Melissa Farling Appointed to Academy of Architecture for Justice Advisory Group

(May 17, 2016) Melissa Farling, FAIA, LEED AP, vice president, managing principal of HDR's Phoenix architecture studio, was recently appointed to the Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) Advisory Group. Part of the American Institute of Architects Knowledge Community, the AAJ's primary goal is to promote excellence in the design of justice facilities.

Melissa has been involved in the AAJ since 1995. A co-chair of the AAJ Research & Technology Committee from 2006-2015, she also served as a principal investigator on the first neuroscience-architecture research conducted in a jail setting in 2008. Since 2007, she has been involved in the AAJ Sustainable Justice Committee.

In her new role, which has a five-year term, Melissa plans to focus on sustainable justice issues and conduct research in order to better understand the impact of what we do. In general, she wants to look at justice more holistically by working with other Knowledge Communities and AIA groups since they face similar challenges and have meaningful and insightful perspectives to share, she says.

Melissa describes her passion for justice with one word: dignity. "I believe that it's our responsibility to continue to seek balance between security and dignity," she says. For a law enforcement facility, that means community policing strategies; for a correctional facility, dignity means providing a humane, safe and normative environment for inmates and staff; for courts, it refers to feeling safe, reflecting a community's values and delivering justice; and for a Land Port of Entry, dignity means providing a welcoming experience for visitors and a positive work environment for staff, she explains.

Stay tuned for more to come from Melissa and this important organization for justice design.