September has always felt like the New Year to me because it’s when the school year starts. Now that I am a full-time academic and no longer in practice, that sense of beginning is even more acute. My students at Morgan State’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) are leading us into the future with their assertive, paradigm-shifting attitudes, and ideas about design work. While striving to join the ranks of the architecture profession, they are choosing to consciously distance themselves from old establishment thinking.
AIA Baltimore is also seeing a new culture being created by our members who are determining what success means in different ways. Winning designs are no longer limited to aesthetics or technologies—they’re also about doing the right thing, meaning they represent and inspire the greater good. Can architecture change our current culture? We all roll our eyes at platitudes like “rock and roll can change the world”, but this may be an essential question, now more than ever. In our quest for long-lasting and meaningful buildings, we’re still up against obsolete construction practices and the make-a-quick-buck mentality. Our designers-in-training at the SA+P yearn for a more meaningful professional experience. Their idealism is compelling and contagious.
This fall, in addition to the all-encompassing task of designing, building, and moving into our new Center for Architecture and Design, AIA Baltimore is hosting its usual outstanding programming for Baltimore Architecture Month in October. Be certain to mark the dates for Doors Open Baltimore, the annual Excellence in Design Awards Celebration, and the opening reception of the “Edge: Harbor and City” featuring projects submitted to the Spring Lecture Series design competition. Please join us!
We look forward to giving you the latest updates on the design and construction of the Center, which we’re keeping up to date on our website. And during this busiest time of year, consider attending one of our committee meetings so that you too can serve as an agent of positive change. Work with AIA Baltimore to make a new culture during this exciting period for our chapter.
Suzanne Frasier, FAIA
Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning