AIGA is approaching its centennial in 2014. Now is the perfect time to outline where the organization is headed in its second century. We're looking for input from all members on a new strategic framework for the future, in which AIGA has four areas of focus: design; designers; chapters and members; and organizational stability.
The board has already done some of the heavy lifting on a strategic plan. We refined the mission statement earlier this year: “to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.” And we defined what AIGA does:
AIGA connects practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons through regional, national and global events and by creating and curating content that:
AIGA’s goals are to:
We have invested in activities to achieve these goals. The organization’s finances are solid. But there is still work to be done.
In the 20th century, AIGA was seen as the arbiter of design excellence. AIGA conducted and published the results of annual competitions, awarded the AIGA Medal and convened gatherings for inspiration and networking (conferences). It developed standards and ethics for the profession and advocated the value of design with business and the public.
AIGA’s historic activities have been valuable and appropriate to the times, where AIGA alone was often the bellwether of great design. Now, however, the competitive environment has changed dramatically, all to the benefit of designers. Social media and the web have provided much easier access to other designers and to self-published collections of inspiring design. The number of design competitions and conferences has grown exponentially.
AIGA has many important roles in stimulating thinking about design and giving designers voice. At the same time, the growth of chapters provide a whole new tier of events, numbering a thousand a year nationwide.
Younger designers seek participation, engagement and ownership in organizations. This preference encourages the use of social networking and the internet as means of deepening the AIGA experience. Online platforms provide greater and more frequent exposure to individuals in terms of their work and their opinions.
Much as the dimensions of design have changed regularly over the years with changes in social culture and visual communication, the institutional culture of AIGA must change to remain relevant, recognizing shifts in expectations:
Over the past several years AIGA has involved researchers, experts, members and established design firms in evaluating ways in which AIGA can enter its second century even stronger than it leaves its first. Committed to relevance, leadership and opportunity for both itself and its members, AIGA’s current board is developing a five-year strategic plan for implementing the change that has been envisioned. This work will:
The slide show at the top of this page outlines a process for developing and refining AIGA’s strategic plan for 2014-2020. The board has organized the organization’s goals, objectives and activities in a draft framework focusing on the four purposes of its activities, below. This framework offers the opportunity to discuss the relative intent and priority of activities at a higher level. The normal budget process, which will be guided by this discussion, results in developing detailed plans for each activity including proposed outcomes, resources requirements and metrics of performance.
We've planned a series of Adobe Connect sessions online over the next two months to begin to share a draft of AIGA's strategic framework (above) and get your input:
Please join AIGA’s executive director, Ric Grefé, and the board for these sessions to discuss, and/or provide comments here.
AIGA Insights is a collection of articles and webcasts that together reveal the thought processes behind key organizational decisions. We welcome discussion from members and the broader design community.
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