Paloma Rodriguez, Assoc. AIA
From the Desk of an Architect
Credit: Paloma Rodriguez, Assoc. AIA

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Mid-Week Update from our Executive Director and 2020 President

In a climate full of intensity and uncertainty, we want to reflect upon how to transition to a more defined new normal in the short term, as well as identify lessons learned that will continue to impact how we work. While we are under quarantine and practicing social distancing, we find ourselves increasingly turning to each other and exploring new ways of building community. Whether you practice in an international firm, a local mid-size firm, or are a sole practitioner – we’re all adjusting to the same realities of working from home, homeschooling, staying connected to teams, maximizing productivity, searching for balance, and much more. We have lessons to learn across practice scales and disciplines – we are in this together. These times truly illustrate the value of the AIA community.

We have been greatly encouraged by the response to our town halls. These calls reiterate that we are all overcoming many of same challenges and are seeing the same positives. We have notes from the Small Firms Roundtable, Technology, and Women in Architecture town halls available here. Upcoming town halls include an advocacy town hall organized by AIA Dallas Advocacy Director Norman Alston, FAIA and our Young Professionals Network is hosting a happy hour town hall for all emerging professionals. You can find all of our currently scheduled Town Halls on our calendar.

As architects, we love challenges; we thrive on deadlines and thinking about new solutions and ideas. We want to share what you are doing to adapt or help during this crisis, as well as to provide services more effectively and efficiently. As we work to make our profession more inclusive, we see opportunities to learn from our work at home experiences. AIA Dallas is compiling success stories, best practices, and tips to share with our membership. Additionally, we’ve put together a compilation of resources that we thought might be the most helpful to our members, including a guide to the CARES Act.

We recognize that a lot is being asked of you during this unprecedented time, and we encourage you to continue to consider how architects can assist with this crisis. Architects are stepping up with creative solutions in conversion of facilities to pop up hospitals, mobile response units, and more. For those with CNC machines, we encourage you to assist with the production of medial face shields. Can you use 3D Printing Tools to Produce Face Shields and Other Equipment? If you are interested in helping our community, reach out to us at and stay tuned for more information. We would love to hear your ideas and strategies for engagement in the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIA Dallas is continuing to rethink the way we bring you the content, education, and information that you need. In addition to shifting to virtual delivery of all programs and meetings, a few new initiatives include:

Here’s a sneak peek of a few of the things we have in the works:

  • Sketching Scavenger Hunt
  • Creative Exchange Bingo
  • Virtual fireside chats with leading architects and designers
  • Video series and virtual tour
  • And much more

At AIA Dallas, we have shifted our operations to be fiscally conservative while continuing to serve you. We are cutting back and investing in efforts that give us the biggest impact.

What ideas do you have for us? How can AIA Dallas be a better resource for you? This is YOUR AIA and we want to hear from you. Please help us prioritize our next steps by completing a short survey. If you have ideas, concerns, or any feedback, please contact us.


Zaida Basora, FAIA                        Maria Gomez, AIA
Executive Director                            2020 AIA Dallas President