Unassigned International Members

If you do not fall into the seven AIA international chapters, namely AIA United Kingdom, AIA Continental Europe, AIA Hong Kong, AIA Japan, AIA Middle East, AIA Shanghai and AIA Canada, you are classified and fall into the “Unassigned International Member”, I myself fall into this category.

Currently we are just under 350 members scattered over 61 countries, in most cases only one or two members per country with the most number of 33 members in one country being India. I am sitting in the most southern tip of Africa, Cape town, and wondering how can we bring all these architects and professional scattered around the world, together.

I started my position as director for Unassigned members in January 2018, and within a month of that time, Cape Town residents were informed that “Day Zero” would be arriving in April 2018, this is a term the city came up with for when they will shut down our taps and Cape Town will run out of water. How did we get to this point? We were all aware of the drought that had been taking a toll on our dams over the last couple of years, but why were we not prepared? Why has the city let it get to this stage? As an architect, other thoughts run through your mind, how will my projects be built? Can we use other water to mix concrete, cement and make bricks?

I started looking into my options, contingencies and solutions, and as I go through them and investigate I realize and discover other parts of the world that have faced similar challenges and other cities who will be facing the same challenges in the future, some with the opposite, concerning excess of water.

I was asked by AIA National to shed some light in an article titled “The first Day Zero, but perhaps not the last” There I describe some the effect of the crisis on day to day life. So maybe Cape Town will be the first city to run out of water, but it will not be the last?

Architects around the world are faced with common challenges and goals, it is through these aspects that we can join forces as unassigned members and tackle these goals and challenges together, learn from each other and challenge each other. The power of water is one none of us can escape from and I suggest this issue is one that we tackle together.

As unassigned members it is important that we share our knowledge, and these many challenges.

I would like to appeal to every unassigned member to share your story, challenges and solutions with us, so that we can together devise a forum to help each other, I phrase comes to mind from the movie “Jerry Maguire” “….help me help you!”

We have been working on various aspects to engage with the unassigned members, we will be looking to host a series of webinars, and mini events in selected locations, the latter will not be a small challenge!

I look forward to successfully engaging with all the Unassigned International Members in the second half of this year and into 2019.

Barak Mizrachi AIA, SACAP, CIFA

Director of Unassigned Members