I’m honored to serve as your 2021 AIA Columbus President. Our mission is to provide advocacy, leadership and resources to you, so you can design a better world. Thanks to the efforts of my predecessors, our strong committees, and diligent staff the Chapter is active, engaged, and financially sound. AIA Columbus will continue to provide opportunities for expanding knowledge and coming together as a design community.
A brief introduction for those who don’t know me; I’ve been interested in design and building my entire life. My earliest memories include my grandfather building the house I grew up in, and countless hours drawing and creating castles and Lego spacecraft with my brother. My formal education took place at Miami University and Ohio State University, and I’ve had the opportunity to teach at Knowlton and serve on juries at 4 of the 5 accredited schools in the state. I have been part of a 3 person firm, several 20 person firms and a 700 person firm completing hospitals, homes, and high rises. My 20 years of practice have been focused in Ohio, but I also had the chance to live and work in Dubai and contribute to work on 4 continents. My current focus with Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects is improving State Parks facilities and master planning for Ohio Department of Natural Resources. I live in Clintonville with my wife, two children, and two dogs.
Goals for the Chapter this year align with our current Strategic Plan and AIA National’s new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan and center around: Environment, Equity & Economy.
Environment: The positive impacts architects have on the world are anchored by our creation of efficient, resilient, healthy buildings. Design Excellence is defined in part by how these qualities are incorporated in our work. We intend to provide members with clear, practical examples of strategies and successes so they can better advocate for environmental stewardship to clients and the community. We will work with aligned groups to increase opportunities for innovative work here in Columbus.
Equity: While strong local examples exist, it is clear the profession does not yet reflect the racial, gender and cultural makeup of our community, nor does it equally serve all segments of our community. Our Chapter will continue to amplify diverse voices and provide opportunities to underrepresented groups through our financial and mentoring support. We intend to build on collegial groups and make Columbus an even more just and inclusive place to practice.
Economy: The global pandemic and related economic impacts have changed the way we practice, and impacted certain sectors more than others. The pool of aspiring architects coming into this challenging setting deserves our support, and our future will benefit from their engagement. Firm leaders are facing new challenges, and the need in certain communities has disproportionately grown. AIA Columbus will tailor our programming to help our members thrive, and advocate for livable cities and affordable housing.
I hope you will join me this year as we strive to make the world a little better through the power of design.
Aleks Daskalov, AIA
2021 AIA Columbus Chapter President
AIA Columbus is a visionary membership organization providing advocacy, leadership, and resources to architects to design a better world.