03.23.11 Editor’s Note: As everyone’s heart is heavy with the terrible losses in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami, local architects are coming together to help. See Around the AIA to read about how the Chapter and AIA National are contributing to the relief efforts.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: Be sure to follow Tweets from e-Oculus and the Center for Architecture.

And check out the latest Podcasts produced by AIANY.

Rebuilding Haiti? More Like Building it Anew

Event: Building a Future with Haiti: A Grassroots Forum for Sustainable Development
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.18.11
Speakers: Amy Stroud, ASLA — Founder and President, Building Foundations with Haiti; Wendy Jules — volunteer, Community2Community; Winston Ely, LEED-AP — WE Design; Avi Guter, LEED-AP — Desimone Consulting Engineers; David Obuchowski, RA, LEED AP — DO Architecture; Charles Newman — Project Manager/Architect, Community2Community; Myles Throop — Project Manager/Civil Engineer, Community2Community; Erik Madsen — Structural Engineer (Association des Ingenieurs Haitiens et Americains); Marie-Yolaine Eusebe — Founder & Firestarter, Community2Community
Moderator: Rick Bell, FAIA — AIANY Executive Director
Organizers: Building Foundations; Community2Community; Planetary1
Sponsors: AIANY; NYASLA; Haiti Outreach Ministries; National Organization of Minority Architects; Clean The World; Mayer Brown, LLP; Ronnette Riley, FAIA, LEED-AP; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Scopello’s Restaurant & Bar, Brooklyn; Brown Sugar’s Delights, Bronx; Weaver Associates Printing, Cranford, NJ

Community2Community and Build.Found displayed their projects to rebuild Haiti at the Center for Architecture.

Kvon Foto

The challenges of relief work in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake go beyond the formidable difficulties associated with “ordinary” seismic cataclysms. The nation’s problems range from a cholera epidemic to predatory dockworker practices (thanks to a few powerful families’ control of the ports, getting materials off the docks can cost three times their shipping expense) to a dysfunctional government, according to many informed observers. Along with rebuilding damaged facilities, Haitians and outside volunteers need to institute credible building codes and construct basic infrastructure for the first time. Haiti’s misfortunes are many, but its strengths include an exceptionally dedicated populace; this presentation of projects by two nonprofit groups, Building Foundations (a.k.a. Build.Found) and Community2Community (C2C), demonstrated how much energy, imagination, and expertise (both volunteer and local) Haiti inspires.

Build.Found is applying volunteer professional services to a new community complex in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Repatriote, home of refugees from the impoverished Cité Soleil district and deportees from the Dominican Republic. The Repatriote project grew out of an ASLA-NY design charrette and focuses on a Haiti Outreach Ministries church, built on an old landfill site and mostly torn down after a near-total collapse in the quake. Rebuilding it, enlarging it, and improving it structurally (adapting American codes), the volunteer architects have created a master plan that adds classrooms, a clinic, community-accessible soccer fields, and other facilities, using a grid of 20-foot-by-20-foot modules for sturdy, adaptable CMU-based construction. The complex employs sustainable design principles, including rainwater collection and natural ventilation relying on the area’s west-to-east prevailing winds. As Winston Ely, LEED-AP, from WE Design, explained, the team selected a shear-wall structure over a moment-frame design, since the former is less susceptible to material quality problems in an area where expertise with concrete is limited and crushed-limestone aggregate can be unreliable.

The Repatriote project expands on earlier achievements by Build.Found and its clients constructing a hospital in Cité Soleil. “People needed to come and see what has been done, and what is being done, and be empowered by that,” adds Build.Found President Amy Stroud, ASLA. “A lot of the really unfortunate parts of the disaster, and what’s come from the disaster, is that people are consistently seeing on the news things that haven’t been done, and this was a really good opportunity for them to see things that have been done, and that will be done very soon.” Build.Found’s next project, a vocational school and its supporting infrastructure, expands the opportunities for New York-based architects, landscape architects, and engineers to join forces with organizations whose roots in Haiti run deep.

