July 26, 2016 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

After all jumping into the 2016-2017 year together at the Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., we’ve been working diligently in the National Office to set this year up for success. We’ve been strategizing with the Board of Directors, planning chapter travel (50+ schools in 3 months!), establishing the 2016-2017 Committees and Task Forces, gearing up for our 60th year special events, developing Membership Month with graphics, competitions, digital content. You get it: this year is going to be huge!

At Grassroots, we all learned how to be better leaders at our chapters, in our careers, in advancing technologies, in our entrepreneurial endeavors, and in our communities; all of which contribute to our full architectural education.

On the morning of Sunday, July 10 the Council of Presidents met to discuss issues that face our membership today. One of the most significant outcomes was the voting on the new AIAS Mission Statement: Advancing leadership, design, and service among architecture students. This was a huge advance in our organization as it effortlessly  captures the core of what the AIAS strives to achieve year after year. To reinforce this, several new or recent mission-driven initiatives will manifest themselves such as the Design Alliance, the Fall Research Symposiums, and Freedom By Design’s partnership with NCARB.

Nationally, the organization is addressing issues from the student perspective of equity and diversity in the profession, architectural education on a global platform, and constantly advocating for public access to good and inspiring design. If you would like to help address these issues, let us know you’re interested in participating through thisAIAS National Committee and Leadership Interest Form.

Locally, each chapter strives to make a difference in their respective community: redefining studio culture, providing opportunities for professional development, community outreach. Most importantly, each member (that’s YOU!) drives all of these initiatives with their interests and passions. Each member is a component of the foundation that the AIAS is built on. And each member is crucial to the growth of this organization.

As students, we are challenged everyday to question the norm, and propose new visions for the future. As the AIAS, we have the unique opportunity to affect change because of our stance at the forefront of this design profession.

We are not the future; we are designers of the future, here and now.

Take ownership of this charge as a call to action. And defy yourselves, AIAS.

With optimism and humility,

Signature_WahlgrenSarah Wahlgren, Assoc. AIA
President | AIAS
Signature_LawRachel Law, Assoc. AIA
Vice President | AIAS