04.20.11:e-Oculus would like to welcome So Says… The popular OCULUS column will now appear quarterly in e-Oculus to coincide with the most recent publication of the magazine. Keep an eye out for the spring 2011 issue, “Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy,” in your mailboxes, and stay tuned for the digital edition in the coming weeks.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

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And check out the latest Podcasts produced by AIANY.

Design Award Winners Wink to Modernist Past

Event: 2011 Design Awards Symposium: Architecture and interiors
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.16.10
Speakers: NYC Panel: Kevin Rice, AIA — Senior Associate, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), and Sylvia Smith, FAIA, LEED AP — Senior Partner, FXFOWLE (Hypar Pavilion Lawn and Restaurant); Todd Schliemann, FAIA — Partner, Ennead Architects (The Standard, New York); Richard Olcott, FAIA — Partner, Ennead Architects (Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant); Peter Han, AIA — Partner, Foster + Partners (Sperone Westwater); Felix Ade — Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center); Kathryn Dean, AIA — Dean/Wolf Architects (Inverted Warehouse/Townhouse and Implied Rotation Townhouse); Michael Wyetzner, AIA, and Frank Michielli, AIA, LEED AP — Michielli + Wyetzner Architects (EDAW Inc.); Andrew Mazor — Associate, Thomas Phifer and Partners (Fifth Avenue Apartment); Pablo Castro-Estevez, AIA — OBRA Architects (Urbia Furniture System for Small Apartments in Big Cities); Richard Cook, AIA — Principal, Cook+Fox Architects (641 Avenue of the Americas); Jeremy Edmiston, RA — SYSTEMarchitects (aA Shelter); Mark Yoes, AIA — Principal, WXY Architecture + Urban Design (NYC Information Center); U.S. Panel: Katie Bennett –Thomas Phifer and Partners (House in Midwest and North Carolina Museum of Art); Tod Williams, FAIA, & Billie Tsien, AIA — Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Berkeley, CA); Anthony Saby, Associate, DS+R (Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University, Providence, RI); Susan Rodriguez, FAIA — Partner, Ennead Architects (Gateway Center, Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY); Chan-li Lin, AIA — Director, Rafael Viñoly Architects (UCSF Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building, San Francisco, CA); Myron Mirgorodsky — Roger Ferris + Partners (Country Estate, New Canaan, CT); International Panel: Ada Tolla, Int’l Assoc. AIA, & Giuseppe Lignano, Int’l Assoc. AIA — Principals, LOT-EK (APAP OpenSchool, Anyang, Seoul, South Korea); Garrick Ambrose — Steven Holl Architects (Horizontal Skyscraper, Vanke Center, Shenzhen, China); Stan Allen, FAIA — Principal, SAA / Stan Allen Architect (Taichung InfoBox, Taichung, Taiwan)
Moderator: NYC Panel: Sherida Paulsen, FAIA — Principal, PKSB Architects & 2009 AIANY President; U.S. Panel & International Panel: Kent Kleinman, AIA — Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University
Introduction: Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — 2011 AIANY President
Organizers: AIANY
Sponsors: Benefactor: Vanguard Construction and Development; Patron: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, FXFOWLE, Trespa; Sponsors: Arup; Buro Happold; Ennead Architects; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gensler; Halcrow Yolles; Ibex Construction; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP; Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Knoll/Lane Office; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Mancini Duffy; MechoShade Systems, Inc.; New York University; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Roger Ferris + Partners; Sage and Coombe Architects; Stalco Construction, Inc.; Structure Tone Inc.; Studio Daniel Libeskind; STUDIOS Architecture; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Syska Hennessy Group; Turner Construction Company; Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Honor Award-winning “Best in Show” Hypar Pavilion Lawn and Restaurant, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects.

Iwan Baan.

With an unusually high number of Design Awards for Architecture and Interiors this year, suggested moderator and past AIANY President Sherida Paulsen, FAIA, the work is rising to new levels of expertise.

Some of the winning projects have been in the works for as much as two full decades, as in the case of Ennead Architects’ Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, continually being reinvented as it approaches its final phase (park construction). Some suggest general profession-wide patterns: integration with landscape, the mainstreaming of sustainability, and a preference for experimenting with light over striving for height. Billie Tsien, AIA, suggested in the U.S. Panel that current conditions favored buildings expressing the more democratic aspirations of nonprofit organizations over lucrative, self-branding “signature developer projects.” With the bling phase behind us, she noted, “all the work shares a desire to be locked into the thick of the surroundings, so there’s less desire to make an object on a plinth.” All 23 projects demonstrate a professional imagination resilient enough to overcome adversity; if there’s an emerging theme, it’s replacing the building-as-object with the object-as-component within legible systems.

