Wintertime is a good time in our house. The seasonal preparations begin in excited fits, far ahead of convention or necessity. My partner, for instance, usually starts playing Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack sometime in August.
In the office, we embark upon planning for the coming year with greater exactitude: making budget requests, drafting editorial calendars, and so forth. For 2015, we’ve also been cooking up something special for you. Be sure to check out the January issue. Hopefully you’ll be pleased. But truth be told, we’re a little apprehensive. Pleasing 100,000 or more architects and designers is no small task. When it arrives, let us know what you think.
I consider myself a pretty good gift giver, and, conversely, I’ve never been shy about sharing my own wish lists with loved ones. (I’m still hoping for a first edition of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach’s Entwurff Einer Historischen Architectur.) So given that we’re sending something exciting your way, indulge me in a recitation of unwrappables that are guaranteed to make my 2015 extra-happy.
01. A Congress that works.
At the beginning of 2014, contributor Nate Berg outlined the AIA’s legislative priorities for the year. For surveyed members of both the AIA and the Associated General Contractors of America, topping the list was a Congress that bickers less and legislates more. So now that the midterms have left the Republican Party with majorities in both houses, maybe we’ll start seeing some action—on tax reform, infrastructure, and other vital issues for the profession.
02. Net neutrality.
Yes, it matters. Just think: Many architecture firms use cloud-based servers, and file sizes can be gargantuan. What happens if the telecom industry gets its way and can create tiered pricing for data services? We’ll be keeping an eye on this in 2015.
03. Guinea pigs.
No, not the animal kind, but just as happy-making. Back around convention-time, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) rocked the architecture world by endorsing a path to licensure upon graduation from an accredited school, potentially reducing the duration of internships by many years. From Jan. 15 to June 1, the council will open an RFP for schools interested in piloting the idea. Let’s hope there are lots of eager candidates.
04. A new title.
While we’re on the subject, I’m counting on good things from NCARB’s Future Title Task Force, which is tasked with envisioning a term more fitting than “intern” for architecture graduates. In the AIA’s Intern Titling Survey, the largest group of respondents, 25 percent, favored “associate architect” as an alternative. Hmmm.
05. BIM interoperability.
It’s not just for computer nerds anymore. As contributor Gideon Fink Shapiro explained back in April, the establishment of universal standards for BIM software could be an AEC industry game changer, saving major time and money for architects and creating far greater value for clients.
06. Aunt Kathy’s homemade caramels.
A holiday gift tradition of tooth-numbing deliciousness and tragically decreasing regularity. Those readers who are not Katharine Cramer DeWitt of Cincinnati can ignore this one.