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MCAD Hosts 2nd Annual Urban Warrior Awards

The Miami Center for Architecture & Design promotes awareness and appreciation of the ways in which architecture and urban design influence and enhance the quality of life in our community.

On Thursday, May 16, join MCAD as they host the 2nd Annual Urban Warrior Awards and recognize those individuals who have made strides to improve Miami’s urban landscape.

The 2019 honorees are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Six-term Miami Mayor, Maurice A. Ferré
  • Visionary Award: Urban Impact Lab Co-Founder, Marta Viciedo
  • Visionary Award: Barlington Group Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Bill Fuller
  • Visionary Award: Barlington Group Co-Founder/Co-Managing Partner, Martin Pinilla II

The Urban Warrior Awards will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Silverspot Cinema, 300 SE 3rd St. #100 Miami, FL 33131.

Click here to register for the event.

Miami Center for Architecture & Design Moves into New Space

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The Miami Center of Architecture & Design recently celebrated the grand opening of its new space. Located at 310 SE 1st St., it is in the heart of Downtown Miami, bringing visibility to the organization, and the design and build of the environment.

With community meeting space and educational programs, MCAD is the place for anyone who is interested in enhancing their appreciation for the city’s vibrant and unique architecture and design. MCAD is home to AIA Miami as well as the Downtown Miami Welcome Center, in partnership with the Miami Downtown Development Authority. The Welcome Center is everything Miami – cultural events, attractions, maps, history and more.  MCAD educates the public through exhibitions, lectures, tours, film series and other programs that aim to reveal the richness of design in Miami.

To stay up to date with MCAD’s events. Visit https://miamicad.org/.

Local Architects Aim to Bring Diversity to the Industry

blog-10-15-2Over the years, the U.S. has produced few African American architects. Noticing the lack of diversity, architect and co-owner of MC Harry & Associates, Craig Aquart, launched Black Architects in the Making to introduce African American youth to the field.

CBS 4 News visited Aquart’s firm to learn more about BAM and meet the students.

Craig Aquart is a veteran architect and co-owner of M C Harry & Associates headquartered in Miami.

Even though he has dozens of projects in development, he is on a mission to spread what he calls the gospel of Architecture.

CBS4 recently visited Aquart while he and his staff hosted a group of students from the community to expose them to various career opportunities in the field.

“I did some research and found out that of the 113-thousand registered architects in the United States, less than two-thousand architects were actually black and the statistics were even worse when you look at black females. There were only 430 in the field. I realized there was a disparity there and one of the reasons for that is the awareness in the black community is severely lacking,” said Aquart.

In response, Aquart created BAM, which stands for Black Architects in the Making with the support of the Miami Center for Architecture & Design (MCAD).

For the last two years he and his staff have hosted workshops for students in Overtown, Liberty City and Richmond Heights just to name a few.

“We encourage students to sketch regularly, and like everything else practice makes perfect,” said Aquart. He advises students to at least sketch one image per day.

Aquart says BAM has reached more than 300 students in two years.

To read more, visit CBS4 here.

 

MCAD’s BAM Sparks Interest in Architecture in African-American Students

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Of the 105,000 registered architects in the U.S., less than two percent are African Americans. In an effort to increase their representation in the industry, architect Craig Aquart of M.C. Harry and Associates created Black Architects in the Making.

BAM is a hands-on educational workshop focused on educating students, primarily African-American, on the architectural profession, and is supported by the Miami Center for Architecture and Design and the American Institute of Architects Miami chapter.

The definition of an architect is “a person who designs buildings and advises in their construction.”

So, it makes sense that the American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter would help build a program that focuses on educating middle and high school students, primarily African American, on the architecture profession.

The U.S. has produced very few African-American architects. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, of the 109,748 registered architects in a 2016 survey, only 2 percent are African Americans.

In an effort to increase that representation, Miami architect Craig Aquart of M C Harry & Associates created Black Architects in the Making to join the already established Architects in the Making program. The American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter supports both.

“BAM is a seed planting program that we must continue in more communities to diversify the architectural profession,” Aquart said in an email. “Students who knew little or nothing about architecture and the role it plays in their communities, now understand that their involvement in building better communities is essential to their well-being.”

Since its inception in 2015, Black Architects in the Making has designed more than 21 workshops led by African-American professionals. The efforts have reached over 300 students in Overtown, Liberty City, Richmond Heights and Homestead.

To read the full story, visit the Miami Herald.

MCAD’s Active Design Miami Helps Make Key Biscayne a Healthier Place to Live

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The Miami Center for Architecture & Design worked with the Village of Key Biscayne to implement its latest initiative Active Design Miami and make the village a healthier place to live, work and play for all residents.

With its small size, natural beauty and health-conscious population, Key Biscayne is an ideal place for an innovative program aimed at using design to encourage active lifestyles.

Active Design Miami, a program inspired by New York City’s Active Design Guidelines, sets policy and design strategies to create healthier streets, open spaces and buildings. In Key Biscayne, it found an advocate in Village Council member Brett Moss, whose day job is an architect, general contractor and founder of MOSS Architecture + Design.

Moss, who frequently puts the Active Design standards into play for buildings his firm designs, said the Village joined several other South Florida communities earlier this year in adopting the standards as guiding principles. He would like to see that lead to development that promotes parks, outdoor activity, walking and biking, etc.

“I’m hoping that as we update our vision in Key Biscayne, we keep encouraging people to be outside and walk and bike to different places,” he said. “We should be looking at that in future policy making, zoning, codes and ordinances.”

Moss noted the Active Design philosophy focuses on parks and open spaces, development patterns, transportation and mobility. “I think it’s something that we’re always looking at in Key Biscayne anyway, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me to bring this to the Council.”

Cheryl Jacobs, executive vice president of Miami Center for Architecture and Design, which spearheads the Active Design Miami initiative, agreed Key Biscayne is the perfect place for the guidelines to play out. She applauded the Village for being an early adapter, becoming one of the first of 10 municipal governments and the Miami-Dade County government to sign on.

“Quality of life is really important in Key Biscayne, and anything a municipality can do to give residents an opportunity to have a better quality of life is a positive for that community,” Jacobs said. “Highlighting things like bike share, park access, golf cart access paths is really a quality of life issue. Key Biscayne adopted the concepts so readily, because they have already done some of these things.”

To read the full story, visit Islander News.

MCAD Creates Design & Policy Strategies to Build Healthier Communities

dsc01415The Miami Center for Architecture & Design is making Miami-Dade County a healthier place to live, work and play by working with city leaders to adopt and implement Active Design Miami, a set of policy and design strategies for creating healthier streets, open spaces and buildings. The initiative is meant to change the way public and private spaces are designed by going beyond looking at the efficiency of a space, but rather taking into account the way they affect the health of the individuals who interact with them.

Miami-Dade County faces a number of challenges that can benefit from use of Active Design strategies. With two-thirds of Miami-Dade County’s 2.6 million residents overweight or obese, Active Design Miami comes at a perfect time. Its goal is to tackle the County’s rising obesity and chronic disease rates, and high rates of depression and other mental health issues affecting our communities.

As of today, Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami, Miami Beach, Pinecrest, Surfside, South Miami and Key Biscayne have formally adopted Active Design Miami, and several other cities are also nearing adoption. The strategies are not one-size fits all, so cities can select the most appropriate ones for their needs. MCAD is currently working with the County and the six cities to implement the strategies that address the health needs of their respective city. In addition, Active Design Miami puts on several meetings and events that encourage healthy living. MCAD will continue working with the county and municipalities to implement these strategies.