Posts tagged with "Center for Architecture":

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FBI files, a missing MoMA house, and the life of modernist architect Gregory Ain

On show now at the Center for Architecture (CFA) in New York is an exhibition on the late architect Gregory Ain. Titled This Future Has a Past, the show looks at Ain's life while focusing on his Exhibition House for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Garden, a project that mysteriously disappeared. Guiding audiences through Ain's personal life, This Future Has a Past attempts to shed light on the house's curious history. Ain practiced mostly around Los Angeles and his style comes under the umbrella of midcentury modernism. He even taught the likes of Frank Gehry. However, as Phillip Denny points out in his New York Times article, not much else is known about the architect, especially by those outside L.A. Unless you are the F.B.I., that is. Ain, who died in 1988 at the age of 80, was a Leftist and his political stance meant he was under scrutiny during the Red Scare. This happened after a housing complex (which never came to fruition) appeared on the F.B.I.'s radar; it was rumored the scheme was connected to the Communist Party. In 1950, Philip Johnson, who the F.B.I. was also monitoring due to his supposed connections to the Nazi Party, commissioned Ain to design a house for the MoMA to stand as an exhibit in its garden. The house was the second of its kind. Marcel Breuer, also commissioned by Johnson, had controversially supplied the previous MoMA Garden house in 1949. Mysteriously, however, Ain's house appears to have gone missing, with little clues as to its whereabouts. Breuer's house and the house that came after it, the Japanese House by Junzo Yoshimura, meanwhile, still survive having been relocated elsewhere. Christiane Robbins, founding principal at Metropolitan Architectural Practice (MAP) and professor of architecture at California College of the Arts, created the CFA exhibition with Katherine Lambert, who is principal and director of special projects at MAP. The pair's interest was piqued when the photographer Julius Schulman mentioned Ain's mysterious past. “He said there was a story there that wasn’t getting told,” Lambert told the New York Times. “But he wouldn’t tell us what it was.”

The exhibition at the CFA includes a model of Ain's MoMA house. The model had turned up at architect Theodore "The Dean of Models" Conrad's house in New Jersey. In addition to this, F.B.I. files procured by Robbins after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request are also on display. The files disclose oddly specific details on Ain, such as his weight and also his alias, Fred Grant.

Despite the unearthed files, Ain's house is yet to be found. “To put all of that money into the exhibition house only to demolish it doesn’t make sense,” said Robbins.

This Future Has a Past is presented in cooperation with Anyspace. The exhibition was initially intended for the 15th International Venice Biennale of Architecture but is on show at the CFA until September 12, 2017. A special talk, "Who was Gregory Ain?" is planned for September 7. More details on that can be found here.

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From futuristic mall to hellish jail: New AIANY exhibit delves into the history of Venezuela’s “El Helicoide”

AIA New York’s Center for Architecture opens its newest exhibit, El Helicoide: From Mall to Prison, on May 9. The exhibit, curated by Celeste Olalquiaga of PROYECTO HELICOIDE, examines the development and subsequent collapse of the El Heliocoide drive-in mall in Caracas, Venezuela. The building was designed in the late 1950s by architect Romero Gutierrez as a representation of the utopian hopes of a booming Venezuela and quickly became an icon of modern architecture. The spiraling mall caps La Roca Tarpeya hill, which overlooks Caracas, and is topped with a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. The project went from being the star of MoMA’s 1961 show Roads to an abandoned home of more than 10,000 squatters after facing several financial roadblocks and a series of political upheavals. In 1985 the abandoned building was adopted by the Venezuelan intelligence services and has since been a place of imprisonment and surveillance. “El Helicoide’s failure and turbulent history are symptomatic of what went wrong with modern Venezuela,” said Olalquiaga in a press release. “By showing the building’s patrimonial and cultural value, PROYECTO HELICOIDE seeks to highlight the country’s outstanding modern heritage in all its contradictory complexity.” A book about the project’s history, From Mall to Prison: El Helicoide’s Downward Spiral, will be released in conjunction with the exhibit. An opening reception with the curator will be held on May 9 and the exhibition will be open through July 13. For more information, you can visit the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture event page here.
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Work by designers of color celebrated in a new exhibition at the Center for Architecture

