It’s a new year. Again. It happens every 12 months, but it still gives us a feeling of hope and possibility. A chance to start anew, to look back and think about what’s been working and what hasn’t – in our lives, in our work, in our play – and to maybe make some adjustments to increase the chances of a better, more productive, more fun year ahead. With this new year, I’d like to think about giving Columns a fresh start, a renewed focus on filling its hypothetical ‘pages’ with articles that our members will find interesting and intriguing. I’d like to propose a year-long focus on Pittsburgh.
Well, sure, duh, that’s where we live and work. But we don’t always see what’s happening all around us. We don’t notice the people working to affect change, or the places that are slowly coming back to life after decades of sitting dormant. We don’t always take the time to think about what our neighborhoods have become, we just think about what we’ve known them to be for years.
In a recent Communications Committee meeting, we discussed the various topics and recurring themes we could focus on in regards to our fair city. We talked about highlighting individual neighborhoods and the most recent projects that have happened there. Who were the architects involved? How is growth happening? We talked about the places and projects that are life changing for Pittsburgh, namely the BIG development at the site of the now-gone Igloo and the mill sites along our rivers. We wondered where architects are choosing to live in our city and why, and where architects would choose to take out-of-towners to introduce them to this place they call ‘home’. The Resilient City movement came up multiple times as something of interest, as well as taking a closer look at the nine council districts within the city’s parameters, who each council representative is, and what they are doing for their neighborhoods.
I know there are a lot of publications and blogs out there focusing on Pittsburgh. And frankly, it deserves the attention. But I think we could turn an eye inward too. We could provide a look at this place all around us in a thoughtful and detailed way, unique to our architectural community. We could use this space to highlight the good, to hold up our members who are making Pittsburgh a better place, and to try to create a better understanding of what’s around us. But AIA Pittsburgh and Columns can’t do it alone. We’ll need your help. Each one of you experiences this city through a unique and personalized lens. So tell us – where are you going, what are you working on, what is jumping out at you as you explore your neighborhood or busline or project site? What makes you rock back on your heels and blow a breath through your mouth in surprise as you see ‘it’ happening here, right under your nose? Tell us, so we can highlight the good and interesting and new, and honestly, maybe some of the old and oft overlooked, too. Tell us. We want to know. And we want to share it with everyone.