Public Awareness, Live and In-Person

May 20, 2020

Public Awareness, Live and In-Person

By Jerome Leslie Eben, FAIA

Architects often complain that the public does not understand the Value of the Architect. They look around in frustration wondering who the heck is going to educate the public! 

Well, I’m here to tell you that every day, every time you encounter anyone, YOU have the opportunity to improve public awareness and share the Value of the Architect, and who knows better than YOU?!

The other day I was walking my dog, Archie, whose official name is ArchiPAC, and a woman stopped me from a distance, to meet my handsome, good-natured pet. I happened to be wearing my “I am an ARCHITECT” shirt.  The neighbor noticed and went on to tell me that her 14-year-old daughter will be entering West Orange High School in the fall and has been talking about becoming an architect!  That was all I had to hear!  I put together an AIA bag of pins, a sketch book and brochures that I have for Career Days and left it on her porch.

Here is her response:

Dear Mr. Eben,

I wanted to thank you for the nice gift bag for Emilia. What a surprise! She was very excited to go through the books and the gadgets… we liked pretending she was already an assistant intern and wearing the pin! This gift fuels her enthusiasm and it’s all positive energy. We didn’t get to read the article in the newspaper yet but little by little we will examine each piece carefully.

Thanks again for your sweet and thoughtful present. We feel empowered by having you as a neighbor!

Best regards, 

Elisa and Emilia

Whether Emilia pursues an architectural education or not, I have started a dialogue, enriched their impression of architects and increased their understanding of the Value of the Architect!  I hope you will, too, my public awareness partner! 

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