July 28, 2022
New York City, July 28, 2022 – The Center for Architecture is excited to announce new leadership transitions. Following four years of service to the organization as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, will be stepping down, with Jennifer Sage, FAIA, LEED AP, Founding Partner at Sage and Coombe Architects and current Vice Chair, serving as Chair and current Board trustee Peter Robinson, Department of Architecture at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University, serving as Vice Chair.
During his tenure, which concluded on June 30, 2022, Bergdoll sought to further elevate the Center for Architecture’s programming and exhibitions, cementing the institution as the premiere venue for architecture and design in the city. These efforts culminated with Reset: Towards a New Commons, an exhibition curated by Bergdoll that showcases four commissioned projects exploring more diverse and inclusive solutions to building community. Under his leadership, the organization also launched the Center for Architecture Lab, a multi-disciplinary residency program to cultivate contemporary and underrepresented voices in architecture and design. While Bergdoll will be stepping down from the Board of Trustees, he will remain on the Center for Architecture’s Exhibition Committee, where he will continue to provide his expert guidance and leadership.
“The dynamic engagement of the public at all ages from elementary school on makes the Center for Architecture the most vital organization in New York City for building awareness and understanding of architecture and the roles it plays in our individual and collective lives,” said Bergdoll. “I look forward to working with the fantastic new leadership that is stepping into the foreground, as Jennifer and Peter are already active forces at the Center. Nowhere else in the city, or even the region, can New Yorkers and tourists alike engage with changing exhibitions that raise key issues for our built and landscape environment—both what we have inherited and how we can craft a future in a world of social, economic, and climate challenges. The Center is a place of exchange that is vital for the city as well as for the design professions.”
Jennifer Sage has a long history of service to the Center for Architecture and AIA New York. She joined the AIANY Board of Directors in 2013 as a Director, serving as Vice President of Design Excellence from 2016 to 2018, before joining the Center for Architecture Board of Trustees in 2019. Sage also currently serves as Co-Chair of the Center for Architecture’s Exhibitions Committee, through which the organization develops its annual exhibitions program. Sage and Vice Chair Peter Robinson, who joined the Board of Trustees in January 2021, will begin their terms effective immediately. Robinson, one of the founders of BlackSpace Urbanist Collective, will be focusing on expanding the Center’s strategic partnerships.“The Center for Architecture is both a place and a platform that makes the importance of architecture and design visible and accessible, allowing us to engage with those who know us and to broaden our reach to those who don’t,” said Sage. “I am honored to follow Barry Bergdoll and continue working on this mission.”
“I have been involved with the Center for Architecture since its inception and have always seen it as a resource to connect the city, in a very tactile way, to our profession,” said Robinson. “As we do the work to create greater equity and inclusion in our field, I am encouraged and buoyed by the increased focus on building allyship with communities that have been underserved by our profession. I look forward to being a part of this collaborative, creative, and critical opportunity to share the full scope of architectural professionalism and civic responsibility with our city.”
In addition to these leadership transitions, the Center for Architecture also welcomes a new trustee, Marc Norman, founder of Ideas and Action, and the Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Finance and Associate Dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate, who will begin his term in September 2022. Norman previously served as the curator of the Center for Architecture’s 2015 exhibition, Designing Affordability: Quicker, Smarter, More Efficient Housing Now.
“NYU Schack and the Center for Architecture both share a deep history in New York and a commitment to a better built environment for New Yorkers,” said Norman. “I’m excited about the synergies and shared learning that comes from the work of both institutions and about joining such an amazing board.”
About Jennifer Sage, FAIA, LEED AP
Jennifer Sage, FAIA, LEED AP, is a founding partner of Sage and Coombe Architects. Since its inception, the practice has focused on the design of cultural, civic, and educational spaces, recently completing a three-phase renovation of the Noguchi Museum, the Ocean Breeze Track and Field facility, and the Bronx River Art Center. Current projects include an outdoor theater in North Carolina, a new urban space and park in downtown Newark, and the main library for the town of Maplewood New Jersey.
Selected for Design Excellence Initiatives by the NYC Departments of Design and Construction and Parks and Recreation, the firm has been honored with multiple design awards. Sage serves as Chair of the Center for Architecture Board of Trustees and as co-chair of the Exhibitions Committee. As a member of the Program Committee, she represents AIANY on the Board of the Fine Arts Federation and has also served as Vice President for Design Excellence on the AIANY Board.
Sage earned an AB from Harvard College and M. Arch from Yale University. She has juried and taught at Yale, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, RISD, and Catholic University, where for three years she conducted an honors studio in Rome.
About Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson was born in Kingston, Jamaica and was raised in Kingston and New York City. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University. Robinson has worked at several noted architectural practices in the areas of design, management, and programming, contributing significantly to the successful futures of leading corporate, cultural, religious and academic institutions.
Robinson is an inaugural board member of the BlackSpace Urbanist Collective. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Advisors for BRACE: Building Research + Architecture + Community Exchange. Previously, Robinson served as Treasurer for the New York Coalition of Black Architects (nycobaNOMA) and has worked with the organization in the areas of student and professional advocacy. He joined the Center for Architecture Board in January 2021.
Robinson has held teaching positions at Cornell University, Parsons School of Design at the New School, Syracuse University, and Barnard College at Columbia University. He has served a guest critic at Cornell, Columbia, the Rhode Island School of Design, China Academy of Art, and Harvard. At Parsons, his research focuses on cultural subjectivity and the city, broaching parallels and interferences between architectural and urban design, planning, and cultural theories to engage and inform social action.
About Marc Norman
Marc Norman is the founder of the consulting firm Ideas and Action” an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Faculty Director of the Weiser Center for Real Estate at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, and just this spring was named Director of NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
Norman is an internationally recognized expert on policy and finance for affordable housing and community development. Trained as an urban planner, he has worked in the field of community development and finance for over 25 years. With degrees in political economics (University of California Berkeley, Bachelor of Art) and urban planning (University of California Los Angeles, Master of Art) and experience with for-profit and non-profit organizations, consulting firms, and investment banks, he has worked collaboratively to develop or finance over 2,000 units totaling more than $400 million in total development costs.
Norman was a 2014-2015 Harvard Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design and was previously a professor of practice at Syracuse University. His involvement with the Center for Architecture has spanned both curatorial work (for the 2015 Designing Affordability exhibition) and programmatic and financial support (this May’s Affordable Housing Conference). Since 1994, he has served as a board member for numerous non-profit and community organizations, addressing issues of affordable housing and design. Norman currently serves on the boards of MASS Design Group, Design Futures Forum, and CAMBA Housing Ventures, and chairs the Federal Reserve’s Community Advisory Council.
About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience. www.centerforarchitecture.org
About AIA New York
Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter’s members include 5,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. www.aiany.org