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November 8 – January 26, 2008

Berlin — New York Dialogues: Building in Context

Galleries: Judith and Walter Hunt Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery, Kohn Pederson Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery, South Gallery

Two of the world’s most dynamic urban centers, Berlin and New York, are making radical transformations in their streets and skylines. Berlin — New York Dialogues investigates the changes in these two cities by looking at the contemporary built environment and mechanisms of urban regeneration: the social, political, economic, and cultural processes that affect building.

As the exhibition delineates, the sustainability of these cities’ neighborhoods is increasingly dependent on a critical mixture of identity, diversification, and infrastructure.

Against a background of data Berlin — New York Dialogues brackets three areas of each city. High-end projects and informal initiatives are featured and made comparable by a set of overarching topics: Culture as Catalyst, Community Activism, Gentrification, Open Space, and Governmental Intervention. Focus is given to the stories and forces behind the projects — the urban context.

Berlin — New York Dialogues is presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall as part of Berlin in Lights, a festival taking place November 2-18, 2007.

In partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Berlin in Lights, a festival taking place in November 2007 celebrating the cultural connectivity between Berlin and New York.

This exhibition is presented as part of the Center for Architecture’s Global City Dialogues series exploring differences and commonalities between distinctive international cultural centers and New York City.

Organized by:

Center for Architecture and the German Center for Architecture DAZ in Berlin

Curatorial Team: Lynnette Widder, Kristien Ring, Sophie Stigliano, Rosamond Fletcher, Lutz Knospe

Research Assistants: Anthony Acciavatti, Elizabeth Snow, Anna Vallye

In cooperation with:
Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Deutsches Haus at NYU,
and Akademie der Künste, Berlin

Exhibition Design & Graphics: Project Projects

Exhibition Architecture: MADE

Commissioned Photography: Noah Sheldon

Underwriter: RFR Holding, Digital Plus


Patrons: Eurohypo; IULA

Lead Sponsors:

Carnegie Corporation of New York; Tishman Speyer Properties


The German Consulate in New York
Friend: Getmapping

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Thanks to the generous support of the Alfred Herrhausen Society the exhibition will travel to the DAZ (LINK ) in Berlin in March 2008. The exhibition will open on March 7 and be on view through June 2008. An exhibition symposium will take place at the Akademie der Künste on March 8/ 9, 2008.

Exhibition Announcements

Structures and Surfaces

Poul Kjærholm: Catalogue Raisonné.

Courtesy R Gallery

Through 02.02.08
Structures and Surfaces

Structures and Surfaces features a collection of works by artist Poul Kjærholm assembled alongside significant modern and contemporary art works. The installation showcases a dialogue among furniture, art, and exhibition design. Kjærholm’s furniture is said to appeal to architects, design aficionados, and serious furniture and art collectors for its understated elegance and clean lines.

Sean Kelly Gallery
528 West 29th Street

R Gallery
82 Franklin Street

Drive-in House, Horizontal Section

Drive-in House, Horizontal Section.

Courtesy The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive of The Cooper Union

01.22.08 through 02.12.08
Two Journeys: Works by Michael Webb

Presented by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, the exhibition is dedicated to the 26 first-year students in Professor Webb’s charge. Having spent the Fall 2007 semester learning about his students through their drawings, Webb views this exhibition as chance for students to learn about him and his work. Organized linearly, the exhibition may be read like a book. It deals with two themes: a train of thought deriving from the Reyner Banham article A Home is not a House (1965), and a study of linear perspective projection.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, 2nd Floor
7 East 7th Street

NY States of Mind

Batman and Little Barbies, New York, NY, 2002, Silver gelatin print.

Mary Ellen Mark, courtesy Queens Museum of Art

Through 03.23.08
New York States of Mind

This exhibition offers a vision of NYC from an outsider’s perspective while evoking nostalgia for the city’s gritty past. Through an interdisciplinary exploration, the exhibition provides a corrective backdrop to mythical NYC while demonstrating how artists have engaged with the city as a democratic and experimental space.

Queens Museum of Art, New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Just In

Installation view of Just In: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection.

