March for Climate Change Awareness with AIANY

Join AIANY members and staff for the largest rally in history demanding action on climate change. The People’s Climate March on Sunday, 09.21.14 will take place just before a landmark UN Climate Summit on 09.23.14, where world leaders, including President Obama, will be discussing the climate crisis. At the Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will urge governments to support ambitious proposals and actions to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. The AIANY and thousands of other organizations will take to the streets at this critical moment to voice our support of a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world that works for both our people and our planet.

The AIANY will march as part of a green building contingent: New York Passive House, GreenHomeNYC, Regional Plan Association, Solar One, Urban Green Council, and AIANY. We will be part of the “We Have Solutions” group, which can approach the lineup on Central Park West from 72nd Street. Please meet our group in front of the Starbucks at 267-275 Columbus Ave (at the corner of Columbus Ave. and W. 73rd Street) at 10:00 AM.

March route: (March officially begins at 11:30 AM)
–       leave Columbus Circle and go east on 59th Street
–       turn onto 6th Ave. and go south to 42nd Street
–       turn right onto 42nd Street and go west to 11th Ave.
–       turn left on 11th Ave. and go south to 34th Street
–       End location: 11th Ave. in the streets between 34th and 38th Streets

To march with AIANY, email Emma Pattiz, AIANY Policy Coordinator, at

In related matters, don’t forget to submit your firm’s projects to the AIANY COTE Awards 2014: Proof + Beauty. The AIANY Committee on the Environment’s first annual awards show will further sustainable design that meets the standards of both beauty and performance. Submissions are due 11.10.14.

Be sure to check out New Deadlines! We’ve posted the 2015 Editorial Calendar for Oculus magazine, including deadlines to submit story ideas and projects for each. Don’t be shy!

Countdown to Archtober 2014

Four years ago, the idea of having an Architecture and Design Month in New York City was conceived to raise awareness of the value and abundance of talent that exists here in the architecture and design community. Every fall since, Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, AIANY managing director, dons her second hat as the festival director of Archtober. At a press preview held on 09.09.14, she, along with AIANY 2014 President Lance Brown, FAIA, and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, announced this year’s festival – a jam-packed month of 120-plus events, including exhibitions, films, tours, and symposia with more than 30 organizations in and outside of the Center for Architecture. Continue reading “Countdown to Archtober 2014”

Regatta Revolution

With worldwide attention focused anew on Lower Manhattan, the annual New York Architects Regatta Challenge took place last week, with boats departing from the North Cove of Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center). The race is a charity fund-raiser that brings out both competitive and altruistic spirits, not to mention copious amounts of Mount Gay rum on the dock afterward. Architectural firms in New York City put crews on boats belonging to the Manhattan Sailing Club, and contribute $1,500, and sometimes more, to good causes.

The AIA New York Chapter has, for the last six years, put together a “pick-up” boat to allow sailors from firms not organizing their own team to get out on the water. The Chapter’s “Flying Eagles” this year included skipper Wids DeLaCour, AIA (DeLaCour & Ferrara), Guy Geier, FAIA, FIIDA, LEED AP (FXFOWLE), Blake Middleton, FAIA, LEED AP (Handel Architects), and Xenia Vytuleva (CGSAPP). AIA New York Chapter President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, wished the team well, and well it did, finishing a respectable 10th out of 21 boats sailing. Continue reading “Regatta Revolution”

Attorney General and Gridlock: Addressing Climate Change in New York State

On 09.03.14, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman addressed a crowd at Pace Law School at the “Beyond Gridlock: State Leadership on Energy and Environmental Issues” presentation. The event announced the release of a new report Current and Future Trends in Extreme Rainfall Across New York State by the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office. Schneiderman spoke about how the effects of climate change are already impacting our lives, and the case studies of extreme rainfall in the report personalize the challenges. The federal government is unable to take the action required to combat it. State governments and non-profit organizations must fill the voids. New York State was unprepared for Superstorm Sandy, but Schneiderman’s office wants the state to become the model of preparedness and resiliency for the country in the face of natural disasters. By working with utility companies and fellow policy makers, Schneiderman hopes to do some transformation politics and get people to see things differently. Continue reading “Attorney General and Gridlock: Addressing Climate Change in New York State”

What Does the Forest Say?

