Queens School Re-Envisions Newtown Creek

Event: Learning by Design:NY Home School Residency, 12.19.11
Location: Queens Paideia School, Long Island City, NY
Educator: Tim Hayduk

LBD:NY Director Tim Hayduk and Newtown Creek Alliance Executive Director Kate Zidar listen to the students’ final presentations (left). A Queens Paideia student puts the finishing touches on her model as part of a classroom-wide future cityscape of Newtown Creek (right).

Eveline Chang

The Queens Paideia School, an independent school that provides after-school programming for area students, culminated its Learning By Design:NY (LBD:NY) semester-long residency with the Center for Architecture Foundation on 12.19.11. The new curriculum, studying the Newtown Creek area, was developed and taught by LBD:NY Director Tim Hayduk specifically for the Long Island City school.

For several weeks, the students — ranging from ages eight to 13 — investigated the area’s rich history, from the time that NYC was settled and its industrialization, through to the building of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to the present day. Gaining an understanding of the creek and its role in NYC’s infrastructure, students then created a scale model landscape of the site as it exists today. Students transformed a contour model by adding bulkheads to rationalize the shoreline and added landfill along the creek’s edge. Taking into consideration the environmental impact, access, and quality of life for neighboring residents and businesses, students were then prompted to reimagine and design the future development of Newtown Creek. Each student contributed a building to create a small cityscape, which included a town hall, parks, residential buildings, and other services for a re-envisioned community. Many of their creations had sustainable elements, such as green roofs and solar panels. One student designed a paddle wheel that would harness energy from the flow of water.

When the students presented their models, the audience not only included their families, but also Kate Zidar, executive director of the Newtown Creek Alliance. Zidar commented on the students’ thorough study of the area’s development and relation to its community. Working collaboratively to produce one complete plan, their process mirrored the civic input that Zidar aims to foster.

Special thanks to Zidar for generously donating her time. Learning By Design:NY provides school-based K-12 residency programs and professional development workshops to students and teachers. The Center for Architecture Foundation will be hosting a party on 01.20.12 at the Center to celebrate LBD:NY and 20 years of built environment education. For more information, and to learn about ways to get involved, visit www.cfafoundation.org or contact Tim Hayduk at thayduk@cfafoundation.org.

Future Now

With the start of the new year, I have been thinking a lot about the 2012 AIANY President’s theme, “Future Now.” Considering that much of our present centers on economic downfalls, political turmoil, and environmental devastation, how can we as design professionals affect change? During last month’s inaugural, President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, said, “We will determine our own future by how thoughtfully we respond to those challenges.”

Recently, the Chapter has responded to many of these existing challenges. The recent Freedom of Assembly panel addressed First Amendment rights despite increasingly limited public space in the city. The Emerging NY Architects Committee (ENYA) launched the Harlem Edge competition to rethink food, infrastructure, and water along the Hudson River. The New Practices Committee is hosting its biennial competition to highlight the work of emerging practices (a feat in this economy!). The newly established Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) is planning events and discussions about disaster relief. To encourage healthy lifestyles and better multi-modal transportation systems citywide, an exhibition on the NYC Bike Share program will open on 01.11.12, in anticipation of the program’s launch this summer.

It appears that the architecture profession is beginning to dig its way out of the recession as construction projects are on the upswing (shovel-ready projects now have shovels in the ground), and firms seem to be hiring for the first time in a couple of years. With this forward motion, I feel a new immediacy among practitioners to get things done. Architects want to tap into new fields that have not been explored in the profession, diversifying practice. They want to help where they can, whether it’s locally at Occupy Wall Street or globally to aid in disaster relief efforts. They want to roll their sleeves up and get to work!

This being an election year, the theme “Future Now” is poignant. It is essential for the profession to take steps to sustain its relevancy in the public for the betterment of the city’s future. Hopefully, this momentum will continue throughout the year.

2012 AIA Award winners include Steven Holl, FAIA, Gold Medal; George Baird, Intl. Assoc. AIA, Topaz Award; and Mortimer Marshall, Jr., FAIA, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award… Alexander Cooper, FAIA, Daniel J. Feil, FAIA, and Robert A. Peck, Hon. AIA, won Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Architecture… cultureNOW, a 501c3 organization spearheaded by Abby Suckle, FAIA, and Anne Lewison, AIA, RAIC, received Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement…

Winners of the AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture include: the AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by REX | OMA; The Barnard College Diana Center by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/ Landscape/ Urbanism; the Horizontal Skyscraper Vanke Center by Steven Holl Architects; the New Acropolis Museum by Bernard Tschumi Architects; North Carolina Museum of Art by Thomas Phifer and Partners; One Jackson Square by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; and University of Michigan Museum of Art by Allied Works Architecture

