The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for June was 59.3 (any score over 50 indicates an increase in billings), the highest level since August 2006. The Inquiries Index for the month was 62.4.

Mohsen Mostafavi has been named as the Harvard Graduate School of Design's new dean, starting in January. Currently dean of Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Mostafavi was previously director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and, before that, an associate professor and director of the Masters of Architecture I program at the GSD.

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, associate professor Hennie Reynders has become chair of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects. Former department chair Anders Nereim is now the director of the Master of Architecture and Master of Architecture/Emphasis in Interior Architecture programs.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has tapped architect Michael Adlerstein to oversee the $1.9 billion renovation of the U.N.'s four-building New York headquarters complex. Adlerstein, who will be executive director of the Capital Master Plan, was previously vice president and architect of the New York Botanical Garden. Among the many notable projects he has worked on in his career, during the 1980s Adlerstein was project director for the renovation of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The U.N. complex has not had a major overhaul since its completion in 1952.

Bean counters say Beantown's architecture industry has achieved a record level of profitability. According to the 2007 architectural survey by the accounting firm Tofias (, the average profit per billable hour in the metropolitan Boston area increased by 53 percent, the highest level in the survey's 22-year history. Also, billable hours are up 17 percent, and the average billing rate rose by 5 percent. A free copy of complete survey results can be obtained by contacting Tofias.

On July 1, Andres Lepik began his tenure as curator of contemporary architecture at the Museum of Modern Art. Previously, Lepik—whose published work includes the 2004 book Skyscrapers—served as chief curator of the 20th and 21st century architecture collection at Berlin's Kunstbibliothek.

The Orange County Performing Arts Center has filed a lawsuit against César Pelli and Fluor Corp. that blames the architect, the construction company, and their subcontractors for more than $30 million in cost overruns and irreparable design flaws in the new Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The Project for Public Spaces ( has named the five best neighborhoods in North America: Pearl District, Portland, Ore. (best new neighborhood); Chapel Street, New Haven, Conn. (best revitalized neighborhood); The Plateau, Montreal (best hip neighborhood); Division Street, Northfield, Minn. (best small-town neighborhood); and Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo. (best shopping center that is also a real neighborhood).

The Royal Institute of British Architects has named the shortlist for the 2007 Stirling Prize. The press release making the announcement also notes the odds—provided by betting company William Hill—that each building will win the prize. From best to worst: the America's Cup Building, Valencia, Spain, by David Chipperfield Architects (3:1); the Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal, by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Arup-AFA (3:1); the Dresden Station redevelopment, Dresden, Germany, by Foster + Partners (3:1); the Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany, by David Chipperfield Associates (5:1); the Savill Building, Windsor, England, by Glenn Howells Architects (5:1); and the Young Vic Theater, London, by Haworth Tompkins (7:1). The winning building will be announced on Oct. 6.