James Wright, FAIA, could be characterized as a globetrotter with work in over 40 countries on his professional resume, which is fitting for the 2016-2017 President of the AIA International Region (IR) Chapter. Now, he is spending eight days in Asia promoting global standards of design at separate events in Hong Kong, Seoul, South Korea and Changsha, China.
He'll serve in Hong Kong as a judge on the annual AIA Hong Kong Chapter (AIAHK) recognizing design excellence by AIA member architects in the Asia Pacific Region. Then, he'll lead the official AIA delegation at the triennial UIA (International Union of Architects) World Congress and Assembly in South Korea, which consists of two separate events. James's last stop will be in Changsha to serve as technical advisor to the AIA IR design jury, which will position the chapter to announce the award winners at the Prague conference in October.
He is excited to return to Seoul, where he designed five highrises, and says, "International practice is in my bloodstream, and I feel very honored to be joining this delegation." The UIA Congress is an event in many ways similar to the AIA’s Conference on Architecture, serving as a forum for professional and cultural exchange among thousands of architects from around the globe. The theme of the congress is “Soul of the City” and is divided into three sub-themes: culture, future, and nature. The subsequent Assembly consists of official business and governance meetings of 250 official delegates with several times that number of observers expected.
James was tapped to lead the AIA delegation as a nod to his international background and leadership experience both as Senior Principal at Page and multiple roles serving the AIA International Region chapter. He will consult daily with all delegates from AIA, the largest member of the national sector of the UIA and also will engage with collateral organizations in attendance such as NCARB, NAAB and ACSA.
Look for the 2017 AIA IR Conference in Prague to feature some new ideas that James and his colleagues on the AIA IR leadership team will surely pick up at these back-to-back-to-back events.