March 9, 2010
by Linda G. Miller

Event: Design Awards Winners Announcement and Jury Symposium
Location: Center for Architecture, 03.01.10
Speakers: Design Awards Jurors: Architecture: Stanley Saitowitz; Gilles Saucier; Julie Snow, FAIA; Interiors: Brian MacKay Lyons, Hon. FAIA; Glenn Pushelberg; Brigitte Shim, Hon. FAIA; Unbuilt Work: Craig Hodgetts, FAIA; Quinyun Ma; Karen Van Lengen, FAIA; Urban Design: Maurice Cox; Teddy Cruz; Julie Eizenberg, AIA
Moderator: William Menking — Editor-in-Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper
Organizer: AIANY
Sponsors: Chair’s Circle: F+P Architects New York; Patrons: Mancini Duffy; Studio Daniel Libeskind; Trespa; Lead Sponsors: A.E. Greyson + Company; Dagher Engineering; FXFOWLE Architects; Gensler; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; JFK&M Consulting Group; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; MechoShade Systems, Inc.; New York University; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Syska Hennessy Group; Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC; VJ Associates


Courtesy AIANY

“We want the world to appreciate New York architecture and New York architects,” said 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA, as he introduced the Design Awards Symposium. “The design that comes out of New York is important, and the Design Awards celebrate the great work of architects, planners, clients, and consultants who are inspired by and constantly inspiring our great city.”

As in previous years, the Design Awards received well over 400 entries in four categories — Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design, and Unbuilt Work, with Architecture receiving the lion’s share with close to 200 submissions.

There were two “firsts” in this year’s Design Awards Competition. For the first time submissions were filed online saving the jurors from sifting through boxes of paperwork. And, there were separate categories for Urban Design and Unbuilt Work, which in the past had been grouped together under the ubiquitous Projects category.

Despite the efficiency of working online, the jury for Unbuilt projects was the last to finish deliberations. Eleven projects won Merit Awards. Why the difficulty? The jurors explained that it is difficult to compare the projects because of the diversity of typologies and scale. Each winner received an award based on its own merits. According to Karen Van Lengen, FAIA, “what we’re looking for are projects that could influence the communities they’re in.”

After a full day of deliberations, the jurors’ symposium revealed some of the drama behind the decisions. What began as a discussion of various projects, turned into a more heated debate about the role of architects, particularly as they interact with community groups. Case in point: the High Line, which was the only project to garner an Honor Award in the Urban Design category. The project was called a “perfect storm of clients, architects, and politicians” by urban planner Maurice Cox, noting that the design itself was award-winning, but the story of community involvement in its creation heightened its success to the level of an Honor Award. Julie Eizenberg, AIA, countered that perhaps community activism “is a different award.”

More opportunities to learn about this year’s winners are on the calendar including: the Design Awards Luncheon on 04.14.10; the Design Awards Exhibition, which opens on 04.15.10; the Winners’ Symposia, scheduled for 04.27.10 and 06.17.10; and the Summer/Design Awards Issue of OCULUS.

For the full list of winners and projects, see Names in the News

Linda G. Miller is a NYC-based freelance writer and publicist, and a contributing editor to e-Oculus and OCULUS.


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