We listen carefully. We give our utmost attention to what we
hear from our members—whether in our daily conversations or as a
result of biennial surveys, such as the one conducted last year. I
recently reviewed some 1,800 open-ended responses—exceeding 90
pages—to look for concerns we can address or patterns where we are
failing your expectations. We are sincerely committed to being a
model professional association, which means being responsive to
you, our members, and doing it professionally, effectively,
efficiently and responsibly.
As we enter 2008, AIGA resolves to make improvements based on
what we have heard from you. These “resolutions” add to what you
can expect (and hold us accountable for) in the year ahead.
Let's start with an easy one: “Make Ric more accessible.” This
Insight column is one way that we hope to address this concern. I'm
easily approachable and eager to discuss issues you may have, so if
you see me, let's talk. And you can always reach me at grefe [at]
aiga [dot] org.
There is a flip side to this, which is making sure that at
chapter events all of you find ways to reach out to other members.
A frequent entreaty is to “encourage chapters to develop ways to
make introductions easier for younger designers,” who come to
social activities but still feel like outsiders. This is not
necessarily a failing of AIGA or the chapters—it is a personal
challenge. Many of us are on the shy side, and designers are no
exception. One of the strongest values of AIGA is the sense of
community and yet new and younger members often feel as if chapters
must be dominated by cliques, because others are socializing and
they have not met anyone. Please break down this misperception by
introducing yourself to others you do not know at chapter events as
a way of reinforcing the community.
Overall, the most compelling comment we received in terms of
guiding AIGA's priorities is: “I want to know more about how to
learn, evolve, educate and promote myself to become the kind of
designer we admire, giving me and my philosophies on design a
chance to thrive.” This is a wonderful way of summarizing AIGA's
goals; no number of board sessions on branding could have stated it
We have filtered your comments into 28 immediate action items
for 2008 that we have already begun to address. We will report on
progress periodically through the year and then solicit your
feedback again next year. Here are our promises to you, divided
into several sections.
Expect reports on how we meet these challenges throughout the
year. AIGA is determined to warrant the trust of its members and,
in the process, to become a model of a service-oriented
professional association. We can only achieve these objectives if
you keep us informed of your concerns and hold us accountable.
Richard Grefé is the executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. While guiding all of AIGA’s activities, his most significant contributions are in strategy, formulating new initiatives to enhance the competitive success of designers
and advocating the value of design to business, government and the public.
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
Section: About AIGA -
The problem was to design an exhibition program that tells a sustainability story through the Sustainability Treehouse at The Summit—an adventure center for the millions of youth and adults involved in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Section: Why Design -
Competition, Justified, exhibition design, sustainability
AIGA San Francisco
Member since 1999
Cigdem Deniz Uyaroglu
Antonio S. Hernandez
AIGA Salt Lake City
Rachel E. Schmidt
AIGA New York
AIGA New York
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