2013 AIA Convention Special: Philanthropic Practices Engage Architects in Civic-Minded Optimism

Blake Mycoskie is a town crier of the 21st-century economy, broadcasting to business leaders a proclamation that is as tantalizing as it is unconventional: one can do well in business by doing good for society. Mycoskie, the TOMS shoes founder and “Chief Shoe Giver,” held an auditorium full of architects rapt at the 2013 AIA Convention. He delivered the emotionally potent story of how he started his business and how he learned that he could succeed beyond his wildest dreams by following his conscience and giving to others. Continue reading “2013 AIA Convention Special: Philanthropic Practices Engage Architects in Civic-Minded Optimism”

2013 AIA Convention Special: A Clarion Call to an Overweight Nation

The United States is facing a crisis of historic proportions. Thanks to decades of dependence on the automobile for transportation, our population is overweight and physically unfit. Although this predicament has received extensive media coverage, certain facts are still staggering. For instance, according to a 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the present generation of American children can anticipate a life expectancy five years shorter than their parents. Thus, for the first time in 200 years, life expectancy in the U.S. is on the decline. Continue reading “2013 AIA Convention Special: A Clarion Call to an Overweight Nation”

2013 AIA Convention Special: Preparedness, Mitigation, Planning: Keys to Counter Staggering Statistics

The statistics on population growth when overlaid with predictions about natural disasters are haunting. Last year, 92 million people were displaced because of natural disasters. By 2050, that number is expected to increase to 200 million. By 2100, the number could reach 500 million. According to Illya Azaroff, AIA, principal of +LAB and co-chair of the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR), if we are not proactive in mitigating the effects of these events, we could be paying $200 trillion due to devastation, in addition to being unable to house those who will be directly affected by natural disasters. Continue reading “2013 AIA Convention Special: Preparedness, Mitigation, Planning: Keys to Counter Staggering Statistics”

2013 AIA Convention Special: Cameron Sinclair Champions the Value of Architecture

“When architects go to a disaster site they see hope and opportunity,” said Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity (AFH) and an AIA Convention keynote speaker. With 60 local chapters and more than 6,000 volunteers, Sinclair noted that AFH could be considered the world’s largest architecture firm. And, with its extensive list of projects, ranging from small installations to large-scale master planning, it is one of the most prolific firms building – and re-building – communities internationally. Continue reading “2013 AIA Convention Special: Cameron Sinclair Champions the Value of Architecture”

Sleepless in Saratoga

Jill Lerner, FAIA, Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, and Susan Chin, FAIA, at the Racing Museum

Rick Bell, FAIA

Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, Peter Marino, FAIA, and Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP

Rick Bell, FAIA

People generally go to Saratoga for the waters, the racing, or for Skidmore College. Last month there was another reason: the AIA New York State Convention, held at the Hilton downtown near Caroline Street. We’ll come back to Caroline Street – and return to Saratoga, especially since it is possible to go up and back on one of the best trains in the country. Amtrak – who knew? – has a “superliner” or “VistaDome” car north of Albany on the route to Montreal. A glazed-roof train car provided Mary Burke, FAIA, Margaret Castillo, AIA, Abby Suckle, FAIA, and this correspondent an utterly new and different vantage point of the fall foliage, the bucolic landscape, and the upper Hudson. Starting a trip to a congregation of AIA stalwarts in this unconventional manner put the sojourn in an entirely different perspective. The AIA New York Chapter delegation was spearheaded by 2012 President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, and President-elect Jill Lerner, FAIA.

The opening reception took place at the extraordinary National Museum of Racing. With a collection of racing memorabilia, artifacts, and artwork, the museum also had everything from a real starting gate to a skeleton of a horse in motion.

The 30th AIANYS Annual Convention was organized by AIANYS Past President David Businelli, AIA, along with Dan Wilson, AIA, David Pacheco, AIA, and Jeffrey Morris, AIA, from AIA Eastern New York. It was animated by the robust presence of Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and the communication skills of President-elect Eric Goshow, AIA. Three extraordinary keynote speakers punctuated the three days. The first of the lectures, “Building an International Practice,” was given by Peter Marino, FAIA, looking hip and hungry in black leather. He shared war stories, anecdotes, and tips, such as “speak the language,” while describing how his practice has succeeded in countries all over the world. When one’s clients are the major fashion houses of the world – think Chanel – hanging with celebrities doesn’t hurt, nor does being on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue back in December 2009. Peter’s advice, however, was relevant to firms small and large, no matter what their client base. It dealt with empathy, outreach, and flair – distinguishing characteristics of his career and that of others who would wish to succeed in the global economy.

