AIANY/Center for Architecture Opening FitNation, Groundbreaking Exhibition on Active Design Across the United States – June 13, 2013

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FitNation exhibition brings together for the first time 33 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia that showcase the ways design, policy, and grassroots strategies are promoting physical activity as part of daily life.

FitNation Opens 6/13

From Brooklyn to the Bronx, from San Antonio to Cincinnati, communities and organizations across the United States are tackling heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with a dose of powerful medicine: active design.

From Brooklyn to the Bronx, from San Antonio to Cincinnati, communities and organizations across the United States are tackling heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with a dose of powerful medicine: active design.

FitNation brings together for the first time 33 projects in 15 states and the District of Columbia that showcase the ways design, policy, and grassroots strategies are promoting physical activity as part of daily life.

“Architecture is now part of the national discussion on our chronic disease epidemic,” says Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President. “I am pleased that the Center for Architecture is presenting FitNation, which shows how changes in the built environment can contribute to healthier lifestyles.”

FitNation is inspired by New York City’s Active Design Guidelines ( and the annual Fit City conference, which is a partnership between AIA New York and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. From traditional instances of active design like central stairs and biking initiatives, to more radical interventions like parking space “parklets,” portable pools and hydrant-tapped water fountains, and scrap wood swings, featured projects encompass many budgets and sizes. Each are tagged with words that capture the active design principles illustrated: Network, Grassroots, Re-Purpose, Climb, Move, Ride, Connect, Play, and Graze.

A large-scale example included is the Atlanta BeltLine (Move / Ride / Connect / Network / Grassroots / Re-Purpose). An ongoing project that began in 2008, it is now one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment and transportation projects in the United States. Its 22 miles of streetcars, 33 miles of multi-use paths, and 1,300 acres of public green-space has reconnected 45 neighborhoods, promoting many modes of active transportation.

The Red Swing Project (Play / Grassroots / Re-Purpose), on the other hand, is reinvigorating public spaces in Austin, TX, and locations worldwide with simple components. Begun by University of Texas at Austin architecture students, the open-source installation – scrap wood, red paint, and rock climbing rope – make it inexpensive and replicable by diverse communities.

Right here in New York City, projects include the Riverpark Farm – a moveable milk-crate farm in Manhattan designed by ORE Design + Technology that supplies the Tom Colicchio-owned Riverpark Restaurant – and the pop-up High Line Rink sponsored by UNIQLO and designed by HWKN that reinvigorated the park’s northern terminus with active recreation. There are ten New York projects, along with others in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. A complete project list is below.

The message is that whether it is making stairs more visible, developing greenways, or providing inviting streetscapes for pedestrians and bicyclists, there are many ways that design choices can provide opportunities to burn more calories through the enjoyment of an enhanced environment. And, that active design can be integrated into the largest plan for a region, or the smallest site in town.

Curated and designed by 2012 AIANY New Practices New York winner Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, with graphic design by the renowned firm Pentagram, the exhibition presents each project in a fresh, contemporary format. It is also planned that the exhibition will travel to architecture centers in the cities included, and beyond.

Press are invited to preview FitNation on June 13, 5pm, (opening reception at 6pm) at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place. RSVP to dfox(at)aiany(dot)org.

Included projects, with architect, landscape architect, or designer, and location:

Alamosa Skate Park / Artifex Skateparks Environments
Albuquerque, NM

Howard Hughes Medical Institute / Rafael Viñoly Architects
Ashburn, VA

Atlanta Belt Line / Atlantic Regional Commission
Atlanta, GA

Railroad Park / Tom Leader Studio; Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Birmingham, AL

BSA Space / Howeler and Yoon
Boston, MA

Betances Community Center / Stephen Yablon Architects
Bronx, NY

Arbor House / ABS Architecture
Bronx, NY

Brooklyn Bridge Park / Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Brooklyn, NY

IIT-McCormick Tribune Center / OMA
Chicago, IL

CTA Morgan Street Station / Ross Barney Architects
Chicago, IL

Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts / Zaha Hadid Architects
Cincinnati, OH

New Freedom Park / Studiobridge
Denver, CO

Public Farm 1 at MoMA PS1 / WORKac
Long Island City, NY

Gensler Downtown LA Headquarters / Gensler
Los Angeles, CA

Urban Farming Food Chain Edible Wall / Elmslie Osler Architect
Los Angeles, CA

CicLAvia (LA)
Los Angeles, CA

Spring Street Parklets /; Berry and Linné
Los Angeles, CA

Wolfson Campus Student Support Center / Zyscovich Architects
Miami, FL

Apple Retail New York / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Ronnette Riley Architect
New York, NY

Mobile Dumpster Pools / Macro-Sea
New York, NY

Riverpark Farm / ORE Design + Technology
New York, NY

The High Line Rink - Made for All by UNIQLO / HWKN
New York, NY

New York, NY

Splash House / NYC Parks and Recreation; The Design Workshop; Parsons the New School for Design
New York, NY

Race Street Pier / James Corner Field Operations
Philadelphia, PA

Portland, OR

San Antonio River Improvements Project (Museum & Mission Reach)
San Antonio, TX

San Francisco Federal Building / Morphosis
San Francisco, CA

Ferry Building Marketplace / Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris
San Francisco, CA

Santa Monica Bike Center / Brooks + Scarpa
Santa Monica, CA

Olympic Park / Weiss/Manfredi
Seattle, WA

American University School of International Service / William McDonough + Partners; Quinn Evans Architects
Washington, DC

Red Swing Project / University of Texas at Austin Architecture Students

Curator: Abruzzo Bodziak Architects
Exhibition Design: Abruzzo Bodizak Architects and Pentagram
Graphic Design: Pentagram

FitNation is organized by the AIA New York Chapter in collaboration with the Center for Architecture Foundation.

FitNation is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibition is also made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:

The American Institute of Architects
Center for Active Design

Lutron Electronics Inc.
Michael Fieldman, Architect
Syska Hennessy Group
Zetlin & De Chiara

Blue Sea Development Company
Dattner Architects
ECORE Commercial Flooring

Related Programming:

FitNation Opening Reception
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Fit City 8 Conference
Monday, June 24, 2013, 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Saturday, June 22, 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM or 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

International Bike Cities
Monday, July 1, 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Living in a Fit Nation
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Active Design and Activism
Thursday, August 8, 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

About the AIA New York Chapter
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with almost 5,000 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development.

About the Center for Architecture Foundation
The Center for Architecture Foundation is an award-winning architecture and design education organization dedicated to promoting public awareness and a broader appreciation of the important role architecture and design play in our daily lives. It engages students, families, and adults through educational programs at the Center for Architecture and in schools around New York City.

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is a destination for all interested in the built environment. It is home to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation, vibrant nonprofit organizations that provide resources to both the public and building industry professionals. Through exhibitions, programs, and special events, the Center aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe. For more information, please visit

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Press contact:
Daniel Fox - 212.358.6114, dfox(at)aiany(dot)org
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Daniel Fox
AIA New York Chapter
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