After Super-storm Sandy struck the New York Metropolitan area, NYIT School of Architecture and Design put together an effort to respond to the storm. NYIT students with the aid of faculty contacted John Maguire from the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management. He then connected the students to Scott Kemins, the buildings commissioner of the City of Long Beach, NY. The students with Scott's aid then organized a tour of Long Beach, taking note of the specific damage that occurred throughout the city. Following the tour, an organization was formed within NYIT called Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI), with the purpose of raising awareness using the methods and means available. After many meetings and consultations with faculty members, a decision was made to organize and host a competition that would invite new ideas of resiliency to areas that are always at risk.
meet the team
Alex Alaimo // ORLI Co-Chair
Alex Alaimo, Assoc AIA, is a recent graduate of the B.Arch program at New York Institute of Technology. He has contributed to his local AIAS Chapter and is currently a Project Manager for the chapters Freedom by Design Program. He is also an active member of AIA NY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee and helped plan the AIA NY Future Now Summit in Fall 2012. In response to Sandy he founded the Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI) a post disaster ideas accelerator that launched a global ideas competition to help local towns strategically plan rebuilding efforts. Currently he is working at Platt Byard Dovell White based in Manhattan and plans on getting licensed in the next three years. Alex is interested in new and alternative practices in architecture and plans to continue to contribute to professional and non-profit organizations.
Daniel Horn // ORLI Co-chair
Daniel Horn is an alumni of NYIT and serves as co-chair and co-organizer of ORLI and the 3C Competition. Dan currently lives in the coastal Long Island town of Lindenhurst and was directly affected by Super-storm Sandy. For nearly four weeks he put his life on hold helping both his family and friends recover from the storm. In his future architectural career Dan, hopes to design buildings and structures that can become machines to embrace storm water, mitigate pollution and restore natural ecologies. He currently works in New York City for Perez APC, an architecture firm whose primary focus is resilient reconstruction after natural disasters.
Austin Reed // operations Director
Austin Reed has his roots planted in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in a little town called Bailey. Moving to New York City was the beginning of his pursuit of an architectural education. His relishes in the progressive nature of New York City and loves waking up in a mecca of architecture, but adores and respects the true traditions that architecture holds. Design/Build is his main focus, and feels a true designer should be able to build what they draw. Architecture would only benefit from a better knowledge of connections and build ability. He loves taking left over material and re-purposing it to create a new environment out of what would of been waste. Architects can change the world for the better through groups like this, trying to help through design a better life for friends and neighbors directly around us. Austin has a soul to squeeze winding around the world in search of awesome-goodtimes, architecture, and every bump in the road.
Michael Koutsoubis // ORLI Old Westbury
NYIT Old Westbury campus
Michael Koutsoubis is a fourth-year architecture student at NYIT. He is currently Secretary of the AIAS Old Westbury chapter, and is heavily involved with the sLAB Costa Rica recycling center project. Mike’s role in ORLI is to envision how ideas from the 3C Competition can be translated into regulations that can influence damaged communities. He is interested in recent trends in urban planning that show how small, adjustable, cheap, and replicable ideas can create forms and systems at a much larger scale. Considering the northeast is at a critical point where thousands of homeowners need to take action, the second phase of ORLI is called “Rezone-Rebuild.” The ORLI team will organize a symposium, as well as meetings with town zoning boards, to show how small ideas can help transform devastated towns into resilient and desirable places. Mike wants to see some of the ideas from the 3C Competition turned into reality.
Elizabeth Weintraub // Internal Communication Director
NYIT Old westbury campus
Hey everyone, my name is Elizabeth but you can call me Liz. I am in my fourth year of in the five-year, Bachelors of Architecture program. I grew up in Queens, not affected much by Sandy, always wanting “to do Architecture” from a very young age. I finally realized what it means “to do Architecture,” which in my eyes is serving and aiding the community through the physical environment. I practice this not only in class, but also outside of the curriculum. I am currently the President of the American Institute of Architecture Students Chapter at Old Westbury, I have been on a study abroad program in Italy, and I recently served on a NAAB Accreditation Visiting Team. I am also a member of a local Greek Organization, Eta Chi Gamma, which is a philanthropic organization and I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. I believe that in order “to do Architecture” you must work with fellow students who share the vision. What we do in ORLI is Architecture.
