The Custom Residential Architects Network (AIA-CRAN) on Dec. 7 held a forum during residential architect magazine’s annual Reinvention symposium to talk about the organization within the AIA and how the group can benefit all architects who practice residential architecture for individual homeowners.

John Isch, AIA, 2012 CRAN co-chairman and a principal at RWA Architects in Cincinnati, told the audience that the group formed because of frustrations with the national AIA. “We heard architects, primarily those who practice residential architecture, voice dissatisfaction with the AIA and its inability to address their needs with relevant services,” Isch told the crowd. But now with its organization, CRAN is “seeking ways to create change from within the AIA.”

Through its “support, advocate, and educate” platform, CRAN aims to grow its membership. CRAN wants to support all architects whose practices focus on custom residential work, to find new avenues to advocate for the residential practitioner, and to provide continuing educational opportunities for its members, the public, and allied team members on the residential architecture practice.

At this session, CRAN executive members solicited suggestions from residential practitioners in the audience “on how and what CRAN can do to become relevant,” Isch said. Breaking up into smaller groups, the audience members brainstormed  topics and strategies on how CRAN can better serves its members. Topics includededucation, contracts, regional CRAN chapters, networking, and best practices that can be helpful in the day-to-day operations of a firm. The intent, Isch said, is to fold the responses into CRAN’s future initiatives.