PUBLICATION OF AIA BROOKLYN SEP / OCT 2020
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SEP / OCT 2020
EDITOR IN CHIEF
COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE Talisha L. Sainvil, AIA
1 Letter from the Editor
Talisha L. Sainvil, AIA ASSISTANT EDITOR
Nadeen Hassan, Assoc. AIA COVER
Photo by Joseph Koelbel. Joseph Koelbel is a licensed Architect and Landscape Architect with his own Brooklyn-based practice. DESIGN
KUDOS Design Collaboratory™ For future issues, we welcome submissions from our members that further our goal of supporting and guiding our community. Articles and notices may be submitted to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Material printed in the Pylon is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal opinion or advice. Pylon is published by the AIA Brooklyn Chapter. No portion may be reproduced without permission. © 2020
CONTINUING EDUCATION COMMITTEE Marshall Shuster, AIA CRAN COMMITTEE David Cunningham, AIA; Kimberly Neuhaus, AIA DESIGN AWARDS COMMITTEE David Flecha, Assoc. AIA EMERGING PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE Nicole Gangidino, Assoc. AIA MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Pamela Weston, Assoc. AIA PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE Susana Honig, AIA URBAN DESIGN COMMITTEE Jane McGroarty, AIA WOMEN IN ARCHITECTURE COMMITTEE Nicole Gangidino, Assoc. AIA Noushin Jafari, Assoc. AIA HISTORIC RESOURCES COMMITTEE Jeffrey Jacobson, Assoc. AIA
BROOKLYN ARCHITECTS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION INC. PRESIDENT Ida Galea, AIA VICE PRESIDENT Vincent Nativo, AIA TREASURER Jane McGroarty, AIA
SECRETARY Anthony Marchese, AIA
DIRECTORS Ray Mellon Esq. Hon., AIA; David Flecha, Assoc. AIA; Pamela Weston, Assoc. AIA; Nick Raschella, Assoc. AIA; Joseph Tooma
John H. Hatheway Jr., AIA email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT
Raymond T. Peebles, AIA firstname.lastname@example.org TREASURER
Jane McGroarty, AIA email@example.com SECRETARY
Talisha L. Sainvil, AIA firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTORS
David Cunningham, AIA Sarah Drake, AIA David Flecha, Associate AIA Marshall Shuster, AIA Pamela Weston, Associate AIA ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR
Susana Honig, AIA email@example.com AIA NYS REPRESENTATIVE
Jordan Parnass, AIA
Getting to Know You
6 Discussion Panel Summary 7 Upcoming Events 11 AIA National Announcements 12 Say Anything 14 Community Notes
COMMITTEES 16 Design Awards Committee: BKYLN Design Awards Award Presentation 2020 17 Communications: Tag us on Instagram @aiabrooklyn 20 Urban Design: W.I.M.B.Y.
CONTRIBUTORS SARAH KAVANAGH is a Brooklyn-based Architectural Designer, a graduate of Lehigh University and she holds a Masters in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has worked at a number of notable Architecture firms in New York City including Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Bright Architecture and David Cunningham Architecture Planning. Sarah is currently a Project Manager at Kushner Studios in NYC; A Writer for PYLON; A Logistics Coordinator for the AIA Brooklyn Exhibition Committee (AIABKx) and in pursuit of love, life and her license. JANE MCGROARTY has had over thirty years of experience in architecture and historic preservation. She is the Treasurer & Chair of the Urban Design Committee of AIA Brooklyn and Principal of Jane McGroarty Architect. Jane has also taught design at NY Institute of Technology and the NJ School of Architecture; researched and created various walking tours of Brooklyn and is an avid writer.
FEATURES 29 AIA Brooklyn: Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation 101 Special Feature: Head of Class 111 Just One More Thing
MICHELLE DUNCAN is a Trinidad-born design enthusiast and story-lover who has called Brooklyn her home for over a decade. Michelle holds a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the Pratt Institute and was previously the Media Coordinator at Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Intrigued by stories of design in its many forms, Michelle is especially taken by narratives involving the convergence of history, the built environment, and the human experience, all within a cultural and social context.
INCORPORATED IN 1894 TO UNITE, REPRESENT, PROMOTE, AND ENHANCE THE PROFESSION AND PRACTICE OF ARCHITECTURE IN THE BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Connoisseur-ism
“ Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” — A RNOLD EDINBOROUGH
I’ve recently been giving some thought about what it means to be a connoisseur. In the dictionary, a connoisseur is described as: one who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties. I found this definition not only charming in its description but also slightly different than what I thought a connoisseur is. My belief was that a connoisseur is a high-level expert in something, like wine or cheese, as opposed to being a person who is a member of the fan club. The idea that an expert can be born out of fascination got me to thinking about the role that curiosity plays in knowledge. In thinking about my own education and experience, I started to wonder whether one weighed more than the other for me. While I’m a big believer in education (the price tag of my own is proof of this), I’m also a believer in the kind of education and knowledge that you gain through practical work. Although both have their merit and both are a typical path in life for many of us, even with my education and experience, I wouldn’t have considered myself a connoisseur of anything before reading that definition. The way that I see it, connoisseur-ism, or the act of being a connoisseur, doesn’t necessarily have to do with where you went to school or what you’ve accomplished in life, but rather what you choose to focus on and assign yourself to knowing. So, in conclusion, it seems that being curious might be the basis for being a true Connoisseur and quite possibly more important in life so that you’re never bored, never done learning and always seeking the beautiful experiences that may ultimately make you a connoisseur of life! This issue is dedicated to learning, knowledge and to those people who are shaping the future of our profession. We have dedicated the AIA Brooklyn section to a Special Feature about the Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation (BASF) and this year’s recipients of The Foundation’s scholarships. AIA Brooklyn is looking forward to working with The Foundation to build on this history and help push the vision. We also have an inspiring interview with Pratt Institute Dean Harriet Harriss and Department Chair of Architectural Technology at New York City College of Technology Sanjive Vaidya about the tenacity with which they are leading two Brooklyn Schools of Architecture through a pandemic and into the future. My hope is that, as you flip through the pages of this issue, you learn something that you didn’t know before and that you become or remain curious about what the future of our profession will be.
TALISHA L. SAINVIL, AIA EDITOR IN CHIEF
SECRETARY@AIABROOKLYN.ORG 718-797-4242 WWW.AIABROOKLYN.ORG 1
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
September – October 2020
The Membership Committee asked AIA Brooklyn members to answer 10 questions in order to Get to Know Them Better. Here’s what they had to say!
Ann E. Charleston, AIA NEW MEMBERS:
Ana M. Cajiao, Assoc. AIA Dante Baldassin, Assoc. AIA Loretta Choi, Assoc. AIA Jose A. Cipher, Assoc. AIA John P. Cunningham, AIA Raj S. Deshpande, Assoc. AIA Kevin W. Garcia, Assoc. AIA Zariah T. Griffith, Assoc. AIA Wonne Ickx, Int’l Assoc. AIA Max Isakov, Assoc. AIA Gunes Kurtulan, Assoc. AIA Jaime Leonard, Assoc. AIA Aasiya Maaviah, Assoc. AIA Matthew Mitchell, Assoc. AIA Pablo A. Salcedo, Int’l Assoc. AIA Canan G. Sevim, Assoc. AIA Dann Tollett, Assoc. AIA Dominyka Voelkle, AIA Quinn Waites, Assoc. AIA Hao Zheng, Assoc. AIA
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
The sounds of rain, lightning, and thunder!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
Tough question, but I’d say my favorite part of the profession has to be that moment where you solved an issue. The solution is so fruitful it inspires you to tackle bigger challenges; architecture is problem solving after all. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ?
My least favorite part is how severely underrepresented or respected designers are that make up this profession. WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
Creativity what turns me on is seeing other creative individuals produce amazing things; it makes me want to do something too. Spiritually: being in nature surrounded by its sounds and thanking God for His wonderful creation. Emotionally: Well played instrumental music. WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT ?
Well, I always had a love for film, photography, drawing, and graphic design, but it’s hard for me to really imagine doing that outside of it being a hobby. So, I would say Structural Engineering. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
I feel like too many people are pressured to have a favorite designer in this profession, but truthful I do not have any. Rather there are projects done by different individuals which I find fascinating.
WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
Since having the ability to manipulate gravity is highly unrealistic, I would say having the ability to win people over merely by my words. I like to sympathize with others, but it isn’t always easy when they put up a barrier between them and everyone else. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER, OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT ?
Another tough question, but I’ve always been curious how designers centuries designed and build magnificent pieces of architecture without technology. I know a thing or two about drafting by hand, but it certainly won’t add up to the Florence Cathedral. I’d love to ask someone like Michelangelo if I could just shadow him and watch the whole thing come together. Hopefully time traveling fits the criteria for this question too. Words, through labeling, writing, and reading have power over people’s well-being, physically and mentally. Labels allow people to recognize their feelings, leading them to be more mindful and aware of their emotions. Writing reduces the stress of unspoken pain and reorganizes people’s experiences to bring a greater perspective and understanding. Lastly, research has proved that reading poetry and stories about people’s lives can be therapeutic. According to neuroscientist, Daniel Siegel, “poetry can make people more mindful, enabling them to see themselves and their world in a new light.”
arrow-up D ID YOU KNOW?
