AIA Hong Kong

AIA Hong Kong – March 2016 President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

I’ve heard a good number of millennial architects say that they aspire to do good and to do well in their professional career. Doing good, to some extent, is referring to social responsibility. However it’s an aspiration of personal choice rather than one that is cast in stone by the Institute.

Doing good may include addressing the need for energy conservation in our built environment, lessening the effects of climate change to mitigate the severity of weather-related disasters, or becoming part of the solution by planning clean, healthy housing and green, livable cities – all of which are emerging as key challenges of the 21st century. In sum, to be socially responsible architects.

The social responsibility of architects lies in the belief that we can create better places, that architecture can positively affect society, and that it can even have a role in making us a more civilized society through the creation of more livable communities. Architect Alejandro Aravena, the 2016 Pritzker Prize Laureate is a recent example of such an architect, as cited by the Pritzker Jury Board “for his long term commitment to tackling the global housing crisis and fighting for a better urban environment…(he) epitomizes the revival of a more socially engaged architect.”

In March and April the Chapter will organize some exciting programs. First, we are pleased to have Teresa Norton, of Starmaker, speak to members about the importance of strategic storytelling as a presentation tool – something that we can probably all stand to learn more about. This will be an evening presentation on March 17.

Teresa’s event will be followed by our 1st Quarterly Meeting featuring Li Xiaodong on March 23. Li, who was the recipient of the inaugural Moriyama RAIC International Prize in 2014, has titled his talk Reflexive Regionalism, when he will share his architectural journey with a presentation of projects and a dialogue with the audience.

In line with our 2016 Chapter focus, a conference titled Emerge! 2016 AIA|HK Young Architects Forum will be held on April 15 at the Qube in PMQ. The day long forum will bring together emerging young architects from throughout the region to showcase their works, give talks and exchange ideas.

Any designers interested in Italian sustainable tannery products should note that a talk by DANI, the Italian tannery expert, will be held on April 28 as an evening seminar. Come and discover the art and science of this Italian sustainable leather manufacturing process.

Mark your calendar and make time to attend these exciting programs in March and April. We appreciate your participation, your engagement and your comments on these programs.

Kenneth Hau, AIA

2016 Chapter President

1 thought on “AIA Hong Kong – March 2016 President’s Message”

  1. Dear President,

    Thank you for your message. I would like to share some thoughts with the millennial architects at AIA/HK.
    Agreed, it is important for architects (and even non-architects) to be socially responsible, no arguments with that, and yes you have pointed out that it is a personal choice not a mission of the Institute.
    I would like to add that architecture as a discipline is primarily driven by the stuff of imagination, ideas, intellectual contents etc, along with the aid of technological innovations in our field. Being socially responsible, the current popular do-gooder mindset reinforced by Aravena’s Pritzker Prize and the recent Chicago Biennale seem to be confusing architecture with humanitarian issues that already exist in many disciplines and organizations, even Aravena himself has clarified this point in interviews.

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