Inaugural Speech: 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA

2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA, and 2010 AIA National President George Miller, FAIA, before the program.

Sam Lahoz

2010 Architect as Leader
Looking back over the past year, I am proud and humbled by all that our board members and member volunteers have done to enhance our advocacy profile, increase our membership, and expand the professional services offered at the Center for Architecture.

The 2010 theme — “Architect as Leader” — examined how we as architects can lead: on projects, at our firms, and in our communities. We have always been considered thought leaders, but this year I wanted to focus on how we could be pro-active community leaders, bringing people together especially during these difficult economic times.

Along with a series of “Architect as Leader” programs throughout the year, in September we launched a professional development series, the “Architects Fast Track Leadership” program. While we targeted our young professionals for the series, I am pleased to report it has also attracted a more mature audience. This year we reached an even younger audience — students at my alma mater, Brooklyn Tech — through “Innovate:Integrate” programming. If you haven’t had a chance to enjoy “Innovate:Integrate,” my presidential theme show, it is on view until January 15, and we have one more related program, a conversation on January 5 with Chris Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

We’ve had so many great programs this year, it’s hard to pick out a few to highlight. Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch was here just a few weeks ago, delivering the annual Ratensky Lecture. Also, our Global Dialogues Committee held a comprehensive, two-day architectural summit on the architecture of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Earlier this fall, Danish urbanist Jan Gehl spoke to a standing room only crowd. And perhaps our most successful program this year was our architectural cruises, as featured in Vogue, the New York Times, and Time Out New York. We’re now circumnavigating Manhattan twice a week! While the 2010 season is almost over, I look forward to more tours in 2011. My thanks to AIANY Board Member Abby Suckle, FAIA, for her dedicated work on this project.


Inaugural Speech: 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

2011 AIANY President Margaret O. Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, receiving the gavel from 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA.

Sam Lahoz

President’s Theme: Design for a Change
In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lived in cities. That percentage will continue to grow, and by 2030 it is estimated that 60% of us will inhabit urban environments. Never has it been more important for architects, engineers, landscape architects, and urban planners to collaborate and address the issues of urban infrastructure and the built environment. Whether cities are in the industrialized world or in developing nations, it is critical that we look at our natural resources and the built environment in terms of economic, environmental, and social health. For these reasons, I have established the 2011 theme “Design for a Change.”

We’ll be exploring many facets of sustainable urbanization next year. We will continue our collaboration with UN Habitat and the UN Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, and bring global representatives to New York to share best practices and innovative ideas.

In the spring, we are mounting an exhibition entitled “Jugaad Urbanism,” which will highlight resourceful strategies for Indian cities. Set in the radically uneven urban landscapes of Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, India, “Jugaad Urbanism” will explore how the energy of citizens “making-do” is translated by architects, urban planners, and governmental entities into efficient and inventive strategies for sustainable urban growth.


(continued) Inaugural Speech: 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA

Healthy Cities
Our ongoing collaboration with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is growing. Together with the Department of Health and six other agencies including the NYC Department of Design and Construction, we created and helped publish the Active Design Guidelines, which grew out of Fit City 3 and 4. Fit City 5 was a huge success, and mark your calendars now for Fit City 6 on May 17.We also launched both the NYC Department of Transportation’s Street Design Manual, and the Inclusive Design Guidelines created by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Not Business As Usual
In 2009, we initiated the “Not Business As Usual” initiative in an effort to rally the architecture and design community during the economic downturn. Participants engage in bi-weekly free lunch programs focused on the series’ core topics: : job skills development, presentation skills development, and government advocacy. This year, we continued the program, with everything from NYSERDA energy code training to public speaking workshops. If you haven’t yet attended an “NBAU” lunch, please join us on December 15 for the next session: how to use the EPA’s Portfolio Manager and Target Finder program.