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
My name is Angelica Navarro but my preferred name is Lucy. I’m a taurus.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ?
Luis Barragan, i’d like to ask him the recipe for his famous pink paint! his famous pink paint!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
Caitlin Masley-Charlet Sagitarius
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
My favorite part of the profession is working together with my colleagues to solve problems, whether big or small.
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ?
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
I’m currently starting my ARE exams and the red tape to be able to test was exhausting, so right now all of the bureaucracy is my least favorite.
Hard to answer, usually all of that is spontaneous. WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT ?
WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
I’ve already had a previous profession, so I’m going to stick with this one for a bit.
Films and reading!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO AT TEMPT ?
Film critic WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
My favorite place is Brooklyn is Prospect Park WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST ?
Weirdly I don’t have one, but i’m from Arizona so Frank Lloyd Wright will always hold a place in my heart.
Outdoors. arrow-right D ID YOU KNOW? Many
studies demonstrate that fostering silence in your daily lives is crucial. There are many advantages to incorporating science in your daily routines such as increasing creativity and awareness. You will be less inclined to distraction when you are in silence. As a result, you can improve your focus and concentration levels to accomplish any of your goals. Silence permits reflections, better decision-making, and peace.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST ?
According to David Lewis, “an object time travels if and only if the difference between its departure and arrival times as measured in the surrounding world does not equal the duration of the journey undergone by the object.” Even though there isn’t a time machine to physically move back in time, telescopes allow one to see stars and galaxies. In a way, one experiences time travel when one looks through a telescope. Thtrough a telescope, one sees what stars and galaxies looked like a long time ago; hence, time travel.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ?
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
I love the way the city sounds at night. WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
Being able to time travel would be amazing.
arrow-left D ID YOU KNOW?
No one specific, I don’t do favorites. :) WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
Sounds of Nature, water, wind, silence. WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
Ah who says I don’t have one already? ;)
No one specifically as that seems to change frequently.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU CONTINUED
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
Night-time summer bug drones.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
Designing in collaboration with people I care about. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ?
The AIA and NCARB, to be honest, and the problematic power structure that they hold in the industry, maintaining a stifling status quo and not working to radically reimagine a more supportive, inclusive, and productive future for our discipline. My issues with these institutions include topics from not fighting for changing licensing practices that hold down women, people of color, and lower income individuals from achieving licensure, to the AIA’s litigious attitude towards its contract language, to the words of its national leadership supporting Donald Trump’s wall. I feel both institutions have generally abdicated their job of advocating for contemporary architects striving to create sustainable futures for their practices within an antiquated system — one which these institutions have actually helped to create and maintain. (I joined the AIA to see if I can contribute to fixing some of these things from the inside.) WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
Seeing any work that makes my world view seem limited. WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO AT TEMPT ?
I used to be an opera singer, maybe that counts? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
swimming in a warm ocean. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST ?
I am a huge fan of the work of Mustafa Faruki.
WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
Flight. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ?
I’d want to talk to Nina Simone about finesse.
Pisces Sun, Capricorn Rising WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
I enjoy the old buildings and the history. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ?
Market instability. I’m currently looking for work! WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
Understanding where people are coming from with their creative expressions. WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT ?
Tour guide WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
Barcelona arrow-right D ID YOU KNOW? Kyle
recommends B+H Dairy, the diner, not the photo store, over in East Village. He imagines comparing notes with Donald Judd about places that still existed when he started spending time in the city around 2008. He also liked Cheeps on 7th Street and 2nd Avenue for falafel, and the new and improved Mamoun’s on Saint Marks is still a good option.
arrow-left D ID YOU KNOW? Mustafa Faruki is an
architectural designer, educator, and the director of theLab-lab for architecture, a New York-based practice “dedicated to completely re-inventing the potential outputs of architectural design.” The firm concentrates on architectures that are driven by clients’ emotions or lifestyles such as humor, desire, memory, and loss. In one of his projects, Celebatorium is a “housing proposal aimed to shelter individuals who are alone” for the “zoneAlone NYC: Housing for Alone-ness initiative.” The proposal presents a typology of pod-like dwellings with automated utilities to support each occupant.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST ?
I.M Pei WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
Bird songs WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
Painting IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ?
I would meet Donald Judd. and I hope we could talk about falafel places and diners in New York City- past and present.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME, WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE OR SPACE?
My favorite place is home in Alexandria, Egypt. The blue sea, the vibrant culture, the people, everything about it is remarkably unique and special. Every time I receive an opportunity to travel there, I learn more about its rich cultures, traditions, people, and architecture that form parts of me that I try to bring here.
Pisces WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
My favorite part about the architecture profession is the fact that we have the opportunity to improve the quality of life for people through space. Every single decision we make affects every person that uses the space along with the overall community. The time we invest to make certain design decisions will dictate whether people will feel comfortable, safe, and valuable. It’s truly a rewarding feeling how your design is used and how it’s wonderfully impacting the users. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURE PROFESSION?
The education system. There are heavy biases in schools in terms of who is recognized and why they are recognized. There is this expectation that students need to pull all-nighters to succeed. I think, unfortunately, many schools do not care for the students themselves or design justice but more about designs. Architecture school is stressful and intense, but when you witness how you are treated as a minority and a woman versus a white male, you can’t blame the curriculum but rather the people who are building it. WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY OR EMOTIONALLY?
Nature, beaches, and books pretty much sum up what turns me on creatively. There is something special about making time for yourself and just reflecting. That is when creative ideas come in. WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO AT TEMPT ?
I would say Medical school, but I am not too sure if I even trust that. I think it’s because I enjoy the show, Grey’s Anatomy. Then again, my first studio professor did say some people who left architecture became good surgeons.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST ?
I wish it were easy to select one, but I have a list of favorite architects and designers. Some of my favorable architects are leading change in today’s design industry to create a more equitable environment spatially, but also for emerging professionals. These individuals are giving voices to whoever wants to be heard, which has been so inspiring to me, such as Pascale Sablan, Venesa Alicea-Chuqui, Danei Cesario, Talisha Sainvil, Samantha Josaphat, and Julie Nelson, the list can go on and on.
QUESTIONS INSPIRED BY
Brooklyn’s own Notorious B.I.G.; James Lipton, Bernard Pivot and Marcel Proust WANT US TO GET TO KNOW YOU A LITTLE BETTER?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in an upcoming issue of PYLON.
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
I am a morning person; so, there’s something lovely about waking up to the sound of birds chirping. It’s a reminder of a new day, a fresh slate. WHAT NATURAL GIFT OR MAGIC POWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO POSSESS?
I would love to be able to read people’s minds. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY ARCHITECT, DESIGNER OR ARTIST (LIVING OR NOT) WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ?
It’s pretty hard to select just one; but I guess someone I wish I could meet is Zaha Hadid. I would’ve loved to talk to her about how she kept pushing forward to bring her imagination and “unnatural” designs to life, how she stayed strong despite strong criticism, how she began to gain some respect as a woman in architecture, and how she felt when winning a Pritzker prize.
arrow-left D ID YOU KNOW? The
birdsong that can be heard in the early mornings is called a ‘dawn chorus.’ The dawn chorus is mostly made up of male birds attempting to attract a mate and is often louder, livelier and more frequent than normal bird chirping. While there are a few unproven theories as to birdsong occurs early in the morning, according to The Huffington Post, morning people are: happier, get better grades, have lots of energy, are more productive, more conscientious, at lower risk for depression and are generally nicer.
DISCUSSION PANEL SUMMARY
September Panel Discussion The September AIA Brooklyn General Meeting was held virtually on September 23, 2020 at 6:00 pm. The focus of the panel discussion was Justice Reform and Architecture and the effort to shut down Rikers Island. David Cunningham introduces the panelists.
Nadine Maleh Executive Director, Capital Projects | Mayor’s office of Criminal Justice For the past fifteen years, Nadine has been an active member in the social interest design community. Her expertise includes supportive housing, sustainable design, the development of building programs based on special needs populations, and the integration of health concerns into building design and community led design. Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, Nadine was the Executive Director of the Institute for Public Architecture (IPA). The IPA addresses urgent issues of design and policy by mobilizing its network of activists, professionals, government officials and community stakeholders. She continues to be involved with the organization as an Executive Board member. Previous and concurrently to her work with the IPA, Nadine was the Director of Inspiring Places at Community Solutions, non profit supportive housing development organization. As a founding member of the Community Solutions team, Nadine spearheaded the organization’s efforts in real estate and community activation. Nadine has developed over 1,500 units of affordable and supportive housing in New York City and in communities across the U.S. She was named a Curbed Groundbreaker in 2017/2018. Want to learn more about the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice? Visit criminaljustice.cityofnewyork.us for more information.
Howard Kolins Boerum Hill Association For over a decade Mr. Kolins has produced special events, corporate meetings and galas. Past projects include four State Farm Conventions, Google Brandcast, Microsoft Ignite, SanofiAventis sales meetings, the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative, Discovery Communication’s Upfronts and eleven seasons as Production Supervisor on the Tony Awards. For over a decade he was the Executive Producer for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City as well as 17 locations across North America. (Yes, he married a Rockette!). Prior to becoming a producer, he stage managed off Broadway, on Broadway and at Radio City. He continues to work on many high-profile events including The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood, two Super Bowl Half Times Shows, four Republican National Conventions, the Grammy Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. He is a long-time resident of Brooklyn and is President of the Boerum Hill Association. He currently holds the position of Interim Executive Director for the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Association. Want to learn more about Boerum Hill Association? Visit boerumhillassociation.org for more information.
