Regional Director's November Message

November 11, 2012

The Next Generation
By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Regional Director, ’11-‘13

Recently, I was invited by Vicky Tran, Past President of NJITSoA&D AIAS Chapter to speak at the Quad Conference they sponsored this year. The conference is for student chapters from various eastern schools of architecture to get together for an exchange of ideas as well as socialize with each other

Early in the afternoon I had the opportunity to see some of the student’s work in a portfolio review. I must say that the work even from some of the beginners was quite good. I suggested to all I saw that they should carry a small sketch book with them wherever they go and hand draw at every opportunity. I asked them to go on line to find the New York Times guest editorial written by Michael Graves, FAIA from last month that stressed the importance of hand drawing.

I remain concerned that the assigned projects are ones that most will never get the chance to really do after they leave school. I can only hope that school administrators will read this article and ask us what we would like to see in these young people they are training for the profession?

As it happened, the day I spoke, October 20th was my forthieth anniversary….not that anniversary, but the day I joined AIA! My talk centered around the importance of this next generation to continue on with membership and convert their student classification to an associate classification and to do so without skipping a beat.

I explained how I did not go from my student days to associate until my second position, after joining the firm of Mahoney Zvosec Architects at the time in Princeton, NJ. I went on to discuss the importance of starting their IDP and completing it in as close to the 36 month time span as possible. From that completion on to taking the ARE studying for and taking the exams together or in fast succession with the goal of passing them and becoming an architect.

I asked the assembled how many of them made the decision to become an architect all the way back to the 6th or 7th grade? Not surprisingly more than 90% said that their decision to enter a school of architecture and pursue the goal of registration extended back to middle school.

Most importantly I told them that we would be back on February 14, 2013 with members from the State Board of Architects, and NCARB. Together, these three entidies will respond to any questions about membership, IDP and ARE It would be fantastic if many of you could join the next generation and me on this date, so mark your calendars and as they use to say “be there or be square” .

Thank you

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