July 7, 2021
by AIA New York

On June 23, 2021, AIA New York hosted its 154th Annual Meeting, during which members elected 2022 leadership and made amendments to the chapter’s bylaws. The event also served as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of 2021, and as a moment to make a call to action for members to continue to work together to ensure that we build an equitable and just future. At the event, Chapter leadership also conferred awards on members of the architecture and design community who have made important contributions to the city and the profession.

New Leadership

The Annual Meeting began with a presentation by 2021 AIANY President Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA, that focused on the achievements of 2021, especially with regards to his presidential theme, REFLECTION/INFLECTION. Lewis called on New York City’s design community to see this moment as a point of inflection for the city and the profession, encouraging them to continue to work together to ensure a fair and equitable built environment. “As architects, we must build healthier spaces for all people before the next pandemic once again brings into stark contrast the inequalities in our communities,” said Lewis. “We must learn our history and take a stand against the injustices our predecessors helped build. And we must break down existing racial and gender barriers and elevate these voices further.”

After Board Treasurer Katherine Chia, FAIA, discussed the financial health of the chapter, she turned over the podium to Board Secretary Scott W. Briggs, AIA, who presented the work of the AIANY Nominating Committee in creating the 2022 slate and reviewing AIANY’s bylaws to better serve the membership. Present members voted in favor of the first amendment, a housekeeping change to adjust the composition of the Chapter’s 23-member Board of Directors to include a minimum of 17 members of the Chapter. The second amendment, to adjust the composition of the Fellows Committee from six members who are Fellows of the Institute to six members, the majority of whom were Fellows of the Institute, was postponed, with members suggesting it was necessary to explore whether this was the correct path to increasing diversity in the College of Fellows. Present members also confirmed the committee’s slate.

AIANY Chapter Recognition

The Annual Meeting also served as an opportunity to recognize members of the architecture and design community for their local and regional contributions to the chapter and the profession. This year, the AIANY Honors Committee completed an evaluation of the Chapter’s existing awards, with the aim of highlighting their legitimacy while decoupling the notion of design excellence from dated conceptions of the lone architect. As such, going forward, all previously named awards have been renamed to better reflect the Chapter’s goals. The committee also established a new form of recognition, the New Perspectives Award, which celebrates individuals and/or collectives who take unique, critical positions that contribute to a broader understanding of architecture.

Service to the Institute Award (formerly Harry B. Rutkins Award): Clare Miflin, Founder, Center for Zero Waste Design; Co-chair, AIANY Committee on the Environment
Public Architect Award: Michael Friedlander, In-house Architect, NYC Department of Sanitation
Leadership in Housing Award (formerly Andrew J. Thomas Award): Victor Body-Lawson, AIA, Principal, Body Lawson Associates
Service to the City Award (formerly George S. Lewis Award): Sreoshy Banerjea, Assistant Vice President Urban Design, NYC Economic Development Corporation
New Perspectives Award: Black Reconstruction Collective
Special Citation: NYC Open Streets Program
Special Citation: Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex)
Special Citation: Dark Matter University

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