Grassroots 2016: Building upon ideas

Submitted by digital on Fri, 02/26/2016 - 15:25
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In their own way, each of the presenters during the opening session emphasized the need for architects to assume a leadership role in improving our urban centers and using design as a tool for boundless innovation."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022In this election year, when people are trying to tear each other apart, imagine what we can create together.\u0022 - Robert Ivy, FAIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In that vein, AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, presented the Institute\u0027s next steps for increasing public awareness around architecture: its latest television commercial \u0022"],[0,[0],1,"Look Up to America\u0027s Future"],[0,[],0,",\u0022 tied to AIA\u2019s multi-year public awareness campaign. Available in full on "],[0,[1],1,""],[0,[],0,", the commercial will also be deployed throughout the presidential primary season on several cable television networks. \u201cLook Up to America\u0027s Future\u0022 illustrates the collaborative nature of both the architectural profession and the AIA\u0027s 88,000 members."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022In this election year, when people are trying to tear each other apart,\u0022 Ivy said in his introduction to the opening session, \u0022imagine what we can create together.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"What Do Cities Need?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"His presentation was followed by a keynote panel staffed with architects, AIA members, and elected leaders who\u0027ve participated in the rebuilding of some of America\u0027s most iconic cities."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Hosted by 2013 AIA President Mickey Jacob, FAIA, the discussion featured Maurice Cox, FAIA, the city planning director of Detroit; Bob Buckhorn, the Mayor of Tampa, Florida; William Bell, Sr., the Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama; Cheryl Morgan, FAIA, from AIA Birmingham; and Donald King, FAIA, from AIA Seattle."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As a key player in Detroit\u2019s renaissance, Cox reiterated a mandate from Mayor Mike Duggan to be the \u0022champion of neighborhoods\u0022 and forgo single-program solutions to focus on larger-scale endeavors that impact major chucks of Detroit\u0027s metro area."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Along the same lines, Buckhorn and Bell spoke of their roles in adapting their cities for a wave of young people who prefer urban life to the suburban existences of their parents. They also recognized the importance of ensuring long-lasting neighborhoods do not disappear in an effort to appease new residents with clashing styles and tastes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022If we\u0027re going to be competitive as a city,\u0022 Buckhorn said, \u0022and compete with not just Birmingham, Savannah, and Charlotte but Dubai, we need a city that is attractive, with a high quality of life, one that preserves the old while constructing the new.\u0022"]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Everybody, regardless of who you are or what your economic status is, deserves good design.\u0022 - Mickey Jacob, FAIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022The obligation of a mayor is to improve neighborhoods, regardless of who lives there,\u0022 Bell added. \u0022Often times, when you make that investment and bring them up to a certain standard, that makes the community attractive to new residents, and that brings in the private sector.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The challenge then becomes to ensure the designs that take hold in a burgeoning area don\u0027t wipe out the flavor and character of what made that community unique in the past. \u0022We\u0027ve started to prepare residents for gentrification,\u0022 King said, \u0022especially business owners, institutions, and churches that are threatened by displacement. We\u0027re determining, within the neighborhood, what property can be developed, not letting that be decided by outside forces.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As Jacob put it, \u0022everybody, regardless of who you are or what your economic status is, deserves good design.\u0022"]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"The Quest for What\u0027s Next"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Following the panel discussion, keynote presenter Josh Linkner, an entrepreneur with two best-selling books on disruption and innovation, spoke to Grassroots\u2019 621 attendees about their place in a society that\u0027s never been more open to shake-ups and new ideas as it is today."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Disruption represents the biggest threat to an industry,\u0022 Linkner said, \u0022but also the biggest opportunity, if we\u0027re willing to forge ahead, to reimagine and reinvent the work we do and the manner in which we do it.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Among his real-world examples were the introduction of the cronut\u2014a croissant donut\u2014to the donut market in New York City. Even though they were $5, almost five times the price of a regular glazed donut, they sold out on a daily basis because they were new, fresh, and interesting."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Recapture the reasons you got into this business in the first place: to rise to challenges, make an impact on your community, and build terrific organizations.\u0022 - Josh Linkner"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022So when you submit a sketch to a client, or create new office policies, or recruit, or raise capital,\u0022 he asked, \u0022are you delivering glazed donut-like solutions or cronut solutions? Because so much of getting to the next level is about creativity.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"He showed the audience the logos of once-successful companies, from Circuit City and Blockbuster to Oldsmobile, and linked their downfalls to staleness. The world changed around them, Linkner noted, but they kept plugging away with what\u0027d worked before."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022Successful organizations, and people, become intoxicated by their own success,\u0022 Linkner said. \u0022They fail to innovate, they fail to adapt, they fail to win, and then they simply just fail.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"His advice to architects?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u0022I want you to recapture the reasons you got into this business in the first place: to rise to challenges, make an impact on your community, and build terrific organizations.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"Steve Cimino is the digital content manager at the AIA."]]]]}
AIA leaders in the Motor City discussed the path forward
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Mickey Jacob, FAIA; Maurice Cox, FAIA; Bob Buckhorn, the Mayor of Tampa; William Bell, Sr., the Mayor of Birmingham; Donald King, FAIA; and Cheryl Morgan, FAIA, engaged in a lively panel discussion at Grassroots 2016.
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Grassroots 2016, Mickey Jacob, Josh Linkner, Maurice Cox, Bob Buckhorn, William Bell, Cheryl Morgan, Donald King
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