In this, my first page as National President, I would like to firstly acknowledge the contribution made by Graham Humphries; his succinct approach to a number of significant issues should have got us all thinking.
Secondly, I reinforce the importance of Architecture Australia to the RAIA membership; many believe that AA is the most significant part of their subscription value. I like to think that the magazine forms a significant part of the RAIA communication network, and as such can raise the level of debate on some of the important issues that the RAIA continues to deal with.
My particular interests relate to architectural education, the role that architects play in shaping development, and the business of architecture.
Education is being reviewed by all institutes of architecture throughout the world, seeking in the main a more unified profession. It is becoming increasingly important to understand the relative position of practice and academia, and indeed to promote the broad base of knowledge that architects gain throughout their careers. This knowledge must be highlighted when we confront the (government) policies that seek to offer the specialist nature of architectural services to those less qualified to carry them out.
It is this knowledge that enables architects to not only speak out on matters related to our built environment, but to actively promote their skills to local governments, and to those ultimately responsible for the shape of the places that we all inhabit. It is of great concern that living, working and social environments are not receiving adequate attention from our profession, given that the built environment should be uplifting and a potential source of joy and opportunity.
To be stronger in our approach to positively contributing to development, we must understand the business of Architecture. We must know what it really costs (us) to produce the best result for our clients, and be prepared to fight for the opportunity to provide a full and complete service, no matter what the scope of work.
These are issues that I am serious about and I look forward to continuing the work that Graham Humphries has started in visiting as many Chapters as possible and listening to as many architects as I can in what will be a short but intense twelve months.
Nigel Shaw FRAIA
RAIA National President