Oculus - Spring 2014 - (Page 11)

first words LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT ©Thaddeus Pawlowski Civic Aspirations: Pundit Time ollaboration and synergy are very much in evidence nowadays. When I introduced the 2014 President's Theme, "Civic Spirit : Civic Vision" before the mayoral election, I could only hope it would resonate. But so profoundly "civic" is Mayor Bill de Blasio's mandate to unite two cities that other U.S. cities are already hoping to emulate it. It's worth emphasizing that what we do as architects and urban designers is central to the mayor's mission. We are striving within the Center for Architecture itself to be more civic, creative, and efficient as the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation work in closer collaboration. The same is true as we resume our Five Boroughs meetings bringing all five boroughs' AIA components together, and our FitCity conferences and Design for Risk & Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) continue to spawn extensions well beyond our Chapter's borders. The "public conversation" about the MoMA expansion in January was co-sponsored by AIANY, the Municipal Art Society, and the Architectural League - cooperation in action. There are further opportunities for synergy between the professions that help shape the function and form of the city and those charged with determining policy. Civic engagement, the civic realm, civic resilience, and civil rights all nest within the "Civic Spirit : Civic Vision" theme. Topping the lists of New York's pundits are improving education, reconsidering public-private partnerships, increasing safety, building resiliency, underpinning and broadening the economy, and reducing inequities, especially in housing. In January AIANY led off with a program about the future of public space in Asia. We continued to pursue the policies of our 30-point "Platform for the Future of the City." AIANY leadership recommended measures to the mayor and his team that have encouraged interdepartmental collaboration, influenced appointments, and altered titles. In February we continued our post-Sandy/ DfRR initiatives with "Considering the Quake," an exhibition and programs at the Center that delve into seismic threats. The exhibit, on view through May 26, explores the intimate relationship between C Civic Spirit: Civic Visions art and technology, and how creative and innovative architecture can result from the recognition of risk. It expands our awareness, knowledge, and ability to deal with the dramatic physical challenges ahead. I often say that nature does not respect political boundaries, and nowhere is this more true than with seismic issues. Many of the resiliency challenges we face can only be met if mitigations are locally collective and fundamentally regional. Civic culture has been characterized as the fulcrum between urban public space and political formation. These same realms, regardless of scale, are variously suspended between play and protest, between formal and informal. The year's upcoming 2014 President's Theme exhibitions, "Polis, 7 Lessons Learned from the European Prize for Urban Public Space" and "Open to the Public: Civic Space Now," will examine classical and incidental examples of these realms, and explore how they please and sustain us and make us resilient. And, since the realization of places that allow for community are modified by culture and climate, we'll examine the civic realm both at home and abroad, learning lessons from each. We have already accomplished a great deal this year. The 27 AIANY Chapter Committees, the Chapter's professional and civic foundation, are finding new ways to share knowledge, discuss issues, and leverage collaboration. The Center for Architecture Foundation continues to educate future generations and inform the general public with practical skills and awareness-raising programs. This year my family was blessed with a grandchild, Sergio. Grandchildren are game changers. Ed Mazria, the early proponent of sound ecological design and initiator of the 2030 Challenge, closed a presentation with an enormous headshot of his first grandchild, and talked, somewhat choked up, about how important it is to build for her future. Our mandate is nothing less. Our civic values and visions must translate into planning, designing, and building beautiful, safe, and resilient communities. Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA 2014 President, AIA New York Chapter Spring 2014 Oculus 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2014

Letter From the President
Letter From the Editor
Center for Architecture
Some Blocks Over
Opener: Open to the Public: Civic Space Now
The Search for the Soul of Cities
A Different Tale of Two Cities
Public Space Reasserts Its Political Role
Gatherings of One
Time to Welcome Woonerfs
Redesigning the Crossroads of the World
A Magical Place on the Water
How to Remember a Plague
Sustainable Models for a Just City
In Print
50-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2014