Visitors to the Center for Architecture this year viewed some of our most immersive and interactive exhibitions yet. I already mentioned “Innovate:Integrate — Building Better Together.” The highlight of the show is a full-size prototype of an energy-efficient curtain wall. Building a prototype like this is a first for the Center — thank you again to Sciame and our generous sponsors for making this possible. We hope to do more projects that demonstrate experimental design and construction technologies through cross-industry collaboration.

The Center installed another 19 exhibitions this year, most notably “Our Cities Ourselves,” an exhibition we developed in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development and Policy.

“MADE IN NEW YORK,” showcasing the work of AIANY members, was on public view at the West 4th Street subway station this October. The creative use of subway advertising space compelled tourists and straphangers alike to look over projects in the “galleries” on their way to the train. And, of course, we were all proud to see “ContextContrast: New Architecture in Historic Districts” installed at the AIA National Headquarters last spring.

Helfand Gallery Showcases
This year, the Margaret Helfand Gallery featured everything from a showcase of the 2,200-unit New Domino development by Rafael Viñoly Architects with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and Quennell Rothschild and Partners on the East River waterfront, to a handmade cedar sukkah by tinder.tinker. The storefront gallery rotates monthly with timely, relevant projects that have far-reaching impacts on NYC’s built environment. We will continue to generate public interest in important projects, as well as present in-depth information to the Center’s design community in this exciting — though compact — space. Tonight, we’re celebrating the soft opening of the most recent Helfand Spotlight, selections from AIA National’s Design for Decades initiative, the brainchild of AIA National President George Miller, FAIA.

New Members in 2010
At this time, I would like to welcome all 615 new members who joined the AIA New York Chapter in 2010. I hope that you’ve had the opportunity to participate in programs at the Center for Architecture. While this has been a difficult year for other AIA components, the influx of new members has offset a slightly lower retention rate so our overall membership has remained stable.

I would also like to recognize the 96 members who became newly registered architects this year. We expect many more associates to attain licensure as the fourth edition of our Architectural Registration Exam Boot Camp begins in January 2011. These popular programs, the Study Materials library and the spin-off self-guided study groups have been instrumental in aiding our young professionals.

ENYA Merit Award
Among those recently licensed, I’d like to congratulate Serena Chen, AIA, LEED AP, the recipient of the first annual ENYA Merit Award, a $1,500 prize that defrays the exam expenses.

The purpose of the ENYA Merit Award is to recognize the significant contributions of Emerging Architects to the AIA New York Chapter at an early stage of their career. As an Intern Architect, Serena was an active Associate AIA member involved in several AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) programs in addition to her involvement with The Nature Conservancy. Since achieving her license, Serena continues to contribute to the Chapter by creating and leading the Structural Systems ARE Boot Camp course.

Training Center
We opened the Ibex Training Center last fall, and continue to present very successful courses in REVIT Architecture and host study groups and lab hours in the space. I’m happy to say that our younger participants are using the training center, too. This summer and fall, the Center for Architecture Foundation hosted vacation and after school programs on digital design.

Geothermal Gallery
Speaking of spaces in the Center, have you been to the geothermal gallery lately? We installed a glass fire door so visitors can see the geothermal well in action, and plans are underway for a permanent geothermal gallery. Stay tuned for more news on the “geo-vater.”

Digital Initiatives
Most of our communication with you is now done online, and I would like to recognize some of the significant technology initiatives we have implemented this year. The re-launched is running smoothly with more functionality than ever. We have started recording on-demand Webinars, and are making our online directory more robust. We have joined with Naylor to publish OCULUS and roll out a new integrated media campaign. In 2011, you’ll be able to read the digital edition of our magazine. We’re building the Chapter’s online presence with Vimeo and Flickr accounts, and we’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and foursquare.

I’d also ask that you join us on the front lines. Under the guidance of Director for Legislative Affairs Margery Perlmutter, AIA, and our new Policy Director Jay Bond, we’ve taken our advocacy agenda to the next level.