To view a replay of these panel discussions, please visit aiabrooklyn.org/aia-brooklyn-virtual-panel-discussion-and-general-meeting 6
Eric Fang Perkins Eastman Eric is an architect and planner who has led large-scale mixed use, revitalization, urban redevelopment, and resiliency projects for public agencies, private developers and institutions nationally and internationally. His focus is on helping cities, communities, and landowners develop and implement strategies for sustainable and equitable growth and his work extends in scale from buildings, to districts, cities, and regions. Eric is a lifelong student of the city and has published and lectured widely on urbanism, resilience, and sustainable development. Want to learn more about Perkins Eastman? Visit perkinseastman.com for more information.
October Panel Discussion The October AIA Brooklyn General Meeting was held virtually on October 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm. The focus of this panel discussion was to hear from our members and to have a Town Hall discussion on what the Chapter has gotten right and what we can improve upon. Thank you to all who participated in our Town Hall Discussion. If out would like to submit your comment, please send emails to email@example.com.
UPCOMING AND RECURRING EVENTS See www.aiabrooklyn.org for full calendar of events and future announcements.
EVERY 3RD WEDNESDAY, 6:30PM VIRTUAL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
EVERY TUESDAY 7-8:30PM ZOOM INFO AT AIABROOKLYN.ORG
EVERY 2ND THURSDAY VIRTUAL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
AIA Brooklyn General Chapter Meetings + Discussion Panels
Emerging Professionals Committee A.R.E. Study Session
Brooklyn DOB Industry Meeting
Contact: Nicole Gangidino at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 23 October 21 November 18
On The Menu UPCOMING DATES
September 15, Opening Protectives: New Perspectives in Fire+Smoke September 17, Understanding Wood Aesthetic’ Cladding and Soffit Technologies September 22, Entrapment Protection For Motorized Doors: Applying Safety Standards
Email Ida Galea at email@example.com and have your questions discussed and answered by the Commissioner. 1 CEU. Check www.aiabrooklyn.org for time.
See Virtual Meeting info on calendar at www.aiabrooklyn.org.
LUNCHTIME WEBINAR, 12:00–1:00PM RSVP ON WWW.AIABROOKLYN.ORG
Ask the Borough Commissioner questions about NYC Code, DOB procedures, etc.
September 24, Fiber Cement Panels as Rain Screens
October 13, How to Design/Build Projects that Last
September 29, ADA Design Standards for LULA Elevators and Wheelchair Lifts
October 15, EN-ROADS Climate Simulator
October 1, Use of Laser Cleaning in Conservation
October 20, Sustainable + Contemporary Commercial Restroom Materials
October 6, Biophilic Illusions
October 22, Transforming Residential Design Through Unique Applications of Interior Doors
October 8, Innovative pavers and new and exciting paver applications
October 27, Energy Modeling In The Early Design Phase 7
“World History Notes” Hand Sketch by Martha Zambrano, Assoc. AIA
DRAWING YOU IN
Never stop learning aiau.aia.org
Immerse yourself in topics that will boost your skills and portfolio. With courses by 300+ instructors from leading firms, AIAU brings the industryâ€™s best learning to you.
AIA NATIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
PCI compliance reminder: Transmitting sensitive information CHRISTINA THOMAS | (202) 626 7392
AIA must adhere to PCI guidelines to ensure members’ sensitive information is not at risk. Email is not a secure method of transmitting credit card information. Encourage members and prospects to use aia.org to renew or join/reinstate. Members can also renew their membership over the phone by contacting Member Services.
Watch the video to understand more about the document, the recent updates and how it is used in practice at youtu.be/rgGmzMHEUUY
Call for submissions: Innovation Awards ISABELLA ROSSE | (202) 626 7358
The Innovation Awards recognize the exemplary use and implementation of innovative technologies and progressive practices among architects, designers, collaborators, and clients. We encourage members to submit their best projects by October 26.
Read the statement by the Architectural Adventures Team at aia.org/awards/7406-aia-tap-innovation-awards-program
Updated AIA documents released COURTNEY HOLMES | (202) 626 7510
On Oct. 19, AIA Contract Documents released new documents including two complex residential documents, the popular Condominium Project guide, an updated Contractor’s Qualification Statement, a revised Pro Bono services contract, and a new Warranty Bond. See how these documents can enhance your practice. Learn more at network.aia.org/components/blogs/ holly-gainer/2018/01/17/aia-contract-documentsinformation-and-resources
New residential agreements and guide HASTI HEJAZI | (202) 626 7592
Residential construction is fraught with risks, especially condominium projects. Join a free webinar to understand how to manage and mitigate residential project risks by examining updates to key AIA residential documents and the updated Condominium Projects guide. Earn 1 LU
Learn more and submit at acdpages.aia.org/WBN-2020FallRelease_LP.html
Pandemic prognostication — A common sense approach to senior living design SUSAN PARISH | (202) 626 7332
This course discusses how senior living communities and design professionals responded to the pandemic, how these responses affected senior living residents, and what we all learned. Earn 1 LU
Learn more at network.aia.org/events/event-description
EDspaces 2020: The virtual experience BRUCE BLAND | (202) 626 7557
This new virtual experience will include all the elements you know and love about EDspaces: innovative educational content over multiple days, a robust marketplace of product, service, and solution providers, private appointments with exhibiting companies, virtual tours, networking, and more!
Learn more at ed-spaces.com/index.cfm
Power Moves: A WLS event WOMENINARCH@AIA.ORG | (202) 626 7374
The WLS virtual series “Power Moves” has begun, and there is still time to take advantage of the powerful professional development opportunities! Purchase the series and watch a recording of the first session “Build your Foundation Now” and then tune in for the two remaining live sessions. Join the next session “Leadership in Uncertainty”.
Learn more at crm.aia.org/s/lt-event?id=a1Y1U000002qeyk 11
Primaverarch: Recent Graduates Creating Change for Women in Architecture Primaverarch is a grassroots movement committed to stimulating change for the recognition of women in architecture and related fields. Inspired by the renaissance era and the symbolic idea of spring, Primaverarch is a movement of rebirth, revival, and renewal. Primaverarch is created by three minority-women who recently graduated from the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. Throughout their studies, they experienced a lack of professional support, mentorship, and recognition. Without anyone to share similar values in regard to their diverse backgrounds, Primaverarch becomes a catalyst movement dedicated to creating a seat at the table for all women in the field. Blooming into future architects, the team is leading the next movement. With everything they do — from a set of interviews, creative series, mentorships, and interactive workshops, they are focused on one goal: How can they support the future generation of architects? Interested in sharing your story? We’d love to have you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org globe primaverarch.org Instagram primaverarch linkedin primaverarch
Send a letter (about anything!) to the editor at email@example.com to be included in the next issue of PYLON.
Taking your Hobby to a New Level Feel free to check it out if you want! When I was in middle school, a few friends and Instagram db_studios_ I would make YouTube videos using some of our Youtube danielblanc_studios favorite songs and shows. I used complex software at the time such as Sony Vegas, After Effects, and I am also doing free Grad photoshoots for the class Photoshop. That hobby continued for about 3 years of 2020, you can contact me if you are interested at until life slowly became busier; but by that time, firstname.lastname@example.org I amounted 1,500 subscribers on that YouTube channel! It’s interesting how much people gravitate — Daniel Blanc, Assoc. AIA towards you when they see how passionate you are about something. Although I became deeply invested into architecture, my love for editing never left me. I got my first DSLR camera in April 2016 and used it to document people, places, and of course those lovely architectural models. My peers saw my work and encouraged me to make page to share it, so I did that, but decided not to stop there. I also sought for this platform to be teaching tool, one that encourages creativity, design and discussions, both the lighthearted and thought-provoking ones. So far, I created an Instagram with a YouTube page while currently working on a website for my brand. On my channel you can find a wide range of tutorials from various Adobe software, to programs like Revit, Rhino, and much more! I also offer tutorials on DSLR film and photography to help others get started as well. One of the most exciting projects coming to my page is a mini-series I am putting together called “Voice for the Future.” I’m featuring 6 aspiring professionals who will speak on various pressing topics and issues; the trailer is on my YouTube! On my Instagram I share my photography and occasionally cool videos or special effects I put together.
CORRECTION ON PREVIOUS ISSUE
Don Weston was not the second FAIA in the Brooklyn Chapter — he was actually the 11th!
We encourage you to get involved in your local Community Boards and that’s why we’ve listed all 18 Community Boards that serve Brooklyn right here. Visit their websites, office locations, send them an email or give them a call to find out when the next meeting is or to learn more about how you can serve your Community. Don’t forget to let us know if there is something we’d be interested in going on in your neighborhood!
COMMUNITY BOARD #5
COMMUNITY BOARD #12
East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, New Lots, City Line, Starrett City & Ridgewood
Boro Park, Kensington, Ocean Pkwy & Midwood
email@example.com (929) 221-8261 www.brooklyncb5.org
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 851-0800 twitter.com/BrooklynCB12 5910 13th Ave.
