How’s Your Pipeline Looking?

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Resources: What do Architects need to be able to design great places for people?  The focus area of “Resources” is one of the three pillars of the AIACC Strategic Plan1 and it will get some particular attention this Friday, July 29th when the AIACC Board meets in Burbank at Woodbury University.

One challenge in positioning the AIACC to support members in the realm of resources is the broad diversity of the business of architecture in California.  Firm size, firm project type specialization, and even office culture shape the value proposition in profound ways.  A program or feature that might lead to a significant benefit to one member might barely move the scale for another.  To create a positive impact for AIACC members in the realm of resources, we have to get a fine-grain picture of how our members’ needs vary and where the challenges tend to fall.

How do we gather information on where the opportunities are to leverage AIACC time and money?  We develop insight through conversations:

  • at firm roundtables hosted at local components throughout the State
  • through the many dialogues unfolding throughout the landscape of our committees, task forces, and working groups
  • by bringing the AIACC Board of Directors directly into the mix, asking them to reflect the information coming from their component members, as well as their own diverse engagement in the profession

The many anecdotes that these and other channels bring us help identify patterns of existing needs, emerging gaps, and opportunities to add value which is the bottom line we are looking for.

Here are some specific examples of how the rubber hits to road in resources that will unfold at our July meeting:

  1. How is your pipeline looking?  We have assembled a broadly diverse panel which includes members from academia, new licensure, large to medium to small practices, and AIA and Regulatory leadership. This panel will engage with the Board to look at the connections and disconnections between school, architectural practice, licensure, and the AIA.  The key intersection of these elements is not new in getting attention – in fact, this year marks the 20 year anniversary of the seminal Boyer Report.  But where are the opportunities today to insure that our pipeline of leadership and talent will sustain architecture into the future?  Moderated by Anne Gray, FAIA, this discussion is open to all with an interest in the future of architecture – student, professor, seasoned practitioner, allied professional.  Find more information, or better yet, join the conversation by signing up here.
  2. Wet Signature still an occasional hassle? Wet Signatures are not required by the California Architects Board, and electronic or digital seals and signatures are acceptable.  You can find an official CAB Opinion Letter here. This letter may prove helpful in working with your local jurisdiction if you are asked for a wet signature or seal.
  3. Software for Drawings.  One of the most foundational tools in the practice of architecture is the use of software to create drawings of buildings or places, and increasingly, that is powerful integrated BIM software.  Can the AIACC help you get the right tool, the right training and support, with the right license terms at the right price point?  Check out our soon to be announced alliances with the software vendors who support our work in shaping great places for people.

These are just a few examples of small steps, big moves, and proactive efforts “ahead of the curve,” unfolding in real time at the AIACC Board of Directors.  Wherever you are in California, if you have an AIA membership you have a volunteer member leader representing you at the AIACC Board meeting.  If you want to jump in on the conversation and play a direct role in shaping the value proposition through the work of moving our strategic initiatives forward, check with your component leader about who you can talk to, and/or drop me a line:
Michael F. Malinowski AIA
President, AIA California Council



1The AIACC Strategic Plan has three pillars, which in my personal shorthand are:  Resources, Influence, and “The Future.”  Resources are the tools, knowledge, and pipeline of leadership and talent that Architects need to shape great places for people.  Influence is the feedback loop that helps create the business, legal, and regulatory environment to support our work.  The Future is the ear to the ground and eye to the sky that allows us to stay on top and be ahead of emerging trends that will affect the sustainability of our work into the future.   Of course, all three elements intertwine to support the work of Architects.  At each of the three annual AIACC Board meetings (February, July, and November), we take a closer look at one of these three pillars and how all three come together to allow our profession to be successful in shaping inspirational, efficient, sustainable and supportive places for people, in California and all over the world.


Michael Malinowski, AIA

Michael F. Malinowski has been providing adaptive historic re-use, urban infill, residential including affordable housing, and commercial revitalization design solutions for 40 years as principal of Applied Architecture, Sacramento CA. A number of his projects have been ‘city shaping’ and widely recognized, including the Warehouse Artist Lofts 2015, Sacramento historic adaptive mixed use) Galt Place (2011, urban infill wood podium design); Globe Mill (2008, Sacramento, rebirth of an abandoned mill and silo complex) and Hotel Stockton (2006, Stockton, historic adaptive reuse). Michael has also worked with over 1500 families in shaping sustainable, functional and inspiring living environments.

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