Our agenda seeks to:
– Enhance and strengthen the leadership role of the Chapter with public policy issues concerning architecture, preservation, and urban planning.
– Foster broader involvement of the AIANY Board and membership.
– Advocate the interests of the architectural profession on issues of the built environment, professional regulation, education, and legislation.

With Jay’s 14 years of experience in city and state government, we have new energy and perspectives driving our work with agencies and representatives. We have lobbied in Washington and Albany, and met with local, state, and national leaders. We examined how all of the City agencies that affect the design and construction of buildings interface with one another. In that process, we reached out to the Charter Review Commission and Deputy Mayor for Operations to begin a discussion about how we could improve the effectiveness of these agencies’ efforts. Stay tuned for more updates on this important project. Ultimately, we want to make it better to practice in New York City.

2010-2015 Long Range Plan / “The Weave”

This enhanced advocacy agenda is part of the 2010-2015 Long Range Plan. I’m happy to say that we’ve made progress not only in advocacy, but also in outreach, professional development, and design excellence. Completing “The Weave,” an initiative of AIA National further honed our priorities and goals as a Chapter.

I am also happy to report that despite the rugged economy, the Chapter ended the year in a strong financial position thanks in large part to the fundraising efforts of the Board members and committees. We hosted two successful fundraising events, the Design Awards Luncheon and the Heritage Ball.

I want to recognize the entire staff of the Center for their dedication and great work over the past year. Day in and day out, I see your commitment, and I know that many long nights and weekends have been spent ensuring the success of the Chapter and the Institution.

2010 AIANY Board
I would also like to thank our Chapter leaders — the 2010 AIA Board and the chairs of our 25 Committees. Our committees have had exceptional programming this year. I applaud the New Practices Committee for another successful iteration of New Practices New York, and ENYA, for their first annual City of Dreams Pavilion on Governors Island and for the great High Bridge competition and exhibition. I thank the Professional Practice Committee for organizing the programs in support of Architect as Leader, and would like to congratulate the Committee on the Environment for their five-part Integration series with ASHRAE. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Global Dialogues Committee for their enthusiasm throughout the year. With programs like the Brazil World Cup architectural summit, you broaden our audience.

2011 Nominating Committee
The 2011 Nominating Committee has been elected. I am looking forward to working with Michael Arad, AIA, Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, Sara Elizabeth Caples, AIA, and Yvonne Yan Szeto, FAIA, on this committee, with staff support from Suzanne Mecs, now Honorary AIA New York State.

Thanks to all for your commitment to the Chapter.

(continued) Inaugural Speech: 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

Waterfront Initiative
As architects, our goal is to create a better place to live. Over the summer, the design communities of two “water cities,” New York and Amsterdam, will take on the challenge by addressing how we live on the water and how waterfront cities can think more comprehensively about quality of life issues. Together the Center for Architecture and ARCAM (the Amsterdam Achitectuur Centrum) will create an exhibition and cultural exchange, providing a glimpse into the future of what a sustainable, livable waterfront city might look like. We see major opportunities for Chapter committees and individual members to bring their expertise to this developing initiative.

Buildings = Energy

In October 2011, the year’s theme will culminate with a major exhibition, “Buildings = Energy.” Using full-scale installations, models, and interactive diagrams, “Buildings = Energy” will educate the public and design professionals about measures undertaken by architects, engineers, elected officials, and civic activists that aim to improve building performance and the environment. These include: energy code compliance, embodied energy analysis in resource selection, the benchmarking of buildings, use of renewable energy systems, methods of energy harvesting, and lifecycle cost and operations management. Through the presentation of these topics the exhibition will inform the public about critical choices made during the building process and provide a means and motivation for architects to design for a change.

2011 Inaugural Fund
All of these initiatives are possible because of contributions to the Inaugural Fund. In prior years the Inaugural Fund has supported major exhibitions such as “Going Public” in 2006 and “Architecture Inside/Out” in 2007; additional theme-related programs like last year’s Design Literacy for All conference; and unique projects like the Liquid Wall curtain wall prototype. We could never achieve the work we do at the Center without the generous support of the Inaugural Fund sponsors.