Say It Loud: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA | NOMA celebrates the creative work of black architects across the U.S. The exhibition is being held at the Center for Architecture (CFA) in Manhattan and runs through April 1 of this year. Roughly 2,090 licensed architects across the United States are African American, accounting for two percent of the profession. "Moreover, the achievements of these individuals are seldom recognized," said the CFA in a press release. Say it Loud will focus on African American accomplishments in design across New York and the rest of the country. Work from 20 designers including Harlem-based architect Roberta Washington; Mark Gardner, a principal at Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects; and Yolande Daniels, co-founding principal at studioSUMO, will be on display. Student work from NYC students too will be shown along with projects that won the Jumaane Omar Stewart Award and Diversity in the School of Architecture Award. The exhibit is a product of a coalition between the New York Coalition of Black Architects (NYCOBA) and The New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). FXFOWLE are also supporting the exhibition. Further details can be found here.
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New book on the diverse roles of architects launches tomorrow at the AIANY Center for Architecture

A new book Architect d.b.a. focuses on the various roles architects assume in a world that demands specialization. The book begins by assuming that architecture is a profession and discourse based on a broad multidisciplinary foundation. It asks forty different architects and people associated with the field (including this journalist) to comment on the roles they assume under the rubric of ‘architect.’ The book explores each of these roles independently and then together in a concluding essay by Nader Tehrani as a way of defining the inclusionary shape of the profession today. This Thursday, December 15th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm there will be a launch of this new book at the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place.
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Center for Architecture announces “Building of the Day” tours for Archtober

The Center for Architecture in New York City is organizing Building of the Day tours throughout the month of October as part of their yearly Archtober programming. Also known as Architecture and Design Month, the sixth annual edition of Archtober will feature a range of exhibitions, conferences, films, lectures, and more. The Building of the Day is a daily architect-led tour of a New York City building, starting with the Samsung 837 event space in the Meatpacking district. Tickets are now available at the Archtober website. Here is a complete schedule of tours: Oct. 1 Samsung 837 Morris Adjmi Architects; Interiors by Gensler 887 Washington Street, New York, NY 100142 Oct. 2 The Lowline Raad Studio 140 Essex Street, New York 100023 Oct. 3 Ocean Breeze Track and Fieldhouse Sage and Coombe Architects 625 Father Capodanno Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 103054 Oct. 4 David Zwirner Gallery Selldorf Architects 537 West 20th Street, New York, NY 100115 Oct. 5 Turnstyle Architecture Outfit Columbus Circle subway station, New York, NY, 100236 Oct. 6 New York State Pavilion Philip Johnson (1964) Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY 113557 Oct. 7 Metro Pictures Gallery 1100 Architect 519 West 24th Street, New York, NY 100118 Oct. 8 Weeksville Heritage Center Caples Jefferson Architects 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 112139 Oct. 9 Bronx Historic Post Office Studio V Architecture 558 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 1045110 Oct. 10 Schermerhorn Row Original Architect Unknown 12 Fulton Street, New York, NY 100381 Oct. 11 Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed Dattner Architects with WXY architecture + urban design 500 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
Oct. 12 Horizon Media A+I 75 Varick Street, New York, NY 1001313 Oct. 13 New York Public Library – 53rd Street Branch TEN Arquitectos 20 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 1001914 Oct. 14 St. Ann’s Warehouse Marvel Architects 45 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 112011
Oct. 14 - 16 Open House New York Weekend Oct. 17 Pivot Architecture Workshop 201 West 16th Street, New York, 1001118 Oct. 18 Edible School Yard at PS 7, East Harlem WORKac 160 East 120th Street, New York, NY 1003519 Oct. 19 St. Patrick’s Cathedral James Renwick, Jr. (1910); Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects 625 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 1002220 Oct. 20 CRS Studio Clouds Architecture Office 123 4th Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 1000321 Oct. 21 Museum of the City of New York Joseph H. Freedlander (1932); Ennead Architects (2015) 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 1002922 Oct. 22 Industry City William Higginson (1906) 220 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 1123223 Oct. 23 Lever House Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 1002224 Oct. 24 520 West 28th Street Zaha Hadid 520 West 28th Street, New York, NY 1000125 Oct. 25 Met Bueuer Marcel Breuer (1966); Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (2016) 945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 1002126 Oct. 26 Gould Memorial Library, Bronx Community College Stanford White 2155 University Avenue, Bronx, NY 1045327 Oct. 27 Knowledge Center, Columbia University Mitchell | Giurgola Architects 701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 1003228 Oct. 28 Hudson Yards Various architects Oct. 29 Japan Society Gruzen & Partners 333 West 47th Street, New York, NY 1001730 Oct. 30 The Battery Quennell Rothschild & Partners Battery Park, New York, NY 10004 Oct. 31 Pacific Park: 461 Dean Street SHoP Architects 461 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217  
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Cynthia Kracauer steps down as Center For Architecture managing director