Merit Award winners in Architecture include several site-specific variations on familiar themes: the New Canaan country estate by Roger Ferris + Partners, for example, a glass house in dialogue with nearby woods and an art barn, gives a nod to the ghost of Philip Johnson. The latest iteration of LOT-EK’s work modifying shipping containers, the sharply angled and colored APAP OpenSchool in Seoul, makes a case for modular objects’ capacity to engage a forested riverside area — a setting some would consider improbable. Rafael Viñoly Architects’ Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building at the University of San Francisco, as director Chan-Li Lin, AIA, recounted, negotiates the complications of a narrow roadside site that slopes in two directions on a sharp hill. The building divides a long, single-story volume into four segments that step down half a floor at each junction.

In a further exploration of horizontality, Steven Holl Architects’ Honor Award-winning, LEED Platinum-rated Horizontal Skyscraper at Shenzhen’s Vanke Center, Garrick Ambrose explained the dual structural system (concrete columns plus tension cables) allowing the unified building, as long as the Empire State Building is tall, to hover 15 meters above green space, supported by only eight cores without bulky trusses. Another exercise in single-story reticence, the North Carolina Museum of Art, one of two Honor entries by Thomas Phifer and Partners presented by project director Katie Bennett, controls and amplifies daylight to create a serene interior where colors pop and an impressive Rodin collection shines, while its exterior (anodized-aluminum panels, a hall-of-mirrors entryway, and multiple open courtyards) speaks a Miesian language of material honesty and democratic welcome.

Interiors winners included the repurposed, sustainable David Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, a component of the Lincoln Center renovation’s Best in Show cluster of entries along with an Architecture Honor winner, the Hypar Pavilion Lawn and Restaurant (jointly represented by Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Kevin Rice, AIA, and FXFOWLE’s Sylvia Smith, FAIA, LEED AP). Kathryn Dean, AIA, of Dean/Wolf Architects, received two Interiors awards for different-scaled projects: and Honor for the Inverted Warehouse/Townhouse (adapting warehouse construction to a residence, unifying double-story spaces around a courtyard), and a Merit for the Implied Rotation Townhouse (inverting, softening. and feminizing the townhouse model by foregrounding its kitchen and letting daylight ripple through the curving, laser-cut side panels of a suspended staircase).

WXY Architecture + Urban Design’s Mark Yoes, AIA, described the rethinking of the tourist-center typology for the NYC Information Center: media technologies such as “smart tables” and a Google flythrough let visitors create and view their own self-orienting, thematically tailored itineraries, a considerable advance beyond typical brochure racks. Perhaps the most strikingly daylit interior among the winners is the EDAW office by Michielli + Wyetzner, making the most of a top-floor space on West 27th Street by combining operable interior glass panels with skylights.

Moderators Paulsen and Kent Kleinman, AIA, dean of Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, led the panelists in exploring an array of topics: the effects of firm size and the bifurcation into small boutiques and large corporate groups; greenwashing, complicity in systems, and social responsibility; the critical role of a single client representative who shares the architect’s passion for a project. Panelists explored how globalism affects material choices, uses of local principles, such as feng shui, and tensions between tectonic and decorative expressions of traditional elements. Accommodating a landscape, LOT-EK’s Giuseppe Lignano, Int.’l Assoc. AIA, suggested in exchanges with Stan Allen, FAIA, can take a mature form of dialogue with nature through Modernist abstraction. Organicism today means something different from what it meant to Frank Lloyd Wright, Lignano observed, not so much camouflaging forms amid nature as recognizing that “we have something to say with our hard edges, our colors, our materials… it’s not about skins, but reinventing the validity of everything,” discovering “the will that comes from the object itself.”

Architecture, Science Move Beyond Biomimicry

Event: Between Architecture and Science: Material Analogs
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.12.11
Speaker: Jenny Sabin — Principal, Jenny Sabin Studio & Co-founder, Sabin + Jones LabStudio
Organizer: AIANY Technology Committee
Sponsor: ABC-Imaging

Fourier Tapestry (left); eSkin.

