Skip to content

President’s Letter: The Other 1%

aiaeb president malvin whang

Malvin Whang, AIA            Chapter President

We’ve heard a lot about the 1% in Oakland in the last several years. Long before there was Occupy Oakland, there was the other 1% I first heard in Thomas Edison’s quote “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” I think that aptly describes how we work as architects. We work that idea, distill it down to its essence and translate it into architecture. That is the ninety-nine percent of the work.

We get inspiration from different places for our projects. Sometimes we find inspiration in the context of the site or the work. Other times we find inspiration in the users and the work they do. Architecture that can further the mission of the users or their institutions can inspire designs that takes perspiration to bring the ideas to fruition.

Our June monthly program will focus on this kind of inspiration. The program will focus on projects that were inspired by the mission of the users and the institutions they serve. Imagine architecture that can inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold or architecture that can support multiple modalities of teaching and learning so that the classroom isn’t just for teaching, it’s also for learning how to teach.

It’s easy for us to take for granted that architecture has the power to do more than provide shelter. At times, the lyrical and inspirational parts of our craft can be hard to see between plan checks and value engineering. But without it, we’re just drafting and drawings lines on paper.

We’re going to try a couple of different things with this program in June. We’re going to have users and clients talk about how the architecture is furthering their mission and the work they do. It should be an interesting way to talk about architecture and an opportunity for our members to hear about the work. We’re also going to have the program sponsored and eliminate the registration fee for early registrants. If the registration is an impediment to our members participating in the monthly programs, we want to change that.

We’re so looking forward to seeing everyone at My Architecture, A Client’s Perspective on June 24.

Comments are closed.