Public Architecture 20/20: Navigating Policy

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“To make Policy, you have to live in the future, look at the past, anticipate what will happen, avoid past mistakes; make it fair and clear for all!“ — Laila Maher, Columbia University School of the Arts

Policy is the medium of governance. It is the “how” in how elected officials and their administrations achieve their goals, hopefully to improve and enhance the health and well-being of citizens. Policies set by authorities often have a profound impact on the practice of public architecture and the form of our built environments. While the goals of individual policies are mostly rational and laudable, their implementation, and concatenation, risk inducing unexpected results and disproportionate complexity. This panel will examine the impact and effect of four distinct policy goals: inclusion, accessibility, design quality, and building performance, on the work of public architects and how they work together to advance or detract from the stated policy goals in question.

Steve Caputo, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Wayne Lambert, Deputy Director of Programs, Mayor’s Office of MWBE
Laurie Hawkinson, Architect, NYC Public Design Commission
Victor Olds, General Counsel, Mayor’s Office of Contract Services

Anna Torriani, AIA, Partner, APT Architecture (Pagnamenta Torriani Architects Planners LLP), Co-chair of AIANY Public Architecture Committee
Michael Plottel, FAIA, Public Architect
Zack Aders, AIA, Assistant Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)


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