Feb 15, 2010

What the AIA can do

I have ran into an article about the AIA Minnesota chapter and their efforts to respond to the current times in the profession. http://www.downtownjournal.com/index.php?&story=14973&page=65&category=0

Can we turn this into a national effort?

The Minnesota chapter is giving a few great ideas. A step into responsive change. An excerpt from the link above reads:

In response to such challenges, AIA Minnesota has mounted an unprecedented strategic campaign to get architects back to work. In the winter of 2009, the organization launched its Members in Transition Group, a monthly gathering aimed at providing resources for the unemployed. Continuing education is its prime concern, and the group hosts free software training sessions, sponsored by product vendors and smaller firms. The Members in Transition arranged a deal with BWBR architects, a St. Paul firm, who over a two month period allowed unemployed AIA Minnesota members to come in and train on the firm’s computers.

Aside from software training, the group has brought in the chief AIA economist from Washington, D.C., for small group financial consultations, as well as invited high-level industry people from Minnesota’s Council of Firms to meet face-to-face with job-seekers. Other resources include interview preparation workshops and an online “skills matrix,” which allows employers a more efficient way to find talent for contract work and short-term projects.

A “Recovery Task Force” has been formed at the state level as a sort of think tank to address the larger issues facing the industry. AIA Minnesota President Rich Varda, who is also Target’s Chief of Design, has arranged for a graduate class at the Carlson School of Management to research the changing nature of the profession.

But with the outcome of these measures as uncertain as the employment picture, the only thing that local architects are certain of is the need to evolve.

How do you think the AIA can help you?

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