Illuminating Society, One Household at a Time


Mom with three children (left); all of the participants with their light fixtures.

Catherine Teegarden (left); Glenda Reed

On 12.12.09 the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) hosted its annual Family Day on Lighting Design. Sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York (IESNY), the program provided more than 30 families with the tools to create their own light fixtures. IESNY Board Member Phil Cialdella, who attended the workshop with his daughter, shared his design knowledge and talked about some of IESNY’s other initiatives.

CFAF Design Educator Catherine Teegarden introduced participants to lighting designs in celebratory traditions from around the world. Many traditions incorporate lights made with regular paper, such as Thai lanterns created for the celebration of Loi Krathong and Mexican farolitos made from brown paper bags for Las Posadas. Teegarden also discussed the symbolism of lights. For example, while the abundance of light and greenery in Christmas decorations literally helps us get through the darker days, symbolically it serves to remind us that spring is right around the corner.

The workshop was filled with talented, aspiring lighting designers. Some approached the challenge from a technical standpoint and built architecturally sound structures to house their light source. Others quickly discovered that enough glue can hold anything down, which allowed them to creatively combine a variety of materials. A free-standing lamp had a cut-out snowman; a pair of lights represented “ghosts of Christmas” in green and red; and a pine tree-shaped night light was made from stacked ping-pong balls.

Family Day programs are offered once a month at the Center for Architecture. Three-day design programs for kids in grades 2-12 are also offered during the school vacation weeks this spring. Visit theCFAF website for dates and details.

Code Green

The first-ever integrated green code for traditional and high-performance commercial buildings, developed by the International Code Council’s International Green Construction Code (IGCC), is set for a public release in March. The IGCC is designed specifically to integrate and coordinate with the other international codes already being enforced by governmental code officials at all levels. The AIA and ASTM International are cooperating sponsors, and other organizations with representation on the IGCC drafting committee, known as the Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC), include the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Globes Initiative, and more than a dozen others. For more information on activities about the IGCC click the link.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the 2010 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards. In the Architecture category, NY-based winners include: Architecture: Alice Tully Hall by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with FXFOWLE Architects; Brochstein Pavilion and Central Quad by Thomas Phifer and Partners; Skirkanich Hall by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; TKTS Booth and the Revitalization of Father Duffy Square by Perkins Eastman, Choi Ropiha, and PKSB Architects; and Yale University Art Gallery, Kahn Building Renovation by Polshek Partnership Architects. In the Interior Architecture category, NY-based winners include: CHANEL Robertson Blvd. by Peter Marino Architect; Craftsteak by Bentel & Bentel Architects; Historic Central Park West Residence by Shelton, Mindel & Associates; and Vera Wang Boutique by Gabellini Sheppard Associates. In the Regional and Urban Design category: the Greenwich South Strategic Framework by Architecture Research Office (ARO) …To view all winners, click here

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri, and 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA, unveiled the winner of the urbanSHED International Design Competition, “Urban Umbrella,” which was designed by Young Hwan Choi, Andrés Cortés, AIA, and Sarrah Khan, PE, LEED AP

The Center for Architecture announced its 2010 Exhibition Design: Harry Elson Architect; KOKO Architecture + Design; Pentagram Architects; Popular Architecture; Poulin + Morris; and Urban A&O… A Graphic Design Shortlist was also announced: 50 50; MTWTF; Object; Omnivore; PS New York; Q Collective; Jeff Ramsey; Remake; Rumors; Thumb; and Topos Graphics

The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center announced the winner of the 2010 MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program: Brooklyn-based Solid Objectives — Idenburg Liu (SO — IL); the other finalists include EASTON+COMBS (Brooklyn); FREECELL (Brooklyn); William O’Brien Jr. (Cambridge); Bjarke Ingels Group/BIG (Copenhagen)…

Vincent J. Scully will receive the 2010 Henry Hope Reed Award, and Rafael Manzano Martos will receive the 2010 Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture… Theoharis David was awarded the 2009 Prize in Architecture from the Cyprus Architects Association…

Bernard Tschumi, FAIA, has donated 43 drawings by his father, Swiss architect Jean Tschumi, to the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art…

The Board of Directors of the AIA selected Hanley Wood to develop an integrated media approach for the AIA’s official publication and annual convention…

The Institute for Urban Design has appointed Anne Guiney, formerly with The Architect’s Newspaper, as new executive director to succeed Olympia Kazi, who is departing to become the executive director of the Van Alen Institute…

Thornton Tomasetti has launched a new sustainability department… Debbi Waters, LEED AP, launched ForeSite, a national planning firm… Holzman Moss Architecture is changing its name to Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA) to reflect the addition of new partner Nestor Bottino, AIA

Helpern Architects has named Lisa Chronister, AIA, LEED AP, a principal, and Jahae Koo, AIA, LEED AP, a senior associate… EYP Architecture & Engineering announced that John Tobin, RA, LEED AP, has been promoted to director of architecture, and Tyson Curcio, LEED AP, to director of project delivery…

Charles McKinney, ASLA, has accepted a newly created position at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Principal Urban Designer… Cannon Design has named Peter Hourihan to fill its new position of director of research…

01.21.10: Mayor Bloomberg announced the winner of the urbanSHED International Design Competition.


