Do Not Equivocate!

By Nathan Johnson, AIA, NOMA, AIA Minnesota President

I am now four months into my 2018 AIA Minnesota presidency. One thing I can say without equivocation is that the Minnesota architectural community is amazing! A’18 in New York City will feel a little like a Minnesota architectural celebration: Snow Kreilich Architects will be recognized with the Firm Award; Jennifer Newsom, AIA and Tom Carruthers of Dream The Combine will be finishing up their competition-winning exhibit at MOMA PS1 in Queens; three Minnesota architects will be recognized as new Fellows (William (Griff) G. Davenport, FAIA, Timothy J. Griffin, FAIA, and Matthew Kreilich, FAIA); and two Minnesota architects will be recognized as national AIA Young Architects (Malini Srivastava, AIA, and Angela Wolf Scott, AIA). This Matrix and the June Matrix will have further information about the activities in New York surrounding these great achievements.

In addition to the great work our architectural community produces, we are also recognized as thought leaders. In February I attended the 30th annual Lake Superior Design Retreat. I left the retreat with my mind expanded and thinking of more ways we can be impactful in design thinking throughout Minnesota.

Affordable housing is a significant topic throughout the state of Minnesota. AIA Minnesota has been leading on this topic for more than 30 years through our Search for Shelter event, and we’ve recently added the Affordable Housing Design Awards in partnership with the McKnight Foundation. If you did not attend the Affordable Housing Award celebration in April, consider participating in the future. The award recipient, Emanuel Housing, by Cermak Rhoades Architects, is inspirational, and the jury presentation was insightful on how we as an architectural community can engage substantially on the affordable housing policy debates in all our communities.

Architects are also thought leaders in culture. All of us have an obligation to our clients; however, as a profession we also have an obligation to the community and we are looked to for leadership. AIA Minnesota has been proactive about discussing the changing culture in our workplaces and in the larger community. We just completed our second series of Interrupting Bias presentations, and a small cohort of professionals will be going through the Intercultural Leadership Program in 2018.

As AIA Minnesota continues to implement our strategic plan, you will see more opportunities to engage the public as thought leaders. We will not equivocate in telling the story of the great work of AIA Minnesota and the architectural community. Please look inside Matrix for the great events we will be hosting all over the state in the month of May.

View the full May issue of Matrix.