In this issue:

· AIA NYS Convention 10.14-16
· Legislative Update — AIA, AIANYS, & AIANY
· Materials Library Survey needs your input

AIA NYS Convention October 14-16

Planning is underway for the 2010 AIA New York State convention, taking place 10.14-16.10 in Buffalo, NY, in conjunction with the ASLA Upstate New York. This year’s theme is “Creating the Fabric of Our Culture.” The call for presentations is now open, with AIANYS accepting proposals through 05.03. There will be 30-, 60-, and 90-minute sessions, and presenters and their firms are listed online and onsite. For submission details and to download an editable submission template, visit

Legislative Update — AIA, AIANYS, & AIANY

In addition to Carolyn Maloney’s recent visit to the Center for Architecture (see “Congresswoman Maloney Talks Transit,” by Linda G. Miller, in this issue), there has been recent activity at the state and national level. AIANYS is gearing up for Lobby Day 2010 on 04.20. AIANY will be represented in Albany by Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; AIANY’s new Policy Director, Jay Bond; AIANY President Tony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA; President-elect Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, and Margery Perlmutter, AIA, Director for Legislative Affairs.

On a national level, AIA celebrated the adoption of changes in the retainage rule for architects and engineers. Previously, 10% of a fee on federal projects could be held until the project was complete and deemed satisfactory. With the new rule, the retainage is discretionary, and “should not be held over beyond the satisfactory completion of the instant contract.”

In other AIA legislative news, since the Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference in February, Congress has made progress on two of the five items on AIA’s Legislative Blueprint. ( Both the House and Senate have passed legislation on small business lending provisions and infrastructure/community building, and the two bodies are working out the differences in their laws. AIA has also set up a website explaining the recent health care legislation and its impact on the profession:

Materials Library Survey needs your input

Building & Design Resources, a group of resource consultants for architects, interior designers, and related professionals, is conducting a survey in conjunction with the Boston Society of Architects to answer questions about the value of physical libraries vs. accessing information on the web. To take the survey (which will take five to10 minutes) click here. Results will be published in the BSA newsletter and also be made available to AIANY.

Archiculture: Documentary Receives 2010 Brunner Grant


David Krantz (left) and Ian Harris; Pratt architecture studio.

Courtesy of Archiculture

The Center for Architecture Foundation is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2010 Arnold W. Brunner Grant is the documentary film Archiculture, co-produced and co-directed by Ian Harris and David Krantz. The film explores contemporary issues surrounding the profession of architecture by following five college students from the conception through completion of their senior thesis projects. Glenda Reed, operations manager at the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF), spoke with Ian Harris about Archiculture.

Glenda Reed: Can you tell me about Archiculture?
Ian Harris: Archiculture is a film that gives those who have never entered a design studio a chance to peer into the process of becoming an architect. The five student projects presented in the film address real-life issues concerning sustainability, technology, and environmental psychology. Our goal is to create an engaging story that allows viewers to learn a bit more about the dramatic shifts occurring within our built environment while walking away from the theater with a new perspective on their surroundings.

GR: Can you tell me about David Krantz, your co-producer and co-director?
IH: David studied landscape architecture at Clemson University. He conceived of this film as a student there. The project existed as a pipe dream until we met at our first jobs, post-school. After long hours of working across from each other, we would recall memories and hysterical events from our days back in school.

GR: How did your experiences in architecture school affect your vision for this film?
IH: I was the type of student who loved the intensity, creativity, and process of the design studio. Leaving this culture of creativity for the stricture of the profession was a drastic awakening to the reality of what value the field has in our society.

GR: You’ve mentioned architecture school and working in a design office. Tell me about your background in architecture.
IH: I was an engineering student at Ohio State University who wandered into architecture as a creative outlet. Once I made the switch from the left to right side of my brain, there was no turning back. I was immediately addicted to design. After graduating with a degree in architecture, I moved to San Francisco where I worked for a variety of design firms. I found myself in an insular profession that lacked the open dialogue and engagement that I had expected of it as a student.

GR: What has receiving the Brunner Grant meant to you personally and professionally?
IH: Until now, the film has been funded by our meager savings and whatever we could scrape together from our friends, families, and gracious architecture firms. Receiving the Brunner Grant is a mark of acceptance from the architectural establishment. It is great to see the profession open itself up to public debate regarding the problems we face as a society and how the built environment can offer solutions.

