January 19, 2021
“The community we serve will face unprecedented challenges this year as all of us begin the task of rebuilding,” says Zinder. “Responding with a unified voice and strategic vision is critical to securing a promising future for New Jersey’s architecture professionals as well as for the state’s building stock and its economy. Having served these last two years on the Executive Committee, I believe that the membership and leadership are ready to meet these challenges with enthusiasm and clarity, and to advance the group’s mission while pursuing the implementation of policies we believe in passionately.”
As he has done in his previous leadership roles, Zinder plans to focus his term on several key issues that have been relevant to his own experiences as an architect, entrepreneur, and community leader. One area of his focus is the issue of mentorship and career development for young professionals, an issue he sees as intertwined with the growth and success of emerging firms. “New Jersey’s design ecosystem thrives best when new firms have the resources they need to grow, and the most important resource is talented aspiring architects. I hope to work with our community to nurture both.”
A partner in a second firm Landau | Zinder – specializing in synagogue design – the new chapter president is likewise passionate about fostering individual architects’ versatility, at every stage in their careers. “Winding up in a specialty niche can present challenges for growing a new firm and for developing new business in a complicated economic environment,” says Zinder. “Diversifying one’s portfolio with a range of building types also strengthens the architect’s skill set, and leads to cross-disciplinary innovation.”
Perhaps most critically for the pandemic era, and the post-pandemic era to come soon, Zinder also hopes to galvanize design professionals, developer partners, urban planners, and public officials to work together to uncover innovative solutions for addressing and filling the gap in housing stock sometimes referred to as the “missing middle” – the range of multifamily residential buildings that are appropriately scaled and designed for neighborhoods dominated by detached single-family homes. According to Zinder, “Many cities and towns in New Jersey and beyond desperately need new approaches to appropriately promote density, diversity, and affordability in existing walkable neighborhoods, especially near town centers.” He adds, “Architects should be partnering with counterparts in government agencies, nonprofits, development firms, neighborhood associations and others. It is my hope that the Executive Committee can spur professionals to action, to create affordable and mixed-income housing solutions that are beautiful, sustainable, and reflective of their communities.”
A formal ceremony for Zinder’s inauguration will be held virtually in the coming weeks, and celebrated with an online gathering of family, colleagues and chapter members.
AIA New Jersey is a 2000 member strong state chapter and region of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the professional organization that
helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. With over 95,000 members across nearly 300 local chapters, the national organization represents 70,000 licensed architects and associated professionals. AIA New Jersey was formed in 1900, uniting the architects of the state by merging the AIA Chapter with the New Jersey Society of Architects. AIA-NJ works to support its membership and promote the public’s
understanding of architecture through advocacy, education and service. Whether you are an intern or a firm principal, an architect working alone or in a large firm, a government employee, or a corporate architect, your colleagues can help you access the information, knowledge, and experience you need to make your business decisions and set your professional agenda. For more information, please visit www.aia-nj.org.
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.