A Message from 2022 AIA New York President Andrea Lamberti, AIA, LEED AP BD+C:

As architects, we value our profession’s capacity for lifelong learning and growth and our own continued development and reinvention. One of the reasons we have come together as AIA New York is to do better—to facilitate this learning process, to develop our curiosity, and to take action within the profession and through our work. In the coming year, let’s take the opportunity to learn more, together, about the broad range of issues that animate today’s professional milieu.

We can learn more and do better: through understanding the mechanisms impacting the equitable distribution of public infrastructure funds, acting on the need to increase and improve the supply of affordable housing, facing the challenge of decarcerating the social contract in this country, and overcoming traditional practices—evolved over millennia of implementing public works—to ensure that future construction yields a more natural and resilient built environment. And in the process, we can help reduce negative impacts on historically disadvantaged communities and communities of color.

Together, these aspirations form the underpinnings of a Just Practice, one that seeks to effect a more fair and just world, and I’m taking that on as my presidential theme for 2022. Over the course of the year, through convening knowledge cohorts, providing support for research grants, assembling workshops, and facilitating community engagement, we can advance understanding of these issues and empower ourselves to help build a better, equitable future. Through AIA New York’s and the Center for Architecture’s robust programming and educational opportunities, members and colleagues can ask questions and disseminate the most recent data and best practices, to inform our work as architects.

As architects, we strive for a profession that is more diverse and reflective of our population. We can advance these goals through our daily activity in our firms and organizations, through direct practice, and through empowerment and support of professionals at all stages of their careers. In the coming year, we will face these issues head on, with efforts directed at the pipeline to architectural education, including with excellent K-12 programming that exposes young people to design thinking and the rich potential of an architectural education. We will also look to support would-be architects by promoting architectural internships for university students from historically underserved communities, and we will work to address the challenges facing these same students after graduation as they work towards licensure. We will partner with the Center for Architecture in new ways, support its platform to amplify underrepresented voices, and confront the most challenging topics of the day.

Through this, we should also just practice, to focus the daily exercise of our profession toward becoming the best architects and humans that we can be, for ourselves and our community.  All of these efforts are even more pertinent as we emerge from the pandemic.