GR: How can readers see Archiculture?
IH: We are discussing multiple strategies for distribution including a global 24-hour simulcasted premiere, a mobile theatrical school tour, and a variety of outreach events through the many existing national and global architectural organizations like the Center for Architecture.

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is an annual award that supports advanced study in any area of architectural investigation, which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching, or practice of the art and science of architecture. Architects throughout the U.S. are encouraged to apply. Recipients are awarded up to $15,000. For more information visit For more information about Archiculture visit

Help Shape NYC’s Waterfront

Our city has more than 500 miles of shoreline that provide endless opportunities for commercial, maritime, and residential building projects, public access, and, of course, natural preservation. To accomplish these tasks, the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) is embarking on Vision 2020: A New Comprehensive Waterfront Plan to “set forth long-range goals for a 21st-century waterfront and establish a sustainable blueprint for the future of New York Harbor, its tributaries, creeks, and bays,” according to Chair Amanda Burden, FAICP, Hon. AIANY.

The DCP wants your input in this year-long planning process. A kick-off public meeting is scheduled for 04.08.10, 6:00PM at Murry Bergtraum High School located at 411 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan. You may also visit the DCP website to learn more, view the timeline, and share your ideas.

The Center for Architecture announced the six finalists of its OPEN CALL for Innovative Curtain Wall Design: Honor, Liquid Wall by Peter Arbour, Assoc. AIA, and RFR Consulting Engineers; Merit, The Integrated Concentrating Solar Façade System by HeliOptix and developed by CASE / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Citations for Climate Camouflage: High Performance Masonry Envelope by CASE (Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); F. A. T. (Fluent Adipose Tectonic): Face Lift by form-ula; HelioTrace Façade System by SOM, Permasteelisa, and Adaptive Building Initiative, a co-venture between Buro Happold and Hoberman and Associates; and Self-Shading Curtain Wall, Kuwait University College of Education by Perkins+Will in joint venture with Dar Al-Handasah. A full-scale model of Liquid Wall will be installed this fall at the Center for Architecture…

The 2010 BSA/AIANY Housing Design Awards winners include the Artreehoose by Della Valle Bernheimer, which received an Honor Award for Design Excellence, and 40 Bond, designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Handel Architects (Architect-of-Record), which received a Citation for Provocative Design…

Six finalists have been selected for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award, including Greeley Square Parks in NYC…

Francis Cauffman and its design team have been honored with a 2010 Vista Award, in the category of New Construction, for the Critical Care Building at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, which was featured in the Winter 2009/10 issue of Oculus…

Mark Strauss, FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Partner at FXFOWLE Architects, will speak about the City Regenerative Plan for the Nordhavnen Peninsula in Copenhagen and the Sustainable City for the 21st Century at the 2010 Think Green Global Forum, an international sustainability conference taking place 04.07-09.10 in Nanjing, China…

The SMPS-NY 14th Annual Honor Awards Dinner on 04.13.10 will include the presentation of the Public Sector Award to Iris Weinshall; the Media Award to Diana Darling and William Menking; the Private Sector Award to New York University; the Marketing Achievement Award to Deborah Rosenberg; the Marketing Champion Award to Leonard Koven, PE; the Pinnacle Award to Carol Doscher; and the Professional Development Grant to Jonathan Hernandez

James Beard Foundation Awards finalists in the category of Outstanding Restaurant Design include Andre Kikoski Architect for The Wright in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and evan douglis studio for Choice Market…

Michael Van Valkenburgh will be awarded the 2010 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture…

The Outstanding Women in the Building Industry for 2009 at the Women Builders Council (WBC) Champion Award winners include NYC-based architects E. Bruce Barrett; Nancy Goshow, AIA, LEED AP; Beth Greenberg, AIA; Debra Inwald, AIA, LEED AP; Jill N. Lerner, FAIA; and Deborah Taylor, AIA, LEED AP

Crain’s New York 40 under 40 winners include Andrea Wenner, founder of Out2Play and Josh Lockwood, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity-NYC… Juliette Lam will be one of the recipients of the Founder’s Awards given for excellence in Business at the Salvadori Center’s Annual Cocktail Benefit on 05.05.10…

New Jersey Institute of Technology’s New Jersey School of Architecture was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize for the 2010 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy….

