by: AIA New York
Editors Note: The Honors and Awards Luncheon is now taking place virtually on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Please join us!
AIA New York is preparing to celebrate the honorees of its 15th annual Honors and Awards Luncheon. The networking lunch and awards program celebrates design excellence in New York City by honoring the recipients of the AIA New York Design Awards and of AIA New York’s three major annual awards: the Medal of Honor, Award of Merit, and Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award. In addition to fêting the winners, the event serves as an important fundraiser for AIA New York and its ongoing mission to show that design and the city’s built environment matter.
At this year’s event, the chapter will honor Alexandra Lange with the Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award; Snøhetta with the Medal of Honor; and Gregory Wessner, Hon. AIANY, Executive Director, Open House New York, with the Award of Merit. Get to know the honorees below!
Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award: Alexandra Lange
Alexandra Lange is the architecture critic for Curbed. Her writing has appeared in dozens of design magazines and blogs, as well as at The Atlantic, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. Her latest book, The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids, was published by Bloomsbury USA in 2018. She has also written a popular book on criticism, Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. She was a 2014 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and won a 2019 Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from the AIGA. She is now working on a new book on the history and future of the shopping mall.
Medal of Honor: Snøhetta
Snøhetta began with, and continues to embody, a belief that we can accomplish more if we do it together. No singular discipline or viewpoint is enough to meet the complexities and demands that the built environment requires for societies to thrive. For over thirty years, their transdisciplinary approach has manifested in work that ranges from the reconstruction of Times Square to the Oslo Opera House; from the Willamette Falls Riverwalk to Calgary Central Library; and from dollhouses and beehives to numerous high-ambition, sustainable designs.
The practice places personal and social experience at the center of their design process. Their work engages the senses and physicality of the body, fosters social interaction, and promotes both individual and collective empowerment in the built environment. Snøhetta is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Aga Khan Award, Mies van der Rohe Award, and the European Prize for Public Space. With seven studios globally, the practice integrates architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, graphics, branding, and product design into memorable and inclusive environments around the world.
Award of Merit: Gregory Wessner, Hon. AIANY
Gregory Wessner has served as Executive Director of Open House New York since 2013. In that position, he has spearheaded an expanded schedule of programs and activities that has broadened the audience for architecture culture in New York City and deepened public engagement around the design and planning issues that are shaping the city’s future. Prior to Open House New York, Wessner worked at the Architectural League of New York for nearly two decades, where he served in a variety positions including Exhibitions Director. He also served as Chief Administrator at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts and the alternative art space White Columns.
Wessner is an Honorary Member of AIA New York and is a board member of the Association of Architecture Organizations. He was recognized by the Guides Association of New York in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City. Wessner did doctoral research in architectural history at the City University of New York and completed undergraduate studies in Art History at Rutgers University.