July 20, 2010

The Amherst Club Lunch Notes - July 20, 2010

President Vivienne Carey welcomed the group.

Guests: Susie Lowenstein's guest was an architect, Pam Jessup.


1.  Ellen Kosmer announced that the School Backpack Project for elementary students is underway. Members are asked to bring packs and/or contents by July 27 or August 10, or make a gift of cash or check to The Amherst Club, noting its purpose.

2.  Rachel Mustin announced a heads' up for the Membership Initiative. Two parts. First, Every member is asked to invite at least one guest from the Amherst area between now and Thanksgiving, in addition to family members, who we also like to know. Second, Every member is asked to brainstorm and write down a list of 4 to 9 possible new members, young, old, men, women, from the Valley area. The Board has approved on a trial basis allowing new members who can only attend occasionally to join as Associate Members. Full information will be given at the August 10 lunch.

3.  Ruth Hooke has a petition for Town Meeting, "Bring War Dollars Home," to be signed.

4.  Carolyn Holstein distributed committee sign-up sheets for Love Notes. Sign early and get your choice.

5.  Dee Waterman announced a Meet and Greet for Dave Sullivan, running for District Attorney, on August 1st, 3 to 5 pm at Zina Tillona's. 

6.  Ruth Miller announced that Jacquie Price had hurt her ankle and is getting around with a cane. All expressed sympathy and best wishes.  

7.  Larry Siddall asked that Rachel's announcement be sent additionally to the Google Group because of its urgency.

        Today's speaker, Erica Geiss, was introduced by Nancy Gregg. Erica has lived and worked in Europe, Central America, and Philadelphia. She has her own practice in Amherst and also at Kuhn Riddle. Erica spoke of designing things in shop at home when growing up. She said what she does as an architect is everything from A to Z: buildings, contents and fixtures, graphics, industrial design, and that is today's practice in architecture. 

Erica highlighted current trends in architecture.

        a.  Recognizing that design has the power to transform lives. "Design thinking" is now popular in many fields, such as medicine.
        b.  Being aware that design leaves a mark behind that future generations wonder about.
        c.  Understanding emotional sustainability, a new approach that observes that people develop emotional connections to objects so they don't feel that have to 
                 constantly replace or up-date them.
        d.  Community planning work such as "Communities by Design" with grants from the AIA involving both students and adults
        e.  Bio-mimicry, which involves learning from the natural world how other species solve problems.
        f.  Vernacular design, which looks at designs without architects and the works of traditional people in solving probems, such as her experience in Hilo, Hawaii

Erica ended with a discussion about programs working with people in Haiti.

The wine was won by Ginger Burn. The cash was won by Vivienne Carey.

Rachel Mustin, Scribe for the day.

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