December 8, 2010
by Anthony Schirripa FAIA IIDA 2010 AIANY President

(Continued from above)
Healthy Cities
Our ongoing collaboration with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is growing. Together with the Department of Health and six other agencies including the NYC Department of Design and Construction, we created and helped publish the Active Design Guidelines, which grew out of Fit City 3 and 4. Fit City 5 was a huge success, and mark your calendars now for Fit City 6 on May 17.We also launched both the NYC Department of Transportation’s Street Design Manual, and the Inclusive Design Guidelines created by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Not Business As Usual
In 2009, we initiated the “Not Business As Usual” initiative in an effort to rally the architecture and design community during the economic downturn. Participants engage in bi-weekly free lunch programs focused on the series’ core topics: : job skills development, presentation skills development, and government advocacy. This year, we continued the program, with everything from NYSERDA energy code training to public speaking workshops. If you haven’t yet attended an “NBAU” lunch, please join us on December 15 for the next session: how to use the EPA’s Portfolio Manager and Target Finder program.

Visitors to the Center for Architecture this year viewed some of our most immersive and interactive exhibitions yet. I already mentioned “Innovate:Integrate — Building Better Together.” The highlight of the show is a full-size prototype of an energy-efficient curtain wall. Building a prototype like this is a first for the Center — thank you again to Sciame and our generous sponsors for making this possible. We hope to do more projects that demonstrate experimental design and construction technologies through cross-industry collaboration.

The Center installed another 19 exhibitions this year, most notably “Our Cities Ourselves,” an exhibition we developed in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development and Policy.

“MADE IN NEW YORK,” showcasing the work of AIANY members, was on public view at the West 4th Street subway station this October. The creative use of subway advertising space compelled tourists and straphangers alike to look over projects in the “galleries” on their way to the train. And, of course, we were all proud to see “ContextContrast: New Architecture in Historic Districts” installed at the AIA National Headquarters last spring.

Helfand Gallery Showcases
This year, the Margaret Helfand Gallery featured everything from a showcase of the 2,200-unit New Domino development by Rafael Viñoly Architects with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and Quennell Rothschild and Partners on the East River waterfront, to a handmade cedar sukkah by tinder.tinker. The storefront gallery rotates monthly with timely, relevant projects that have far-reaching impacts on NYC’s built environment. We will continue to generate public interest in important projects, as well as present in-depth information to the Center’s design community in this exciting — though compact — space. Tonight, we’re celebrating the soft opening of the most recent Helfand Spotlight, selections from AIA National’s Design for Decades initiative, the brainchild of AIA National President George Miller, FAIA.

New Members in 2010
At this time, I would like to welcome all 615 new members who joined the AIA New York Chapter in 2010. I hope that you’ve had the opportunity to participate in programs at the Center for Architecture. While this has been a difficult year for other AIA components, the influx of new members has offset a slightly lower retention rate so our overall membership has remained stable.

I would also like to recognize the 96 members who became newly registered architects this year. We expect many more associates to attain licensure as the fourth edition of our Architectural Registration Exam Boot Camp begins in January 2011. These popular programs, the Study Materials library and the spin-off self-guided study groups have been instrumental in aiding our young professionals.

ENYA Merit Award
Among those recently licensed, I’d like to congratulate Serena Chen, AIA, LEED AP, the recipient of the first annual ENYA Merit Award, a $1,500 prize that defrays the exam expenses.

The purpose of the ENYA Merit Award is to recognize the significant contributions of Emerging Architects to the AIA New York Chapter at an early stage of their career. As an Intern Architect, Serena was an active Associate AIA member involved in several AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) programs in addition to her involvement with The Nature Conservancy. Since achieving her license, Serena continues to contribute to the Chapter by creating and leading the Structural Systems ARE Boot Camp course.

Training Center
We opened the Ibex Training Center last fall, and continue to present very successful courses in REVIT Architecture and host study groups and lab hours in the space. I’m happy to say that our younger participants are using the training center, too. This summer and fall, the Center for Architecture Foundation hosted vacation and after school programs on digital design.

Geothermal Gallery
Speaking of spaces in the Center, have you been to the geothermal gallery lately? We installed a glass fire door so visitors can see the geothermal well in action, and plans are underway for a permanent geothermal gallery. Stay tuned for more news on the “geo-vater.”

Digital Initiatives
Most of our communication with you is now done online, and I would like to recognize some of the significant technology initiatives we have implemented this year. The re-launched is running smoothly with more functionality than ever. We have started recording on-demand Webinars, and are making our online directory more robust. We have joined with Naylor to publish OCULUS and roll out a new integrated media campaign. In 2011, you’ll be able to read the digital edition of our magazine. We’re building the Chapter’s online presence with Vimeo and Flickr accounts, and we’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and foursquare.

I’d also ask that you join us on the front lines. Under the guidance of Director for Legislative Affairs Margery Perlmutter, AIA, and our new Policy Director Jay Bond, we’ve taken our advocacy agenda to the next level.

Our agenda seeks to:
– Enhance and strengthen the leadership role of the Chapter with public policy issues concerning architecture, preservation, and urban planning.
– Foster broader involvement of the AIANY Board and membership.
– Advocate the interests of the architectural profession on issues of the built environment, professional regulation, education, and legislation.

With Jay’s 14 years of experience in city and state government, we have new energy and perspectives driving our work with agencies and representatives. We have lobbied in Washington and Albany, and met with local, state, and national leaders. We examined how all of the City agencies that affect the design and construction of buildings interface with one another. In that process, we reached out to the Charter Review Commission and Deputy Mayor for Operations to begin a discussion about how we could improve the effectiveness of these agencies’ efforts. Stay tuned for more updates on this important project. Ultimately, we want to make it better to practice in New York City.

2010-2015 Long Range Plan / “The Weave”

This enhanced advocacy agenda is part of the 2010-2015 Long Range Plan. I’m happy to say that we’ve made progress not only in advocacy, but also in outreach, professional development, and design excellence. Completing “The Weave,” an initiative of AIA National further honed our priorities and goals as a Chapter.

I am also happy to report that despite the rugged economy, the Chapter ended the year in a strong financial position thanks in large part to the fundraising efforts of the Board members and committees. We hosted two successful fundraising events, the Design Awards Luncheon and the Heritage Ball.

I want to recognize the entire staff of the Center for their dedication and great work over the past year. Day in and day out, I see your commitment, and I know that many long nights and weekends have been spent ensuring the success of the Chapter and the Institution.

2010 AIANY Board
I would also like to thank our Chapter leaders — the 2010 AIA Board and the chairs of our 25 Committees. Our committees have had exceptional programming this year. I applaud the New Practices Committee for another successful iteration of New Practices New York, and ENYA, for their first annual City of Dreams Pavilion on Governors Island and for the great High Bridge competition and exhibition. I thank the Professional Practice Committee for organizing the programs in support of Architect as Leader, and would like to congratulate the Committee on the Environment for their five-part Integration series with ASHRAE. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Global Dialogues Committee for their enthusiasm throughout the year. With programs like the Brazil World Cup architectural summit, you broaden our audience.

2011 Nominating Committee
The 2011 Nominating Committee has been elected. I am looking forward to working with Michael Arad, AIA, Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, Sara Elizabeth Caples, AIA, and Yvonne Yan Szeto, FAIA, on this committee, with staff support from Suzanne Mecs, now Honorary AIA New York State.

Thanks to all for your commitment to the Chapter.


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