Mohamed Abbas // External Communications Director
Mohamed Abbas is a Senior NYIT student majoring in the science of architectural technology with a minor in Construction Management. He is also currently working full time in the field for T. G. Nickel & Associates, a Construction Management and General Contracting firm. Mohamed lives in Deer Park, which wasn't affected by flooding through sandy, but through high winds was a crippled town like many others throughout the island. He is currently the President of the Construction Management Association of America, NYIT Old Westbury Campus Chapter, an organization that helps students bridge the connection between their educational work in school, and the professional world in the field of construction and project management. As a Firefighter, EMT and Lifeguard, Mohamed has always loved helping people. He was heavily involved in Sandy emergency efforts prior to, and during the storm, as well as involved in recovery efforts after the storm. After serving his immediate community and the communities around him in a time of need, he continued to help those affected by assisting in the start-up of O.R.L.I.
Crystal Eksi // ORLI board member & nYIT freedom by design chair
NYIT old westbury campus
My decision to study architecture started at the end of my high school career. Being influenced throughout my life by art, design and building turned out to be in my best interests and leading to my decision to further my passion. The more I learn, the more I grow to love the career choice I made. I hope to with my degree help people through architecture and design. I wish to further my studies in gearing my education towards Environmental Engineering to aid my designs in a more environmentally conscious and influential way to better the world of design. I also intend to continue my studies by Mastering in Urban Design or Architecture. I plan to work globally in different areas of the world, traveling and learning from different areas and professionals in architecture. In return I want to teach; my education was important to me and the things I learned throughout my life from family to friends helped me and I hope to help others one day as well. Being part of the ORLI committee helps me in my life’s mission to educate others through design by showing them how it affects many different aspects throughout ones life.
kelly kuplicki // Community Outreach Director
A designer, athlete, and most of all aspiring to become an architect. Currently, I am a 5th year senior at New York Institute of Technology in the 5 year Bachelors of Architecture accredited program. My thesis is a work in progress and the intent is to create an adaptable process that will change/expand/contract depending on communal needs. The structured idea is complex, but It is primarily based on re-developing the structure of Urgent Care Centers, with addition to a rehabilitation center, communal, and commercial programmatic spaces. We are now working on the development of the architectural proposal for the remainder of the semester. I work with SNCH Design Development and Construction and am looking to broaden my horizon upon graduating in May 2013, where I hope to begin a new chapter and further develop my professional experiences. I live in Oceanside New York, and was luckily not directly affected by Sandy. However, my community (like most of Long Island), was not expecting to be affected as badly as we were. Not only did I grow up going to Long Beach/Point Lookout beaches, but it was a place where I worked, and was apart of recreational sports during the summers. A lot of people I know especially from Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside, and Baldwin, are still struggling in the process of coming back from all the damage done, and some double from what damage Irene had already caused. I wanted to be apart of something that makes a difference in educating and helping people whether they do not know what to do, or just simply need help. We as students want to make a difference while providing an opportunity for strategizing the way in which these coastal communities will be able to come back from this without losing their identity.
ana ponce // Event Coordinator
nYIT manhattan campus
My name is Ana Ponce currently in the fourth year of the five-year architecture program at NYIT. Growing up in a South American country, my passion has always been helping communities through different social issues and also by practicing my talents in design. I am also an active member of AIAS Freedom by Design and have done study abroad programs in France and Italy. Traveling and being in the architecture field has inspired me to get involved in projects and organizations like our team Operation Resilient Long Island that are in search of solutions of the destruction of Super Storm Sandy. As a student of architecture it is possible to make a difference by educating and practicing my skills, which is why I am part of the ORLI committee.