In this issue:
· AIA Makes Policy Recommendations to Congress
· Engineers Sue NYC

AIA Makes Policy Recommendations to Congress
The AIA semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast projects an 11% decline in design and construction activity in 2009. To revitalize the building sector, which accounts for about $1 of every $10 of the U.S. GDP, the AIA developed the Rebuild and Renew Plan, which details its recommendations for the allocation of funds in President Obama’s economic recovery plan. The AIA is calling on the new administration and Congress to create policies that ensure these monies are spent on the planning, design, and construction of energy efficient, sustainable buildings and healthy communities. If implemented correctly, the nearly $100 billion plan would create 1.6 million jobs throughout the design and construction industry.

Recent reports estimate that the economic recovery package may total as much as $800 billion, with at least $350 billion dedicated to infrastructure projects. However, the AIA’s recommendations call for longer planning and design periods for projects to help ensure that they are carried out in the most effective, cost-efficient manner, and that funds are not poorly spent due to the projects being hastily planned and executed. Providing funding for projects across 24 months will ensure a steady stream of funds for job creation over the likely life of the recession.

The plan is comprised of five key policy areas for immediate attention: 21st-century schools; green commercial, residential, and institutional buildings; historic preservation projects; transit, mixed-use development, and complete streets projects; and tax relief for businesses. For more information on the AIA’s Rebuild and Renew Plan, or to download the full report, click the link.

Engineers Sue NYC
The NY State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) is bringing a lawsuit against the City of New York to restore the licensure requirement for the Commissioner of Buildings. Recently, the NY City Council passed legislation removing the requirement that the commissioner be a licensed professional engineer or registered architect. The NYSSPE believes that this law not only diminishes and undermines their profession, but more importantly, puts the public at risk. They believe this law is in violation of the NY State Engineering Licensure Statute and hope to reverse it in a court of law.

Volunteer Call: Encourage Kids to Explore Color

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) NY Chapter is looking for volunteers to help out with its annual support of Publicolor, a non-profit organization with the mission to use color, collaboration, design, and painting to empower students to transform themselves, their schools, and their communities. Volunteers will work alongside the students, not only brightening up their environment, but also providing them with important exposure to positive role models and opportunities for informal mentoring. The event will take place Saturday, 02.21.09, from 10:30am-3:00pm. There is a $10 donation to cover lunch, and volunteers will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis. RSVP to or call 917-340-1857.

Photographer Peter Aaron, Guy Nordenson, Metropolis, and DOCOMOMO US have been awarded 2009 Collaborative Achievement Awards by the AIA… The Department of Small Business Services announced this year’s Celebrating Successful Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Awardees including MWBE of the Year, Everardo Agosto Jefferson, AIA, and Sara Elizabeth Caples, AIA, of Caples Jefferson Architects, and MWBE Rising Star Award winner Elizabeth Kennedy of Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects…

The AD 100, a selection of the top architects and interior designers whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest over the past several years includes NY-based Penny Drue Baird; John Barman; Samuel Botero; Geoffrey Bradfield; Thomas Britt; Mario Buatta; Diane Burn; Robert Couturier; Elissa Cullman; Joanne de Guardiola; David Easton Mica Ertegun; Ferguson & Shamamian; William T. Georgis, AIA; Peter L. Gluck; Mariette Himes Gomez; Alexander Gorlin, FAIA; Michael Graves, FAIA; Victoria Hagan; Alexa Hampton; Thad Hayes; Ike Kligerman Barkley; Peter Marino, FAIA; Juan Pablo Molyneux; Juan Montoya; Sandra Nunnerley; Campion Platt; AIA; Jennifer Post; Jaquelin T. Robertson, FAIA; Harry Schnaper; Annabelle Selldorf, AIA; Roderick N. Shade; Stephen Shadley; Shelton; Mindel; Marjorie Shushan; Sills Huniford; Scott Snyder; Robert A. M. Stern, FAIA; Carleton Varney; Alan Wanzenberg, AIA; and Dennis Wedlick, AIA

Van Alen Institute: Projects in Public Architecture announced that Abby Hamlin has been elected as Chair of the Van Alen Institute Board of Trustees… Jessica Lansdale, AIA, LEED AP, is now the manager of SBLM Architects’ new Healthcare & Wellness division…

01.22.09: The MAKE IT WORK. Engineering Possibilities exhibition opened at the Center for Architecture.

