AIANY and the NYC Department of Buildings launched the urbanSHED International Design Competition on 08.13.09. See Around the AIA + Center for Architecture for more detail on this competition to redesign NYC’s sidewalk sheds.

I’ve received a great response so far from those of you who are Twittering! Please let me know if your firm is Twittering. I’d like to find all the NY-based firms that take part in the latest in social media. E-mail me at eoculus@aiany.org. Also, be sure to follow Tweets from e-Oculus and the Center for Architecture.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Why Harlem Now?

Event: A Community in Transition: Focus on Harlem
Location: Center for Architecture, 08.12.09
Speakers: Fred Schwartz, FAIA — Principal, Frederic Schwartz Architects; Barbara Wilks, FAIA, ASLA — Founding Partner & Principal, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Roberta Washington, FAIA – Principal, Roberta Washington Architects; Dan Lobitz, AIA — Partner, Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Respondents: Christine Haughney — Journalist, The New York Times; Zevilla Preston-Jackson – Principal, J-P Design; Wendell Walters – Assistant Commissioner for Housing Production, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Moderator: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA
Introduction: Abby Suckle, FAIA — Founder & President, cultureNOW
Organizers: AIANY Planning & Urban Design Committee; cultureNOW


HarlemNOW map of cultural sites in Harlem.


In celebration of Harlem Week and the recently published HarlemNOW, a map/guide of art, architecture, and cultural sites in Harlem, a panel of architects living or working in Harlem discussed how new construction and renovations have affected the neighborhood. “Harlem has been undergoing a profound transformation as a wave of gentrification is overlaid on a vibrant cultural community,” said Abby Suckle, FAIA, founder and president of cultureNOW, an organization that recently added HarlemNOW to its list of cultural maps of NYC.

Roberta Washington, FAIA, has been a resident and a working architect in Harlem for more than 20 years. She recounted that, at the start of her practice, the city was selling dilapidated buildings for one dollar so they could be renovated as housing for the homeless. When Former President Bill Clinton moved his office to the neighborhood, the perception of Harlem changed from dangerous to trendy. Washington’s affordable and market-rate housing at 1400 Fifth Avenue, developed by Carlton Brown’s Full Spectrum Realty and designed for LEED-Silver certification, is noted for being Harlem’s first luxury residential building — and it happens to be located across the street from an NYC Housing Authority project.

Another neighbor of 1400 Fifth Avenue is the Kalahari, designed by Frederic Schwartz Architects, also for Carlton Brown. The building is 50% affordable and 50% market-rate housing, and is distinguished by every floor incorporating a combination of the two. The design references Harlem’s African-American roots by using the color palette and tribal patterns of the Kalahari Desert.

Wendell Walters, assistant commissioner for housing production at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), noted that budget pressures are forcing the agency to focus more on preservation than new construction citywide, not just in Harlem.

Barbara Wilks, FAIA, ASLA, principal at W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, showed “before” renderings of her West Harlem Piers Park, and proudly noted that if they were current photos we’d see a park packed with people instead of architecture. The site, formerly a parking lot for a Fairway grocery store, gives residents access to the waterfront. Wilks sought to make the park bigger by adding new sandbar-like piers. The project sought input from local organizations including We Act for Environmental Justice, a non-profit agency that has since been priced-out of its office.

They’re not the only ones. Zevilla Preston-Jackson, principal of J-P Design and a third generation Harlem resident, noted that many commercial tenants are getting “squeezed out” of the neighborhood, including both herself and Washington. According to Christine Haughney, a reporter for The New York Times covering the “Frontiers” beat, “money rushed into Harlem in recent years. In 2007, no brownstone sold for under $1 million — even ones in the worst shape.” But now developers are having trouble financing projects, and retailers are seeing their revenues drop 30%, while rents keep going up. “The landlords haven’t seen the reality of the situation,” she exclaimed.

Preston-Jackson worries about gentrification. “Harlem has to be more than the buildings. Places are important because they are repositories of history and culture, but there’s an energy on the street from the people.” Fred Schwartz, FAIA, bemoaned the loss of local store owners: “125th Street is losing the ‘juice.’ It’s the same as the Lower East Side or SoHo.”