404 Pine St., 3rd fl. COMMUNITY BOARD #13 COMMUNITY BOARD #6
Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Gowanus & Cobble Hill email@example.com (718) 643-3027 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb6/index.page
Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend & Seagate firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 266-3001 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb13/index.page 1201 Surf Ave., 3rd fl.
250 Baltic St. COMMUNITY BOARD #14
SARAH DRAKE, AIA
COMMUNITY BOARD #7
Sunset Park & Windsor Terrace email@example.com (718) 854-0003 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb7/index.page
Flatbush, Midwood, Kensington & Ocean Parkway firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 859-6357 www.cb14brooklyn.com 810 East 16th St.
4201 4th Ave. COMMUNITY BOARD #1
Flushing Ave., Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Northside & Southside email@example.com (718) 389-0009 www.nyc.gov/brooklyncb1 435 Graham Ave.
COMMUNITY BOARD #15
Crown Heights, Prospect Heights & Weeksville
Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Kings Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Kings Highway, East Gravesend, Madison, Homecrest & Plum Beach
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 467-5574 www.brooklyncb8.org
email@example.com (718) 332-3008 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb15/index.page
1291 St. Marks Ave.
Kingsboro Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd, C Cluster, Rm C124
COMMUNITY BOARD #8
COMMUNITY BOARD #2
Boerum Hill, Bridge Plaza, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Farragut, Fort Greene, Vinegar Hill & Wallabout
COMMUNITY BOARD #9
Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Garden & Wingate
COMMUNITY BOARD #16
Brownsville and Ocean Hill
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 596-5410 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb2/index.page
email@example.com (718) 778-9279 www.communitybrd9bklyn.org
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 385-0323 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb16/index.page
350 Jay St., 8th fl.
890 Nostrand Ave.
444 Thomas Boyland St., Rm. 103
COMMUNITY BOARD #3
COMMUNITY BOARD #10
Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights & Fort Hamilton
East Flatbush, Remsen Village, Farragut, Rugby, Erasmus & Ditmas Village
email@example.com (718) 622-6601 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb3/index.page
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 745-6827 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb10/index.page
email@example.com (718) 434-3461 www.cb17brooklyn.org
Restoration Plz., 1360 Fulton St., 2nd fl.
8119 5th Ave.
4112 Farragut Rd.
COMMUNITY BOARD #4
COMMUNITY BOARD #11
COMMUNITY BOARD #18
Bath Beach, Gravesend, Mapleton & Bensonhurst
Canarsie, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Flatlands, Marine Park, Georgetown & Mill Island
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 628-8400 www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb4/index.page
email@example.com (718) 266-8800 www.brooklyncb11.org
firstname.lastname@example.org (718) 241-0422
1420 Bushwick Ave., Suite 370
2214 Bath Ave.
1097 Bergen Ave.
COMMUNITY BOARD #17
DRAWING YOU IN “Cities” drawing by Noushin Jafari, Assoc. AIA
DESIGN AWARDS COMMITTEE
BKLYN DESIGN AWARDS
AWARD PRESENTATION 2020 STREAMING ON THURSDAY DECEMBER 17TH | 6:30 PM
Please join us in celebrating Brooklyn architectural legacy by honoring the vision of its designers and service to the architectural profession after a challenging year.
A jury of our peers throughout the country reviewed the projects in a series of design categories and for the first time in AIA Brooklyn, we will announce the winners for the first time during the awards presentation. Stay tuned for the streaming link to appear on aiabrooklyn.org and Instagram on the week of December 17th, 2020. Follow us through Instagram and tag us on your live reactions using @aiabrooklyn and #BKLYNDesign20.
OU! Y S D E E N L N STIL Y L K O O R B AIA
SUBMIT NEW FEATURES TO THE PYLON! Also looking for: – Sketches – Letters to the Editor – Writers – Cover Photos – Ideas email email@example.com
JOIN THE COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE! e Help maintain th on yl P d an website
M A R G A T S IN N O S U TAG E R U T A E F O T N Y L K O @AIABRO YOUR WORK!
LIST YOUR FIRM ON AIA BROOKLYN + CHECK THE CALENDAR OFTEN FOR NEW EVENTS Visit aiabrooklyn.org
“Afternoon in Williamsburg” drawing by C. Jaye Berger
DRAWING YOU IN
C jaye berger_NYDR11:Layout 1
C. Jaye Berger Building Construction Law Contract Drafting and Review Mechanic’s Liens Co-op Law Real Estate Transactions Leases Litigation 110 East 59th Street, 22nd Floor New York, New York 10022 Tel: (212) 753-2080 CD_Guest House at Graceland_B103_half-hor_ART.pdf
Real projects start with the industry standard Before they broke ground, HBG Design ensured the Guest House at Graceland™ Resort was protected with AIA contracts. AIA Contract Documents used: B103-Owner/Architect Agreement for a Complex Project, C401-Architect/Consultant Agreement, E201-Digital Data Protocol Exhibit, plus associated administrative G-forms. Learn more at aiacontracts.org/aiachapter
Photography ©Jeffrey Jacobs
URBAN DESIGN COMMITTEE
What’s In My Back Yard (W.I.M.B.Y.) ARTICLE BY JANE MCGROARTY, AIA
Revisiting Downtown Brooklyn In 2018 I prepared an Urban Design report entitled And You Thought Downtown Brooklyn Was Full? I described the new and planned (mainly residential) construction and what I believed were the impending issues of school capacity, open space, infrastructure that this amount of development would require. In the flurry of activity for the 125th Anniversary the report never made it into the PYLON. Two years later I think it’s time to take another look at Downtown Brooklyn development. The Covid-19 pandemic hit New York City in March 2020, and although the cases diminished over the summer, a so-called ‘second wave’ seems to be imminent. The pandemic has affected residential rents; prices are down 17% in Downtown Brooklyn in the past year, according to M.S.N., a Williamsburg real estate company. However, in relation to Manhattan, the Brooklyn market is strong, especially as landlords are offering incentives, such as several months free rent, to induce customers. Douglas Elliman reported that sales of Condos, Co-ops, and 103 family homes are down 40% in 2020 in Brooklyn. This is not reassuring news to developers with new apartments coming onto to the market. In 2018 there were 5600 new residential units planned or under construction in Downtown Brooklyn and its nearby neighborhoods. Today that number has grown to over 6670, a 19% increase. On a positive note, an additional 335 units of affordable apartments have been added to the 400 that were on the books in 2018. In addition, the alteration to an existing building at 50 Nevins will provide much needed single room occupancy and supportive housing. Breaking Ground, a well-regarded supportive housing developer, will be converting the former Jehovah Witnesses hotel at 90 Sands Street into 491 units of affordable and supportive housing. Breaking Ground, unlike other affordable housing, believes that decent housing is crucial to providing a safe and supportive home to homeless people, to the mentally ill, to veterans with PTSD, to former inmates — all of whom have struggled to find housing that will accept them. This conversion will be beneficial to the neighborhood. The bad news is that the progress of public investment to support this massive new residential construction has been slow. Remember that when the plan for downtown Brooklyn was first unveiled, it assumed 90% commercial and 10% residential uses. New schools, open and public space, local retail, street safety, and mobility have
The Co-working Lounge at The Hoyt. Other amenities include an indoor saltwater lap pool, a squash court, a fitness center, game room, and a 32nd floor Sky Club with private dining and entertainment spaces with breathtaking panoramic views. Photo courtesy of The Hoyt.
emerged as important issues in Downtown Brooklyn. For example, there is very little open space in the area. Willoughby Square, a planned park atop an underground garage, is still not completed. The original garage developer pulled out of the project, However JEMB Realty, the developer of One Willoughby Square, a Class A office building, took over the underground garage project and park, in exchange for air rights. The new park, designed by George Hargreaves, has been slow to move forward. The park is estimated to open in 2021. The neglected Sixteen Sycamores Park on Schermerhorn, near Nevins Street, needed to be upgraded and made more hospitable. While some new residential buildings have indoor and outdoor amenities, such as pools, roof decks, and gyms, many do not have these features (and for those that do, the accoutrements are not always child friendly). Public school enrollment will inevitably increase, and we canâ€™t always rely on the development community to provide new schools. There are two schools planned for 80 Flatbush and one at One Willoughby Square, but it is not clear if these schools will be sufficient to meet future
needs. Transportation, fortunately, is abundant in the downtown area but the MTA is facing a severe budget crisis. Coupled with a decline in ridership as a result of Covid-19 and an increase in car traffic and mobility still plague downtown Brooklyn. The NYC DOT is to be congratulated for implementing Jay Street Busway in August 2020. Seven bus lines with 45,000 riders a day experienced frustrating difficulty along Jay Street in Metrotech. DOT established dedicated busways in both directions and prohibited all though-traffic between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. The result has been improvement in bus service, safer boarding for bus riders, and safer crossings on Jay Street for pedestrians. There are some large projects on the market today. On the luxury end, The Hoyt and One Clinton are marketing units with several real estate firms. The Hoyt, designed by Jeanne Gang with Hill West as associated architects, has 480 units ranging in price from $710,000 to $4,300,000. There is a slick website with a video depicting a lifestyle and design that is modern and luxe. The completion date is June 2021. 21
URBAN DESIGN COMMITTEE
The Hoyt’s main competition is One Clinton, designed by Marvel Architects. The online marketing is more restrained than the Hoyt’s, but its site the overlooking Cadman Plaza park is better. One side of the tower looks out on a green civic space and Brooklyn’s stately Borough Hall. The other side, at the higher floors, faces New York Harbor and Downtown Manhattan. Some of the floorplans are unusual, if awkward, due to the wedge shape of the building. One Clinton only has 134 apartments and another 114 affordable units offsite. One Clinton should be completed in early 2021. The promised new by summer of 2021. The Brooklyn Public
Outdoor space at the Hoyt. Photo courtesy of The Hoyt
Library sold the Cadman Plaza Library for $52 million. The developer of the new residential tower was to provide space for a new improved library in the building. In addition to The Hoyt and One Clinton, six more large projects are in the pipeline. The Amberley, at 203 Jay Street, is a rental apartment building with 270 units with retail and commercial on the lower floors. Nine Dekalb (the Dime Savings Bank supertall) will have 417 units at the upper levels of its 72 floors. Like some of the other projects in construction, the developers are leaving their options open regarding rental vs. sale of apartments.
