Credit: Luis M. Escobar
Credit: Credit: Luis M. Escobar
Maria Gomez
Contributed by:
Maria Gomez

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President's Message: Columns Wonder Issue

We all need wonder.

The topic we explore in this edition is “wonder.” It is such an inspiring concept! Wonder is defined as a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. This is exactly the feeling that design should elicit.

But creating architecture that generates wonder doesn’t come easily. Given that our work will live on most likely for decades, even centuries, we architects must keep in mind that our most transcendental role is to generate emotion through the built environment. Our buildings and outdoor spaces should not be just functional, safe, and sustainable but also inspiring. It is built poetry that elevates our profession to the highest level.

This is a particularly important time for our profession to stir wonder and optimism through design. In a year of pandemic and protests for racial justice, architects must respond with work that uplifts spirits and furthers our society.

Early in the year, AIA Dallas established an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force to press for equality in our field. The goal of the task force is to be a resource for members and companies to learn more about EDI as it relates to individuals, to firms, and to the profession of architecture. Please join us in that mission.

COVID-19 is also affecting our push for urban density. After all our progress, the concept has fallen into question because of social distancing. At every turn, we must help our clients and city officials understand that going back to urban sprawl is not the answer. We must drive home that we cannot overreact with
actions that carry permanent consequences.

But there is also opportunity here. Let’s create more open public spaces and encourage outdoor activities through buildings and spaces that inspire our communities. Dare to act on the positives, and wonder will follow.

María Gómez, AIA
2020 AIA Dallas President