(L-R): AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; exhibition designers Urshula Barbour and Isaac Gertman; 2009 AIANY President Sherida Paulsen, FAIA; exhibition designer Paul Carlos; and AIANY Director of Exhibitions Rosamond Fletcher.

Tyler Coburn

(L-R): James Dunphy, Isaac Gertman, Paul Carlos, Urshula Barbour, and Joanne Chew of Pure + Applied, the exhibition designers, with Rick Bell, FAIA.

Tyler Coburn

Partygoers gathered at the Center.

Kristen Richards

The exhibition allows for many types of interaction.

Kristen Richards

Make It Work advertisements are plastered throughout the city bringing people from all over to the Center for Architecture. Here, a couple of Irish tourists plan on stopping by.

Rick Bell

11.06.08: The Capauchin Food Pantries hosted its ninth annual “Doodle For Hunger” event at Tavern on the Green. The celebrity art auction consisted of signed original works by artists, athletes, entertainers, politicians, and business icons, and the money raised goes to help feed those in need in the NY area. Ted Moudis, AIA, founder and senior principal at Ted Moudis Associates, co-sponsored the event.

(L-R): Event host Ernie Anastos and guest of honor Rosanna Scotto of Fox 5 News; Ted Moudis, AIA; and Nick Gregory, Fox 5 chief meteorologist.

Courtesy Ted Moudis Associates

2009 Oculus Editorial Calendar
If you are an architect by training or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, note that OCULUS editors want to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. The themes:

Spring Issue: Elevating Architecture / Design Literacy for All. Closed.

Summer Issue: AIANY 2009 Design Awards and AIANY/BSA Biennial Design Type Awards. Closed.

Fall Issue: Carbon Neutral Now. The new green frontier, carbon neutrality, researched, explored, planned, and designed at all scales by New York architects.
06.01.09: Suggestion Deadline

Winter Issue: Health & Architecture. Architecture designed to promote fitness, health, and wellness will be profiled. Projects selected from within this growing field will demonstrate sensitivity to generational and demographic issues, sustainability, and technology.
08.01.09: Suggestion Deadline

If you have suggestions, please contact OCULUS editor-in-chief Kristen Richards.

02.20.09 Call for Presentations: ASLA 2009 Annual Meeting and EXPO
The 2009 ASLA Annual Meeting theme will be Beyond Sustainability: Regenerating Places and People. Proposals for consideration are now being accepted online. The meeting and EXPO will be held 09.18-21.09 in Chicago. Speakers selected to present at the meeting will receive a complimentary full registration ($450 value) and one-night hotel stay ($250 value; ASLA retains the right to assign the hotel).

03.06.09 Call for Entries: International Public Competition for an Architectural Project for Exploratory Science Museum in Brazil
State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil announces a two-phase competition open to any registered architect. The exploratory science museum will be approximately 5,200 square meters situated on a 28,000-square-meter site, prominently located at the edge of campus. The estimated budget for the is around $5 million.

03.23.09 Call for Entries: Temporary Outdoor Gallery Space (TOGS) 2
Art Alliance Austin announces its second installment of the ideas competition TOGS 2. Through a continued partnership with AIA Austin and Austin Foundation for Architecture, Art Alliance Austin is now also partnering with AIANY. The competition will generate proposals for temporary space for the exhibit of fine art, which ultimately will enhance Art Alliance Austin’s annual outdoor art festival “Art City Austin” by providing gallery space for selected artists. A Grand Prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winning design. Second- and third-prize winners will be awarded $500 and $250 respectively.

