NEW YORK STATE
A P U B L I C AT I O N O F
2020 Officers, Directors & Members of the Strategic Council
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LETTER AIANYS Executive Vice President’s Letter.............................................................. 5
OFFICERS PRESIDENT | Joseph J. Aliotta, FAIA................................................................ 8-9 PRESIDENT-ELECT | Illya Azaroff, AIA............................................................. 10-11 VICE PRESIDENT GOVERNMENT ADVOCACY | Michael Spinelli, Esq., AIA........................................................................... 12-13 VICE PRESIDENT KNOWLEDGE | Paul McDonnell, AIA....................................................................................14-15 VICE PRESIDENT PUBLIC ADVOCACY | Pasquale Marchese, AIA............................................................................... 16-17 VICE PRESIDENT EMERGING PROFESSIONALS | Jeffrey Pawlowski, AIA................................................................................18-19 SECRETARY | Peter Wehner, AIA..................................................................................... 20-21 TREASURER | Manuel Andrade, AIA..................................................................................22-23
DIRECTORS AT LARGE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM | NEW YORK REGION DIRECTOR Casey Crossley, AIA.................................................................................... 26-27 NEW YORK REGION REPRESENTATIVE TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATES COMMITTEE | Josette Matthew, Assoc. AIA....................................28-29 ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR | Tannia Chavez, AIA.................................................................................... 30-31 STUDENT DIRECTOR | Alexander D’Amato, AIAS............................................................................32-33
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DIRECTORS Mark Anderson, AIA...................................................................................36-37 Danei Cesario AIA, RIBA, NCARB, NOMA........................................................38-39 Adedosu Joshua, AIA.................................................................................40-41 Jane Smith, FAIA, IIDA...............................................................................42-43 Jaclyn Tyler, AIA...................................................................................... 44-45
NEW YORK MEMBERS OF THE AIA STRATEGIC COUNCIL NEW YORK MEMBER OF THE AIA STRATEGIC COUNCIL Brynnemarie Lanciotti, AIA........................................................................ 48-49 NEW YORK MEMBER OF THE AIA STRATEGIC COUNCIL Kirk Narburgh, AIA..................................................................................... 50-51 NEW YORK MEMBER OF THE AIA STRATEGIC COUNCIL Willy Zambrano, AIA ..................................................................................52-53
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LETTER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT’S
“It’s time for the biggest design organization in the world to tackle the biggest design problem in the world” The American Institute of Architects could not be more focused, committed or engaged in its mission than it is right now. We are a strong revitalized organization of 95,000 members who are committed to impacting the world around us. Just a few weeks ago, AIA National brought together close to 700 leaders from across the country. It was a conference full of hope and anticipation. A phrase used throughout the 2020 Grassroots Leadership Conference was, “its time for the biggest design organization in the world to tackle the biggest design problem in the world.” With the pledge toward climate change, the AIA has indeed taken on the biggest design problem in the world. During Grassroots, we heard from dedicated architects running for AIA National office. The repeated theme we heard was how architects are in service to their communities and beyond. I sat up tall in my seat listening to one candidate talk about this being the time for architects to make change, “and time to make a difference.” While eloquently stated, the truth is that the profession has been making a difference since a group of twelve architects came together in New York City to form what is now The American Institute of Architects. You have been making change happen ever since. Change that is happening throughout the AIA and here in New York State with committed leaders at the State Component, local Chapters and firms no matter what their size. In reading this publication, take note of the different paths that brought the 2020 Leadership to where it is now. President Joseph J. Aliotta, FAIA, who is passing his love of architecture via the ACE Mentor program or President-Elect Illya Azaroff, AIA who gives up time from his family to assist in helping disaster recovery across the world. These leaders, along with the members of the Board of Directors, are all making a difference. Please take the time to read their stories—they, with the AIANYS Board of Directors, Chapter Leadership and you, the members of AIA New York State, are part of the biggest design organization in the world and you are truly ready to take on the biggest design problem in the world.
Georgi Ann Bailey, CAE , Hon AIANYS Executive Vice President, AIANYS
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2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Front Row (Sitting L-R): Jaclyn Tyler, AIA, Director; Michael Anderson, AIA, Director; Jane Smith, FAIA, Director; Joseph J. Aliotta, FAIA, President; Tannia Chavez, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director; Andrew Harding, AIA, Director; Danei Cesario, AIA, Director; Back Row (Standing L-R): Pasquale Marchese, AIA, Vice President of Communications and Public Awareness; Gregory Thorpe, AIA, Director; Adedosu Joshua, AIA, Director; Ofé Clarke, AIA, Director; Martin Hero, AIA, Director; Josette Matthew, Assoc. AIA, New York Region Director to NAC; Manuel Andrade, AIA, Treasurer; Peter Wehner, AIA, Secretary; Nate Rozzi, AIA, Director; Illya Azaroff, AIA, President-Elect; Mark E. Anderson, AIA, Director; Tanja Adair, AIA, Director; Casey Crossley, AIA, New York Representative to the Young Architects Forum; Anthony Rojas, AIA, Director; Paul McDonnell, AIA, Vice President of Education; Willy Zambrano, AIA, New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council; Alexander D’Amato, AIA, AIAS Student Director. Not Pictured: Mark Vincent Kruse, AIA, Past President; Michael Spinelli, JD, AIA, Vice President of Government Advocacy; Jeff Pawlowski, Vice President of Emerging Professionals; Jordan Parnass, AIA, Director; Baani Singh, AIA, Director; Brynnemarie Lanciotti, AIA, New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council; and Kirk Narburgh, AIA, New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council.
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Joseph J. Aliotta, FAIA, Principal and Studio Leader at Perkins Eastman, is an accomplished architect with a proven track record of leadership, managing people, process and projects for numerous developers, owners, public sector and corporate clients. He has extensive project management experience on a variety of significant, complex mixed-use, public, hospitality/residential, and education projects built within the New York City area. At Perkins Eastman, Joe oversees the Education and Government Studio focusing on civic and community projects for a number of federal, state and city public agencies. Joe is dedicated to the profession and to the next generation, working for over 20 years with the ACE Mentor Program, now Director Emeritus, a program supporting high school students interested in architecture, construction and engineering professions through mentorships and scholarships. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Building Congress. Previously, he served as the 2012 AIA New York President, the 2017 and 2018 AIA New York State Vice President of Government Advocacy and the 2019 President-Elect.
Joseph J. Aliotta, FAIA | President
Paying It Forward
’m a New Yorker, born and bred. I’ve lived and worked in New York City all of my life.
I’m a first generation American who grew up in a blue collar neighborhood in a blue collar family, and only the second member of my family to go to college. I belong to a family who did DIY (do it yourself) before it was cool to do DIY. That’s how I learned about construction and where my interest in architecture began. My uncle, who did fine carpentry for a living, loved to paint and sculpt, and did so every moment he could— we lived in the same house. My love and appreciation for art comes from him. I’m a product of a great public education—Brooklyn Technical High School, where I first learned about engineering and architecture, and the City College of New York (CUNY), where I received my foundation to build a career in architecture. City College not only provided me with a strong foundation, but provided me with a core of friends who remain close for over forty years! After fifteen years or so of building a career and family, I became involved with the ACE Mentor Program, a high school mentorship program that gives students
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the opportunity to learn about architecture, construction and engineering. What attracted me to this program was that these kids may not look like me, but they are me—many of them first generation coming from blue collar families. I have served as a mentor, a team leader and served on its Board of Directors for twenty years, now Director Emeritus. There is nothing more gratifying than meeting ACE Mentor students who have completed the program, continued on to college and are now working with me in the profession. It was the catalyst for me to start paying it forward. So, after 20 years of having AIA behind my name and paying dues, I finally got involved with my Chapter. I carried my interest in mentorship to my work at the chapter, working closely with
“Always willing to support, encourage, and motivate emerging professionals, Joe had his sight on future leadership. He sees potential in the profession’s future leaders, and he fosters a relationship with them that is both inspiring and empowering. Now part of this leadership, I am grateful for his encouragement, guidance, and mentorship.“ Jessica A. Sheridan AIA AIA 2019-21 At-large Director
the Emerging Professionals. My involvement continues to this day as an advisor to the inaugural Civic Leadership Program (CLP) and the recent launch of “TORCH,” a mentor program that engages the Fellows to mentor Emerging Professionals. Along with a core of newly minted 2018 Fellows led by past AIANYS President, Eric Goshow, FAIA, the emerging professionals created this new program. Mentoring continues at the office with involvement in Perkins Eastman’s PEople Mentoring Program. As president of the AIA New York Chapter, we illuminated young professionals’ work and elevated their capabilities as future leaders through AIANY 2012 Presidential theme, “FutureNOW!” We addressed the real-life challenges facing young professionals, celebrated their impact, and inspired them to advocate for the profession. It drew international attention to AIANY and emerging professionals through the design competition/exhibition. We convened the 2012 FutureNOW! Summit to engage young professionals in the future of the profession and forged connections between them, establishing voices including AIA National Board
Directors and AIA Fellows. As a result, I have enjoyed mentoring future leaders who now sit on the AIA Strategic Council, AIANYS, and AIANY Board of Directors including AIANYS President-Elect, Illya Azaroff, AIA. And in turn, they have mentored me; that’s the reward for paying it forward. Parallel to my passion in mentorship is my interest of government advocacy. My interest in politics has several influences—from my local state assemblyman coming to my house and having espresso, stuffing mailboxes and getting rewarded with pizza, to my great uncle who campaigned for countless political candidates. So, it was natural for me to focus on government advocacy with the AIA New York Chapter and evolve to hold the Board position of Vice President, Government Advocacy for AIANYS. I have to admit that I truly love doing it, even while being very frustrated about how challenging it is to move the needle in advocacy for our profession. Throughout my tenure serving the AIA, I have focused on government advocacy, both at the chapter level and the state level. Serving on the AIANYS Executive Committee has also given me the opportunity to develop an understanding of the ways in which AIANYS serves its member chapters and its constituents. I believe that this broader experience has prepared me to serve as the AIANYS President in 2020. This preparation includes working with two incredible, giving leaders— my predecessors, Kirk Narburgh, FAIA and Mark Vincent Kruse, AIA—and the wonderful staff at AIANYS led by Georgi Ann Bailey. I have learned so much from them and will continue to lean on them for advice and counsel, early and often. I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the chapter leaders across the state through the course of the year, as
Joe, circa 1989.
well as observed how Kirk and Mark led with strength and grace. I am excited to continue this journey with my friend, Illya Azaroff, AIA, President-Elect. We have worked together on a number initiatives including FutureNOW! He brings with him his wealth of experience working on climate change and resiliency efforts. His experience on the AIA Strategic Council will be invaluable as AIA National rolls out the “Big Move.” His enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. I would be remiss if I did not thank my Perkins Eastman family, especially the Executive Committee, for giving me the time to serve the AIA. Their support and patience are invaluable. And last, but definitely not least, I have to give many thanks to my family for the hours, weekends and travel away from them that I dedicate to serve the profession. So, ready or not, 2020 is here and I’m ready to serve you with a lot of help from my colleagues at AIANYS and the AIA chapter leaders across the state. I’m always amazed how many serve, give back to the profession and pay it forward every day. That love of what we do and willingness to serve drives me. I look forward to the challenge and working with all of our leadership and you to advance our profession. n MARCH 2020 | PAGE 9
With over 25 years of experience, Illya Azaroff, AIA is the founding principal of +LAB architect PLLC.; an Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY); and a leader in disaster mitigation, resilient planning strategies and design. He consults with design teams nationally and internationally, and is currently working with the city of Houston, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Kalinago first people of the Island of Dominica, Hau’ula community in Hawai’i and the City of Oakland Park, Florida. He recently contributed to ICC/ANCR community resilience benchmarks and the 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan for the City of New York and has served as a Technical Advisor to ASPR-Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response informing the NDFR-National Disaster Recovery Framework. His guidance is evident in documents including the New York City Department of City Planning Housing Retrofit Guidelines, the third edition of the AIA Disaster Assistance Handbook, FLASH - Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Resilient Housing Guidelines and Enterprise Community Partners Multi-Family Resilient Strategies and most recently Keep Safe: A Guide to Resilient Housing for Island Communities. He is a recognized subject matter expert by the U.S. Department of State, receiving foreign delegations to exchange global best practices for climate adaptation. His studio recently completed a new all-hazard, resilient and sustainable home in Breezy Point, New York, featured in the AIA National film challenge. He is a recipient of several awards including the 2018 Delgaudio Award from AIA New York State and the AIA Young Architect Award in 2014. Illya is co-founder of the DfRR Design for Risk and Reconstruction committee, is an instructor with NDTPC-National Disaster Training Preparedness Center in Hawaii and is a certified trainer for CalEMA post disaster assessment (SAP). Illya recently served on the AIA National Strategic Council from 2016-2018. Illya received a BA in Geography, a BSAS in Architecture from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a BArch and MArch from Pratt Institute. Prior to coming to New York, Illya worked in Berlin, Germany and Milan, Italy.