Cynthia Kracauer, managing director of the Center for Architecture since 2006, has left the organization. The person most responsible for shepherding the successful Archtober program has—according to a spokesperson—decided to leave and “pursue different options.” Kate Mullen, who works in the AIA’s exhibition department, will now be the Archtober lead. The new Executive Director of the AIA New York Chapter Benjamin Prosky will assume, at least temporarily, some of Kracauer’s responsibilities.
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Walter Hunt, driving force in Gensler and AIA NY, passes away

Our architectural community became a little smaller this week. Sadly one of our members, Walter Alexander Hunt, Jr. FAIA died on May 27th 2016. He had a long and prolific career and intersected with many of us in different ways and at different points in our lives. To Gensler he was the consummate team player who joined the firm in its early days in San Francisco and became instrumental in transforming it from a small interiors practice into one of the leading and largest architectural firms in the world. During the course of his 38-year career, he hopscotched around the country setting up offices first in Denver in 1978 and then in New York in 1985 with Margot Grant. By the time he retired in 2012, he was the Managing Director of the Northeast Region and Vice-Chair of the firm. By all accounts he was incredibly successful. He was exceptionally skilled at giving life to large complicated projects. In 2009, for instance, he led the team of 9 architectural firms that completed the 16 million square foot MGM Mirage City Center in Las Vegas, still the largest private development in the US and the largest LEED development in the world. His most recent project was probably the Msheireb Downtown Doha, a 76.6 acre development in an historic neighborhood that incorporated traditional design features with smart grid technology and is on track to be the largest LEED certified community when completed. Any architectural office needs a dedicated staff of talented and motivated people to do the work and make it cohesive. Walter played a strong role in forging the entrepreneurial culture that became Gensler’s hallmark. After a couple of years at Gensler he decided to pursue a passion for industrial design and quit his job. He stayed in touch, decided the small firm he was at wasn’t for him, and was invited back. He felt that the experience caused him to grow and develop as an architect and made him so much more committed and more valuable to Gensler. Business journals have written a lot about the ‘boomerang’ as a way of motivating employees; Gensler institutionalized and celebrated the practice. Others often cite Gensler as a model and quote Walter. To the AIA he was a former Chapter President, Center for Architecture Foundation President, and member of the NY State AIA Board. Without Walter, there would probably be no Center for Architecture. When the local chapter occupied a couple of donated desks in a borrowed office on the 6th floor the Interior Design Building in the late 90’s, Walter helped conceive of a storefront to promote design and architecture in New York and served as co-chair of the Capital Campaign. They raised $6 million ensuring that the Center would become a leading and permanent cultural institution in New York. Inspired by the vibrancy in New York, more than 20 architecture centers sprouted around the country. Walter was highly committed to the next generation and educating both the practitioners and the public about design. He mentored young (and middle-aged) architects and funded more than a few organizations he felt would make a difference such as the ONE@@Time Foundation which provides pro bono design services to non profits. He also established multiple scholarships for architecture students both through the AIA and Yale, his alma mater. Yale tapped him for the Alumni Committee and the Dean’s Council. He even served on the Advisory Board of cultureNOW and helped shape its programming, its internships, and its mission to make the built environment accessible. Everyone who had the opportunity to collaborate with him would talk about his commitment, generosity, support, leadership, mentoring, and enthusiasm. Not only did he give advice, but he participated in the programs. He received many awards including the AIANY Chapter’s President’s Award and the Harry B. Rutkins Award, as well as the AIA NY State’s James William Kideney Gold Medal. Gensler established its ‘One Firm Firm’ Award in his honor. This is quite a testament to an extraordinary career. Our hearts go out to his wife Judy, his companion through life, and his family who will miss him more than we will.
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Q+A> Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, New York City Department of Design & Construction

