AIANY Announces 2020 Presidential Theme at Board Inaugural: Charting NYC 2020

December 11, 2019

New York City, December 11, 2019 – On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the AIA New York welcomed its 2020 Board of Directors at the Board Inaugural. Incoming 2020 President Kim Yao, AIA, discussed her presidential theme, “Charting NYC 2020,” which invites members and professionals to map a course for the future.


After accepting the gavel from AIANY 2019 President Hayes Slade, AIA, and thanking former Chapter presidents for their leadership, guidance, and support, Yao outlined the goals of her presidential theme for 2020. To Yao, this moment, as the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, provides an opportunity for AIA New York to pause, look back, and reflect. As we enter a decade defined by extremes, with accelerating ecological, economic, and political crises, Yao invited members and professionals to face these challenges together. A key component of this work will be assessing progress made – or not made – since 2000, encouraging architects to look back in order to look forward.

Yao’s theme will be engaged through diverse programming over the course of the year, including a major fall exhibition developed in partnership with MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab. Exhibition content development will kick off in early 2020 by gathering input and ideas for research directly from AIANY’s membership. With this information, the Chapter will identify a handful of issues that directly impact our built environment and the policies that define it, to be explored over the course of the year. The issues presented in the exhibition will then be developed into a clear policy platform to be used in communication with future public officials, in particular during the 2021 elections.

“Can we reconcile the development boom of the past decade with the reality of widening economic inequality and looming environmental crisis?” asked Yao. “How can our understanding of the built environment intersect with knowledge about the socioeconomic realities of New Yorkers?”


The inaugural also served as an opportunity to recognize members of the architecture and design community for their local and regional contributions. 2020 AIA New York State President Joseph Aliotta, FAIA, recognized AIANY members on behalf of AIA New York State, while AIANY’s Vice Presidents honored the Chapter’s program committees with Vice Presidential Citations for contributions in each of AIANY’s mission areas: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.

AIA New York State Awards
Firm of the Year Award: Lewis. Tsurumaki.Lewis
Frederic Schwartz Community Development Award: AIANY 2019 Day of Service
President’s Award: Carol Loewenson, FAIA, Mitchell Giurgola
James William Kideney Gold Medal: F. Eric Goshow, FAIA, Goshow Architects; Peter Arsenault, FAIA, LEED AP, AIA Central New York Chapter President

AIANY Vice Presidential Citations
Citation for Design Excellence: AIANY Interiors Committee for “Karen Braitmayer: A Profile in Accessible Practice” lecture on accessible, inclusive interiors.
AIANY Citation for Public Outreach: AIANY Historic Buildings Committee and AIANY Committee on the Environment for the cross-committee collaborations behind “How Low Can We Go – Historic Preservation and Carbon Reduction” panel
AIANY Citation for Professional Development: AIANY Women in Architecture Committee for their year-long programming in support of building equitable practices

The American Institute of Architects New York 2020 Board of Directors

Kim Yao, AIA

Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA
First Vice President / President-Elect

Daniel Wood, FAIA
Vice President for Design Excellence

Andrea Lamberti, AIA, NCARB
Vice President for Professional Development

Matthew Bremer, AIA
Vice President for Public Outreach

Scott Briggs, AIA

Katherine Chia, FAIA

Karen Fairbanks

Rocco Giannetti, FAIA, LEED AP ID+C

Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP

David Leven, FAIA

Pascale Sablan, AIA

Gregory Switzer, AIA

Richard Yancey, FAIA, LEED AP

Ayodele Yusuf, Assoc. AIA
Director, Associate Member Affairs

Fiona Cousins, PE
Public Director

Claudia Herasme
Public Director

Marc Heiman
Public Director

Andrea Monfried
Public Director, Oculus Advisor

Regina Myer
Public Director

Emily Abruzzo
Public Director

Luis Munoz
Student Director

Hayes Slade, AIA
Immediate Past President

Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA
Executive Director

About Kim Yao, AIA
Kim Yao, AIA, is principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a 24-person firm based in New York City. The firm’s diverse project portfolio, spanning strategic planning, architecture and urban design, solves seemingly intractable problems with apparent ease, always with an effort to have the greatest aesthetic impact using the fewest natural and financial resources.

Yao holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from Columbia College of Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and has also taught at Parsons School of Design and Barnard College (2001-2011).

About AIA New York
Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter’s members include 5,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.


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