Last night, a cohort of practitioners from residentially focused firms convened at New York’s Center for Architecture—the headquarters of AIANY—for the organization’s inaugural House Party! Co-hosted by Interior Design editor-in-chief Cindy Allen and BarlisWedlick Architects founder Dennis W. Wedlick, FAIA, the sold-out event provided a chance for attendees to mingle, network, and idea-share, as well as to learn more about the Custom Residential Architecture Network, a nationwide AIA Knowledge Community conceived to provide firms with professional development resources such as discussion forums, symposia, and conventions. Explained chapter president Hayes Slade, “This is a place where we come together to share best practices and build community.”
House Party! was also something of a coming-out for the initiative: Just an hour before the festivities started, AIANY voted to make CRAN an official committee. It’s great timing, given today’s booming residential sector, a genre that Interior Design Homes tirelessly covers. According to Interior Design’s 2017 Universe Study, this segment accounted for 64 percent of work by volume, with over 20,000 firms worldwide working in the space. Allen, hot on the heels of receiving the AIANY’s Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award, trumpeted the importance of the residential sphere: “You’re the impetus behind a lot of industry change, which we love.”
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Wedlick, a tireless advocate of residential architecture, described the evening as a place where designers and manufacturers can come together to brainstorm, collaborate, and support each other. “This is always a working session,” he said. “Vendors are our partners, and they need to know what we need to do our best work. Getting together as colleagues makes us stronger.”
Missed the festivities? Fortunately, there will be a second House Party! in July for those unable to make it last night. CRAN is also hosting its national symposium in Arizona this fall.