by Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP
Event: 2007 AIANYS Convention: The Past As Prologue
Location: Grand Hyatt, NYC, 10.04-06.07
Speakers: Keynote Luncheon: Raymond Rhinehart, Ph.D., Hon. AIA — Senior Director, AIA
Organizers: AIA New York State
Keynote Sponsors: Design Insurance Agency; Victor O. Schinnerer & Company; Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.; Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Ever since 13 architects decided to form the AIA in 1857, the role and perception of architects has fluctuated, from glorified genius to unnecessary niche artist. Now this year’s AIA New York State Convention theme, The Past As Prologue, inspired keynote luncheon speaker Raymond Rhinehart, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, senior director at AIA National, to title his speech, “Professional, City, World, or Mission Impossible?”
The world is in a state that requires architects to re-imagine and redefine their profession, Rhinehart argues. Referencing images of John Milton’s Paradise Lost’s earth hanging from heaven by a string and environmental activist David Suzuki’s earth as a basketball wrapped in Saran Wrap, Rhinehart calls architects “agents of life” in a time where social, environmental, and political climates are at a breaking point. To heal the world, architects must join together on a global scale. Architects need to design for human contact as well as to preserve the environment — seamlessly linking human life and nature. Sustainability has to go beyond “green.”