AIA New England awarded a Merit Award as part of the 2007 Design Awards to Polshek Partnership Architects for the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery, Louis I. Kahn Building… The AIA New Jersey chapter announced the winners of its 2007 Annual Design Conference. Dattner Architects won a Merit Award for the Klein Campus Center @ The Dwight Englewood School…

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences… The Preservation League of New York State awarded its most prestigious award, The Pillar of New York, to David Beer, FAIA, and his firm BBG-BBGM; and Phyllis Lambert, Hon. FAIA, and the film Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture, documenting her life as an architect, preservationist, and advocate…

Crain‘s list of 100 Most Influential Women in NYC business includes Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Katherine Farley of Tishman Speyer; Suri Kasirer of Kasirer Consulting; MaryAnne Gilmartin of Forest City Ratner; Judith Rodin of The Rockefeller Foundation; Veronica Hackett of The Clarett Group; Marilyn Jordan Taylor, FAIA, of Skidmore Owings & Merrill; and Kathryn Wylde of Partnership for New York City…

Perkins + Will recently announced their acquisition of Guenther 5 ArchitectsDavid Haskell has stepped down as Executive Director of the Forum For Urban Design to accept the position of Deputy Culture Editor at New York magazine…The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Maurice Cox has been appointed the NEA’s Director of Design…

This year’s sold-out Heritage Ball 2007 recognized Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; George H. Miller, FAIA; Joan K. Davidson, Hon. AIA; and Architecture for Humanity. The party took place October 11 at Chelsea Piers, followed by the Party@theCenter at the Center for Architecture.

Heritage Ball

Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, 2007 AIANY president, with past Chapter presidents Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, and George Miller, FAIA, AIA vice president.

Kristen Richards

Heritage Ball

(l-r):Jim Sawyer, AIA; Abby Suckle, FAIA; Frank Sanchez; Beth Greenberg, AIA.

Kristen Richards

The fifth annual openhousenewyork took place October 6-7. The AIANY Emerging NY Architects Committee hosted two site tours to celebrate the launch of the third biennial international ideas competition, South Street Seaport: Re-envisioning the Urban Edge. One tour was of the current site at South Street, and the other was of Southpoint on Roosevelt Island, site of the 2006 competition Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation.


Joel Melton (center) points toward Pier 17, site of possible luxury high-rise condos in the future and adjacent to the site of the current ENYA competition.

Jessica Sheridan


Sean Rasmussen (left) indicates that the site of the old Fulton Fish Market, which may be incorporated into proposals for the competition.

Jessica Sheridan


Carolyn Sponza, AIA, (white shirt, brown skirt) in front of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital. She presented competition boards as well as plans by Wallace Roberts & Todd with weisz + yoes architecture for Southpoint’s future.

Jessica Sheridan

Interior architects and architects celebrate together at the opening of Architecture Inside/Out at the Center for Architecture, September 19.

Architecture Inside/Out

(l-r): David Kohn, David Aarons, and Richard Aarons of AFD Contract Furniture; Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director.

Sam Lahoz

11.05.07 Submission: 1000x Architecture of the Americas
Fushion publishing is calling for architecture projects to be included in an international book, 1000x Architecture of the Americas, featuring 1,000 projects by 1,000 architects from Alaska to Chile including the Caribbean. Submitting a project is free, but architects may only enter one project. Both the architect and project must be located in America. Projects should not be older than three years, and all building categories are welcome, including future projects and competitions or experimental architecture

11.07.07 Call for Presentations: Greenprints”>Green Prints 2008
Showcasing the latest sustainable design and construction strategies from practitioners in commercial and residential building and land use planning, Greenprints seeks presentations for its conference in Atlanta March 13-14, 2008. Complimentary conference registration, including meals and receptions, is included, but speakers must donate their time and provide their own transportation and accommodations.

11.23.07 Registration: What if New York City
The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is sponsoring a design competition to provisionally house residents after a major coastal storm. Judging criteria includes capacity, rapid installation capabilities, site and unit flexibility, reusability, livability, accessibility, security, sustainability, and cost efficiency. Ten winners will be awarded $10,000 each to revise their projects and prepare presentation materials. Submissions are due 12.14.07.