On March 9, New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and Chief Architect Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo unveiled guiding principles for the revamped capital construction program, Design and Construction Excellence 2.0, at the Center for Architecture. AN spoke with Commissioner Peña-Mora about Build it Back, revitalizing neighborhoods through civic projects, great architecture within budgets, and how small firms can partner with the DDC. The Architect's Newspaper: In his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio cited three neighborhoods—Brownsville/Ocean Hill, the South Bronx, and Far Rockaway—for targeted revitalizations. Through the Design Excellence Program, the DDC has major civic projects in design or under construction in all of those neighborhoods. What is the DDC's role in facilitating neighborhood transformation? Commissioner Peña-Mora: In the Chief Architect's office, we have this inter-client conversation where we look at how the different projects in a neighborhood can support each other. For example, in Brownsville, we have quite a few: [There's] Rescue 2, by Jeanne Gang, but we also have some library projects, we have some plazas. We wanted to really talk about how each one of these projects can support what is happening in the others and help the whole neighborhood. We're looking at a neighborhood approach, those are some of the conversations that we're having. The issue is that each agency (City Planning, NYC DOT) looks for funding for their own projects, but since we're actually doing the same neighborhood for all those agencies, we can see the whole map of all the projects and how to integrate them. Many of the projects commissioned under the Design and Construction Excellence program are inventive, beautiful buildings from high-profile architects. Critics have noted, though, that these projects often run far over budget and behind schedule. What is the ideal balance between cost-effectiveness and beauty in civic architecture and public spaces? I do not subscribe to the thought that because a building is beautiful [it is] more expensive. I think there are a lot of factors that play into the cost of a project. Sometimes the scope changes, or the duration of the market; some of those projects, when the scope changes, they have to be stopped while we get more funding. Sometimes, those project have gone through the fiscal recession, and when you restart those projects, [Agencies] have to say, "Okay. At that time I was thinking I wanted to do this, and now I'm thinking that I want to do that." Each project is unique, and each cost overrun and late project has its own story, and I wouldn't say that's because these are beautiful projects, or that they're done by a [famous] architect. I would say that they're not necessarily correlated, but again, I haven't done all the research for it. Let's talk about Build it Back. So far, over 1,200 rebuilds have been completed. What's next for the program? Right now, part of our portfolio are three different segments: HPD is doing one group, we are doing one, and "choose your own contractor" is another group. We have around 1,700 homes that we have to elevate, reconstruct, or rebuild. Mayor de Blasio has asked us to finish the program by the end of this year. Right now, 95 to 99 percent of our homes are in design, and we hope that we are going to start the construction phase in the summer to be completed at the end of the fall. What is so important about the Build it Back program, you know, is a lot of people talk about the houses, but I like to refer to the homes. Each one of them has a very personal, different family story. We just finished one in 120 days. The family was expecting a baby, and we wanted to finish the project before she was born. Although Baby Nora came early, it was so rewarding to see that family in that elevated home, that resilient home, that has been restored. This is a story that will repeat 1,000 times, for each family that we are helping. Normally, we work through agencies, and this is the first time we're working directly with New Yorkers. So, it's quite different for us, but very rewarding. What's one piece of advice you'd give to smaller architecture firms who are looking to work with the DDC for the first time? We just went though a competition, and we did this new category called the micro, in which we allowed [firms of] less than five people to propose [projects]. Small firms should never be discouraged if they didn't make the competition that just finished. They should be preparing for the next one that coming in two to three years, and also be looking for other opportunities with the DDC. We also have a stand-alone competition, but the stand-alone usually requires larger firms, so smaller firms should be looking to collaborate with other small firms to create consultant [groups] to be able to work on our projects.
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AIA New York announces 2016 Design Awards Winners