Illya Azaroff, AIA | President-Elect
Dedicated to Helping Others Affected by Disasters An Architect, Geographer and educator, Illya is the son of a war refugee— a profound influence that led him to dedicate his research and career to helping others who have been affected by natural and man-made disasters. To that end he has responded, studied and worked across the world to assist in post disaster conditions and to study, learn and share best practices. The communities he has assisted are part of a growing network that shares its expertise. Illya has become a recognized leader in disaster mitigation, resilient planning and design strategies. The US Department of State lists him as one of the nations foremost experts in resilient strategies and adaptation techniques and is often called upon to receive foreign dignitaries and missions. In 2018-19, he met with delegations from India, China and Bangladesh exchanging essential materials and ideas for combating climate change. He regularly works with the city, state and federal agencies, professional PAGE 10 | MARCH 2020
societies, not-for-profits, community groups and foreign governments on building resilient capacity.
believe that Architects are an essential profession to lead the world through the challenges of the 21st century. At no time in history has there been a greater need or call to action for Architects. Population growth, climate change, resource stress and ecological system collapse puts the world, and communities at greater risk. In our daily practice as architects, we convene diverse teams and study and solve intricate problems. It is that very training and thinking of an architect that is needed at all levels of leadership around the world. Decoding the problems, gathering the expertise and stakeholders alike, while advancing toward solutions that protect the health safety and welfare of all. Work life balance is ingrained in my life. I worked in Europe for several years where office culture supports a high quality of life. Through that experience,
“I believe that Architects are an essential profession to lead the world through the challenges of the 21st century. At no time in history has there been a greater need or call to action for Architects.”
I embrace that very sentiment in my own practice founded in New York City. On balance with architecture is family for me, most of my free time is spent with my wife and two sons. The wilderness is part of our DNA through camping, hiking, fishing and sailing. Upstate New York, the Finger Lakes Region, the Adirondack Mountains and the Delaware Water Gap are all favorite destinations followed by cooking and hitting farmer’s markets. Growing up in Nebraska with my parents and grandparents displaced by war has really shaped me equally. It’s beauty and power as part of tornado alley, covered by endless open skies, the Great Plains has taught me great respect for nature. Those places make you realize there is always something greater than yourself. The people from that area, especially my family, taught me not to waste resources, to stand up for what you believe in and that people are resilient and adaptable. The capacity to give is one of the greatest forces you have control over. I believe that over the course of the next five years, climate adaptation and rethinking our communities urban
footprint will be our focus. It is already dominating the global conversation and architects are at the table in those conversations. One good reason to join professional societies like the AIA is to be the collective voice for the profession at the table. Our network of professionals influences and builds the world. I realized the value of professional networks while living and working in Europe. While living there, I built a nice community of design professionals and gained an understanding of the value of that network over the course of five years. When I returned to the US, it was a natural step for me to join the AIA. Over the years, leadership in the AIA has helped me to develop my personal and professional skillset. At this critical time of global crisis, we all need to stand up and take on our challenges the best way we can. I feel as though taking on a leadership role in the Institute is my way of standing up. Standing shoulder-toshoulder with my colleagues as we take on these challenges. It may surprise many that I am not a “fan” of Architecture; I do not take
dedicated trips to see buildings. I am however, a devotee of what architecture can do for people and exploring cultures that fuel architecture. Architecture, in my opinion, is a reflection of culture and the value of seeing a place through the people who live there. The art, music, language, and cultural geographies that are at play interest me. I go to see successes and failures of Architecture, of formal and informal architecture, indigenous and of natural occurrences that influence living patterns. Perhaps that’s the geographer in me. Lately, science and performance of a building peek my interest, pushing the performance envelope in our work in the office is our daily task. Inexpensive, high performance buildings that repair the environment is our drive. Over the course of my career, many key figures have influenced me—some as mentors, others as exemplars of “how to” that I have admired and aspired to follow their example. Teaching professionals that had one foot in practice and one in education are high on that list. Preparing the next generation for the practice of Architecture while being engaged in building brought practical lessons that had a strong impact on me. Those that work to help others and improve communities are another group I often draw inspiration from. And, of course, my inspiration comes from my family—immigrants that survived war to thrive in a new country and to help others. n MARCH 2020 | PAGE 11
Michael Spinelli, JD, AIA; Principal at Cashin Spinelli & Ferretti, LLC and President, Nassau Suffolk Engineering & Architecture, PLLC has vast experience in the management of construction projects, retained by virtually all of the nation’s largest insurance companies to evaluate and/or manage troubled construction projects through completion. Michael has dutifully served AIA Long Island as President, an active member, and an innate leader within the community. His understanding of the local and state political landscape has helped to promote the profession and the interests of AIA members throughout Long Island. Michael has also served as the Vice President of Government Advocacy and is an attorney as well as an architect. Michael is also an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Farmingdale where he educates the next generation of architects on the importance of law and government. Michael has a long history of public service and activism, and has continually worked to better our communities in a wide variety of roles.
Michael Spinelli, JD, AIA | Vice President, Government Advocacy
et me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to continue to serve on the AIA New York State Executive Committee as Vice President of Government Advocacy. I look forward to working with my fellow architects on the 2020 Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, along with our talented and dedicated staff and colleagues at the Association. I was also privileged to serve on the Board and Ex-Com from 2004– 2006 in a similar position, Vice President of Government Affairs. Prior to my service with AIA New York State, I was a member of AIA Long Island’s Board of Directors, and served as President of the chapter. I always knew I wanted to be an architect. Growing up, everything was explained to me with a felt tip pen on the back of a napkin! My grandfather was an architect who worked for many firms throughout his career, including Harrison & Abramovitz, and Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. My dad traveled a similar but different road. A civil engineer, he managed facilities, design and construction throughout the
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“In our role as licensed design professionals—and more importantly, based on our responsibility as citizens who care for the planet—architects must continue to be leaders in our communities.“ United States for Trans World Airlines, including Eero Saarinen’s iconic Flight Center and I.M. Pei’s modernist “Sundrome” terminal. Tragically, Pei’s masterpiece was lost during expansion operations at JFK. After taking architectural drafting classes in high school, I followed in their footsteps and enrolled in the School of Architecture and Design at the New York Institute of Technology. Today, I am licensed to practice in New York, Connecticut and Texas. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. In August of 2013, my son Michael enrolled in the School of Architecture and
Father and son celebrating their graduations that occurred within the same week.
Planning at the Catholic University of America. He earned his B.S. Arch degree in 2017 and is currently enrolled in the School’s graduate program in pursuit of his M. Arch, working day and night in the studio on his thesis. I am so very proud of him. I believe in life-long learning. The very week my son began his architectural studies at CUA, I began studying the law in pursuit of my Juris Doctor at the Touro Law Center. Having served as an expert witness in numerous construction-related disputes throughout my career, I found that my practice often crossed paths with counsel, the courts and clients who retained me to provide expert construction-consulting services. Those assignments peaked my interests— particularly how architects, owners and contractors were treated under the law. Michael and I graduated the very same week. While he moved on to graduate studies, I took a few weeks vacation to study for the Bar Examination. I am now admitted to practice law before the courts of the State of New York. Owing to my degrees in architecture and the law, and my licenses to practice both professions in the state, I was approached by a faculty member (and fellow architect) about teaching at the State University of New York, Farmingdale State College, in its newly formed graduate program.
Today, I am a part-time professor at SUNY Farmingdale teaching Legal Aspects of Construction Management and Construction Contracts. Architecture touches our lives every day and in virtually every way. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we spend approximately 90 percent of our lives in the built environment. The structures we inhabit affect how we grow, learn, love, relate, communicate, heal, and recreate. Based on our education, experience, and licensure, architects should play the central and leading role in the building process. Regrettably, with the rise of professional construction management and contractor-led design build, the architect now shares the once vaunted title of “master builder” with others. I often wonder that if in the laudable goal of managing professional risk, along with the expensive and wasteful litigation that follows, have we given up a piece of the practice to others less qualified? Taken to an extreme, will we find that the profession has given away to others the role of master builder, while relegating ourselves to “designer,” and designer alone?
are uniquely suited to imagine, program, design and detail our homes, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods. In our role as licensed design professionals—and more importantly, based on our responsibility as citizens who care for the planet—architects must continue to be leaders in our communities. In order to do so, AIA New York State must support legislation and policy initiatives that provide for sustainable enterprises and adequate housing that foster social and economic justice, diversity and inclusion. We must also promote a legislative agenda that recognizes the essential role that the architecture plays in the community, stimulates a pro-growth business climate, and welcomes the next generation of architects to the profession. The mid-term election changed, dramatically, the make up of the New York State Legislature. A bi-cameral body, control of the legislature was traditionally shared by two political parties—the Democratic Party has controlled the Assembly since 1975, while the Republican Party has largely controlled the Senate since 1939. After the recent election, the Democrats are firmly in control of both houses of the legislature. And while this political observation has nothing—and I repeat nothing—to do with ideology, it has a profound effect on our legislative agenda and our ability to see sponsored legislation voted out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. With the recent change in Senate leadership, we may need to seek out new Senate sponsors for the legislation we support. In light of these changes, we need to examine our legislative agenda to develop a strategy for success. I look forward to working with each and every member of AIA New York State in promoting architecture and architects throughout the state. n
Architects, as master builders, should act as a valuable and trusted resource to state government, helping to shape policy. By virtue of our education, experience, and training, architects MARCH 2020 | PAGE 13
A lifelong Buffalonian, Paul McDonnell, AIA is Director of Facilities Planning, Design & Construction for Buffalo Public Schools. Paul is President of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History and Architecture, Buffalo’s most significant preservation advocacy group and was the former chair of the Buffalo Preservation Board where he served for 11 years. A Past President of the AIA Buffalo/WNY Chapter, a former AIANYS Director and a Vice President for Public Advocacy, Paul is just beginning his term as Vice President of Education for AIANYS.
Paul McDonnell, AIA | Vice President, Education
Serving as a Steward for the Buffalo Public Schools
am honored to be given the opportunity to join my colleagues in the architectural community as Vice President of Education (previously named Vice President of Knowledge). The American Institute of Architects has been an important part of my life and I look forward to an exciting and productive year. My architectural adventure started at Cannon Design where I was fortunate enough to be exposed to great projects with a wide variety of responsibilities and tasks that would fulfill all of the requirements of an emerging professional just out of school. Within a few years, I was afforded the opportunity to join the public sector as an architect for the City of Buffalo, and then as an architect for the Buffalo Public Schools, where I would act as a steward for the district’s 60 schools and upwards of 40,000 students and staff. I was in the unique position of not only serving as an architect for the district but as the owner. In the traditional role of architect, I have managed an office that designed classrooms, additions, roofs, and other projects. As an owner, I have hired and managed architecture
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and engineering firms to design complex projects, and on a day-to-day basis, to ensure that our facilities are meeting the needs of teachers, staff and students. In the political realm, I have had to present and market our projects to Board of Education members, parent groups, administrators and the State Education Department. Nontraditional responsibilities, but responsibilities I was well prepared for with my architecture education—communication and problem solving. I come from a family of teachers. Both my parents were teachers as well as my paternal grandparents, my sister and various aunts, uncles and cousins. The library at Kensington High School is named in honor of my grandfather, Thomas J. McDonnell, the first principal of that school. I always envisioned my path to becoming an architect to be a distant one from the teaching profession my family had chosen, yet my destination ended up as an architect in New York State’s second largest school district advocating for, and working with thousands of teachers and students. Upon starting work in the District in 1995, I was presented with schools that
had an average age of 70 years. They had the obvious deficiencies of older buildings such as inadequate power for computers and electronics, old plumbing, drafty windows, inefficient heating and ventilation, poor handicapped accessibility and worn finishes. What was apparent however, was the inherent quality of the schools. Constructed entirely of masonry, with large windows, terrazzo floors, rich woodwork and elaborate auditoriums, these buildings could not be duplicated and would surely last decades more. The New York State Historic Preservation Office determined that most of Buffalo’s schools were eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and wrote that they are “significant examples of early twentieth century urban architecture found in Western New York.” They added, “these buildings possess additional significance for representing the response of the City to expanding school age population in the booming community and they stand as a reminder of the importance of public education in the history of Buffalo” This became our charge, to restore and preserve our existing schools, protect Buffalo’s legacy, and prove that “old” buildings could become 21st century learning environments. Unfortunately, district projects at this time simply maintained the status quo with the installation of new roofs, replacement of windows, improving finishes and addressing life/safety concerns. Buffalo was a poor district and it was falling behind as there were not enough resources to make a real difference. That changed in 2000. A visit by the New York State Education Department resulted in the determination that our schools were old and worn but worthy of reconstruction rather than replacement. Buffalo would not build new schools, but renovate their existing ones. We were fortunate to have been eligible for a significant amount of New York State building aid, receiving 93.7 cents for every dollar spent, but the challenge was that this was only available as reimbursement. The City of Buffalo, whom the district is dependent on, would have
to front the money, an impossibility for a poor city with a declining population and tax base that must also fund parks, the police and fire departments, cultural institutions and numerous other items. Realizing this, progressive thinkers from the city, county, school district, state and private sector came together to form the Joint Schools Construction Board, (JSCB). This board had the authority to sell bonds through the Erie County Industrial Agency (ECIDA) to fund what would become a $1.3 billion endeavor that would completely renovate 48 of our schools, a project that I would spend my next 15 years on and would become the largest historic preservation project Buffalo has ever seen.
