New Deadlines

2015 Oculus Editorial Calendar
The Oculus 2015 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect in practice or by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! You may submit projects/topics from anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas/projects by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Summer 2015: AIANY 2015 Design Awards
Submission deadline: 02.06.15

Fall 2015: “Home” (In conjunction with the Housing Exhibition + Archtober)
Housing progress report/report card: whether market rate or affordable, is it living up to our expectations for design, community integration, environmental responsiveness? For affordable and low-income housing, is innovation helping us hit the number of units New York City needs? Continuing controversy about “inclusionary” housing (80/20 and such). Off-site/modular construction. BSA Housing Awards. (To include input from social scientists, urban anthropologists, psychologists, etc.)
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 05.22.15

Winter 2015: “Makers in a Digital World” or “Architecture & the Digital World”
How we present and build what we do: 21st-century visual representation, mapping, big data. Life-cycle of a building: an idea, draw it, digitize for CNC milling machines, construct, share via Instagram, etc. Cooper-Hewitt tech “pencils”; etc.
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 08.14.15 Continue reading “New Deadlines”


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NYU’s new nine-month M.A. Program based in London will give you an intense immersion in adaptive reuse and sustainable building practices. Excellent job success for graduates.

For more information, visit the website at, or email


Let Oculus lead you to success in 2015

Include Oculus in your budget for 2015 and build your brand! By advertising in Oculus you are grabbing the attention of our members who spend more than $260 million on products and services annually. Contact Chris Zabel at or (352) 333 -3420.


Professional Women in Construction (PWC) in search for an Executive Director

Professional Women in Construction is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing professional, entrepreneurial, and managerial opportunities for women and other “non-traditional” populations in construction and related industries. With 6 chapters, PWC serves a constituency of close to 15,000, representing a broad spectrum of the industry. As its mission, PWC encourages and advances the goals and interests of woman and minority owned businsses.

For additional information, please see PWC’s posting.

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Editor’s Note

The AIA New York Chapter, under the leadership of 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, had a tremendously successful year. Brown’s presidential theme, “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” emphasized the critical role played by public space in ensuring civic engagement. As New York City enters a new era with new mayoral leadership, an expanding population, and increasing threats from climate change, our design professions face consequential civic opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities. Throughout the year, programs examined these issues and more, culminating in the Center for Architecture’s summer exhibition, “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now.”

On 12.09.14, AIANY will celebrate the achievements of 2014, and present a preview of what’s to come during the 2015 AIA New York Board Inaugural. Brown will pass the gavel to 2015 President Tomas Rossant, AIA, founding partner and design principal at Ennead Architects. Please join us as we welcome incoming board members and thank exiting members for their outstanding leadership contributions to the Chapter. A celebratory reception sponsored by IBEX Construction will follow.

In Memoriam: Paul Katz

Dear Friends,

With great sadness, we share the news of the loss of our friend and colleague, Paul Katz, FAIA, HKIA, who passed away suddenly on 11.20.14. Paul was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a stalwart participant in the global dialogues on design and urbanism at the Center for Architecture.

His projects are located all over the world, transforming skylines and streetscapes. Some were featured last year at the Center in the “Practical Utopias” exhibition, now on view in Seoul.

At Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Paul had a major role in growing a practice that now numbers nearly 700 people in six offices around the world. As design thinker, mentor, and president of the firm, Paul was always there for all who needed advice, support, or a good word about work in progress. His design work transformed cities; his wit, good nature, and keen intellect changed all who were fortunate enough to be in his circle.

In lieu of flowers, Paul’s family has asked for donations to the KPF Foundation, which will be applied to a Scholarship or Fellowship promoting study in the fields of architecture and urbanism. Checks may be sent to: KPF Foundation, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.

On behalf of the Board and staff of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, we express our deepest sympathies to Paul’s family, friends, and colleagues.

With regards,

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA

Rick Bell, FAIA
Executive Director

Equitable Efficiency

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to make New York a more equitable city through a series of significant socially-minded programs for NYC’s residents and industries, including universal pre-K expansion, carbon emission reduction, affordable housing development, and transportation upgrades. AIANY supports these efforts, and knows that in every aspect of the public realm, equity cannot be accomplished without design in mind.

On 12.01.14, AIANY President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, AIANY President-elect Tomas Rossant, AIA, and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, met with Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. In addition to discussing the mayor’s primary initiatives and how AIANY can help complete them, Glen had questions for the AIANY community that directly relate to the work she is doing with the mayor and city agency heads. She is laser focused on finding ways for NYC to build and live more efficiently. Continue reading “Equitable Efficiency”

Samuel Ratensky Memorial Lecture Transcript

We are pleased to share the recent presentation made by Alan Mallach on the occasion of the Samuel Ratensky Memorial Lecture. The annual Ratensky Lecture, organized by the AIANY Housing Committee,  honors Samuel Ratensky (1910-1972), an architect and housing official who was responsible for major New York City housing initiatives. The lecture series recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of housing and community design. A city planner, advocate, and writer, Mallach is nationally known for his work on housing, economic development, and urban revitalization. His presentation offers a well-informed view of current issues facing our cities. As Mallach notes, “A city cannot be a successful city without a strong economy, without strong neighborhoods, and without a diverse, productive population with opportunities to improve their lives. The last, after all, was – and should still be – the traditional promise of the city.”

– Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, 2014 AIANY President

In 1971, I had a visit from a young legal services lawyer named Peter O’Connor who was preparing a suit against a town in South Jersey. The town was named Mt. Laurel, and it was being sued on behalf of the town’s long-established but poor African-American community, which had been repeatedly frustrated in their efforts to build decent affordable housing for their members by Mt. Laurel’s zoning code.

That case led to the two NJ Supreme Court decisions, in 1975 and in 1983, that put the brakes on the use of zoning as a tool to exclude, although only up to a point, and established that every municipality had a legal obligation to provide its “fair share” – a loaded term, as it turned out – of the region’s need for affordable housing. That, in turn, prompted the NJ legislature to enact the NJ Fair Housing Act in 1985, which led to some 30,000 units of affordable housing in NJ suburbs over the next 15 years. Continue reading “Samuel Ratensky Memorial Lecture Transcript”

2014 Deans’ Roundtable

Leadership was the theme of the night, as 13 deans from architecture schools around the New York area gathered for the 10th annual Deans’ Roundtable. Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, introduced the panel. Invoking his 2014 presidential theme of “Civic spirit: Civic Vision” as a guidepost for thinking about leadership within architectural education, Brown urged the panelists to think about the role that their institutions play in fostering communities and cities, both locally and internationally. He set the stage for a conversation amongst the deans in which ideas about pedagogy, professionalism, institutional structures, and the role of architectural practice within society unfolded.

Moderator Frances Bronet, senior vice president and provost of the University of Oregon and former dean of the School of Architecture, opened the panel by taking an informal poll of the audience, asking students, educators, and practicing architects to identify themselves by a show of hands. Bronet then acknowledged a particular subset of the audience – future architecture students – setting the stage for a recurring emphasis on the future of architectural education. Continue reading “2014 Deans’ Roundtable”