AILA understands that meaningful conversations build relationships, stimulate creative thinking and generate new ideas. The AILA Buddy system, in operation for some time is yielding promising results.
Established to improve engagement and communication between AILA Executives and AILA Board members each of the five directors is allocated, on a rotational basis, two AILA state presidents to improve communications between state chapter executives and the AILA board.
My current AILA state chapter buddies are South Australia and the Northern Territory. I catch up with Daniel Bennett, AILA Chapter President SA, and Samuel Hare, AILA Chapter President NT, every four weeks to discuss anything from new members, AILA initiatives, wins with government or exciting new projects. These meaningful conversations are more than informative and enjoyable.
Samuel advised for example that Darwin City Council has, after 10- 12 years, engaged a landscape architect for the city, an appointment both commendable and worth celebrating because of the potential impact and transformative potential for the city of Darwin, and by ripple effect, the NT. The fact that the Northern Territory government has a panel system that engages an AILA registered landscape architect for the brief writing of large projects and the procurement of small projects means AILA at large supports and benefits landscape architects locally through national policies and processes which clearly highlights the benefit of belonging to a national professional organisation.
Samuel encourages small landscape architecture practices and sole practitioners to submit their work for the AILA awards to raise awareness and receive recognition for their projects. So, the discussion moved to developing a member connect session - a heads up on how to submit small projects for the awards, thereby encouraging and supporting time poor landscape architects to be familiar with how to prepare effectively for a successful awards submission.
Daniel Bennett shared his idea to use climate positive design as a lens to ask pertinent questions such as ‘What makes a good park? How can we create well-integrated streets? Or What makes a leafy suburb? Asking such questions enables engagement with government agencies and communities, particularly local government on big issues such as climate change with a tangible outcome.
I believe it is important to raise such questions with decision makers, policy setters or planning and design professionals because such questions can provide the opening to discuss the ‘big’ issues and the opportunity to offer practical solutions to tangible outcomes desired by all.
The AILA Buddy system stimulates many ideas and you too are invited to share yours and the outcomes of your work on social media and AILA Memberscape.
Look forward to reading and responding to your suggestion and ideas soon.