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Looking at AIA Columbus in relation to the greater community, the construction industry and the needs of the individual Architect.
Developed by the 2008 AIA Columbus Strategic Planning Task Force
Report to the Board of Directors
June 2, 2008
It seems timely for AIA Columbus to re-evaluate goals and articulate a plan of action through 2013,
our chapter’s Centennial year. It is imperative that we charge forward to the future. Focused energy
should ensure a strong foundation for our second century of service to the profession.
The successful implementation of many of the initiatives in the 1999 Strategic Plan has fostered
remarkable growth, expanding a significant legacy of service to our membership and the Greater
Columbus community. This period of growing influence culminated in 2007 through the AIA 150
program, a grassroots, and national effort to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the American Institute
of Architects. As we build on this success, we must strive to articulate an even greater impact within
our community and a higher level of service to our AIA member architects throughout Central Ohio.
During the Summer of 2007, the AIA Columbus executive committee gathered to initiate the strategic
planning process and offered a challenge to our membership to increase the relevancy of the
organization before the end of our first century. Specifically, the committee articulated the following
goals to explore through the 2008 Strategic Planning process:
- Increase the relevancy of programming; focusing on knowledge dissemination
- Establish a new model for community, industry and professional engagement
- Expand the diversity of the organization through wider membership and involvement of a diverse body of individuals.
This strategic plan is intended to be a guiding document for a period of three years. The document will
be adopted into action in 2008 and implemented during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 program years.
In 2012, a new Strategic Plan will be developed for implementation during 2013, 2014, and 2015.
A vibrant and energetic task force was collected, intentionally composed of both architects and
industry leaders, young and old, men and women, a fellow and a student. Through this diverse set of
participants, the planning process was informed by a range of viewpoints and developed a rich result.
Participants in the 2008 Strategic Planning Task Force include:
Peter Bardwell, FAIA Peter Bardwell, Architect
Crystal Peterson, AIAS Student, Knowlton School of Architecture
Sara Boyer, AIA Moody Nolan
Joseph Weithman, AIA Mull & Weithman Architects
Sheryl Loudon Architectural Avenues
Steve Shinn, AIA Philip Markwood Architects
Kim Johnson Pella Windows
Quentin Elliott, Assoc. AIA Anshen + Allen
Steven Cooke Dupler Office
Brooke Michel Smith Anshen + Allen
Matthew Carbone AIA Columbus
Gwen Berlekamp, Executive Director AIA Columbus
Joseph Pax, AIA Immediate Past President Meyers & Associates, Architects
Timothy Hawk, AIA President-Elect WSA Studio
The format for the development of the strategic plan included three sessions, each at a unique
location and each focused on successive detail in the development of the overall strategic plan.
The initial session included an overview of recent programs and events sponsored by AIA Columbus
and established a foundation of knowledge, goals and objectives. This program was held at the offices
of WSA Studio. The second session focused on creating a vision and a mission for the organization
and was hosted by Myers & Associates. And, the final session articulated specific actions towards
enacting the AIA Columbus mission and was held at Dupler Office.
The first session focused on the role of the national, state and local chapters, reviewed the most
recent 1999 AIA Columbus strategic plan, and included a presentation on the national component
strategic plan. The task force was fortunate to have Karen Harrison, the local component
representative from the AIA National Component, in town to facilitate a portion of the session.
Participants were able to gain knowledge that AIA National collected from a comprehensive
Environmental Scan in 2007 during the meeting. Ms. Harrison also presented the AIA National
component Strategic Plan. Through discussion, the group agreed to localize the categories that are
articulated in the National Component Strategic Plan as such:
AIA Columbus is the authoritative source of the profession in Central Ohio, and will seek to expand this
mission through INCREASED VISIBILITY as the
• Expert resource for information, knowledge, and education
• Expert resource for innovation, leadership, vision and design
• Expert resource for ethics, quality, accountability, and owner advocacy
AIA Columbus is the credible voice of the profession in Central Ohio, and will seek to BRING VALUE through
• Unbiased, value-added, expert perspective on the designed environment
• Being a change agent towards the future designed environment
• Being accountable, knowledgeable and professional
As a follow up meeting, the second session built upon this vision of AIA Columbus as the authoritative
source and the credible voice, and articulated the following mission:
AIA Columbus will target three distinct “communities”. First, the organization will focus on architects
and those on the path towards registration. This is the historic center of the American Institute of
Architects and will remain the primary focus audience for the organization. The second target
community will include industry leaders such as allied professionals, vendors, contractors, craftsmen,
and those engaged in the process of building design, construction and facility management. And, of
course, the AIA will seek to reach the broader, general public in the Central Ohio region.
In order to become the authoritative source for information, the organization will become more visible
in our communities. In order to be the credible voice of the profession, the organization will to bring
value to our communities by providing or serving.
