by Camila Schaulson Frenz
At the AIANY 2016 Board Inaugural, Chapter members and supporters celebrated the achievements of 2015 and looked forward to what’s to come. Interim Executive Director David Burney, FAIA, thanked current board members and volunteers, acknowledging their contributions to the oldest and largest chapter of the AIA in the nation. With a slideshow of 2015 events and programs in the background, Burney also outlined some of the Chapter and Center’s biggest achievements of the year in relation to AIANY’s three-pronged mission of advocacy, design excellence, and public outreach.
Then, AIANY 2015 President Tomas Rossant, AIA, took the stage. He thanked Burney for serving the Chapter so willingly and brilliantly before presenting an “incendiary proposal to the profession.” Rossant invited the architects in the room to question what lies ahead and engage more fully in raising the general public’s design IQ. “I don’t think there’s a smarter architecture community or a better architecture community to be a part of,” he said, “and we can still do more.” Center for Architecture President Tom Krizmanic, AIA, further elaborated on the need for architects to reach the general public, noting that, last year alone, the Center reached more than 4,000 children through numerous education programs.
Rossant also introduced AIANY and the Center for Architecture’s incoming Executive Director, Ben Prosky, who made his first public appearance at the Center. Prosky expressed his excitement at meeting and working with everyone involved in making AIANY and the Center for Architecture vibrant institutions.
Finally, Rossant passed the gavel to AIANY 2016 President Carol Loewenson, FAIA, LEED AP. She thanked the 2016 Board for their commitment to the Chapter, and noted her desire to enhance AIANY’s membership, advocacy, and outreach. She also presented the AIANY 2016 Presidential Theme, “Authenticy and Innovation.” Authenticity – the historical, cultural, and social essence of the built environment – is what gives people a sense of continuity and a connection to the past. Innovation speaks to the future and to creativity, not only in terms of the buildings themselves, but of the activities fostered in and around them. During 2016, AIANY will use New York City to reflect upon these issues, and to think about how authenticity and innovation together create the foundation for great architecture and great cities.
We are excited to see what will come in the New Year, as the Center for Architecture looks forward to its own future and that of the profession.