From the President
Bruce Lindsey, Washington University in St. Louis
It was wonderful to be in Chicago for the 2016 ACSA Administrators Conference. Chi-Town held a parade for the world champion Cubs on Friday November 4th with the route passing directly by our hotel. Reported as the 7th largest gathering in human history with over 5 million people in attendance, Joe Madden’s t-shirt conveyed the message, “we didn’t suck.”
The conference, titled Gaps and Overlaps, brought together over 200 administrators and school leaders. Thanks to co-chairs, Marshall Brown of IIT and Meejin Yoon of MIT, and to those who participated in a series of engaging panels, keynotes, and morning breakout sessions. The breakout sessions discussed priorities laid out in ACSA’s new strategic plan and introduced the three newly formed committees that will help carry them out: the Education Committee, chaired by Lynne Dearborn; the Leadership Committee, chaired by Rebecca O’Neal Dagg; and the Research & Scholarship Committee, chaired by Shannon Criss. This new structure is off to a great start and we are excited by the strong response from member faculty to participate.
The Education Committee is tackling a complex and defining problem for architectural education and practice: diversity and its attendant action of inclusion. Current models of ecology suggest that diversity = survival and complexity = life. An ecology of design might be diversity = relevance. As stated in his definition of complementarity, Niels Bohr, the late Danish physicist suggested that the richness of shared experience that comes from multiple, overlapping, and at times mutually exclusive points of view move us to be creative, complex and alive, reminding us that diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status is also intellectual diversity.
In the two weeks since the historic gathering in Chicago, it seems even more important to reiterate that ACSA steadfastly stands in support of diversity, inclusiveness, equity, civility, and civil discourse in architectural education specifically and education broadly understood as the implicit foundation of a democratic society. To paraphrase Jesse Jackson, we win by the margin of our hope to call us to action.