In January, 2021 our own Megan Feenstra Wall starts her one-year term as President of the American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids (AIA GR). She is the first woman to hold this position.
Megan recently gave a 5 minute virtual talk at the 2020 AIA GR Honor Awards where she challenged the architectural profession to become more equitable, resilient and healthy.
In her speech she talked about the national makeup of the architectural profession: that while 13% of our population is Black, only 2% of licensed architects are Black; while 15% of our population is Hispanic or Latinx, less than 1% of licensed architects are Hispanic or Latinx; that while women are over half our population, only 17% of licensed architects are women and even fewer are in leadership roles. She argued that the profession cannot remain relevant if it remains so homogenous.
She also discussed how architects can directly impact the environment and challenged the profession to put its money where its mouth is. She was part of the national AIA task force to rewrite the Framework for Design Excellence with other architects from around the country. They reimagined this 10 point document as one that all architects can use throughout a project. She challenged all architects to read and use this document on just one project and note the difference it makes.
Watch Megan’s video here: