According to some of their "Rebuild and Renew" initiatives, the AIA is encouraging architects to focus on "green communities" and "green economy," yet I am somewhat perplexed by the recent methods by which they choose to communicate with their members. I am referring to some recent mailings which just seem to fly in the face of the message of sustainability.
First, let me explain that I happen to be involved in a working group of the AGC BIMForum focused on electronic submittals. That said, I was frustrated to receive a letter (paper) from the AIA informing me that they are "dedicated to serving (me) as we work together to create more valuable, healthy and sustainable buildings and communities...with a vast pool of resources to help (my) business compete in today's market, including outstanding FedEx Kinko's discounts." In a day and age where the president-elect is sending out text messages and I can review shop drawings from projects in the Middle East without shipping a single tube of printed drawings, how exactly does a FedEx discount help me to create a more valuable and healthy community? Why doesn't the AIA offer me a special discount for Autodesk Buzzsaw or point me to free services such as CADALYST's Online PlanRoom?
Next I received a booklet highlighting the winners of the AIA New York State Design Awards. Come on! Wouldn't this information better serve the community in a website? In that format, it might even allow the winning architects to post more compelling materials (animations, 3D walkthru, etc.) and allow community commentary on the submissions. Oh...they already have a site.
If you are a member of the AIA, I encourage you to contact your local chapter or AIA headquarters to fight for more environmentally friendly communication practices.