President's Message Winter 2008

Dear Eastern Pennsylvania AIA Chapter Members:a
History – Boston – BIM – Blueprint – Mentor

151 years ago, thirteen architects gathered in New York City to create the American Institute of Architects “promoting the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “to elevate the standing of our profession.” In 1857, it was a world of coal fired furnaces, horses, and gas lamps. Transcontinental communication was unheard of (the Pony Express did not start for another three years) and a brand new political party, Republican, with Abraham Lincoln soon to run as the candidate for President. The Capitol Building was under construction, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was in design development, and California was the newest State in the Union.

These founding fathers of AIA could not have imagined our world of instant access, instant messaging, constant communication, and global connectivity. However, core ideology remains just as valid in 2008 as it was in 1857: a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, professional excellence, and service to society.

In 2008 I challenge each of you to commit yourselves and your firms to mentor the emerging young professionals emerging with in our profession. Remember to pass on the knowledge you have acquired through year of hard knocks. In doing so you may find the teaching to be reciprocal as we all can use fresh inspiration allowing us to continue to grow in this professional ‘practice’. Take note that the focus of the AIA National convention in Boston this year is “BIM”. If you don’t know what that stands for or how to implement the process and/or use some flavor of software to facilitate the “BIM” design then you really should consider spending more time mentoring and listening to the under-30 architects around you.

With our AIA 150 ‘Blueprint for America” forged into place last year, we have the continued opportunity to offer Eastern Pennsylvanian’s a connection to the insightful knowledge our profession can and does provide. We must continue to promote the virtues of a sustainable built community and we must make the information accessible to everyone through the internet. As we succeed, we will we leave our mark helping our local communities to grow responsibly and change with foresight and ingenuity. I welcome your involvement and with the leadership of our chapter architectural firms, I look forward to the responsible development of the Eastern Pennsylvania communities designed and built in the 21st century.

Like our founders, we are unable to know what the next 150 years will hold for architects and architecture but, just like them, we dedicate ourselves to the quest for knowledge and professional excellence. Together we will explore and create the sustainable future together!

John Arthur Young
2008 AIA Eastern Pennsylvania President

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”. Ralph Waldo Emerson.