The public exposure and hands on experience I received working on Buffalo’s historic schools opened doors into other preservation realms. I helped found and eventually became president of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture and Culture whose mission is to preserve Buffalo’s architectural legacy. The Campaign developed the most respected architecture tour program in western New York and in 2007 we began tours on the “Open Air Autobus” a groundbreaking endeavor that whisks visitors around Buffalo on a converted school bus “sans roof.” The tours attract not only Buffalonians but visitors from around the world. In August 2011, Toronto Star writer Jim Byers described his experience as:
“One of the best architectural tours of a city I’ve ever had comes with the Whirlwind Tour from a company called OpenAir Autobus of Buffalo. On an intimate bus open to the sun and sky, you get a two hour tour of the city from real experts. Our guide was Paul McDonnell, the architect for the Buffalo School System, and he made the city’s past and present come to vibrant life. Tickets are $20 and well worth it.” The Campaign has become the leading advocacy group protecting Buffalo’s Architecture and leading the effort to landmark the many historically significant structures and neighborhoods in Buffalo, the preservation of Trico Plant #1, the restoration of the Richardson/Olmsted Complex on Forest Avenue and the fight to insure that “Canalside”, the terminus of the Erie Canal develops into a project that stresses authenticity and reflects the history and culture of this nationally important site. Soon I would join the Buffalo Preservation Board, whose responsibility it is to review work performed on all locally designated landmarks or structures located in local historic districts. I would serve as chair of the board for 9 years of my tenure. I was part of the 2010 initiative to add Buffalo’s University Park neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places, a district of 429 structures, including my craftsman bungalow. It was Buffalo’s first new historic district in almost 25 years and an example of a very successful collaboration between the City, neighborhood residents, NYS Historic Preservation Office and the University at Buffalo, whose students surveyed every structure and prepared the nomination. I have been fortunate to have seen a renaissance Buffalo has been going through, fueled in no small measure by the recognition of its wonderful architecture. My career in the public sector has given me the opportunity contribute toward that rebirth and make a real impact on my city by helping to protect it and showcase it to residents and visitors from all over the world. n
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Pasquale Marchese, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a Project Manager/ Project Architect at BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers, PC. Relocating to the United States from Italy in 2000 to start his first job, Pasquale is currently a Project Manager and Project Architect for BBS Architects. With over 20 years in the Architectural Industry, Pasquale (Pas) is responsible for managing personnel and assessing clients’ needs. A member of the AIA for 17 years and actively involved for over 10 of those years, Pas has held various positions including the VP of Programs and President for AIA Eastern New York and was recently a part of the Board of Directors for AIANYS, additionally serving on several committees at the State level.
Pasquale Marchese, AIA | Vice President, Communications & Public Awareness
Much More than Design
n the late 70’s I was spending the summer with my grandparents in Rossano, a town in the province of Cosenza, Calabria, southern Italy, helping my grandfather in his wood shop. I was sitting on the balcony of their apartment, and when looking at the panorama of the town, I took a piece of paper and started to draw the skyline. It was then that my grandfather, looking at my piece of paper, said, “You may want to be an architect.” In his job, he worked with many local architects. With that recommendation from my grandfather in the back of my mind, I went through middle and high school, subconsciously nurturing and developing my design skills. Consequently, I was introduced to a few local architects, meeting my first mentor and the person who has continuously influenced my architectural career, Architect Antonio Piero Carli, a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Turin. During the first three years under his mentorship, I was introduced not only to the design and creativity aspect of architecture, but also to the business aspects
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of a practice. Being a small firm, we shared all the responsibilities necessary to run a small business including finance, marketing, and business development. By listening to the client’s needs, providing our professional knowledge and expertise and providing quality work, the office became well-known locally, regionally and nationally. And it was those strong values—work ethic and commitment— that made my transition from Italy to the United States easier. Thanks also goes out to the great people and mentors I have met in the US; I could not have grown professionally and personally— becoming an architect who is respected by my peers, by clients and other parties involved in our market and profession— without them. As architects, we don’t always realize the impact we have on the built environment, the life of our clients and the end users. And in some circumstances, we don’t always receive the appropriate acknowledgment for it. As an architect, it is extremely rewarding to see the client’s expression of approval once your design
and work takes form, is brought to life. Whether it is a new residence or addition, a new or renovated school library and classrooms, or a new or renovated office building, I recognize that those spaces will have a huge impact on the lives of their users. It’s for this reason that listening should be one of our most important skills. One thing I would change about architecture is the perception of the profession by the public and communities we serve. To make this change, we need to look to the past and how previous masters in architecture practiced the profession.
“Part of an architect’s role is to introduce young adults to our profession, explaining that even though Architecture is a challenging career that requires continuous learning, it’s also extremely rewarding.“ It seems as though a high percentage of the public perceive architects as designers/artists only, believing that we just draw nice pictures. As architects, we know that is simply not true. We impact the lives of people and the environment in which they live, and we use our understanding of the technology and assembly of materials to best benefit the community at large. Since its origin, architecture and architects (Palladio, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and more recently Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvaro Siza, Alvaro Alto) not only designed their buildings, but their knowledge of other disciplines made it easier for them to detail every aspect of their buildings, including the impact
State where I would be directly involved in the preparation and cooking, and have direct connection with the clients. One of the things that most people would be surprised to know about me is that even though I’m Italian, inside and out, I was actually born in Germany. Yet when they looked at me and didn’t see blonde hair or blue eyes, they kicked me back to Italy! of their building on the existing surroundings. Given that, if we educate our clients and make them understand what it takes to resolve their problems and needs, we can also change the way they perceive us. Part of an architect’s role is to introduce young adults to our profession, explaining that even though Architecture is a challenging career that requires continuous learning, it’s also extremely rewarding. We can work in a variety of markets, meet different people and positively impact many lives. We collaborate with our peers or professionals from other disciplines. We can see how our designs take form and become reality. Not a lot of professions can do that. Sometimes I stop and reflect upon where I came from, where I am at that very moment and how I arrived there. Sometimes my thoughts go deeper and I try to imagine what my life would be without architecture and what alternative career path I may have chosen. Since I started working early on in life and have done a variety of jobs, the other profession I feel most connected to is that of Hospitality Business—like owning a bar or restaurant. I imagine myself owning a typical Italian bar-restaurant here in New York
A well-balanced life between work and private life is important in the long run, so when I’m not working or volunteering for our Association, or other non-profit Associations, I spend most of my time with my family, watching and playing sports (mostly Soccer/Calcio), riding my motorcycle and reading books (mostly about...you guessed it...architecture). I have been a member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 2001. The first person that introduced me to the AIA was Chris Resig, AIA, the president of the Southern Tier Chapter at that time, and my direct supervisor at The Sear-Brown Group, Inc., an architecture, engineering, planning, and construction services firm. I became actively involved and decided to serve as Vice President of Programs for our local Eastern New York Chapter, when my employer Randy Collins, AIA, convinced me to apply for the position. Over the span of my career, I have experienced many accomplishments. It is for this reason and the need to contribute to a stronger voice for our profession and community, I decided to step up and serve as an officer for AIA New York State. n
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Jeffrey Pawlowski, AIA, is a Project Manager at King + King Architects and brings almost 10 years of professional experience in the Architectural field. At King + King, he has worked on several projects with highly technical spaces including Intensive Care Units, Psychiatric Emergency Departments, and Central Kitchen Facilities. In addition to designing Healthcare Facilities, Jeff is a Past-President of American Institute of Architects Central New York Chapter, is an alumnus of the Class of 2015 for Leadership Greater Syracuse, and participates in several other community organizations. When Jeff is not managing projects, he is the President and CEO of his Event Planning company, Clink it Design. Jeff is a certified event planner with six years professional experience working on weddings, community organization galas and themed holiday decorating. He has served on the planning committee for the Onondaga Historical Association’s, “Our Glorious Workplaces” gala for three years and the American Institute’s annual Celebration of Architecture for five. Jeff is dedicated to his clients’ needs and works with them to achieve success at every level. During his spare time, he likes to spend the weekends at his family’s house on Lake Ontario. Jeff enjoys reading, running and relaxing. He is excited to see where the next adventure will take him.
Jeffrey Pawlowski, AIA | Vice President, Emerging Professionals
Taking a Seat at the Table
rchitecture is something that I have appreciated and been interested in since that first Lego house I modeled. The impact that design and the built environment has on people is remarkably special and for me, exploring and shaping is the most rewarding experience I can ask for. Architecture, especially as a profession, is so much more than designing the built environment; its being advisors to clients, its understanding process and operations, and most important, it’s a customer service based profession that results in beautifully designed spaces that impacts every person’s life. When deciding what my thesis would focus on in college, I knew it had to be a solution for the healing environment. It was at this moment, as I was sitting researching Evidence Based Design and healthcare design, that I knew this is where I would dedicate my career. The technical nature of acute care bundled with the challenge of making it a unique, inviting space is very motivating.
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“Architecture is also about collaboration and bringing people together for a common cause...“ Shaping the environment for people at their most vulnerable or happiest moments of their life in a spatial and aesthetic manner is critical to their outcomes and experiences. Ultimately, I believe that by continuing to design spaces that promote harmony of mind, body and spirit, we will shift our culture from one that is dependent on invasive medicine to that of a community which focuses on the healing experience of the patient. I have seen this trend starting to snowball, at least in the infancy stages nationally and am grateful to be a part of it. This is the future of medicine in our society, not only spatially and functionally, but financially as well.
is relevant for generations to come is important and exciting; keeping the next generations engaged is even more important.
Architecture is also about collaboration and bringing people together for a common cause—something not unlike the American Institute of Architecture as an organization. Even in college, the camaraderie of being an AIAS member was something that I looked forward to. The social commitment, understanding, and influence of the greater purpose is always exciting. After graduating, I immediately immersed myself in the Central New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects by joining the Celebration of Architecture task force. That was exciting for me and helped me develop continued interest in giving back to the professional community that I love. Immersing myself in the AIA, there are so many things that we work together to advocate, communicate and celebrate together. Architecture is embedded in the world we live in, and being a part of the community of individuals who get to shape and influence it on the daily basis is a privilege. Work/Life balance is also something very important to me. I believe that taking time to recharge makes us better professionals and leaders. It grounds our
decisions and keeps us motivated to push forward. For my downtime, I enjoy spending the warmer months on Lake Ontario, boating, reading, and working on my parent’s house (yes it’s impossible to exclude architecture from personal time). The hands-on nature of the design and construction industry and the knack for “having to figure it out” is in our nature—it’s embroidered into our DNA and defines our approach. Seeing the profession advance and morph over the past ten years has also been exciting and terrifying at the same time. Being a Xennial, or the first of the millennials, I appreciate the past and understand the future. We are described as “individuals who practice the GenX model of work hard and survive independently while starting the techbased generation of the millennials.” The profession continues to push the boundaries and influence the needs and deliverables of architecture and building. As an Emerging Professional myself, the opportunity to represent those who share our seat at the architecture table is something not to be taken lightly. Relevance is critical and making sure that AIA
Throughout the past year as Vice President of Emerging Professionals, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the importance of the future, filling the pipeline, and most importantly listening to the needs of all emerging professionals. From hosting the EP forum, to attending local component Emerging Professionals meetings, it is vivid to me how much excitement, dedication, and energy there is around creating opportunities, programs, and fun for all emerging professionals. There is continued opportunity to integrate the programming of these groups with the greater architecture community. Developing programs like “Cooling the Burn in Burnout” webinar that we produced, was a direct result of the concerns expressed at the forum. We are looking for more ideas like this to provide programming and education to the emerging professionals. The needs of the emerging professionals is an ever changing pendulum and presents an opportunity for AIA. Our seat at the table is profound and respected. We are the voice of the future and will take Architecture along with it. Thank you for letting me take a seat at the table and I am excited to continue the momentum over the next year. n
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Peter Richard Wehner, AIA, LEED AP is an Associate and Architectural Department Manager at Passero Associates. Peter has over 30 years of Architectural design and business experience
for various types of companies including Real Estate Development, General Construction, Design-Build, and Architecture and Engineering services. He is a founding member of the Design-Build Institute of America, Upstate NY Chapter, was a member of the Irondequoit Planning Board for over nine years, and is currently an Irondequoit Town Councilman. Peter was also awarded the Eagle Scout designation from the Boy Scouts of America. As an active member of AIA Rochester for 32 years, Peter has served in numerous positions on the AIA Rochester Board including President, President Elect, Treasurer, Practice and Design Director. In addition, Peter served on the AIA New York State Board as the Rochester Director in 2018, and is currently serving as the Secretary in 2019. He also serves as a Town Councilman for the Town of Irondequoit, serves on the Town of Irondequoit’s Planning Board and Architectural Review Committee, is an Adjunct Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture at the Golisano Institute of Sustainability and was recently named as Rochester’s Leading Architect by the Rochester Business Journal.
