Thursday, June 14, 2012

AIA Michigan Gold Medal: June 8, 2012

AIA Michigan Gold Medal Honor - Acceptance Speech - June 8, 2012

I grew up believing that the A in Architect was always capitalized – which continues to amuse my husband, my frequent editor. I want to thank all of you, those of you whom I dragged  and will continue to drag into AIA committee meetings, insisted that you come with me to help with a charrette, conned you into being on a jury for just one more student project and gave to me your generous gifts of time to work for this profession and allowed me to use your projects as case studies in my ever growing career as an architectural writer.  

I want to thank my sponsors, Gene Hopkins AIA and Tamara Burns FAIA to whom I told they were crazy when they asked to nominate me for this award.  My husband Jim and my two sons for their support and faith that whatever it was that I was doing it meant something.  My son Adam is here tonight and he continues to work for AIA in political advocacy – he may ask you for donations to help the PAC. To my mother whose example as both a mother and a leader in the American Association of University Women AAUW showed me that women can succeed in many ways even while raising a large family.

To my father, an architect, who brought us wood blocks from many jobsites to play with as a child and who would have been so proud to know that all of those hours at council meetings, and leader in the Farmington community as well as those AIA steak parties and love of his work sent me on my way to receiving this honor.

Within 100 years, climate scientists believe that this planet will be too hot for human comfort. Within 300 years 75 percent of all species are slated for extinction. My new granddaughter and her granddaughters will live with the impact of our decisions today as architects. I am driven to be able to tell her that I worked to change these projected timelines.  I found this quote from Ghandi in a brochure by one of my clients Voices for Earth’s Justice, that seemed appropriate as I struggled with acceptance of this honor.  “Everything you do may seem insignificant.  But it is very important that you do it.”  I continue to work on making no “little plans” and developing a nontraditional practice as an architect , passionate about design, communities and sustainability.

thank you – my colleagues, my clients and my family.

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