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2014 AIA Convention Special: New Yorkers Acclaimed for Designing with Purpose

Reports from the Field by • 07/02

At the 65th Annual Honors and Awards Celebration, the AIA bestowed honorary membership upon 10 individuals outside the profession, and recognized the winners of the 2014 Young Architect Award, Associates Award, and the Institute’s Honors for Collaborative Achievement. Many of this year’s projects were tied to the convention’s theme, “Design with Purpose,” and, as expected, AIANY members shone.

A true exemplar of designing with larger issues in mind, the AIANY Post-Sandy Initiative, spearheaded by the AIA New York Chapter and its Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR), received the 2014 AIA Institute Honors for Collaborative and Professional Achievement. In the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, AIANY and the DfRR sprang into action, providing support and professional expertise to the public sector. Volunteers from a variety of organizations, including the New York Chapters of ACEC, ASLA, APA, and SEAoNY, were joined by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and New York State Association for Affordable Housing to form working groups that focused on several areas key to resilience: transportation and infrastructure, housing, critical and commercial building, codes and zoning, and waterfront. Diverse players participated in an energetic dialogue to grapple with short- and long-term effects of recovery and reconstruction. The results were broad and far-reaching, enabling city agencies to “build better” and “build smarter.” DfRR founding Co-chairs Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, AIANY 2014 President, and Illya Azaroff, AIA; AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; Ernest Hutton, AICP, Assoc. AIA, AIANY Planning and Urban Design Co-chair; and Bonnie Harken, AIA, APA, Post-Sandy Waterfront Working Group, accepted the award on behalf of the initiative.

In addition, two AIANY members were honored for outstanding contributions to the profession at a young age. Illya Azaroff, AIA, was recognized with a 2014 AIA Young Architect Award for both his innovative design firm and his leadership in the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee. As a major organizer of the AIANY Post-Sandy Initiative and a number of other programs on the topic of resilience, Azaroff has led the Chapter’s efforts to reimagine a more resilient and sustainable region. He was also instrumental in launching the Architect Helping Architect program, which provided desk space to architects in flooded areas of New York. He has worked closely with the national Disaster Preparedness Training Center, training hundreds of architects in disaster relief, and helping his local design community “design with purpose” as well.

An active member of the AIANY and AIA New York State, Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA, received the 2014 AIA Associates Award. Engh’s volunteer efforts have been directed at two goals fundamental to AIANY’s mission: communicating the value of architecture to the public, and promoting licensure for young professionals. Engh is an active member of the AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee, and has helped organize and create a number of programs to provide support for emerging professionals. As a member of the AIANY Architectural Tour Committee (ATC), she played a primary role in developing the widely acclaimed Around Manhattan Architectural Boat Tour.

The AIA also granted Robert B. Tierney, Hon. AIA, Honorary Membership for his work as chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the largest municipal preservation agency in the U.S. Under Tierney’s leadership, LPC approved 43 historic districts in New York City – more than under any other administration. The vast majority of these districts, which encompass nearly 8,000 buildings, are located in boroughs outside Manhattan and in communities that have been overlooked for years. Although not a designer, Tierney has helped the city “preserve” with purpose.

We congratulate all the individuals who were celebrated at the Honors and Awards program, and look forward to seeing what our profession has in store for next year!

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