2017 has been a special year for AIA Europe in many ways. First, we were privileged to see one of our own serve as AIA National President and successfully lead the organization to a 90,000 record-level membership. As both AIA President and active chapter member, Tom Vonier's participation in our Spring and Fall Conferences this year helped bridge the gap between local and National interests like never before, and our members will continue to benefit from this going forward.
We also hosted our first joint conference with the AIA International Region. The 150 who attended October's Prague 20/20 experienced first hand the unlimited potential of our truly global network. It’s well known that AIA Europe conferences make good friends, and we can now include members from AIA Middle East, AIA Japan, AIA Shanghai, AIA Hong Kong, AIA U.K., and AIA Canada among them.
As the 2nd oldest of the seven International chapters, AIA Europe has developed a unique conference format that has sustained our chapter over the last 23 years. The conference structure is solid – confirmed by the four terrific locations planned through 2019 – but we must focus on widening the participants and attracting new members to the chapter. One way we’re doing this is by talking directly with the younger generation. Through the great efforts of our past, present, and future Board of Directors lead by Carsten Hanssen in 2018, we will continue to support recent programs like the AIA Europe Scholarship and local student design competitions in our conferences. With half the city population under the age of 25, Pristina, Kosovo will be the perfect conference location to highlight the youth perspective on architecture and urban development, and welcome new friends to the chapter. We hope to see you there next Spring.
I thank the conference organizers and the entire Board of Directors for their precious time and volunteer efforts this year, and all of our members for your continued membership and support in 2018.
Tiffany Melançon, Int’l Assoc. AIA, SIA
2017 AIA Europe President