I am thrilled to announce a major career change.
I have been appointed to a new position with the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC). As its Director of Design Strategic Initiatives, I—and my team in formation—will be helping the agency to build its already impressive capacity in environmental sustainability and resiliency. We’re engaging issues of equity—by just about any definition—in the design of facilities, consulting with agency clients and outside experts. All of this is tied into the city’s Design Excellence program, since appealing, thoughtful design is innately more equitable, and can frequently catalyze growth.
It’s a dream job because it makes use of—and builds on—skills and knowledge I have developed over years as a journalist, professor, and consultant. So stay in touch, and I’ll do the same.
It has been a great pleasure, and a formidable challenge, writing for years as both a critic and journalist. I have learned so much speaking with the era’s most talented architects, and digging deeply into the projects that transform skylines and urban identity. I have been happy to tell the stories of great innovators who have advanced technology, urban culture, and urban livability.
But as urban challenges grow and diversify, I have gotten an itch to become involved in a deeper, more hands-on way. DDC challenges me to “walk” my journalistic “talk.” It’s a big step, but exciting!
My critical and journalistic voice will not disappear, but the demands of the job will limit what I can write. Working for the City of New York will certainly alter—and I hope, deepen—my perspective.
I hope I’ll continue to merit your support and interest if not in the realm of writing and criticism then as a stakeholder and participant in the success of New York and other cities.