In the mountainous village of Piton Vallue in Petit-Goâve, some 40 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, C2C is working to provide potable water, repair and extend a road, and build a schoolhouse for children who currently have makeshift facilities at best. The C2C team is experimenting with assorted innovations, including a retaining wall of reclaimed auto tires and rammed earth, as well as more familiar strategies such as compost toilets. The pivotal task for Piton Vallue is to create a local water system with a solar-powered pump feeding an expandable series of water kiosks, which could become a local economic engine as well as a relief from long walks hauling water by hand. Residents have been enthusiastic enough to express interest in paying small water fees to support the kiosk network, one of many ways in which these projects include community residents as active participants.

As in so many aspects of post-earthquake relief in Haiti, the water is “not a fix to a catastrophic earthquake,” said C2C Engineer Myles Throop; “this is actually a more long-term development project — not only construction but also economic development and empowerment.” Water is the first step toward thorough development of schools, housing, and other community features that most Westerners take for granted. These signs of hope require synergies between newcomers’ and residents’ expertise, earning the confidence of wary Haitians. “How are you going to include them in that process? Because they don’t really want a part of it if they’re not included, because they don’t trust it, and they don’t trust it because of their history. So people have to understand the history behind it,” says Stroud. “We work hand in hand with the Haitian people on ground, with the Haitian engineers… working next to each other to figure out the best practices for that project.” Collaborating with Haitian contractors and vendors and drawing on their local knowledge, these projects are helping to rewrite Haitian-American relations from a story of isolation and exploitation to one of inclusive partnership.

Asia, Middle East Develop Own Versions of LEED

Event: Sustainable Building Codes and Standards: India, China and the Middle East
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.03.11
Speakers: Steven Baumgartner, PE, LEED AP — Associate, Buro Happold; Karin Benedict — Associate, Arup; Sarah Sachs, LEED AP — Associate, Buro Happold
Organizer: AIANY Committee on the Environment
Sponsor: ConEdison Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program

As sustainability becomes increasingly embedded in the global collective conscience, developing countries abroad are refining their respective standards for environmentally responsible design and construction. While foreign rating systems reference and sometimes mirror LEED in the U.S., specifications reflect the individual agendas and needs of each nation.

In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi’s Plan 2030 sets forth a vision by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council for a sustainable city and enforces Estidama (Arabic for “sustainability”), the emirate’s sustainable building program. Tailored to the hot, arid climate of the UAE, Estidama uses a Pearl Rating System, with one pearl out of a possible five set as a mandatory benchmark for all new buildings and two pearls as a requirement for all new government-funded buildings. There are three categories: community, buildings, and villa, and four pillars: environmental, economic, cultural and social. With the climate-specific challenges of vast deserts, lack of shaded areas, and high sun exposure, energy and water efficiency comprise approximately 50% of the achievable credits. Certification is awarded to buildings at different stages — design, construction, operational efficiency two years after completion, and at 80% occupancy.

In China, new construction and high-energy consumption in buildings are major concerns, according to Karin Benedict, an associate at Arup. While LEED has been used as a rating system, the country is increasingly using the Green Building Label system. This new benchmark under development rates buildings on a three-star system in two categories — residential and public buildings. Six categories of credits exist with a mandatory number of credits in each. Similar to Estidama, emphasis is placed on post-occupancy evaluations. Buildings are awarded rankings after operational metering has been performed one year after completion. Although Chinese developers have yet to recognize the benefits of third party endorsement of environmental performance and the Green Building Label remains a voluntary achievement, Benedict predicts mandatory enforcement of these standards is imminent given China’s commitment to energy and carbon emission reductions.

The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has established a variety of rating systems, earlier versions of which are very similar to LEED, and more recent versions that are indigenized to the Indian market focusing on water and organic waste management. IGBC Green Homes, IGBC Green Townships, IGBC Green SEZ (Special Economic Zones), and IGBC Green Factory Building are implemented for specific building types, while LEED-INDIA provides a rating system for new construction, commercial, and core and shell buildings. Certification is not mandated and buildings are awarded on tiers identical to LEED in the U.S.: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Architects Celebrate Improvisation in Contemporary Indian Construction

