As he passed the presidential gavel to 2015 President Tomas Rossant, AIA, at the 2015 AIANY Inaugural, 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, reviewed the accomplishments of his presidential year, including the Chapter’s record-high membership of 5,188 members.
Brown outlined the many initiatives of his presidential theme, “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” which culminated with the Center for Architecture’s summer-long exhibition “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now.” Noting the importance of recognizing those who made this year possible, Brown expressed his heartfelt gratitude to AIANY committees, who organized more than 100 events that emphasized the importance of public space. He also thanked his “day job,” recognizing City College and City University for giving him significant release time that allowed him to fully embrace his role as 2014 President of the AIA New York Chapter:
Brown also honored AIANY members, old and new. He presented Pascale Sablan, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, an accomplished architect at FXFOWLE, with the AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Merit Award for her significant contributions to the Chapter and the profession at an early stage of her career. He also recognized AIANY Design for Aging Committee Co-chair Jerry Maltz, AIA, for his years of service to the Chapter, and presented him with a copy of The Legacy Project, New Housing New York: Best Practices in Affordable, Sustainable, Replicable Housing Design.
Before introducing 2015 President Rossant, Brown welcomed Center for Architecture Foundation President Joseph Tortorella to the podium, who spoke enthusiastically of the new and improved Center for Architecture partnership. Rossant explained this partnership in greater detail, noting that, after housing the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation for more than 10 years, the Center for Architecture is creating a new 501(c)3 that will give the physical space a stronger institutional identity. With a new Center for Architecture board and new access to tax-exempt donations, the Center for Architecture will continue to celebrate design excellence and the architectural profession, while expanding outreach to encourage a broad public dialogue about the importance of design in shaping our built environment. “In this city of very important cultural institutions,” said Rossant, “we expect to be nothing less but the preeminent place for architectural discourse and the exploration of issues pertaining to the public realm.”
In introducing his theme, Rossant presented an “unscholarly history of architecture,” which followed the role of the “expansive architect” through time. Exemplified by Brunelleschi, the expansive architect “puts his or her arms around the entirety of the architectural endeavor.” Rossant called for practitioners to continue to expand, and to apply their critical thinking skills to public issues. Rossant then announced “Dialogues from the Edge of Practice” as the 2015 presidential theme: AIANY will explore how architects are boldly enlarging the purview of the practitioner to bring their problem solving skills and design acumen to endeavors previously considered outside the traditional scope of practice. According to Rossant, “There has never been a time where the role of the architect has been more relevant and expansive as an instrument to shape culture, society, and positive environmental outcomes.”
We are excited to see what will come in 2015, as the Center for Architecture looks forward to its own future and that of the profession.
See a video of the ceremony on the Center for Architecture’s Vimeo page.