This year, Ben Kasdan, AIA, the Vice President of the Academy of Emerging Professionals, received AIA National’s 2017 Young Architects Award. An award program which recognizes exceptional leadership as well as specific contributions made to the architectural profession, Kasdan has already shown initiative, leadership, passion and support for those on the path to licensure. Rather than regale you, the reader, with more rhetoric about the award and Kasdan’s many attributes, the AIACC thought it better to give you some personal insight as to what this award, and the profession means to him.
Emerging Professionals are the future of the profession, but in many ways they are also already the present of the profession. The talent, skill, and dedication exhibited by Emerging Professionals in California never ceases to amaze. Not only are Emerging Professionals making meaningful contributions to their communities but their designs also participate in the contemporary discourse of architecture in a significant way every day.
The AIA California Council’s Academy for Emerging Professionals (AEP) exists to be the voice of Emerging Professionals in California and to advocate on their behalf. A important aspect of this advocacy effort is the celebration of the achievements by Emerging Professionals and their collateral supporters, and the AEP Awards one of the primary mechanisms by which that honor is bestowed on an annual basis. The AEP Awards are given to outstanding Architecture Students, Associate Members, Young Architects, Architectural Educators, Local AIA Chapters, and Architecture Firms in California.
Winning an AEP Award does not increase that winner’s contributions to the profession, but it does indicate an appreciation of their efforts in a public setting. AEP Award winners find recognition beyond their firms in a format that is readily accessible to all members. It reinforces a collective feeling of appreciation for the hours of hard work, myriad personal sacrifices, and altruistic intentions that have already been invested into one’s blossoming career, regardless of their professional title. Hopefully, the AEP Awards program serves as catalyst for encouraging even more great work, appreciation for future sacrifices, and heralded intentions for improving the profession and our communities.
Ultimately the AEP exists to promote the value of Emerging Professionals. The AEP Awards exist to highlight the value that Emerging Professionals’ contributions have already made in the profession.
For those of you headed to Grassroots 2017 next week, be sure to attend the presentation he, along with other cohorts, colleagues and peers are giving. And stay tuned to the AIACC website for our Washington, D.C. correspondence.