Members of the American Institute of Architects elected Jerry Potter as president of the AIA at the National Convention in Miami last week.
Potter says his top agenda as AIA President will focus on what he called the “two spheres of influence”: the AIA must advance advocacy for its members, and its transition towards professional design leadership. This first sphere consists of refining how components relate to AIA National and nurturing the AIA’s “grassroots culture,” he said. The second sphere of influence, Potter said, must continue to reposition the AIA, as a professional organization of design leaders that can effectively engage the public. “In 153 years, the AIA has sought to elevate its proposition beyond considerations of trade and become a true professional organization.
In terms of using these aspirations to engage the wider world, Potter said that architects must continue to position themselves as sustainable design leaders and that the AIA must further refine the way it communicates the value of architects’ services. “The challenge is communicating to an increasingly urbanized culture the meaning of sustainable architecture, and while doing that, not losing sight of the fact that beauty is integral to the process and is what makes us unique,” he said.
Potter is a member of the AIA College of Fellows, and is an AIA Upjohn Fellow, serving on the Secretary’s Advocacy Committee, and the AIA Board Advocacy Committee. He was also the 2004 President of the Texas Society of Architects. He is the principal of POTTER, a four-person architecture firm with offices in Dallas and Longview, Texas.