03.27.09 Call for Entries: Designing in Teheran
This international competition, open to designers and architects, calls for the design of two multi-story buildings set in Teheran, Iran. The goal is to collect ideas and identify solutions that will provide the best and most coherent integration of the structures in the local urban and commercial setting while maintaining a clear identity. The spaces will be used for commercial premises and offices. The total prize money is Euro 30,000.00.

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.


January 22 — April 25, 2009

MAKE IT WORK. Engineering Possibilities

Today’s engineers are working across disciplines and driving innovation. MAKE IT WORK. Engineering Possibilities looks at how engineers are envisioning and realizing the future of our built environment by transforming structures, improving environments, enhancing materials, re-inventing building technologies, and advancing forms. This exhibition highlights how inventive strategies for building are born from multidisciplinary research and integrated practice. Small engineering firms, large engineering firms, engineering schools, university labs, materials labs, artists, inventors, and architects are all part of the exchange of ideas — plotting trajectories of innovation.

Building on observations, analysis, and mathematical principles, engineers have developed the profession from empirical analysis into a field of expertise based on predictability and synthesis. With digital simulation and processing capabilities, engineers are utilizing comprehensive models to explore different options for optimizing structures and systems.

Twenty-first century engineers are tackling some of the most challenging concerns of our day. Exceeding LEED standards for sustainable building, engineers are conceiving of new ways for buildings to harvest and manage energy — floors that create electricity and facade systems that respond to the sun. Anticipating dwindling global resources, engineers are designing structures to new standards of efficiency and economy — stadiums that use 50% less steel and towers formed for optimal wind-loading.

These solutions are the product of creative and collaborative pursuit. This exhibition highlights how inventive strategies for building are born from multidisciplinary research and integrated practice. Small engineering firms, large engineering firms, engineering schools, university labs, materials labs, artists, inventors, and architects are all part of the exchange of ideas — plotting trajectories of innovation.

Exhibition Curatorial Team:
Rosamond Fletcher
Eli Gottlieb
Zak Kostura
Erik Madsen
Jonah Stern
Beth Stryker

Exhibition Designer:
Pure + Applied

Framing Space Installation by:

Phillip Anzalone and Stephanie Bayard, aa64

The Trusset Structural System, invented by Phillip Anzalone and Cory Clarke, is a project of the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University in collaboration with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Research Assistant:
Ginger Nolan, Columba GSAPP Ph.D Candidate

Research Intern:
Alicia Arroyo

Special Thanks to our Advisory Committee:
Julie Applebaum, Center for Architecture Foundation Board

Phil Bernstein, Autodesk
Vincent Chang, Grimshaw
John Hennessy, ACEC President
Marvin Mass, Cosentini
Dan Nall, Flack + Kurtz
Craig Schwitter, Buro Happold
David Scott, Arup
Susan Szenasy, Metropolis
Richard Tomasetti, Thornton Tomasetti.



Lead Sponsors:

Supporters: American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, Josef Gartner USA, and Weidlinger Associates

Friend: Grimshaw Architects

Supporter: American Council of Engineering Companies of New York

The Framing Space Installation is generously provided by aa64 with additional support from:

Alusion, a product of Cymat Technologies Ltd.

Contrarian Metal Resources

General Plastics Manufacturing

Indalex Aluminum Solutions Group

Maloya Laser, Inc.


Related Events

Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 6:00 — 8:00pm

Multi-disciplinary Innovation

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 11:00am — 5:00pm

Symposium: Energy Engineering

Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:00 — 8:00pm

100% BIM

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 6:00 — 8:00pm

Tapered, Tilted, Twisted Towers: a lecture by David Scott, Arup

Friday, March 27, 2009, 6:00 — 8:00pm

Screening of Bird’s Nest, a film by Christoph Schaub & Michael Schindhelm

01.31.09 through 5.10.09
Building Brainstorm

Building Brainstorm.

Courtesy Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Building Brainstorm is a building design and construction studio that presents special building challenges for children to research and solve. Through hands-on and inquiry-based activities, children investigate aspects of city planning, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and green design. Kids and adults will experiment with building materials, and engineering problems, as well as researching the effects of color, light, patterns, and texture through their in-depth explorations of the art and science of the built environment.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum
145 Brooklyn Avenue at St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

02.05.09 through 3.28.09
Out My Window

“Out My Window.”

