The arrival of spring naturally turns our attention to renewal, rebirth, and engagement, and we can feel the energy in the city as the days lengthen and the sky brightens. This year, the season heralds some important developments at the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture.
First, a full three years after the pandemic forced us to close our doors on LaGuardia Place, we are roaring back with a packed schedule of exciting events, stimulating lectures and talks, and community-building committee meetings and other offerings. It’s once again normal to see a full Tafel Hall on weekday evenings, school groups learning in our spaces during the day, and visitors from all over the world enjoying our exhibitions on Saturday afternoons. Next, on the policy and advocacy front, the reemergence of vibrant life in New York City post-pandemic has brought many exciting and challenging public issues to the forefront. AIANY has been working to place our members and the greater architecture and design community at the center of the most urgent policy conversations, particularly around housing, public space, and the city’s plans for a more sustainable future. This has meant working with coalition partners to support and influence housing plans coming out of Albany and pushing the city to reimagine and prioritize public space—and, indeed, this spring we celebrate the appointment of our first-ever chief public realm officer, Ya-Ting Liu. We are also collaborating with city agencies on procurement reform, making Local Law 97 work, and many other issues.
And, finally, we are embracing this period of transition after saying goodbye to our executive director of seven years, Ben Prosky, Assoc. AIA. I am privileged to be serving as interim executive director this year, as the AIANY and Center boards engage in deep strategic work concerning the direction and goals of both organizations. That work will continue for the next year, while we also launch a search for our next leader. In the meantime, our dedicated staff are doing more than ever to advocate for our members, deliver top-notch programming, and communicate to a constantly growing audience about the value of architecture and design in their lives and in the life of the city.