(l-r) Nancy Goshow, AIA, Helene Dreiling, FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Susan Chin, FAIA

Rick Bell, FAIA

Andy Frankl (center) receiving award with (r-l) Ed Farrell, Kelly Hayes McAlone, AIA, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, and Rick Bell, FAIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

Bracketing the opener was the closing keynote by Eric Cesal, who studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and has worked in Haiti with Architecture for Humanity. The author of Down Detour Road, Eric spelled out the steps by which architects and designers can engage their communities to make a difference. The third impressive keynote was by Billy Procida, president of Procida Advisors LLC, who suggested that architects “crossover to the other side” and test their skills at development.

Of the 44 programs, two that particularly stood out were on areas of practice. One, by Robert Lopez, RA, head of the State Board of Architecture in the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department, was called “Understanding Permissible Corporate Entities and the New Design Professional Corporation Laws in NYS.” It packed the room with those eager to learn more about the implications of recent changes in State regulations pertaining to firm ownership, and the basic tenets of the corporate practice prohibitions in New York.

Nancy Goshow, AIA, longtime co-chair of the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee, organized a panel discussion that brought together Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Susan Chin, FAIA. Helene is newly elected as AIA’s national president for 2014; Kelly, apart from her AIANYS leadership, is interim assistant vice president in the Capital Planning Group of the University of Buffalo; and Susan heads the Design Trust for Public Space, and was recently elected an AIA National Vice President. Issues discussed included gender and generational perspectives, and the change in the nature of architectural employment in private sector firms, academia, and public agencies. Despite the fact that currently women comprise 40% of enrollees in schools of architecture, only 25% of architects in this country are women, and 17% are AIA members. This panel of accomplished architects discussed the challenges of being women in practice, at home and in the AIA. The first questions came from some of the men in the room, including former AIANY Presidents Walter Hunt, FAIA, and Tony Schirripa, FAIA. The most important concluding remarks, however, came from Nicolette Feldser, Assoc. AIA, the associate director on the AIANYS Board, who noted that the Convention was poorly attended by younger members. Costly and largely mid-week, many Associates who might have benefited from the discussions and debates were effectively locked out. Maybe this can change in Syracuse next year – so save the dates of September 25-27, 2013.

The Convention’s trade show brought 89 vendors and distributors to Saratoga whose products or services were new to many architects attending. Many of those taking booths from upstate companies were relatively unfamiliar, but very accessible – for example Hubbell Galvanizing. Familiar faces with new technologies to offer included folks from Marvin Windows, Oldcastle, and Schindler, among many others. It was gratifying to see downstate companies, such as B&B Sheet Metal from Long Island City, represented by Gretchen Cobb, engaging with those specializing in preservation practice in New York City. The most sought-after giveaway of the show, apart from product information necessary for our designs, was the elegant umbrella from Belgium-based Buzon Pedestal International; with its canvas case and “brelli” logo, it came in handy during the misty weekend.

Business of a different order was conducted at both the AIANYS Board Meeting and subsequent Annual Meeting. At the former, the State Component’s Strategic Plan was formally adopted. Described as a “living document,” it will undoubtedly be seen in conjunction with the developing “repositioning” endeavor of AIA National.

At the Annual Meeting, Raymond Beeler, AIA, was elected to be 2014 AIANYS President in an uncontested election that testified to the respect he has garnered as the Board’s Vice President of Public Advocacy. The replacement for Ray Beeler as VP will be Mary Burke, FAIA, whose campaign speech and thoughtful reflections on priorities of engagement helped assure her election despite the qualifications and service of Randolph Collins, AIA, who promises to stay involved with outreach efforts. Mary and Randy worked together on the design of the new office space for AIA New York State in downtown Albany.