1.15.08 Call for Entries: ICFF Studios Bernhardt Design
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) will be held May 17-20, 2008 at the Javits Convention Center. Conceived as a way to help young and promising designers with prototypes connect with the ICFF’s manufacturer attendees and the media, ICFF Studio with George Little Management, producer and manager of the ICFF, and Bernhardt Design invite submissions from designers working on any of the product categories exhibited: furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and kitchen and bath. Selected designers win a spot to display their prototypes at ICFF Studio, a group area with individual booths on the exhibition floor.

2.05.08 Call for Entries: 2008 NCARB Prize
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is accepting entries for the 2008 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy, which supports combined practice and education initiatives at the university level. Six cash awards, totaling more than $60,000, with a grand prize of $25,000, will be presented.

2.29.08 Submission: JELD-WEN Student Door Design Contest
Students are asked to find and express their inspiration for an entrance door from their choice of architectural styles. Two grand-prize winners will each receive a $3,000 scholarship. Scholarship winners will be selected based on suitability of the design for contemporary architecture, usability as a door, creativity, uniqueness, and attention to detail. Designs can include wood, glass, decorative hardware, metal accents, or other materials.

Center for Architecture Gallery Hours
Monday–Friday: 9:00am–8:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am–5:00pm, Sunday: CLOSED

Join an Architalker for a Hosted Tour of Center for Architecture

Join us for free Architalker-hosted tours of the Center for Architecture exhibitions Fridays at 4:00pm. To join one of these tours, meet in the Public Resource Area on the ground floor of the Center for Architecture.


New York NOW

October 11 – December, 2008

Galleries: Edgar A. Tafel Hall

New York NOW celebrates the diversity of the AIA New York Chapter and Center for Architecture membership by displaying non-juried submissions of member projects. The exhibition will include works of all scales: small, large, commercial, residential, public, private, interiors, historic preservation, engineering, landscape, and urban design.

The exhibition presents the depth and breadth of professional activity and the variety of its impact. The resulting dialogue between different practitioners encourages a deeper understanding of what is happening in the New York architecture and design world now.

Exhibition Design: Illya Azaroff + the design collective studio


Exhibition organized by the AIA New York Chapter

Architecture Inside/Out

September 19 — December 8, 2007

Galleries: Gerald D Hines Gallery, Street Gallery, Public Resource Center

Architecture Inside/Out demonstrates the unfolding of space by exposing architectural interiors through a range of typologies with an inward focus, including libraries, hotels, retail and work spaces. This exhibition challenges conventional categories and explores alternative typologies. The design of interiors has evolved into a complex and nuanced problem and addresses circulation patterns, use and adjacencies, sociologies of hierarchy and networks, and sustainability. The fully integrated interior considers light, color and materiality, but also new ways of programming space, the latest technological advances, innovative methods of construction and green practices.

Traditional representations such as section, plan and elevation, in addition to models and details will provide a lens to reveal inherent characteristics of featured interiors, exposing materials, structure and spatial relationships. Architecture Inside/Out takes the familiar architectural conventions and places them parallel to alternative ways of seeing and revealing. When these alternative methods of understanding space are applied to typologies, they provide views of the interior that shed new light on familiar places.

Lois Weinthal, Director of Interior Design, Parsons

Exhibition Design: Freecell

Graphic Design: Language Arts

The exhibition and related programming are organized by the AIA New York Chapter in collaboration with the AIA New York Chapter’s Interiors Committee and the Center for Architecture Foundation.

Underwriter: AFD Contract Furniture

Patron: Certified of New York

Lead Sponsor: Zumtobel Lighting

Sponsor:: BBG-BBGM; Spartech Corporation; STUDIOS Architecture




Jack L. Gorden Architects; Perkins + Will


Mancini Duffy
Perkins + Will
STUDIOS Architecture

Related Events

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 1:00 — 4:00pm
FamilyDay@theCenter:Architecture – Inside and Out!

