Thousands of architects crammed into the grand ballroom of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this morning to kick-off the 2012 National Convention hosted by the American Institute of Architects. Invigorating speeches, led by AIA President Jeff Potter, urged architects to re-envision the profession and question the role of today’s architect. Although the economic downturn has caused many hardships, it presents a unique opportunity for architects to reshape the profession.
The future success of the profession, along with the health of our cities, is dependent on our ability to evolve. In an age of increased connectivity, it is time to mend the great interdisciplinary disconnect. As keynote speaker David McCullough stressed, there is no such thing as a self-made man or women. We are all mutually dependent on each other. Architects have the ability to become the agents of this transformation. During a time when Congress is neglecting the future of American cities, it is up to the you to become the new policy leader. As Congressman Earl Bumenaur (OR-3) stated, this may be essential in order to avoid the “apocalypse of livability”. McCullough suggests, keep your faith by remembering what brought you to this great profession in the first place. Inspired, motivated and optimistic, we move on to day two of the AIA Convention.