Sarah Caples, AIA, and Everardo Jefferson, AIA, receiving award from Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

(r) Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA, receiving award from (l) Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and (c) Raymond Beeler, AIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

(l) Karen Kubey, Assoc. AIA, receiving award from (r) Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

Service awards were conferred to many AIANY Chapter members throughout the three day convention. These included Caples Jefferson (Firm of the Year); Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA (Intern – Associate Award); Andy Frankl of Ibex Construction (Honorary AIANYS); Walter A. Hunt, Jr., FAIA (Jame William Kideney Gold Medal Award); Paul Segal, FAIA (Fellows Award); and Abby Suckle, FAIA (President’s Award). Friends of the High Line, represented at the ceremony by Erycka Montoya Pérez, won the Community Development Award. Michael Sorkin, who won the Educator Award, was not able to attend, having fractured his ankle on a slippery New York City sidewalk; his prepared remarks were abbreviated for delivery, but his regret communicated. Kate Spata also received the Student Award in absentia, as she is currently studying in Barcelona.

Student awards – and small scholarship checks augmented by an AIA National matching grant – were received by many attending NYC architectural schools, including Mia Zinni (Columbia University); Jeremy Jacinth (The Cooper Union); Robert Conway & Greg Thomas (NYIT); and Charlotte Ensign & Samuel Weston (Parsons The New School for Design). Karen Kubey, Assoc. AIA, was the first-ever recipient of the AIANYS ARE Scholarship, created to recognize Associate AIA members who have made significant contributions at an early stage in their career.

The annual black-tie gala provided the opportunity to celebrate design excellence, with many prize-winning projects designed by AIANY Chapter members, including: Adamson; Morris Adjimi; ARO; Bentel & Bentel; Cook+Fox; Cooper Joseph; CUH2A; Debra Berke; daSilva; Davis Brody Bond; François de Menil; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ennead Architects; Fielder Marciano; FXFOWLE; GF55; Gruzen Samton IBI Group; Handel Architects; Hanrahan Meyers; HLWInternational; Jaklitsch/Gardner; Kohn Pedersen Fox; LTL; Peter Marino; Audrey Matlock; NBBJ; Pei Cobb Freed; Port Authority of NY & NJ; Rice+Lipka; Rockwell Group; Frederic Schwartz; SHoP Architects; Smith-Miller Hawkinson; Snøhetta; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Studio Garneau; Tsao+McKown; and Unitedlab.

For me, the closing highlight of the trip was the first tour I have ever taken during an AIA Convention. It was of the Saratoga Race Course, which dates back to 1847. The tour was led by Samantha Bosshart of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Charles Wheeler, Jr., manager of Planning and Community Relations for the New York Racing Association, and Michael Phinney, AIA, of the Phinney Design Group. We had access from grandstand to stable, from the Woodford Reserve Lounge to the muddy practice course, where those horses not yet en route to southern fields ran for a group of architects mesmerized by the motion, standing in the rain, thinking of the Travers and the history of connection between species.

And yes, at the train station going home, it was possible to buy a bottle of Saratoga Spring Water, available since 1872.

AIA 2012 Convention Special: Resilient Connections, a City’s Strongest Monument

(l-r) Michael Arad, AIA, LEED AP; Robert I. Davidson, FAIA; Steven M. Davis, FAIA; Daniel Libeskind, AIA; Craig E. Dykers, AIA; David M. Childs, FAIA; Santiago Calatrava, FAIA; Joseph Aliotta, AIA; Jeffery Potter, FAIA; William T. Brown, AIA; Debbie Burns, Hon. AIA; Rick Bell, FAIA

Daniel Fox

Event: Architects of Healing: Honoring the Architects Involved in Post-9/11 Memorial and Rebuilding Efforts
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, 05.19.2012
Speakers: Robert I. Davidson, FAIA, senior vice president, STV; Daniel Libeskind, AIA, principal, Studio Daniel Libeskind; David M. Childs, FAIA, chairman emeritus, Skidmore Owings, & Merrill; Michael Arad, AIA, LEED AP, partner, Handel Architects; Craig E. Dykers, AIA, senior partner/director, Snøhetta; Steven M. Davis, FAIA, partner, Davis Brody Bond; Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, principal, Santiago Calatrava LLC; Robert Ivy, FAIA, executive vice president and chief executive officer, AIA (introduction); Jeffery Potter, FAIA, 2012 AIA President (moderator)
Organizers: AIA 2012 National Convention

The theme of this year’s national AIA convention, “Design Connects,” can have multiple meanings. The concluding keynote, assembling the architects responsible for the various components of the rebuilding of Ground Zero for both ceremony and substance, connected the nation’s architects with New York’s experience and the specific task of rebuilding Lower Manhattan with architecture’s universal mission. “The attacks were not against a building; the attacks were against our freedom, our values,” said Steven Davis, FAIA, whose firm Davis Brody Bond had been engaged with the site since 1992, and whose master plan documents proved invaluable during the response to the initial World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Yet in concrete reminiscences of the events of 9/11 and in moments of somber eloquence about what was lost at the WTC, Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon – and what was found to be immune to loss – the speakers also emphasized that connections between buildings and values are indissoluble.