August 23 — October 27, 2007

New Practices London

Galleries: Judith and Walter Hunt Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery

The Future of the Architecture Profession in London. The exhibition features young firms whose work shows invention and promise. New Practices London is organized by the AIA New York Chapter’s Center for Architecture in collaboration with The Architecture Foundation in London.

6a Architects
Carmody Groarke
Ullmayer Sylvester Architects
Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Exhibition Design:
Gage/Clemenceau Architects

Organized by:
AIA New York Chapter in collaboration with The Architecture Foundation in London.

Related Programming Organized by:
Center for Architecture in collaboration with the AIA New York Chapter’s New Practices Committee and the AIA New York Chapter’s International Committee and the Center for Architecture Foundation

Media Partners: The Architect’s Newspaper

Related Events

Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 6:00 — 9:00pm
New Practices London Symposium

Super-Model Lecture Series
AIA New York Chapter’s New Practices Roundtable presents an exploration of innovative models of architectural and design practice.

Tuesday November 6, 2007, 6:00 — 8:00pm
MINI_1-20, small firms means & methods

Thursday, December 6, 2007, 6:00 — 8:00pm
Exfoliation- RE-GENERATION

Exhibition Underwriter:

*Opening presented as part of the SKYY90 Diamond Design Series


OS Fabrication & Design, The Conran Shop

Fountainhead Construction
MG & Company
Microsol Resources
Structural Enterprises

Barefoot Wines
Cosentini Associates
Delta Faucet Company
Perkins Eastman & Partners

July 19 – October 19, 2007

arch schools: r(each)ing out

Galleries: Kohn Pedersen Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery, South Gallery

Last September, leading New York area architecture schools participated in an exhibition that set out to foster a closer connection between the schools, students, and the profession.

This summer will feature our third annual architecture schools exhibition, arch schools: r[each]ing out, devoted exclusively to the work of students. The AIA New York Chapter’s annual architecture schools exhibition demonstrates exemplary student work representing the 9 New York area architecture schools, whose deans sit on the Board of the AIA New York Chapter, and 8 invited schools, including the four interiors design programs in New York City. The schools are asked to submit work related to the 2007 New York Chapter’s presidential theme “Architecture Inside/Out”.

Participating Schools:

The City College of New York (CUNY)
Columbia University
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Cornell University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York Institute of Technology
New York School of Interior Design
Parsons the New School for Design
Pratt Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School of Visual Arts
Syracuse University
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
University of Pennsylvania
Yale University

Exhibition and related programming organized by the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation


Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Beyer Binder Belle: Architects & Planners
Butler Rogers Baskett Architects
Francois de Menil Architect
Gabellini Sheppard Associates
Mancini Duffy
Terrence O’Neal Architect

Exhibition Announcements



Courtesy ISE Cultural Foundation

10.26.07 through 11.23.07
NACRE: Synthesized Space: Part II

Luca Bertini and Marco Antonini’s NACRE is an ongoing project in which data inconsistencies retrieved from the Internet bloom into a mutating, sprawling 3-D structure. Based on the structure of nacre, or “mother-of-pearl”, this chaotic structure is built from hexagonal platelets designed from information collected by a spider (an automatic computer program which crawls the Internet in search of data).

ISE Cultural Foundation
555 Broadway, New York

10.22.07 through 12.01.07
Steven Heller Master Series Award and Exhibition

The School of Visual Arts will honor Steven Heller with the Masters Series Award and retrospective exhibition. He is the author, co-author, and editor of over 100 books on graphic design, illustration, and political art, was an art director at the New York Times for 33 years, and is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review. Heller is also the co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Design Department and co-founder of the MFA Design Criticism Department at SVA.

Over 100 covers of the New York Times Book Review that Heller art directed, and a visual anthology of his major publications, with select volumes available to peruse will be on view. An adjacent video installation will feature interviews with co-authors Mirko Ilic, Lita Talarico, Seymour Chwast, Marshall Arisman, and Gail Anderson about their collaborative process. The centerpiece of the multimedia display will be a larger-than-life photo montage of Heller’s library with recorded commentary about his collection of design ephemera and its role in his research and writing. In a series of video podcasts specially commissioned for the exhibition, Heller will discuss design in the context of popular culture, politics and history.

