A Message from 2019 AIA New York President Hayes Slade, AIA:

We find ourselves in challenging and exciting times. Our ability to impact our environment is unparalleled in history and increases almost daily. As architects, developers, builders, and engineers, we are the agents who most directly shape our environments. Our designs also foster social relationships both internal and external to the projects at hand. Internally, we engage with and convene clients and stakeholders; at a broader scale, the repercussions of our work ripple far beyond the immediate boundaries of our project sites and their neighborhoods.

Additionally, we are, ourselves, a community; we can effect social change through our designs, but also through our collective actions as a profession.

BUILDING COMMUNITY is my 2019 AIA New York Presidential theme. As incoming AIA New York President, I would like to focus on how our profession can deliver positive social outcomes through our processes (how we work) as well as our finished projects (what we work on). Prioritizing both of these lenses seems particularly important at this moment in time.

BUILDING COMMUNITY is about how our work affects communities at large. In the summer of 2019, we will present the exhibition Community Benefits: Using Our Dollars for Change at the Center for Architecture, which will examine how our collective public work impacts communities throughout our city. Our data-driven approach promises to reveal interesting insights.

Our 2019 programs will also focus on key moments in the span of an architect’s career during which we can work together to improve, for the benefit of our membership. This coming year, we will develop new, formalized opportunities to build community within the architectural profession and across overlapping circles.

In 2019 we will:

  • Engage young people to consider architecture as a potential career. DISCOVER ARCHITECTURE! is a new program that will offer high school students a career discovery placement at architecture offices around the city for a first-hand view into the profession. The initiative will be framed by coordinated activities at the Center for Architecture to create a holistic educational experience.
  • Offer mentorship opportunities for young architects. Starting in 2019, AIA New York will launch a mentorship program building a bridge between AIA Fellows and emerging professionals.
  • Direct outreach to re-engage architects looking for opportunities to contribute and get involved. AIA New York will develop outreach programs to revitalize participation among professionals who have not been directly involved with the chapter, as well as increase opportunities to contribute to discussions at AIA New York, including via open calls for Oculus magazine submissions.
  • Maintain engagement with our community of seasoned architects. Celebrate their successes in a lasting way. Draw from their experiences to benefit the broader AIA New York community.

We are the BUILDING COMMUNITY. Let’s fully realize what this can mean.