After an arresting reading by AIA EVP/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, about his immediate experiences of 9/11, the seven honorees (each introduced by a brief video) testified to the overwhelming responsibility and privilege of working on this site. Rebuilding downtown has required an unprecedented combination of gravity, creativity, and collegiality; those recognized here were scrupulous about sharing credit with teammates and honoring the fallen. David Childs, FAIA, appropriately echoed earlier comments by historian David McCullough and Gold Medal recipient Steven Holl, FAIA, respectively, that “all great work is a joint effort” and “architecture is all about collaboration.” (It is no accident that the honorees, for all the patriotic flavor of the proceedings, are a hybrid, hyphenated, international crew. Healing a wounded city takes more than a local community or even a nation; it takes a planet.)

Memories of the emotionally charged atmosphere just after 9/11 may have blurred slightly over a decade, but they remain ineradicable. Restoring essential infrastructure in the wake of the atrocity, recounted Robert Davidson, FAIA, took a heavy personal toll, but also called forth enormous reserves of determination. He singled out Port Authority architect Russell Kriegel, AIA, who overcame nearly paralyzing grief and responded to Davidson’s appeal (“take the weekend, but I need you”), reporting back ready to work on the temporary PATH Intermodal Station, which became the first public facility to reopen at the site, beating its timetable and winning awards as well as relieving the enormous transportation bottleneck caused by PATH’s closure. Daniel Libeskind, AIA, traced his progress as an immigrant drawn by America’s ideals; returning to New York from Berlin after his Jewish Museum had opened the same day as the attack, he devised the master plan whose key details (the descent to bedrock, the preserved slurry wall, the towers’ spiraling gesture toward the Statue of Liberty) remain physically and metaphorically evocative even after a decade of negotiation and revision. These ideas do more than transform “a piece of real estate” into something greater: they strengthen New Yorkers’ connections to the values of tolerance and steadfastness, “the best of America” as this American-by-choice sees it.

Visiting another great civic space, said Michael Arad, AIA (another American-by-choice), strengthened his appreciation of urban community. Biking to Washington Square Park in the days after the attack, he found fellow New Yorkers around the fountain sharing their memories and their resolve. “For the first time I felt at home in New York,” proud of his adopted heritage, and grateful for the opportunities it affords; this appreciation of what public plazas can do to catalyze people’s civility, solidarity, and resilience informed his design of the “Reflecting Absence” memorial. A parallel commitment to built forms supporting free expression appeared in the comments of Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers, AIA, whose initial reluctance to intervene at Ground Zero was overcome by his intrigue with “the idea that New Yorkers had the courage to place a cultural building directly on the memorial,” and by the persistent appeals of his friend Denzil Gallagher of Buro Happold. “We experienced the best and worst of humanity in a single day,” Dykers observed; in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Pavilion that emerged from the troubled negotiations over the “messy proposition” that culture and memory could share this space, Snøhetta unites another pair of opposites – the retrospective view of the memorial complex and the future life of these facilities in a vibrant city – through forms that amplify the energy of the present. Watching a family’s recent photo opportunity, using the Pavilion’s mirrored surface to shoot themselves rather than asking a stranger to take the shot, Dykers said: “It was then I felt it was all worthwhile.”

Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, was in Athens on September 11, mesmerized like most world citizens by the broadcast images of destruction. Here, he connected modern civic infrastructure with antiquity, referring to the rebuilding of the Acropolis after Athens was invaded in the fifth century B.C. and the subsequent Golden Age of Greek civilization, when arts flourished and democracy took its early form. “The columns of the original Parthenon were saved and reused to buttress the walls of the new Acropolis,” he noted. “To me, these columns link the tragedy and triumph of ancient Athens, and testify to Man’s innate capacity to overcome such events.” Likewise, today’s rail stations and bridges do more than serve literal functions within a transportation system; they have “enormous symbolic value. As gateways, they are the first and last places we experience when entering and leaving the city,” and for hundreds of thousands of people daily, the new Transportation Hub will add dignity to those movements as well as ease.

