It has been interesting to look back at what was expected architects while I have been the AIA Birmingham executive director. High expectations!
I started in early 2005 when the economy was rocking for the A/E/C industry. Firms were remodeling their offices and their homes. Life was good! Then, 2008 economic crash happened. That hurt everyone. Many did not come back to the architectural profession. I pray we never see another crash like that one.
The crash was followed by the LEED/Sustainability trend. Architects were expected to save the world thru green/LEED/sustainability practices for future generations. Now this is how you design when owners allow it.
The next trend was designing to make the user use the stairs and promote healthier lifestyles. We were becoming a very lazy society. This was a shorter trend. It did not last long due to the terrorist attacks and school shootings. School safety (building safety) will always be a priority.
And in 2020, a pandemic hit, COVID hit the United States and the world sending all of us home to isolate from each other and changing the way we all live and work. People are spending more times in their homes and need office space. Architects are now challenged with keeping us all safe from germs. Offices are looking different for the future too.
And finally, we have the affordable housing crisis. We cannot solve this crisis due to so many outside factors. We are working on state legislation that will have long term effects.
Architects are our heroes and heroines, making our lives a better place even if we do not realize it. Thank you.
How do we communicate to the public the value, safety, and quality of life of architects bring to the table daily??? The million-dollar questions and I still do not have an answer.
Keep up the thoughtful work one design at a time and thank you for letting me be a part of your world.
Peace & AIA Bham Love,
Rhéa Williams, Honorary ASLA