The AIA #ILookUp media campaign is designed to elevate the public’s awareness of the impact and importance of the architecture profession by asking everyone to “look up” and engage in and space a conversation on the value of architects and architecture. Initially, AIA members were asked to Look Up and share what they see. However, Robert Ivy reminded us it’s not only important to look up, but also to speak up and become spokespeople for the proession. We are asked to become better advocates and speak to the public about how and why architects contribute to the community.
In an attempt to take advocacy to the street and to actually hear what people in Columbus, Ohio think about architecture, the AIA Columbus Emerging Professionals Committee have been working on a video titled, “Speak Up Columbus!”, in order to bring the AIA National #ILookUp campaign to the local level. The national campaign has inspired our local EP Committee to develop this new initiative which is intended to not only promote public awareness and appreciation of architecture here in Columbus, but also to actively connect with the public by asking their opinions and listening to different perspectives on architecture and how buildings impact their daily lives.
The Emerging Professionals have chosen four buildings around Columbus where they interviewed the architect of the building to get some contextual information and ask questions about the building before turning it around and having the architect ask the public their thoughts about the buildings. We have received candid reactions and opinions from the public through video interviews without the interviee realizing they were speaking to the architect. The architects were able to inform the public about elements of the design as it related to their response during the interview.
It is our hope that Speak Up Columbus! is just the beginning of a renewed appreciation and awareness of architecture in Columbus and will help encourage the public to recognize their surroundings and encourage architects to speak up about architecture and design. The AIA Emerging Professionals have started the conversation in our city now let’s continue it with the community!