One Clinton. Photo Courtesy of Hudson Companies and Marvel Architects 23
URBAN DESIGN COMMITTEE
Front & York (85 Jay Street) is a 408-unit condo and a 320-apartment rental portion. There is also retail and commercial on its site in Dumbo, formerly owned the Watchtower. The design by Morris Adjimi references the industrial aesthetic of the early 20th century Brooklyn waterfront. The amenities are in line with The Hoyt and include is a private 23,000 square foot park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the designers of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Jane Margolies of the New York Times highlighted the project in 2019 with the headline: They Took a Parking Lot and Put up a Paradise. The Paxton is a 43-story mixed use residential building under construction at 540 Fulton Street design by Marvel Architects. It describes itself as having 309 ‘stylish rentals.’ There will also be 96 affordable apartments as part of the development Under construction is a 286-unit building at 169 Tillary Street, also known as 260 Gold Street. The Project was designed by J Frankl Associates (JFA). Eighty-two of the
units will be affordable with the lottery set at 130% of area median income under the 421a program (which provides a lowered real estate tax for a certain period). Studio apartments will rent for $2241 per month. With downtown Brooklyn studio apartments ranging, on average, from $1800 – $2300 per month, these new studios at 260 Gold Street are essentially market rate. Affordable housing is sorely needed in the city but when it costs the same or more than market rate housing, it doesn’t seem to be the best use of a tax break. As 2020 grows to a close, it’s hard to tell the future of the market in Downtown Brooklyn. After years of avoiding building commercial space, developers are seeing a future for office space. One Willoughby Square is a 500,000 sf Class A office building designed by FxFowle and due to open in 2021. On the former site of the Institute of Design and Construction, SLCE and Fogarty Finger have designed a mixed-use project with retail, a commercial tower, residential, and student housing.
Front & York, Morris Adjimi Architect. Photo courtesy of The New York Times 24
Rendering of 260 Gold Street. Photo courtesy of J. Frankl
MY RESILIENCY BLUEPRINT FOR THE NEXT MAYOR
We hope that by the end of 2021, life may come back to normal, if the new vaccines prove effective and are available. But I think we are going to have a different city. If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that NYC (and the nation) were not prepared for a crisis of this magnitude. It showed us that the front-line workers in health care, small businesses, police, fire, sanitation and, transportation are crucial to the safety and well-being of the public. New York cannot afford to think of resiliency simply in terms of climate change. We need economic and social resiliency in order to strengthen communities by providing the means to thrive and come back from upheaval and change.
1. Create a new City Plan 2. Do not allow spot or up zoning or increased FAR until a plan is completed 3. Create new parkland where there is increased new development, pending a new plan 4. Invest in education at all levels 5. Tie transit improvements to development and fully fund the capital program 6. Preserve existing affordable housing and build more supportive housing 7. Support small businesses and create manufacturing zones to encourage local production 8. Provide economic incentives to homeowners and smaller apartment houses to reduce the use of fossil fuels 25
DRAWING YOU IN “Highline-NY” drawing by Noushin Jafari, Assoc. AIA
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Total Members
Total Assoc. AIA
DRAWING YOU IN “Untitled” watercolor painting by Martha Zambrano, Assoc. AIA
BROOKLYN ARCHITECTS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION 29
Message From The Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation (BASF) PRESIDENT IDA GALEA, AIA
I have been an active and engaged member of the AIA Brooklyn Chapter for many years and started my ascent up the Executive Board ladder in 2010 when I became the Chapter Secretary. I became President of the AIA Brooklyn Chapter in 2014 and during my 2 year term, I made it my main goal to encourage the Emerging Professionals to get more involved in the Chapter and to realize the benefits that membership to the AIA has to offer. In my new role as the President of the Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation (BASF), I will be focusing our goals on encouraging high school students to pursue their passions and dreams of becoming an Architect. One of the ways this will be accomplished is by providing mentorship opportunities to Brooklyn high school students who are studying in an architectural or technical program to help guide them through their career decision making process. Another way we are investing in the future of the profession is through a new program wherein high school students will now be able to apply for a BASF Scholarship to be applied at an accredited School of Architecture in
Photo by Jessica Fleicher
New York City. As a mom to both a new high school and college student, I have firsthand understanding of the difficulties in deciding on a career path and the everyday struggles and realities that young adults face. Not everyone is fortunate enough to know exactly what they would like to do for the rest of their lives, which can make it hard to develop a sense of self and an understanding of where they fit in the world. This is a battle for all students which is why I am quite passionate and extremely excited about embarking on this new collaboration between the BASF and Brooklyn Architectural and Technical High Schools. As we begin to forge the path ahead, I am confident that we will be able to provide the guidance and funding needed to ensure that the future generation can be productive and successful contributors to society as well as their communities, all while working toward something they truly love.
A Brief History ARTICLE BY JANE MCGROARTY, AIA
Most Brooklyn AIA members would be surprised to learn that its Scholarship Foundation was not started by the Chapter. It was an initiative of the Brooklyn Society of Architects, another professional organization that was founded around 1904. The Society concerned itself with building codes and government affairs, while the AIA concentrated on loftier, more artistic aspects of the profession. In the 1920’s Jewish and Italian architects found the Society of Architects to be a more welcoming club than the mainly upper-class Brooklyn AIA Chapter. As early as 1929 the Society founded a scholarship organization. Because the Society had many members who themselves or their families were immigrants, they understood the struggle to get an education and wanted to help the younger generation achieve their goals. In 1939 the Society’s President was Martyn Weinstein (later Weston) who introduced the concept of a yearly award to a graduate student in architecture at Pratt Institute. Martyn also was a member of Brooklyn AIA and served as Chapter President in 1950 and 1951. He orchestrated a joint scholarship program, the Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation, and Weston served as its first President. The Foundation held receptions and dinner-dances to raise money for scholarships. In 1951 the Foundation awarded four scholarships selected among 15 students. The Brooklyn Chapter had instituted design competitions for architectural students. In 1951 Marvin Goody, an MIT student, won first prize in the annual design competition for a civic center. Marvin would eventually
join with John Clancy to start what became an important firm, Goody Clancy in Boston. The goal of t he Foundation, on the other hand, was to raise money to provide scholarships for needy students. Vito Battista, an architect, founded the Institute of Design and Construction in 1947. The Institute was a non-profit technical school that offered Associate degrees in building construction and architectural design, as well as continuing education. The Institute enabled students with limited means to begin their architectural education. A strong supporter of scholarships, Battista was active in both AIA Brooklyn and the Scholarship Foundation. His son, Vincent, also an architect, continued to operate the Institute until 2015 when it closed. In its initial year (1951) the Scholarship Foundation chose five high school seniors for awards schools. Four would attend Pratt Institute: Alan Aaron, Frank Eliseo, Laurie Mutchnik (later Maurer) and Sidney Paul. The fifth, Irving B. Elman, was accepted at M.I.T. Irving eventually founded Stainless Rails Ltd., a company that fabricated custom made steel railings, primarily for pleasure boats. Alan Aaron practiced architecture in Lynbrook and was a member of the Queens AIA Chapter. Frank Eliseo served as a First Lieutenant in the US Army when he finished Pratt. He worked for IBM and then was a director of the NYS Health & Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corp. Laurie Mutchnik married a fellow architect, Stanley Maurer, and the couple practiced together in Brooklyn, known for their simple, elegant designs. In 1983
Laurie became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Sidney Paul relocated to Whittier, California where he practiced for many years. Since the 1950’s the Scholarship Foundation raised funds through dinner dances and individual contributions. More recently it has hosted an annual golf outing as a fundraiser for the Foundation. Every AIA Brooklyn President serves on the Foundation Board and becomes its President, thus maintaining an important link between the Chapter and the Foundation. In recent years, students have attended the monthly Brooklyn AIA Chapter meetings/panel discussions where they present projects and meet members. Next year the Foundation is planning to support Brooklyn high school students who are planning to study architecture after graduation. The awards have typically been presented to recipients at the annual Chapter holiday party in December. This year, Covid-19 derailed plans to have an in-person event. The Foundation and the Chapter are pleased to congratulate the 2020 awardees: Jacqueline Pileggi (NYIT), Tania Jaquez (CCNY), Rachel Pendleton (Pratt), Sanjana Lahiri (Cooper Union), and Nalin Chahal (Parsons).