To date for 2011 we would like to acknowledge: Lead Sponsors: Arup and Buro Happold; Sponsor: Mechoshade; Supporters: Acheson Doyle Partners Architects, P.C.; the DeLaCour Family Foundation; KPF; and Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.; Friends: Brenda Levin; Capsys Corp.; Community Environmental Center, Inc.; Helpern Architects; Hugo S. Subotovsky A.I.A. Architects LLC; P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc.; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; and Viridian Energy & Environmental, LLC.

We thank everyone who has contributed in the past and we continue to seek funding for these great projects. Contact Jen Apple for more information.

2011 Outlook: Energy

As many of you know, AIA has launched a national campaign for carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. In NYC, we have begun and will continue to advocate for higher standards of energy efficiency. We won a NYSERDA grant to develop a curriculum on the 2010 Energy Conservation Code of New York State with the Urban Green Council, and conduct 80 course sessions over a 30-month period. These training sessions will take place at the Center and other locations around the city and state, and we look forward to partnering with other local AIA chapters to offer this important curriculum.

2011 AIANY Board
I would like to recognize the 2011 AIANY Chapter Board. I am excited to work with all you. I would especially like to acknowledge 2011 President-elect, Joe Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP.

I’m also looking forward to working with our committees. Our highly engaged program committees are poised to hold more programs than ever before in 2011, continuing an upward trajectory in the number, breadth, and depth of the Chapter’s programming.

The Architect’s Fast Track Leadership series will continue in the New Year with sessions on human resources, understanding clients, business development, and architectural law. New Practices will send an exhibition of its 2010 winners to São Paulo, and the Committee on the Environment is planning to adapt the AIA+2030 Professional Series, offering a 10-session course on designing for super-efficiency. We are excited to welcome the Design for Aging Committee to our ranks, and look forward to more programs joining the excellent roster already being presented by Architectural Dialogues, Architecture for Education, Architecture for Justice, Architecture for Hospitality, Banking and Finance, Building Codes, Building Enclosure Council, Cultural Facilities, Health Facilities, Historic Buildings, Housing, Interiors, Marketing and PR, Public Architecture, Technology, Transportation and Infrastructure, Women in Architecture, and the committees we’ve already mentioned. Also, I look forward to Oculus Committee-organized book talks in the New Year. Committee members, I’m looking forward to working with all of you.

2011 Overview
In the upcoming year, I’m looking forward to a resurgent economy, a stronger and greener Chapter recognized for its intellectual, practical, and imaginative leaders. Together we will set an example for cities across the state, country, and world. I look forward to working with all of you toward these goals.

Architects Take the Lead

Note: The following speech was presented at the 2010 AIA New York Board Inaugural that took place 12.08.09 at the Center for Architecture. Tony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA, is the 2010 AIANY President.

Past AIA New York presidential themes have celebrated the work that architects do. And that work, the final, finished project, is all that most of the general public knows of us. Now it’s time to celebrate and elevate the “complete” architect — the designer, planner, innovator, and leader. As we begin to emerge in 2010 from one of the worst recessions of our lifetime, architects will have the opportunity not just for more work, but for designing projects that will lead our industry, this city, and the nation on the road to recovery and growth. We will be asked to show the way in designing sustainable buildings, to help communities plan for a healthy and viable future, and to lend the full breadth of our knowledge and skill to policy decisions — local and global — in this increasingly interdependent and integrated world.

I have established as the 2010 theme “Architect as Leader.” We will explore the role of the architect in the leadership of projects and firms, in communities, and the political arena.

Through this theme, we will explore the following topics:
· Leadership in Sustainable Design will highlight the ways in which architects contribute to building a sustainable world. We are, after all, the designers of energy-efficient, cost-effective, smart buildings. The USGBC, LEED, Green Globes, and Energy Star — all the standards and rules in the world — are only pieces of paper until we interpret them and bring them to life. But our role goes far beyond design: it is our responsibility to teach people how to use sustainable buildings, how our buildings can be catalysts for sustainable communities, and how design and behavior are interdependent.

