Clark Manus Named 2011 President of American Institute of Architects

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Never fans of not having detail plans laid out well in advance (like most architects we assume/hope), the American Institute of Architects has already assigned their officers for 2011. The big winner at their most recent convention turned out to be Clark Manus of the San Francisco-based Heller Manus Architects, who will take the reigns as president of the AIA in a year and a half, following George Miller (2010) and the current president, the perhaps prematurely-optimistic Marvin Malecha — thus allowing us the opportunity to create a conspiracy theory right now that the AIA only elects people who have last names starting with “M” (further evidence: Manus beat out Mike Rodriguez, whose name also has an “M,” just not where it counts). While the new president still has a little while to think about what he wants to do during his tenure up top (and who knows what sorts of ups and downs the industry will continue to face), true to the organization’s ever-forward attitude, he’s already starting to lay out some plans:

A top priority for him is to encourage architecture students to develop “broader skill sets,” particularly in business administration, to brace for the challenging job market. Manus, who is a current AIA vice president, also seeks to enrich the “Economy Resources” section of the AIA’s Web site with more career tips, workshop offerings, and job listings.

Building more middle-income city housing is another goal for Manus, who was a key advocate for adding a denser concentration of homes to the Rincon Hill and Transbay neighborhoods of San Francisco after its 1989 earthquake. Backing for projects of this type could come from President Obama‘s newly created Office of Urban Affairs, which might help push long-neglected city-specific concerns to the forefront.