RE: PRESIDENTS PEN – FEBRUARY 2021
It has been two months since the new committee and executive have been in office from end of November 2020.
Traditionally these months are quiet with the annual builders break and the festive season. This time around it is as if time actually stood still with the lockdown taking its toll on our lives. There is not much we now can take for granted except that “hurry up and wait” is now normal.
Nonetheless time does not wait and remember that February only has twenty-eight days…… On the positive side our professional practices are in the unique position that for once we actually can survive a crisis. Our sophisticated electronic drawing programmes and computers which when coupled with cellphones, social media, on-line meetings, video calls and the ease of internet connectivity, give us the near perfect solution to communicate with all our project members clients and contractors.
Or are we fooling ourselves that interpersonal connectivity can be purely an electronic emotion? It may be that touching, see-for-real and smelling is just as important for human interaction and survival as scrolling, typing and texting. R2D2 also had a heart . We are still required to inspect building activities in person, stamp a building plan, explain a detail requirement to a contractor and client in person.
This has made me more focused and determined to succeed with the limited time available for real personal interaction than in the past. The impact of the virus and resulting limited interaction is a wake-up call for us all to be more appreciative of life and respect the freedom which we became so accustomed to.
Nonetheless the PIA has continued to serve its members and planning for the year is nearly finalized. The highlights for February are the Presidents Breakfast which took place on 5 February at the Blue Crane and which resulted in great conversation. There is also the first session of the Professional Practice Programme on 17 February (invitations to follow) and a Virtual Tour event on 20 February to be presented by Adriaan Louw of his recent visit to India. Furthermore we will be represented at the Public Development Forum on 9 February arranged between the Council and the private sector as liaison to improve relationships and iron out problems with rezoning, building control (i.e. plans submissions) etc. Invitations were sent to all members. Please do join.
These events are all presented for our members to remain informed and enthused by our special profession which touches sides with a wide range of the arts and general sciences. This in turn informs our designs and the way we practice and the PIA endeavors to inform our members on a wide range of topics.
Our committee has already convened twice since early December and our portfolio committees are focused on transformation, practice matters, environmental matters, heritage, professional events, education liaison with Universities, communication with SAIA, SACAP, Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, the CBE, and SABS.
Finally, also note the bi-annual Merit Awards programme will commence shortly – entry forms will be forwarded in due course. There will also be a JAM session in March with an exciting list of topics and speakers lined up! This is a follow-up of the first successful event at the end of 2020.
Stay healthy, wealthy and wise! Recently life has become complicated but we should not complicate our lives, rather strive for simplicity.
In his book “The Natural House” (1954), Frank Lloyd Wright commented on simplicity as follows:
“Simplicity is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is spiritual to comprehend simplicity”.