View the full July issue of Matrix.

Space Exploration

By Meredith Hayes Gordon, AIA; AIA Minnesota President

As we dive into another great Minnesota summer, AIA Minnesota is also diving into an exciting research project. Our lease at IMS expires in January 2019 prompting us to explore options for continuing to occupy that space, moving to another location, or rethinking the format of our space entirely. As we are evaluating and reallocating our resources this year to align with our new strategic direction, it is perfect timing for this exploration. In particular, our focus on making architecture accessible, understandable & highly valued could point us to an option that offers greater accessibility to the public. Additionally, we welcome the opportunity to evaluate how we can serve members effectively with an optimal space solution.

There are so many questions to ask and I doubt that we will find a perfect solution. Instead, we take on the role that our clients typically hold and weigh the merits of a variety of different scenarios. What are the access and accommodation needs of our evolving membership for meetings, continuing education and special events? How does the evolving technology for remote access, presentations, engagement and training affect the composition of organizational space? What is the nature of continuing programs, services and partnerships? How does our space best support the work of our staff team? Should our space reflect the priorities of our profession (e.g. resiliency, health, equity, etc.)?

Additionally, we should consider new models for the association’s space. Should any of our resources go towards programming that requires public-facing retail-type space that offers opportunity to engage with key audiences? What is the business model related to more public-facing programming? Does our physical space offer opportunities for new strategic partnerships? Should the organization’s space be temporary or mobile? What is the organization’s tolerance for risk?

We welcome your thoughts on these questions and any other suggestions about our physical space. Feel free to e-mail myself or Mary-Margaret. Additionally we will offer other opportunities for you to share including at our convention in November. I look forward to hearing from you!

View the full July issue of Matrix.