In this issue:
· Security and Design Make National News
· Octagon Changes Hands… Back to AIA
· NBAU Offers Advice on Alternative Careers

Security and Design Make National News

A week after NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly presented the NYPD’s design guidelines for making buildings safer in NYC (see “Security Talk at One Police Plaza,” by Rick Bell, FAIA, e-OCULUS, 07.07.09), the issue of security and design was news in the nation’s capitol with the release of the AIA’s report “Design for Diplomacy: New Embassies for the 21st Century.” The AIA 21st Century Embassy Task Force — which included architects, engineers, landscape architects, architectural historians, public art experts, and a number of foreign service personnel — made 59 recommendations. Prominent among them was evaluating the current design program, established after the 1998 embassy attacks. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reviewed the report and commented that, while security is always a concern, design and sustainability should not fall by the wayside. The Senator commended the AIA report as “an important first step towards re-establishing principles of design excellence in our embassies and consulates abroad.”

Octagon Changes Hands… Back to AIA

The Octagon, the iconic, six-sided building on the corner of 18th Street NW and New York Avenue in Washington, DC, has a new owner: AIA Legacy, a non-profit affiliate of the AIA. This is the second time the AIA has owned the 1799 William Thornton-designed building — the AIA inhabited the space at the turn of the 20th century and remained until 1968, when it was deeded to the American Architectural Foundation (AAF). AAF opened it as a museum two years later. In transferring ownership to AIA Legacy, AAF and AIA Legacy will work together to support both organizations’ missions. Read more here.

NBAU Offers Advice on Alternative Careers

What do a staging expert, a photographer, a real estate professional, a lighting specialist, and construction manager have in common? As the presenters of the July 8 Not Business As Usual (NBAU) forum explained, they are all alternative careers for an enterprising architect. Carrie Alexander of Staging by Alexander, Ari Burling, an architectural photographer, R. Elisa Orlanski Ours, vice president of planning and design for Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, lighting expert Milena Simeonova, and Yvonne Saavedra-Limb, AIA, LEED AP, a consultant/construction manager spoke to 100 attendees, explaining how architects can find — and make — their own opportunities. The presentation was co-organized by LMNOP NYC, Inc., a new organization that aims to provide professional development opportunities and support for architecture and design professionals. The next NBAU lunch will take place Wednesday, July 22, with a presentation by Allison Leighton, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, about energy efficiency in new construction. Read more about NBAU here.