In this issue:
· AIANY Policy Round up
· NBAU Report

AIANY Policy Round up
It’s been a busy summer for the City Council as it looks for ways to improve the city’s built environment. In initiatives spearheaded by AIANY’s new Director of Policy Marian Imperatore, AIA, the Chapter gave testimony at three council hearings. At the Bicycle Storage hearing on June 15, AIANY and Marian Imperatore spoke in support of a rule that would require commercial and residential building owners to provide bike storage to their residents. On June 26, AIANY Vice President of Public Outreach Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, spoke in support of the initiatives of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, which proposes energy audits for existing buildings, and would hold all of New York’s buildings — not just new construction — to higher energy standards. On June 29, Imperatore weighed in on the debate over Coney Island’s redevelopment. Stay tuned to e-Oculus for more news once the Council votes on all three initiatives.

NBAU Report
AIANY President Sherida Paulsen, FAIA, spoke to a lunchtime crowd on June 24 about how architects can make the stimulus package work for them at a Not Business As Usual (NBAU) discussion called “Stimulus Project Opportunities.” She discussed national resources (see AIA National’s resources for small firms), NY State guidelines (visit NY State’s Economic Recovery page), and grassroots efforts ranging from designing street furniture and entering design competitions, to helping local restaurants obtain outdoor and expansion permits.

AIANY Managing Director Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, shared her suggestions for finding work as a small firm. Often, big government jobs have set aside an allocation of work for small firms. A few minutes on the Federal Business Opportunities site can reveal opportunities, even during the economic slowdown.

This was the latest in a series of Wednesday afternoon discussions to help out-of-work architects. On June 3, “Focus on Students/New Graduates” divided the group of emerging architects into focus areas, ranging from portfolio and resumé reviews, to IDP and ARE advice, to information about volunteer opportunities. “Powerful Communication” offered a primer on body language and public speaking on May 20. “Design Awards and Your Practice,” on May 6, focused on the importance that competitions and awards can play in marketing efforts and how awards, whether won by a firm or an individual, speak to the caliber of work that can be expected by a client. Also, with the economic slowdown, competitions allow designers time to think through ideas — an opportunity not always available when trying to meet tight deadlines.

The next NBAU event will take place July 8 and feature a panel on alternative careers. Click here to rsvp.