Resiliency Revisted: AIA Spring Membership Meeting & SDSU AIAS Contribution

The last AIA SD Convention’s theme was rural resiliency. At that time, we didn’t know the challenges that lie ahead. I keep coming back to the idea though. I have hope that our state will bounce back. Midwesterners are known for their toughness and ability to weather the storms: their resiliency. This year’s spring meeting was evidence of that attitude. The plan was to hold the meeting in Brookings hosted by SDSU’s chapter of AIAS. The students had put time and thought into an informative agenda. Social distancing upended that plan.

The solution? Between 25 & 30 students and professionals participated in a GoTo Meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The business meeting lasted an hour. The students, led by AIAS president, Karianna Larson, led discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on the profession, working, design, and sought advice for graduating students. There could have been another hour or two devoted to back-and-forth conversation.

Current events have required creativity, and this meeting was no different. Adapting to the available platform, the students and professionals in South Dakota were able to have a meaningful conversation. I, for one, felt a renewed sense of hope.

It is important to remember that this too shall pass. When it does, I am confident that the state of South Dakota will bounce back. The resiliency of our state and its people will be proven once again.

In the interest of keeping the conversation going, to list questions we didn’t have time for, and to involve anyone who wasn’t able to attend the meeting, we have listed the questions below. Please comment below your thoughts and additional questions.

Photo credit: Angela Lammers, SD AIA Executive Director

COVID-19 Related Questions

  1. How has COVID-19 impacted your collaborative process and group dynamic?
  2. How has this impacted relationships with clients?
  3. How do you think what is going on right now will affect the profession of architecture?
  4. What type architectural ideas do you think will come out of this era?
  5. What are some ways that you think we can benefit from this “stay-at-home” “social distancing” experience?

General Questions (from Students to Professionals)

  1. What skills/characteristics do you look for in a new employee?
  2. How do you go about establishing a new employee in your firm?
  3. What was your experience like transitioning from school to the profession and do you have any advice for students as they go through that process?

3 Replies to “Resiliency Revisted: AIA Spring Membership Meeting & SDSU AIAS Contribution”

  1. What a great meeting! Thank you to everyone who participated. We should set up a zoom party / forum to discuss further with students. I would like to understand how this is affecting them and try to find a happy solution for the way we will integrate them into our practices this summer!

  2. Great stuff, Liz!
    I think I must have been preparing some “school lunches” during the General Questions. Here are my delayed responses to a couple of those:
    1. Cultural fit and attitude are most important for me, based on my few years of self-employment and my ongoing Air National Guard career. New hires can be trained to do just about anything, provided they have the right attitude.
    2. A collaborative workspace and collaborative design process work best to get new hires established on a team.
    3. I have taken a long path to the profession. Upon graduating from architecture school, I spent 10 years in the Air Force. From there, I have made a couple stops before settling in the public sector as a Project Manager, while continuing my military career in the Air National Guard.
    Bottom line, an architecture degree opens a lot of doors…don’t be afraid to explore a few of those, as you may find your best fit in a less traditional or adjacent practice. Talk soon!
    Cheers, John

    1. John, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would be remiss if I did not give credit to Karianna Larson and the SDSU AIAS for coming up with the thought provoking questions.

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