Tony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA, AIANY 2010 president, congratulates the winners, as (L-R) Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Urban Umbrella designer Young Hwan Choi, Mayor Bloomerg, and City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, FAICP, Hon. AIANY, listen.

Emily Nemens

01.07.10: The UrbanSHED three finalist teams gave public presentations of their designs.


Sarrah Khan, PE, LEED AP, and Andrés Cortés, AIA, of Agencie Group, members of the winning Urban Umbrella team, speak with Buildings Commissioner LiMandri.

Emily Nemens

01.04.10: Andrey Bokov, Ph.D., Union of Architects of Russia President, opened the Center for Architecture’s 2010 public programming with a presentation on his architectural career in Moscow and across Russia.


(L-R): Tony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA, AIANY 2010 president; Andrey Bokov, Ph.D., Union of Architects of Russia President; George Miller, FAIA, AIA 2010 president; and Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY executive director.

Emily Nemens

2010 Oculus Editorial Calendar
If you are an architect by training or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, OCULUS editors want to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards:

Spring: Architect as Leader: (CLOSED).

Summer: AIANY Design Awards 2010: Recognition of outstanding architectural design by New York City architects and for work completed in New York City. There are four categories of Design Awards: Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design, and Un-built Work. Click here for details.
Register/Submit entries by 02.05.09

Fall: Thinking Back / Thinking Forward and Understanding the Shift: The recession has given us the opportunity to reflect on the last decades of design and building — and what might be ahead. We will investigate trends in design, building, and marketing that are coming into play. What are the next steps in social media, BIM, sustainability, technology, competitions, stalled projects, adaptive re-use, design for flexibility, mergers and firm acquisitions?
Submit story ideas by 05.21.09

Winter: Practice without Borders: The world is growing smaller. New York is an international city, and it is easier than ever for overseas firms to work here and for New York City firms to work abroad. We will look into reciprocity, licensure, removal of boundaries to practice, and international competitions as ways to build renown.
Submit story ideas by 08.13.09

01.29.10 Call for Entries: Marketing Now 2010 Marketing Excellence Awards for AEC Firms

02.01.10 Call for Submissions: Architype Review: Future Types of Schools

02.01.10 Call for Expressions of Interest/EOI: Westminster Cathedral Piazza Design in Victoria

02.03.10 Call for Fellows: Five Borough Farm

02.05.10 Call for Recommendations: AIANY College of Fellows

02.07.10 Call for Applications: Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture

02.08.10 Call for Proposals: FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion

02.15.10 Call for Submissions: Architizer “Competition Competition” 2010

02.19.10 Call for Proposals: AIANY Curtain Wall Installation Design: Integrate: Innovate

02.19.10 Call for Entries: ULI Amanda Burden Open Space Award

02.19.10 Call for Entries: 2010 Vision Awards

Center for Architecture Gallery Hours and Location
Monday-Friday: 9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm, Sunday: CLOSED
536 LaGuardia Place, Between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets in Greenwich Village, NYC, 212-683-0023


ContextContrast: New Architecture in Historic Districts, 1967-2009


On view October 6, 2009 — January 26, 2010.
ContextCotnrast will travel to Washington, DC, and be on view at AIA National on view 02.03.10 to 04.28.10, with an opening reception 02.04.10

Helfand Spotlight Series: urbanSHED


On view December 18 — February 10, 2010.

Through 01.31.10
Building Energy Positive

The School of Constructed Environments at Parsons kicks off a multiyear collaboration with Stevens Institute of Technology. Examples of new solar building technologies are showcased, representing multi-year research collaborations among The 3rd Skin (Parsons), IC Solar Facade System and Advanced EcoCeramic Envelope Systems (RPI), and SolarLouvers (TU Darmstadt). It includes drawings and mock-ups of full-scale prototypes.

Parsons The New School, Sheila Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue, NYC

Through 02.07.10
Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life


Joe Grand, Galvanized Steel Candelabra (2003).

Courtesy of Grand Idea Studio, San Francisco

This exhibition features nearly 60 works created between 1999 and 2009 by mostly Americans and Israelis, including both emerging and accomplished artists. Examples of industrial design, architecture, installation art, video, drawing, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics, comics, sculpture, and textiles, revealing the intersections of creative freedom and Jewish life, are on view.

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue, NYC

Through 02.08.10
The Future at Home: American Furniture, 1940-1955

MCNY furn

Butterfly table designed by Dan Cooper, 1942.

Courtesy Eric Laignel

In conjunction with “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future,” this selection of furniture, textiles, and print materials demonstrates the height of Modernism in American home design.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC

Through 02.11.10
Rites of Passage: 1995-2009

david ross

Work by Cooper Union alum, David Ross.