The NJ Chapter of the AIA will induct architect Michael Graves, FAIA, as the first architect to be honored in the NJ Hall of Fame (NJHOF) in May…

The New York Restoration Project (NYRP), lead partner of MillionTreesNYC, and the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NYASLA) are collaborating to document the trees that have been planted by reaching out to private design consulting firms and to bring attention to the fact that trees are available, potentially free of charge, for site projects… The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has named Bradford McKee the new Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture magazine…

Jeffrey Williams, AIA, and Yann Leroy and interior designers Kate Greenwood and Paul Greenwood — partners at BBG-BBGM — along with the firm’s Director of China Patrick Lo branched out on their own to launch studioaria

Michael Wood is the new Executive Director of the Association of Architecture Organizations…The McGraw-Hill Companies has appointed Keith Fox as president of McGraw-Hill Construction…

M Moser Associates announced that Allan Lee has joined the NY office as a director of strategic planning…NBBJ named three new principals in its New York office during its annual awards and promotions ceremony: Mark Lippi, AIA, LEED AP; Sarah Markovitz, AIA; and Jay Siebenmorgen, AIA, LEED AP

03.22.10: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visited the Center for Architecture.


(L-R): Terrence E. O’Neal, AIA; Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY First VP/President Elect; AIANY President Anthony P. Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; and Margery Perlmutter, AIA, Esq., Director for Legislative Affairs, AIANY.

Michael Toolan

03.26.10: AIANY Consortium members attended the World Urban Forum 5: The Right to the City-Bridging the Urban Divide in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Consortium members Urs P. Gauchat, Dean of NJIT College of Architecture and Design; Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, 2010 AIANY First VP/President Elect; James McCullar, FAIA, 2008 AIANY President; and Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, professor at CCNY.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA


Consortium members Lance Jay Brown, FAIA (left), and Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, with First Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy Adolfo Carrión, Jr.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA


UN Habitat Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA

03.23.10: openhousenewyork’s annual benefit.


Anderson Architect’s Caroline Otto, AIA, president of openhousenewyork (OHNY), presented Richard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA, with the 2010 Made in New York Award for his lifetime commitment to excellence in architecture and support for OHNY.

Linda G. Miller

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: (CLOSED).

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 05.21.10

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 08.13.10

04.09.10 Applications Deadline: Bolt to Jamaica Stadium Design Program

04.19.10 Call for Submissions: AIA Small Project Practitioners Journal No. 50: Partners

04.23.10 Call for Entries: New Practices New York 2010

04.26.10 Call for Entries: 2010 AIANY Design Awards

04.30.10 Call for Entries: Iron Designer Challenge

05.03.10 Call for Entries: The Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals

05.10.10 Call for Entries: The Earth Awards — $50,000 Grand Prize

05.10.10 Call for Entries: 2010 YAF/COD International Ideas Competition: Temporary/ Permanent Relief Housing

05.14.10 Call for Submissions: Architype Review — Hotels

05.31.10 Call for Entries: Private Plots & Public Spots

06.04.10 Call for Submissions: Land Art Generator Initiative

06.21.10 Call for Entries: Cocktail Napkin Sketch (pdf)

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


Helfand Spotlight Series: The New Domino

Summary Booklet_Large.indd

On view April 8 — May 3

Design Awards


On view April 15 — July 3, 2010.

Through 04.10.10
Two Decades: Envisioning Space


Courtesy of School of Visual Arts

Selected works by current students and alumni from the BFA Interior Design Department over the past 20 years. Divided into six sections — prototypes, renderings, models, and drawings — the exhibition provides a “behind the scenes” glimpse into the creative process of students in the department.

School of Visual Arts

Westside Gallery, 133 West 21 Street, NYC

Through 04.23.10
Ouroboros: The History of the Universe


This 3-D visual installation tells the story of cosmic evolution.

Courtesy Ise Cultural Foundation

Video artist Ali Hossaini teams up with artists Blake Shaw and Bruno Levy, aka SWEATSHOPPE, to present the story of cosmic evolution from the Big Bang to Lady Gaga in an immersive 3-D video environment generated by SWEATSHOPPE’s own software.

ISE Cultural Foundation []

555 Broadway, NYC

Through 05.07.10
Operators’ Exercises: Open Form Film and Architecture


Game on an Actress’s Face, one of nine sequences of Open Form film, February 8-14, 1971.

