Except where noted, all events take place at the Center for Architecture (CFA) or depart from there.


Pre-Conference Day / Programs with Local Partners


Welcome Lunch

Lunch is open to all conference registrants, but especially for early arrivers interested to join our small group tours to nearby architecture organizations. Hosted by AAO and CFA staff.

This is also a convenient time to pick up your conference pass as well as our What's On: Explore NYC guide we are putting together of all architecture-related exhibitions, events, and tours taking place in and aorund our conference meeting dates.



Site Visits to Local Architecture Organizations

There's a plethora of interesting architecture organizations nearby the CFA. Come with us as we meet the team at a83 and tour their gallery and archives, visit The Architectural League and Urban Omnibus and Design Trust for Public Space offices, drop in to the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and much more. There is nothing more valuable than meeting fellow architecture organizations staffers at their own workplaces to get a behind-the-scenes feel for what drives their work.



Person Place Thing: A Public Program with the Center for Architecture

Remembering Rafael Viñoly: Person Place Thing with Randy Cohen

We are deeply saddened to learn that Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, passed away on March 2 in New York City at the age of 78. Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues, and all in the architecture community who knew and loved him during this time of profound loss.

Person Place Thing is an interview show hosted by Randy Cohen based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak, not directly about themselves, but about something they care about. This special installment of Person Place Thing will be a conversation with Román Viñoly, Director of Rafael Viñoly Architects, on the life and achievements of his father, Rafael Viñoly.

Román Viñoly, Director, Rafael Viñoly Architects
Randy Cohen, Host, Person Place Thing

For more information and to hear past episodes, visit



Small Group Dine Arounds

Jane Restaurant & Bar, 100 West Houston St.

Join fellow conference attendees for the Small Group Dine Around night. AAO is renting a private room at Jane, a 3-minute walk from the CFA. 



Conference Day



Coffee Hour & Affinity Group Meet-and-Greets

Networking and registration for those arriving this morning. To start the day, attendees will be invited to join smaller groups to help them identify fellow attendees with similar interests or areas of expertise (e.g., educators, curators, executive directors, funders).  


Exploring Our Collective Impact: A Funder's Perspective

Justin Garrett Moore, Inaugural Program Officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Benjamin Prosky, President of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
Judilee Reed, President & CEO of United States Artists

In our opening session, we hear from two philanthropic leaders who occupy critical positions for responding to the larger needs and health of our field. Over their careers, our guest speakers have been responsible for everything from awarding career-making commissions and fellowships to individuals, to issuing transformational grants to organizations, neighborhood projects, and new digital platforms, to crafting programmatic strategies on equity, social justice, and cultural diversity, even dispensing emergency financial relief.





Exploring New Potentials of Our Collective Impact: A Director's Perspective

Carson Chan, Inaugural Director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, and a Curator in the Museum's Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
José Esparza Chong Cuy, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture
Sally Tallant, President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum, New York

This excellent panel of enterprising leaders operating differently-scaled institutions and initiatives will discuss the new strategies and priorities they see for re-engaging with the city and the role architecture plays within their overall work.




More networking time and small group conversations. A series of pre-arranged topical discussions will add a second round of sorting among your fellow attendees. In addition, hosted walks to nearby points of architectural interest will be offered for those wanting to stretch their legs or grab some fresh air and enjoy the city for a moment.



Telling the Story of Our Collective Impact: The Media's Perspective

Nick Axel, Deputy Editor, e-flux Architecture and Head of Architectural Design department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie 
Felix Burrichter, Founder & Creative Director of PIN-UP Magazine
Sarah Herda, Director of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Mariana Mogilevich, Editor-in-Chief, Urban Omnibus (A Publication of The Architectural League of New York)
Marquise Stillwell, Founder of Deem Journal; Board member for the Center for Architecture; Fellow at Urban Design Forum

Our final group conversation explores recent successess, challenges, and emerging strategies for expanding public discourse on architecture and design and for connecting with public audiences in an ever-changing media landscape.



Afternoon Workshops

Educators' Working Group on Climate Action

Beatrice Galilee, Co-Founder and Executive Director, The World Around
Jacquelyn Sawyer, Vice President of Education and Engagement, National Building Museum
Ann Yoachim, Director and Professor of Practice, The Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design

From the carbon footprint of individual building materials to urban heat island effects, direct connections between the built environment and climate change are clear. Organizations are responding with education programming of nearly every kind, from lectures to installations and exhibitions, rain garden plantings to summer camps and green building workshops. This session uses brief case studies as a jumping off point for smaller, facilitated conversations where conference attendees will discuss underlying opportunities for change that are eluding us, articulate pressing questions for our organizations, and imagine next steps for demonstrating climate leadership in our field.


Van Alen on Community-Centered Design

Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Andrew Brown, Director of Programs, Van Alen Institute
Pratik Dubey, Strategic Partnerships Associate, Van Alen Institute

Early in the pandemic, Van Alen acted to support disinvested communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and launched Neighborhoods Now, in partnership with Urban Design Forum. From initiation, the model centered community leaders in defining their own needs and recovery goals.

While initial projects were for the most part tactical, including design of health information signage and outdoor restaurant seating, the program's focus evolved as community partners shared their visions for more lasting, long-term change in their neighborhoods. This programmatic evolution yielded a radically new model for design organizations to mobilize their networks in support of historically disinvested communities. Assets that were developed include effective, replicable tools and strategies to guide that mobilization.

Whether experienced with community-centered design or not, Van Alen invites fellow organizations to explore how this way of working can be promoted in our home cities. In this session, Van Alen will share Neighborhoods Now as a case study, then lead small group discussions where participants will surface challenges and come together on strategies to foster transformative collaborations between designers and communities back home.



Closing Reception

End the day with a toast to your fellow architecture organization leaders.



Post-Conference Day / Explore NYC



Breakfast with the AAO Board of Directors

There are several new individuals joining the AAO Board this March as well as announcements to cover for upcoming AAO programs later this year. If you are interested to learn about AAO and see how you can get more involved, this is a great opportunity to meet our staff and board leaders. At breakfast, we will also review insights and lessons learned from the conference, and consider if new working groups should be formulated to serve our community’s evolving needs.

We hope to see you at this final networking event and informational session.



What's On: Explore NYC

Gather at the Center for Architecture with fellow conference attendees and get sorted for various journeys out into the city, exhibits, and specialty tours.

Beyond the Thursday visits to architecture organizations located nearby the CFA, we will conclude our conference by providing you with a lengthy list of places to visit, recently completed buildings to see, and exhibitions to take in over the weekend. 

From singular explorations of Piranesi at the Morgan Library and Guimard at Cooper Hewitt to the must-see Panorama and Water Supply models at the Queens Museum to MoMA’s current group show entitled Architecture Now: New York, New Publics, you really should take advantage of the breadth of offerings and explore the city with a few fellow conference attendees.

The Municipal Art Society and AIA New York will also be offering a range of individual building, neighborhood, and topical walking tours (most are $15/person), plus the Classic Harbor Line boat cruise around Manhattan is worth a try. The March schedule is not yet published, but when completing your conference registration, you can sign up to receive an alert from us when the tours are released for sale.

If you have a particular special interest, please write us ( and we’ll be sure to help get you access to some locals’ tips.