Dear Members & Friends:
On my recent trip to Washington DC representing the Hong Kong Chapter at the annual AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference, I have personally experienced the response from civic society to the new political leadership’s perceived protectionist agenda. With over 500 delegates mostly representing US domestic components in attendance, the conference main themes unapologetically embrace global issues such as the Paris Agreement addressing climate change and UN Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda. Together with the recent response by National on the authority’s proposed Travel Ban, I think AIA has taken a clear position to advocate universal values that relates to the architecture profession. It also demonstrates the different forces constantly working to counter balance one another in a democratic society.
Being a first time attendee to the conference, I am deeply impressed with the openness of the delegates who worked together to examine common challenges in running a professional organization today, domestic or abroad. One of the consensuses of the group is to value Members’ needs over that of the Institution’s in order to continue to be relevant as a member’s society. It echoes the direction our EXCO have set out earlier this year to give greater consideration to our core membership such as Architects, Associates and International Associates when determining the Chapter’s priorities. In addition, I am also impressed with the International Region’s Honors & Awards ceremony being highlighted as one of the feature event during the conference. It suggests unprecedented attention the Institute has placed in its overseas membership.
In Hong Kong, we have successfully kicked off the year with a wide variety of programs aimed at reexamining AIA Hong Kong’s position. All of the events and activities are well attended by Members, including quite a few fresh faces. The success of these and other initiatives are largely the result of strong commitment from many of our volunteer leaders and solid support from our Chapter’s staff. I am glad to receive many supportive feedback and encouragements from individual Members. As reported in the first quarterly meeting, the Chapter’s expenditures have grown disproportionately during recent years. As a result, this year we have adopted a conservative budget and have also already realized many improvements in financial management. We shall continue to carry on the good momentum to reform in these and other areas.
The highlights of the second quarter of the year include: in April, we will be arranging a Building Tour to a past Honors & Awards winning project to highlight our members’ contribution to the local build environment. The Chapter will also be sending our delegates to Orlando, Florida to attend the AIA National Convention and engage in National and International Region’s businesses. In May, we will continue the popular Technology Series featuring the Shimao Hotel as well as hosting our 2nd Quarterly Meeting the same month featuring distinguish speakers. In June, the 20th Anniversary Conference titled “Practicing Education/Educating Practice” will take place at Asia Society Hong Kong Center on June 24. Overseas speakers such as Preston Scott Cohen and Nader Tehrani have confirmed their attendance. More details will be announced shortly.
Finally, our annual Honors & Awards program will be launched in May. This year a week long exhibition of the entries will take place at PMQ in early November prior to the results announcement. Together with our media partners, we aim to maximize exposure for the winning projects. Those entries will join past Honors & Awards winning projects in a special exhibition following the announcement. Please also save the date November 7 for our 20th Anniversary Cocktail Reception at PMQ Marketplace during which the results of the Honors & Awards will also be announced and celebrated.
I appreciate very much your continue support for the Chapter!
Rex Wong, AIA