The Cooper Union School of Art

Work of alumni of The Cooper Union who graduated between 1995 and 2009 from The School of Art, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, and The Albert Nerken School of Engineering are featured. Explorations range from the intangibility of light and sound to the poetry of infrastructure, autobiographical reflection, and political outrage.

The Cooper Union School of Art
41 Cooper Square (Lower Level), NYC

Through 02.13.10
Never Can Say Goodbye

cd cover one

Courtesy Ted Riederer

Spotlighting more than 20 artists who work with sound, light, and image, a fantasy version of the now defunct Tower Records is recreated with “Never Records,” by Ted Riederer and the organization No Longer Empty: an installation complete with record bins, album covers, music posters, and a performance stage. Luce Group donated its time to light the installation.

Former Tower Records Store
4th Street and Broadway, NYC


01.12.10 Editor’s Note: Happy New Year! Welcome to 2010 and this year’s AIANY theme, “Architect As Leader.” In case you missed the article about the theme, by 2010 AIANY President Tony Schirripa, AIA, IIDA, be sure to read, “Architects Take the Lead,” in the 12.22.09 issue of e-Oculus.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: Be sure to follow Tweets from e-Oculus and the Center for Architecture.

Sidewalk Sheds With Better Design Cred

Event: urbanSHED Presentation of Final Proposals
Location: Center for Architecture, 1.07.10
Speakers: Derrick Choi, AIA — Principal Architect, XChange Architects; Young Hwan Choi — Student, University of Pennsylvania; André s Corté s, AIA — Principal, Agencie Group; Sarrah Khan — Principal, Agencie Group; Kevin Erickson — Principal, KNEstudio
Organizers: AIANY; NYC Department of Buildings


Designs by the finalists of UrbanSHED (l-r): Urban Umbrella; Tripod (MOD)ule; urbanCLOUD.

Courtesy AIANY

What if instead of being drab, dark, and oppressive, NYC’s sidewalk sheds appeared as airy and soothing as a canopy of clouds, as vibrant and cheery as a colorful parasol, or as simple and spare as a camera tripod? Those were the three visions recently presented by the three finalists in urbanSHED, an international competition to find a better design for the city’s sidewalk sheds. The New York City Buildings Department, AIANY, the Alliance for Downtown New York, the New York Building Congress, the Illuminating Engineering Society New York Chapter, and the ABNY Foundation (Association for a Better New York) with additional support from the Structural Engineers Association of New York, the NYC Department of Planning, and the NYC Department of Transportation partnered to create this open competition. As part of the Re:Construction public art program, the Alliance for Downtown will build the winning design in Lower Manhattan once it’s selected, noted Fatma Amer, PE, the NYC Department of Buildings’ deputy commissioner for technical affairs and chief code engineer, as she introduced the program.

“In a dense urban environment like ours, we need these sheds to protect pedestrians, and there is no reason why our protection can not be pretty,” she declared. The competition entries also needed to be code-compliant, sustainable, energy efficient, and constructable, she added.

Young Hwan Choi’s Urban Umbrella draws upon the design principles of its namesake, aiding easy assembly. But despite the simplicity of each module, when you bring many “umbrellas” together, their multicolored panels create complex and lively patterns overhead. Installed inside the beams are LED lights, casting energy-efficient and structurally integrated illumination.

The “umbrellas” can be laid out in different configurations to accommodate the needs of each site. “As you have different conditions, because of doorways or obstacles, you end up with all of these different patterns, so… you actually end up having something that changes over the entire city,” said Sarrah Khan of Agencie Group, which helped with the design.

Adaptability also drove the design of Tripod MOD(ule), though with more of an eye to sustainability than aesthetics. The design consists of modular units that can be configured together in varying ways to adjust to sites of many different sizes and shapes. As revealed in his presentation, Derrick Choi, AIA, and his firm, XChange Architects, found inspiration in the writings of Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, on sustainability and the ideal of buildings that can withstand the test of time by adapting to change. Tripod MOD(ule) is a design based, logically enough, on the structural stability of tripods. The design also features a fabric screen that lets in natural light and can be used to display building identity graphics.

The gentle, protective quality of bubblewrap helped fuel the inspiration of the designers of urbanCLOUD, an undulating scaffolding made from ETFE beams supported by a hexagonal framework. Light filters through the canopy to the sidewalk; “this subtle glow combined with the light materiality creates a soothing contrast to the chaos of the urban condition which we all face every day,” explained Kevin Erickson of KNEstudio. At first, the designers hoped the canopy would be suspended from the rooftops of the nearby buildings — so it would appear to actually float like a cloud — but for cases when that proved impractical, they also developed a system for supporting it from below.

Ideally, the competition will spur change for the future. “We hope that the new shed design will change the city’s legacy, beautify our streets, and improve our neighborhoods’ quality of life,” Amer explained.