A note from Marc Kushner, CoFounder of Architizer and a practicing architect.
Last night we threw a party for architecture. Architecture needed a good party.
At a venue on the West Side of New York City we had entrepreneurs, developers, fashion designers, the CEO of a major sports team and the President of a nation. All of them at an architecture event.
Bjarke Ingels at the Architizer A+ Awards Gala
We had our partners from the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Coolhunting there, along with our sponsors, Emirates Airline, Audemars Piguet, Audi and Perrier Jouet. All there to celebrate architecture.
Of course we also had architects: 55 of the 87 Architizer A+ Award winners flew in from all corners of the world to be with us at the the first ever Architizer A+ Awards gala. This party was for them, to celebrate the inaugural year of the Architizer A+ Awards.
12 months ago we launched the Architizer A+ Awards to change the game, to break architecture out of its echo chamber and to change how architects are rewarded for their hard work. 1,500 entries from 100 countries, 200 jurors, and 50 categories later we succeeded.
Last night two people said things to me that made me realize we are on the right path:
First it was Thom Browne, the fashion designer, who said to me that he was so happy to attend an architecture event because all of his fashion is inspired by architecture. He never goes to architecture events because he had never been invited before!
Shame on us architects! We have fans out there that want to love us. Last night we broke architecture out of its shell and invited everyone to come and celebrate architecture with us.
Fashion designer Thom Browne at the Architizer A+ Awards Gala
The second person was President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia who said to the 400 guests that taking risks is the only way to build good architecture. He told the room proudly that he had been criticized for commissioning progressive architecture. He advised every architect that if you aren't being criticized then you aren't real.
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili with Architizer Co-founder Marc Kushner
Last night we took a risk. We put architecture on a stage that it was unaccustomed to. We put it in a global spotlight.
Last night we broke out of the echo chamber where architects speak exclusively to architects, and we reminded the public how important our profession is.
Last night we held our heads up proudly and said to the world: We are architects! We design every space you live in, work in and play in. We are the people that design the backdrop to everyday life.
Last night we told the world that architecture is ready to be recognized for its contribution.
Congratulations to all of our winners. Congratulations to every architect in the world. This is just the beginning.
Stay tuned for more coverage and make sure to sign up to be a beta tester for the New Architizer, launching this summer
Photo credits: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc