NEW YORK, December 18, 2006 — Lance Jay Brown, a noted urban planner and ACSA Distinguished Professor in The City College of New York’s (CCNY) School of Architecture, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA) has won the 2007 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education.
The prestigious award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) will be presented at the annual ACSA conference in Philadelphia, March 8-11 and a special award ceremony will take place in San Antonio at the annual AIA conference, May 3-5.
The AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to architecture education for at least 10 years, whose teaching has influenced a broad range of students and who has helped shape the minds of those who will shape our environment.
“Lance Jay Brown has lived and worked the life of a teacher in the largest sense. He effectively makes students of everyone, expanding the range of their education, helping them to accumulate knowledge and to learn how to use it,” said the Topaz Medallion jury. “The excitement and energy Lance brings to his classes and studios convey his optimism and belief in the potential of education and the architecture profession to create a more just, relevant, and beautiful future, encouraging each student to work to his or her highest capabilities.”
Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, an AIA past president and Chair of Dallas-based HKS, one of the leading architectural firms in the U.S., said Professor Brown had advanced design excellence in the country through his fervent advocacy for good design and social responsibility.
Professor Brown’s illustrious career spans 38 years and has been notable for his intellectual leadership in academia, from Princeton University’s School of Architecture through his long tenure at City College where he’s served as Associate Dean, Chair, and Director in SAUDLA. He is currently Coordinator of Design at CCNY. Professor Brown’s academic activities have also included serving as a special advisor to a student team at the “1997 Mostar 2004 Urban Reconstruction Workshop,” in Bosnia Herzegovina, and co-directing (with Robert Geddes, FAIA) “Crosstown 116: Bringing Habitat II Home from Istanbul to Harlem.”
In addition, Professor Brown has distinguished himself as a citizen architect by seeking solutions to society’s needs through architecture, planning, and urban design. He has directed CCNY’s Architectural Center (CCAC) and participated in projects important to New York City’s future. He has also served on numerous National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accreditation teams and validation conferences, ACSA conferences, Regional/Urban Design Assistance Teams and as chair of the AIA Regional and Urban Design Knowledge Community.
A native New Yorker, Professor Brown was educated at Cooper Union and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris.
Among his publications are: Planning and Design Workbook for Community Participation (with B.P. Spring, H. Weber, et al, 1970); Between Expedience and Deliberation: Decision-Making for Post 9-11 New York (Special Edition Properties, Baruch College, 2002); editor, Design Arts I, II (National Endowment for the Arts, 1980—1982); and the introduction and chapter 2 of Learning from Lower Manhattan (edited by Stephen A. Kliment, FAIA, 2005).
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