Membership means: From an Intern

I strongly believe that when dealing with government and industry, there are common issues that can be better addressed by one strong voice; one that represents the interests of students, graduates and designers, not just registered professionals. I have lived and traveled in many cities from coast to coast. For me, Canada’s uniqueness comes from the beauty of its regions as reflected in its architecture. To represent all of that diversity at a national and international level is a daunting yet very important task. To that end, the RAIC puts considerable effort into encouraging the participation of all of its members, regardless of language, experience or point of origin.

When I think of all the dues that I’m obligated to pay every year, I sometimes wonder whether to support the RAIC, but I do. There are several reasons, many stemming from my belief that I will someday make my mark and change the world or a small piece of it. The most important reason is that being a member and getting involved reminds me why I love to do what I do.

I love the way designers see and speak of the world around them. As a student, you’re part of an instant community of like-minded people where conversation and camaraderie abounds. Off-campus, I have found that this discourse is harder to come by. The reality of budget and client concerns tends to dominate discussions at the office. Often, even in the early stages of a project, little time can be invested in exploring an idealized solution. However, at RAIC seminars and festivals, I find myself once again engaged in thoughts of what can be and should be…

I get inspired being in a forum where I can interact with award-winning designers and practitioners from across the country. To hear first hand how they’ve addressed some of the same issues that I grapple with teaches me much more than any book I could ever read. I could, and have, gotten a similar charge from events organized by my provincial association but everything is heightened when experienced at a national level.

Ultimately, I have come to realize that if I am to effect the change that I dreamt of as a student, this is a great organization to do it with. That’s why I support the RAIC.

Marguerite Laquinte Francis, Intern Architect, MRAIC