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  • March 17, 2021

    The chapter is currently interviewing for the open co-chair positions for the newly relaunched AIANY Architecture for Justice committee. The March meeting has been canceled but we look forward to resuming meetings in April.

  • February 25, 2021

    AIA New York is seeking applications for co-chairs for the organization’s new justice-focused committee. Coming out of the chapter’s “Open Forum: Architecture for Justice” event on January 25 (see notes from the event in topic’s post below), the newly launched committee will develop programming and advocacy to explore how architecture and architects can effect broader social justice goals. Issues to be explored include restorative justice, design justice, racial equity, unconscious bias, healing, jails, social justice, and ethics.

    The committee co-chairs will coordinate meetings and facilitate member-driven initiatives that offer a place to exchange ideas and address topics of interest while also planning public panels on related topics. We strongly encourage members who are interested in the intersection of justice and architecture to participate in the committee and consider stepping into these leadership roles.

    Interested AIA members can apply by sending a copy of their CV and a 250-word cover letter outlining their interest in the committee, why they feel suited to lead it, and in what direction they hope to take it, to Joseph Corbin, Please specify “Justice Co-Chair” in the subject line. The deadline for applying is 5:00 pm on Monday, March 1.

  • February 22, 2021
    Output from the word-cloud exercise: "What topics would you like to see this committee cover?"

    On January 25, AIA New York held an open meeting inviting members and individuals across the community to engage in a broad discussion on the future focus of the chapter’s Architecture for Justice Committee. The event drew over 100 participants who voiced their concern over the profession’s role in the criminal justice system and identified next steps following a year of turmoil brought on by the pandemic and a heightened understanding of the systemic injustices in our country.

    Courtney Bryan, Executive Director of the Center for Court Innovation, provided an overview of the work of her organization, its research initiatives, and the reform movements that have been shaping justice conversations over the past 15 years. Following the event, Bryan provided a list of readings and resources for those who wish to further explore topics related to justice reform and racial justice.

    Bryan’s remarks were followed by two group brainstorming exercises The first activity generated a word cloud based around the question: “Which topics would you like to see this committee cover?” Items that rose to the largest font included restorative justice, design justice, racial equity, jails, healing, kindness, social justice, and unconscious bias.  As architects, we understand that a primary role of design is shaping spaces to embody and promote justice. As such, the second exercise asked: , “What spaces are part of a justice system, or should be?”  The final outputs for each of the two exercises can be viewed here.

    The meeting on February 22, will delve into initiatives the committee might undertake to address the topics raised and spend time considering who else needs join the conversation to have broad stakeholder participation. In March, we expect to engage with the committee mission statement and name. In the meantime, the call for applications for co-chairs is open to anyone interested in steering these efforts.

  • December 16, 2020

    In September 2020, AIA New York’s Board of Directors adopted a position statement to decrease the architecture profession’s involvement in the design of criminal justice facilities under the current system. Among the action items outlined in the statement was the re-envisioning of the AIANY Architecture for Justice Committee, “to increase focus on large-scale justice issues and reduce the current emphasis on the design of criminal justice facilities.” The newly launched committee will develop programming and advocacy to help mitigate the intrinsic racism within the American criminal justice system, with a particular focus on exploring architecture’s role in oppression. We anticipate that the committee’s efforts will support and advocate for the creation of new systems, processes, and typologies based on prison reform, alternatives to imprisonment, and restorative justice.

    We invite all those interested to join the dialogue and participate in the formation of the new Architecture for Justice Committee, regardless of their experience with the criminal justice system. Please join us for our Open Forum on Monday, January 25, 6-7:30 PM ET to discuss the committee’s new direction. If you cannot attend or have additional questions about the relaunch, please email

    More information will follow in the coming months; please stay tuned for further updates.

  • December 13, 2017

    New York City is at a pivotal moment, with the opportunity to change its approach to correctional facilities. There is consensus among the community, stakeholders, and political bodies that the Rikers Island Jail complex is a jail of the past and not appropriate for today’s changing jail population and criminal justice philosophy. With growing support to close Rikers Island, the future of NYC jails must encompass a holistic and humane approach to the larger justice system in order to accommodate the current and future inmate population with a focus on best practices and modern, state-of-the-art justice facilities.

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