The American Institute of Architects awarded Fredric Bell, FAIA, the 2014 Edward C. Kemper Award, which honors public service in the field, on Friday. (Full disclosure: Bell sits on ARCHITECT's editorial advisory committee.)
"I am honored to be recognized with the Edward C. Kemper Award, named after a fellow Executive Director," Bell writes in an email. "The achievements noted are clearly the result of collaborations with colleagues at AIA Chapters across the country and with colleagues and AIA New York staff in my home town."
Bell was named the executive director of AIA New York in June 2001, and New York's Center for Architecture opened in 2003 under his leadership. A 2011 New York Times article notes: "[T]he success of the Center for Architecture has had ripples far beyond LaGuardia Place. Mr. Bell is a proselytizer for such centers, which are intended to give architecture a public face."
Bell has also worked on several post-disaster programs related to the city, including the design coalition New York New Visions, which developed rebuilding recommendations following the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the conference that produced the Post-Sandy Initiative report. His FitCity program was incorporated into citywide design guidelines in 2010, and he introduced FitNation in 2011.
Amanda Burden, director of the city's planning department, wrote in a recommendation letter that "the success of Rick's leadership is evident in the expansion of the Center, anchoring this institution in New York City for the long term. One of Rick's main qualities is an understanding that architecture and design are at their best when they serve wider purposes, and are directly engaged with public policy issues."
Bell holds a B.A. in architecture and art history from Yale University and a M.Arch. from Columbia University.
This post has been updated.
Check out all the 2014 AIA Honor Awards.
For more images and information on the Center for Architecture, please visit ARCHITECT Magazine's Project Gallery.