Perhaps Harlem will get an infusion of “juice” with the new Museum of African Art, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), now under construction along Museum Mile. Even though the museum has produced more than 50 widely-acclaimed exhibitions and catalogues exploring Africa’s artistic traditional and cultural heritage, it has led a nomadic existence for the past 25 years. As explained by Don Lobitz, AIA, a partner at RAMSA, the permanent museum will be part of a residential building, and will include a 210-seat theater for film and dance presentations, and a staircase within a drum-shaped volume.

Strict Parameters Yield Sensitive Designs

Event: New Practices New York 2008, Urban A&O, The Agency of Constraints
Location: Hafele New York Showroom, 08.13.09
Speakers: Joe MacDonald — Principal & Founder, Urban A&O
Organizer: AIANY New Practices Committee


The Water Planet in the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences.

Urban A&O

Urban A&O is bringing a new set of parameters to the table by exploring designs through parametric modeling. Founded in 2002, the firm combines teaching, research, and practice, and recently received special honors from the New Practices New York jury. Urban A&O primarily uses CATIA, software typically used by the aerospace and automotive industries, and Gehry Technologies’ Digital Project. This 3-D modeling software allows them to design complex forms and manipulate interior and exterior skins in a variety of materials: glass, metal, titanium, and fiberglass.

“Bone Wall,” which was sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design where MacDonald is an associate professor, was the project that launched the firm. It explores the relationship between surface and depth through pattern making, both intrinsically and multi-dimensionally. Beginning with a base cell comprised of six triangular “horns,” the form of the structure is manipulated through parametric modeling to examine the effects of light and surface.

For the Johnson & Johnson Pavilion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Urban A&O used digital modeling to engage the human scale. Sited amid a bamboo forest on the Olympic Green, visitors first encountered a water garden before wandering through the building on a ramped “ribbon” on which the high-tech, interactive exhibition “The Caring World” was displayed. Light filtered in through a fritted glass skin. The experience culminated with a “cloud garden” on the roof, which incorporated water fountains, misting pools, bamboo, and wild grasses, as well as strip lighting along the floor for a multi-sensory experience.

Water Planet, an exhibition area within the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Science by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, is a “multimedia aquarium experiment,” according to MacDonald. Comprised of wall clusters and centerpiece elements, the exhibition invites visitor interaction in line with Piaget’s theory of Constructivism, which maintains that children learn through interaction with physical stimuli, MacDonald explained. Urban A&O developed a flowing wall plane inspired by the water it contains. Interestingly, the fish responded to the design as much as the visitors, clustering near the openings.

Always experimenting, Urban A&O is currently developing a composite material made from balsa wood, fiberglass, and polyurethane. Projects on the boards include a building design and landscape plan for Crosscurrents Park in Florida, and Club Stejarii, a spa and health club in Romania.

Exhibition Review: Ron Arad’s Well-Disciplined Opus


Installation view of Ron Arad: No Discipline.

Jason Mandella

Despite its title, “Ron Arad: No Discipline,” the first retrospective of artist Ron Arad’s work in the U.S., at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), demonstrates that he has plenty of discipline to assemble a dizzying body of work over the last 25 years. An Israeli-born industrial designer who trained and worked as an architect before going solo, Arad has forged his own path. He gained notoriety in the early 1980s when fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier purchased Arad’s first foray into furniture design, the Rover Chair, built from discarded Rover V8 2L car seats attached to tubular frames.

Though it was designed by Arad to house the exhibition, “Cage sans Frontières (Cage without Frontiers)” steals the show. The 16-foot-tall structure, made of a Cor-Ten steel square grid lined with mirror-like stainless steel, swoops around the gallery in a figure eight that doesn’t quite touch in the middle. Furniture and architectural models are displayed in the squares — a virtual candy store for designers. However, the candy is just out of reach. Since the “Cage” takes up most of the gallery, one is not able to back up enough to take in the pieces exhibited in the higher squares. As a consolation, small video screens showcase the fabrication of certain pieces, animate architectural models, and document the assembly of the exhibition itself.

