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BSA News

Jan 26, 2023

BSA Request for Innovations closes with plans for submitters to showcase proposals at March 1 Open House

Innovations Open House with copy 002

From the beginning, the BSA’s inaugural Request for Innovations (RFI) was intended to be open-ended.

The organization sought to cast a wide net and solicit ideas that would take a unique approach to designing for the built environment challenges of climate and equity, without limiting the scope of what respondents could contribute.

The RFI closed on January 20, and judging from the results, this strategy has paid off. The BSA received 31 submissions, spanning a wide range in substance and approach. A little over half of the respondents were architects, with some coming from new and small practices. There were respondents who had previously worked in partnership with the BSA, as well as many new faces. They had a wide range of experience, from those considering entering design professions to firm principals.

With such a diverse respondent base, the ideas presented naturally varied widely, too. Some take a close look at methodology and process, proposing new ways to do architecture in the most basic sense—from creating new tools to taking a closer look at how we do participatory design. Others deal with housing and climate adaptation in more large-scale ways.

In their visions for how the BSA could serve as an essential partner on their proposed projects, respondents imagined the organization operating in many different ways, emphasizing the BSA’s ability to address some of the most important issues impacting the built environment today through agility and flexibility.

How might we do architecture differently?

The next step in the process is selecting three to five projects to be shortlisted as finalists. These finalists will present their work and engage the membership and community at an Open House on March 1, which will also give attendees the chance to learn about all of the submitted projects.

This event will provide a multidisciplinary, invigorating look into how some of Boston’s innovators are thinking through ways to engage authentically with issues of climate and equity. In addition to hearing from architects, attendees will learn how audiences and stakeholders outside of design professions are affected by these issues, and ways their experiences inform their perspectives.

Curious about how architecture can be done differently? Register for the March 1 Open House, which will take place from 5:30 to 8 pm at BSA space.