The Connecticut Architecture Foundation Benefit Gala

An Evening with the 2019 Connecticut Architecture Foundation Distinguished Leadership Award Recipients

(May 5, 2019, New Haven) The Connecticut Architecture Foundation was pleased to present Elizabeth (Lisa) Gray, FAIA and Alan Organschi of Gray Organschi Architecture with the 2019 Distinguished Leadership Award at their annual gala on April 25, 2019.

The presentation of the award, given by the CAF for outstanding accomplishment in the realm of architecture, was made at an evening gala on the campus of the University of Hartford, where the couple presented a lecture on their design, construction, and research, framing their work as “scaling up” from their family, practice, city, and planet. Their lecture was part of the University’s architecture lecture series (which is supported by the JCJ Architecture Endowment of Hartford’s Department of Architecture). The lecture and the gala dinner after it drew current students and more than 100 architects and allied professionals from across the state and marks the eighth such event co-sponsored by the CAF in collaboration with the University of Hartford. The event is an opportunity to recognize professional leadership and to help support scholarships offered by the CAF and the University of Hartford Department of Architecture.

The Distinguished Leadership Award was presented to Lisa and Alan at the gala by CAF President Jay M. Brotman, AIA. In making the presentation, Brotman noted several of their accomplishments over their two decades of practice and acknowledged their exemplary leadership in the research and promotion of sustainable design. “Lisa and Alan are dedicated to sustainable design not only in their practice, but also through their teaching activities at major architecture schools,” said Brotman. “They are training the next generation of architects to understand and respect the needs of our shared environment.”

Gray Organschi Architecture has developed an award-winning practice that integrates architectural design, low-impact ecologically conscious construction techniques, building fabrication, and construction management. Lisa Gray has demonstrated her commitment to fusing design excellence with community engagement, providing volunteer and pro-bono services to programs in need, working intensively with local organizations and institutions to delineate clear and achievable project goals and guide the design and construction process to ensure the timely delivery of buildings of high quality.

A trained cabinet-maker and builder as well as a teacher, Alan Organschi has developed a practice and a pedagogy that seeks to link broad-based conceptions of architectural space, form, and program to the physical means and methods of producing them. He is the founding principal of the construction company JIG Design Build, an offshoot of his work at Gray Organschi Architecture in the research, prototyping, fabrication, and installation of building components and systems.

The CAF Distinguished Leadership Award was instituted in 2003, the year it was bestowed upon Richard Levin, then Yale University president. In 2012 the CAF and the University of Hartford collaborated for the first time in making the award presentation part of its fund-raising event. Awardees since that year have been practicing-architect couples from the United States and Canada; Lisa and Alan mark the first Connecticut based couple so honored

About Connecticut Architecture Foundation:

The Foundation was established in 1978 by the Connecticut Society of Architects/AIA (now American Institute of Architects [AIA] Connecticut) as an independent 501c3 organization to raise and distribute funds to raise public awareness of, and expectations for, architecture and the built environment. It is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of architects and allied professionals.

The Connecticut Architecture Foundation is committed to enhancing and promoting the quality of the state’s built-environment. The Foundation encourages public understanding and community involvement in the design and building processes that create our physical surroundings. It also supports the profession of architecture and allied arts and services. To accomplish these goals, the Foundation sponsors scholarships, publications, exhibitions, and other activities, which contribute to an awareness of our architectural heritage and the direction of our future development.