2009 Theme: Elevating Architecture / Design Literacy for All

Each of us, interns and architects, has chosen to study and practice in a field that has seen great heights, but has struggled to sustain its members in economic downturns. The study of architecture is wide-ranging; it covers history, technology, and art, and through those doorways we learn about our cultures, discover scientific advances, and create objects of beauty and statements for society. My goals for next year include providing new programs to support us during lean times and opportunities to celebrate the citizen-architect and nurture a broader audience for our work.

Since the Center for Architecture opened in 2003, each AIANY president has chosen a theme to focus on excellence in some aspect of our work: encouraging diversity, speaking on public policy, designing interiors — and last year Jim McCullar, FAIA, raised the bar by looking at building types: housing, cultural facilities, health care, and hospitality, while examining each against the city’s plan to create a development framework for 2030.

Our spotlight in 2009 will examine what we as citizen-architects can do to raise the bar: through our government, through our community, and through our schools to create a climate of design literacy that demands more from institutions, developers, and architects.