“Democracy requires bravery,” commented Childs in one of the videos. Bravery appeared rapidly in democracy’s defense on Flight 93; bravery of a different sort, operating on a longer timetable, distinguishes everyone who has labored on the World Trade projects. Bravery, perseverance, and other virtues, long after the moments when they come into play, can elicit such a rhetoric of uplift that a listener is paradoxically overcome by its weight – yet there is something about this site, and the efforts to renew it (now gradually reaching fruition), that overwhelms a dissonant response. A concluding salute by the Cathedral Choral Society and a full stage of honorees, including Joe Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY’s president and Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY’s executive director, and the architects involved with the Shanksville and Pentagon memorials, brought a standing ovation, uninhibited and unforced.

AIA 2012 Convention Special: HUD Secretary Donovan Exhorts Architects to Embrace Community Involvement

Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, gave Friday morning’s keynote.

Daniel Fox

Donovan talks backstage with Rick Bell, FAIA.

Courtesy Rick Bell

Event: Keynote Presentation: The Honorable Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, 05.18.12
Speaker: Shaun Donovan, United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Organizer: AIA 2012 National Convention

Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, has a message for architects: listen closely, and listen well. Communities know what they want from their built environment, and it is our responsibility as designers to translate their desires and aspirations into an enlivening constructed reality.

Donovan, current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a trained architect himself, but his philosophy was forged in the crucible of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). As Commissioner of HPD, Donovan observed the crumbling decay of 1960s urban renewal firsthand. The failure of those projects generally began the moment that designers imposed their wills, like demi-gods, upon hapless residents.

Fortunately, Donovan was also in the position to seek and implement novel planning strategies and techniques in New York. Under his leadership, the old designer/user relationship was inverted. Deep community involvement in re-development proposals became a central tenet of HPD’s planning philosophy.

Indeed, Donovan alluded to a number of successful projects constructed in the Bronx and Brooklyn utilizing the new model – those collaborations between the architectural profession and community development corporations married the best of community action with the best of private enterprise.

One such example is Via Verde, the New Housing New York Legacy project. As reported in e-Oculus on 05.03.10 at Via Verde’s groundbreaking, “In 2004, AIANY sponsored a competition called ‘New Housing New York.’ With City Council, City University of New York, the NYC Departments of Housing Preservation and Development, City Planning, and Buildings, it solicited proposals for affordable, sustainable housing in three New York neighborhoods. The ideas competition was so successful that two years later, the Legacy Project followed.”

Residents requested a healthy building, and the Grimshaw/Dattner Architects design team responded by giving tenants access to natural light, cross ventilation, and terraced roofs for garden plots. Nearly two years later, the building was completed. The success of such prototypes has led HUD to embrace similar planning principles on a national scale.

Since the least sustainable communities were the hardest hit by the recession, HUD is directing its efforts toward stabilizing fragile districts with already inherent qualities of community and place. The hope is that granular improvements at the neighborhood level will agglomerate to revitalize ailing cities such as Cleveland and Detroit. Interestingly, the federal government views the arts, and thus design and architecture, as powerful vehicles for redeveloping faltering metropolitan areas.

According to Donovan, citing the work of AIANY and its executive director, Rick Bell, FAIA, the way forward for the profession is clear: build what they really want, build it beautifully, and they will come. Listen to the varied voices of the population, and give these opinions equal weight. Design neighborhoods of quality and character, with human scale and interest, and citizens will embrace and love these places for generations.

AIA 2012 Convention Special: Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Guiding Principles Still Relevant

(l-r) Justice Stephen G. Breyer; David M. Childs, FAIA; Allan Greenberg; Harriet Tregoning; Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA.