· Not Business as Usual will continue to provide the necessary resources and support to our members during the recession. Through the series we will enhance job skills, training, and provide new opportunities for professional development to all members of the design community.

· Leadership Training in partnership with a major university will explore methods and challenges of running a successful business today. Our architectural education does not include a thorough exploration and study of the business of architectural practice; it is expected that we will learn what we need through on-the-job experience. That may have been adequate in the past; today the world is far too complex for ad hoc, on-the-fly learning. We need a higher level of knowledge and skill, gained through a more formal, integrated education in the business of managing people — especially a younger, mobile, and more diverse generation of professionals — in developing and implementing a strategic business plan. We also must train for today’s challenges, like preparing for a smooth ownership transition, and maintaining a healthy practice no matter the economic conditions.


Architects Take the Lead (continued)

Our highly engaged program committees are poised to hold more programs than ever before in 2010, continuing an upward trajectory in the number, breadth, and depth of the Chapter’s committee programs.

Both the New Practices Committee and the Emerging NY Architects Committee (ENYA) are planning their biennial competitions. The New Practices Competition is back in New York after a brief stint in San Francisco, and will once again recognize exciting new firms in NYC, and ENYA’s biennial ideas competition will feature design proposals for High Bridge. A recently reinvigorated Marketing and PR Committee has also been very busy planning for 2010, and has more than a half-dozen programs on the horizon, the first of which will delve deeper into the topic of social media.

We will continue our relationship with the United Nations to broaden the perspective of urban experience through the third Conference on Sustainable Urbanization, and with the Department of Health to influence policy and practice around matters of health and physical activity in our fifth annual Fit City conference in May. On February 26th and 27th, the Center will showcase architectural selections from Art on Screen, featuring films from Montreal’s FIFA Film Festival. The Center for Architecture joins the Morgan Library & Museum and The New York Public Library as the newest venue for this annual festival.

In October 2010, the year’s theme will culminate with a major exhibition highlighting how architects, engineers, and contractors come together to build the structures and neighborhoods we design. The exhibition will include interactive elements that demonstrate the close collaboration of design and construction teams during the building process, from BIM to curtain wall erection and testing. Hands-on displays will teach young people about skills such as brick laying, pouring concrete, and setting studs.

In prior years the Inaugural Fund has supported major exhibitions including “Going Public” in 2006 and “Architecture Inside/Out” in 2007. Additional theme-related programs: for example, our annual Sustainable Urbanization Conference, and last year’s Greening the Iron Ribbon conference on regional transportation planning and development. We could never achieve the quality of advocacy and design excellence at the Center without the generous support of the Inaugural Fund sponsors. We thank everyone who has contributed in the past and we continue to seek funding for these great annual projects and other program initiatives.

As many of you know, AIA has launched a national campaign for carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. In New York, we have begun and will continue to advocate for higher standards of energy efficiency. But we need your help. Mayor Bloomberg’s Greater Greener Buildings plan, one of the nation’s biggest efforts to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings, is coming to a vote at City Council as soon as Wed, 12.09.09. Please call your city council member tomorrow morning in support of this landmark suite of bills.

The Chapter understands that, beyond advocacy, architects must understand changes in energy code regulations, and we have presented a number of technical training programs on the new codes. The Chapter’s Committee on the Environment, with the instrumental aid of President-Elect Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, has developed and implemented a number of Energy Code Training Sessions. Developed in cooperation with the Mayor’s Office, ASHRAE-NY, and the Urban Green Council, these sessions present successful — and sold out — courses on “what the design team needs to know” about energy code changes. Working with the Urban Green Council, the Chapter has just responded to an RFP from NYSERDA to jointly continue these workshops and expand them statewide.

I’m looking forward to a resurgent economy, a stronger and greener Chapter recognized for its intellectual, practical, and imaginative leaders, and creating an AIA New York City that unifies the chapters in all city boroughs in 2010. And I look forward to working with all of you toward these goals.