Collaboration between students and graduates from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, students of the Faculty for Camera Operators and Faculty of Acting, ód Film Academy, courtesy Columbia University

This exhibition explores the surprising and productive relationship between Polish experimental film and architecture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It traces the evolution of Polish architect Oskar Hansen’s theory of Open Form from its origin in Hansen’s own architectural projects to its application in film, multi-slide projection, visual games, and performative practices.

Columbia University

Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Buell Hall, 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, NYC

Through 05.09.10
Ralph Bakshi: The Streets


Canal Street, Mixed-media on wood panel.

©Ralph Bakshi, 2010. Courtesy of Animazing Gallery

Ralph Bakshi’s new series of mixed-media construction/paintings was inspired by the gritty and colorful neighborhoods of his youth in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Animazing Gallery

54 Greene Street, NYC

Modernism Is Hurt by the Cuddle Factor (continued)

Miami’s Marine Stadium, whose attractions included speedboat racing and concerts, offers a happier story. Closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 but structurally sound, this origami-like design by Cuban architect Hilario Candela of the local firm Pancoast, Ferendino, Grafton, Skeels, and Burnham brings the forms of Pier Luigi Nervi, Max and Enrique Borges, Oscar Niemeyer, and others to Biscayne Bay on a vast scale. Amid conflicting estimates of renovation costs and an attempt at demolition using Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, Jorge Hernandez reported, the community has rallied along with the WMF, Docomomo, and others to oppose a “heavy-handed…. ridiculous” retail-oriented plan that would remove the stadium, then a second plan preserving only the grandstand. The inseparable grandstand-basin combination attained local historic designation without the approval of the city as owner; further engineering studies, charrettes, and the election of a preservation-minded mayor all point to eventual success in preserving this icon of borderless hemispheric culture.

In Holmdel, NJ, Eero Saarinen’s elliptical Bell Labs research complex strikes a deliberately lower profile — original occupant AT&T preferred to hunker down out of public view — but helped set the standards for sleek corporate campuses in its day. AT&T’s successor Alcatel-Lucent moved out in 2007, and potential developer Preferred Unlimited planned to raze the buildings in favor of high-end residential, a corporate park, or other profitable uses. Maximized ratables outweigh historic and architectural considerations for township officials, commented Michael Calafati, AIA, and NJ’s higher-level governance is weak, but the restoration question at least remains open. New developer Somerset has welcomed a preservation charrette; Calafati describes the firm as “not perfect, but one we can have a conversation with.”

The afternoon panel, “Sustaining Operations in a Modern Building,” struck more confident notes, discussing the ongoing experiments with roof-panel materials and successive structural renovations at Scottsdale’s Taliesin West and the robust inverted ziggurat of Atlanta’s Marcel Breuer library. Ahead of its time in anticipating the broadened functions of a post-Carnegie-era library as well as defying local preferences for columns and coziness, the building provides essential community space at a transit-accessible downtown location. It is a flak magnet over issues unrelated to its operations (e.g., gatherings of the homeless), and Fulton County voters passed a 2008 bond referendum calling for an alternate central site along with branch expansions, but the amount has been reduced, says director John Szabo, who believes finances ensure any replacement is “a long way from happening.” Even if it does, Breuer’s building will be a candidate for conversion to an academic facility or museum, though vigilance and stepped-up public relations are critical.

Much of the day’s discussion analyzed why some preservation efforts capture the public’s imagination, and why Chicago’s never quite did. Panelists agreed that popular enthusiasm is essential to save a building. The Olympic bid had many Chicagoans wearing “rose-painted” glasses; hospitals in general can inspire more fear than affection; Chicago development invokes the tendencies for clout to outweigh reason and accountability. Despite Chicagoans’ famous knowledgeability about their architectural local heroes, many were unaware of Gropius’s involvement. Others simply “hate Modernism.”

One recurring theme was whether Modernist buildings are, as one questioner put it, “cuddly.” To part of the population, they never will be, and their other attributes (being breathtaking, structurally honest, well-programmed, or provocative) won’t matter. The difficult yet essential task, said Carl Stein, is educating citizens to distinguish between truly Modernist buildings — serious in intention, purposeful in advancing ideas, active in social contexts — and mere object-buildings in a modern style. Particularly as mid-century and later works approach the 50-year standard for landmark eligibility (a standard that many found open to rethinking), Stein emphasized a frank awareness that “one reason Modernism has been under heavy attack is… the idea we can solve things by conscious action.” What these buildings are up against is often not just an antipathy to bèton brut but a deeper antipathy to rationality itself.