Should We Plan for Architectural Recovery?

After two years of the recession, economists are predicting that this year we will see a turn-around. There are signs of hope in architecture as many projects that were put on hold are being revisited; new commissions are being won (outside of the government sector, too!); and firms are actually hiring again. While most of the action, as I have witnessed, is happening at the medium-to-large-sized firms, there is a revived sense of optimism in the profession.

As firms begin to get their feet on solid ground, and with so many unemployed professionals vying for open positions, the key to success will be finding and keeping the best staff for each project. Mentorship is one of the most important factors for individuals to make connections at all levels. Whether it is an emerging designer looking for guidance or help with his/her portfolio, or a firm principal trying to find the best prospect for a project, it is our responsibility as design professionals to do what we can to give back to the community to see it thrive.

AIANY is doing its part in several ways by continuing its “Not Business As Usual” luncheons, and hosting courses in current software and training sessions for the ARE exam. Building on the success of the Women in Architecture Committee’s Speed Mentoring program, the committee has joined forces with the Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) and the Professional Practice Committees to bring the Chapter’s first co-ed Speed Mentoring program. Held on 01.10.11, the event will hopefully be the first of many similar events that link the generations and encourage growth in the profession.

Winners of the AIA Institute Honor Awards include the AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by REX|OMA; The Barnard College Diana Center by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism; Horizontal Skyscraper Vanke Center by Steven Holl Architects; New Acropolis Museum by Bernard Tschumi Architects; North Carolina Museum of Art by Thomas Phifer and Partners; One Jackson Square by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; U.S. Land Port of Entry by Julie Snow Architects; and University of Michigan Museum of Art by Allied Works Architecture…The Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design winners include the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park by dlandstudio; click here to view all of the winners…

Winners of the Faith & Form/IFRAA International Awards Program for Religious Art and Architecture include, in the category of Religious Architecture, New Facilities — Bryant University Interfaith Center by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (Honor); Religious Architecture, Renovation — Infinity Chapel by hanrahanMeyers Architects (Honor), and The Church of St. Francis Xavier by Thomas A. Fenniman Architect (Merit); Liturgical/Interior Design — Johnson Chapel Renovation by Butler Rogers Baskett; and Religious Architecture, Unbuilt Work — Won Dharma Center by hanrahanMeyers Architects (Merit)…

Loriann Maas, IIDA, LEED AP, has been named a Principal of IA Interior Architects…

2011 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. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards:

2011 Themes:
Spring (President’s Theme): Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy

Summer: AIANY Design Awards 2011
Recognition of outstanding architectural design by NYC architects and for work completed in NYC. There are four categories: Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design, and Un-built Work. Click here for details.
Register/Submit entries by 02.04.11

Fall: Interior Activity
Architects as interior designers; Changes in corporate culture = transformation of the workplace; Architects designing products/Multi-disciplinary cross-overs; Rebranding hospitality, restaurants, retail to attract new audiences; Interiors as laboratories for small firms.
Submit story ideas by 04.22.11

Winter: Up, Down, and Sideways: Density and Transportation
Density enabled by transportation: mass transit, cycling; Moynihan Station; Regional connections; Housing Authority: former purposeful disconnect, now reintegrating back into neighborhoods; How a century of New York skyscrapers has/is/will affect the architecture, planning, and culture of the city and the world.
Submit story ideas by 08.19.11

For further information, contact OCULUS Editor Kristen Richards:

01.22.11 Call for Entries (DEADLINE EXTENSION): 2011 FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion

01.21.11 Call for Applications: ADC Designism Award

01.31.11 Call for Entries: North American Copper in Architecture Awards

02.01.11 Call for Applications: The Arnold W. Brunner Grant

02.01.11 Call for Entries: American Architecture Awards 2011

02.01.11 Call for Entries: Living City Design Competition

02.04.11 Call for Entries: AIANY Design Awards 2011

02.04.11 Call for Entries: Contract 2011 INSPIRATIONS Awards

02.08.11 Call for Entries: Think Space — Urban Borders

02.25.11 Call for Entries: ASLA 2011 Professional Awards

03.01.11 Call for Entries: AIA Flint Chapter Design Competition for the Revitalization of Genesee Towers (pdf)

01.06.11: More than 400 people came to the Center to attend the launch of the High Performance Parks Guidelines, written by the NYC Parks Department and the Design Trust for Public Space (see “Command Performance by Parks, Design Trust, and Colleagues” by Bill Millard, 01.11.11).

David Bragdon, Director of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, NYC Mayor’s Office, addressing the crowd.

Chris Kannen, Design Trust for Public Space

01.10.11: Carl Stein, FAIA, kicked off the 2011 Oculus Book Talk series with a lecture on his new work, Greening Modernism: Preservation, Sustainability, and the Modern Movement (W.W. Norton, 2010).

AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, author Carl Stein, FAIA, and AIANY Oculus Committee Chair Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP.

Emily Nemens

01.10.11: The AIANY Emerging NY Architects (ENYA), Women in Architecture (WIA), and Professional Practices Committees organized a speed-mentoring session at the Center for Architecture. Principals and seasoned practitioners advised on resumes/portfolios, becoming licensed, graduate schools, how to apply for travel grants, volunteering, changing careers/alternate career paths, and starting your own firm.

AIANY President-elect Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, and two mentees.

Emily Nemens

Mark Gardner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, (left) mentored at the event in addition to serving as the Mentoring Chair of NYCOBA/NOMA.

Emily Nemens