January 8, 2019
by Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA
Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA. Image credit: Yusuke Suzuki.
Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA. Image credit: Yusuke Suzuki.

Happy New Year!

To start off the year I wanted to give you a taste of some of the exciting programs, initiatives, and exhibitions we will be showcasing in 2019.

We are energized by AIA New York’s 2019 theme, BUILDING COMMUNITY, articulated by President Hayes Slade, AIA. This year’s theme asks members and professionals how they can contribute to their communities—both outside the architecture profession and within it.

To kick off our community building initiatives, we will host a Town Meeting on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:00 pm at the Center for Architecture. At this event we will report on some of the issues that the AIA New York Board of Directors prioritized during their retreat at the end of 2018. We hope to receive member input and participate in meaningful discussions about engagement and initiatives at the Chapter over this next year. Please join us!

We are also making physical improvements to 536 LaGuardia Place. Starting in mid-January, our auditorium, Tafel Hall, will be closed for renovations for about a month’s time. We are taking this opportunity to greatly improve the hall’s lighting and acoustics. As many of our programs are recorded, and since we have recently invested in our website, we must ensure that the conditions for recording are optimal so we can disseminate quality videos and recordings. Because we are such an active venue, it was hard to make the time for this; please bear with us! I am confident we will all enjoy the improvements on-site and online.

The Center for Architecture is excited to announce, our Anniversary Fund, a campaign to raise money for a new fund established on the occasion of our 15th anniversary. The endowed fund will largely support exhibitions and related outreach. Launched at the 2018 Heritage Ball, the fund has already received some establishing gifts, but we have a long way to go to reach our goal of $150K. Center for Architecture President Barry Bergdoll, Hon. AIANY, is spearheading this campaign and will be reaching out over the coming year to foster interest and support for this initiative that will ensure the quality and impact of our future exhibitions. Make sure to check out our exciting 2019 listing of exhibitions. And please join us for our upcoming opening for Design and the Just City in NYC, curated by Toni Griffin and the Just Cities Lab at Harvard GSD, this Thursday, January 10 at 6:00 pm.

We are also getting ready for Guess-A-Sketch, our incredibly popular evening to benefit our K-12 programs. Guess-A-Sketch, a Pictionary-style competition where teams identify buildings drawn in real time by celebrity sketchers, provides essential funding so that our K-12 programs can offer scholarships and access to design education to communities around the city. With over 8,000 students taught by our educators each year, this event helps us ensure we can expand equitably. We still have room for a few more architecture firm teams—please contact our development team at development@aiany.org to sign up.

Finally, we are looking forward to announcing the results of our 2019 Design Awards! Join us on Monday, January 14 at 6:00 pm, when our esteemed jury (who will have deliberated over the coming weekend) will announce and comment on the winning projects for Architecture, Urban Design, Interiors, Projects, and our newest category, Sustainability. We look forward to celebrating these projects at our annual Honors and Awards Luncheon on Monday, April 15 and at our exhibition at the Center for Architecture opening that same day.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at the Center!