Event: Invention by Necessity: Construction Practice in India
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.10.11
Speakers: Aaron Schwarz, FAIA — Senior Principal & Executive Director, Perkins Eastman; Brinda Somaya — Architect & Founder, Somaya and Kalappa Consultants; Billie Tsien, AIA, & Tod Williams, FAIA — Partners, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Sanjeev Shankar — Architect, Artist, & Craftsman
Moderator: Kadambari Baxi — Partner, Martin/Baxi Architects; Principal, Imagemachine; Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Department of Architecture at Barnard College, Columbia University
Organizers: AIANY; Center for Architecture Foundation; India China Institute at The New School; Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC); Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA)
Sponsors: Grants: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Underwriter: Duggal Visual Solutions; Lead Sponsors: Hitachi; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Sponsors: Grapevine Merchants; Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects; Supporters: Bittersweet NYC; CetraRuddy; Kingfisher Lager; Friends: Arup; Benjamin Moore; IBEX Construction; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Perkins Eastman; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Special Thanks: Umberto Dindo, AIA; Lutz Konermann; Catherine Scharf

Jugaad Canopy by Sanjeev Shakar.

Sundeep Bali

In India, the contemporary construction industry, as well as the cultural and political landscape, tests architects’ abilities to employ “jugaad” — a Hindi noun alternately defined as creative improvisation and a frugal use of readily available resources. For U.S. firms working in India, architects must devise innovative approaches to craft, form, and construction to overcome many obstacles encountered during planning phases.

For example, the integration of handcrafted and high-tech construction caused problems on the TCS project, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Stone shade screens, which were originally hand-carved, had to be reconfigured to accommodate CNC milling technology. In addition, mock-ups had to be employed so that workers would understand the level of construction quality required.

Perkins Eastman Senior Principal Aaron Schwarz, FAIA, explained how the Indian School of Business faced setbacks during planning by an entirely inaccurate survey furnished to the architects. However, the firm was able to overcome inaccuracies due to the flexibility built into the construction.

Brinda Somaya’s work embraces the adaptive re-use and unconventional construction practices that are more typical in India, so she found fewer conflicts with local practices. In one case, Somaya and her colleagues at Somaya and Kalappa Consultants redesigned the entire village of Bhadli following a devastating earthquake. The villagers provided the sweat equity required to re-build their houses and public buildings. The result was a community-wide re-investment in their home.

Perhaps the most direct application of jugaad to construction practice occurred in the aptly named Jugaad Canopy. This project, by Sanjeev Shankar, employed an entire community in the construction of a shared shade canopy from hundreds of repurposed oilcans.

The panelists agreed that Western designers have much to learn from Indian jugaad. The innovative use of local and re-used materials is an inspiration to those concerned with global resource and energy consumption. There is a positive attitude that embraces the creativity inherent in overcoming obstacles, and allows individuals to survive and work with dignity. As Somaya exclaimed, “The spirit of jugaad is present in every Indian, and we have the power of numbers — 1 billion.”

You Are What You E-mail

Event: Say It Write: Power Tools for Communicating Effectively
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.14.11
Speakers: Charles Linn, FAIA — Journalist, Editor & Architect; Maxinne Leighton, Assoc. AIA — Principal, Leighton@Large Consulting Group; Jay Rubin — PR Consultant, Writer, Trainer & Speaker
Introduction: Gretchen Bank — Co-chair, AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee; Tami Hausman — Chair, Public Relations Subcommittee, AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee
Organizer: AIANY Marketing & PR Committee
Sponsors: mac-tech.net; Hausman Communications

With the rise of quick, pithy mediums such as blogs, e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook, written communication is drastically speeding up. The immediacy and convenience can be great, but only until it leads to an embarrassing slip-up. With e-mail, “I’m sure you’ve all had panicky moments, such as wrong attachments, using the wrong e-mail address, or just e-mailing the wrong person,” said Tami Hausman, chair of the public relations subcommittee of the AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee, as she introduced an event about effective written communication. Beyond such technology-related pitfalls, there’s also the age-old problem of busy people writing carelessly: “We’re busy, we’re distracted, and we’re not always focused on what we’re saying or writing,” she said.

Twitter can be especially tricky, due to its tight word count. It might be tempting to try to grab the reader’s attention quickly, but beware of how you do it, cautioned Jay Rubin, a PR consultant, writer, and trainer. Phrases such as “rumor is,” “people are saying,” or “it seems to me” can lead you into the dangerous territory of speculation. Add in a questionable joke, and you might have a recipe for disaster, as in the case of Kenneth Cole’s much-reviled Tweet last month: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”

When it’s done well, though, a humorous touch can be a great way to engage your audience. Veteran architectural writer and editor Charles Linn, FAIA, had the audience chuckling as he read a humorous blog post of his about “Architect Barbie” and analyzed it for tips on the principles of good writing. He advised that starting off with a slightly outrageous statement can help pique readers’ interest, as in his post’s beginning, “Those architects who reside on Mars may have missed the most riveting competition to engage the profession this year.” He also recommended techniques such as alliteration (“must love latex and Mahler”), and digging up intriguing obscure facts (among Barbie’s weird professions — she’s been a McDonald’s cashier).