COVER IMAGE ON PAGE 29
In 1953 the Foundation awarded grants to five students. Left to Right: Frank Eliseo, Irving B. Elman, Alan L. Aaron, Laurie Mutchnik, Sidney Paul, Borough President John Cashmore (seated), Vincent Pellegrino, Secretary of the Foundation. © Brooklyn Daily Eagle photographs, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection 31
YULIYA ILIZAROV, AIA
BASF SCHOLARSHIP AWARD, 2006 SPITZER SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, CCNY, B. ARCH THE NEW SCHOOL, CANDIDATE, M.S, ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT (2021)
Can you tell me what you’ve been doing since finishing architecture school? YI: I am currently working in the field of architecture and design —
FLORENCE GUIRAUD AWARD , 200 5 BAS F SCH OLA RSH IP . OF DES IGN , B.A RCH PAR SON S SCH OO L UTE OF TIT INS TTS USE CH MA SSA H. TEC HN OLO GY, M. ARC
I run a design/build practice with two partners, focusing on commercial and residential projects in NYC. Prior to starting my own business in late 2018, I was the managing director of CWB Architects, a local Brooklyn firm. I spent 8.5 years at the firm, after experiencing two lay-offs post-graduation in 2008. The firm exposed me both the technical and business aspects of the profession, and my role as managing director deepened my interest in our organizational lives — how we come together to do the work that we do, and particularly how we work across differences. This interest led me to pursue an M.S. in Organizational Change Management at The New School. I’m currently in my last semester, and my capstone project is exploring the tension between grassroots activist demands for change within organizations and the actions organizations actually take in response to this external
pressure, particularly in light of how technology and social media have allowed people to expose internal organizational dynamics en masse, creating a new type of pressure on organizations. I’ve been a longtime member of the Architecture Alumni Group at my alma mater, the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York CUNY, and collaborate with a diverse group of alums to support the flourishing of our student and alumni community.
Did BASF scholarship have any impact on your schooling or career? YI: I remember that I felt honored to receive an award from the professional organization that represented my future profession, and it feels even sweeter now, since I’m in Brooklyn, and a member of the Brooklyn AIA.
ce you It’s been fifteen years sin the m fro received an award holarship Brooklyn Architects Sc u are Foundation. What at yo been s ha at wh doing now and th? pa r the arc of your caree down FG: What a memory a trip o?! I am memory lane! 15 years ag an currently working as frog architectural designer for design in Brooklyn. I lead teams on multidisciplinary design nts clie for short-burst projects ign looking for a holistic des ich can response to their needs wh ital. be both physical and dig and ure We bring in architect ir ways technology to support the h their of working or connect wit
a sense customers while creating their g tin of place that is promo brand ethos. the What impact, if any, did ur scholarship have on yo r? ree ca or schooling apter FG: The AIA Brooklyn ch lio rtfo award for my student po a back in 2005 was such all the of ion nit wonderful recog d an rk long hours of hard wo dedication during my Parsons. undergraduate degree at a role in It probably also played few a T my admittance to MI degree years later for a Master’s in Architecture.
INTERVIEW BY JANE MCGROARTY, AIA 32
Throwback to the past 10 years of BASF winners 2017
Brooklyn Architects Scholarship Foundation Awardees 2003 Amber Chapin Ariad Beazer Nikola Veric Qung Liao Tzvi Kayla
2010 Peter Baldwin Katelyn Mulry Antoinette Ayton Rolando Vega William Schaefer
2015 Connor Holles Ryan MacCrea Derek Roo-Jer Lee Shenier Torres Danielle Kemble
2004 Crystal Gary Ying Fang Zhang Julie Puaux Richard (Hyun Soo) Kim Marissa DeLuca
2011 Sarah Sada Arianna Lebed Christopher Parinne Alekes His-Ning Chang Henry Murzen
2016 Tyler Okorn Jorge Burgoes Santos Jonathan Koewler Samuel Sol Krishan Angelo Jones
2005 Thomas Lozada Shao W. Deng Florence Guiraud Christine Dรกuria Alex Gryer
2012 Marcela Escobar Linda Xin Ruting Li Paul Scrugham Chrisoula Kapelonis
2017 Jamie Cardinale Solomon Oh Michelle Runco Dwayne Riley Katherine Sullivan
2013 Berk Eraslan Amanda Mullen Mabel Jiang Brittany Piscapo
2018 Stephen Sulco Yeshu Tan Annete Makuka Jermey Son Ngawang Tenzin
2006 Yuliya Ilizarov John Kevlon
2007 Henry R Jayawardena Erin Bartllng Frank Chuqui Kristen Ruller Anna Kostreva
2008 Scott Sorenson Edgar Almaguer Michael Neglia Noah Garcia
2014 Diego Gonzalez Nabi Agzamov Sean Barbe Loyria Nunez Daniel W. Keller
2019 Marcela Ona Sandova Danny Medina Emely Balaguera Maren Speyer Siran Xiang
Thank You! BASF GOLF OUTING SPONSORS Bruce Gamill Gamill Engineering Martin Zoltowski Marin Plumbing and Heating Dawn Kantor Dawn Kantor Enterprises Alfred C. Bartolomeo AIA Vincent Bouno Laredo Electric Inc. Surr Goldberg SGH Associates Inc. Ida Galea Ida Galea Architect Evan Meyer Kamco Ray Mellon Zetlin & Dechiara Mario Carmiciano Lester Blumenson David Fanarof Inc. Jane McGroarty Jane McGroarty Architect Pat Parrella Venezia Iron Works Jospeh Tooma JTC Associates Michael Zenreich Support for Architects (304, 304a) Anselmo Genovese Anselmo Genovese Architect Lenny Abend Glen Dauman Steve Goldstein Goldstein Law, PC Douglas Halstrom Lâ€™Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, L.L.P. Aida Velaquez Greg Yee Porter & Yee Associates, Inc. Dimitriy Shenker Vincent Nativo Carl Gailoto Giro Chierchio Willy Zambrano AIA Richard Wainer James Baer Franco Caliendo Northeast Services Interiors L.L.C. Greg Kumm Prosurance/Redeker Group John Abi-Habib MSI & mCloudServ Ralph Succar Empire State Development L.L.C. Giuseppe Anzalone Joseph Smerina James Rowland Zetlin & Dechiara Marshall Schuster Mesarch Studio Richard Ferrara Richard Ferrara AIA Emeritus John Borrelli Modellâ€™s Sporting Goods
New York Institute of Technology
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Tania Jazuez The City College of New York
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Rachel Pendleton Pratt Institute
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Sanjana Lahiri The Cooper Union
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96 Â· SANJANA LAHIRI
Nalin Chahal Parsons School of Design, The New School
HOUSE I: PHOENIX, 2017–2021 The House I project, located in Phoenix, AZ, is a residential project that seeks to provide a (mostly) blank canvas with influence from the environment and the client’s history and personality. The area brought forth a new frontier for the client and set him away from his natural habitat. A hands-on approach was used where client input was sought at every stage. Systems such as wind chambers and high ceiling ventilation that are common in the Middle East; shading systems from native Arizona tribes; and a primitive refrigeration method were employed to help keep the building cool during blistering summers. Modern phase-change materials were used to keep it warm during nights and winters. The client’s affinity for throwing dinner parties, combined with his need for ample space to go about his daily routine in peace, led to an expansion of private spaces in the house. It was made sure that communal spaces were well-separated and did not affect the client’s privacy. This separation was achieved by emphasizing the height difference of floor plates and concealing paths between private and public spaces, such as doors and stairs.
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CLASS Traditionally, September is the time of year when students are beginning a new school year and we’re all starting to think about the end of the year. Back in March, the country was forced to shelter in place, which meant we had to quickly adjust to a completely different paradigm for everyday life. Students had to switch to remote learning and with this new kind of classroom came a new way of teaching. Thereafter, the murder of George Floyd and the successive murders and brutalization of several Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement forced our nation into difficult but necessary discussions about the centuries-old racial inequality and injustice embedded within our systems.
ARTICLE BY MICHELLE DUNCAN AND TALISHA SAINVIL, AIA INTERVIEW WITH DEAN HARRIS AND CHAIRMAN VAIDYA
Within numerous panel discussions held by virtually every organizational body across the profession, Architecture has been reexamining itself, scrambling to figure out its complicity in the perpetuation of its reputation as a domain that is unwelcoming to minorities. With all the talk going on, there are many who have committed not just to discussions about the topic, but to creating the necessary changes needed. This month our spotlight shines on two of Brooklyn’s passionate Architecture educators: Dr. Harriet Harriss, Dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and Sanjive Vaidya, who are already using their professional positions to bring about the kinds of changes they believe are necessary to ensure that the industry is cultivating and harnessing the power of all its talent. 101
HEAD OF CLASS We kicked off our first interview with Dr. Harriet Harriss, who started her tenure as Dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture in August of 2019 — by getting to know a little bit about her’ origins, how she came to Architecture and more specifically, how she feels about architectural education and the role her school is gearing up to play in sharing the future of our profession.