2009 Theme: Elevating Architecture / Design Literacy for All (Continued)

Our 150th anniversary exhibition, curated by Diane Lewis, AIA, examined the thesis that the formation of the AIA was tied to the realization that we needed a strong professional organization to partner with strong governmental institutions to demand better design to better people’s everyday lives. The design competition for Central Park was a part of that thinking. We are fortunate in NY to have had civic leadership that created the Art Commission, now the Public Design Commission, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, all with a mandate to provide our city with the finest environments for our varied population.

AIANY’s board and committees seek to continue to provide platforms for the profession and the city agencies to communicate and exchange ideas, as we have in the past years, especially with the Department of Buildings, the Department of Design and Construction, and the Department of Health, to name a few.

As architects, we need to stay on top of the latest trends in design, not only in architecture, but graphics, landscape, and engineering, and the Center for Architecture is a tremendous resource for our members and allied professions. In addition, an effort to broaden cooperation and partnership with the Architectural League of New York, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Van Alen Institute, and the Design Trust for Public Spaces will allow for greater access to the broadest thinking about the architectural world today.

The Center is also a great place to provide non-architects with information to help them make choices about their own neighborhoods. Our exhibitions, library, and Public Information Exchange act as doorways to ideas for the many communities throughout our city, and we will focus board and staff attention on making all more accessible.

Our schools need to be modern environments for learning, and it is important that we invest in the buildings and infrastructure that allow students to achieve the most that they can; but we also believe that that education should include a strong curriculum in the arts, and that integrating architecture is essential to learning about history, technology, mathematics, and art.

Our Center for Architecture Foundation’s programs in Learning by Design:NY and Family Days@theCenter can be a unique introduction to the built environment and how it gets constructed, and we look forward to supporting the Foundation in its programs.

2009 Outlook
The gloomy forecast for our profession and allied industries requires the AIANY board of directors to constantly monitor our offerings. This year, the executive committee will rise to the challenges in the following ways:

First, our members: as AIANY Executive Director Rick Bill, FAIA, mentioned, we will be starting programs here at the Center for architects and interns who are looking for employment. In addition, our member services committee, led by AIANY Secretary Abby Suckle, FAIA, LEED AP, will announce a variety of programs this year designed to increase those eligible for licensure, and to support all of us in our efforts to maintain our presence in the profession (Editor’s Note: See Architecture Community Comes Together: Advocacy, Volunteerism, Expertise to read about the Not Business As Usual forums).

Second, our board and committee chairs will undergo a careful update of our long-range plan, and that effort will be led by First Vice President / President-elect Anthony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA. Our long-range plan and subsequent business plan were last reviewed and implemented five years ago, and the Chapter and the Center have grown up a bit; the need to take stock, and look at the relationship to the national AIA’s strategic plan is critical to our organization’s efficient use of your membership investment.

Our budgets will be monitored closely this year to ensure that your member dues are spent wisely and well. This activity will be led by Treasurer Kenneth Ricci, FAIA, and I have asked that we update our budgets on shorter time frames so that we can respond quickly to any drastic changes in our economic outlook.

The committees, the lifeblood of the chapter, will continue to meet, present panels, and organize exhibitions around specific building types and interest areas. The three vice presidents, Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, for Public Outreach, Illya Azaroff, AIA, for Design Excellence, and Joseph Aliota, AIA, LEED AP, for Professional Development, will provide the board with updates and leadership for each of these interest areas.

These officers are the leaders of the Chapter, develop our policy positions for outside comment, and deserve a round of applause for their commitment to the profession.

The other members of the Board of Directors provide connections to the non-AIA world; they represent the profession to academia, related professions, the state board and the general public, and are the people that bring the Center for Architecture to a world outside the profession, and that world back to the AIA. They will be bringing new opportunities to increase our audiences through these connections.

