From an architecture student’s perspective the visit to the capital was an exciting opportunity to gain insight into the decision making process of legislations affecting both architects and architecture students today. Prior to our trip to Atlanta, I was unaware of how state-level policy making impacted our society and future careers.
One of the most interesting elements of the day was being able to witness and hear about bylaws that directly affect our generation of architecture students regarding the IPAL process. The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure will allow incoming students an additional chance to complete the requirements for licensure whilst earning their degree.
After learning about the IPAL in further detail, I was able to learn how advantageous it will be for my peers and younger generations to integrate their academic curricula with work experience. As I enter my last few weeks of my undergraduate degree, I can see that the earning a license upon graduation would be extremely beneficial for those who are confident in pursuing architecture from the start. Speaking as an international student, it would also alleviate certain difficulties in finding work placements outside of your home country. In the future, I hope to be able to be involved in the discussion of internships and how students can balance the ARE alongside regular academics.
As members and leaders of the SCAD Chapter of AIAS, it was also a great event to network with local architects, faculty, and to represent the school. To be in a room full of industry professionals is an experience that we are not always exposed to!
More than anything, the visit highlighted the importance of outreach. To voice our strength and leverage our accessibility amongst those that set public policy at the state level, particularly at General Assembly, was truly empowering. I would encourage a larger participation amongst students in future opportunities such as this, to really grasp the scale of how architecture is governed and practiced.
It has been my privilege to attend the AIA Georgia Grassroots Day at the Capital twice in the past years, first in 2016 as the SCAD AIAS/Savannah AIA Liaison and again in 2017 as the AIA Savannah Emerging Professionals Liaison. Each visit to the capital uniquely changed my view of architecture and the scope of the profession.
As an emerging professional and recent graduate, the AIA Georgia Grassroots Day at the Capital provided me a chance to understand what lies ahead for the industry and by association my future. A particular moment I recall was meeting Georgia State Senator Lester G. Jackson III (Democrat – 2). Upon arriving it was clear that Senator Jackson was pressed for time and had a full schedule. Regardless, we received a friendly and generous reception and his undivided attention. Our group consisted of architects, educators, emerging professionals, and students and we were able to voice our views on multiple issues regarding the profession of architecture. Although our time spent in his office was short, the foundation that was built created an avenue of communication that I am confident will be beneficial in the future.
While the objective was advocacy there are unforeseen benefits to attending for those coming from Savannah. The distant commute may be discouraging at first however, the opportunity to spend that time with the industry leaders of our community is invaluable. Grassroots has become not merely a chance to unify our voice as Savannah AIA with that of AIA Georgia, but also cultivates an atmosphere of unison and comradery amongst all the participants, bridging the gap between students, emerging professionals, and licensed architects. While to the casual observer AIA Georgia Grassroots Day may not seem strictly essential to their success in the profession, I would consider it of utmost importance for anyone wishing to truly invest in their architectural community.
Overall, this event has given me a spirit of accountability and empowerment. It has both created with in me the feeling that I am, in part, responsible for the actions and outcomes of my community and given me the confidence that I have the ability to have that influence.
-Adam Drummond, Assoc. AIA