“WE ALL DESERVE AN EQUAL START IN LIFE DESPITE OUR VARYING CIRCUMSTANCES, AND ACCESS TO DECENT HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION AND HOUSING IS SIMPLY PART OF THAT.” 102
Harriss was born and raised in London and Manchester and, as the daughter of an immigrant single parent, was the first in her family to go to college largely enabled by government grants and scholarships that have since ceased to exist. Mindful of this advantage, affordable education remains one of her core preoccupations, and as Harriss explains, “We all deserve an equal start in life despite our varying circumstances, and access to decent healthcare, education and housing is simply part of that. Having needs — such as the need to be educated — is not something we can address alone, but only through our relationship with others. This interdependency is what makes us human, but what defines our humanity is the willingness to care and provide for each other, and not to use our interdependency as a means to exploit or subjugate each other. We are a species that is capable of ensuring that everyone of us has a right to thrive, and not just to exist, but we don’t always work toward that objective.” Before attending college, Harriss thought she wanted to study medicine but became acutely aware of the impact of the built environment on well-being while working for a charity in South Africa. Harriss recalled thinking, “If I really want to make a difference then I need to switch from treating the symptoms to addressing the causes. Poor housing was making people sick, specifically, the paraffin burners used for heat and cooking in rooms without ventilation. The residents didn’t need better medicine. They needed better architecture. “Architecture can be heroic. In the UK, it was the medium through which all of the post Second World War social welfare policies were made manifest — from accessible and affordable housing to school environments that were more conducive to learning and playful interaction. Architecture carries the values and convictions of its social and political context. Penthouses for the elite serve to remind us that private interests are more often prioritized than collective need. That’s what makes
ARCHITECTURE IS OFTEN VIEWED AS COMPLICIT WITH QUESTIONABLE POLITICAL AGENDAS, AND INSTEAD NEEDS TO CHAMPION THE NEEDS OF DIVERSE COMMUNITIES FAR MORE.
Architecture one of the most relevant and potentially powerful disciplines, especially if its primary focus is designing the infrastructure of an equal society.” These ideals remained consistent but not unchallenged for Harriss during her career. “I naively believed that Architecture was principally interested in using space for social advocacy, but then I became an Architecture student and realized it’s not. Too often the attention and investment focuses on designing for the 1% rather than the other 99%. This forced me to question, how do I forge a career in this field that carries rather than compromises my commitment to social and civic values, ethics and inclusivity? Whether my design project is a building or the design of a school of architecture, social values and also ecological concerns have to be embedded in the structure, and not added as an afterthought. At times it feels as though I’m moving the canonic, curricula and pedagogic titanic of architectural education away from the iceberg of cis white male privileging ‘Starchitecture’ and towards a future where different practice approaches are recognized and valued. “If all a school does is condition students to reiterate the current conditions of professional practice — competitive, consumerist, commercial but not especially communityengaged — then nothing will change, and the profession will lose its relevance. “This should be the pinnacle pedagogy within Schools of Architecture. It’s not just a matter of knowledge acquisition and the reiteration of technical skills, because what constitutes knowledge is now being called into question and technical skills are rendered obsolete each time a new software platform or device emerges. We should ensure our graduates have the skills to become responsible employers and not just compliant employees, and to resituate Architecture at the vanguard of the forms of social justice and ecological recovery we desperately need to enact.” In her role as Dean at the Pratt Institute, Harriss is committed to working democratically and inclusively with her faculty to develop and advance architectural education. “We need to offer our students more than qualifications, what the NAAB prescribes or the kind of affordable labor needs by a profession dealing with declining income. That’s not the project for Deans anymore. Now, we have to support student’s mental health, address diversity, equity and inclusion shortfalls, support and facilitate new forms of graduate employment, and ensure that all our alumni remain a valued and supported part of our community long after they’ve graduated.” It’s also a question of leveraging many of the school’s long-standing strengths and traditions, such as the 103
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commitment to participatory design and community engagement that emerged in the 1960’s that continues its work through the Pratt Center for Community Development. From Harriss, “What constitutes Architecture is drawn from different disciplines and epistemologies and as a consequence is richly complex, but also wonderfully unstable and contestable. For this reason, we need to afford students more autonomy in defining their spatial agendas and avoid prescribing a one size fits all approach to Architectural production or spatial co-production. One of the other problematic myths perpetuated by “Starchitecture,” is the idealization of the lone genius, when in reality almost all architectural outputs are collaboratively produced. Pedagogically, fostering more opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, entrepreneurship and social innovation, expanding our portfolio of community-engaged learning opportunities and supporting academic as well as practice-based leadership are high on our list of priorities. For example, students have been given a budget to run their own lecture series and we recently appointed a Student Advisor to the Dean, Undergraduate Student Catherine Chattergoon, to ensure we support the emergence of the next generation of academic leaders.”
As Harriss points out, “The epistemological richness of architecture is what makes it so very capable of responding to all kinds of social and ecological challenges. To only insist graduates become architects is to fail to recognize the ability of architecture to impact across multiple sectors and contexts.” This is a topic Harriss tackles in her new book, Architects After Architecture, which she co-edited with Rory Hyde (Melbourne University) and Roberta Marcaccio (The Architectural Association, School, London). “It all began when I learned that the majority of Architecture school graduates never become Architects, but instead transition into other sectors and in many cases, lead hugely successful careers. Giving students that sense of possibility is very crucial. Another priority for us is to develop more international partnerships and increase opportunities for working internationally for all our students. This is why we are preparing for RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) validation this Spring, which will provide students and faculty with opportunities for working and studying in 50 schools in the UK and 53 schools in countries outside of the UK that are RIBA validated. “I also want to ensure Pratt SoA graduates lead lives of consequence in whatever context or profession they
Catherine Chattergoon PRATT INSTITUTE B. ARCH 2024
Catherine Chattergoon is a second-year student in the bachelor of architecture program at Pratt Institute. Her interests include using architecture as a social practice for civic engagement and utilizing design as a resource for communities. She believes in the power of student involvement in discussion and currently serves as an undergraduate architecture student representative to help facilitate conversation between the student body and administration. Catherine is a
member of the Pratt NOMAS Chapter and the Mistresses of Pratt Archive team, advocating for the empowerment of underrepresented voices. She is an active participant in DEI initiatives and was involved in envisioning a more inclusive critique in the Rethinking the Architecture Review Task Force. She is committed to creating a more equitable school and combating systemic injustice. Catherine is passionate about translating complex narratives into the canon and exploring how an
education at Pratt can be used to transform the future. As the Student Advisor to the Dean, she hopes to influence pedagogic, personal, and collective change through decolonizing knowledge and raising consciousness, community engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and including and supporting marginalized voices.
choose, whether this involves commercial success or is more focused on community building, civic engagement or other creative but ethically driven and informed pursuits. To this aim, we have launched Dean’s Prize for Social Justice and one for Climate Crisis. All of our initiatives are intended to support and advance talented faculty and to give students greater agency. At the moment, we’re co-authoring a strategic plan for the school as a democratic project, and not one Dean’s personal vision of what a school should be. It’s our commitment to collectivism, I think, that will make whatever we determine the school to be, far more resilient, robust and relevant. Similarly, I hope that the graduates can take these methodologies forward into professional practice and work collaboratively to make it more inclusive and diverse and more socially and environmentally responsible. That’s the optimum scenario for any of our graduates.” When asked what Dean Harriss missed most about life in the UK she mused, “Brits are quite polite to strangers but really rude and obnoxious once they get to know you. It’s a sign of affection, really, but it doesn’t always translate well. I’ve also been asked to tone down my Britishness in meetings which I think means try to be a little less direct at times. Brits will hold doors open for you and say thank you if you show them this courtesy. Whereas in the US, or at least in New York, people will let a door slam in your face or sail past you without any acknowledgment but are consistently very polite in meetings. However, if there’s one thing we all have in common it’s the ability to selfcriticize and to recognize when things need to change. And, given the scale of the change we need to see in our profession and the world at large, this gives me hope for a better future for all.”
SEE THE SCHOOLS EQUITABLE PRACTICE STATEMENT
commons.pratt.edu/ soaactionstatement SEE THE DEAN’S STATEMENT ON RACIAL JUSTICE HERE
mailchi.mp/pratt/towards-anequitable-and-inclusiveschool?e=94909ba1cd SCHOOL MICROSITE
HEAD OF CLASS Our feature continues with our conversation with Sanjive Vaidya, Architectural Technology Department Chair at The New York City College of Technology talking about one of the biggest questions on his mind this year: “Why are these students who are smart and hardworking studying Architecture?”