School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street, New York City

Future City 20 | 21

“The Proposed Chrystie-Forsyth Parkway,” The Regional Plan of New York and its Environs. 1931.

Courtesy The Skyscraper Museum

10.24.07 through 03.08
Future City 20 | 21

A cycle of three exhibitions at The Skyscraper Museum’s Battery Park City gallery will explore connections between the American visions of the skyscraper city of the future in the early 20th century and Chinese cities today, principally Hong Kong and Shanghai. The first installation, New York Modern, highlights the city’s skyscraper visionaries — including Raymond Hood, Harvey Wiley Corbett, Hugh Ferriss — who imagined a metropolis of monumental setback skyscrapers, elevated highways and multi-level transit, and densely populated apartment precincts. On display are photographs, drawings, models, prints, rare books and periodicals, photographs, and film clips. Additional science fiction imagery, futuristic cartoons, and popular films bespeak both the anxieties and exhilaration of the dreams of a high-tech city of tomorrow.

The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York



October should be renamed Architecture Month. The AIANYS Convention begins this Thursday; openhousenewyork is this coming weekend; Heritage Ball and the annual Party@theCenter are Thursday 10.11; ENYA is hosting two events — a Burning Man panel (10.13) and This Will Kill That? will bring author Saskia Sassen to the Center for Architecture (10.23); a New Practices London symposium (10.16), portfolio review (10.26), and Architecture Inside/Out symposium (10.27) will end the month with a bang — or a sigh of accomplishment. Check out the online Calendar of Events for more information.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: e-Oculus is looking for writers. If you’re interested, check out the Classifieds section for more information.

For Once, a View from the Ground Up

Event: The World Trade Center Site: Designing the Public Realm
Location: Center for Architecture, 09.18.07
Speakers: Panel A: Program and Schedule: Steven Plate — Director, World Trade Center Construction, The Port Authority of NY and NJ; Joan Gerner, Assoc. AIA — Executive Vice President of Design Construction & Capital Planning, National September 11 Memorial & Museum; Janno Lieber — WTC Project Director, Silverstein Properties; Panel B: Planning and Design of the Public Realm: Joe Brown, FASLA — President/CEO, EDAW; Peter Walker, FASLA — Partner-in-Charge, Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architects; Anne Lewison, AIA — Architect, Snøhetta; Respondents: Allen Swerdlowe, AIA — Chair, New York New Visions (NYNV) Site Committee; Ned McGuire — Chair, Civic Alliance, NYNV Memorial Committee
Moderators: Panel A: Rick Bell, FAIA — Executive Director, AIANY; Panel B: Ernest Hutton, Assoc. AIA, AICP — Co-Chair, NYNV
Organizer: New York New Visions

WTC Progress

Work is being done at Ground Zero.

Courtesy Joe Woolhead,

As designs crystallize at the World Trade Center site, people are wondering what Lower Manhattan will look like from the ground — not just from the bird’s-eye perspective seen in many published renderings. Speakers from city agencies and key designers recently provided a status report focusing on at-ground activity and the public realm.

Grade-level planning begins at the programming and scheduling stages. For example, to enhance a visitor’s experience of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, pedestrian planning is being considered while the design is at its preliminary phases, according to Joan Gerner, Assoc. AIA, executive vice president of design construction and capital planning. Using computer software, the team created a visualization of the Memorial’s pedestrian traffic patterns of visitors, residents, and workers. On a larger scale, the new towers will relate to each other and the surrounding neighborhoods because of the collaboration among site architects throughout the design process, not just after the designs have been solidified, explained Janno Lieber, WTC project director at Silverstein Properties.

A key factor when designing a building or memorial is how it will relate to the public realm; and every firm designing for the WTC site is approaching this challenge differently. When planning the overall site, urban designers from EDAW are looking to “totally reform the public realm of Lower Manhattan,” stated president/CEO Joe Brown, FASLA. From details (the design of street lights) to overarching principles (promoting civic activity and interaction), EDAW is carefully considering the shaping of the sites’ public spaces. Peter Walker, FASLA, partner-in-charge of Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architects, designing the landscape of the World Trade Center Memorial, is attempting to re-imagine the relationship between secular and sacred spaces by integrating active and contemplative elements. Planted trees are intended to arch like cathedrals over busy paths, for example. A memorial pavilion, designed by Snøhetta, will glow at all hours and act as a beacon on the site.

