Managing principal and design director, AECOM
About: Bongiorno joined the Columbus office of global design firm AECOM in 2019 after spending 25 years at DesignGroup. His architectural prowess can be found in some of the most prominent building projects in the city. They include the new Mitchell Hall at Columbus State Community College, the City of Columbus’ Michael B. Coleman Government Center and the Columbus Museum of Art Walter Wing.
If we are going to be a smart, equitable City of the Future, we need to amplify the interconnectedness of the elements that makes great cities what they are.
Outside of work: Bongiorno is chair of the board of trustees of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and is on the board of trustees for Columbus College of Art and Design. He founded Columbus’ “Design Week,” a community design festival, while serving on the board of trustees for the Columbus Center for Architecture and Design, where he led the award-winning “CBUS Ideabook” and “cbus:FOTO” public engagement projects. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture. He has three daughters and he and his wife, Sarah, live in Grandview Heights.
What does Columbus need to thrive? If we are going to be a smart, equitable City of the Future, we need to amplify the interconnectedness of the elements that makes great cities what they are. This interconnectedness has physical, technological and social dimensions that must be in equilibrium in order to improve the quality of life for all citizens and to increase our resilience in the face of future stressors and shocks.
Bongiorno’s idea: I have had a desire for Columbus to become a designated UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) City of Design within their Creative Cities Network for a number of years. … I am hoping that the U.S. will re-enter UNESCO in 2021 and it would be fantastic if we can harness the collective will, energy and influence of 2021’s class to drive this forward. The UNESCO designation is aspirational – not an award for what Columbus has done, but for what it has the potential to be as a “Creative City.”