Carpe Diem & Two Questions

By Nathan Johnson, AIA, NOMA, AIA Minnesota President

I was a 13-year-old boy when Dead Poets Society came out. I remember vividly how the term Carpe Diem resonated with me. It reminded me as a youth that so many opportunities were in front me. Something else that I took away from this quote was the ability to be relevant in the moment.

At the AIA 2018 Architecture Conference delegates voted to adopt Resolution 18-1: Recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Whitney M. Young Jr.’s Speech at the 1968 AIA Convention, where Whitney Young explicitly told the gathering that they were irrelevant and failed to meet that moment in history. We have the opportunity, to be relevant now and meet our moment in history, to be leaders in the community. 

As I have mentioned in previous columns I firmly believe in architects as community leaders. Our capacity as creative thinkers extends beyond our ability to design buildings. In recognizing our leadership role, we should be holding our individual award winners to the highest standard. Please take this survey, which asks just two questions: 

  • How do you define “exemplary character” – broadly, as well as applied to the profession of architecture?
  • How do you know “exemplary character” when you encounter it? (i.e., examples of specific actions, ways that it is demonstrated, etc.)
Additional consideration of character will be added to this year’s AIA-MN Gold Medal jury process, as well as an additional letter of support from someone who was mentored by the nominee as a new requirement. I know for me there are many women and men I would gladly write a letter of support for. As architects let’s stay relevant and seize the moment to be leaders in our community.

View the full July issue of Matrix.