Peter Wehner, AIA | Secretary
The Broader Aspects
hen I first graduated from college, I was fortunate that my first firm encouraged their employees to join the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The members I initially met and built my career along side, are still some of my closest professional allies (as well as friendly competitors) to this day. The AIA community helped me to grow both personally and professionally. As my career evolved, my interest in giving back to my local community and profession grew, leading me to become more involved in the broader aspects of Architecture. My initial role was at the local level where I donated time in the community, expanding into my local AIA chapter as a Board member and then subsequently at the State level by representing my chapter on the Board of Directors. When I began high school, I took every drafting class the school had to offer. At the time, I was bound and determined
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to become a Doctor. A year or so later, during my Advanced Biology class, we were assigned the task of memorizing all the bones and muscles in the human body. I immediately realized I had no desire to be a doctor! I was heavily involved in The Boy Scouts of America, working towards and eventually earning my Eagle Scout badge when I found out that the program had an Architecture Explorers Program. Since my early drafting classes resonated with me, and my Boy Scouts mentor encouraged me to pursue Architecture as a Major in College, I decided that choice was a better fit. I was fortunate to discover Clemson University, where the program included a perfect blend of Building Science and Fine Art courses, suiting my interests perfectly. About 20 years ago, I was able to serve on my Town’s Architecture Review Board and a few years later, on the Planning Board. At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult it was to get appointed to these
itive process. Since then, we’ve won several more commissions, and to date, I have been involved with six more public library projects, developing a niche of expertise in this project type. I have become involved in the Public Library Association, delving into the state of library design, and assisted in formulating the design for several local and regional libraries. These projects have such a profound effect on localities, and often energize a community once complete. These public community spaces provide much-needed space and services for the locality they serve. It is rewarding to see how active the Library Organization can become once they have the space to service their constituents. n
Peter in Europe, circa 1985.
politically associated Boards. I spent 10 years on the Planning Board and four years as chair under multiple administrations—I really loved the job.
“As my career evolved, my interest in giving back to my local community and profession grew, leading me to become more involved in the broader aspects of Architecture.“ An elected position opened up unexpectedly on the Town Board and I was asked if I would be interested. With some trepidation, I said yes. My one reservation was that once appointed, I needed to be elected. Luckily, I have faced two elections and have been successful in both. Starting out, I would have never realized how my skills and expertise as an architect would benefit this position. In reality, there is so much a Town Board does that relates to our field. From issues
with the environment, zoning and development projects, to budgets and future development, these are all aspects of our profession we tackle each and every day. I am truly honored to represent the people of my Town and to represent our profession on a Town Board. Additionally, I teach a course in the Graduate School of Architecture at Rochester Institute of Technology. For the last three years I have taught Professional Practice there, and really enjoy meeting and mentoring young future architects. Some of those students work for me at my firm. It is highly rewarding to speak to people who are really listening and care about what you have to say. For me, the most rewarding projects are those that have the greatest community impact. I have been fortunate in my career to have been involved in a great deal of public projects including community centers, recreation centers, and public libraries. Many years ago, my firm was awarded a public library project. We developed a strong team and were awarded the project through a compet-
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Manuel Antonio Andrade, AIA LEED AP BD+C is President of Kenneth Irving, Architect PC. Manny graduated from the Architectural Program at Saunders Trades and Technical High School in Yonkers. After Graduating, he attended New York Institute of Technology at Old Westbury Long Island. He graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor’s in Architecture. While in college, Manny worked part time with Kenneth Irving in his architectural office. After graduating, he continued to work in the firm, eventually becoming Vice President, President and subsequently owner of the Firm. Manny received the Westchester + Hudson Valley AIA Scholarship in his 5th year. After earning his license to practice architecture, he joined the AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley chapter where he served on the Board as a Director for three years, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and then President. After serving the local chapter, Manny moved to the AIA New York State Board where he served two years as a Director and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee. He is now serving his first year of a two-year term as Treasurer. Manny enjoys martial arts and is currently a fifth degree black belt.
Manuel Andrade, AIA | Treasurer
Building on Opportunities
or as long I can remember, I have been fascinated with building things. From building structures with building blocks and then with Legos, everyone’s favorite building blocks. As I became older, I spent time with my father building one thing after another. Each year my passion for architecture was grew. I was born and raised in Yonkers, NY. When it came time to go to high school, I was presented with a great opportunity. Since I lived in Yonkers, I could choose to attend the Saunders Trade & Technical High School, the first public trades school in New York State that opened in 1909. The school is committed to combined vocational and academic instruction that provides students with skills for employment and academic preparation for college. During my first year, I went through different introductions to various occupations. When it came time to decide what I wanted to continue to study for the next three years, I chose to further my passion in Architecture.
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The time I spent in the architectural program at Saunders strengthened my confidence about becoming an architect, but I also wanted to experience architecture beyond the classroom. Through some contacts I had developed, I ended up working for an architectural firm after school and during breaks. This experience, along with the architectural program at Saunders, helped solidify my decision that I wanted to proceed with becoming an architect. After graduating, I was accepted into the five-year program at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, Long Island. While there, I continued working for an Architect, switching to a different firm where I thought I would gain more exposure and experience—it proved to be the right decision. I started working with Kenneth Irving, a dedicated professional who believed in mentoring his staff. Ken ended up being my mentor for many years, playing a critical role in developing my skills as an Architect.
Ken was involved in the local AIA chapter and motivated me to apply for their Scholarship during my last year of college. I applied, and after interviewing with the scholarship committee, I was awarded the scholarship. This was my first experience with the AIA, which demonstrated the commitment the organization had toward promoting young architects and the profession of architecture. After graduating with my bachelorâ€™s degree in architecture, I decided to continue working in the office of Kenneth Irving where I was exposed to all aspects of architecture. Ken took me under his wing, providing me with the best experience a young architect could have ever asked for. In addition to all of the experience I received while working in the firm, Ken helped me prepare for the architects licensing exam. I was able to attend prep courses along with two mock design exams that were sponsored by the AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley chapter. With the support of Ken and the local AIA chapter, I felt that I was properly prepared to take the exam, which was a 4-day exam at the time. I am very proud of the fact (and I have to brag just a little bit) that I passed all of the sections my first time! Since I was the recipient of a scholarship, the direct result of AIAâ€™s desire to help young architects, I decided to become a member and pay it forward. I eventually joined the local board and became involved in the scholarship committee and the continuing education programs. Just as receiving an AIA scholarship caused me to become a member and give back, having a mentor provide knowledge guidance and to me while in high school led me to get involved in the ACE Mentoring Program, a program that exposes high school students to professions in architecture, engineering and construction. I spent three years as a mentor to high school students in Greenburgh, NY, teaching them about the different career
paths they could consider if they had an interest in architecture, construction and engineering. The students developed a project by learning and implementing phases including planning, development, design, and construction. It was an amazing experience mentoring these students, allowing their imaginations to develop projects that range from a sports college to ocean side development to an underwater city. While participating in this program, students explored their options which assisted them in deciding what to continue to study in college. During my last year in Greenburgh, we had students traveling from places in Rockland, Yorktown and Connecticut to Greenburgh to be able to participate in the program. I am currently working on starting an ACE Mentoring group in Rockland to provide interested students the opportunity to participate in this program closer to home. With all of the experience and assistance I was privileged to have during my lifetime, ranging from my exposure to architecture in high school and college, my experience gained while working in architectural firms, and the support I received from the AIA, Iâ€™ve learned that it is extremely important to give back by teaching and guiding our future architects in order to improve our profession. I would like to wrap up with a big thanks to all the people that supported, motivated and guided me to follow my desire to choose architecture as a profession and ultimately becoming an architect and owning my own firm. n
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2020 Directors at Large
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Casey J. Crossley, AIA, LEED AP is an Associate with architecture+. An alumni of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Casey joined architecture+ in Troy, New York in 2006 while completing his degree. He has designed numerous projects for higher education, healthcare, and community clients, and enjoys collaborating with other local firms, industry organizations, and colleges. Throughout his career, Casey has been involved with the American Institute of Architects, serving as the Eastern New York (ENY) Chapter’s President-Elect in 2018, President in 2019 and Immediate Past President in 2020. He is dedicated to helping young architects successfully navigate the licensure process which led him to join and eventually lead the ENY Chapter’s Emerging Professionals committee. Casey believes his career has benefited from his involvement with the AIA and the Eastern New York Chapter and encourages all who are eligible to explore opportunities to get involved.
Casey Crossley, AIA | Young Architects Forum | New York Region Director
Continuing the Dialogue
rowing up, I was always interested in building and how things were put together. My uncle is a carpenter, and from a very early age I wanted to help him as often as I could. Even if it was just grabbing some more wood or holding the end of a tape measure, being around the process got me hooked. As I got older, I spent many of my summers working in residential construction and this is really where my interest in architecture began. From a pile of wood, I was able to help build a home that people would spend their lives in and create memories. That experience gave me a real sense of what creates space within a building and how much impact a single space can have on an entire building. To this day, when the walls start going up on a job site, I’m always reminded of that feeling. The first couple of years in architecture school were pretty intimidating for me. My interest in architecture grew beyond the more practical aspects of the profession. Opening myself up to the more abstract, creative process didn’t come
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“There was so much energy and optimism from the attendees and leadership [at the Grassroots Conference] that it motivated me to look beyond my local component and consider how I can have a larger impact on the profession.“
naturally. I was really struggling to find a creative language and felt like I was falling behind my peers. I was seriously considering transferring out of the program. It finally clicked for me in my second year, spring semester studio with my professor, Francis Bronet; and to this day, I remember it vividly. It was midway through the semester and I was still struggling. We had a project that was sited along the recently announced High Line project and we had to come up with
massing models. I had made a simple rectangular mass out of white mat board that had a slice through it where the High Line intersected the site. I was really nervous to present it because it didn’t take long to put together, but it was my honest interpretation of the context. Francis came to my desk and was really excited about the model. She reinforced the fact that design is about how you interpret all of the influences on a particular project, and is not necessarily about a specific style. The idea that architecture works best when it’s influenced by its surroundings gave me the perspective and confidence I needed to continue to pursue my career. That studio has had a measurable impact on my career, and has helped inform my work. I’ve always considered architects to be uniquely qualified to respond to the always increasing influences on a specific design problem; like context, sustainability, client requests, building codes, and community engagement. The idea that architects have to be adaptable has really driven me so far, and it’s what makes me passionate about the profession. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a conscious effort to really consider these aspects in our projects and it’s a very exciting time to be an architect.
My involvement on the Emerging Professionals Committee led me to become more involved in the Eastern New York component and I was elected to be our 2018 President-Elect. As a part of this role, I attended the AIA Grassroots Conference in San Diego that same year, and it was an invigorating experience. There was so much energy and optimism from the attendees and leadership that it motivated me to look beyond my local component and consider how I can have a larger impact on the profession. In 2018, AIANYS held its inaugural Emerging Professionals Forum in Albany, where I was able to connect with my colleagues from Emerging Professionals Committees across the state. Together, we discussed many of the same experiences, and seemed to have the same challenges when it came to engaging and advocating for emerging professionals. A lot of great ideas came out of that meeting and have grown through continued collaboration. The focus of my continued role as the New York Representative to the AIA Young Architect Forum is to build upon these ideas and put them into action. I’m looking forward to the challenges that this year brings, and will continue to work towards helping young architects reach their potential through outreach and advocacy. n
I received my license in 2015 after what felt like a very long three year process. I was fortunate enough to work at a firm that was very supportive while I prepared, and provided me the opportunity to navigate the licensure process on my own path. Becoming licensed was a very important milestone in my career, and I wanted to be able to share my experiences with other emerging professionals, assisting them with their own path to licensure. As a way to initiate my connection with young architects, I reached out to my regional component and became involved in the newly formed Emerging Professionals Committee. As a member of the committee, I’ve been able to connect and network with other emerging professionals in my area.
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Josette Matthew, Associate AIA is an emerging design professional based in New York. She graduated from New York City College of Technology with a bachelor’s in architectural technology in 2013. Since then, she went on to participate in developing projects for local competitions in arts and design. Josette is currently serving her second year as Regional Associate Director on the AIA New York State Board and serving on the National Associates Committee for AIA National. She spent her first year implementing new ideas for programming for the state’s annual conference, was involved in revamping the state’s student scholarship competition, and took part in reinforcing the newly implemented Emerging Professional Manifesto, which allows for more engagement among the local chapters. Josette has been active in the ENYA committee of the AIA New York chapter, currently serving as the project manager for the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition, an annual design-build competition. She has also collaborated with the AIA Brooklyn chapter’s Emerging Professionals Committee, developing design-build projects that were entered into FIGMENT’s Dream Bigger competition. The projects were finalists in the competition and will be exhibited during FIGMENT’s annual festival on Governors Island. Her collaboration with the BKEP committee resulted in a 2017 Honor Award from AIA Brooklyn.
