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President's Message (Apr 2013)

President
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Time flies and the first quarter of 2013 has already gone pass. Many events have taken place since we took over office at the beginning of the year and here are some of the highlights.

We held the official Handing Over and first Office Bearers Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on the 18th of January 2013. The meeting was productive and several plans and programs, both short and long term were put in place.

The ARCASIA website was revamped and launched in March. The new website strives to be more user friendly, exciting and informative. It is to be used as a platform for promoting ARCASIA activities, encouraging interaction among our Member Institutes and promoting their respective events. Direct links to our Architecture Asia Magazines have been provided to encourage wider readership. There is still a lot more work to be done and we will endeavour to keep the website up to date.

QR code has been developed and included in the ARCASIA business cards. The code will also be displayed on the banners of ARCASIA and Institutes’ events, and will link directly to the ARCASIA website. This is a strategy for promoting awareness of ARCASIA to a wider audience.

In keeping with the new means of communication, ARCASIA Facebook and President ARCASIA Facebook have been set up to reach out to a wider audience and to the members directly.

As Architects, we must not lose sight that the main distinction of our profession is our ability to create and design; with Design being the key differentiators in a progressively creative economy. The momentum of growth is now centering in Asia, therefore, the time is ripe for the design talents of Architects within our region to shine and be given due recognition. ARCASIA will be actively embarking on the vision to promote the design talents of architects within our region, to showcase their work and to demonstrate that their talents can equate and surpass those of international repute. To fulfill this vision, we have restructured the ARCASIA Award for Architecture and will be changing its format from 2 years to a 1-year cycle. The presentation of the next ARCASIA Award will be held during the 17th Forum in Nepal. It is our intention to celebrate the winners in a dignified and grand manner. The calling of nominations has just been announced and we encourage all members to submit their works, either through their respective institutes or directly to the Award convener.

Architecture Asia magazine (AA) is ARCASIA’s magazine and we need a more concerted effort and commitment from the member institutes to elevate the standards of AA to that of a world class magazine that can truly reflect the works within our region. The magazine has also been reformatted and rebranded as mandated by the Council. The proposal to introduce the Architecture Asia Awards for Emerging Architecture will be launched soon as a new initiative for promoting young design talents, and to provide a tool for discourse regarding the emerging architecture in Asia.

We have managed to secure support from the Building & Investment (B&I) Magazine to participate as ARCASIA's supporting magazine. More than 10,000 printed copies of the B&I magazine are circulated to Malaysia and South East Asia and both the printed and e-versions command a readership of not less than 80,000. This will assist us in further promoting ARCASIA and our activities to a wider audience regionally.

The ARCASIA Documentary Video has been prepared and posted on the ARCASIA website. We would like to recognize the effort of Ar. Kalim A. Siddiqui who undertook the production of this video with the intention of promoting ARCASIA to the members and public. We are in the midst of preparing an improved and updated version.

ARCASIA 17th Forum 2013 and the 34th ARCASIA Council Meeting will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in the month of October 2013. The preparation of the Forum is undertaken by SONA. The first announcement has been made by SONA to invite papers and presentations from architects from all member countries of ARCASIA on the theme of its 17th Forum: “Spirituality in Architecture and the Image of the City”.  The website has also been set up at www.arcasianepal2013.com .

We aim to make ARCASIA more inclusive and relevant. Great efforts are being made to reach out to not only all Past Chairmen and Fellowship members, but also to engage those who in the past, have contributed time and effort to ARCASIA and encouraged further participation in our activities.

We will continue with our agenda to engage all the organizations that ARCASIA has entered into MOUs with, to identify areas of cooperation that will bring mutual benefits with tangible outcomes. This will also help reinforce the position of ARCASIA as an organisation that can truly represent the interests of our profession and the built environment.

The ARCASIA standing committees that respectively cover the key ARCASIA agendas of sustainability, practice, education, and social responsibility have established various programs. We intend to keep the committee activities and initiatives active throughout and deliver what has have been planned and pledged.

The mundane administrative works cannot be ignored and require a fair bit of time and effort too. The Constitution and Bye –laws are being reviewed, updated and streamlined, and the preparation of a new ARCASIA Handbook is underway. The new Handbook will serve as a proper reference document that can provide a certain amount of continuity for future administrations.

I would like to reiterate again that, as an organization, ARCASIA can only be strong with the support of all our Member Institutes and as such, we look forward to the active participation and support of all member institutes in collectively realizing our vision to rejuvenate ARCASIA into a more vibrant and relevant organization.

Let us all work together to make a difference.

Ar. Tan Pei Ing,
President of ARCASIA
2013-2014