And last but not least, the AIANY and Center for Architecture staff members, led by Rick Bell and Managing Director Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP, are always on the lookout for new ideas and programs that can be discussed at the Center. Rick’s initiatives to keep the AIANY Chapter on the national and global stages are done with energy and creativity, and deserve our thanks; Cynthia’s intelligence and managerial expertise are put to the test everyday in running the Center, from the geo-thermal system to the allocation of spaces for events, as she supervises the best staff of people dedicated to bringing architecture to life in as many ways as possible.

We architects have a special responsibility to the public and patrons that use and commission our work. This Center is our means of communication to those groups, and it is our work this year to expand our partnerships to reach greater audiences to the benefit of all. To serve you as President of the AIANY Chapter is a huge responsibility, and one that I intend to rise to — the need to elevate architecture by increasing design literacy will lead to inspirational architecture for all.

President’s Message: 2008 Theme Architecture: Designs for Living

I am extremely honored to serve as AIANY President at a time when its influence is at an all time high thanks to the phenomenal success of our Center for Architecture. I hope to bring the same level of energy to the Chapter that I brought to our Housing Committee programs. The 2008 Board of Directors is filled with leaders experienced in serving on our committees, teaching, and developing programs and exhibitions. Our committees are energized as never before. Their collective vision truly reflects the AIA as a member-driven organization.

The 2008 theme — Architecture: Designs for Living — is envisioned as a “big tent,” to include the broad range of building typologies that shape our communities and urban design that defines our city. The theme incorporates and expands on themes by my immediate predecessors: Bringing Cultures Together (Susan Chin, FAIA, 2005); Architecture as Public Policy (Mark Strauss, FAIA, AICP, 2006); and Architecture Inside/Out (Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, 2007). As Joan’s Inside/Out focuses on the interiors of buildings, Designs for Living continues the progression from buildings to community. It is meant to appeal to the widest audience of architects, industry, and friends of architecture. The theme is also a response to Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives for PlaNYC 2030, which anticipates the need for sustainable growth to accommodate one million new residents.

An important goal is to enhance the Center as both a local and international forum for architecture and urban design. Increasingly we are part of an emerging global community, from our own city to emerging regions around the world. As architects, we belong to an extended family represented by the AIA with over 80,000 members — from urban chapters like our own to many others like the AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where I grew up, but each committed to a vision of design excellence for a sustainable future. The 2008 theme and programs support building partnerships to achieve that vision.

A monthly Public Lecture Series at the Center will showcase current design directions that will form the “building blocks” for new growth envisioned by PlaNYC. Our 12 committees that focus on design will present the series, starting with Educational Facilities on January 22.

A Global Dialogues series forms partnerships that will place the AIA in support of emerging initiatives that will affect future growth. A United Nations Conference on Sustainable Urban Design that will share PlaNYC initiatives with global cities is planned during Earth Week in April. In September, a Northeast Megaregion Conference with the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, the Regional Plan Association, and AIA chapters from Boston to Washington, DC, will explore the role of new development linked to high-speed transit. Programs with the Swiss Consulate and NYU’s Maison Française will share design directions in a larger cultural context in the fall. And presentations on global cities and projects by AIANY architects working abroad will continue throughout the year.

Nine major exhibitions at the Center, beginning with Building China: Five Projects, Five Stories opening February 26, include showcases of sustainable design, design awards, emerging practices, architectural schools, and conclude with the Designs for Living theme exhibition. Our Design Awards Program will be enriched by the addition of Biennial Building Type Awards co-sponsored with the Boston Society of Architects. The goal is to promote design excellence and innovation in schools, sustainable and urban design, housing, and other facilities that form the fabric of our communities.

We wish to thank the many sponsors of the 2008 Inaugural Theme Fund. We could never achieve the quality of advocacy and design excellence at the Center without your generous support.

I look forward to seeing each of you at upcoming Center events, the Design Awards Luncheon on April 30, and the Heritage Ball on October 30. Please contact me at any time at, as I welcome your comments.