The public desires Ground Zero to be wonderful, and built soon.

What NY Baseball Can Learn from Red Sox

Event: Take Me Out to the Brand-New Ballpark
Location: Museum of the City of New York, 09.27.07
Speakers: John Pastier — Architecture Critic & Author, Historic Ballparks (Chartwell Books, 2006); Janet Marie Smith — Senior Vice President of Planning and Development, Boston Red Sox; Andrew Zimbalist — Stadium Consultant, Author, In the Best Interests of Baseball? (Wiley, 2007), & Professor of Economics, Smith College
Moderator: Frank Deford — Sportswriter, Novelist, Correspondent, HBO & NPR
Organizers: Museum of the City of New York

Yankee Stadium

“The Façade” at Yankee Stadium is a replica of the original copper frieze that ran around the grandstand’s upper deck. The frieze will return to the upper deck roof in the new Yankee Stadium, designed by HOK Sport.

Photo credit goes here.

In association with The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957 exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, experts in the field discussed what made old ballparks unique, how the suburbanization of America affected ballpark design, and why current trends in ballpark architecture take cues from the past.

Old ball fields began as urban parks; the size of the fields depended on the size of city blocks. As structures developed around the parks, they blended with the surrounding neighborhoods. Originally financed by city governments, at a time when team salaries were more reasonable, ball fields and players were an integral part of community life. And with cheap ticket prices, everone in the community could enjoy the games, meanwhile creating camaraderie across classes. Known as jewel box parks, Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium represent this era.

In the 1960s and 70s, ballpark designs changed to accommodate car culture and became studies in parking lot planning and cookie-cutter construction. Shea Stadium, built in 1960, is an example of these types of arenas with its circular shape and ability to be converted into a football stadium. Multi-use was a priority, not intimacy. It wasn’t until 1992, when Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore was constructed, that designers began looking to the past to recapture what was lost. Sited downtown near the waterfront, it is accessible to all city dwellers. To make Camden Yards unique to Baltimore, an old warehouse was preserved in right field. While it helped revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, unfortunately its economic success is rare among new ballparks.

Oddly enough, new stadiums have not been found to bring prosperity to a neighborhood, says Andrew Zimbalist, stadium consultant, author, and economics professor at Smith College. Since there are only 81 home games per season, the areas surrounding stadiums tend to be blighted most of the year. Also, players can afford to live away from the cities in which they play. With high salaries, income goes to their hometowns and does not filter back into the city’s local economy. However, if new parks bring auxiliary development in addition to the stadium, such as housing and year-round amenities, the profit margin goes up.

The upcoming Yankees and Mets stadiums will be new construction, but planners are trying to preserve the nostalgia of old ballparks and include modern amenities to be economically viable. Both teams should use parks such as Boston’s Fenway Park as a model, claims Janet Marie Smith, senior vice president of planning and development for Boston Red Sox (who also helped plan and develop Camden Yards). Fenway, a jewel box constructed in 1912, has been able to endure all trends with a few minor modern-day improvements such as increasing aisle sizes and adding bleacher seats above the Green Monster. Despite being one of the smallest ballparks, it is able to be financially successful because of the adjacent Yawkey Way, which has year-round concessions, restaurants, and bars. With NY baseball fans as fervent as Boston’s, there is hope for success in future development.

