The Bethaday Community Learning Space - Technology Access Foundation in White Center, Washington, designed by the Miller Hull Partnership. Public Architecture consulted on the project.
Courtesy of Chi Duong via Creative Commons The Bethaday Community Learning Space - Technology Access Foundation in White Center, Washington, designed by the Miller Hull Partnership. Public Architecture consulted on the project.
Public Architecture's John Peterson will be stepping down from his role as president to take on a new position as the curator of the Loeb Fellowship, but plans to remain on the Public Architecture board. In a recent interview with ARCHITECT, he explained what this transition means in the future of Public Architecture. The following is an excerpt from the longer conversation.

Public Architecture will be hiring a new executive director, which the organization hasn't had since John Cary left in 2010. What was the motivation for not hiring another executive director until now?
There was a lot that I wanted to do with Public Architecture within the traditional role of executive director, even though I had the title president. There were some things that I wanted to focus on, and I had an opportunity to do that. Also the organization is outgrowing, I think, the core skill-set that I bring. That's good news, when an organization begins to outgrow it the skill-set of it's founder. So we've just gotten to a point where I've done a lot of the things that I think that I can do with the organization in a staff position, and the organization needs to continue on a path where there are others that can do a better job than I can.

Doing what?

I think the opportunity here is to really expand the organization, to continue to innovate, to continue to develop new strategies, to respond to our mission. But there's a kind of operational growth and operational systems maturation that needs to happen, and that's really more someone with a stronger business acumen [that's] not where my strength is. So it's really bringing in a more mature business point of view and operational growth point of view and skill-set than I have.

Looking over your time as president, are you going to take away any kind of legacies or particular accomplishments that you'll be proud of?
I'll be really happy if Public Architecture thrives going forward. I'll be really happy if Public Architecture's trajectory accelerates after I take this new position. Then I'll have no qualms about, any thought that maybe I held it back. If that's true, that I held it back from an accelerated growth, I'll be happy to accept that in exchange for the health of Public Architecture and its success, so that would be really wonderful. I'd like to be the old man Peterson that they trot out at big events, and wheel out in some wheelchair and point at and clap to as the founder, and thank for kicking an organization off that's become far more successful than its founder ever was able to achieve or maybe even envision. That would be a good, that would be a wonderful thing.

Read ARCHITECT's full interview with John Peterson here.