James Wright Speaks at Grassroots 2018: Issues Facing AIA

The American Institute of Architects is facing a significant opportunity to influence the organization’s future direction with the upcoming election of 2019-2020 officeholders at A’18 in June. I’ve held several leadership roles in the organization and the first thing I tell AIA members is I want them to know that design experience among Board members matters. My own resume ranges from church additions to car dealerships and highrises to multiple US embassies and even a presidential library center—and I’ve worked in many of your regions, as well as practiced in dozens of international settings. Cumulatively, these experiences have resulted in hard-earned experience in “trench warfare”, and I believe that having intensive practical experience better represented on the Board is a good thing.

At the recent AIA Grassroots 2018 event in San Diego, I explained the importance of elected officials personally understanding the perspective of as many members as possible. While we need the AIA to serve as a national voice on our behalf on the big issues of our era, we need practical support as well such as faster, more functional contract document software. We must remain relevant to our members’ varied needs ranging from those seeking support early in their careers or a sense of inclusion to those approaching career-end but have so much to offer to the AIA. 

I helped found the AIA International Region Chapter in 2012 and subsequently served as International Region Vice President in 2014-2015, rising to President in 2016 and continuing through 2017. I’ve represented AIA and our global standards of design at events such as last fall’s triennial UIA (International Union of Architects) World Congress and Assembly in South Korea. These global practice experiences also influence my thinking. If you’d like to see a segment of my speech to Grassroots 2018 attendees, play the video below: 

Four key areas I believe AIA needs to address going into the 2020s are Global Posture, Reinforcing The Value Proposition, Leadership In Practice and The Long Perspective. To see my thoughts on these, click here.

To see my posts on other topics critical to the AIA at this time, click on the below links: 

The Role of Architects and the AIA for the Public Good
Promoting Pay Equity, Gender Equality and Diversity Inclusion in Architecture 
Prioritizing Sustainability throughout the Architecture Profession
Engaging the Current Generation of Emerging Professionals
The Importance of Group Political Action to Architects
Promoting Architectural Innovation in the AIA
Influencing AIA’s Role in Influencing Architectural Education
We Need to Reinforce the AIA Pipeline
Live or Die: Overcoming the Architecture Industry’s Biggest Challenge
Striving for Greater Inclusivity in AIA of Non-Traditional Architects