On 09.05.14, attendees of all ages joined the Center for Architecture, Friends of LaGuardia Place, Manhattan Community Board 2, and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to celebrate the theme of AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision” with Christopher Janney’s public art installation “Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations.” On view at LaGuardia Park only through 09.11.14, it functioned as an “urban musical instrument.” Park-goers could trigger photo-electric sensors in one of 16 electronic “trees,” producing a score of melodic tones and environmental sounds.

The sounds of the “forest” always changed, depending on the number of participants interacting with the trees. The score was also altered according to the time of day: croaking frogs and crickets in the morning, and marimbas, percussion, and swarms of fireflies at night, when the installation sparkeld with twinkling LED lights. “Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” never played the exact same composition twice.

Continue reading “What Does the Forest Say?”

How Truly Public Are Our Public Spaces?

As a composer understands how to deploy rests, moments of silence, as a backdrop that makes each instrument’s contributions meaningful, urban designers and planners recognize that spaces between buildings are key determinants of behavior, indispensable in bringing life to the entire civic organism. Urban space is never entirely blank, neutral, or empty; it has forms and functions, intentions and unintended consequences, narrative arcs and evolutionary stages, just as buildings do. This gathering of practitioners, scholars, and citizens explored various existing and hypothetical expressions of this aspect of the 2014 Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” speculating about how conscious placemaking can align underlying principles with practical effects. Continue reading “How Truly Public Are Our Public Spaces?”

Future Now Summit 2014

The “Future Now Summit” that was held on 09.13.14 at the Center for Architecture was a complete success. It had an ordinance of young and enthusiastic professionals from New York City and Long Island. The selection of speakers provided a platform of amazing young professionals who appear to already feel that the FUTURE for them is NOW, as they are already finding solutions to expand the practice of architecture and the building industry. They all told how they already have grown through this thinking.

The Summit was moderated by an expert in workplace strategy, Melissa Marsh, Assoc. AIA, founder of Plastarc, a leader in change management services. Marsh proved to be a valued part of the Summit, keeping all participants speaking to realistic opportunities for the future of the profession, and the communities that will .

All present were amazed to hear what keynote speaker, Kai-Uwe Bergman, AIA, RIBA, partner at BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, had to say about his experiences working around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Bergman showed slides of BIG’s projects under construction, and spoke in detail about business development methods used and the young staff of architects now working on 17 projects in different countries. Continue reading “Future Now Summit 2014”

Just Breathe: Environmental Justice and the Problem of Air Quality – Indoors and Out

On 09.10.14, the AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE) organized a lecture and panel on environmental justice and the particular issue of air quality and toxic conditions in buildings. The interdisciplinary panel for “Can I Breathe at Your Place Tonight? – Environmental Justice and Buildings” brought together three veterans from diverse sectors in the environmental justice field: Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Al Huang, a senior attorney at the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Urban Program in New York, and Dr. Maida Galvez, associate professor of Preventative Medicine in Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Continue reading “Just Breathe: Environmental Justice and the Problem of Air Quality – Indoors and Out”

A Sunshine State of Mind for Ever-Evolving NCARB

On 07.31.14, Intern Development Program (IDP) Coordinators nationwide assembled in Miami, FL, to take part in the annual IDP Coordinators Conference hosted by NCARB. AIANY was represented by newly-appointed Chapter Coordinator Michael Archer, Assoc. AIA. The conference provides a platform for NCARB to effectively communicate with its coordinators as they assist at the state, chapter, school, and firm level in guiding those in pursuit of licensure. It was an opportunity to hear directly from NCARB about the sweeping changes to the ARE, proposed streamlining and overhauling of the current IDP, and the ever-expanding library of tools and information available. Change is in the air, and in this time of rapid evolution to the requirements for licensure it is important to convey what the pursuit of licensure will look like as it unfolds. Continue reading “A Sunshine State of Mind for Ever-Evolving NCARB”