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Why Design Matters

Get involved in design excellence

We are living in a fast-paced profit oriented time. This societal ethos values a skin-deep world where effects are immediate and short lived. Architecture is the opposite of this. It is unmoving and eternal. How can we cope? Perhaps in the elegance of timelessness and beauty in our city.

When we think of the great societies of history, we refer to their architecture. When we talk about the great work of today, we look elsewhere. We see our own architects designing buildings around the world that the world sees as examples of great civilization. The world discusses the great institutions in our area, the cutting edge research and our great medical facilities. It is our collective responsibility to bring our skyline and our buildings into this discussion. We have been there in periods of our history, we must be there again. Read more.

Josiah Stevenson FAIA
Principal, Leers Weinzapfel Associates
2017 BSA President

Advocate for design

On this page is an informative presentation called "Why Design Matters" that explores design principles and offers case studies to projects that are generally considered examples of excellent design. The presentation is illustrated with BSA design award-winning projects. You will also find a list of commissions that have a hand in selecting or reviewing projects in both the public and private sector.

Downloadable versions are available:

Presentation Case Studies

Attend Public Meetings

Public Meeting: 141 Westville Street
Time: May 2, 2019 |  6:00–8:00 pm
Location: Vietnamese American Community Center, Suite D, 42 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02122
Contact: Tim Czerwienski, Tim.Czerwienski@Boston.gov or 617.918.5303

Impact Advisory Group Meeting: 11–26 Heron Street
Time: May 6, 2019 |  5:30–6:30 pm
Location: St. Stephen's United Methodist Church, 5160 Washington Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

Pubic Meeting: 11–26 Heron Street
Time: May 6, 2019 |  7:00–8:00 pm
Location: St. Stephen's United Methodist Church, 5160 Washington Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

Pubic Meeting: 560-574 Commonwealth Avenue, Kenmore Hotel​
Time: May 8, 2019 |  6:00–8:00 pm
Location: 610 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor, Boston, MA 02215
Contact: Tim Czerwienski, Tim.Czerwienski@Boston.gov or 617.918.5303

Impact Advisory Group Meeting: 267 Old Colony Avenue
Time: May 13, 2019 |  6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Iron Workers Local 7 Union Hall, 195 Old Colony Avenue, South Boston, MA 02127
Contact: John Campbell, John.Campbell@Boston.gov or 617.918.4282

Impact Advisory Group Meeting: NEXUS at The Allston Innovation Corridor, 250-280 and 305 Western Avenue​
Time: May 13, 2019 |  6:00–8:00 pm
Location: Josephine Fiorentino Community Center, Charlesview, 123 Antwerp Street, Brighton, MA 02134
Contact: Gerald Autler, Gerald.Autler@Boston.gov or 617.918.4438

Public Meeting: Wellington at 1301
Time: May 15, 2019 |  6:00–7:00 pm
Location: Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library, 1350 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

Public Meeting: 45 Spring Street
Time: May 15, 2019 |  6:30–8:00 pm
Location: Elks Lodge, 248 Spring Street, Boston, MA 02132
Contact: Michael Sinatra, Michael.A.Sinatra@Boston.gov or 617.918.4280

Executive Committee Meeting: Harvard-Allston Flexible Fund​
Time: May 20, 2019 |  5:30–7:45 pm
Location: Honan-Allston Branch Library, 300 North Harvard Street, Allston, MA 02134
Contact: Gerald Autler, Gerald.Autler@Boston.gov or 617.918.4438

Open Positions

Local Historic Commissions, Building Committees, Zoning and Planning Boards need you! Several positions are open throughout Boston, so apply today to use your architectural expertise to help your beloved City. 

Back Bay Architectural Commission
Open positions: 2 members, 1 alternate
Term: 5 years
Residency: Boston
Meeting dates: 2nd Wednesday, 4:00 pm
Compensation: No

Bay Village Architectural Commission
Open positions: 1 member
Term: 3 years
Residency: Boston
Meeting dates: 2nd Tuesday, 4:00 pm
Compensation: No

Beacon Hill Architectural Commission
Open positions: 1 member, 1 alternate
Term: 5 years
Residency: Boston
Meeting dates: 3rd Thursday, 5:00 pm
Compensation: No

Boston Landmarks Commission
Open positions: 2 members, 1 alternate
Term: 3 years
Residency: Boston
Meeting dates: 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 6:00 pm
Compensation: No

Zoning Board of Appeal
Open positions: 1 member, 1 alternate
Term: 3 years
Residency: Boston
Meeting dates: every other Tuesday, 9:30 am
Compensation: Yes