Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

September 15, 2016

Introducing Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles to the Next Generation of Design Professionals

DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora Lectures at City College of New York School of Architecture

DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora with Mr. Gordon Gebert, Dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York.

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information

New York, NY—Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) today helped introduce the next generation of industry professionals to the agency’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles as he presented the inaugural lecture of the Sciame Fall 2016 Lecture Series at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York.

DDC’s Guiding Principles are a series of guidelines designed to ensure that public projects are designed and built to the highest standards that comply with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision of a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy City. They are specific and concise strategies for consultants to follow when they partner with DDC, helping to provide durable, aesthetically pleasing projects that also address key challenges such as population density and greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, there are 20 principles and five aims for each, that ask design teams to analyze each project and address issues such as does a project invite public participation; does a project address local hazards such as erosion or flooding; is a building or structure welcoming to all segments of the population it’s meant to serve; and does the project live up to its greatest opportunity to improve the City and the lives of its residents?

“By introducing a new generation of architects and designers to the DDC’s Guiding Principles, we help unleash future creativity in a way that best meets the City’s growing needs,” said Commissioner Peña-Mora. “Though the Guiding Principles were published with New York City in mind, they can be applied almost anywhere to improve public projects, create safer and more inviting public spaces, and promote healthy populations. I thank Dean Gordon Gebert for the opportunity to address City College students.”

Dean Gordon Gebert remarked, “As the only public school of architecture in New York, the Spitzer School was pleased to welcome Commissioner Pena-Mora to hear his enthusiastic presentation of the Guiding Principles. The ideas and aims embodied in the Principles are of great interest and vital importance to our students who are the next generation of industry professionals. Faculty and alumnae in the audience found that the details of the agency’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles are critical to their work. We are grateful for his time.” 

Dean Gebert also noted that Commissioner Pena-Mora’s lecture celebrates nearly 50 years of the school’s close relationship with New York public agencies. Many Spitzer School graduates have had successful careers in the public sector including the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

Julia Lu, of Flushing, is in her 4th year of the undergraduate program at the school. “I was particularly interested in this lecture because my professor had said that Commissioner Peña-Mora’s work is very thought-provoking,” she said. “This is the first I had heard of the ‘Guiding Principles.’ Guidelines like these can make our work better for the community. Right now we’re working in class on transit and infrastructure projects throughout the City and the ‘Guiding Principles’ can be immediately applied to improve our work.”

Gabriel Morales, originally from Venezuela, is working toward his master’s degree in architecture. He had previously worked as a designer for a company that worked with DDC in the “Build it Back” program to restore and protect homes that had been damaged in Superstorm Sandy.

“The information from today can be useful in almost everything I do,” Morales said. “Right now I’m working on a project focusing on the rail yards at Willet’s Point in Queens, and the talk today about the public side of architecture addresses many of the issues we’re dealing with.”



About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit