Matthew Fochs, the director of design and outreach programs with the American Institute of Architecture Students wrote this to everyone here at the AIA national component headquarters recently: "President Barak Obama has declared that this year will mark the inaugural “9/11 Day of Service.” In Washington the day is being organized by the Greater DC Cares program. I am thinking about participating and wanted to see if anyone else from the office would like to join me (I know a few of you are traveling at some point that day). You can read more or sign up for the day of service by visiting the Web site."
Photo: AIAS Students work on their Freedom by Design project.
Matt—like most architecture graduates—has been community-involved his whole life. And he has co-joined the AIAS and AIA in a program begun here by AIA Meetings Registration Director Tonya Horsley, CMP, whose "Legacy Program" seeks to include some community enrichment program to all AIA activities at the local, state, and national level.
The idea for this particular program came during the AIA conventions of the mid-1990s, with 1997 AIA President Raj Barr-Kumar, FAIA, proclaiming that the AIA at its annual meetings would be committed to leaving something more significant behind than a streetful of scrapped paper.
Activities since then have spanned from Habitat for Humanity house construction and community planning (deeper still are the R/UDAT, SDAT, and Disaster Assistance programs of the AIA Communities by Design initiative), the Shadow an Architect events, the Solar Decathlon coming up again this October, or gestures as simple as donating unused hotel toiletries to local shelters.
Reaching out and giving back ... that's a big part of what makes most architects passionate about their profession. It's only fitting that we strive together to continue that legacy. Thanks for the reminder, Matt.