Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, of AIA Corpus Christi, was elected 2014 AIA First Vice President/2015 President at the AIA Convention in Denver. As Vice President and eventually President of the AIA, Richter will lead implementation and execution of the Repositioning the AIA effort. As the repositioning initiative progresses, her leadership will help bring the AIA into a more member-focused future, enlisting greater support and understanding from the general public, while also refining the Institute’s leadership structure, institutional framework, and operation focus. This repositioned AIA will be a visionary member organization providing advocacy, leadership, and resources for architects to design a better world.
“There’s a saying that you can buy in any language, but you can only sell in the language that you speak, so let’s take our language outside of our tent and to the streets, Richter says. “I’ve championed public outreach for over 25 years, leveraging affinities and finding partners. We should strive to arouse the public’s interests every day and celebrate the humble as well as the sublime.”
Currently a member of the AIA National Board of Directors representing Texas, Richter was president of the Texas Society of Architects in 2007. With the National AIA component, she has taken a strong interest in rewarding design excellence, serving on design juries, as chair of the AIA Gold Medal and Firm Award Advisory jury, a member of the AIA Regional and Urban Design Award jury, and multiple AIA component design awards juries. Her own design contributions were recognized in 2001, when she received an AIA Young Architects Award.
Richter is the CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her firm offers a wide variety of master planning, programming, design, interior design, construction documents, construction administration, and construction management services. Richter Architects received the 2011 Texas Society of Architects Firm Award.
“A knowing public is our best partner in design,” Richter says. “We should cast a broad net to share our passion and our value in boardrooms, in coffee shops, and in the media. We must replenish and deepen our talent pool. We should remove roadblocks to licensure and build the next generation of leaders of our chosen profession. With critical mass, our voices will resonate and our impact will be felt. As AIA President, I will strive to leverage our collective energies and focus on building an enduring, vital profession that is essential to all who seek to make the world a better place.”
Richter holds a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she created and co-produced The Shape of Texas, a statewide radio series on architecture broadcast on NPR-affiliate stations. In 2005 and 2006, she was the chairperson of the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and has also served as chairperson of the South Texas Public Broadcasting System.
Published in the June 22, 2013 issue of AIArchitect.