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Principal Justin Crane Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

CambridgeSeven is delighted to announce that Principal Justin Crane has been elevated into the AIA’s College of Fellows this year. This significant honor highlights Justin’s devotion to the profession and the AIA as a leader of several organizations and initiatives. Throughout his 25-year career Justin has been dedicated to promoting a just and ethical architectural profession by creating opportunities for education and fostering dialogue between public and profession.


Connecting Public and Profession

Justin Crane led two grassroots initiatives that became cornerstones of the BSA Foundation’s goal of furthering public interest in and engagement with architectural design. The first of these was Common Boston, which Justin launched and grew into a successful citywide festival of architecture and community — New England’s largest public design event when it was adopted as a program of the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA).


Common Boston 2007 Program

As chair for five years, Justin oversaw the development of Common Boston from a grassroots organization into a key component at the core of the BSA’s public outreach entity, the BSA Foundation. Under Justin’s leadership, the multi-day, annual event, with over 200 free public programs, was locally-focused but national in scope, informed by countrywide expertise of visionaries like writer Anthony Flint and architect and urban designer Janet Marie Smith, Assoc. AIA. Further, the emerging professional volunteers have carried the legacy of Justin’s program and work throughout the country empowering others through their work as architects, engineers, design professors, municipal executives, and candidates for office.

As Board President of Learning By Design in Massachusetts (LBD:MA), Justin led LBD:MA’s reorganization that created a more financially sustainable programming approach, while also steering the organization’s merger with the BSA Foundation. Under Justin’s leadership LBD:MA led dozens of programs in Massachusetts grade schools, hosted monthly programs in the BSA Space,

Learning by Design Kids Build event

collaborated with the New York Learning By Design organization and served as a model for other Big Sib chapters adopting similar programming.

From 2015 to 2017, Justin volunteered on the Editorial Board and was a regular contributor to Architecture Boston. His articles included pieces such as “Failure is an option: The value of admitting error” and Winterscapes: Shaping our views of Northern cities.”

Advancing Professional Ethics

Through his work fostering connections between the profession and the public, the importance of the AIA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct became a touchstone for Justin. From Chairing the BSA Ethics Committee to his current role leading the AIA National Ethics Council (NEC), Justin works to make the Code a relevant and tangible tool for peers around the country. His outreach and educational efforts regarding the code have been sought out by chapters beyond Boston and Justin has written extensively about how the code applies to a range of issues facing the evolving practice of architecture.


Demonstrating Values Through Professional Practice

The Foundry Community Center in Cambridge

Justin has integrated community agency from early in design, building a more ethical practice with each project. As founder of CambridgeSeven’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force, Justin champions a more equitable and inclusive practice through the pillars of Community Engagement, Educating Ourselves, Workplace Culture, Recruitment and Advancement, and Environmental Justice. His leadership has inspired emerging professionals to embrace volunteering and membership in civic organizations, investigate the ethical sourcing of specified materials, and adopt the AIA’s Guides to Equitable Practice. Under Justin and the EDI committee’s guidance, the firm focuses staff recruitment on schools with diverse student populations, and is building the talent pipeline through financial and staff volunteer support of local youth mentorship programs.

Justin’s built work bridges the gap between the profession and the public through community engagement and responsive design. He advocates for community voices in quality architecture – boosting neighborhood cohesiveness, advancing civic dialogue and creating welcoming buildings that create resources rather than consume them.

Justin Crane’s commitment to a more ethical architectural profession and a more equitable built environment has guided his career, shaping his design practice and creating new opportunities for dialogue, education, and convocation in the Institute.


See the full list of this year’s fellows here.



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