All architects know that this industry is a team sport – the questions are more often about who is on your team, who is on the other team, and how apparently adversarial relationships and goals might be managed to create joint missions and effective collaborations instead.
The 2016 AIA New York State Saratoga Design Conference (09.29-10.01.16) provided an important array of programming that highlighted the importance of collaboration. Educational sessions included technical presentations in the “Spec Academy” and a host of projects from around the world. General sessions focused on how firms can collaborate to reach their goals. These featured Kai-Uwe Bergmann, AIA, of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group; Darko Hrelajanovic, AIA, of STV; Craig Metro of Ford Motor Company; Kashyap Bhimjiani, Assoc. AIA, of Gensler; and Paulo Faria of Grimshaw.
Julia McFadden, AIA, and Jay Brotman, AIA, of Svigals + Partners, shifted the lens onto community and clients, highlighting their processes of engagement for the planning and design of the new school in Sandy Hook, CT. They reminded audience members to be present, to listen, and to guide participants in translating themes to design solutions. Similar issues, as well as the need to live in the process, recurred in the presentations of a variety of city-scale projects in Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Troy.
Throughout the conference, the following members were recognized for their career achievements and contributions to the profession:
Honorary Membership: Judith Bergtraum, Hon. AIA NYS
James William Kideney Gold Medal: David Burney, FAIA
Student Award: Makenzie Leukart, Assoc. AIA
Matthew W. Del Gaudio Service Award: Raymond Beeler, AIA, and Sherida Paulsen, FAIA
President’s Award: Bruce S. Fowle, FAIA, LEED AP
Firm of the Year Award: WXY architecture + urban design
The Frederic Schwartz Community Development Award: Design Trust for Public Space
Fellows Award: Burton L. Roslyn, FAIA, and John R. Sorrenti, FAIA
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Award: Robert Eisenstat, AIA
Henry Hobson Richardson Award: Peter T. Flynn, AIA
Intern – Associate Award: Ruben Ramales, Assoc. AIA, and David Flecha, Assoc. AIA
People’s Choice Award: Phinney Design Group for the Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
In alignment with the theme, many collaboratively-designed projects were recognized at the annual the 2016 Design Awards Dinner. Visit the AIA NYS website for details, and images, and design teams for the winning projects (a great number are AIANY members!).
Connecting the event to the future, comments by two honorees in particular stood out. In her acceptance speech, Sherida Paulsen, FAIA, noted, “I encourage all of you to get out there, to volunteer, to join community boards and civic organizations; it is fun as well as service.” To put that fun in perspective, Bruce Fowle, FAIA, provided something of a challenge to the profession: “My greatest hope is that my so-called ‘non-traditional accomplishments’ in sustainability and care of other beings on the planet will be considered mainstream.”
To help lead these efforts, the following people were elected to AIA New York State Executive Committee Positions for 2017:
Robert E. Stark, AIA, President
Kirk Narburgh, AIA, President-Elect
Joseph Aliotta, AIA, Vice President of Government Advocacy
Paul McDonnell, AIA, Vice President of Public Advocacy
Kellie Hayes, McAlonie, FAIA, AIA Strategic Council
Josette Matthew, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director
Joseph Ortiz, AIA, Student Director