2019 Associates Award Recipient
The AIA Associates Award is given to individual Associate AIA members to recognize outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession.
Constantly striving to unearth and improve methods of architectural practice that embrace community building, service, and social empowerment, Daniel Horn, Assoc. AIA, has formulated a vision to lead our cities to a more resilient future. As a student at the New York Institute of Technology when Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012, he experienced its destruction and has since played an active role in the recovery and transformation of some of the most seriously damaged areas of New York.
After graduation, Horn landed a position with Perez, APC in Brooklyn, where he handled the firm’s neighborhood recovery work by assessing homes damaged by Sandy and developing plans to reconstruct them. He was able to connect with homeowners on a personal level by listening to their stories and sharing his own experiences. His leadership and expertise were recognized by the firm: He is currently a project manager pursuing multiple affordable-housing projects through design development.
“Our design teams were some of the first professionals the homeowners have seen since living through the storm. They were frustrated, fed up, and tired from what they’ve been through so far. Daniel went the extra mile and made them feel comfortable,” Perez president Angela O’Byrne, FAIA, says of Horn. “He tried to make them feel at ease when he was conducting the damage assessment, and he explained that he himself was a victim of the destruction, and after he said that, the homeowner immediately knew that Perez would get the job done right.”
In addition to his work with Perez, Horn is a co-founder of ORLI+, short for Operation Resilient Living & Innovation, a design and community engagement consultancy based in New York. ORLI+ looks to expand its impact on physical, social, and environmental initiatives in New York and beyond through educational workshops that empower underserved and at-risk communities. Through the consultancy, Horn helped lead a design team’s act of protest to climate change. The team proposed a series of signs reminiscent of those used to warn of riptides or poor water quality along the Rockaway Peninsula. The signs called attention to key facts and figures related to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers coastal storm risk management project as well as to resilience and sustainability challenges that need to be resolved.
An active member of AIA Brooklyn, Horn joined the Brooklyn Emerging Professionals group to assist with its programming. He organized Architects Band Together, an event that has for two years gathered 200 young professionals to watch local architects—who also happen to be talented musicians—perform. Hoping to become more deeply involved in civic discourse, Horn applied to and was chosen for the AIA New York Civic Leadership Program, where he remains active as one of four advisors to the next group of participants.
“Where many would look around after Superstorm Sandy and feel helpless, Dan was able to see an opportunity to engage with his own community to create change for the better,” says Kavitha Mathew, AIA, director of leadership and engagement initiatives for AIA New York. “Dan brings wisdom and compassion to everything he does, inspiring those around him to strive for excellence.”