Josette Matthew, Associate AIA | New York Region Representative to the National Associates Committee
y interest in architecture started very early on during high school. I attended the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at the City College in Harlem. In this specialized high school, civil engineering and architecture classes were a requirement for everyone. Initially I thought of them as just another class in my schedule until I was in my sophomore year. During that year, I was introduced to designing and model making. Designing and problem solving were aspects that always came natural to me. Model making was always a tedious task but because of my love for creating, it was always something that I rose to the occasion for. When my design teacher saw my interest, he encouraged me to pursue it along with my art enrichment classes. As I progressed along in high school, and later in college, I realized it was the perfect combination of my two favorite subjects in school, math and art. Once I arrived at college, like most architecture students, my love for architecture quickly
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developed into disdain and I regularly questioned whether I should continue. It didn’t take me long to realize the dedication it takes to study architecture and eventually have a career in it. Somehow through the sleepless nights, countless computer glitches, impaled fingers, and scathing critiques from my professors, my love for architecture remained intact and I joined the workforce. Like many others, I initially joined the AIA as a way to connect to my peers and establish connections within the industry. As I got to meet people and create connections, it evolved into much more. Joining the AIA became an opportunity to give back, to learn from my peers and provide me with chances to explore avenues outside of my comfort zone. I initially started as a volunteer building the City of Dreams Pavilion on Governors Island. Missing the opportunity to work with my hands as we did in studio, I jumped at the chance to take part in a design build project. By simply apply-
ing myself and getting to know other volunteers and the designers of the project, it awarded me my first post-grad job as a design intern with StudioKCA, the designers of the pavilion during that year, and a community with the Emerging New York Architects Committee of AIANY. From that moment, I was immersed with gratitude and felt a need to volunteer my time and pay it forward. Eventually, I became an official member of the AIA and regularly attended ENYA meetings. It didn’t take long before I had an active role in the committee as one of the project managers for the Pavilion, which was encouraged by some of my fellow peers in the committee. It wasn’t long after this point where I once again found myself being encouraged by colleagues to apply to join the AIANYS board. Initially, I felt intimidated and approached the opportunity with trepidation. I had never served in such a position and I wasn’t sure what it would entail. Joining the board was a challenge I chose to take that pushed me out of my comfort zone and ultimately helped me gain some confidence in my abilities. Without the support of past board members James Yankopoulos and David Flecha, I would not have had the courage to apply and serve as an associate director on the board. They have served as amazing mentors and role models to me, never hesitating to offer sound advice during my two-year tenure. With them and most of my colleagues in the AIA just a text away, I can confidently venture into this next chapter of serving on the AIANYS board. My recent decision to resign from my job and take a sabbatical has given me an opportunity to think about what my life would be like if I weren’t practicing architecture. Art has always informed my work in architecture. Early in my career, I had a number of volunteer opportunities to build several pavilions for an annual art festival called FIGMENT. Not only was I broadening the scope of building materials and the meaning of sustainability while doing this work, FIGMENT exposed me to participatory art. This particular
brand of art invited the spectator to contribute to the piece. I noticed that it usually created commentary among the audience, it taught others something new and it brought a tremendous amount of emotion, whether good or bad. As a connoisseur of art, it would be hard to choose what medium to specify in but I focus my attention on what brings people the most joy. From my firsthand knowledge of participatory art, it would be my first choice to explore. Subsequently, I had an opportunity to be an artist at FIGMENT by entering a project I helped design with my colleagues from undergrad. Our piece is known as Achilles. It was a full-scale baby giraffe standing at approximately 15 feet made out of machine cut plywood triangles. The section on each triangle represented a spot on its coat. We painted each spot with tinted chalkboard paint and asked each visitor to use the provided chalk to draw or write what he or she envisioned for his or her futures. It was so successful we had some overzealous visitors climbing on each other to reach the higher points of the neck to leave their mark. It stood on Governors Island in New York for the summer season. n
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Tannia Chavez, Int’l Assoc. AIA is a Project Designer, Project Manager and BIM Manager for City Consultant Engineering where she focuses on residential, commercial and mixed-use facilities. Tannia received her Architecture and Urban Planning Degree from the Universidad Internacional Sek in Ecuador and her Masters in Management of Construction and Real Estate from the Universidad San Francisco De Quito – USFQ (Ecuador) and the Universidad Politectica De Madrid – UPM (Spain). Tannia serves as the International Coordinator for the BAQ2020, Pan-American Biennial of Architecture of Quito in Ecuador, is the Founder and former Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee for the AIA Brooklyn Chapter and is currently serving as the Associate Director for AIA New York State.
Tannia Chavez, Int’l Assoc. AIA | Associate Director
rom a young age, I have always felt a strong connection with buildings. Every detail would capture my attention. Fascinated by structures of every style and height, I would passionately scan them up and down. The satisfaction of being immersed within the space brought me great happiness. After experiencing the master works of Antoni Gaudi, the sensation became a calling. I felt like I had been introduced to a new type of architecture with organic shapes that softly whispered to me, “This is your path.” As a result, my interest in traveling and learning languages began. Some places became a necessity to visit for inspiration. By balancing my professional life, I have developed an extended list of places, communities and people to learn from and understand their culture. I began my career in COLIMARQ, as an architectural auditor for the INNFA (Technical Audit of Child Development Centers Nationwide). The institution was created and run by the first lady of my country, Ecuador. There, I learned the importance of using quality materials and providing a higher assurance of safety and integrity within the design.
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Antony Gaudi’s Sagrada Família
Later, I transitioned into high-end residential projects, in which the main focus was “design.” It was a must to understand the client’s needs, identity and background in order to provide a product that would reflect my care and understanding of them. This experience helped me gain a deeper understanding of the design process.
Full Gospel Children’s Home Foundation
Eventually, I opened my own firm “UNDA CHAVEZ ARQUITECTOS/CONSULTORES.” My primary client became SCHLUMBERGER SURRENCO S.A., a North American company that sells services to petroleum companies. Through those projects, I was introduced to American building codes and regulations. With time, the idea of experiencing the American market intrigued me and I believed that my graduate school degree would support my goal to work in the United States. In 2016, I started working for CITY CONSULTANT ENGINEERING, in order to provide me with a better understanding of how mechanical systems are applied in a more demanding market. Growing up in a city with year round warm weather, I gained new knowledge working in New York. I have been fortunate to work with a team that has taught me how to integrate mechanical systems in my designs. They have also shown me strong professional values on how to be part of a pro-bono culture. Since a toddler, I had the opportunity to travel to various cities, however, when I arrived in New York City, it felt like home. The uniqueness of the city and its diversity made me want to be part of its environment and in the summer of 2014, this dream became a reality. Once again, this enchanting city opened its arms and embraced me with its energy, beauty and excitement. Culture, art and progress converge in one place. It’s incredible to watch how the city grows and expands. So many new high rise buildings become part of, and generate a new skyline every day. As I became more interested in
City View of Quito Ecuador and Skirt of the Volcano Pichincha
understanding and being part of the city, I started attending the ENYA (Emerging New York Architects) meetings. This helped me feel like I really belonged. Joining the AIA has made me feel surrounded by family. I have met so many caring individuals who have supported my growth, offered guidance, and provided an example of professionalism. I was born and raised Ecuadorian, and in Quito, Ecuador, I am still part of my colleague association CAE–P (Colegio de Arquitectos del Ecuador–Pichincha), iwhere I serve as an International Coordinator for the Pan-American Biennial of Architecture of Quito. I believe that staying connected with my roots helps me to better understand the varying needs and perspectives of a diverse group of young professionals. Having the opportunity to be Founder and former Chair of Women In Architecture Brooklyn, and learning from the strength and diversity of women in the profession, led me pursue the opportunity to serve as AIA New York State’s Associate Director. It is my desire to cultivate a reliable and efficient connection between AIANYS and its thirteen chapters. I firmly believe that it is essential
AIA Brooklyn’s Women in Architecture Committee
to understand the importance of communication and the delivery of an accurate message. I am passionate and excited to support the Emerging Professionals and engage them with opportunities that capture their interest. My mission is to build a strong network that fosters equity and the overall well-being of its members. It is my honor to contribute to this important Association, as I have enjoyed the process of learning and growing under AIA’s leadership. I am eager to continue opening doors towards a higher purpose that aligns with my love for this profession. n
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Alexander D’Amato, AIAS is the Past Chapter President for the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) in the School of Architecture and Design at the New York Institute of Technology at Old Westbury. He recently graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Architectural Technology- Concentration in Construction Management. He also holds an Associates in Occupational Studies from the Culinary Institute of America. His involvement in the AIA Emerging Professionals is focused on the advancement and education of his peers with a focus on sustainability, and more importantly the Equity and Diversity of our Industry and our built spaces.
Alexander D’Amato, AIAS | Student Director
To Build A Better World
Reprinted from nyit.edu | https://www.nyit.edu/box/profiles/student_profile_alexander_damato
n 2015, aspiring architect Alexander D’Amato jumped on an opportunity to move back to New York from Colorado to build and live in a tiny house on his family’s property. “I started [my architecture degree] at the University of Colorado, Denver,” he recalls. “When the time came to start studio classes, I had the chance to return to New York.” D’Amato looked at numerous architecture programs in the greater New York City area, but for him, NYIT was the perfect fit. He sat down with The Box to talk architecture, his career aspirations, and how he hopes to change the world. You have a very interesting background. Can you tell us about it? I have an associates degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America [and worked in the food and beverage industry for] 12 years as a sommelier, bar manager, cook, and anything else that needed doing. [I also worked in construction to] help fill wage gaps while working in the food and beverage industry.
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SO, WHY ARCHITECTURE? I came to architecture through many different pathways, construction being one. When I lived out West, there were experiences that changed the way I viewed the environment and our part in it. It was also around this time that I learned of the great impact that buildings have on the environment, from carbon footprints of materials and construction methods to the wasteful way that we operate and occupy them. Design and construction industries can affect the lives of everyone, while simultaneously staying on the cutting edge of technology…I came to a realization that I wanted to create, but also that I wanted to create something that would have a lasting influence on the lives of others. The equity, or lack of such, in our housing situations as well as our resource management with energy and food can all be answered through design problems. This is why a design degree is such a master key to so many doors—doors that
“We all need some serenity. Breathe deep and be grateful.”
can lead us to [making] lasting impacts on our communities and society as a whole—as long as we are thoughtful and continue to ask questions. Architecture embraces that type of thought; so does NYIT.
DID YOU FIND THE TRANSITION DIFFICULT? The two industries [food and beverage and architecture] are very similar in many ways. Both are service oriented, both provide a mix between necessity/luxury, and both are extremely susceptible to economic fluctuations. Architecture, however, offers stability assuming that if I earn more money during periods of plenty, then I can weather the times of drought. [I learned] this harsh lesson through years of living paycheck to paycheck, which made the decision to go back to school a necessary, but very difficult one. This is even more difficult when considering the age gap between my academic peers and myself and the stigma typically placed on older students.
WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF CLASS? I am the president of the NYIT-Long Island chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) organization and through that the subsidiary Freedom By Design (FBD) group. I am also a member of the Equity and Diversity Task Force for the AIAS National Board. As a member of these groups I am involved in many different projects and programs that engage local high schools as well as local firms. The professional development of the entire student body is a big focus for us. Outside of school, I am currently building a new place to live. My partner and I also go rock climbing and hiking, and the AIAS has many activities planned for the year, such as trips, firm tours, and professional development events in concert with Career Services.
YOU’VE ALSO DONE INTERNSHIPS, RIGHT?
the process—from initial site visits, to drawings and documentation, to construction or demolition, to the finished design elements, like tile and trim. All of this has been a continuation of my own construction experience, but every project presents its own challenges. New York City has a unique building style because of the long term urban development history. This was undoubtedly the most interesting aspect of all of my internship experiences over the past two summers.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR CAREER? I want my career to be about responsibility to the future. Through our designs, architects can offer a sustainable future to a more diverse population and [provide them with] equitable access to resources such as clean water, healthy food, safe and enriching spaces, and education. These resources [exist], we just need to answer the problem of how to use them and distribute them more effectively. n
I interned with a faculty member over the past two summers…I have had the chance to see many different stages of MARCH 2020 | PAGE 33
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Mark Anderson, AIA is the Vice President and Director of Historic Preservation at FacadeMD Architects & Engineers. Mark studied architecture at City College of New York (CCNY), Historic Preservation in the Masters Degree Program at Columbia University and has also studied architecture in Italy and historic preservation in Istanbul. Mark has been an integral part of FacadeMD for over fifteen years, where he has designed and observed every phase of exterior restoration. Mark has been the leader of the design team for the restoration of facades such as the landmarked 90 West Street, Woolworth, McGraw Hill, and Fuller Buildings as well as the restoration of the interior ceilings and stained glass of the landmarked Gould Memorial Library. Mark is a member of the Sealant, Waterproofing and Restoration Institute (SWRI), the Association of Preservation Technology (APTNE), the chairman of the Westerleigh Historic Preservation Committee, a director of the Architecture Alumni Association of CCNY and is currently serving as a Director for AIA New York State.
Mark Anderson, AIA | Director
Leading by Design
hen I was five years old, I was intrigued by a group of men pounding nails into 2x4’s all day and, after several hours, all worked together to raise the walls of a new house that was to be located in a field behind my house. Unfortunately, several days later, I also watched the frame of the unbraced two-story house fall down on a windy day. When I was 10 years old, I became interested in wood working and made bird houses, a wooden go cart and a fort, and had power tools. In junior high school, I excelled at shop classes and asked my metal shop teacher if I could make a shovel for my parents’ fireplace. Since it wasn’t a standard class project, I had to create a pattern by drawing it first—it was the first time I drew something to scale. In high school, I partnered with my father doing contracting projects at night and on weekends to help pay for my sister to go to college. When I was in high school, I didn’t have any intentions of going to college, and wanted to be a carpenter or woodworker. In my senior year, I befriended a carpenter who had developed a disabling disease. He recommended that I consider more stable work, as carpentry is not always steady
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employment and if I got hurt or sick, my family would suffer. I looked at his situation and understood what he was talking about. Ironically, my carpenter friend is now my next-door neighbor. In high school, I heard that a local community college would admit students on the spot so I went to give it a try. Since I knew how to build, I told the recruiter that I would like to major in engineering because I had heard that most engineers didn’t know what they were asking the workers to build. The recruiter looked at my grades and reluctantly agreed to accept me into the program. I took engineering courses and they let me take architecture courses as electives. I had difficulty relating to the engineering but took to architecture because I was diving right in and designing buildings. I switched my major to architecture and used the engineering courses as my electives. After two years, I received an Associates degree in pre-Architecture and researched a specialized school to learn how run a small woodworking shop, just in case architecture didn’t pan out. I continued in the Architecture program at City College. Although I was excelling in the program, I typically designed in model, rather than on paper. Our design professor invited our class to see a
museum exhibit on the works of Frank Gehry, an architect I hadn’t heard of at the time. Looking at his projects, I immediately realized that he designed by developing models as well and felt like my design method was acceptable.
en Island Chapter, one of the smallest chapters in the state. One of my favorite chapter activities is the Spaghetti and Marshmallow building contest, where elementary and middle school students bring their creations of dried spaghetti, held together with marshmallows, to be judged by members of the Chapter. It is an awesome opportunity for the children and their parents to interact with Professional Architects. After Marcus decided to become Vice President, I stepped in as a Director to complete his term on the State Board.
