by: AIA New York
Through exemplary leadership, service, and advocacy, Joseph Aliotta, FAIA, LEED AP, principal at Perkins Eastman, empowers emerging young professionals, advances the profession through mentorship, and builds connections with broader industry associations─resulting in greater growth, visibility, and effectiveness of the profession. Aliotta’s mission to engage young professionals in the future of the field has galvanized component and national leaders to develop similar programs in cities around the country.
The national impact of Aliotta’s commitment to the profession is also seen very visibly in his work with the ACE Mentor Program, advancing the architecture field in two key ways: firstly, through increased matriculation by ACE alumni into post-secondary architecture programs─in 2012, 21.5% of ACE high school students entered these programs─and secondly, through increasing diversity in the design and construction industry’s future workforce─in 2012, the diversity of ACE students outpaced the national average for first-year architecture majors. Finally, the ACE national program and its affiliates have earned numerous national, state, and local honors, including the AIA Collaborative Achievement Award.
Aliotta has also prioritized advocacy, assembling broad coalitions that promote public policy positions held by component and national AIA. Programs that he developed while AIANY president form a template for others in the State Government Network to deploy in their own communities, solidifying his national impact in advancing the profession.
Q: What is your proudest achievement as an architect, or your favorite project you’ve worked on?
A: The destruction of the headquarters for the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was among the devastation from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I was the original project architect of the devastated facility. We immediately embarked on the site selection and design of their new headquarters, one that would continue to move NYC forward and demonstrate that the City was at the forefront of emergency management planning. As a born-and-bred New Yorker, this project is my proudest achievement.
Q: What is your earliest memory of experiencing architecture?
A: Growing up in New York City, I had the opportunity to experience its range of incredible architecture. My uncle was passionate about art, and I accompanied him to many of the city’s museums. It is difficult to pinpoint just one, but would have to say experiencing the Guggenheim was most memorable.
Q: What is influencing your work the most right now?
A: I am influenced by the designers I work with daily at Perkins Eastman. The work they are generating is truly exciting and thoughtful.
Q: What are you working on right now, or what is your next big project?
A: Leading the government practice at Perkins Eastman, I work on a number of challenging projects and studies for city, state, and federal agencies. Confidential but currently in the news quite a bit, I’m working on a high-level study that will result in a significant sea change to public policy.
Q: What does being a Fellow mean to you?
A: It is humbling to join the accomplished architects elevated to the College of Fellows. I truly believe in the purpose and mission of the College of Fellows “to advance the profession of architecture, mentor young architects, and be of ever-increasing service to society.” I will continue to strive to fulfill its mission.