AIA CENTRAL STATES REGION POST-CONVENTION RESPONSE BY ERICA FISCHER, AIA
To the architect, these have nothing to do with architecture. But, the citizen-architect will see that these three perspectives screamed one unified message: citizen first, architect second. As much as we architect’s may like to talk about ourselves and our work, it was refreshing to get the some of the ‘softballs’ like working with architects for the Presidential Library out of the way during Michelle’s interview. Someone with the reach of a first lady should absolutely be encouraging architects to get out from behind their desks and mentor, to stand up where others cannot, to build strong families and communities first, and only then support them with meaningful design.
Michelle also reminded us that the struggle is real for minorities in design and that balance in life for any of us is not easy, nor will it ever be, which is why we need the work Amy Cuddy shares. By re-igniting our self-confidence through our power pose, Amy expects each of us to bring your boldest self to your biggest challenge. While Amy may not know what our biggest challenge as architects is, Michael Ford sure has a few thoughts.
Using the lyrics of Grandmaster Flash’s ‘The Message’, Michael challenged us. While some sang along, others rolled their eyes, setting Michael up perfectly to present his challenge: If you don’t like the lyrics you hear in hip-hop music, do something to change the communities they come from.
So, to our firm leaders, when your young team members are looking to get involved, surely support the networker who wants to join the local Chamber of Commerce, but just as equally value the dreamer who wants to mentor a middle-schooler or shelter the homeless. After all, how can we expect colorful built environments when we only have a two-dimensional, monotone palette of architects?