Photo by Jason Mandella, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Through 11.08
Just in: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection

The Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries on the third floor of MoMA, primarily focuses on works designed within the last five years and acquired by the museum within the last two years. Many are on display at MoMA for the first time. The selection of approximately 60 objects represents the diversity of contemporary design practice, with a focus on the latest innovations in architectural, industrial, and graphic design.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street

Movable Type

View of Moveable Type in the lobby of The New York Times Building.

Michel Denancé

Moveable Type

Like the lights of Times Square which surround the building, Moveable Type is a digital installation that reflects the movement of news, 24 hours a day. Engaged by The New York Times Company and its development partner, Forest City Ratner Companies, Media artist Ben Rubin and statistician Mark Hansen designed and developed software that pulls sentences and phrases from the newspaper’s databases, projects them onto a grid of small screens, and orchestrates the material into a series of changing sequences. These fragments are mined from traditional sources — reporters, editors, photographers, and Op-Ed contributors — while others derive from newer sources — bloggers, readers’ online comments, letter writers, and e-mailers — from all over the world.

New York Times Building, ground floor lobby
8th Avenue between 40th & 41st Streets

Bringing Building Code up to Code (continued)

Other panelists voiced the development, environmentalist, public health, and labor perspectives on the proposed changes. Ashok Gupta, director of the Air and Energy Program at USGBC-NY, pushed for less friction in the array of incentives that developers and builders face; Nancy Clark, assistant commissioner for environmental disease prevention at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, warned against unintended consequences like the “tight building syndrome” of poor ventilation and increased respiratory disorders that marked the energy-policy choices of the 1970s. William Rudin, president of Rudin Management, offered 3 Times Square as an example of design that commits to options despite a bleak economy. His firm decided the current payback on installing photovoltaics was insufficient, but prewired the building to allow such features later if the numbers change.

The evolving code will need a full range of stakeholders’ input. Edward Ott, executive director of the Central Labor Council, stressed that negotiations about standards should include workers and their communities. Resistance to new practices in the building trades, he said, was not automatic — “retrofitting, frankly, for us,” he noted, “is 100 years of good work” — and the early perception that green building was “a red flag” for labor, in his view, was fading with the recognition that high-performance building and post-petroleum-dependence technologies jibe with workers’ values. “Working-class people tend to resist change because of a history of it being done at their expense,” Ott maintained, adding that just treatment of workers’ interests includes the siting of NIMBY-provoking infrastructure (power plants, e.g.) so that poorer neighborhoods don’t always end up with the most noxious burdens. As NYC edges toward sustainability — and figures out just whose interests its physical environment is designed to sustain — this reminder of the city’s intertwined layers of class was both timely and refreshingly urgent.

The Future of Professional Practice (continued)

Small stone makes big waves. At the session entitled The Transitional Small Practice: Alternate management strategies, Daniel M. Garber (of the Fergus Garber Group, Palo Alto, CA) showed how small, growth-hungry firms must employ innovative often riskier, design and delivery methods to replace safer traditional methods.

Garber’s view on integrating roles in the firm when transitioning from 2-D to 3-D/BIM is shown in the chart. The chart shows changes from 2006 to 2007 in the readiness of staff at several levels to take on progressively more sophisticated design and delivery tools (numbers at left show years of experience).

When smartly done, results are:

· better coordinated production
· streamlined production documentation
· greater client participation in design phase
· shorter design cycle.

Town Hall tales. The proceedings ended with a novel device called the Town Hall. Genially presided over by Architectural Record deputy editor Charles Linn, FAIA, this town hall mushroomed fast into informal, animated, often blunt exchanges, as though the pent up listening of the previous two days finally detonated into some frank but all-in-all civil exchanges. Topics: BIM and its high technical but low design impact; the undesirable designation (by architects) of the architect as Master Builder (preferred: Team Captain; Master Coordinator); the dangers of getting lost inside the new technology; the paradox of earning HSW credits at BIM-related sessions but none on managing people; anxiety as motivator; and the risks inherent in the new technology of making decisions too fast, without enough thought.

AIA has promised to make transcripts of talks available at about this time on its website.