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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: 765 East Third Street
Time: March 19, 2019 |  6:30–8:00 pm
Location: Saint Brigid Parish, Cushing Hall, 841 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127
Contact: John Campbell, John.Campbell@Boston.gov or 617.918.4282

Public Meeting: 28-30 Geneva Street
Time: March 21, 2019 |  6:30–8:00 pm
Location: East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Education & Training Institute
1st floor—Room 108, 250 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA 02128
Contact: Raul Duverge, Raul.Duverge@Boston.gov or 617.918.4492

Public Meeting: Little Mystic Site
Time: March 21, 2019 |  6:00–8:00 pm
Location: CharlesNewTown Community Room, 89 Medford Street, Charlestown, MA 02129
Contact: Reay Pannesi, Reay.L.Pannesi@Boston.gov or 617.918.6239

Impact Advisory Group Meeting: Allston Yards
Time: March 25, 2019 |  6:00–8:00 pm
Location: WGBH Atrium, 1 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135
Contact: Casey Ann Hines, Casey.A.Hines@Boston.gov or 617.918.4244

Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting: Parcel 12
Time: March 26, 2019 |  6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Saint Cecilia Parish, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston, MA 02115
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

Public Meeting: 15 Arlington Street
Time: March 27, 2019 |  6:00–7:30 pm
Location: Taj Hotel, Main Dining Room, 15 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
Contact: Michael Sinatra, Michael.A.Sinatra@Boston.gov or 617.918.4280

Open House: Roxbury Preparatory Charter High School
Time: March 27, 2019 |  5:00–8:00 pm
Location: Elks Lodge, 248 Spring Street, Boston, MA 02132
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

Public Meeting: 2-10 Maverick Square
Time: March 28, 2019 |  6:30–8:00 pm
Location: East Boston Health Center Training Facility, 250 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA 02128
Contact: John Campbell, John.Campbell@Boston.gov or 617.918.4282

Public Meeting: Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee
Time: April 1, 2019 |  6:00–7:45 pm
Location: Boston Water & Sewer Commission, 2nd Floor Training Room, 980 Harrison Avenue, Roxbury, MA 02119
Contact: Muge Undemir, Mugzy.Undemir@Boston.gov or 617.918.4488

Public Meeting: Robey Street Condominiums
Time: April 4, 2019 |  6:30–7:45 pm
Location: The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, 650 Dudley Street, Boston, MA 02125
Contact: Lance Campbell, Lance.Campbell@Boston.gov or 617.918.4311

Public Meeting: Residences at Readville Station
Time: April 9, 2019 |  6:30–8:00 pm
Location: Blue Hills Collaborative, 20 Como Road, Readville, MA 02137
Contact: Lance Campbell, Lance.Campbell@Boston.gov or 617.918.4311

Public Meeting: Innovation Square at Northern Avenue
Time: April 9, 2019 |  5:30–7:00 pm
Location: 22 Drydock Avenue, Room 308 (3rd Floor), Boston, MA 02210
Contact: Aisling Kerr, Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov or 617.918.4212

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