Design Education Turns Social

Event: Deans Roundtable and Reception, arch schools: r(each)ing out
Location: Center for Architecture, 09.24.07
Speakers: George Ranalli, AIA — Dean of Architecture, The City College of New York; Mark Wigley — Dean, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University; Anthony Vidler — Dean of Architecture, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; Moshen Mostafavi — Dean of Architecture, Cornell University; Urs P. Gauchat — Dean of Architecture, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Judith DiMaio, AIA — Dean of Architecture & Design, New York Institute of Technology; Scott Ageloff, AIA, ASID, IDEC, NYSID — Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean, New York School of Interior Design; Kent Kleinman — Chair of Architecture, Parsons the New School for Design; Tom Hanrahan, AIA — Dean of Architecture, & Anita Cooney — Chair of Interior Design, Pratt Institute; Stan Allen, AIA — Dean of Architecture, Princeton University; Alan Balfour, Assoc. AIA — Dean of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Jane Smith, AIA — Chair of Interior Design, School of Visual Arts; Mark Robbins — Dean of Architecture, Syracuse University; University at Buffalo (SUNY); Gary Hack — Dean, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania; Keith Krumwiede — Assistant Dean & Professor of Architecture, Yale University
Moderator: Marvin Malecha, FAIA — ACSA Distinguished Professor, TOPAZ Laureate, Dean, College of Design, North Carolina State University & 2008 AIA First Vice President/President-Elect
Organizers: AIANY; Center for Architecture Foundation
Sponsors: RMJM Hillier; Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Supporter: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Friends: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners; Butler Rogers Baskett; Francois de Menil Architects; Gabellini Sheppard Associates; Mancini Duffy; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Terrence O’Neal Architect; beverages provided by Izze

Arch schools: r(each)ing out

Courtesy AIANY

Based on images and themes captured from the recent popular press, roundtable moderator Marvin Malecha, FAIA, dean of the NC State University College of Design, drilled 16 local deans on questions relating to design and social responsibility. Malecha peppered the panel with questions like “Why should the public trust architects?” and “Do architects really care about the ‘other’ 90% of society?”

Most of the deans conceded that social initiatives should be used to engage students, such as providing social housing and designing to avert sprawl. At the same time, some deans questioned the logic of migrating to a curriculum with an entirely social agenda. Stan Allen, AIA, dean of architecture at Princeton University, said that while high-level design and social agendas could work together, students should not be mandated to focus on social problems. “The world is changing; we cannot teach on a snapshot of the moment.”

Malecha, who will serve as 2009 AIA president, asked the deans how far they see architecture practice and the AIA actually affecting architecture education. According to a number of deans, rigorous business and professional practice classes can add to the architecture curricula, but should not supplant the importance of design teaching in a studio structure. Formal education is just the beginning of a long process, said Anthony Vidler, dean of Cooper Union. “We are nowhere near the end of it when a student graduates.”

SpeedMentoring Launches Women in Architecture

Event: SpeedMentoring: presented by AIANY Women in Architecture
Location: Haworth Inc., 09.25.07
Organizer: AIANY Women in Architecture
Sponsor: Haworth Inc.

Women in Architecture

Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, 2007 AIANY President (left), and Tina D’Auria, architecture student, participate in the Women in Architecture SpeedMentoring program.

Carolyn Sponza

Inspired by popular “speed dating” events, the format of SpeedMentoring was intended to connect women in architecture with mentors and mentees in a fun and informative environment. Participating in the event, I met several intelligent and motivated women. If this was the AIANY Women in Architecture (WIA) committee’s goal, then it was a success. However, much like speed dating, I do not feel as if it was the best environment to find “the one” mentor or mentee.

During the evening, there were three rounds of structured group discussion; each group consisted of participants with experience levels varying from interns to principals. Receptions held before and after the organized discussions encouraged more informal conversation. Although the event is a good concept in theory, I found the time limitations to be restrictive. Also, the structure was too formal to make meaningful, personal connections. Following initial introductions, most women seemed cheery about their experiences in the profession and their career goals. As someone who is not sure she wants to be an architect, I felt guilty sharing this fact after a speech on the dismaying statistics of women leaving the profession. Rather, I felt pressure to exclaim how I can’t wait to become licensed and work my way up to a partner position.

Perhaps a more effective program would involve placing mentors and mentees in groups with similar goals and experiences and allowing more time to get to know each other. While it is valuable for women to mentor each other within the profession, it is most important to find the right mentor, no matter their sex.

To receive more information about upcoming WIA programs, visit the Women in Architecture NYC Google group.