Linda Miller

Event: The Moynihan Symposium on Public Design: The Evolution (and Evaluation) of Public Design
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, 05.16.12
Panelists: Linda Chero, Acting Commissioner, GSA Public Buildings Service; David M. Childs, FAIA; Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Allan Greenberg, Allan Greenberg Architect; Harriet Tregoning, Director, Washington, DC, Office of Planning; David Burney, FAIA, Commissioner, NYC Department of Design + Construction (appeared on a later panel.)
Moderator: Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
Organizer: The General Services Administration (GSA), in conjunction with the AIA 2012 National Convention

“The design of federal office buildings, particularly those to be located in the nation’s capital, must meet a two-fold requirement. First, it must provide efficient and economical facilities for the use of Government agencies. Second, it must provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American Government.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Report to the President by the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space, June 1, 1962.

Fifty years ago, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), then an assistant secretary of labor during the Kennedy Administration, was asked to report on the status of federal office space. What he delivered was Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture.

In honor of the golden anniversary of the three principles, the AIA and the General Services Administration (GSA) convened a symposium to recognize the late Senator’s contributions to the built environment and to discuss the future of public design.

The AIA presented Senator Moynihan a posthumous Presidential Citation for his “renewed promise of this nation’s founders, who believed that what we build should reflect our highest ideals.” The Senator’s daughter Maura Moynihan – a long-standing proponent of transforming New York’s Farley Post Office into Moynihan Station, accepted the citation and quoted her father: “The point about public architecture is that it’s public, with the notion of civitas, of a person to be there and to participate.”

In her welcome, Linda Chero, acting commissioner of the GSA’s Public Buildings Service, said, “Design creates value and by finding inspiration in Senator Moynihan’s legacy, we raise the bar on quality. Today, we must redouble our commitment to his principles. In the early half of the 20th century, Neo-Classical was the official style for federal buildings, yet in the three principles Moynihan countered that ‘the development of an official style of architecture must be avoided and design must flow from the architectural profession to the Government, and not vice versa.’”

Of the Senator, panel moderator, architecture critic, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, said that “not since Jefferson has there been a highly-placed government champion for architecture. He saw federal government buildings as a way to show what we believe in and what we stand for.”

David M. Childs, FAIA, consulting design partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, actually worked with Moynihan while serving as design director of the Pennsylvania Avenue Commission, spurred in part by Moynihan’s declaration: “We must do something about the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue.” This opened the door to the redevelopment a dilapidated section of the city that much dismayed President Kennedy on his inaugural drive. Childs’s connection to Moynihan continues since it was he who prepared the 2001 design of what is to become Moynihan Station at New York’s main post office.

Stephen G. Breyer, an associate justice of the Supreme Court who had experience working with architects on the design of the First Circuit Federal Court House in Boston when he was a judge, appealed to architects by saying: “The government is a difficult client, but that’s a reason to help – not run away.”

Allan Greenberg of Allan Greenberg Architect, a practitioner of Classism, is in awe of the founding fathers – Washington, Jefferson, and Madison – who were architects, and feels continuity is important and that “contextualism is a quality we have lost.” He also reminded the audience that “We the People” can signify that federal buildings belong to the people and that the original Capitol had an inviting 32 entrances.

When Moynihan wrote his principles, security was of lesser concern and not addressed. It is a more pressing issue, however, for Harriet Tregoning, director of the Office of Planning, who believes that “the welcoming of people to federal buildings is totally gone,” adding that “the federal government came on early with high performance buildings and they can be a leader when it comes to security.”

David Burney, FAIA, commissioner of the NYC Department of Design + Construction and AIANY board member, had written a memo he hoped would be read by President Obama. In it he wrote: “In my opinion, Moynihan’s Guiding Principles needs no improvement. What we DO need is to put in place those best practices by which the Guiding Principles can be fulfilled. These Best Practices have been articulated and practiced by the General Services Administration’s ‘Design Excellence’ program, and by our own Design and Construction Excellence Program in New York (which owes a heavy debt to the GSA program). What is needed is for these Best Practices to become the standard practice for all federal public works so that Moynihan’s vision might be fulfilled.”

AIA 2012 Convention Special: Our Fair Chapter Comes Up Big at Convention

Our new AIA Fellows at the National Cathedral: Daniel J. Kaplan, FAIA; Jonathan Jova Marvel, FAIA; Mary A. Burke, FAIA; Richard Cook, FAIA; Joyce See-yin Lee, FAIA; and Marion Weiss, FAIA.

Daniel Fox

Steven Holl, FAIA, speaks after accepting the AIA Gold Medal.