Jenny Sabin (left); Jenny E. Sabin, Sabin+Jones LabStudio (image); Shu Yang, Nader Engheta, Jan Van der Spiegel, Peter Lloyd Jones, Andrew Lucia, University of Pennsylvania; Supported by the NSF EFRI SEED (right)

Although the relationships made between science and architecture are not new, Jenny Sabin, principal of Jenny Sabin Studio and co-founder of Sabin + Jones LabStudio, is a pioneer, working with advanced technologies to develop what she calls, “hybrid research.” At her recent talk, Sabin explained her collaboration with cellular molecular biologist Peter Lloyd Jones and how, through linking scientific data processing based on cellular behavior, her work is aiming to advance the architectural profession. Reciprocally, she hopes that her work will help advance the field of science, as well.

Sabin believes that architects and designers can learn from the way scientists develop systems. Her process begins by establishing ground rules and goals for a project. She creates associative and hierarchical relationships, develops algorithms to reflect behavior, and ultimately uses visualization and simulation tools to understand complex, dynamic forms and functions. Whether she and her students are weaving, or developing advanced building façades, her process produces projects that transcend traditional constructs. For example, Sabin created “Fourier Carpets” that were designed through a set of algorithms and woven by a digitized Jacquard loom. The result is a line of rugs that were self-generated and unique. For eSkin, she collaborated with four scientists to develop an adaptive building skin. Through the study of cellular behavior — specifically how cells can modify their own micro environment using a minimal amount of energy — they developed a reactive façade that adjusts to everything from weather conditions to human interaction.

Sabin is excited about the potential for scientific partnerships to advance both fields at trans-scalar levels. By studying nature at a molecular level, the information she is gathering moves beyond simple biomimicry, and enters the realm of architecture that can literally shift and change according to its surroundings.

One Firm’s Trash Is Tacklebox’s Treasure

Event: New Practices 2010 Winner Presentations: Tacklebox
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.07.11
Speaker: Jeremy Barbour, AIA — Principal, Tacklebox
Sponsors: Lead Sponsors: Dornbracht; MG & Company Construction Managers/General Contractors; Valiant Technology; Sponsors: Espasso; Hafele; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Media Sponsor: The Architect’s Newspaper

Saipua, Soap and Flower Shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn.


Jeremy Barbour, AIA, has a talent for repurposing found objects and celebrating the ways that materials weather. As the principal and founder of Tacklebox, a recent AIANY New Practices New York award winner, he has completed designs ranging from boutique store interiors to print bandanas.

Tacklebox designed the flagship boutique for fashion label 3.1 phillip lim in SoHo with a five-month schedule and limited budget. Barbour discovered a pile of tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring in a construction bin and was inspired to stack the planks, exposing the edges, to create a textured entry wall surface. However, “it’s one thing to convince your client to put the flooring on the wall, but it’s another thing to convince a contractor,” explained Barbour. Fortunately, he found a contractor who appreciated the design concept, but later encountered another obstacle when an invitation for a Vogue-sponsored opening party was mailed with the incorrect date, pushing the already tight deadline back another month. The team managed to finish even earlier because, Barbour believes, “everyone had something at stake.”

The use of found objects also guided Tacklebox’s design for the storefront of Saipua, a shop in Red Hook that specializes in handmade soaps and floral arrangements. Barbour acquired some silvery, weathered wood that originally clad a Shaker barn. Guided by the dimensions of the boards, he designed a freestanding structure with niches carved out for displays. The result is a functional space that also serves as a “front porch” for the store.

Aside from his work with Tacklebox, Barbour also formed design collaborative Box & Flea with former classmate Andrew Woordrum, of Fleaheart. They handcraft bandanas, totes, and tool cases. An unexpected benefit of this side project has been the ability to meet potential boutique clients while coordinating to sell their wares.

Age-Friendly Commission Improves Life for Seniors

Event: Towards an Age-Friendly New York City: An Overview
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.05.11
Speaker: Ruth Finkelstein, ScD — Director, The New York City Age-Friendly Initiative & Vice-President for Health Policy, The New York Academy of Medicine
Organizer: AIANY Design for Aging Committee

Toward an Age-friendly New York City A Findings Report.

Courtesy of The New York Academy of Medicine

The Age-Friendly NYC Commission is comprised of members of the NYC Council, representatives from the Mayor’s Office, and leaders of various NYC public- and private-sector organizations. It aims to bring together policy-makers, nonprofit partners, and the private sector to identify resources and create programs and policy change to help seniors live vibrant, fulfilling lives in the city. Ruth Finkelstein and The NY Academy of Medicine are charged with directing this NYC Age-Friendly Initiative.

