AIA New York Announces the Founding of Two New Program Committees

February 19, 2016

New York, NY, February 19, 2016 – The AIA New York Chapter is pleased to announce the founding of the Social Science and Architecture Committee and the Science and Research Facilities Committee.

The committees of AIA New York are the foundations from which the Chapter positions itself in the field of architecture, whether through discussion, advocacy, policy making and development, event and exhibition planning, or other endeavors. The Committees initiate the majority of the programs held at the Center for Architecture, and are the main avenue for direct involvement with AIANY. Throughout 2016, the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee and the AIANY Science and Research Facilities committees will develop programming and engage with AIANY members on topics relevant to their focus. Both committees will engage with New York City as the site of cutting-edge research, and will expand the dialogue of the architectural community by forging new partnerships across disciplines. The work of both committees will also connect to AIANY 2016 President Carol Loewenson, FAIA’s, theme, “Authenticity and Innovation.”

AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee
The AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee focuses on initiating dialogue between architecture and the broad disciplines of social science, including sociology, physiology, ergonomics, geography, anthropology, cognitive and neurosciences, and psychology. The committee will convene sessions that are meaningful to the profession and map new ground for novel collaborations with practitioners and researchers in the social sciences.

Recent interdisciplinary partnerships between social science and architecture have introduced innovative research approaches and tools that have the potential to transform how we understand and shape the built environment. For centuries, architecture has been closely allied with the physical sciences, but other types of collaborations are necessary to broaden architecture’s ability to address societal needs. Today, with the maturation of information technology, there is increasing demand among our ranks to use human factors data and social science research to inform decision making. Inspired by the outcry for greater attention to social science’s impact on architecture, the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee co-founders, Melissa Marsh, Assoc. AIA, Founder and CEO of PLASTARC, and Evie Klein, Assoc. AIA, architect, planner, and doctoral student in Environmental Psychology at CUNY, define this collaboration as “critical and necessary to the current state of the architectural profession, its practitioners, and the public at large.”

AIANY Science and Research Facilities Committee
The AIANY Science and Research Facilities Committee is a forum for discussion of and advocacy for science and research facilities (S&R) in the New York metro area. The committee, which provides resources to AIANY members involved in the planning and design of S&R facilities, will bring professionals and key players in the ownership, planning, and design of these facilities together to share their expertise with members.

Designing cutting-edge facilities is critical to drawing science and research talent to New York City. The city presents unique advantages to scientists, including its world-class medical centers, the diverse and energetic lifestyles of its inhabitants, access to financing opportunities, a skilled labor force, and a burgeoning high-tech industry. However, New York City’s high cost of living, high rents, site limitations, and zoning restrictions are challenges with respect to its competitors. The AIANY Science and Research Facilities Committee will liaise with the Health Facilities, Building Code, and other related committees and will establish ties with the New York Bio, New York Genome and other research centers in the city. Best practices will be identified through tours of facilities.

“This is a challenging time for science & research facilities in the city. A critical mass is beginning to coalesce as distinct clusters of research activity emerge—we want AIANY to be a catalyst for bringing together affected parties, both public and private, to illuminate and discuss critical issues of space, costs, and regulations in this dynamic environment,” said Hank Abernathy, AIA; Paul Drago, AIA; and James Berge, AIA, co-chairs of the committee.


Program Cubed: Shaping Our Intentions, Our Experiences, and Our Buildings
Tuesday, February 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 pm

Organized by: AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee
Mike Lydon, Principal, Street Plans
Anastasia Brown, Community Manager, NYC coworking facility
Melissa Marsh, Assoc. AIA, Founder and CEO, PLASTARC (moderator)

Seeding Science in New York City: SUNY Downstate Incubator and BioBAT
Tuesday, March 1, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Organized by: AIANY Science & Research Facilities Committee
Eva Cramer, PhD, Distinguished Service Professor of Cell Biology, Vice President for Biotechnology and Scientific Affairs; President, Downstate Technology Center, Inc. and BioBAT, Inc., SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Incubator
Kathleen Otto, Executive Director, BioBAT, Inc.
Leslie Whatley, Executive Director, START-UP NY
Michael Lamprecht, Research Scientist, Epibone, Inc.


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