Maxinne Leighton, Assoc. AIA, principal of Leighton@Large Consulting Group, explored how to use e-mail most effectively and avoid its pitfalls. As a medium, e-mail is fluid and fast, but a work e-mail shouldn’t be so informal that correct spelling and punctuation fall by the wayside, she said. It’s best to steer away from too much jargon and abbreviation, too. And above all, beware of hitting the “reply” button in haste in a moment of anger. In a rush of disappointment over losing a commission, a partner she knows once sent out a scorching e-mail blaming the incompetence of a collaborating firm, only to discover that the message accidentally went to a group of recipients outside his own firm. Needless to say, this created a diplomatic firestorm.

Since accidents happen, and work e-mails aren’t private in any case, it’s best to stay on the safe side. “If you don’t want 100,000 people to read your e-mail, don’t send it,” she said. “Take a breath, and remember that whatever you say in an e-mail will not go away. It is there for posterity, so only say what it is you want to be remembered for, and… communicate clearly so that people will respond to you with respect.”

Design Competitions: Winning Isn't Everything

Event: Win, Lose, and Draw: How to Succeed at Design Competitions
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.17.11
Speakers: Olympia Kazi — Executive Director, Van Alen Institute; Illya Azaroff, AIA — Director of Design, +lab for experimentation; William Prince — Principal, PARK; Jeeyong An, AIA — Principal, Manifesto Architect
Moderator: Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP — ENYA Committee Member
Organizer: AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA)

“Ripple Effect,” by PEG office of landscape + architecture, received the ENYA Prize for the HB:BX Building Cultural Infrastructure competition.

Courtesy AIANY ENYA Committee

“The best conversations are private,” occurring behind closed doors among members of a design awards jury, lamented Olympia Kazi, executive director of the Van Alen Institute. In association with the “High Bridge” exhibition currently on view at the Center, which features the AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee’s HB:BX Building Cultural Infrastructure competition, experienced entrants and jurors revealed what goes on behind closed doors and offered valuable advice on succeeding in design competitions.

Illya Azaroff, AIA, director of design at +lab for experimentation, believes entrants should be honest with themselves about why they want to enter a competition. “Don’t do this for the jury,” he insisted. One common reason is to build a portfolio, while another is to generate ideas. Competitions provide “an opportunity to gauge public opinion and initiate a discourse on design and public space,” said Kazi, aside from the fact that they offer a release for those who miss the creative energy of architecture school. Before beginning to design, however, Azaroff advised potential entrants to “do your research” on jury members, as well as funds available.

What exactly do jurors look for? William Prince, principal of PARK and juror of the HB:BX competition, believes that “the rules are not always the rules,” but if entrants break them, he advised to “really break the rules and sell it hard.” He noted that over half of the entrants in the HB:BX competition presented the same parti, but entries that pushed the boundaries stood out to jurors. However, a strong concept is lost in the absence of a strong graphic presentation, and panelists agreed that visuals can make the difference between advancing through the first phase or not. As Azaroff explained, “the graphics should grab you from across the room.”

Jeeyong An, AIA, principal of Manifesto Architect, built his practice by entering competitions. Within the past two years, his firm has entered more than 50 competitions and received 20 awards. Though An has yet to win first place, his entries have impressed clients enough to lead to other work. “It helps us to build up our reputation and gain real projects,” he explained, proving that winning isn’t everything.