Courtesy Design Trust for Public Space

Gail Albert Halaban created this exhibition for her photo urbanism fellowship from the Design Trust for Public Space. Over the past year and a half, Albert Halaban has created a series of portraits in private homes across the five boroughs, focusing on the views that shape New Yorkers’ everyday lives. Incorporating photojournalism and its anthropological approach, Albert Halaban also finds precedence in the characters of Edward Hopper’s universe, using architecture to suggest the inner psychology of her subject and the subtle interactions of urban life.

Robert Mann Gallery
210 Eleventh Avenue, NYC

2009 Theme: Elevating Architecture / Design Literacy for All (Continued)

Our 150th anniversary exhibition, curated by Diane Lewis, AIA, examined the thesis that the formation of the AIA was tied to the realization that we needed a strong professional organization to partner with strong governmental institutions to demand better design to better people’s everyday lives. The design competition for Central Park was a part of that thinking. We are fortunate in NY to have had civic leadership that created the Art Commission, now the Public Design Commission, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, all with a mandate to provide our city with the finest environments for our varied population.

AIANY’s board and committees seek to continue to provide platforms for the profession and the city agencies to communicate and exchange ideas, as we have in the past years, especially with the Department of Buildings, the Department of Design and Construction, and the Department of Health, to name a few.

As architects, we need to stay on top of the latest trends in design, not only in architecture, but graphics, landscape, and engineering, and the Center for Architecture is a tremendous resource for our members and allied professions. In addition, an effort to broaden cooperation and partnership with the Architectural League of New York, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Van Alen Institute, and the Design Trust for Public Spaces will allow for greater access to the broadest thinking about the architectural world today.

The Center is also a great place to provide non-architects with information to help them make choices about their own neighborhoods. Our exhibitions, library, and Public Information Exchange act as doorways to ideas for the many communities throughout our city, and we will focus board and staff attention on making all more accessible.

Our schools need to be modern environments for learning, and it is important that we invest in the buildings and infrastructure that allow students to achieve the most that they can; but we also believe that that education should include a strong curriculum in the arts, and that integrating architecture is essential to learning about history, technology, mathematics, and art.

Our Center for Architecture Foundation’s programs in Learning by Design:NY and Family Days@theCenter can be a unique introduction to the built environment and how it gets constructed, and we look forward to supporting the Foundation in its programs.

2009 Outlook
The gloomy forecast for our profession and allied industries requires the AIANY board of directors to constantly monitor our offerings. This year, the executive committee will rise to the challenges in the following ways:

First, our members: as AIANY Executive Director Rick Bill, FAIA, mentioned, we will be starting programs here at the Center for architects and interns who are looking for employment. In addition, our member services committee, led by AIANY Secretary Abby Suckle, FAIA, LEED AP, will announce a variety of programs this year designed to increase those eligible for licensure, and to support all of us in our efforts to maintain our presence in the profession (Editor’s Note: See Architecture Community Comes Together: Advocacy, Volunteerism, Expertise to read about the Not Business As Usual forums).

Second, our board and committee chairs will undergo a careful update of our long-range plan, and that effort will be led by First Vice President / President-elect Anthony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA. Our long-range plan and subsequent business plan were last reviewed and implemented five years ago, and the Chapter and the Center have grown up a bit; the need to take stock, and look at the relationship to the national AIA’s strategic plan is critical to our organization’s efficient use of your membership investment.

Our budgets will be monitored closely this year to ensure that your member dues are spent wisely and well. This activity will be led by Treasurer Kenneth Ricci, FAIA, and I have asked that we update our budgets on shorter time frames so that we can respond quickly to any drastic changes in our economic outlook.

