A Letter from AIAVT's President, Eleanor D'Aponte, AIA

Dear AIA Vermont members,

I hope 2023 is off to a healthy start for all of you - your firms, clients, students, and families.

It was great to meet so many of you at the annual awards dinner and to celebrate Vermont's design excellence.  Norwich University architecture students felt appreciated and were energized by the pre-dinner studio tour event, thank you so much for your presence. I share again my admiration for the AIAVT board's collegiality, its common purpose, and the continued volunteer effort by so many during the unknowns and ups and downs of Covid.

This week at the NU School of Architecture + Art, Catherine Lange, AIA and landscape architect Kirsten Seibert of Broadleaf Landscape Architecture, reviewed thesis project site analysis and design responses. It is notable that every project is exploring a social, climatic, or conservation issue. Living Future, LEED, and WELL Building Standards are guiding several, and topics range from envisioning creative solutions for refugee housing to making digital fabrication tools more accessible to communities. It strikes me that the potential for mutually beneficial exchange between students and our professional body could be found in more ways and beyond formal critiques and internships. The benefit to students is clear, the practical knowledge and encouragement given by Catherine and Kirsten were invaluable. But often reviewers have a reflective experience, an afternoon where they revisit their earlier younger aspirations, and leave with renewed energy or a new perspective.

This year, our 75th is an opportunity to celebrate and look back on the myriad initiatives and projects that have established a strong ethic of engagement within the profession, the academy, the public, and our allied partnerships. Let’s also look ahead; Covid made us a bit more efficient, letting certain things go, and compromising less on what really matters.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2023! Sarah and I and the board welcome your input and invite you to join a committee, join the 75th anniversary celebration planning adventure, get involved as a volunteer, or send us an email with your thoughts and ideas. We hope you’ll come to HULA in March for the JEDI Icebreaker event to learn, share, and discuss issues of equity in our state and profession. Here’s to strengthening our healthy alliances and forging new and rewarding pathways in 2023.

Eleanor DAponte, AIA

AIA Vermont Chapter President

Associate Professor

School of Architecture + Art

Norwich University