Last week I was fortunate enough to take a few days off from the daily grind to explore the AIA’s National Convention on Architecture in New York – A’18.

To say that the energy and enthusiasm from the thousands of architects attending were high – would be a drastic understatement.  It was humbling, exciting, energizing, and hopeful.  In immersing myself into the world of design – filtered through the lenses of other professionals, approaches, and regions – I came away feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

While Lexington and Central Kentucky may not be able to claim the scale or population of larger urban areas – we have something few parts of the country can claim:  A beautiful palimpsest of urban and rural landscapes, a rich and diverse culture, and a vibrant energy bent on reinventing who we are and what we are capable of.

I begin work next week with a renewed sense of optimism and excitement for the role our profession can play in reshaping our community.  It’s a wonderful opportunity, but it’s also a vital responsibility.  With every step forward we face new challenges as a society that require open and honest discussion.  As place-makers, community-shapers, and black-clad, bespectacled social philosophers we have the ability and obligation to facilitate these discussions whenever and wherever possible.  Afterall, we design for others – not for ourselves.

I’m excited about the progress we’ve made and am starving for the chance to continue that progress – to help – in whatever way I can.

It’s hard work, Kentucky, but you’re worth it.