All said, “No Discipline” is worth the trek to MoMA despite the tourist dodging it entails. Highlights include the “Concrete Stereo,” a simple hi-fi system — turntable, amplifier, and speakers — cast in concrete but partially eroded to expose its innards. Slipping under the middle of “Cage,” viewers discover variations of the cartoonish “Big Easy Chair” made from different materials in a variety of colors. “Even the Odd Balls?” is the latest reincarnation of the series. The armchair duo is made from stainless steel, one sporting bubbly barnacles and the other a Swiss cheese inverse.

Above this pair hangs the literal centerpiece of the exhibit, the dramatic “Lolita” chandelier, commissioned by Swarovski Crystal. Composed of 2,100 crystals and 1,050 white LEDs, the fixture displays SMS text messages sent to the phone number 917-774-6264. The messages wind down its ribbon-like form, making it appear to rotate.

“Ron Arad: No Discipline” is on view at MoMA through 10.19.09.

Down Under


(L-R): Gair Building No. 5; Eskimo Pie Building; and 135 Plymouth Street in DUMBO.

Fran Leadon

Early in the morning on August 11th I visited the neighborhood known as Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (OK, fine, let’s just call it DUMBO) to shoot some photos for the upcoming fifth edition of the AIA Guide to New York City (Oxford University Press, 2010), which I am completing with Norval White, FAIA. For those who experienced DUMBO in those long-forgotten days of the 20th century, a visit today can be a bit of a shock. Back then, circa 1994, the place was deserted. Most neighborhood activity seemed to revolve around the now demolished Between the Bridges bar on York Street and within Rudolph Daus’s 1901 former tin can factory at 135 Plymouth Street. That beautiful Romanesque pile, with monumental brick arches, was headquarters for a carting company that noisily compacted garbage on the ground floor. (I am somewhat happy to report this aromatic activity is still taking place there; the neighborhood hasn’t completely given itself over to cappuccinos and Jacques Torres chocolates.) After a series of shootings in front of 135 Plymouth in the early 1990s a police cruiser was positioned there 24 hours a day. That’s when I first visited DUMBO; a classmate of mine had a sculpture studio in the building. I had trouble sleeping.

Had I fallen asleep then, in 1994, and slept for 15 years and woken up last Tuesday, I would have thought I was in the middle of a film set for some happy, romantic comedy. Cafés? Restaurants? Children? Playgrounds? Bookstores? Pet stores (“all dog sweaters on sale this week only”)? Where am I? I still get a profound feeling of amnesia no matter how often I go to DUMBO. There are actual people streaming to and from the previously deserted and terrifying York Street station! (One indication of how quickly DUMBO has changed is the fact that the last edition of the Guide, in 2000, barely mentions it, and then only as an aside within the Fulton Ferry section of the book.)

The Landmarks Commission designated DUMBO a historic district in 2007, and there are many notable industrial buildings in the neighborhood in addition to 135 Plymouth. The former Grand Union Tea Company on Jay Street (between Front and Water Streets) was designed and built in phases from 1896 to 1907 by Edward N. Stone, and features an intact mosaic in the floor at the Jay Street entrance. Louis E. Jallade designed the onetime Eskimo Pie Building, originally the Thomson Meter Company, at 100 Bridge Street (between York and Tillman Streets) in 1908. Its beautifully arched façade has glazed terra-cotta decoration and was possibly inspired by Auguste Perret’s 25 bis rue Franklin in Paris. The Gair buildings, all seven of them, are extraordinary early (1888-1908) reinforced-concrete lofts erected by Robert Gair, a pioneering entrepreneur in the corrugated box industry. The Gair buildings form a solid mass that defines much of DUMBO and makes it feel as if the neighborhood’s cobble-stoned streets are spaces carved from a single piece of stone. Recent buildings by Scarano Architects, Gruzen Samton, and CetraRuddy tower above the bridges and don’t fit in as well as the older industrial buildings. Lately, we’ve been calling the area RAMBO (Rising Above the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

Art Gallery, Sports Arena: Strange — But Compatible — Bedfellows


Partial installation of Franz Ackermann’s Coming Home (Meet me) At the waterfall (2009), which is being installed along several walls in the monumental staircase in the southwestern portion of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

Image ©Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys football team recently announced the commission of 14 monumental, site-specific installations and four large-scale artworks by contemporary artists. Slated for the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX, designed by HKS Sports and Entertainment Group, the artworks will be installed in prominent locations throughout the stadium. According to the press release, some will be as large as four stories high and more than 100 feet long. A wide range of talents — from Olafur Eliasson to Doug Aitken — were asked to play off both the architecture and the patterns of foot traffic. The goal is to create a dialogue between art and sports, which will be accomplished with accompanying art education programs and tours.