The committees, the lifeblood of the chapter, will continue to meet, present panels, and organize exhibitions around specific building types and interest areas. The three vice presidents, Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, for Public Outreach, Illya Azaroff, AIA, for Design Excellence, and Joseph Aliota, AIA, LEED AP, for Professional Development, will provide the board with updates and leadership for each of these interest areas.

These officers are the leaders of the Chapter, develop our policy positions for outside comment, and deserve a round of applause for their commitment to the profession.

The other members of the Board of Directors provide connections to the non-AIA world; they represent the profession to academia, related professions, the state board and the general public, and are the people that bring the Center for Architecture to a world outside the profession, and that world back to the AIA. They will be bringing new opportunities to increase our audiences through these connections.

And last but not least, the AIANY and Center for Architecture staff members, led by Rick Bell and Managing Director Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP, are always on the lookout for new ideas and programs that can be discussed at the Center. Rick’s initiatives to keep the AIANY Chapter on the national and global stages are done with energy and creativity, and deserve our thanks; Cynthia’s intelligence and managerial expertise are put to the test everyday in running the Center, from the geo-thermal system to the allocation of spaces for events, as she supervises the best staff of people dedicated to bringing architecture to life in as many ways as possible.

We architects have a special responsibility to the public and patrons that use and commission our work. This Center is our means of communication to those groups, and it is our work this year to expand our partnerships to reach greater audiences to the benefit of all. To serve you as President of the AIANY Chapter is a huge responsibility, and one that I intend to rise to — the need to elevate architecture by increasing design literacy will lead to inspirational architecture for all.

Architecture Community Comes Together: Advocacy, Volunteerism, Expertise (Continued)

Apart from these three principle concepts, five other ideas were elaborated. There was enthusiasm for more competitions at the Center, including those following the models of the Emerging NY Architects (ENYA) Committee’s international ideas competitions, and the second New Housing New York “Legacy Project” competition, which involved partnering with a public agency that controlled a site allowing for the eventuality of construction of the winning proposal. Also presented was the idea that additional technical assistance team charrettes for both urban design and sustainability should be welcomed, either through AIA National and its Design for Communities efforts, or locally, as was done through AIANY’s Planning & Urban Design committee for 23rd Street. Advocacy for more involvement in a variety of issues having to do with health care, the aging population, and accessibility were discussed. While the Center’s Fit City program recognizes the policy implications of the connection between design and chronic diseases prevention, more can be done to make our sidewalks and neighborhoods safer for those with limited mobility.

Changes in credential requirements were discussed in regard to such areas as substitute teaching. Investigation of current NYC Department of Education standards, and what might be revised to encourage unemployed architects to find temporary employment in the public school system is needed. Easing reciprocity of architectural licensure in other states was also discussed along with the need for further discussion with NCARB on the impact of a changing economy. Finally, it was agreed that any efforts that promote the design community’s involvement in sustainable initiatives would be useful.

Volunteer Opportunities

The discussion centered on current Center for Architecture Foundation programs and opportunities for volunteerism and more limited paid opportunities.

New programming ideas include:
· Organized building tours coordinated by volunteers.
· Resource development to connect with other community groups like Architecture for Humanity and community boards.
· Invite community board members to the Center so they may help architects understand their communities’ needs. “Ask an Architect” day or program could help make the connection.
· Provide counsel and architectural help about housing issues.
· Examine business models and frameworks and recommend adjustments.
· Individuals could become mentors. The Chapter has launched a Mentor-Match program, which is currently seeking volunteers. Contact for more information.
· Coordinate with other volunteer community groups and link opportunities online.
· Coordinate a panel on how people have survived other recessions.
· Explore how volunteer work may feed into AIA continuing education requirements.
· Share the Learning by Design:NY curriculum with the public.

Presentation and Marketing Skills

Greg Silk of API Partners and Dana Byrne of RMJM North America led a discussion on the importance of communication, grooming, and portfolio presentation skills. Recommendations included: setting up portfolio and marketing training programs; developing a database on building types (i.e., health facilities) and areas less affected by the recession; joining AIANY committees to develop organizational and speaking skills; participating in reading clubs, or starting an architectural reading group, to hone speaking skills.