In this issue:
· City Unveils Vision 2020, a Blueprint for the Waterfront & Waterways
· Pier A Will Soon Wine & Dine New Yorkers
· MiMA Rises on 42nd Street
· Brooklyn Housing Goes Passive
· Perkins+Will Donates Work for GEMS
· Red and White Drapes the Armory

City Unveils Vision 2020, a Blueprint for the Waterfront & Waterways

(L-R) Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg introduced the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan; NYC City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, FAICP, Hon. AIANY

Rick Bell, FAIA

Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the city’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond, will transform the waterfront with new parks, industrial activities, and housing, as well as capitalize on waterways to promote transportation, recreation, maritime activity, and natural habitats. A three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, includes the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades, and the introduction of a new commuter ferry service. Led by the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), and launched in April 2010, the waterfront planning effort included city, state, and federal agencies, as well as waterfront experts and advocates who served on a waterfront advisory committee (including AIANY Chapter Members Bonnie Harken, AIA, who also chairs the American Planning Association Waterfront Committee, and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA). After opening remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Planning Chair Amanda Burden said, “For the first time we are recognizing the water itself. As the Mayor said, it is our sixth Borough. New York’s waterways and waterfronts are integral to our city’s identity, and this plan will make the water a part of the daily life of all New Yorkers.” The plan was formulated with input from residents at citywide public planning workshops and online. It is the first comprehensive plan for the city’s waterways.

Pier A Will Soon Wine & Dine New Yorkers

Pier A.

Rendering by Rogers Marvel Architects

The 124-year-old Pier A, currently undergoing a renovation and restoration by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, has been leased to Harry and Peter Poulakakos, owners of several downtown eateries. When completed in the summer of 2012, it will mark the first time that the pier will be open to the public. Under an agreement with the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the restaurateurs’; development partner Dermot Company plans to create a casual dining restaurant and an oyster bar with outdoor seating, a coffee shop, and visitor center on the first floor, all designed by Rogers Marvel Architects. A fine dining restaurant and event venue will be located on the second floor, with a smaller event and entertainment venue on the partial third floor. There will be public seating on the plaza and promenade adjacent to the pier.

Pier A was originally built for harbor police and a headquarters for the NYC Department of Docks and Ferries. In 2008, the Economic Development Corporation, which owns the pier, allocated $30 million in capital funding to the BPCA to renovate and restore the core and shell of the dilapidated building, including replacing much of its crumbling underwater support structure. Last year, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved the restoration of the exterior to the way it looked in the 1920s and early 1930s. Stalco Construction serves as general contractor, and The LiRo Group serves as construction manager on the ongoing restoration of the building, which is on the National Historic Registry.

MiMA Rises on 42nd Street


Rendering courtesy of Related Companies

The 63-story mixed-use tower on 42nd Street, designed by Arquitectonica, with executive architect Ismael Leyva Architects and interiors designed by the Rockwell Group, has been completed. Named MiMA, after its location in the middle of Manhattan, the project contains 500 rental apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedrooms on floors seven through 50, and a “collection” of condominiums on floors 51 through 63. Amenities include more than 44,000 square feet of health and recreation facilities, including landscaped terraces, a basketball and volleyball court, an indoor lap pool, and an indoor and outdoor screening room. The project also features a Yotel, scheduled to open this spring, containing 669-170-square-foot cabins, also designed by the Rockwell Group in collaboration with Softroom of London. In addition, the Gehry Architects-designed Signature Center will open in early 2012 on the second floor and second-floor mezzanine levels, with three unique theaters, rehearsal spaces, a lobby with a café, and a bookstore. The project is developed by Related Companies.

Brooklyn Housing Goes Passive

Brooklyn Passive House.

Photos by Loadingdock5 Architecture

Brooklyn-based Loadingdock5 Architecture has completed its first passive house in NYC. Located in Williamsburg, the 2,400-square-foot building contains ground-floor and basement retail space with a 1,500-square-foot, single-family, three-bedroom triplex above. The design for the residence, using the Passive Housing Planning Package (PHPP) software for designing and verifying projects, adheres to the German Passivhaus standards. Basic principles for a passive house include super-insulation, air-tightness, thermal bridge-free design, and ventilation with heat recovery. The house is heated by the inhabitants, their electrical equipment, and a split heat pump combined with an energy recovery ventilator located on the roof. The envelope consists of load-bearing, eight-inch concrete masonry units with seven-inch EPS exterior insulation, and frameless, triple-paned windows. The firm had to redesign the parapet on the roof with autoclave aerated concrete blocks to avoid thermal bridging. The firm has three other passive house projects in construction in Brooklyn.

Perkins+Will Donates Work for GEMS

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.

Eduard Hueber, Arch Photo, Inc.

