Announcing Ben Prosky

AIANY and the Center for Architecture are thrilled to announce that Benjamin Prosky has been named Executive Director for both organizations. Ben will step down from his role as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and commence full responsibilities in early 2016.

With a background in urban studies and urban planning, Ben has devoted the past 15 years to the promotion and interpretation of architecture and the city. He began his career at the Institut français d’architecture (IFA) in Paris, and later joined the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) as head of Public Programs. Prior to joining Harvard GSD, Ben spent six years at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation as Director of Special Events and External Affairs. Ben was also one of the four co-founders of Architizer, one of the first online social and professional networking tool created specifically for architects.

We look forward to the unique energy, intelligence, and experience that Ben will bring to the Chapter and the Center for Architecture, and we invite you to welcome him at the AIANY 2016 Board Inaugural on 12.15.15.

Lobbying Law Legacy

Last week, the Lobbying Bureau of the City of New York announced that on 01.01.16, a six-month amnesty period will begin, as mandated by Local Law 129 of 2013. The law intends to strengthen compliance with New York City’s lobbying law, and the amnesty period allows individuals and organizations who should have – but have not yet – filed lobbying reports without incurring penalties. Continue reading “Lobbying Law Legacy”

We Are All Frogs in Boiling Water

Now that every rational person and entity from Bill McKibben and Al Gore to ExxonMobil and the Pentagon accepts the reality of anthropogenic climate change (at least internally, regardless of public statements), exploring its effects as a “threat multiplier” has become a broad-based professional priority. Having helped focus the architectural community’s attention on flood hazards shortly before Superstorm Sandy, then led wide-ranging efforts toward both recovery from that event and resilience against future disasters, the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) committee has earned considerable authority on the built environment’s ability to handle catastrophic events. The risks associated with more gradual effects can be just as severe. DfRR has, accordingly, extended its attention to design, investment, and public policy strategies that respond to deadlier and more frequent heat waves. Continue reading “We Are All Frogs in Boiling Water”

Leaning Out III: Back to School

At the third annual Leaning Out program, organized by AIANY Global Dialogues and AIANY Women in Architecture, comments from the audience ranged from laments over workplace conditions to excited clamor over the number of women enrolled in architecture programs. At 43%, the percentage of women in architecture schools is nearly equal to men, yet the proportion of women who go on to achieve licensure, top management positions, and national recognition wanes after graduation. Focused on women, architecture, and education, the panel of four women drew on their experiences as architects, students, and educators to relate issues of gender in the field. Continue reading “Leaning Out III: Back to School”

Passing the Torch

In a relay race, runners extend batons to their partners, running with arm outstretched to facilitate an easy handoff, lest they fumble or lose the race by standing still. It’s not much different for firms in maintaining a rolling leadership. Urbahn Architects, which was established in 1945, has had three turnovers of leadership; Dattner Architects has added nine partners in its 51 years; and MAP Architecture & Design started the transition conversation in the past few years by adding its first partner. Each firm has planned for its future by elevating leadership to partnership. Continue reading “Passing the Torch”

Taking Better Pictures

Undeterred by the late November date, an intrepid group of amateur photographers convened at the Center for Architecture’s Seaport location on a cold Sunday morning to learn how to take better pictures of buildings. Starting with the premise that a photograph should tell a story, architectural photographer Matthew Carbone led the group through some fundamentals of composition and lighting, using examples from his own body of work as well as on-site demonstrations during the class. Continue reading “Taking Better Pictures”

Names in the News

The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation 2016 Leadership Awards Gala will honor William J. Gilbane, Jr., and William J. Gilbane III of the Gilbane Building Company (Foundation); Richard Anderson of the New York Building Congress (Keystone); Julia Donoho of Legal Constructs and the AIA National Board of Directors (Pillar); Gwendolyn Wright of Columbia University (Oculus); Cindy Allen of Interior Design Magazine (Scroll); and Lori Brown and Nina Freedman of ArchiteXX (Tribune). Continue reading “Names in the News”