Dallas isn’t the only sports arena with this concept. The Miami-Dade Art in Public Places just closed a call to artists for six large-scale installations at Miami Ballpark, designed by Populous (formerly HOK Sport), where the Florida Marlins will soon play. Highlighting the building, the criteria emphasized the architectural concept of “water merging with land,” that aims to create a seamless relationship with the city, turning the skyline into an “inimitable design feature.” Artworks will be incorporated into the entry, a children’s recreation area, and a street level curtain wall, among other places in and around the stadium. Selected artists will be announced this coming December, and the installations will be complete in March 2012.

Since NYC has been called a cultural nexus of the U.S., my question is: Why hasn’t the city done something similar with its sports arenas? With the new Yankees and Mets stadiums, both offering wider circulation paths and claiming to be instituting numerous public outreach programs, it seems to me that this type of cultural program would be a no-brainer. By commissioning artworks in atypical cultural venues — such as sports arenas — new audiences would gain access to and an appreciation for art.

“Football is full of the unexpected and the spontaneous — it can make two strangers into friends,” said Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. “Art has the power to do that too, to get people talking, and looking, and interacting. It’s not just about what you see on the field or on the wall, it’s about creating exciting experiences.” Even though NYC may not be the first, I hope the city takes Jones’s comments to heart.

In this issue:
· Queens Plaza Becomes a Garden Gateway
· New School Breaks Ground in One of the Bronx’s Neediest Neighborhoods
· Bushwick Builds Low-Impact Architecture
· From Clustered to Spinal: The Parrish is Re-Conceptualized
· Classic Ames Building Becomes Modern Ames Hotel

Queens Plaza Becomes a Garden Gateway


Queens Plaza.

Wallace Roberts & Todd

Construction has begun on infrastructure improvements, designed by Wallace Roberts & Todd, transforming Queens Plaza in Long Island City from a tangle of urban infrastructure into an immersive green landscape. Spanning one mile from 1.5 acres of landscaped open space to the water’s edge below the Queensboro Bridge, the project aims to restore the connection among communities and with the East River. Phase I of the Queens Plaza Streetscape Improvement Project extends from Queens Plaza North to Queens Plaza South, and from Northern Boulevard/Queens Plaza East to 21st Street. It will realign and rationalize the traffic network, enhance the environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improve the streetscape with new sidewalks, native and non-invasive plantings, widened and landscaped medians, and improved lighting. Artist-designed benches and pavers, and a continuous protected bikeway and pedestrian walkway will line the open space. Phase II will continue improvements from 21st Street to the East River at Vernon Boulevard.

The Queens Plaza and the adjacent Jackson Avenue projects, with landscapes designed by Stantec Consulting Service, started construction last fall. They are being funded with $23.7 million in City capital, $19.7 million in Federal money, and $33 million in Federal stimulus-related funds. The improvements are part of the city’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan and are overseen by the NYC Economic Development Corporation. The Queens Plaza project received an AIANY Project Merit Award in 2008.

New School Breaks Ground in One of the Bronx’s Neediest Neighborhoods


New Settlement Community Campus.

Dattner Architects/ESKW Architects

The NYC School Construction Authority and Department of Education has begun construction on the New Settlement Community Campus, a 172,000-square-foot, pre-K-12th grade public school and community center in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx. Designed by Dattner Architects and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects (ESKW Architects), the four-story building will be composed of two volumes — a primary school and an intermediate/high school. The project’s key architectural element is the interplay of the volumes and expression of the two wings set at a roughly 90-degree angle. Although predominantly brick, zinc panels, and a curtain wall are used to express special functions and provide visual interest and scale. The library, auditorium, and gymnasium (with an indoor pool) will serve the entire school as well as the community. The project is the culmination of two decades of commitment to the rehabilitation of Mount Eden by the Settlement Housing Fund and its subsidiary, New Settlement Apartments.

