Since 1994, The Architecture Research Institute, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization chartered in the State of New York, has conducted rigorous research on urbanism in the era of digitalization and globalization. Founded in 1994, by Beverly Willis, FAIA, an internationally recognized architect, a select group of prominent scholars and other eminent public figures were invited to form the Institute's Board of Trustees. At the same time, an Advisory Board was established. Its members include design principals from distinguished practices. Willis' objective was to launch an independent public forum to study the impact of global economic restructuring and information technology on architecture and the built environment; and to use that knowledge to create compact, sustainable, more walkable, and less auto-centric cities.
The Institute provides international research and resources vital to interdisciplinary theoreticians, practitioners and public policy experts. Leading scholars and practitioners are brought together to consider the critical issues in architecture and urban planning in large cities and to envision alternatives to current practices through innovative combinations of theory and practice.
The Institute also addresses issues related to societal shifts and urban policy and surveys the work of various reform movements advocating social responsibility. Particular interest in the past has been focused on interdisciplinary thought, Megacities, Sustainable Architectures, and on the Small School educational reform movement.
For example, the Institute's first major research project was the Manhattan Village Academy High School, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Institute raised funds to cover research costs, and donated the resulting study to the New York City Board of Education. Working closely with Principal Mary Butz and the New York City Board of Education staff, the Institute developed an innovative planning model, which dramatically reorganized the typical small school plan. Inspired by the ideals of the small school reform movement, the new plan encourages the sharing of knowledge and group work.
Architecture Research Institute, Inc.