In architecture history class, my lack of college preparedness became apparent, when others understood the language and culture of architecture. I felt I finally understood the classics when I spent a summer studying architecture in Italy. In 1990, after I received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture, I began looking for a job as an intern during one of the worst recessions of recent memory. I was offered an internship with Façade Maintenance Design, which was a subsidiary of DeSimone Consulting Engineers and Shiffer Litchfield Architects. After I received my license, I realized that I wanted to continue in the historic preservation field and was able to attend the Masters of Historic Preservation at Columbia University, while continuing to work full time. I am the Vice President and Director of Historic Preservation at Façade MD. I am now an owner of Façade MD, having worked with my partner, Richard Lefever, PE for 30 years now. I am registered in nine states, including Louisiana, where we have a satellite office in New Orleans. There are many rewarding aspects of the work at Facade MD—I get to work on the part of buildings that people most readily associate with it, the exterior. Much of what we do is related to waterproofing, but also of maintaining the façade in a safe condition, which I take very seriously. I also get a kick out of simplifying anchorage and waterproofing details. We are in the field often so I have learned to deal with my fear of heights, as my day often includes hanging off the side of a skyscraper. It’s been an honor to work on many landmark buildings, designed by renowned architects—The Woolworth and 90 West Street Buildings by Cass Gilbert, McGraw Hill Building by Raymond Hood and Gould Memorial Library by Charles Meade, to name a few.
Mike’s likeness as a goat head ornament on the 15th floor of 90 West in New York City.
I was at the corner of Liberty and Church streets when the planes hit the World Trade Center and wanted to use my building evaluation skills to help in the aftermath, but that wasn’t possible at first. After several months, we had an opportunity to restore the exterior of 90 West Street, an office building converted into a residential building that was gutted by fire as the result of the events that day. We restored the copper roof, terra cotta and granite façade and the windows. Several terra cotta goat head ornaments were planned to be replaced, and as a joke, one of the owners suggested making them into the likeness of the project team, similar to what had been done in the lobby of the Woolworth Building. To my surprise Cass Gilbert’s granddaughter loved the idea. My likeness is located on the 15th floor on the west elevation. It was an honor to present a talk on the restoration project at the annual state AIA conference that was on Long Island a few years ago. I obtained my architecture license after receiving an ARE practice grant from the AIA. Once licensed, I joined the New York Chapter of the AIA, as my office is located in that borough. A few years ago, I met Marcus Marino, former state Vice President and President of the Staten Island Chapter at a geology fair. He convinced me to transfer to the Stat-
I met my wife in kindergarten and we have three boys, one in college and two in high school. We live in a house two blocks from the home where I was born in Westerleigh, formerly known as National Prohibition Park in the 1800’s. I have been involved with a local volunteer civic group for over 20 years, The Westerleigh Improvement Society, now serving as President. I began a program called the Westerleigh Talks that focuses on the unique history of the town. Theodore Roosevelt, John Perry and Johnathan Cook all spoke at a wooden auditorium that sat 5,000 people designed and built using a patented truss by John Wells, a barn builder from the Rochester area. I also helped get a local church on the National Record for Historic Places and assisted in protecting old historic homes from being demolished.. I am also on the Board of Directors of the Association of Preservation Technology, North East Chapter. I am currently in the process of replacing the 125 year old slate roof on my house. Though I am replicating most of the historic details, I have added some chamfered slate detail pieces and by doing this, I realized that I am living the AIA NY State Vision of “Leading by Design.” A neighbor, who lives several blocks away, explained that she was inspired by the homeowner who was installing a new slate roof with beautiful details, not aware it was mine, to paint the original siding on her home rather than replace it, I just smiled and said, “that’s a great idea”. n MARCH 2020 | PAGE 37
Danei Cesario AIA, RIBA, NCARB, NOMA is the 333rd black female architect in American history. Hailing from Manchester, England, she is an internationally licensed architect, project manager, and public speaker. She is currently part of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), managing dynamic mixed-use development, healthcare and wellness projects. With over a decade of experience, her leadership has been a significant factor in repeat partnerships. Beyond the office, Danei’s passion for architecture and advocacy has led her to become a champion for design professionals and a sought-after speaker. Her experience working in diverse, global environments has yielded speaking engagements at numerous national and international conferences and private sector events, including the United Nations, SXSW,Royal Institute of British Architects, AIA National Conference and the New York Building Congress. Danei served as chair of AIA New York’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee for over five years. Currently, she serves on the AIA New York State Board, is a contributor/ ambassador to organizations including Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, Parlour, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust + nycobaNOMA Executive Board. Danei is dedicated to fostering Mentorship, Sponsorship + Leadership within the design community. She founded WALLEN + daub to expand on these principles.
Danei Cesario AIA, RIBA, NCARB, NOMA | Director
Create Your Space, Wherever You Are
How did you first get interested in architecture? When I was about six, we were living in south-east London. I was walking home from school with my mum, and saw this massive church with a steeple. At the time, it was the most intricate building I had seen and I was very intrigued— asking my mum who built it, how it got built, and why. Bless her, she didn’t have all of the answers! So my mum took me to the library to start answering those questions, and my interest continued to grow from there.
Who has influenced your decision to become an architect? I’d say people who influenced my decision to remain an architect instead. Ghislaine Hermanuz was my professor and college counselor. She was (and still is) frank, but supportive, incredibly intelligent and always willing to provide guidance while exploring the possibilities within our profession. These traits PAGE 38 | MARCH 2020
are also true of Venesa Alicea, Irma Ostroff, Roberta Washington and my parents—all people who have cheered me on, listened, dusted me off when I have faltered and guided me at so many stages of my life and career.
What areas of the built environment would you like to or have you impacted the most? Healthcare
If you could change one thing about architecture, what would it be and why? The mystery. We don’t just lurk around building sites, clutching blueprints and wearing hardhats. I reckon that if there was a wider view on the spectrum of what being an architect entailed, we would have a wider range of people intrigued in pursuing it.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about choosing a career in architecture? Start it. Stick with it.
common ground and resource for me as a student involved in AIAS, as an emerging professional and even now. I also realized that not everyone felt welcome, heard or represented and had become less engaged as a result. As a Black, female, mother, immigrant and young architect, I wanted to address that productively. We could talk at length about what’s amiss with our profession, but what could happen if we worked together toward improving it instead? That curiosity is still what drives me to remain involved and engaged.
Did you have a mentor or mentors along the way?
If you weren’t practicing architecture, what would you be doing instead? I would be an obstetrician. Life would probably be less creative.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? We will have to wait and see, won’t we?
What do you do when you aren’t working? I work on WALLEN + daub, a space that I created to house and share many of my interests. I spend time in my house or my loved ones’ homes with my favorite people, just chatting, laughing, and/or cooking. I like exploring new places and experiences.
What else has shaped you as an individual? Becoming a mother has altered the way I approach and hope to affect the world. There is a greater desire now to contribute in a way that improves the lives of the people who will exist after us.
What else has influenced your career choice? I moved loads before I chose to stay put to attend City College for university.
Spaces, places can act as time capsules and it’s a unique, individual experience for each one of us. These places evolve as we do, differently for everyone. I wanted to create spaces for people, memories and shared experiences.
What do you think will change about the profession over the next five years? We are a service-based industry and as our clients become more sophisticated, more is demanded of us because information is more accessible to them. Thus, so are their options. I have worked on many proposals where the design team is asked to describe our ‘differentiators’ or ‘how we innovate.’ The way we deliver our expertise, how we compete and how we remain profitable as businesses are the areas where I believe we will see the most adjustment.
Why did you join the AIA and why did you choose to serve as an officer for AIANYS? I realized early on that AIA was a community where you could be understood. Here, we all understand the linguistic shorthand, the triumphs and tribulations of what we do daily sans the mystique of what non-architects think we do. It was a
I reckon it takes a village to build an architect. The people who helped me to stay in the profession are also my mentors. My mentoring has never taken a formal shape or setting; the most momentous learning experiences have risen out of impromptu conversations, challenging moments and some unfortunate circumstances. Old bosses, random strangers and my family have taught me so much. The range of intimacy with these ‘teachers’ fascinates me, but I’ve found that if you act as a sponge, you can learn so much. My origin story still plays a vital role in how I navigate architecture and life, so family is paramount to me. Until last year, five generations coexisted in my family—talk about generational wisdom! My great-grandmother taught me that the possibilities are endless. My grandparents taught me about being agile and future-facing. My dad taught me about sweat equity and finding your way in the literal sense. My mum taught me the importance of being able to stand on your own feet and maintaining your own identity through every phase of life. My husband has taught me emotional intelligence and the true meaning of collaborative partnership over our 14+ years together. My daughters teach me humility and the joys of simplicity everyday. Collectively, my family has taught me what it means to create your space, wherever you are. n
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Adedosu Joshua, AIA is a Principal Architect at Joshua Architect + Planner PC. Established in 2000, the firm focuses on commercial office space and multifamily residential projects. A focus of the firm includes the use of data to understand project and construction regulatory procedures. In 2003, the firm was a part of a residential architecture segment with KB Homes from California on the â€œLive with Regis and Kellyâ€? daytime talk show. Adedosu received his Master of Architecture from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; his Bachelor of Architecture from New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, N.Y. and his Professional Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning The Polytechnic Ibadan, Nigeria. Adedosu is the AIA Queens Chapter Immediate Past President and is currently serving as a Director for AIA New York State.
Adedoshu Joshua, AIA | Director
Planting the Seed for Architecture
y interest in becoming an architect evolved from my passion for nature and the arts. I grew up in a community where new buildings were erected, prompting my initial interest in building construction. In elementary school, I understood the significance of the arts and interacted with groups that engaged in drawing and playing with blocks made out match boxes. I was born in Nigeria and there were no formal art lessons or building programs at my school. In high school, art classes were offered to first and second year students. Fortunately, while I was in my third year, the school extended fine arts programs to upperclassman so I seized the opportunity to enroll taking fine arts courses until I graduated. What is my reason for mentioning fine arts? Sciences and environmental classes were never much of an issue concerning my interest in architecture. The art classes reinforced my understanding of three dimensional visualization and showed the importance of ancillary knowledge.
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These classes provided an opportunity for growth and solidified my interest in choosing architecture as a career path. After graduation from high school, I attended The School of Basic Studies where I was part of a certificate program for the sciences. Upon completion, I was accepted into college to study Urban Planning. After graduation, I traveled to the United States to study architecture at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I understood the passion, commitment and support it takes, in spite of many distractions, to study architecture. After completing my academic studies, I worked for Anastasi and Associates, PC, a small architectural firm in Manhattan. The Principal of the firm, John Anastasi, was a mentor and supported his staff members during their path to and receipt of licensure. He also recommended that I consider volunteering since I was always willing to help out. Some of my volunteer efforts include working on Public Advocacy for
laws that affect the practice of architecture in our local jurisdiction, Community Advocacy on the relevance of architecture and Community Advocacy with local high school students who are interested in architecture as a potential career path. Architecture is a cross disciplinary profession providing services for housing, cultural, economic, entertainment, health and political needs of diverse groups in society. These services must be provided with a strong statement and emphasis on design value and meaningful architecture to users and observers. Tools, standards and service delivery methods for the provision of these valuable needs have often changed with time. Hence, practitioners must adequately be equipped to master these new practice tools, in order to cre-
ate new relevant directions with expected changes. Issues of sustainability and resilience are still prevalent and relevant with architecture in realization of dangers associated with climate change. How architects can effectively meet up with these challenges have not been exhausted or fully resolved. Effective use of data and technology faces various challenges such as incompatibility, expectations, trust, and legal liability between the industry participants. Digital data poses problems between architectural practices, industry trades in project delivery and monitoring. Nonetheless, the profession needs better data usage to enhance confidence in decision making.
lings and vegetables. Given my interest in nature and the environment, if I wasnâ€™t practicing architecture I would work within the agricultural field. I also enjoy traveling and reading because both complement one another. Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to travel across Italy as a vocational architecture student at the Universita degli Studi di Trieste in Italy. Seeing historic structures firsthand was an invaluable experience. n
I participated in an agricultural research institution project helping plant seed-
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Jane Smith, FAIA, IIDA is a national leader in architecture, interiors and higher education and a Fellow of the AIA. She is founding partner of the award-winning firm Spacesmith and previously served as Chair of the Department of Interior Design at the School of Visual Arts and as VP, Professional Development for AIANY. Smith has helped change the profession, especially for women, as her firm of over 30 employees has designed a wide range of acclaimed building and interiors projects for noted clients including the US State Department OBO, New York State DOB and OGS, New York City DDC, Brooklyn Bridge Park, BlackRock, Ralph Lauren, Hermes and Viacom.