Bushwick Builds Low-Impact Architecture


Façade on Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick.

Andre Kikoski Architect

Andre Kikoski Architect has designed a new 10,000-square-foot space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Designed for Cayuga Capital Management, which has some 40 other properties in this industrial area in transition, the project includes two buildings with a courtyard — one planned for a gourmet grocery and wine shop, and the other for a performance space and/or restaurant. When folded up, the industrial security gates become awnings for the shops. The main design feature is the approximately 100-foot-long wall made of raw concrete columns with steel panels that are laser-cut with a dotted gradient pattern. The wall has an outer layer of Cor-Ten steel and an inner layer of stainless steel with a strip of white LEDs sandwiched between. The metal metal layers are punctured with holes that vary in diameter; when they align, the building becomes translucent. The architect sees this project as a prototype for adaptively re-using buildings through low-impact architecture.

From Clustered to Spinal: The Parrish is Re-Conceptualized


Museum façade and gallery view.

Herzog & de Meuron

The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, Long Island, recently unveiled a re-conceptualized design for a new museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron on a 14-acre site. The new design will be a horizontal structure nestled in the landscape. Two parallel wings are joined by a central circulation spine that runs the length of the building. The museum is sited in a north-south orientation to take advantage of natural northern light. The poured-in-place concrete walls will be deeply recessed under a white corrugated metal roof, and will incorporate large sections of glass that permit views through the museum and into the surrounding landscape — a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers. A shaded porch surrounding the building will provide public gathering areas. With more than 37,300 square feet of space, and 12,000 square feet of unencumbered flexible galleries, the design more than doubles the museum’s current exhibition space.

The new museum will include educational and multi-purpose spaces, a café and kitchen, administrative offices, and onsite storage. The design team includes Reed Hilderbrand Associates as landscape architect, ARUP London as lighting designer, and Nelson, Pope & Voorhis for civil and environmental engineering, with East Hampton-based architect Douglas Moyer serving as executive architect.

Classic Ames Building Becomes Modern Ames Hotel


The Ames Hotel.

The Morgan Hotel Group

When the Ames Building, designed by Shelpley, Rutan and Coolidge, was completed in 1889, it was the tallest building in Boston and considered to be the city’s first skyscraper — it remains one of the tallest masonry buildings on the East Coast. Located on the edge of the Financial District, the Romanesque-Byzantine-inspired, 14-story structure will re-open this fall as the Ames Hotel operated by The Morgan Hotel Group. The historic restoration is by Cambridge Seven Associates, and NY-based The Rockwell Group is designing the interiors (this is the firm’s first project in Boston). The boutique hotel has 113 guest rooms, including one apartment and six deluxe one-bedroom suites, with a bar and dining area on each floor. The design provides a modern framework for the lobby, with its mosaic, barrel-vaulted ceiling, and marble-and-brass staircase, and the renovated guest rooms. Woodward, a two-story restaurant and bar, is Victorian-inspired, and features a curated “cabinet of curiosities” that mixes with the room’s modern accents.

In this issue:
· AIANY, NYC Department of Buildings Launch urbanSHED
· Passing: Charles Gwathmey, FAIA

AIANY, NYC Department of Buildings Launch urbanSHED


A current sidewalk shed.

Courtesy Department of Buildings

AIANY and the NYC Department of Buildings launched the urbanSHED International Design Competition on 08.13.09. It’s been decades since the current standard of the common sidewalk shed hit NYC’s streets; the competition challenges the global design community to rethink that standard, and give particular consideration to safety, sustainability, and streetscape. Registration closes 09.18.09, and first-stage entries are due 10.02.09.

