President’s Message, October 2020

AIA Maryland’s annual Educator’s Forum was held earlier this month.  The Educator’s Forum brings together state AIA representatives, primary, secondary and higher education professionals, licensing advisors, and other industry professionals to share ideas, ask and answer questions, and create lines of communication all for the advancement of our profession.  Exclusive of its virtual format, this year was no different.

The two areas of focus for this year’s forum were: Recruitment and Retention and Messaging, Storytelling and Value Proposition.  Attendees engaged in spirited discussions in both large format and small breakout groups.  As tends to be the case, we could have continued the conversations for many more hours.  Thankfully, AIA Maryland intends to add another forum to their annual calendar in the spring of 2021.  Many of our local component members and firms are already committed to making these connections, spending time teaching, mentoring, and training.  That’s why the spring forum will engage an even larger group to create action plans for the two focus areas.

Without giving away too much, we will be reaching out to members to tell their story of ‘why are you an architect?’  This central question can provide the answers to make young students aware of architecture and encourage them to pursue it as a career, expand traditional teaching methods and degrees, address the issues that lead those in architecture to pursue other professional careers, and continue to strengthen our standing with legislators.

So, in the meantime, be thinking about your story – what led you to pursue a career in architecture. Think about who encouraged you, hurdles that you faced and how you overcame them. What would you do differently and, is there something you now know that you wished you had sooner?

Stay safe and be well.

Matthew Ormsby
2020 President
Moseley Architects