Oculus - Summer 2016 - (Page 55)
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
he spring season brings with it warmth, growth, and architectural recognition through a number of awards ceremonies. Through the dark winter
months, juries, panels, and committees were tasked to study the work of many
talented and dedicated people to recognize some of them in various ways.
The recognition includes lifetime achievement awards, grants for academic
research, and prizes for emerging practitioners. But when an architect is given
an award, he or she is also given increased visibility and an opportunity to
convey a message.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity in early April to attend a panel at the
United Nations Headquarters titled "Challenges Ahead for the Built Environment," featuring the 2016 Pritzker Prize Laureate Alejandro Aravena with fellow Laureates Christian de Portzamparc, Glenn Murcutt, Jean Nouvel, Renzo
Piano, Richard Rogers, and Wang Shu. Aravena noted that overpopulation of
cities around the world presents significant challenges. He made the case that
designers cannot accommodate the growing needs of populations in cities on
their own, and that architects should embrace informal models of design and
work to integrate them, rather than resist them. He asked architects to think of
how the informal and formal city can coexist.
Overwhelmingly the panel agreed that collaboration and civic engagement
are integral to the future of architectural practice. Aravena, for example, has
made the designs for some of his social housing projects available to the public
on his website. It will be interesting to see if and how his designs are used and
adapted over time. While many architects engage in complicated battles to
protect their intellectual property rights and the integrity of their designs, the
winner of the highest award in architecture suggests that architects may want
to give away some of their work for the greater good.
I would like to recognize the work of our own 2016 AIA New York Design
Awards recipients featured in this issue of Oculus. The fantastic work presented here and the ambitious people who created it are essential to the Chapter's
efforts to promote design excellence. All of this year's recipients, through their
work and actions, have emerged as important leaders in our field, and with
leadership comes responsibility.
The profession of architecture faces real challenges, some of which include
inadequate racial diversity in our workforce, the attrition rate of practicing
women architects, and the prohibitive costs of an architectural education. I
encourage our recipients to see this recognition as an opportunity to join the
dialogue, as their work will no doubt continue to receive attention and acclaim
- and continue to influence the profession.
©Center for Architecture
Honor and Influence
AIA New York Chapter/Center for Architecture
2016 AIANY Design Awards
Summer 2016 Oculus
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Summer 2016
First Words Letter from the President
Center for Architecture
Urban Design Honor
Last WordsLetter from the Executive Director
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Summer 2016