The competition was kicked off at a Alliance for Downtown New York-sponsored party at Cipriani’s Wall Street. The event celebrated the launch of both urbanSHED and the Re:Construction 2009 program, which incorporates temporary artworks into construction barriers. (The four 2009 works are now up for viewing around the city.) Alliance for Downtown New York Executive Director Elizabeth Berger, Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, AIANY President Sherida Paulsen, FAIA, and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan spoke to a crowd of 200 about these streetscape-improving initiatives.

For more about urbanSHED, see “A Sidewalk Shed of the 21st Century,” by Jenny 8 Lee, 08.12.09.


This year, AIA New York State’s convention is joining forces with AIA Rochester, AGC of New York State, ACEC New York, NYS Society of Professional Engineers, NYS Association of Professional Land Surveyors, and the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapters. The organizations will meet at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester 09.23-26.09 for the Re-Build New York: MAINSRTEETS Convention. The weekend opens with the MAINSTREETS golf tournament, and over the course of the weekend, 61 seminars and eight tours will be offered. AIANYS members will have the opportunity to earn up to 12 LUs/HSWs credits. For more information, visit the website and view the electronic brochure. Early registration ends 08.31, and registration closes 09.16.

Passing: Charles Gwathmey, FAIA
Charles Gwathmey, FAIA, principal and founder of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, passed away 08.04.09 at the age of 71. The cause was esophageal cancer.

Founded in 1968, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects is known for Modernist designs. Projects range from master planning, architecture, interior design, and product design, with more than 400 projects for educational, health care, corporate, cultural, government, and private clients throughout the U.S. and abroad. One of the firm’s most recent projects, and recipient of a 2009 AIANYS Design Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation, is the Yale Arts Complex, comprised of Paul Rudolph’s restored and renovated Art and Architecture Building, the Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art, and Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library (See “Yale University’s Arts Complex Reaches Completion,” by Debra Pickrel, e-Oculus, 10.14.08).

For more about Gwathmey’s life and work, see “Charles Gwathmey, Architect Loyal to Aesthetics of High Modernism, Dies at 71,” by Fred A. Bernstein, The New York Times, 08.04.09, and “Charles Gwathmey, 1938-2009,” by Alan G. Brake and Matt Chaban, The Architect’s Newspaper, 08.04.09.

Students Create Walking Tour of SoHo


Center for Architecture Foundation summer camp students with educator Eric Ratkowski.

Catherine Teegarden

This week’s summer camp students joined educator Eric Ratkowski, Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) volunteer Anna Kostreva and CFAF camp counselor Alicia Salmon on a journey around SoHo. Students explored many of the neighborhood’s buildings to learn about the architecture, history, and present-day life. They documented interesting details, such as distinctive staircases and metalwork, with cameras and journals. As the group visited restaurants, clothing stores, and book stores, they used magnets to test which buildings were made of cast iron, observed how spaces are used (i.e., as a store or residence), interviewed managers about their buildings’ histories, and noted interior and exterior layouts. Each student chose particular buildings to focus on and returned to the workshop to do additional online research. Ultimately, they created an audio walking tour guide to SoHo that can be accessed via cell phone. Click here to download the students’ guide.

Rediscover Your City: Self Guided Tours

CultureNOW offers maps and podcasts for touring downtown Manhattan, Manhattan’s art scene, and the most recent addition, Harlem. HarlemNOW highlights public art installations and historical buildings, including: all NYC designated landmarks, National Register Listings, and National Historic Landmarks; performance spaces; new residential projects; recent civic architecture; jazz clubs; art galleries; houses of worship; museums; sustainable design; and landscape architecture. The project was researched and developed by AIANY with the American Planning Association, NY Metro Chapter, in collaboration with Pratt Institute School of Architecture. See “Why Harlem Now?” by Linda G. Miller, e-Oculus, 08.18.09, for more on HarlemNOW.

Safari 7 is a self-guided tour of urban animal life along NYC’s No. 7 subway line. The website circulates an ongoing series of podcasts and maps that explore the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts, and potentials of the city’s ecosystems. The podcasts were created by a collaborative that includes graphic design studio MTWTF; students in the Urban Landscape Lab at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and students in a seminar on urban ecology at the Barnard and Columbia Colleges’ Architecture Program.