From the Chapter President: Ruth Gless, AIA

Although both our profession and our organization have suffered in the economic downturn of the past few years, we always approach the new year with hope for a brighter future. So, I approach my tenure as 2011 President of AIA Columbus fully aware of the heavy responsibility but also hopeful that the programs we have planned will prove to be compelling and worthwhile to our members and our industry colleagues. 
This year we will focus on a number of important issues – sustainability, design in the Midwest, and outreach to our community in the form of our continuing involvement in the Center for Architecture.
We begin with sustainability. The Chapter will offer the AIA+2030 Professional Series – a ten-month professional development course created to help the design community reach the goals of the 2030 Challenge – creating carbon neutral buildings by 2030. Eric Thompson, chair of our COTE Committee will provide details at the January 18 Chapter meeting. Our speaker that evening will be Vivian Loftness, FAIA, an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator in environmental design and sustainability. More details below. 
In February, we kick off the Design in the Midwest and the Midwestern City series. We have invited urban thinkers Lavea Brachman of Greater Ohio and Ann Pendleton-Jullian of the Knowlton School of Architecture to share their knowledge and ideas concerning the state of the city in Ohio and the Midwest, the decline of cities and their potential for re-birth. In March leaders and interns of the three university-related Urban Design Centers of Ohio – Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati – will share their missions and demonstrate their impact on their respective cities, and notable design architects from Ohio will share their work with us. Finally, for the annual meeting, we have invited (confirmation pending) Blair Kamin, architecture critic of The Chicago Tribune to share his insights concerning the state of architecture and design in his great city and in the Midwest. 
In addition to these fine speakers, we will continue our tradition of inviting a Healthcare expert and a Latin architect both to share there work with us, but also to share practice thoughts at a round-table event. We hope these guests will inspire us to think beyond the confines of our own practices. Stay tuned to our website for details on these events.
Lastly, I hope you will view AIA Columbus as more than a resource but as a means to participate in your profession and to “give back” to your community. We invite and encourage participation.  
I’m honored to serve AIA Columbus in 2011 and I look forward to seeing you at many of our events throughout the year.

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