The renovated office for Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), designed by Perkins+Will, recently reopened. Located on the ground floor of a residential building in Harlem, the 1,700-square-foot office space helps young women, ages 12-24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the sex industry, and provides counseling, crisis housing, life skills training, job training, and health care. As part of the Social Responsibility Initiative, the firm is part of the 1%, a firmwide program to contribute 1% of its profits to pro bono work. The NY office and its consultants donated more than 1,100 hours of pro bono services.

Red and White Drapes the Armory

“Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red-and-White Quilts” at the Park Avenue Armory.

Renderings by Thinc Design

The American Folk Art Museum is transforming the Park Avenue Armory’s historic 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red-and-White Quilts,” an installation created by Thinc Design. With more than 600 red-and-white American quilts, the exhibition represents 300 years of American quilting. Inspired by the geometry of quilting circles, Thinc designed six towering cylinders that are made entirely with randomly-arranged quilts. The 30-foot-high forms are extrusions with the quilts hung over concealed cardboard tubes, so their intricate patterns can be viewed from both the exterior and interior of the cylinders. A 50-foot-high spiral enclosed by two ascending walls is the centerpiece. A circular arrangement of quilts draped on chairs under the spiral evokes the individual quilters. The exhibition is on view 03.25-03.30.11.

Note: This letter is in response to “Why Isn’t Architecture a U.S. Export Priority?” by Lucy Bullivant, Hon. FRIBA, published in the Winter 2010/11 issue of OCULUS.

To Kristen Richards, Editor of OCULUS:

I was quite active in the AIA New York Chapter in the 1970s and ’80s, including five or six years on the board, and serving as president from 1984-85. I am writing in regard to the article authored by Lucy Bullivant, Hon. FRIBA, “Why Isn’t Architecture a U.S. Export Priority?” This has been a continuing problem for decades. However, in 1978 the Chapter organized the Overseas Practice Committee, which I chaired. Everyone on the committee was currently, or had been, involved in overseas work. We were united in our frustration over the lack of understanding in the U.S. State Department of the relationship between the architect and the development process. For instance, French architects, among others, were often financed by their government and could offer loans on their government’s behalf. Secondly, the State Department did not have a clue about the role of the architect in terms of specifying materials, mechanical equipment, furnishings, etc.

Our response to this was to contact the State Department’s Foreign Service Training Program. We offered our services and held a series of seminars to educate officers who were being trained to hold the office of Commercial Attaché in American embassies. Throughout the seminars we stressed the fact that it was the selection of the architect that set in motion a chain reaction of decisions regarding the nationality of sub-consultants, contractors, and the sources for specified materials. We had case studies of French, English, and other countries’ projects where the chain was well documented.

For a few years in the early ’80s I think we had some impact. However, to be truly successful I think we must become a continuing component of the Foreign Service’s curriculum. I would urge the Chapter to once again explore establishing a relationship with them — and this time keep it rolling!

Terrance R. Williams, FAIA
Professor of Architecture & Urban Design
The Catholic University of America
President, AIA New York Chapter, 1984-85

In this issue:
· AIA, AIANY Supports Japan Relief
· eCalendar

AIA, AIANY Supports Japan Relief
On 03.11.11, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan devastating many communities across the country. Support efforts are underway at the AIA New York Chapter. On 03.15.11, the AIANY Board of Directors voted to send $15,000 to the Japan Institute of Architects (JIA) in Tokyo. The JIA sent relief to AIANY shortly after 09/11, and their donation laid the groundwork for New York New Visions.

The Chapter will also create a task force for disaster preparedness. Chaired by Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, the task force will explore best practices, innovations, and strategies for architects to improve response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts in both domestic and international crises. To get involved with the task force contact Lance Jay Brown.

AIA National is encouraging its members to contribute to the relief efforts, as well. It has created a website with links to organizations working on relief efforts in Japan, videos, photos, an AIA member forum, and links to news. Click here to read a letter from AIA National President Clark Manus, FAIA, and EVP Robert Ivy, FAIA, in response to the tragedy.

eCalendar includes an interactive listing of architectural events around NYC. Click the link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.

Center for Architecture Gallery Hours and Location
Monday-Friday: 9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm, Sunday: CLOSED
536 LaGuardia Place, Between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets in Greenwich Village, NYC, 212-683-0023


Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities

On view February 10 – May 21, 2011

High Bridge: Bronx, Building Cultural Infrastructure (HB:BX)


On View November 11, 2010 – March 26, 2011