It is hard to believe that we are halfway through 2021. Each day feels increasingly more normal as we gather with loved ones, friends, and colleagues. We would be remiss if we did not take the time to congratulate our Class of 2021 graduates from our Virginia schools of architecture!

I joined the profession in 2004 after graduating from Virginia Tech. It was not much longer thereafter that I became actively involved in the AIA. Even back then, when members were asked what they wanted from the organization, the response was “we want the public to know what we do”.

Well, I must ask you two questions.

Do you still have a voice?

If so, are you using it?

AIA Virginia serves as a facilitator in the process of educating the public on the value of architects and architecture. However, we will fall woefully short of this goal if you do not use your own voice in this endeavor. When you consider our education, experience, and the rigorous testing required to be an architect, you are too valuable to not use your voice.

You cannot sit on the sidelines.

It is simply not an option (at least if you want to remain relevant).

You may be wondering what AIA Virginia has been doing recently to elevate the voices of those who decide to use them.

Well, I am so glad you asked.

Since you opened last month’s newsletter, AIA Virginia has elevated the voice of the profession through the following:

  • Through ARCHITECTS Speak Up!, connected 50+ architects and designers in Virginia with their state-elected officials as a resource on design, sustainability, preservation, affordable housing, and school modernization.
  • Introduced our amazing Emerging Leaders in Architecture class to Senator Ghazala Hashmi to engage in an interactive dialogue on the importance of the role of architects in community engagement and policy development.
  • Presented a stellar slate of architect member candidates to Governor Ralph Northam for his consideration for appointment to the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA).
  • Through the faithful support of many of you to our Political Action Committee, we are attending a number of legislative fundraisers so elected officials realize that architects exist and are of value in their communities

Our voice can only be heard in a harmonious way if we use it. AIA Virginia will work hard to do its part and I know you will join us in doing your part. It is always a joy to do this important work when walking beside you.

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA, NOMA, MBA
Executive Vice President