The focus of the commission is on maintaining independence and preventing disability for older adults through urban planning and environmental means, as well as providing needed services. Qualities of the physical environment have a significant influence on enabling people to negotiate their surroundings. An environment with few architectural barriers, numerous places to sit, and conveniently located restrooms increases the range of functions for individuals and lowers the disability threshold. It enables people of all ages and abilities, not only the elderly, to function with greater ease.

The commission has, to date, established three Age-Friendly Districts in the city: East Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. Staff members work with local groups and commercial enterprises to raise awareness about seniors. The initiative encourages specific practices: local stores provide seating areas, allow use of their restrooms, and utilize large-font signage; local institutions such as libraries and museums develop programs for seniors; local pools establish special hours for seniors; gyms organize exercise classes; Apple offers technology classes; food markets sponsor cooking classes; hospitals hold lectures about healthful eating. Existing resources are used in new ways. School buses in their idle hours drive older adults to shopping areas. Vouchers are provided for taxis. Stoplights are rescheduled to increase crossing times at intersections. Capital investments made with aging in mind include the design of new taxis and bus shelters. In the restrained economy that we are currently experiencing, a multiplicity of “little” improvements that are low-cost or no cost, but that result in an “age-in-everything” planning approach, have a significant cumulative effect on the surrounding environment — and people of all ages benefit.

Additional Age-Friendly Districts are planned. To learn more details about the commission, and perhaps begin to organize a district in your community, visit the Age-Friendly NYC website, or e-mail info@nyam.org. At present, more than 900,000 people over the age of 65 live in the city. By 2030, that number is projected to exceed 1.35 million. Hopefully, the commission will help to make lives for seniors as pleasant, productive, and safe as possible.

In this issue:
· MAS Will Teach Old Buildings New Eco Tricks
· Second Life for the Houses of Sagaponac
· Lincoln Center Goes to the Movies
· Mediterranean and Modern Mix at the TRYP Hotel
· Historic Church Completes Restoration
· GSA is on Axis with Capitol in Jackson

MAS Will Teach Old Buildings New Eco Tricks

Henry Street Settlement row houses.

Courtesy Henry Street Settlement

In light of the fact that 55% of New York’s building stock is more than 70 years old, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is embarking on a demonstration project to show that the city’s most treasured historic buildings can improve their energy efficiency without significant aesthetic changes or large capital outlays. The Henry Street Settlement’s three circa 1830 Federal style row houses on the Lower East Side were selected for the project. Phase 1 will explore inexpensive measures that will have no impact on the landmark buildings’ architecture, including thermostatic and lighting control, retro commissioning, and weatherization.

Later phases will explore ways to make more substantial cuts in energy usage by incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels. A charrette for architects and engineers is planned for the summer to help develop strategies. MAS is working with the Pratt Center for Community Development, which will be the project’s consultant, guiding and managing the energy retrofit. In addition, Li/Saltzman Architects and Thornton Tomasetti are providing pro bono consultant services. To ensure that the results are replicable, MAS and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will develop a manual for improving the efficiency of historic buildings. Both projects are supported by a challenge grant from The J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Second Life for the Houses of Sagaponac

Houses of Sagaponac (l-r): hanrahanMeyers Architects; Leven Betts Architects; Morris Sato Studio.

Images courtesy of Houses at Sagaponac

General contracting firm Reinhardt, O’Brien, Oza + Company (R,O’B,O,Co) and Millennium Partners, the owners and developers of the Houses of Sagaponac in Southampton, Long Island, are hoping a fresh crop of new designs from 16 architecture firms will entice new buyers. Firms include locals: Cook+Fox; hanrahanMeyers Architects; Leven Betts; Morris Sato Studio; Resolution: 4 Architecture; and thread collective. They were asked to design 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot homes with three or four bedrooms, three to three-and-a-half bathrooms, and a pool for prospective buyers who are couples in their forties with or without children. Construction costs are between $250 and $350 per square foot. In addition to new homes, the completely restored circa 1954 Bachman Wilson House by Frank Lloyd Wright, currently in Millstone, NJ (owned and restored by Millstone-based Tarantino Architect), may be relocated to the Houses of Sagaponac.

