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BSA News

Feb 09, 2023

Selection Committee begins process to choose shortlist for BSA Request for Innovations

November 15 Info Session Workshop 21

With all the RFI submissions in, the next step is evaluating the projects to determine which ones the BSA will advance.

This process is headed by the Selection Committee, a group of BSA staff and members of the community and the Boards. The Committee met this week to discuss the RFI applicants and begin the process of creating a shortlist.

Before convening, every member of the Committee judged each project based on questions asked to applicants during the submission process. These focused on the projected impacts of the projects, what benefits applicants would see from partnering with the BSA, and their relevance to residents of Greater Boston, among other factors.

“I was inspired by the thoughtfulness and provocativeness of the submissions,” said Devanshi Purohit AIA, Associate Principal at CBT Architects and member of the Selection Committee.

The RFI asked applicants to consider issues of climate and equity in Boston with the provocation “how can we do architecture differently?” The resulting submissions represented a diverse set of solutions, focusing on a variety of challenges and communities.

“These issues of climate change and equity are intricately intertwined, and can't be solved by architects and architecture alone. We need to work in active collaboration with each other, both within and beyond our industry, to find innovative and inclusive approaches to address these challenges," added Purohit.

Not every submission will be added to the BSA’s portfolio of initiatives, but even those projects not selected could receive support in other ways.

“There’s potential to connect some of the proposers with resources and next steps. The BSA has such strength as a means to link people with those pursuing similar challenges, potential funding sources, or those who can provide design services. The possibilities for impact are myriad,” said Rebecca Berry AIA, another member of the Committee, and Principal at Finegold Alexander Architects.

At the meeting this week, discussion was spirited as the attendees considered each proposal in detail. In fact, time ran out before they were able to go through all of the submissions. A second meeting had to be scheduled to finish the assessment.

“Architects shape the environment that people experience on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to listen and work together with our fellow human beings as we engage in this work. The built environment has also had an outsize contribution to climate change and human health. It’s time to reckon with this and to design in concert with and in support of our natural environment,” said Berry.

Learn more about the BSA's innovation work.