On Monday, a jury of eight independent architects, educators, critics, and planners gathered at the Center for Architecture to select the winners of the 2016 AIA New York Design Awards. AIA New York’s annual Design Awards program honors design by AIA New York members, work by New York City–based firms, and work in New York City executed by outside architects. This year, the jury sorted through 366 submissions to confer 31 Honor and Merit Awards, including nine Honor Awards in Architecture, three in Interiors, one in Projects, and one in Urban Design. Winning projects will be recognized on April 15th at a fundraiser luncheon for AIA New York. Beginning that day, winning projects will be exhibited at the Center for Architecture, with an opening reception from 6:00–8:00p.m. See below for the winners and honorable mentions in each category: ARCHITECTURE HONOR AWARDS Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed Dattner Architects in association with WXY architecture + urban design New York, NY Read more from AN here. The Broad Museum Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler Los Angeles, CA Read more from AN here. Chipakata Children’s Academy Susan T. Rodriguez (Ennead Architects); Frank Lupo; Randy Antonia Lott Chipakata Village, Zambia St. Ann’s Warehouse Marvel Architects Brooklyn, NY Read more from AN here. Carmel Place nARCHITECTS New York, NY Read more from AN here. David Zwirner Selldorf Architects New York, NY Read more from AN here. Ryerson University Student Learning Centre Snøhetta with Ziedler Partnership Architects Toronto, Canada Read more from AN here. LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners Brooklyn, NY Read more from AN here. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Building WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism East Hanover, NJ ARCHITECTURE MERIT AWARDS Sugar Hill Housing Adjaye Associates with SLCE Architects New York, NY Read more from AN here. Quonochontaug House Bernheimer Architecture Charlestown, RI Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Diller Scofidio + Renfro Berkeley, CA Read more from AN here. Ernie Davis Hall at Syracuse University Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects Syracuse, NY Public School 330Q Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Queens, NY St. Patrick’s Cathedral Restoration Murphy Burnham & Buttrick New York, NY Read more from AN here. Choy House o’neill rose architects Queens, NY Whitney Museum of American Art Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson New York, NY Read more from AN here. CENTRO University TEN ARQUITECTOS Mexico City, Mexico Read more from AN here. Mercedes House TEN ARQUITECTOS New York, NY Read more from AN here. Corning Museum of Glass Thomas Phifer and Partners Corning, NY Read more from AN here. INTERIORS HONOR AWARDS Horizon Media Expansion A+I New York, NY CRS Studio Clouds Architecture Office New York, NY Van Alen Institute Collective-LOK New York, NY Read more from AN here. INTERIORS MERIT AWARDS Pivot Architecture Workshop New York, NY Red Bull New York Office INABA WILLIAMS (Design Architect), SLAB (Executive Architect) New York, NY Read more from AN here. PROJECTS HONOR AWARD 2 World Trade Center BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group New York, NY Read more from AN here. PROJECT MERIT AWARDS Chicken Coop Architecture Research Office East Hampton, NY 390 Madison Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates New York, NY Read more from AN here. Reinvent Paris: Creative Mixed-Use Hub NBBJ Paris, France URBAN DESIGN HONOR AWARD Plaza 33 W Architecture & Landscape Architecture New York, NY Read more from AN here. URBAN DESIGN MERIT AWARD The New St. Pete Pier ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers St. Petersburg, FL

Affordable Housing and the Public Realm

Join The Design Trust for Public Space for a conversation on how we can improve neighborhoods through design, moderated by The Architect's Newspaper Editor-in-Chief William Menking. The brand-new edition of our Laying the Groundwork design guidelines will debut! In the coming decade, thousands of new mixed-use affordable housing developments created through Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan will transform the cityscape. With the power of good design, this unprecedented building boom can help foster vibrant, mixed-income neighborhoods and attractive, fully leased commercial corridors. Laying the Groundwork, developed by the Design Trust for Public Space and our Fellows in partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), is a comprehensive set of guidelines for high-quality ground-floor design in mixed-use affordable housing developments. Speakers include:
  • Eric Wilson, Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability, NYC HPD
  • Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA., Design Trust executive director
  • Fiona Cousins, PE, CEng, LEED Fellow, Principal, Arup; Design Trust Engineering Fellow
  • R. Darby Curtis, AIA, Partner, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
  • Penny Hardy, Principal, PS New York; Design Trust Graphic Design Fellow
  • James Slade, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Slade Architecture; Design Trust Architecture Fellow
  • Hayes Slade, AIA, Principal, Slade Architecture; Design Trust Architecture Fellow
Presented in partnership with the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) Interiors Committee.
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Thursday! Don’t miss this double book night at AIANY’s Center for Architecture

book-talk Two of the more challenging texts, at least for the profession of architecture, to appear in the last year will be presented and debated at the AIA New York's Center on February 4. The Architect as Worker by Peggy Deamer and The Politics of Parametricism edited by Manuel Shvartzberg both challenge and confront contemporary assumptions about practice and cultural production. Deamer and Shvartzberg will be on hand to discuss the texts with Reinhold Martin. Deamer, for her part, takes on issues central to architectural labor and the acceptance of seductive images of digital production. Shvartzberg's book debates issues beyond—or hidden from—the seductive images of parametricism. No word if Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher will be in attendance. The event takes place from 6:00–8:00p.m. on Thursday, February 4 at The Center for Architecture    
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Benjamin Prosky Named Executive Director of AIA New York

The AIA New York has named Architizer co-founder and minority owner Benjamin Prosky as its new Executive Director. He will step away from his role as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). Prosky has been overseeing events, publications, multimedia content and special projects since 2011. He will begin his duties at the AIA in early 2016. “It is a tremendous honor to serve as Executive Director of the AIANY and the Center for Architecture,” Prosky said in a statement. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to expand the scope of both organizations—I look forward to engaging with the professional architects who are the backbone of the constituency, and also cultivating the broader public which, in the context of New York, recognizes the profound impact that design and the built environment have on the vitality of the city and all aspects of our lives."