Margaret Castillo, AIA - President's message: Upcoming conversations on design

May 09, 2011 - Design / Build
By Margaret Castillo, AIA

The American Institute of Architect's National Convention will be in New Orleans later this month, and while I'm looking forward to conversing with 15,000 of my peers, I'm even more excited about three upcoming conversations taking place here, in New York City. These programs are framed by their relation to architecture and the built environment, but are by no means exclusively for architects - we will be discussing design in the context of health, international development, and equitable housing. I hope you can join us for one or all.

Fit City 6 - Promoting Physical Activity through Design
May 17, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place)
Now in its sixth year, the AIA New York Chapter and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Annual Fit City conference examines how design of the built environment creates opportunities for increasing physical activity and access to healthier food. Conference participants will hear how the strategies in the Active Design Guidelines are being implemented at New York City agencies, in the private sector, and in communities across the world.
The focus of this year's conference is how design can help address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Participants include Commissioners from NYC Parks, City Planning, Design and Construction, and Transportation, as well as Louise Cox, the President of the International Union of Architects, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro Principal Charles Renfro, AIA.
Better City/Better Life: South - North Initiative
May 18, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the United Nations Headquarters, 1st Avenue at East 46th St.
On May 18 the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization with UN Habitat, the AIA New York Chapter, and South-South News is hosting its fourth annual conference on sustainable urbanization. For decades the developing world relied heavily on the expertise, advice and resources of the developed world, but shifts in the global economy and the application of leapfrog technologies have allowed countries from the developing south to take the lead in addressing problems created by rapid worldwide urbanization. The conference will explore the extent to which those innovations may have applicability in the developed world. Some of these innovations are highlighted in the Center for Architecture exhibition Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities, which runs through May 21.
The free conference, held at the United Nations, will bring together representatives from over a dozen countries around the globe, and promises to be a stimulating conversation about the future of cities.
AIANY Presidential Lecture Series: Teddy Cruz on the Politics of Affordable Housing
May 19, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Center for Architecture
Teddy Cruz, Professor in Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego, will deliver the first in a series of lectures on my presidential theme: "Design for a Change." In his talk, entitled "Creative Acts of Citizenship: Performing Neighborhoods," he will speak about communities where new economies are emerging and new social, cultural and environmental configurations are taking place, and how these neighborhoods can act as catalysts to produce more inclusive housing paradigms. Following his lecture, he'll be joined by NYCHA's Cristiana Fragola, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Strategic Planning & Change Management, to discuss housing policy. William Morrish, Dean, Parsons School of Constructed Environments, will moderate the conversation.
Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, is the 2011 president of the N.Y. chapter of the AIA, New York, N.Y.
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