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Re-imagining communal spaces for a post-pandemic world.

Pioneering Design is focused on finding inspiration in the city where we are fortunate enough to live and practice design. Societal change and events can inspire great design. Looking at how urban planning, public art, even building codes are affected by pivotal moments in our rich city history, what are aspects of current events, urban renewal, activism that have affected our behaviors and how we interact with space?

We are building on the ideas and preserving the history of this moment and how attitudes towards culture, dining and entertainment have shifted and as a result, transformed space.

Please join us for a compelling panel discussion focused on how the landscape of the city has physically transformed in the past 2 years, specifically around how New Yorkers engage with entertainment, dining and hospitality.


Jacob Reidel – Assistant Professor in Practice of Architecture, Harvard University

Jacob Reidel is an architect, editor, and writer whose work examines architectural practice and seeks to redesign the way architecture is practiced today. He is an Assistant Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where in the fall of 2021 he organized the symposium Practice, Public Space, and the Crisis of COVID-19 : Learning from NYC’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets Programs which exampled the ways in which the spatial design professions — and the myriad rules, regulations, and city agencies that up until now have governed building and public space in one of the world’s global capitals — have and have not been able to meaningfully participate in the response to the global crisis of COVID-19. Since October 2020 Jacob has also been documenting Open Restaurants (and similar programs in other cities) every day under the Instagram account @CORONASHAXX.


Barry Richards – Rockwell Group

Barry Richards is a Principal and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group, where he brings his multi-faceted skill set to work. Recent honors include Interior Design magazine’s HiP Award for Leader, Creative Mind; Contract Magazine’s Best of NeoCon Award for Rockwell Unscripted, an Interior Design Best of Year Award for the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Architect’s Newspaper Visionary Award

Andrew Ronan – New York City Department of Transportation

Acting Deputy Director – Public Space Programming and Partnerships

New York City Department of Transportation

Andre Soluri – Principal & founder of Soluri Architecture.

COVID-19 has been a call-to-arms for Andre to tackle challenges beyond traditional practice to help those in need through advocacy, action and thought-leadership. Through AIANY’s Unified Taskforce, he led a team producing webinars helping small businesses reopen while adapting to the future of distributed/hybrid workplaces, and co-founded the award-winning “Design Corps” to provide pro-bono design services to NYC restaurant’s outdoor dining. Because of this, Andre received a 2021 AIA NY State Presidential Citation, a 2021 “Best in Business” award from Inc Magazine, and honorable mention in Architecture Masterprize’s 2021 “Firm of the Year” awards.

Andrew Rigie – Executive Director of NYC Hospitality Alliance

Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association representing restaurants and nightlife venues throughout the five boroughs.

Rigie utilized the knowledge he gained working inside the industry and on its behalf, to become the founding executive director who launched the independent New York City Hospitality Alliance in 2012. Since then, The Alliance has grown into a premier organization delivering information, education, services and representing thousands of restaurants and nightlife venues in the halls of government and in the media.

This team has been working with restaurateurs, policymakers and advocates to develop the provisions of a standardized and sustainable permanent outdoor dining system as they transition out of the temporary emergency program that was established in response to the pandemic.

Michael Chen – Michael Chen Architects

Based in New York City, Michael leads a team of architects and designers who are engaged in producing exceptionally refined and conceptually rich design at a broad range of scales, from buildings to interiors to furniture to urbanism; and with a commitment to research and experimentation in materials, technology, and manufacturing. In March of 2020, Michael co-founded Design Advocates, a network of independent architecture and design firms collaborating on pro-bono projects for small businesses, institutions, and organizations that serve disadvantaged communities to help them adapt their spaces and operations to adapt to COVID-19 and beyond. Design Advocates has grown to encompass 120 firms and volunteers at work on over 50 projects serving the public good.

Nikita Notowidigdo and Nick Flutter – BVN Architecture

Nikita Notowidigdo and Nick Flutter co-lead the New York studio for Australian practice, BVN Architecture. The studio is run with start-up mentality and is set up to facilitate international collaborations, idea incubations and for prototyping new ways of approaching architectural practice, with a client portfolio stretching across North America, Europe and Australia. Re-ply was founded in June 2020 by the New York studio of Australian architecture firm BVN as a response to the pandemic and as an investigation into circularity in the building industry. Following the Covid-19 pandemic and #BLM protests in June 2020, most NYC businesses barricaded their shopfronts with plywood. This material was destined for landfill once it had served its temporary purpose. With a mission to find a second use for the plywood, re-ply’s initiative was to create a cost-effective and recycled ‘kit-of-parts’ for restaurant outdoor dining, to assist NYC’s cherished restaurants, cafés and bars to safely reopen.

This event will provide 1 AIA & IDCEC CEU

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June 2, 2022
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
130 W 30th Street
New York, NY 10001 United States
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