“IT’S A CHALLENGE TO HAVE THE STUDENTS SEE THE RANGE OF HOW THEY CAN AFFECT CHANGE...” 106
“Why not study something else that pays well and where you can support your family. This is what I have spent several months trying to answer. With a student body of about 60% that come from households that make less than 30k per, I’m on a search for answers as to what to tell these students and how to train them. Either we declare what we’re training them to be or we tell them the truth, that we’re teaching them how to be employees and nothing more.” Starting off our conversation with such a heavy question, one might assume that Vaidya has always been a fierce advocate. We asked about how he came to Architecture himself and the answer was a pleasant surprise and a small background into Vaidya’s current perspective. “My father is an Architect and that’s how I was introduced.” Originally from India, Vaidya’s father became an Architect in the 60’s and as he describes it, “S really amazing and historical moment in history. He found common cause with the community at Howard University in Washington DC. He was an artist who left India and found that Howard was a venue where he could use his skills quite well. So, that’s where he was trained and he became an Architect in Washington, D.C. When I was a kid, he became the Chief Architect at D.C. General Hospital. D.C. General Hospital was a free, social hospital that was started by the infamous D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. I got to see the function of that hospital and I think those types of things are very important because since it was not a profit driven hospital, the powers that be tried to snuff it out. Marion Barry was seminal character in DC and had some troubles but he was a civil rights leader and he did a lot for that community. D.C. General Hospital was one of his key projects.” Through his father’s work, Vaidya was able to see the civic aspect of the profession, which is a key point of view that he is trying to bring to the students at City Tech. “It’s a challenge to have the students see the range of how they can affect change because they’re doing so many different things and are very busy.”
With a population that is about 35% Hispanic and 30% Black students, it’s very apparent especially after the last election, just how much mistrust in government these students have. “There’s a mistrust of government or they haven’t been served by government in a particular way. CUNY is wonderful and I‘m a huge fan now that I’ve been there for some time but our facilities are abysmal. If this is a reflection of the city, then of course you’re not going to want to be involved. The environment makes a difference. There’s no oak paneled libraries for students to be inspired. The toilet doesn’t flush and that’s what the students remember. CUNY has 26 colleges throughout the 5 boroughs with about 275,000 students annually. In comparison to one of the leading private colleges which has about 30 students, the two have about the same annual budget. This structural problem upsets me. “When you come from a low-income background, does that mean you don’t have a say in your environment? I feel like that’s what the profession has been saying. Students are taught that they have to run. We need to make space for students to reflect and not always run from one job to the next or from one thing to the other.” The NY City Tech Architectural Technology program is very aware of students’ varying schedules and adapts to accommodate how students can learn through the availability of night classes as well as flexibility in course scheduling. One solution that Vaidya has been thinking about is having rotations, similar to medical professionals. The idea is that students can become the type of professionals who come out of school knowing that they can be advocates. “I’m thinking about having programs where students can rotate. I’m not talking about through Architecture offices but through local politician offices, community development offices and homeless shelters in order to learn how Architects can be advocates for their community. Students should know that there are more places for them. I recognize that not all students will want to be an advocate and or civic minded but they need exposure to that being a possibility. Our role as educators is to have a better conversation with these students to find out what their strengths are and build a curriculum around that. We have already built a new professional pathway through the NAAB accreditation, So now students have a choice of avenue they want to go down.” City Tech has held a couple of town halls, has encouraged students to sit on AIA panel discussions and Vaidya has personally spoken with a number of students and realizes, “‘it’s hard when you’re in “survival mode” to pull your head up and say these are the grander reasons why I’m doing anything. Right now, for many students, it’s just about survival and getting the right certifications. The game has
already been set and now they’re just trying to get to the next level. For many students, the end game is just getting to a job. What I’m arguing is that BIPOC students need to be guided towards advocacy and leadership because if we keep putting them towards jobs, we miss out on valuable capital that can transform NYC. This is a really big deal because it’s about the building of Trust. Without the fundamental component of trust, it is hard for any community to accept Architecture students.” Vaidya has been the chair of the department for 5 years, but has spent the bulk of the past decade with the school. On stepping into the role of chair, Vaidya says that he has always had the agenda to get more engagement out of the students. “I’m inherently very interested in politics and civic conversations that happen in this city. I think the election of the current president was traumatic in a short time. He went after DACA after which I had a regular, long line of students who were awfully and unfairly affected by this. This changed a lot. I was not prepared for some of these students who were sitting in my office and getting a phone call that their father is going to get deported.” Another important agenda item for Vaidya is to provide pipelines. “One of the other things I have been going on about is pipelines. A lot of our students don’t have solid preparatory education, which reduces their competitive abilities. This is one of reasons why I like the DOB program, we have four years to give them as many tools as possible. They go there and learn processes and skills. After working there for a while, they have pretty heavy duty, marketable skills so if they want to apply for an SOM or one of the big firms, they can come in as an upper-level Architect. This also allows them to compete with their contemporaries, if they want to go in that direction. “We have a connection with a number of career and technical high schools and I’m drawing a line from high school to college and what they do afterwards and using that to launch them wherever they want to go.” Vaidya goes on to explain some of the ways City Tech is working on giving the students the kind of education he thinks will be beneficial to them. “We’re building alliances with non-traditional departments at our college. We have a good relationship with the African American Studies program and we have been inviting faculty to come and sit in on reviews. Last year, we had a collaboration with the nursing program wherein students worked on a community center in Brownsville. I think reaching out to other disciplines is a step in that direction. We have created a number of mentoring programs, peer to peer mentoring and professional mentoring through the Arch league, where they are matching students with Architects. This program is only in its second or third year but as it 107
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continues to grow, we would like to get non-Architectural and allied professionals to be involved with mentoring the students. Our faculty is amazing, they work so many hours above and beyond what’s in their job description. One thing we are building into our degree is more flexibility and more curriculum changes — which is really hard to do. We’re hoping these curriculum changes can be much more responsive to the informal jobs market — meaning things like digital fabricators or scaffolding and façade work. This is a way to build other entry points into the profession. “City Tech is born out of a GI bill, after World War II, Vets were coming back and learning trades and crafts to get jobs. NY City Tech’s Architectural Technology Department was created to teach these Veterans skills like drafting to be able to serve professionals. It started as a two-year degree program and turned into a 4-year degree. It’s different now. We shouldn’t be putting minorities in an employment pipeline because we’re not unleashing their full potential. “Walking through protests this summer and experiencing the police as a black or brown person, that’s when you question whether you belong. That’s why I’m trying to figure out what this profession is telling young people. It’s either you’re in or you’re not-so declare it. Honestly, I don’t have hope in the profession — this profession has had how many hundreds of years to get its act right?! I think the answers are going to come from a better integration with these students in the community. We have to place the students into places where they can exercise their power. I’m really skeptical of the profession because it’s been so long. There are no mechanisms to solve the situation within the profession. For example, we have a really good program with the NYC Department of Buildings where they meet with students over 8 no-work seminars. They help students with their resumes, cover letters and portfolios and usually have about 40 students in the program. They then take about 13 or so for the summer internships and after they graduate, the DOB may hire 3 or 4 to work there full-time. An agency like the DOB has mechanisms, like a diversity officer, who oversees who’s getting hired and who’s moving up. When I compare it to a large Architecture office, they don’t have the same mechanisms for hiring. Its hard to go to the private companies and just ask them to change because the mechanisms are not there. I’m not saying they’re saddled with all the blame, it’s just that as a community, this has been going on for such a long time. “The BLM movement and students writing letters to their schools have really put a focus on our program. I’ve met with about half a dozen private Architecture programs who have asked what they can do to help. CWB Architects have 108
committed to helping with City Tech. Todd Williams and Billie Tsien have taken 14 mentorships, the Architectural League program has also been growing.” In 2017, the first class made up of about 15 students entered into City Tech and will begin next semester taking classes that will be credited towards the first Bachelor of Architecture graduating class. Vaidya shouts out 2 of the faculty at the college with making this NAAB Accredited program a reality. ‘I can’t say enough amazing things about Claudia Hernandez and Ting Chin — the amount of time and dedication and vetting that they put into getting this accreditation has been incredible.’ We ended our conversation with Vaidya with him telling us a little about what he envisions for the future. “I worked for Max Bond at Davis Brody Bond for about 8 years and he was an incredible force to be around. Under his attention, I saw a lot more about the intersection of culture, politics and art in a way that hadn’t been talked about in school. I got to see things from his perspective and that was an important exposure for me as a young person. I see myself as a spokesperson for my students and even though I’ve come late to table of serving these students and I’m not a longtime activist, my main focus is about these students. There is a Social Mobility Index that shows how you rise in your career however, it doesn’t expose you to understanding the potentiality of your thoughts, how you apply yourself to your community or even what that community is. Students don’t have a chance to think about these things even though it seems so obvious — it really isn’t obvious but it’s important. What I tell students is that nobody is coming to save you. You and your colleagues are your own keepers and advocate for one another. You need to look out for each other because you can’t assume there is an outside network that is coming to rescue you. That being said, if everyone feels like they have contributed and have been a part of the solution, that’s the only way that people can work together towards moving forward.” Both Dean Harriet Harriss and Chairman Sanjive Vaidya learned what it’s like to lead their Schools through a global pandemic and a racial justice movement. As we all find ourselves learning new things and dealing with a whole new kind of existence, the importance of strong leadership has been magnified. Through all of what 2020 has brought with it, these two Heads of the class have certainly ushered in the inspiration and forward thinking that can’t help but restore your faith in the education of the Architect and the future of the profession.
DRAWING YOU IN “Citi” drawing by Noushin Jafari, Assoc. AIA
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