Jane Smith, FAIA | Director
Architects Boost New York’s Cultural and Civic Vitality, Everywhere
s architects, we have transportable skills that can support and champion a wide range of causes, constituencies and challenges. The architecture, planning and interior design firm that I founded, Spacesmith, has been based in New York City for more than twenty years, and in that time, worked across the country and on five continents. Over the years we’ve become increasingly committed to supporting the communities beyond New York City but closer to home in upstate New York. Finding likeminded clients and building projects upstate has led us to open a second office in Hudson, where I have been a resident since 2005, renovating an 1850’s home and serving on the Historic Preservation Commission, and subsequently building a new home just outside of town. From this riverside perch about 30 miles south of Albany, our team has been engaging with the tentacles of cultural and civic vitality that are rapidly expanding throughout New York State. The unique energy of New York’s many
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towns and cities is infectious, and our team sees exciting opportunities to bring lessons learned from our projects around the world to these leading initiatives statewide. This growth reflects the drive shared by architects to deliver a level of service, express passion for excellence, and act on sincere respect for context and the environment. We’ve enjoyed good success so far. Our project work upstate has included several residences, the design of a senior center, space plans for Albany’s Corning Tower, and a real estate study for the state of New York that led to tens of millions of dollars in operational savings. But there’s much more we can do. On the cultural front, New York is a magnet for excellence in the arts, performing arts and film industries. Inspired by film and television interest in shooting and producing upstate, Spacesmith has begun designing a client’s ambitious new film production studio in Saugerties. In Newburgh, a valuable model for other cities is the P.S. 6 Center for Film and Television, transforming a long-closed landmark
elementary school into soundstages, gallery space, a film screening area, and a training center for film and TV crews. There are other initiatives in New York like this that bolster employment and entertainment offerings alike. With a track record of restaurants like the just-completed Aquavit in New York City, Spacesmith has also supported the foodie scene, which is one of our state’s richest assets. (Did you know USA Today just listed Buffalo among its top 30 cities with underrated food scenes nationally? Yes, nationally.) In Albany, one Spacesmith client is converting a big former bakery into a mixed-use culinary magnet with a marketplace and restaurants, similar to Eataly or Chelsea Market in Manhattan. Architects are needed in other cities to create environments supporting the farm-to-table industries that have elevated New York as a leading producer of everything from honey to halloumi to hemp. Opportunities to help activate the rich arts tradition of the Hudson River Valley and beyond also motivate architects like us. Spacesmith has curated and designed exhibitions near our Hudson office at the famed landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church’s estate, Olana. Other visual arts centers are opening and expanding, such as the $3.3 million addition for Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the 35,000 square feet of new exhibitions slated for Albany’s State Museum. For performance, expect the new black box theater at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, new work at Poughkeepsie’s growing Powerhouse Theater, and Albany Symphony’s expanded American Music Festival, just to name a few. This vitality is part native New York audacity and part the vision plan of state leaders. Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced more investments in his early January state-of-the state address, building on $41 million earmarked for over 1,200 cultural and arts organizations two years ago. Best of all, most of those dollars are going to programs for underserved populations.
Which raises another motivation for architects today: The social impact that our new civic buildings, schools, nonprofit facilities and recreation structures can have on the growing towns and cities everywhere in New York. Whether the design team is building for providers of free legal service, as Spacesmith has, or for better delivery of social services in regions battling addiction and poverty, the architect makes a lasting contribution to the effectiveness of both private and public good works. Recreation is just one of those opportunities to help New York’s populations, and it is practically synonymous with the Empire State. Spacesmith has been sharing our ideas for family playgrounds and inexpensive pop-up pools -- we built a successful one in Brooklyn -- in upstate cities. We applaud the January announcement by Gov. Cuomo to transform the Erie Canal into new resources not just for fishing and kayaking but also for flood resiliency, agriculture development, and new tourist attractions. On a local level, municipalities can use grants to renovate existing recreation centers, such as the $2.5 million allocated to upgrade infrastructure at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium.
In the Hudson Valley and capital regions and beyond, where private and public investment has been growing, Spacesmith will expand its portfolio with public and civic commissions, workplace projects, adaptive reuse and retail facilities, higher-education works and residential design opportunities. Even more important, we’ll keep showing how architects are essential to nurturing growth in these critical functions and industries. Architects can bring not only innovative design solutions but also a focus on business strategy, community engagement, and end-user analysis. Frankly, there’s no better ally for New York’s future than the architects and designers working here today. n
As a firm founded and led by designer-entrepreneurs, we are also tracking how new business and start-ups are drawing investment to our state -- and not just in the soon-to-expand cannabis industry. Expect more in healthcare, high-tech, and technical manufacturing, which are driving GDP growth statewide. New housing and more university-based incubators will help support these positive trends, too. Being a part of these success stories is what began to influence me to become an architect. It also strengthened my belief that architects need to have better business abilities and insights. Equipped as an entrepreneur, architects make ideal partners for movers and shakers in every industry. That mindset has helped Spacesmith succeed within the profession, and it became a reason that I chose to give back to the profession by serving as an officer for AIANYS. MARCH 2020 | PAGE 43
Prior to establishing Nexus Creative with her colleagues, Jaclyn formed Tyler Architecture & Planning PLLC, a registered MWBE. Jaclyn’s prior professional career included positions with three Hudson Valley firms beginning in 1998. During Jaclyn’s tenure, she gained extensive knowledge and experience in multiple project types including Retail, Multi-Family, Churches, Corporate Aviation Facilities, custom luxury residential and numerous others. Jaclyn’s expertise has led to opportunities teaching continuing education classes and developing summer Architecture programs at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY).
Jaclyn Tyler, AIA | Director
Impacting the Future One Day at a Time
’m often asked when I knew I wanted to be an architect and it surprises many when I tell them I knew in fourth grade. I would spend hours as a little girl playing with a dollhouse my grandfather had made for my older sister which was then passed down to me. However, I wasn’t just playing house. I was engrossed in the details of the dollhouse: the windows, the dormers, the way the roof engaged the walls and the spaces in the tiny structure so skillfully made by human hands. My thoughts shifted to the large-scale real-life model. In the fourth grade, my parents started an addition to our home. As my parents sat with their Architect, my Mother’s cousin-in-law, Don Proto, I took in the entire design process. The sketch paper, the computer design (yes, even back in the late 80s) and the blueprints. I was in awe of him and in awe of the process. I had the first-hand experience of observing the construction process as we lived in the home while the renovations were occurring.
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“The opportunities presented to me from the chapter and colleagues I met during my eight-year journey as a board member were instrumental in making me who I am today.“ Fast forward to my high school years, I was introduced to the Architecture elective track which included multiple CAD classes and a full year Architecture class which ended with a final project of designing a home for a high school architecture competition run by SUNY Dutchess. High School confirmed for me my love for Architecture and solidified my decision to pursue my passion in college. At the University of Arkansas, I was involved with AIAS and joined as an Associate with my complimentary first year upon graduating. I was never really involved with the local chapter until join-
Sitting at my drafting table as part of the Architecture elective track in high school.
ing the AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley board as an Associate Director. I joined during the time of transitioning from working full time in a firm, to staying home with my three children and working freelance for multiple architects. I was searching for a way to stay connected to the industry since I wasn’t receiving interaction in an office setting any longer. Ultimately, becoming more involved with the AIA was the best decision I made for my career. The opportunities presented to me from the chapter and colleagues I met during my eight-year journey as a board member were instrumental in making me who I am today. The experiences I had and the views I gained allowed me to feel the passion I do about impacting future architects. After pursuing licensure and receiving my license during my tenure as an Associate Director, I recognized that the local AIA chapter could do more to support up and coming professionals. Remembering my own struggles to become licensed, I wanted to develop a much broader support system through study sessions and an exam content library as well as a scholarship for individuals sitting for their licensing exams. This led to the opportunity for me to found the Archi-
tectural Registration Exam scholarship for AIA WHV in 2013 with the first recipient in 2014. The scholarship reimburses local individuals for the full exam costs to become a licensed architect, similar to the National and State scholarships offered to AIA members. Just completing my term as President for the Westchester + Hudson Valley Chapter in December, as the youngest president to date of the AIA WHV chapter and second female president, I was approached by many younger members and many female members who are excited about where our chapter is heading demographically. It’s exciting to be a part of change and the change continues to unfold as I look around the multiple tiers of the AIA. Wanting to continue to see change evolve, I never turn away an opportunity to work with young students as a camp teacher/guest architecture critic. After working numerous years co-teaching as the Architecture teacher at SUNY Purchase, I now return during the summer to offer valuable input to the youth of today to provide them with the eye of an Architect and encourage them to pursue their dreams no matter what may stand in their way.
In addition to witnessing the need to assist others with the exam process, it has also become apparent to me throughout both my personal experiences and the experiences of many women in the industry I know personally, the way mothers working in the field are approached, needs to change drastically. As a firm owner, I, along with my partners, pride ourselves on providing flexible work hours and accommodations to all. We have experienced increased morale and devotion by exercising thought and care for the new generation of architects. The workplace is evolving with younger individuals entering the field and we need to adapt it to their needs. It isn’t a sacrifice as we see better design come from it. In five years, I expect we will see big enhancements in implementing flexible work environments. I look forward to continuing these and other initiatives to advance our profession as an AIA New York State Board Director. When I’m not working or volunteering, I’m spending time with my husband and three children. On the weekends, you will find me on one of many sports fields cheering on my favorite players as they reach for their dreams just like I did. I look to encourage them and provide them with the same support to succeed as my parents offered to me growing up. Supporting the next generation is how the world will continue to be shaped and how the future of our profession will continue to grow. Do something to impact the future everyday. A smile at someone in passing, a word of encouragement to one who needs it or teaching an architecture class locally. You never know how you can impact someone. You might just be the next person to invite the fourth grader into your office to observe the design process and inspire the next architect. n
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New York Members of the AIA Strategic Council
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Brynnemarie Lanciotti, AIA is a Project Architect/Manager at Stantec Architecture. Brynnemarie has dedicated her career to professional and leadership development. She serves as the 2020 Vice-Moderator in her third year as a New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council. She is continuously recognized for her strong leadership stills and contributions to the future of the profession since first receiving the Alpha Rho Chi Medal from Roger Williams University upon graduation in 2005. Brynnemarie joined the American Institute of Architects in 2009, after moving to New York City and discovering the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA). As ENYA Co-Chair (2011-2012) she encouraged membership, participation, and leadership among emerging professionals, and in 2012, launched the FutureNOW Summit. Licensed in 2013, Brynnemarie was recognized for her exemplary leadership by the AIA New York Chapter ENYA Merit Award and continues to serve the Institute through her leadership initiatives. As a Project Lead at Stantec, Brynnemarie is responsible for a wide range of project types, varying in scale and complexity, diverse in clients and parameters, while managing teams of equal variousness, focused on high-level project execution. In 2017, Brynnemarie co-founded the AIANY’s Civic Leadership Program (CLP), a leadership training program directed at Emerging Professionals with the focus on advocacy and developing tools for citizen architects, continues now in its fourth year. In 2018, Brynnemarie along with (ENYA) launched the TORCH Mentorship Program at the New York Chapter, an initiative designed to foster symbiotic mentorship relationships between the local Fellows and Emerging Professionals, a highly received program now entering its second year.
Brynnemarie Lanciotti, AIA New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council
Onward with Mentorship
ave you ever been asked, if you could have chosen another profession, what would it be? The truth is, I cannot really think of anything else I would be doing. Being an Architect is something innate in me, existing at a young age with my fascination with buildings and their function, while simultaneously encompassing a deep love for the arts. It became clear after completing an exploratory course on construction technology and designing a one-level home in middle school, that I would study Architecture. I began my academic pursuit in 2000 at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. The education I received was pivotal in establishing new ways of thinking with regard to space and light. My professors were instrumental in pushing me outside of my comfort zone in the disciplines of drawing, reading and writing. With my thesis project, a Women’s Transitional Shelter, it had solidified my calling to create beautiful spaces and enhance the human experience, an intention which continues through today.
