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On May 19, 2021, Mary Burnham was a Panelist for the TORCH Mentorship Program at the Center for Architecture to discuss the business side of design.

The video is now available at the following link.

the TORCH Mentorship Program convenes a distinguished panel of Fellows and emerging practitioners to discuss the business side of design. This session will take the form of a moderated conversation between FAIAs and notable young firms as they share lessons, insight, and personal stories on the challenges of starting their own practice, on why certain designers might be attracted to such a path, and on how effective entrepreneurship can be in helping you chart your professional course.

Fahir Burak Unel, Assoc. AIA, co-chair, ENYA Committee

Deborah Gans, FAIA, Principal, Gans and Co
Mary Burnham, FAIA, Founding Partner, MBB Architects
Benjamin Cadena, AIA, Principal, Studio Cadena
Karolina Czeczek, Principal, Only If
Stephen Yablon, FAIA, Principal, Stephen Yablon Architecture
Bryan Young, AIA, Principal, Young Projects

F. Burak Unel, Assoc. AIA, is a New York City based designer and technologist who directs his international background, research history and built experience toward work that sits at the intersection of architecture and advocacy. He is Co-chair of the Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee at AIA New York, a member of the Civic Leadership Program (CLP) Advisory Taskforce, and the TORCH Executive Committee.

Speaker Profiles:
Mary Burnham, FAIA is a founding partner of MBB Architects in her native city of New York. Her practice is centered on a belief in the transformative power of architecture and a humanistic design approach, which integrates placemaking, experiential form, daylight, and nuanced materiality to elevate both individual and collective lives.

Benjamin Cadena, AIA is an architect and founder of Studio Cadena, a design and architecture practice based in Brooklyn. The studio is interested in engaging contemporary life, the city and its people – in designing new and captivating spaces, places and experiences for those who use them.

Karolina Czeczek is an architect and a Principal of Only If—, a New York City-based design practice for architecture and urbanism. The firm’s projects span a range of different types and scales, from commercial interiors, single- and multiple family housing, to larger-scale urban planning, research, and speculation.

Deborah Gans, FAIA is the principal of Gans and Company, and a full professor of architecture at Pratt Institute. Her architectural practice is a Design Excellence Firm of the City of New York, with work that has been exhibited at the Guggenheim and the Venice Biennale.

Stephen Yablon, FAIA has focused his New York City-based practice, Stephen Yablon Architecture, on contemporary architecture that creates place, identity, and change. His work has had a national impact on the design of essential community facilities, especially for healthcare clinics that provide a calm and stigma-free experience for the underserved.

Bryan Young, AIA founded his New York City design studio, Young Projects LLC, in 2010. His work spans buildings, interiors, material prototyping, furniture, and objects of curiosity driven by an interest in pattern, texture, and spatial complexity. These disparate elements are connected through an experimental approach to material properties and material deployment.

(Full panelist bios)

About the TORCH program: 
The TORCH Mentorship program partners emerging professionals and AIA Fellows over the course of the year to share personal strategies and paths to success in the architecture profession. TORCH includes public panel discussions plus one-to-one mentor matching for a longer term discussion.

Organized by:

AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee

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