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December 19, 2012
by Jill Lerner FAIA
Jill Lerner, FAIA, discusses her presidential theme “Global City/Global Practice.”Julie Trébault
Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, passes the gavel to Jill Lerner, FAIA.Julie Trébault

What follows are adapted remarks from the 2013 Inaugural.

Taking the helm of AIA New York is an honor, a challenge, and a responsibility. I stand on the shoulders of many great presidents who have come before, and am conscious of the great legacy of this, the founding Chapter, in particular. I thank my peers for selecting me, and my partners and family for supporting my efforts.

I would also like to recognize the incoming 2013 AIA New York Chapter Board. We had a lively retreat two weekends ago with an excellent exchange of ideas. I am excited to work with all of you. I would especially like to acknowledge 2013 President-Elect Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, co-founder of the Design for Risk and Recovery Committee, which will continue to be so central to the Chapter’s activities over the coming year.

Architecture is a great profession, and to be most effective, AIA New York must work at the intersection of design and urban policy. Next year will bring a mayoral election to our city, continued focus on the issues raised in the context of the post-Sandy paradigm, and the Center for Architecture’s 10th Anniversary celebration. The Center has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, expanding the visibility and the impact of both AIANY and the Foundation. Building on last year’s theme, we will continue our focus on younger members of the design profession.

As incoming Chapter president, I am pleased to announce “Global City/Global Practice” as the theme for 2013 programs. In today’s globalized economy, this is a remarkable moment in time to engage the design community in an international dialogue. We will bring together municipal officials, industry leaders, and design professionals to discuss relevant international issues as we prepare for the future, including issues of environmental disaster preparedness and lessons learned from around the world.

On Monday, December 10, we opened “Hong Kong at 15: Redefining the Public Realm,” which was followed by an engaging panel discussion between architects here and, via a live feed, architects working in Hong Kong arranged by AIA Hong Kong. This fall, we will open the exhibition “Practical Utopias: Asia’s Global Urbanism,” which will explore the design contributions of American architects in five growing Asian cities: Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, all centers of finance, culture, and education.

I hope to see you all here at the Center throughout 2013 to learn more about how the New York architectural community, long admired for creating tall buildings and vibrant neighborhoods, is playing a pivotal role in transforming urban centers abroad and bringing back lessons learned to our practices here in New York.

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