Daniel Fox

Events: Fellows Investiture Ceremony; 63rd Annual Honors and Awards Celebration
Location: The National Cathedral, Washington, DC; Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, 05.17-05.19.12
Organizers: AIA 2012 National Convention

Our fair chapter – founding, largest and all – was well-represented at this year’s AIA 2012 Convention election and award ceremonies. Susan Chin, FAIA, was elected 2013-14 AIA Vice President. Running on a platform concerned with emerging professionals and member collaboration, Chin is a current AIA National Board member who serves as one of New York’s three Regional Directors; she was also AIANY’s 2005 president. Abby Suckle, FAIA, and Anne Lewison, AIA, RAIC, won an Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement for their organization cultureNOW, which “uses mapping as a tool to empower people to better visualize the richness and diversity of their community.” Steven Holl, FAIA, was awarded the 2012 AIA Gold Medal. The Gold Medal is considered to be the profession’s highest honor that an individual can receive.

AIANY members were also widely recognized for design excellence. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects won an Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture for the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Also honored with an Interior Architecture Award was Andre Kikoski Architect for The Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum.

Cooper, Robertson & Partners’ Master Plan for the Central Delaware (also an AIANY 2012 Design Award winner) received an Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, as did Rogers Marvel Architects for the SandRidge Energy Commons in Oklahoma City. Alexander Cooper, FAIA, founding partner of Cooper, Robertson, was given the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in the Private Sector Architect category. Notable New York firms and projects also won Institute Honor Awards for Architecture: Morphosis Architects & Gruzen Samton for 41 Cooper Square, and Ennead Architects for the Standard. Cook+Fox’s Live Work Home was awarded a 2012 AIA Housing Award in the One and Two Family Production Homes category.

And the Fellows! Out of 105 promoted to the College of Fellows, no fewer than 10 – about 10% – were Chapter members. Considering there are around 80,000 AIA members nationally, about 300 chapters, and only 3,000 Fellows, this is an impressive accomplishment. No slouch in the notability department, the 10 Fellows elevated were Timothy Allanbrook, FAIA, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.; Kevin Bone, FAIA, Bone Levine Architects; Mary A. Burke, FAIA, Burke Design & Architecture PLLC; Richard Cook, FAIA, Cook+Fox Architects; Umberto Dindo, FAIA, Dindo Architect P.C.; Steven Holl, FAIA, Steven Holl Architects; Daniel J. Kaplan, FAIA, FXFOWLE; Joyce See-yin Lee, FAIA, recently of the NYC Department of Design + Construction; Jonathan Jova Marvel, FAIA, Rogers Marvel Architects; and Marion Weiss, FAIA, WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism.

AIA 2012 Convention Special: Emerging Professionals Take on the Future of the AIA

Future Now! Emerging Professionals convene at the Convention.

Courtesy AIA National Associates Committee

Despite delivering the sobering statistic that more than 60,000 positions have been lost since the recession, which is equivalent to 30% of architecture staff nationally, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, spoke about the promise of the future of the profession. Throughout this year’s convention, the most prominent theme for Emerging Professionals (EPs) focused on maintaining passion for the profession by taking on leadership roles, both at the AIA, as well as within firms and in local communities.

“People often confuse experience with leadership” was a statement repeated at several talks intended for EPs – the message being one does not need many years of experience to demonstrate the qualities of a leader. At the National Associates Committee Directors Roundtable discussion, James Cramer, Hon. AIA, commented that one of the leading struggles for EPs is attempting to understand how they can make themselves relevant. This question becomes more complicated with the expanding definition of practice and changing roles of architects. With the profession in flux and the AIA its Repositioning Architects and the AIA Initiative, EPs should look ahead at what opportunities these changes hold and take advantage of them now.

When the candidates for AIA National office spoke with EPs, there was a consensus that mentoring in both directions is a necessity to sustain the profession. Susan Chin, FAIA, 2013-14 AIA Vice President, commented that more “seasoned” professionals have much to learn from the way EPs collaborate. She asked that EPs think about how the AIA can support their interests, whether it is through funds for programs, ARE exams, and competitions, or by helping create a network of mentors. Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, 2014 AIA President, tasked EPs with being proactive about taking on leadership roles to achieve their goals. “Jump in and people will take notice and include you in their endeavors,” she said. With one of the largest turnouts of Associate members in recent history, it seems that EPs are taking the suggestion to heart.