Former director of AIANY Rick Bell to join New York City's Department of Design & Construction

Rick Bell on the Brooklyn Bridge. (Zoë Seibel)

Rick Bell on the Brooklyn Bridge. (Zoë Seibel)

After his sudden departure from his post as executive director of the AIA New York and the Center for Architecture in late March, Rick Bell is joining the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), according to a recent report by Crains.

Bell, who helmed the two organizations for over a decade, will return to the public sector where he previously served as the chief architect and assistant commissioner at the DDC. His position at the agency has yet to be revealed.

In a strange turn of events, à la musical chairs, David Burney, who is an associate professor of planning at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, stepped into Bell’s former role as the interim executive director in April after leading the DDC as commissioner from 2004 until 2014.

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