August 10, 2022
by cschaulsohn
Wood shed structure with tables on a street
The task force was integral in the creation of the Design Corps, an initiative to help restaurants comply with changing outdoor dining guidelines. Show here is Pro Thai's outdoor dining shed, which was designed with help from the Design Corps. Image: Courtesy of Design Corps.
AIA New York Unified Task Force. Photo: AIA New York.
AIA New York Unified Task Force. Photo: AIA New York.
The task force joined a network of architecture firms that printed and distributed PPE. Photo: Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
The task force joined a network of architecture firms that printed and distributed PPE. Photo: Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.
Four men in face masks gather around a presentation screen
The task force was divided into several working groups, including a Disaster Assistance Handbook group. Photo: Courtesy of AIA New York.

The AIA New York Unified Task Force City and State, a collaboration between AIA New York and AIA New York State, has been awarded a 2022 Power of A Gold Award by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), which promotes awareness of innovative, results-oriented initiatives while showcasing how associations help advance the industries and professions they represent.

The AIA New York Unified Task Force City and State was an initiative assembled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of the task force demonstrates how architects and other AIA chapters can leverage design to address a wide range of issues and create multifaceted response strategies.

AIA New York and AIA New York State members assembled the task force in the early days of the pandemic, after a group of architects worked through the night to identify buildings to alleviate the strain on the state’s overwhelmed hospitals. After addressing this immediate need, the task force set about responding to the pandemic’s wide-ranging and immensely disruptive effects. A networked and diffuse effort, the task force was comprised of roughly 30 members spread across several working groups. Rather than focus on a single issue, the task force remained flexible; as the pandemic landscape shifted, some working groups were sunset while new ones were formed.

Some of the task force’s most significant efforts include joining a network for 3D printing PPE, creating graphic advisories for HVAC improvements, developing a disaster assistance handbook, and helping to form the Design Corps to provide assistance to restaurants struggling to comply with outdoor dining guidelines. The group also built inroads with several branches of government, prompting new relationships that allow AIANY and AIANYS to advance broader advocacy and policy goals.

We congratulate our members on their hard work and dedication to solving the world’s most challenging issues through design.

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