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Upon receiving a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 2005, I began working at the Urban Design Group, a small firm in Bristol, where I worked on a variety of projects, and experienced my first mentor, Hector Rios. “If I don’t hear from you in a while, I get nervous, for you are not asking enough questions,” a line, I still use today with others. By the end
Project Architect/Manager, I am currently responsible for a wide range of project types, varying in scale and complexity, diverse in clients and parameters, while managing teams of equal variousness, focused on high-level project execution.
of that first year, I ventured to Brewster Thornton Group Architects (BTGA), in Providence, expanding my portfolio into residential and public work. BTGA was a 12-person office, a size appropriate for learning all aspects of the job, including design, construction documentation, specifications, and construction administration. Both experiences prepared me well to accept a position in New York City, a dream that became a reality in 2008. I accepted a position at Franke, Gottsegen, Cox Architects (FGCA) a small firm, working primarily on residential projects. The most significant experiences garnered at this firm proved to be the client exposure and navigating the architect - client relationship. While working at FGCA, I began my involvement with the AIA and the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), serving as Chair from 2011-2012. During my term with (ENYA), I encouraged licensure, membership, participation, and leadership among emerging professionals (EP). As Chair, I coordinated the “FutureNow” Summit in 2012, which brought together EP’s and established practitioners to explore trends in the profession and to share insights for professional development that would serve firms and society. Taking some of the lessons from that Conference and experiences, I participated in the BSA 2023: Sustaining Our Leadership conference, a panel of emerging professionals expressing their interests and expectations from the institute to the Board of the Boston Society of Architects. Follow-
ing my term, I completed my licensure in 2013. A byproduct of my involvement with the AIA and ENYA was the mentor relationships I was developing with senior practitioners. These relationships bolstered my professional development. After leading several projects from inception through construction at FGCA, I was determined to expand my experience in project size, firm size, and technical experience. This led me to SLCE Architecture, a 140 person firm located in Manhattan, in 2015. As a Project Architect, I participated in high-rise, multi-family residential construction with deep multi-discipline coordination. My role included working closely with developers, construction managers and a broad range of consultants stitching together a complex series of data points. In 2016, I was asked to participate on a small steering committee at the AIANY Chapter. The result was a leadership training program focusing on advocacy and tools for citizen architects for EPs, entitled Civic Leadership Program, a program now in its fourth year. The goal of this program is to strengthen the AIANY’s culture in public advocacy, share the lessons learned with an even larger group of members, and develop the next generation of AIA Leaders. In 2017, I was recruited by Stantec, a large global corporate firm interested in expanding their New York City footprint. They required a Project Architect to lead a school accessibility project in design development through construction. As
Additionally in 2017, I was nominated to the AIA Strategic Council as a New York Member, and will now serve as the Vice-Moderator for the entire council this year, the first woman to take on this leadership role. As a New York Member to the AIA Strategic Council, my charge is to actively engage members and colleagues in identifying and responding to the gaps in training, resources or initiatives that the AIA needs to address for the profession to remain relevant. Along with this initiative, comes an incredible networking opportunity to discuss relevant and important issues with components from around the country. The more connections we make and the topics we share help to inform and progress the institute and its members. Mentorship is an important element to an individual’s professional growth and development, it must be paid forward. It remains instrumental in my professional growth and I encourage senior professionals to take on the challenge and I offer emerging professions to avail themselves to the opportunity. Currently, I am spearheading a mentorship program entitled TORCH, a highly received program now entering its second year. The TORCH program intends to foster connections between respected leaders, the AIA Fellows, and the future generations of architects; passing on knowledge, culture and leadership strategies will encourage emerging architects to develop skills to succeed in the profession. The AIA remains an invaluable resource for me, providing a network of colleagues to collaborate and learn from. Fostering these relationships is important and a key element to my success. As a steward of mentorship, it has been and always will be a vehicle that provides amazing opportunities of growth outside of the workplace, and I am determined to pay it forward. n MARCH 2020 | PAGE 49
Kirk Narburgh, FAIA, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C brings over thirty years of professional experience to his position as CEO/Managing Partner at King + King Architects. He is also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, where he has been teaching Professional Practice and Digital Technology classes every semester for the past 29 years. Kirk is actively involved in the community serving as the Board Chairperson for the Salvation Army Advisory Board and a New York Member of the American Institute of Architects Strategic Council. Kirk is Past President of the American Institute of Architects Central New York component, and New York State component, representing over 9,500 architects. Kirk is an alumnus of Syracuse University where he earned a Master of Architecture and Cornell University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture.
Kirk Narburgh, FAIA New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council
Onward with Mentorship
y philosophy for the position of as a New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council is simple —Lead effectively and utilize three decades of AIA and professional experiences to support futuristic “bluesky” thinking, ideas, opportunities, and solutions that directly contribute to the advancement of our profession. I have been privileged to hold leadership positions throughout my career with AIA organizations locally and statewide as President of the AIA CNY Chapter (2012), VP of Government Advocacy for AIA NYS (2015/2016), and President of AIANYS (2018). I have also participated in multiple board/committee volunteer positions for non-profit community groups and the AIA locally and nationally. These experiences have had, and continue to have, profound positive effects on my lifelong professional growth including with my current professional role as CEO and Managing Partner, of King + King Architects, LLP in Syracuse NY,
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I am a long-standing advocate for our profession and an active participant in the AIA New York State’s government advocacy, legislative efforts, and member centric services that are a keystone to our successes/challenges as an organization. As an adjunct faculty member of the Syracuse University School of Architecture I have continuously taught Professional Practice and Computer Applications/BIM, for the past 28 years, which allows me to be keenly aware of, and current with, those issues most important to the evolution and growth of our architectural profession. As an educator at heart I have been able to leverage business knowledge of architectural practice with a parallel career teaching at the Syracuse University School of Architecture where I have had a direct connection to over 4,000 students entering the profession. My success in business, firm management, projects, and education have been possible due to a lifelong commitment to Leadership Development. I have been doing research for over a decade regarding the character
preferences, strengths, and weaknesses of architects. That research coupled with a continual interaction with future architects has allowed me to develop a unique perspective on the role of Emotional Intelligence with respect to how we can be better people, leaders, and practicing professionals. The AIA’s mission is to be “the voice of the architectural profession and a resource for its members in service to society.” In the last several years I have witnessed and experienced monumental efforts, with repositioning, and proactively dealing with the future of our organization as it relates to elevating public awareness, advocating for the profession, and sharing knowledge for the benefit of all our members and society. Architects have reached a pinnacle moment in time that requires a rigorous effort bolstering our leadership role in society. The future of the organization is ever evolving and extremely positive as we see tangible results confronting some of our most challenging issues. We are experiencing forward progress with our emphasis on organizational teamwork and collaboration. Our strength will come from continuing to foster these joint efforts of the Local, State, and National
components working together with our grassroots membership. One of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson is “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Let’s reflect on how we as Architects, can continue to be those “catalysts” of ingenuity and creativity, leading with a renewed spirit towards future economic vitality, equality, and strengthening of our communities as leaders in our organization and society. Representation on the Strategic Council allows opportunities, as leaders in our profession, to forge those new trails! The future of the profession is bright with that focused commitment to inspiring leaders and collaborations that support our next generation of architects. A future where architects understand that “Every person is the architect of their own character .. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do, is who you become.” n
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Willy L. Zambrano, AIA, LEED AP is a Principal-in-Charge and Founder of Zambrano Architectural Design LLC. Willy established Zambrano Architectural Design LLC in 2005, which concentrates on health care facilities, multi-family, institutional and commercial design. As a graduate of The City College of New York (CCNY), he is the latest recipient of the Simon Bolivar Career Achievement Award from the CCNY Latino Alumni Group. Willy was 2015-16 AIA Queens Chapter President, 2015-16 AIANYS Board Director, 2017-18 AIANYS Vice President of Knowledge, and will serve as a New York Member of the Strategic Council of the AIA, Class of 2021. He is the Co-founder and current President of the Queens Foundation for Architecture, co-founder of the AIA Brooklyn + Queens Design Awards program, an AIA Queens Urban Design Committee chair, and is on the advisory board for the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture. Most recently, Willy was the 2018 AIA BQDA Leadership Honor Award recipient. As a civic minded architect, Willy is helping his own community’s revitalization efforts by establishing the Baldwin Civic Association Planning and Land Use Committee, which aims to spearhead positive guidelines for the downtown planned overlay zoning district.
Willy Zambrano, AIA New York Member of the AIA Strategic Council
A Lense to the Future of Architecture
019 started slow, but it picked up momentum as the weeks unfolded, and it did not fall short of its expectations. Being a leader in the AIA community and an actively engaged member with local and sister chapters, it sure keeps me busy and it inspires me to get more involved with my community. Nonetheless, it is rewarding and challenging at the same time, the good ethos of being an architect. Before I segue into the actual article, I would like to share some of my recent activities… Baldwin, the community where I reside, received a $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from Governor Cuomo. As an architect and concerned citizen, I was have helped to graphically envision, on a pro-bono basis, two potential projects that will reactive and enhance underutilized public spaces along Grand Avenue, a major commercial artery that traverses Baldwin north and south. If accepted, these two projects will transform Baldwin into a walkable, vibrant community fostering economic
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growth and sustainable opportunities. In October 2019, I co-chaired the Grand Baldwin Festival Committee, turning it’s collaborative with the Public Library’s Centennial celebration into a successful inaugural festival with over 70 vendors and 2,500 attendees. All to spark community unity, vibrancy and business engagement ahead of its revitalization efforts. Last fall, the opportunity to teach at NYIT as an Adjunct Professor for their Environmental Site Planning class presented itself—I could not pass it up. As a topic of concern in this era of climate change, it has given me a sense of pride to give back and foster the ideas to students following a career path in architecture. This was a great experience that will definitely be maintained. Now to the article…. The Strategic Council is the think tank of the AIA, tasked to identify issues that are most relevant to the architecture profession and society. In January 2019, as I started my role as a strategic councilor, I pondered how I was going to fulfill
trends in architecture which I believe have already started to pop up in some way. They are: The move from Bespoke to standardizing the process; the bypassed gatekeeper to selling architecture as a product; the shift from reactive to proactive by monitoring building utilization to maximize efficiency; and the more is less challenge: developing technology across multiple projects.
it. While I am sure everyone new to the council goes through the same thought process, I focused on the XR (Cross Reality) Study Group, which was exploring how digital technology is rapidly transforming architectural practice and trending new business models. It also explored how data through Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), blockchain technology and other open sources are helping to envision and deliver architectural projects. This interested me because digital transformation is ever present and fast paced, and more importantly, because the same tools we are using are being utilized by developers and contractors to deliver their construction and to program and generate their own designs. The idea that the architecture profession may be irrelevant someday heightened my senses, generating the question: How can the AIA leverage digital technology and be the authoritative resource to its members and society? AI, ML and IoT (Internet of Things) combined with digital twin technology is surpassing the need to manually explore design options. Take for example Test Fit, a software program that allows Practical Generative Design to explore different
configurations in real time. Google X Laboratory is also leading this trend with Flux, a software that helps developers choose a plot of land using smart zoning code interface, and automatically adapt the building to the site’s constraints in matter of seconds. Autodesk has also partnered with contractors to facilitate creating modular buildings by using generative design and other platforms, leading the industry in research and developing software which will enable anyone to design and explore options without consulting with architects. In an interview on 60 Minutes, Venture Capitalist, Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, states that: “AI will displace 40% of the world’s more complex jobs in as soon as 15 to 20 years.” I believe it will be sooner. Internet Giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Ali Baba are leading the way in AI technology and exploring smart buildings facilities management. Daniel Davis, former Director of Research at WeWork, recently published a blog titled “What ‘The Future of the Professions’ Reveals About the Future of Architecture,” which talks about extracts from the book by Richard and Daniel Susskind (The Future of the Professions). He discusses four significant
I gathered experts in digital design technology and architectural firms such as Mancini Duffy’s Tech Lab with Jessica Sheridan to discuss how these technologies can be harnessed to create a single platform to help our industry now and in the future. The idea that AI, ML, IoT, Blockchain and digital technology could interface in one ecosystem of data exchange is unimaginable. What began as a conversation about technologies, has led to envisioning a platform that the AIA could develop to collect data, validate and distribute. I feel that the AIA, with its vast and robust resources, is poised to be the authoritative trusted source on data collection, validation and analysis in the built environment and can use these resources to enhance stewardship on the environment. As we move into 2020, we will look at how this platform can be prototyped through AIA’s 2030 Challenge and COTE’s (Committee On The Environment) Top Ten Design Competition to collect data from best performance buildings, analyze it and distribute for comparison. Collectively, we need to be the agents of change if we want to be relevant in this fast-paced digital transformation age and to do that we need to act fast to create our own unified database…stay tuned. n MARCH 2020 | PAGE 53
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balancing business & practice
Present with Us! We are seeking presenters for our highly praised, award winning educational offering, the Small Firm Symposium! In 2018, this dynamic program was hailed as AIANYS's keystone event. Join an interactive group of up to 70 architects by submitting your cutting edge presentation proposal.
Small Firm Symposium Syracuse & White Plains â€˘ September 30, 2020 We're currently accepting proposals to present on the following aspects of working in or managing a small firm:
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SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL BY CLICKING HERE. TESTIMONIALS One of the best and most relevant [programs] I have attended in the past and would hope to see more in the future." "Great opportunity to hear [from] others on current issues facing design firms, not easily accessible in other formats/platforms." Questions? Contact Molly Bibisi, Associate Director of Education Programs email@example.com or (518) 449-3334 ext. 103 MARCH 2020 | PAGE 55
MARCH â€™19 A R C H I T E C T U R E N E W YO R K S TAT E is a quarterly publication developed by AIA New York State, 50 State Street, Albany, NY 12207. For questions, comments and editorial content ideas, contact Robin Styles-Lopez, Director of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.449.3334. PAGE 56 | MARCH 2020
Highlighting Our 2020 Officers, Directors & Members of the Strategic Council