Emily (3rd from right) with members of AIA NH and AIA VT leadership

There is nothing like fall in New England so it was a pleasure to present my thoughts about the future of the profession and ways that architects can create new value in their work to AIA New Hampshire and AIA Vermont at their annual ARCHtoberfest event. Held annually in a local brewery, this year’s site was the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT where 60 architects gathered for good food, beer, and conversation about the architecture profession and its future.

Using a business model exercise, I challenged the group to imagine, design, and create new models for architects’ roles and the profession, and to broadly communicate these ideas to professionals worldwide. The discussion focused on how current trends may impact our profession in the future, responding with new ideas and models for business opportunities. We also addressed professional innovation through discussion about how the design community can engage others, and helped foster some new directions for the architects in attendance.

At the end of the event, I presented an overview of the work of the Equity in Architecture Commission which is working to develop recommendations that will lead to more equitable practices within the architecture profession. By looking to the future, we explored the impact of technology, economics, policy, society and the environment on the future of architectural practice and take action to address the topics discussed.

Stepping out of our usual community offers an entirely different perspective and a range of new ideas. The discussion that we had at ARCHtoberfest served as a reminder that the success of our profession depends on us reaching out of our comfort zone and engaging with professionals we might not work with on a regular basis. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing scenery on your way there.

Topics: leadership