The current downturn offers opportunities to develop skills that will be critical in the future:

Registration. Professional registration will be extremely important when the economy revives. AIANY and the Emerging NY Architects committee have organized ARE courses beginning in February offering reduced charges for members.

LEED Certification. The USBGC will be a leader in President Obama’s green energy programs and the revival of the economy where LEED certification will be important.

Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is viewed as an equally important skill set to develop. It was recommended that the Chapter initiate a training program.

Continuing Education. Continuing to develop knowledge in both design and other fields will provide new opportunities.

Building Social Capital. Volunteering to serve on Community Boards, Habitat for Humanity, and other civic organizations to share experience, develop skills, and network.

Sharing Experiences. Older architects have experienced previous recessions and found ways to adapt, such as working in related fields like construction, the arts, and community organizations.

Training Programs

The discussion led by Paul Seletsky, Assoc. AIA, senior manager of digital design technologies at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, focused on ways to help the profession re-tool toward BIM and LEED during the economic downturn. He would like to set up a new service where contributors create BIM models of federal buildings with the aid of government funding.

There is a continued need for learning and a group should bring together evangelists for continuing technical learning. BIM should be as up-front in the industry as LEED has been. In fact, the USGBC is interested in integrating green initiatives into BIM modeling technology. We have an opportunity to implement this now. Also, the AIA is pushing for its new Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Standards. This group could push the standards through with the BIM process.

Virtual Communication

A new website, Exchange Place, will be set up to include free postings of jobs, resumes, available space, and volunteer opportunities. The website will launch in a few weeks, but in the meantime, AIANY is posting important dates and information at A set of paper files for resources is now located in the Center for Architecture’s Common Room, as well.

Bloomberg & Obama in Concert (Continued)

Mayor Bloomberg recalled those years in his State of the City speech: “Until recently, the New Deal and the 1930s seemed like a distant memory — something we read about in history books. But last year, when the sub-prime mortgage write-down became a global financial meltdown, the bank panics returned and today, more people are worried about losing their jobs, their savings, and their homes than at any time since the Great Depression… Time and again, the future of our city has been in doubt. Time and again, we have faced moments of truth. And each time, we have pulled together as New Yorkers and come out stronger, together.” He continued: “Our job is to help all those who are struggling — help improve their chances for a job, for keeping their homes, for making ends meet, and to do it all without new funding — because the city just doesn’t have the money. Instead, rather than spending new dollars, we have to redeploy resources and repurpose budgets — and we will.”

The reference to the Great Depression continued near the conclusion of Mayor Bloomberg’s speech: “Over the history of our city — no matter how severe the blow we’ve been dealt, no matter how uncertain the future — we have always found the strength and optimism to rise to new heights, as New Yorkers, together. No one better exemplifies that than the man who is responsible for building the college where we sit today: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We all know how in his first speech as President, FDR reminded us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. But you may not know that on the last full day of his life, he wrote this: ‘The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.'”

In the first speech as President given by Barack Obama, the echo of the Entente cordiale between LaGuardia’s NYC-resilience and Roosevelt’s New Deal will-power came across loud and clear: “For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.”

It seemed to many in the audience of billions, as well as to commentators and bloggers that President Obama’s Inaugural Address was restrained rhetoric, not reaching for unrealizable goals nor raising unachievable expectations. In this regard it was a building program, not a rendering. It was detailed enough to serve as blueprint and specifications for the near future, for a fast-track start, a shovel in the ground.

In the first week of February, architects from around the nation will converge on Washington, DC, for the annual AIA Grassroots legislative and leadership conference at which issues are raised with Members of Congress and others in government. AIA President-elect George Miller, FAIA, an AIANY past-president, is leading this national conjunction under the banner of the acronym “VIA! AIA” for Vision, Influence, and Action. The AIA’s Rebuild and Renew policy statement is a call to action. We expect that it will find, this year, friendly ears.

One of the zingers about halfway through President Obama’s Inaugural Address last week was: “Know that your people will judge you on what you can build….” Let’s not be wanting.