Lincoln Center Goes to the Movies

The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Rockwelll Group

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is scheduled to open the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, designed by the Rockwell Group, who collaborated with Diller Scofidio + Renfro for the redevelopment of Lincoln Center. The 17,500-square-foot venue will house 150- and 90-seat theaters, an amphitheater, and a café. The amphitheater features a 152-inch plasma screen — the largest of its kind on public display in the country. The expansive marquee will allow for outdoor screenings on the plaza level in the summer.

Mediterranean and Modern Mix at the TRYP Hotel

TRYP-NYC Times Square South.

Glen & Company

The soon to open 173-room TRYP-NYC Times Square South, designed by Glen & Company and located in the circa 1926 Rose Building, draws inspiration from Mediterranean design. The grand lobby of the 18-story building is fashioned after a European plaza with central seating areas and solitary spaces along the perimeter and a Spanish-influenced barrel vaulted ceiling. Guest rooms and suites are designed to be contemporary with elements such as decorative wrought-iron screens. The hotel also has a fitness center, business center, and function space.

Historic Church Completes Restoration

The Church of the Ascension in Greenwich Village.

Tom Ligamari

The Church of the Ascension in Greenwich Village has completed a multi-year restoration project under the direction of Leo J. Blackman Architect, the final touch being the installation of a new organ. The four massive, hand-carved façades of the organ pipes draw upon existing artistic elements in the chancel. The church’s ashlar blocks were recreated in plaster treated with sanded paint and glazed by artisans. An amber tone throughout incorporates the colors of the mural “The Ascension of Our Lord,” by John La Farge, while offsetting the stained-glass windows. The restoration also included upgrading electric, lighting, and audio systems. Preserv and EverGreene Architectural Arts were part of the restoration team. The church, a National Historic Landmark designed by Richard Upjohn and built in 1841, was remolded in 1885-89 by McKim, Mead & White and John La Farge.

GSA is on Axis with Capitol in Jackson

U.S. Federal Courthouse, Jackson, MS.

Photo by Chris Cooper

The new U.S. Federal Courthouse in Jackson, MS, designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, is nearing completion and awaits naming by Congress. The 400,000-square-foot building will open to the public incrementally over the next few months. Designed for the General Services Administration (GSA) as part of its Design Excellence Program, the building replaces existing federal court facilities currently housed in five different locations around the city. The new courthouse includes 12 courtrooms, judicial chambers, library, a joint-use conference center, and jury assembly areas. The massing of the building pays homage to the State Capitol and the courthouse’s two six-story wings surrounding an open-air rotunda on axis with the Capitol’s dome. The façade features overhangs, vertical blue glass fins, and horizontal frit patterns that emulate vernacular sun-shading devices. The courtrooms are stacked in the curved walls. The project was also part of the GSA’s BIM Pilot Project, which allowed the team to accommodate changing programmatic requirements for 19 federal agencies, minimize construction conflicts, and shorten the construction schedule. The use of Disney Imagineering’s Virtual Reality Studio allowed the judges to more fully participate in the design process and experience the space before construction.

In this issue:
· 2011 Convention — Make Your Plans Today!
· AIA Adds New On-Demand Documents
· NCARB Talks
· e-Calendar

2011 Convention — Make Your Plans Today!
The AIA 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition is just around the corner, 05.12-14.11 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The theme of the conference is “Regional Design Revolution: Ecology Matters.” Advance registration is available here and housing can be reserved through the convention website. AIA’s new publishing partner Hanley Wood organized the conference. More than 800 exhibitors and 200 programs are planned for the three-day convention. Concurrently, AIANY and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with AIA New Orleans, and Tulane University Prevention Research Center, will be hosting “Fit Nation NOLA — Healthy communities through design.” More information and registration can be found here.

AIA Adds New On-Demand Documents
With 13 new contract documents, AIA.org has expanded its suite of on-demand contract documents to 48. The additions are:
· B201–2007 (formerly B141–1997 Part 2), Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Design and Construction Contract Administration;
· B202–2009, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Programming;
· B203–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Site Evaluation and Planning;
· B204–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Value Analysis, for use where the Owner employs a Value Analysis Consultant;
· B205–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Historic Preservation;
· B206–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Security Evaluation and Planning;
· B207–2008 (formerly B352–2000), Standard Form of Architect’s Services: On-Site Project Representation;
· B209–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Construction Contract Administration, for use where the Owner has retained another Architect for Design Services;
· B210–2007, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Facility Support;
· Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Commissioning;
· Standard Form of Architect’s Services: LEED Certification;
· Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Architectural Interior Design;
· Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment Design.

