Nicholas Isaacs
AIA New York State
Phone: (518) 449-3334

The American Institute of Architects New York State Announces the Firm of the Year: WXY architecture + urban design

Albany, NY – The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) is announcing the recipient of the 2016 AIANYS Firm of the Year Award.  Established in 2005, the purpose of the Firm Award is to recognize notable achievements in design, community service, education and service to the profession and the AIA by an architectural firm within New York State.

WXY architecture + urban design, from New York City, is an award winning firm specializing in architecture, urban design and planning.  WXY founders and AIANYS members Claire Weisz, FAIA and Mark Yoes, AIA, and Principals Layng Pew, AIA, and Dr. Adam Lubinsky, PhD, AICP, have guided the firm to be recognized as an innovative leader in architecture, urban resiliency and public space design, noted for their progressive and thoughtful approach to sustainable design, melding the design with client and community engagement.

The WXY team believes in responsible design, taking a thoughtful and innovative approach integrating the many aspects of large scale projects, such as infrastructure and economic development, to envision reimagined urban design, cityscapes and revitalized spaces to enhance our communities.

AIANYS President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, FAIA, said, “I congratulate Claire and Mark and their team on receiving this award and cannot think of a more deserving firm.  WXY have been the innovative leaders on sustainable urbanism, noted for their projects around the great city of New York and also in Detroit, Texas and beyond. Their ability to create structures and plans which are in chorus with the surrounding cityscape, and do so with environmentally sensible means, demonstrate their commitment to the profession.  They embody what being part of AIA is all about.  Congratulations to the entire WXY team.”

“Building this firm has been an amazing collaboration,” said Claire Weisz.  “But the real reward is being a part of so many transformational projects around New York. It’s truly humbling to know we have been a part of making New York a more vibrant and livable place, and for this work to be so highly regarded by AIANYS.” said Mark Yoes.

“This award confirms for us that the future of architecture is multi-disciplinary.” said Layng Pew.   Adam Lubinsky adds “The world has become too complex for these disciplines to exist apart from each other. We’ve seen at WXY that transformational change—such as the rebuilding of the Rockaway Boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, or designing a new process for community engagement in East Harlem—can only happen when planning informs the spatial relationships of the built environment.”

AIANYS Executive Director Georgi Bailey, said “WXY’s commitment to the profession is a highlight of the many prolific architectural firms in New York State.  The team at WXY have proven they are an innovative leader in the profession, noted by their peers and capturing the attention of the design world.  I would like to congratulate Claire, Mark and the WXY team on behalf of all AIA New York State members.”

The recipients will be honored at a reception held on the evening of Friday, September 30th, 2016 in Saratoga Springs, NY.

AIANYS is the state component of the American Institute of Architects and is composed of 13 components representing over 8,500 architecture professionals statewide.  For further information, please visit or call (518)-449-3334.


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Architecture in the Age of Digital Imagery

By Philip Anzalone, AIA: a panelist on “Architectural Automation in the Age of Neuromimetic Artificial
 Intelligence” presented at the 2016 Saratoga Design Conference

The AEC industry is poised to take on virtual reality and augmented reality as a critical component of the professional toolbox.

There are two related emerging, or more appropriately re-emerging, methods of visualization which hold a promise to change the way architectural design and construction are viewed by the designer, builder, client and general public. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are three dimensional computational visualizations that rely on real-time user interaction with digital models and data. Current computational machinery, particularly portable technology, such as smart phones with increased processing power and ubiquitous nature of the equipment, coupled with high-definition screens, advanced software, GPS systems and other technologies, has rendered VR/AR at the point of public consumption, providing for a resurgence of use the AEC industry is perfectly poised to take advantage of.

 2016 AIANYS Design Awards Recipients Announced

The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) is announcing the recipients of the 2016 AIANYS Design Awards.  Annually since 1968, the Design Awards has celebrated, honored and promoted excellence in architectural design and planning by New York State architects.

Read Press Release

“Architects, as the leaders in design of the built environment, are responsible to act as stewards of the Earth.” – The American Institute of Architects

Currently, the federal government is moving to implement the Clean Power Plan with a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent.  The EPA will require every state to come up with an approved implementation plan to meet these targets.  While carbon reduction goals vary from state to state, New York has been a leader on the national stage when it comes to policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, including the Regional Green House Initiative (RGGI) and the newly proposed goal to require 50 percent of the energy portfolio to come from renewable sources.

According to the National Science and Technology Council, commercial and residential buildings consume a third of the world’s energy and account for 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions.  If worldwide energy-use trends continue, buildings will become the largest consumer of global energy by 2025—more than the transportation and industrial sectors combined.  The domestic energy and climate change challenge cannot be addressed without changing the way our buildings are designed, constructed, and operated.

Architects are uniquely positioned in leading efforts to increase energy efficiency in the commercial building market through their work as creative commercial building problem solvers.  From establishing the project mass and orientation to incorporating passive lighting and ventilation strategies, architects hold the key to reducing energy consumption of building designs.

Current trends in consumer demand for environmentally responsible buildings and products show high-performing building design will be a lasting theme in the construction industry.  To meet this demand, the AIA has embarked on an ambitious 2030 Commitment to quantify and report the progress of AIA members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment and ultimately reverse the trend of carbon output.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the AIA developed the AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange, or DDx.  This tool streamlines the process for firms to share project information in real time so other architects can view their building performance projections and measure them against their goals.

For 150 years, AIA members have been advancing the quality of life through innovations to the built environment.  Architects have moved to the forefront of the 2030 Challenge by designing “net zero” buildings, where the amount of energy the building consumes is equivalent to the amount of energy produced.  Further, there are more and more instances where architects are designing net positive buildings, to actually contribute more resources than used to operate. AIA members across the country have reported a 270% increase in net zero projects, indicative of the trend for efficient design.  In beauty and function, all architecture is beginning to resemble energy efficient architecture.

Part of the commitment is also to design resilient buildings.  In response to Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee, architects have been working with the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program to mitigate the extreme effects of climate change.

Leading by Design: This is the architect’s contribution to the creation of a sustainable world.

For more information on how architecture affects you, contact AIA New York State at 518-449-3334 or visit

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