UIA Update

Updates from the IR Immediate Past President

The IR’s Immediate Past President, James M. Wright, FAIA, is now in his second year serving as the Co-Director of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Professional Practice Commission. The UIA is a global organization made up of national architectural associations from over 120 countries and territories, representing over one million architects worldwide. The AIA is the official representative of the U.S., and Thomas Vonier, FAIA—founding President of the AIA-IR and Past President of the AIA—is the current UIA President.

At the most recent UIA Council meeting, held in Lucknow, India, James’ Co-Director colleague Weimin Zhuang from the China member section presented Council with a report prepared by James outlining the status of the various initiatives underway by members of the Professional Practice Commission. The PPC has tentatively scheduled its 2019 annual meeting for 20-21 February in Kuala Lumpur at the invitation of PAM, the Malaysian Institute of Architects. While the next UIA World Congress & General Assembly is not until 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, preparations are well underway for an inaugural UIA International Forum taking place 7-11 June in Baku, Azerbaijan. 7-8 June will be a Forum on mass tourism in historic cities; 10 June will be a Council meeting; and 11 June will be an Extraordinary General Assembly session.

As reported in the IR summer newsletter, at its spring meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico, the UIA Council accepted a proposal from the PPC to endorse the AIA’s newly created Global Architecture Billings Index (GABI). The GABI is similar in nature to the AIA’s ABI, and is also led by AIA’s Chief Economist, Kermit Baker and the AIA economic research team. The GABI is currently seeking global “panelists”—firms which will submit responses to brief, quarterly surveys on design and construction related economic activity; the data will be analyzed allowing trends to be identified. The initial goals are to provide global coverage for key geographical regions in several major construction sectors; eventually, the regional coverage will expand, as will the number of building sectors being reported on. Please consider offering your firm as a GABI panelist; the quarterly surveys take less than ten minutes to complete, and as a panelist, you will receive the GABI analysis reports directly. Additional information can be found at https://bit.ly/joinGABI.

Any questions or comments regarding the work of the UIA or related to the GABI should be directed to James at james.wright@aiainternational.org.