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France Honors Rick Bell with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Rick Bell, Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, was conferred the medal of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, on February 1, 2013, at the Center for Architecture in New York.

Among his numerous American awards, Rick Bell has the rare distinction of being a Fellow of the AIA a title which he received for his work in public facility design.  Since his student days, Rick has forged ties with France, her architecture, urban policies, and architects, and has thus gained a new way of looking at the world -- more precisely at buildings -- in both practical and theoretical terms.  Rick Bell has used his knowledge and insights to encourage substantive dialogue between French and American urban planners and architects, most recently through colloquia and discussions with noted professionals from both countries, held at the Center for Architecture.  Rick himself was instrumental in creating the Center which aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe….a fitting site for his insignia ceremony whereby France officially recognized Rick Bell’s professional achievements and his contribution to the advancement of architecture and urban planning on an international level.  Finally, this award is also a tribute to Rick’s knowledge of the French language and adoption of her art de vivre, both of which help him foster ties between the two countries so masterfully.