Positions on AIA Issues: James M. Wright

Page Senior Principal James M. Wright, FAIA, has shared his position on four key issues the American Institute of Architecture is facing. His viewpoints are informed by his decades of international experience and practice leadership. Read more to learn what James believes our AIA needs going into the 2020s:

Global Posture
We must strengthen our professional engagement worldwide.  The AIA is ascendant on the global architectural stage, providing leadership in those defining issues of our era which architects are well positioned to deal with.  As globalization of the economy impacts us all, we must be vitally connected to the global marketplace.  Foreign investment in real estate development in the U.S. is rapidly increasing, and your next local project could be financed and/or managed from abroad.  I helped found the AIA International Region in 2012 and have been a Board officer ever since. I will continue to build the AIA brand abroad.

Reinforcement of the Value Proposition
I’ve recruited a young and diverse workforce in my own practice, and I have a newly-minted B.Arch. son.  Today’s generation questions the long, difficult process to become a registered architect, and engagement with the AIA is not a given.  They are impatient for the rewards and responsibilities that others have in their professions, and with a life/work balance.  The AIA’s future begins in the schools of architecture.

Leadership in Practice
I am well grounded in the challenges of day-to-day practice.  I’ve been a practice owner for over 20 years, and before that, I was 20 years on the boards. To this day I am hands-on involved with project delivery.  AIA tools and resources offer value, but I know where there’s work yet to be done.  As the Co-Director of the Professional Practice Commission of the International Union of Architects, I work with leader representatives of almost a million architects in formulating creative responses to the ever-evolving nature of architectural services delivery.

The Long Perspective
Many occupations are being disrupted by applications of artificial intelligence and Internet-based service delivery—some to the point of extinction.  How does our profession grow and prosper in terms of numbers, social influence and stature?  I encourage the AIA to hold a long view of existential threats to our profession and identify opportunities for using new software tools and technologies to do what architects do best—creatively synthesize.

To see a three-minute video of his speech on these topics at AIA Grassroots 2018, click here

To learn more about James's professional experience, visit his staff profile page here

To see his thoughts on other topics critical to the AIA at this time, click on the below links.

The Role of Architects and the AIA for the Public Good
Promoting Pay Equity, Gender Equality and Diversity Inclusion in Architecture 
Prioritizing Sustainability throughout the Architecture Profession
Engaging the Current Generation of Emerging Professionals
The Importance of Group Political Action to Architects
Promoting Architectural Innovation in the AIA
Influencing AIA’s Role in Influencing Architectural Education
We Need to Reinforce the AIA Pipeline
Live or Die: Overcoming the Architecture Industry’s Biggest Challenge
Striving for Greater Inclusivity in AIA of Non-Traditional Architects