AIA Columbus will achieve this mission through best practices, innovation and research, and
professionalism. Specific goals include:
- Become the place where information on architecture and design is presented and shared
- Become the expert resource for innovation and new ideas
- Become the expert resource for ethics, quality and owner advocacy
Credible Voice of the Profession
- Provide an unbiased perspective on the built environment
- Serve as an agent of change
- Serve as a creative problem solver
The task force developed specific goals during session three. The goals meet the mission of the organization and include and encapsulate much of the discussion from previous meetings. Specific combined goals include:
- Realign the chapter around the Knowledge Communities, establishing the chapter as an expert resource for information
- Build on the existing knowledge communities that exist. Currently, AIA Columbus has active knowledge communities in several areas, including Healthcare Architecture, the Committee on the Environment, Small Project Practitioner, and Livable Communities (Communities by Design).
- Expand the existing knowledge community structure to introduce three new communities within three years. Possible knowledge communities should be linked to practice specialty strength or interest area and potential leadership from local firms. Particularly relevant may be Architecture for Education, Retail and Entertainment, Interior Architecture, Housing and Custom Residential, Architecture for Education and Religious Architecture. National knowledge communities include (current AIA Columbus programs are in bold italics):
- Architecture for Education
- Center for Building Science and Performance
- Committee on Design
- Communities by Design
- Corporate Architects and Facility Managers
- Design for Aging
- Educator/Practitioner Network
- Emerging Professionals
- Committee on the Environment
- Healthcare Architecture
- Historic Resources Committee
- Housing and Custom Residential
- Interior Architecture
- Integrated Project Delivery
- Justice Architecture
- Leadership Education
- Practice Management
- Public Architects
- Regional and Urban Design
- Religious Architecture
- Retail and Entertainment
- Small Project Practitioners
- Technology in Practice
- Continue to build upon the tremendous success of the Continuing Education programs and also programs that support licensure such as the Architect Registration Exam review coursework. These programs will benefit from the energy that will be realized through the knowledge community focus.
- Disseminate existing research or case studies. Since many architects produce and create research content, AIA Columbus will seek to gain access to this information and disseminate the research. AIA Columbus will also seek to conduct research on relevant practice issues in the future. This may be achieved through grants, sponsorship or industry partnerships.
- Capitalize on the organization’s long standing and rich relationship with the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture to disseminate scholarly information to the membership. Additionally, research that is being conducted by practicing architects or allied professional can serve to enrich the flow of information between the organization and the university.
- Increase communications related to ethical practice and current practice related issues. This goal is intended to lift up the profession and promote knowledge of practice standards throughout the industry and the community.
- Engage and involve firm leadership more fully in the chapter through advocacy and practice leadership summits. AIA Columbus will benefit from involvement by pre-eminent practitioners and members will gain exposure to individuals who lead design thought in Columbus.
- Continue and enrich the Chapter’s history of community service.
Specific action items were also adopted. These tasks will embody the goals of the organization,
initiate the mission and provide progress towards the AIA Columbus vision.
WEBSITE AIA Columbus will commence with an expansion of the website to include
postings, blogs, links, and knowledge resources. The website will include research,
communicate information on knowledge community programs, and grow as a resource for
information regarding ethical practice. Over time, the website will become the “go to”
resource for architectural information and information on key issues in the built environment.
NEW KNOWLEDGE COMMUNITIES AIA Columbus will seek leadership from within the
membership to champion the development of two to three new Knowledge Communities.
These members will initiate programming and work hard to develop activities that engage a
wider, more diverse spectrum of the organization. Each new knowledge community will need
to provide a pro forma for funding programs and the new knowledge community chairs will
report directly to a champion on the Board of Directors.
CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN AIA Columbus will establish a Task Force
to explore, conceptualize and implement a new Center for Architecture + Design. The Center
will serve as a physical replacement for the current AIA Columbus administrative offices and
through its mission, the Center will seek to become the “place” for design community
gathering, discussion and exhibition. The Task Force will be charged with the completion of
their immediate objectives by 2010; and, it is anticipated that the Center for Architecture +
Design will evolve and develop a unique, individual mission as time progresses.
FRIENDS OF ARCHITECTURE AIA Columbus will develop new partnerships with
community and industry leaders. The chapter will assemble a list of “Friends of Architecture”
to include champions that are able to be called on for collaboration or invited to significant
events. Additionally, the chapter will seek to establish a dialogue with these individuals to
both advance our objectives and lend resources to significant events or causes.
“DID YOU KNOW” AIA Columbus will solicit and distribute “Did You Know”
information via the e-newsletter, publications, events and advertising. The goal of this action
item is to highlight the power of architecture, position the architect as a knowledge resource,
and communicate the role of the profession as a shaper of society and culture.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS AIA Columbus will organize and hold roundtable
discussion groups. These events will serve as a vehicle to bring together community leaders,
industry representation and a wide spectrum of the profession for issue oriented discussion.
Through time, the goal of AIA Columbus is to elevate this discussion to action-based
programming that leads cultural change and elevates the status of Columbus on the national
level. These programs will also engage Knowlton School students and faculty in intellectual
discussion with practicing professionals, industry leaders and allied professionals.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AIA Columbus will enhance efforts to provide a more
focused series of significant community service projects. Current projects will be evaluated
and the organization will endeavor to redouble efforts towards the enrichment of one or two
programs which provide maximum impact and uphold our organization’s mission.