2021 Year in Review
Dear AIA Seattle Community,
Thank you for the warm welcome to lead AIA Seattle’s mission to champion the central role of architects in creating and sustaining a better built environment. It’s a pleasure to share with you a reflection on our work in 2021 and our plans for 2022. We’ve come a long way in the past year through the availability of vaccines and evolving understanding of COVID 19. 2022 holds the promise of continuing impactful programs and our work to move forward our vision of design that fosters equitable, resilient, and thriving communities.
In 2021, disruptions transformed into opportunities as we adjusted how we provide programs for our members and the community. Over the past year, AIA Seattle has maintained focus on the core elements of our strategic plan, to prepare our profession to lead, to deploy design to make a difference, and to sustain a healthy chapter. We move forward in service to the membership in ten counties which we serve.
We are launching into 2022 with a steady focus on three areas of highest priority for advocacy, engagement, and programming:
- Justice and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
We will continue to engage as problems solvers in an evolving environment, and have plans for 2022 to provide education for our members through a broad range of programming including everything from the Small Firm Series to the Climate Leadership Summit. Advocacy plans include hosting sessions for members of the public and profession to learn how they can engage in the City of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan process, perhaps the most urgent and valuable step forward the city we want to become. In fall we plan to gather together for the Honor Awards, as an opportunity to share and celebrate nationally recognized excellence in design by architects in Washington State.
In 2022, I am personally looking forward to continuing to develop my understanding of your interests and relationships with you as a stakeholder. Your first opportunity to express your interests is below in our brief Programming Feedback Survey, and in early 2022, I’m also hosting ‘Ask Me Anything‘ Sessions in a virtual format. I encourage you to consider what questions you have for me as AIA Seattle’s Executive Director. Submit your questions here and we will group those by theme and announce dates early in the year for interactive zoom sessions.
Thank you for your engagement, and I look forward to our future connections in 2022!
A Look Back – 2021 Events and Programs
So many great programs were delivered in 2021. Highlights include:
- The annual Climate Summit – Just Transition: Upstream and Downstream Impacts of Decarbonization
- 7-session series exploring how Seattle can become a 15-minute City
- 5-part Code Series: Decoded
- 4-part Culture Change in Practice Leadership Cohort – in collaboration with NOMA Northwest and Planning in Color
- Conferences such as AHC’s Spring/Fall Resiliency Through Design
- Trainings like A&R’s Disaster Assistance Safety Assessment Program
- Over 30 committee-led events like tours, happy hours, and diving into committee-relevant topics.
- Our committees cross-pollinated and collaborated more than ever this year with events such as WiD + SPARC’s Business of Architecture events, and DRT’s Solstice event with folks from other west coast AIA chapters and their built project at Danny Woo Gardens.
- SPARC hosted 4 Ask an Architect sessions with the public
- 4 Advocacy related events occurred this year, such as candidate forums and West Coast Downtowns resiliency event. Read back through our monthly Advocacy Updates here to see what we endorsed and supported this year.
- Safely gathered in person and online for our 71st annual Honor Awards for Washington Architecture. Congrats to the 16 projects won 17 awards!
- NW Washington section held 4 learning unit programs and raised scholarship funds once again at their annual Golf Tournament. Congrats to the 12 project teams that won awards at their annual awards event!
- Congrats to the 5 Homes of Distinction published in Seattle Magazine this year!
- We welcomed 2 new committees to the group: Asian American Designers Union and the steering committee, Justice and Equity for Diversity & Inclusion Council.
- Our first ever online exhibit – When Seattle Shakes saw 8000+ visitors
- And the Seattle Design Festival saw over 6400 attendees at the Block Party. Check out our full Festival Year in Review.
Stay tuned for 2022’s lineup of educational programming and events. First up – the Diversity by Design exhibit – online and at the Center (by appointment) January 19 – July 14.
The Staff of AIA Seattle Welcomed Five New Members to the Team in 2021:
- Melissa K. Neher, Executive Director
- Anthony Collins, Membership & Development Coordinator
- David Le, Communications Coordinator
- Andrea Aguilera, Programs Coordinator
- Mitch Britton, Graphic Designer
From all of us at AIA Seattle, we wish you the best for your holiday season and look forward to seeing you all again in 2022!
Note on Holiday Hours: AIA Seattle + Seattle Design Festival will be closed December 24, 2021, through January 3, 2022, for Winter Break.