about this blog

We have founded this blog to support exploration, conversation, and dialogue about design and community, but more importantly about the relation between the two. We seek to inform, to learn, and to trace the effect of design decisions on citizens and our communities. Your participation is both welcome and key. We hope this place of ideas will help improve the quality of our public realm as it supports us in our lives and aspirations, and to shape a sustainable community form at all levels, within the watershed of the Grand River, Canada.

6 thoughts on “about this blog

  1. Melanie Ross

    Kudos on the blog JMA! This is a wonderful idea and I hope that people start reading and posting more!
    Miss you all!


    1. adminjma Post author

      It’s wonderful to hear from former staff, no matter how far flung they are. We miss you too Melanie!

      From all of us to all of you, what is your favourite place in the Grand River Watershed, even if only in your memories!


      1. adminjma Post author

        I’m not sure how many members of the Grand Valley Society of Architects wish to speak publicly on these issues, or how comfortable they are with public roles. The recent tannery debacle was played out in a public forum in which no practicing architect, including one a member of Heritage Kitchener, spoke out. The tendency is to want to work behind the scenes. Perhaps the GVSA can consider the issue with its membership. Shall we ask Brian Dietrich the question?

        The perception by practicing architects that public comments on specific issues may bite the hands that feed them (government and the development industry) is a real one. General motherhood and apple pie statements are fine, but specifics may make professionals nervous, especially if in the realm of urban planning and design, where we cannot pull rank using our degrees and supposed training.

        From the GVSA website:

        “GVSA is committed to presenting informed opinion on issues affecting architecture in the counties of Waterloo, Wellington, Brant and Grey, as well as to increasing public awareness of the social importance of architectural design. We are proud to assist our local partners in education, arts and culture within the local communities we serve.”

        The only problem with this statement is that I, as a member, are not aware of the GVSA ever having presented any such informed opinion on any matter to a public body. When has this happened?

        My own view is that the core of professionalism is not competence in a particular area. That’s admirable, and necessary, but its no different from other craftsmen and tradeswomen. The essence of professionalism is that we profess. What is it that we profess? Can the GVSA actually agree among its members to do that? I’m not sure that would be possible.

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