Through our website, we provide news, competitions, best practices and case studies. We work on a regular basis with the Gallop organization to do surveys on design trends. We’re also working with RDB magazine on a survey of general contractors to establish trends that our members and readers of the magazine can utilize (see survey results on pg. 52).
In October 2007, the Custom Residential Architects’ Network is sponsoring a symposium in Chicago. It will focus on issues of practice on residential projects. It’s a good opportunity to share information on client-contractor relationships, emerging technologies, how to convey the value of working with a design professional, and what marketing materials are important.
Q: How did you get your start in architecture?
I got started when I was in high school, as many do, looking at the buildings and built environment where people live, work and play — things that are the backdrop of our lives. And what it meant to create places people inhabit. The interest in that spurred me into the university and into practice.
Q: How did you become involved in AIA?
After teaching at Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University, then practicing in the Midwest and East Coast, I moved to San Francisco. Given the nature of the regulatory environment (in San Francisco) between building codes and planning codes, I became increasingly frustrated with the way those regulations made it difficult for us to do the things we wanted to do to satisfy our clients. I became active in the institute and participated in the Urban Design Committee within my local chapter which led me up the ranks to the presidency of AIA San Francisco in 1996. From there, I became president of AIA California Council in 2000, then to the national board and to the national presidency.
Q: How long have you been involved in AIA?
My first involvement as a member of the Urban Design Committee dates back to 1985 or 1986.
Q: How do you feel about being president as AIA celebrates 150 years?
It’s an incredible opportunity. As we look back 150 years at what has been achieved in this country in regard to the role buildings, structures and places have played to support the nation’s development, it is incredible.
Q: What do you see in store for the next 150 years of AIA?
What we’re doing to engage communities to strengthen the skills of our practitioners and inspire them to do great work is really what the Institute has done in the past and will continue to do in the future.
RK Stewart, FAIA, is the 2007 president of the American Institute of Architects. He is principal for Gensler in San Francisco, joining the team in 1988, where he manages large-scale projects. He has extensive experience in renovation, urban mixed-use, office building, planning and urban design, low/mid-rise office, civic/cultural and public facilities, workplace design and hospitality projects. Stewart holds a master’s of architecture from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s of environmental design from the University of Kansas. He has presented at many speaking engagements in the architecture field.
Feb. 23, 1857 - Thirteen architects met in Richard Upjohn’s office and created the New York Society of Architects.
March 10, 1857 - Second meeting of 13 architects with an additional 16 other invited architects. Thomas U. Walter suggested The American Institute of Architects as a name.
April 13, 1857 - The current members of AIA went to New York City Hall and filed a certificate of incorporation.
1866 - The first contract document adopted by AIA was a fee schedule.
1867 - Chapters were created within AIA to include other cities. The New York chapter was considered the first official chapter.
Oct. 22 and 23, 1867 - AIA held its first convention in New York City.
1884 - Western Association of Architects was founded in Chicago.
1886 - Louise Bethune became AIA’s first woman member.
1888 - The first construction document adopted by AIA was an architect and owner agreement.
AIA and WAA merged into one group.
1889 - Bethune became the first woman Fellow.