January 27, 2009
by Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP

(Continued from above)

Apart from these three principle concepts, five other ideas were elaborated. There was enthusiasm for more competitions at the Center, including those following the models of the Emerging NY Architects (ENYA) Committee’s international ideas competitions, and the second New Housing New York “Legacy Project” competition, which involved partnering with a public agency that controlled a site allowing for the eventuality of construction of the winning proposal. Also presented was the idea that additional technical assistance team charrettes for both urban design and sustainability should be welcomed, either through AIA National and its Design for Communities efforts, or locally, as was done through AIANY’s Planning & Urban Design committee for 23rd Street. Advocacy for more involvement in a variety of issues having to do with health care, the aging population, and accessibility were discussed. While the Center’s Fit City program recognizes the policy implications of the connection between design and chronic diseases prevention, more can be done to make our sidewalks and neighborhoods safer for those with limited mobility.

Changes in credential requirements were discussed in regard to such areas as substitute teaching. Investigation of current NYC Department of Education standards, and what might be revised to encourage unemployed architects to find temporary employment in the public school system is needed. Easing reciprocity of architectural licensure in other states was also discussed along with the need for further discussion with NCARB on the impact of a changing economy. Finally, it was agreed that any efforts that promote the design community’s involvement in sustainable initiatives would be useful.

Volunteer Opportunities
By Jaime Endreny, Executive Director, Center for Architecture Foundation Executive Director and Suzanne Mecs, Director of Membership, AIANY

The discussion centered on current Center for Architecture Foundation programs and opportunities for volunteerism and more limited paid opportunities.

New programming ideas include:
· Organized building tours coordinated by volunteers.
· Resource development to connect with other community groups like Architecture for Humanity and community boards.
· Invite community board members to the Center so they may help architects understand their communities’ needs. “Ask an Architect” day or program could help make the connection.
· Provide counsel and architectural help about housing issues.
· Examine business models and frameworks and recommend adjustments.
· Individuals could become mentors. The Chapter has launched a Mentor-Match program, which is currently seeking volunteers. Contact mentoring@aiany.org for more information.
· Coordinate with other volunteer community groups and link opportunities online.
· Coordinate a panel on how people have survived other recessions.
· Explore how volunteer work may feed into AIA continuing education requirements.
· Share the Learning by Design:NY curriculum with the public.

Presentation and Marketing Skills
By James McCullar, FAIA, 2008 AIANY President

Greg Silk of API Partners and Dana Byrne of RMJM North America led a discussion on the importance of communication, grooming, and portfolio presentation skills. Recommendations included: setting up portfolio and marketing training programs; developing a database on building types (i.e., health facilities) and areas less affected by the recession; joining AIANY committees to develop organizational and speaking skills; participating in reading clubs, or starting an architectural reading group, to hone speaking skills.

The current downturn offers opportunities to develop skills that will be critical in the future:

Registration. Professional registration will be extremely important when the economy revives. AIANY and the Emerging NY Architects committee have organized ARE courses beginning in February offering reduced charges for members.

LEED Certification. The USBGC will be a leader in President Obama’s green energy programs and the revival of the economy where LEED certification will be important.

Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is viewed as an equally important skill set to develop. It was recommended that the Chapter initiate a training program.

Continuing Education. Continuing to develop knowledge in both design and other fields will provide new opportunities.

Building Social Capital. Volunteering to serve on Community Boards, Habitat for Humanity, and other civic organizations to share experience, develop skills, and network.

Sharing Experiences. Older architects have experienced previous recessions and found ways to adapt, such as working in related fields like construction, the arts, and community organizations.

Training Programs
By Ken D’Amato, IMAGINiT Technologies

The discussion led by Paul Seletsky, Assoc. AIA, senior manager of digital design technologies at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, focused on ways to help the profession re-tool toward BIM and LEED during the economic downturn. He would like to set up a new service where contributors create BIM models of federal buildings with the aid of government funding.

There is a continued need for learning and a group should bring together evangelists for continuing technical learning. BIM should be as up-front in the industry as LEED has been. In fact, the USGBC is interested in integrating green initiatives into BIM modeling technology. We have an opportunity to implement this now. Also, the AIA is pushing for its new Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Standards. This group could push the standards through with the BIM process.

Virtual Communication
By Abby Suckle, FAIA, LEED AP, AIANY Secretary, and Diana Darling, founder and publisher of The Architect’s Newspaper

A new website, Exchange Place, will be set up to include free postings of jobs, resumes, available space, and volunteer opportunities. The website will launch in a few weeks, but in the meantime, AIANY is posting important dates and information at http://www.aiany.org/notbusinessasusual. A set of paper files for resources is now located in the Center for Architecture’s Common Room, as well.


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