Community Dinners

In September, AIA Virginia will Unveil Groundbreaking Initiative to Connect Architects with Local Community Leaders over Dinner

I’ve seen the data.  I’ve read the survey results.  One major common thread is that, in general, Architects wish the public understood what they did and why they are of importance to society.  As a professional architect, I want that also. The knowledge and skills we possess through our unique education, experience, and training, position us to be a valuable resource to those who influence the quality of life in our respective communities.   In September, AIA Virginia will unveil a groundbreaking initiative that will help bridge that gap around the Commonwealth.

This initiative will be centered on a simple concept of bringing together architects and community influencers over a private catered dinner to discuss what community means to each individual.  Within the context of this conversation, we will discuss what we are most proud of in our community and what challenges are we working to overcome.  How can architects be a resource in overcoming these challenges?

Dinners will have no more than 20 invited individuals.  Of these invitees, six to eight will be architects who live or work in that hosting community.  The other seats will be reserved for local leaders who have influence over shaping the quality of life.  Positions that come to mind are the Mayor, School Superintendent, the individual overseeing Transportation, Housing, and so forth. 

We are proud to announce that the first dinner will be held in Richmond on September 10th at the home of Burt Pinnock, FAIA.  The attendance of Mayor Levar Stoney has been confirmed and we are working on inviting other local leaders.  This initiative is planned to continue for five years with the hope of hosting anywhere between 25 to 50 dinners during this time frame in all corners of Virginia.  Our hope is that this initiative is a seed project in which each of our local components will begin to host their own dinners to continue this dialogue. 

Meal after meal, we look forward to positioning our members to be a valuable resource for the community.

With service,
Corey Clayborne, AIA, MBA
Executive Vice President

Students Explore Architecture “From the Ground Up”

This July, the Virginia Center for Architecture was host to the Math Science Innovation Center’s Summer Regional Governor’s School program From the Ground Up. The program, aimed at middle school students, was a two-week exploration of the professions of architecture, planning, interior design and landscape architecture. Through hands-on activities, lectures, and visits to firms and sites — including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Carlton Abbott’s striking sculptural installation at historic Pole Green — students learned about the language of architecture, investigated green design, and planned their own community from the ground up.

The program culminated with presentations by the students to an inspired audience of onlookers. The students, broken into groups responsible for the design of five different zones of their fictional community, presented models explaining their various design choices — including a roof-top community garden on the recreation center to the green features of the police department.

This marks the fifth year the Center has played host to the program.