There has never been any doubt in my mind, as soon as I heard that we were going to Belfast for the 2012 AGM, I thought yes, this is one even I am not going to miss, it was like Hong Kong, a one off experience that had to be attended.
So with my flight ticket purchased, we are off Friday week, to Belfast City airport, already invitations are coming in, for meets, mostly in bars and I will if I can let you know how they go. But I want to try and get online as much as I can so for a while, alcohol consumption will have to be kept to a minimum.
So as soon as I get there if the local WiFi is sufficient I plan to hold a hangout on my google+ account and see who is about, probably the Friday evening, say about 5pm before things get going, and I can't say no to beer anymore.
A highlight I am looking forward to is Prof Sam Allwinkles membership report, last year in Cambridge he outlined the basic problem of the original members growing old, and leaving, with not enough younger student members coming through to full membership. This year Sam is going to expand upon this and I for one am very interested in his conclusions. There has been some comments made on the various linkedin pages, mostly about our title, I for one don't see this as a problem area, changing our name again is not going to help, we are as the title on the tin say's and I don't think changing it again, will bring more members through to full membership.
For me it's about the time after graduation, I am a fan of the logbook, but not in it's present format, and before you ask, I don't have a real concrete answer, I personally think students should attend university for two years, post graduation, using tutors and work, so it has to be part time, to fill out the pops as we call it, attending lessons or my preference, online tutorials to expand on their knowledge base, and then a final year preparing for their interview. You might say it's very similar to the RIBA, and your not wrong.
Is there a confusion in the market place as to what we do, certainly there always a problem with the general public, for those of us running there own business, but I partner with an Architect so it's not a real big issue with me, but I know it is with others. Members working as straight staff members within a practice, should not have an identity problem, although here I see to many, calling the selfs Technologists, I don't have a problem with this, we should always use our full title Chartered Architectural Technologist MCIAT, that's protected and shows just who and what you are.
Today's photo is of a building I am working on, we have done quite a bit of refurb work on the brickwork all round this building, and with the roof drainage, you might remember my blog on the gutter brackets. But the reason for this photo is that we want to restore the main elevation, the windows were bricked up years ago due to vandalism, and the interior modelled using that blank wall, so we can't remove them, but it's been suggested that we use a mock window fascade, ie a thin blank window, I am of two minds on this, so will have to let you know.