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A Present Future - Candidacy Speech

Many of you feel, as I do, that we need to reshape our current practices to achieve meaningful progress regarding climate change, diversity, and architectural education. I’m Ricardo Rodríguez, candidate for Director-at-Large, and I’m ready to help overcome the challenges our profession faces in a digital-first market.

As a virtual design & construction leader, I’ve spent these past years focused globally on strategic partnerships and implementing innovation programs. Serving as a bridge between two industries requires me to rely on my 15+ years of architectural practice experience. In these, I’ve had multiple leadership roles at AIA|DC, where I chaired the Emerging Architects Committee and the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development program.

In 2020, I served on the Strategic Council’s Technology Impacting Practice workgroup, where I helped lead our Virtual Summit. This event brought together 12 leaders revolutionizing the industry worldwide. Their voices called us to action, and I hope we can share these discussions with you shortly.

Our profession is at its most pivotal point in a century. The lag in evolving our business models has overlapped with the immediate needs of a global pandemic. Soon tech-centric companies could begin to outperform our members’ services.

We need to decisively respond to this shift and turn these risks into opportunities. I believe we can empower our businesses through four objectives:

1. First, elevating the strategic importance of AIA’s role in fostering

innovation. By formalizing efforts like the Practice Innovation Lab to

incubate and fuel growth.

2. Partnering with outside experts to address current needs, as we’ve

3. Redefining our Member Services to streamline access to the resources

needed to navigate these changes.

4. Bridging the gap in digital education across all experience levels.

We need to be agile in how we execute the strategic plan. By building upon existing efforts, we can help our members find better ways to serve their clients. Let’s also open our ranks to professionals, such as myself, bringing forward our unique and practical expertise.

I’m committed to supporting our organization in leading this transformation. It is not an easy task, but one we can overcome together.

Participating in YAF's Practice Innovation Lab
Participating in YAF's Practice Innovation Lab

I trust I can count on your vote. Reach out to me at ¡Muchas gracias!

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