Are we just fulfilling checkboxes when we claim to design for equity? In 2023, our design focus and impact assessment warrant scrutiny. Architecture both mirrors and molds society. It nurtures well-being, stimulates awe, and fosters communal ties. Social equity encompasses how we live in our communities and how our projects affect not only users, but all those around the project, especially marginalized groups. Presently, our projects face multifaceted accountability: adherence to regulations, corporate risk mitigation, and societal demands for inclusivity, resilience, and climate adaptation. This discussion assesses architects’ evolving responsibilities, imminent regulations, and how we tangibly gauge compliance with social equity demands. We explore surpassing expectations, addressing societal needs, current and future aspirations, and ensuring equitable access for all.
About the Speakers:
Lisa Conway serves as VP Global Market Sustainability for Interface—the flooring manufacturer that is leading industry to love the world. She and her team are responsible for activation of the company’s mission to become the most sustainable company in the world including Climate Take Back, an initiative targeting the reversal of global warming. She is passionate about bringing awareness to the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and human health. To drive understanding of the impact of carbon on human health, Conway and her team provide educational programming around the need for transparency and prioritization of embodied carbon in specifications within the building industry. She co-founded the materials Carbon Action Network (materialsCAN) to mobilize this effort, now part of the non-profit Building Transparency where she serves on the Board of Directors. Conway also serves on the Sustainability Advisory Board for Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business.
Sevinc Yuksel is the Senior Vice President, Head of Design & Construction at Rudin Management Company. She is responsible for leading all design and construction efforts within Rudin’s Commercial and Residential portfolio. Yuksel brings over 15 years of experience in construction management, having successfully overseen the preconstruction and construction of different asset classes, including high-rise commercial offices, hospitals, academic facilities, laboratories, and aviation. Prior to joining Rudin in 2023, she served as Vice President of Construction at Related Companies. She was responsible for leading all construction efforts for 50 Hudson Yards, a 2.9-million-gross-square-foot development, one of New York City’s largest commercial office buildings since its opening in 2022. Prior to Related, she served as a project manager and the lead preconstruction engineer at Turner Construction for several major construction projects throughout New York City, which included the 1271 Avenue of Americas repositioning, Columbia University’s Northwest Science Building, JetBlue’s Terminal Extension at JFK, Columbia Business School, and Barnard College Milstein Center. Sevinc graduated cum laude from the Columbia University with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering, where she was a Tau Beta Pi (International Engineering Honors for Integrity and Engineering) member.
Amy Leitch is an Associate with Arup’s New York office, specializing in supporting urban policymakers and engineering project teams to strategically plan and operationalize a resilience agenda. A systems leader, Leitch’s central focus has been to do this work through co-creating strategies and developing and delivering technical solutions in collaboration across stakeholders. In this way, Leitch seeks to shift traditional engineering and design practice to advance urban resilience with a particular emphasis on socially valuable impacts. She was recognized as a Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2021 ‘40 Under 40’ award winner.
Gregory Anderson joined Bridge Street Development in 2019 with over 25 years of public finance investment banking experience, having served as a Managing Director with several Wall Street firms including, Lebenthal & Co, Advest Inc., WR Lazard, Dean Witter and Salomon Brothers. Throughout his career in public finance, Anderson completed over $5 billion of financings for state and local affordable housing and economic development finance agencies nationally and assisted in the development and implementation of many housing finance innovations and programs designed to revitalize low-income neighborhoods through rehabilitating aging housing stock and expanding homeownership opportunities. Anderson has served as a member of the Board of Directors and former Board Chair of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. He is also on the Board of the South Harlem Reds Baseball Program.
Lisa Conway, VP of Global Sustainability, Interface
Amy Leitch, MEM, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP, Associate, Resilience, Climate and Sustainability, Arup
Sevinc Yuksel, SVP and Head of Design and Construction, Rudin
Gregory Anderson, President & CEO, Bridge Street Development Corporation