For more information, or to download, visit http://documentsondemand.aia.org/. As always, contract documents are on sale at the AIANY office Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Contact info@aiany.org with any questions.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has launched a new video series entitled “NCARB Talks,” featuring short, informal conversations with architects on staff. These videos give viewers a glimpse of individual triumphs and challenges on the path to licensure. They discuss their experiences with the Intern Development Program (IDP), the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), and the importance of getting licensed and ultimately NCARB certified. Videos are available at http://www.ncarb.org or http://www.youtube.com/user/NCARBorg.

eCalendar includes an interactive listing of architectural events around NYC. Click the link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.

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


Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities

On view February 10 – May 21, 2011

AIANY Design Awards 2011

On view April 14 – June 25, 2011

The Benefits of Dual Educational Programming

A student displays her skyscraper design during the Center for Architecture Foundation and Skyscraper Museum dual program.

Tim Hayduk

In 2008, the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) and the Skyscraper Museum began a new initiative to expand their K-12 educational programming. Because CFAF emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning, and the Skyscraper Museum displays historic and contemporary examples of skyscrapers, the two organizations designed a program to capitalize on both institutions’ strengths to serve the NYC community.

The dual program begins with a visit to the Skyscraper Museum. As students are given a 40-minute tour, they learn about the function and structure of a skyscraper, down to the rivets, as well as the past, present, and future of these inspiring buildings. After students learn about the skeleton, curtain wall, and other architectural elements, they head to the Center for Architecture to put their newly discovered knowledge to practice during a 75-minute workshop, building their own skyscrapers out of toothpicks, spaghetti noodles, and marshmallows. They problem solve how to build a strong yet tall structure that is able to withstand external and internal forces. The dual program concludes with the creation of a skyscraper skeleton that both demonstrates the command students have of architectural infrastructure and expresses the unique designs of each student. It is because of interactive educational programs like this that students are able to experience the benefits of both institutions.

The CFAF offers Student Days throughout the year to K-12 school groups. Programs are adapted to meet the abilities of different age groups. For more information, and to learn about ways to get involved, visit http://www.cfafoundation.org, or contact Catherine Teegarden at cteegarden@cfafoundation.org.

So Says… Bill Moggridge

Cover image by Iwan Baan (left); Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum (right)

British-born Bill Moggridge is into his second year as director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. As an industrial designer, he is considered a pioneer in the discipline he coined “interaction design.” Among his many achievements since founding his own industrial design firm in London in the late 1960s, he is credited with designing the GRiD Compass, the first laptop computer, in 1982, and co-founding the Paolo Alto, CA-based international (and influential) multidisciplinary design consultancy IDEO in 1991. Moggridge received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Awards at the White House in 2009, and the U.K.’s 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize. OCULUS Editor Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, recently caught up with the very busy man — via e-mail — to find out what’s on the horizon for him, the Cooper-Hewitt, and design in general.

Kristen Richards: You served as a trustee of the Design Museum in London in the early 1990s, and now you’re the first practitioner to head the Cooper-Hewitt. Did you ever imagine yourself as a museum director?

Bill Moggridge: Since Tim Brown took over as CEO of IDEO in 2000, my management responsibilities were greatly reduced, because he and the other younger people on his team were doing such a great job! I found myself with the time to develop my interest in trying to explain design, writing books, giving conference presentations, teaching, and so on. When I heard that the position was open at Cooper-Hewitt, it occurred to me that this might give me the chance to explain design to a broader audience, so I applied for the position. I’m glad they accepted me!

KR: How will Cooper-Hewitt continue to function when it closes to the public for renovations (by Gluckman Mayner Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners), from the late summer of 2011 to mid 2013?

BM: We are thinking of ourselves as “on the move,” with the RE:DESIGN program for the Carnegie Mansion giving us the chance to spread our wings and expand our activities outside the campus, both virtually and physically. The renovation of the two townhouses that are connected to the Mansion will be complete before work starts on the mansion. All of our staff, including our educational department, will move into them this summer, along with the National Design Library and the MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, so that we can all continue to serve our public during the renovation.

We are planning some major shows in other venues, the first of which will be “Design with the Other 90%: Cities,” opening on 10.15.11, at the United Nations. We are also exploring possibilities for a downtown location for programming and retail.