Winners of Architect magazine’s Annual Design Review 2011 Awards include: Centra at Metropark by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (Citation in Work category); Coffee Plaza by Richard Meier & Partners Architects (Citation in Work category); Cité de l’Océan et du Surf by Steven Holl Architects with Solange Fabião (Award in Play category)…

The winners of YUL-MTL: Moving landscapes international ideas competition include dlandstudio for their entry “INFRA-SUTURES”… Three NYC-based firms are on the annual ZweigWhite Hot Firm List, including HAKS Engineers, Architects and Land Surveyors; Sam Schwartz Engineering; and Francis Cauffman Architects

Teams from nine colleges and universities will advance to the second round of the Van Alen Institute/U.S. National Park Service’s “Parks for the People: A Studio Competition to Re-imagine Parks,” including Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; University of Pennsylvania School of Design; Pratt Institute School of Art & Design; Rutgers University; and City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture

Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne named the “portable community” of tents that comprised Occupy Wall Street Protests as the “Best of 2011 in architecture“…

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture announced Michael Graves, FAIA, as the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Prize laureate, and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers as the 2012 Henry Hope Reed Award winner…

The Museum of Modern Art announced that Pedro Gadanho, a Lisbon-based architect, curator, and writer, has been appointed Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design… Hillary Brown, FAIA, professor of architecture at City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture, was recently appointed for a three-year term to the National Academies’ Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE)… The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the newly elected 2012 Board of Directors, including Fiona Cousins, PE, FCIBSE, LEED AP BD+C, of Arup, filling the Designer of Buildings seat…

Patricia Kettle, AIA, was named Senior Associate at Dattner Architects… Garrett Gourlay has joined Goldstein, Hill & West Architects as a Senior Associate…

01.15.12 Call for Entries: AIANY New Practices New York 2012

01.16.12 Call for Entries: AIANY ENYA The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections

01.16.12 Call for Proposals: Folly — Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park

01.18.12 Request for Qualifications: New American Embassy for Mexico

01.24.12 Call for Entries: Lights over Kruunuvuorenranta

02.01.12 Call for Applications: Arnold W. Brunner Grant

02.01.12 Call for Essays: The Unfinished Grid

02.03.12 Call for Entries: AIANY Annual Design Awards 2012

02.12.12 Request for Proposals: NYCEDC Illuminate Lower Manhattan

02.29.12 Request for Proposals: AIA Central Oklahoma — Save Stage Center

03.01.12 Call for Submissions: AIA Diversity Recognition Program

03.01.12 Call for Entries: SMPS 35th Annual National Marketing Communications Awards

03.02.12 Call for Papers: Healthy Cities Conference 2012

03.15.12 Call for Entries: AIA Medal of Honor Redesign Competition

04.16.12 Call for Entries: Helsinki Central Library International Architectural Competition (2 stages)

05.31.12 Call for Entries: Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development in the United States — Student Competition

06.01.12 Call for Proposals: Seismic Exhibit at the Design Exchange in Toronto

Happy New Year from AIANY and the Center for Architecture! This streetscape, drawn by AIANY Partnership Programs Coordinator Laura Trimble, shows 536 LaGuardia Place and the adjacent 532 LaGuardia Place. There will be a “Breakthrough” celebration on 01.17.12 when construction between the spaces will be connected.


Laura Trimble

12.12.11: The December Oculus Book Talk starred Bjarke Ingles of BIG/Bjarke Ingles Group, who gave an animated, fast-paced presentation of his book, Yes is More!.


Kristen Richards

12.06.11: Ibex Construction’s annual holiday fete took place at the Center for Architecture.


(L-R): Andy Frankl, President, Ibex Construction, with Tracey Hummer and Fred Schwartz, FAIA, of Frederic Schwartz Architect.

Kristen Richards


Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, AIANY Associate Director and editor-in-chief of e-Oculus (left), and Elizabeth Shipley, AIA, LEED AP, of Rand Engineering & Architecture.

Kristen Richards


Andrey Bokov, Ph.D., president of the Union of Architects of Russia, visited NYC with his wife Sonia. Donning his AIANY “Architecture as Public Policy” cap (AIANY’s 2006 theme), the Bokovs visited MoMA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

12.12.11: A gathering at the Standard Beer Garden following the launch of Archive of Spatial Aesthetics and Praxis, or ASAP (l-r): Ronnette Riley, FAIA, Ronette Riley Architect; AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; W. Scott Allen, Assoc. AIA, Perkins+Will; Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, e-Oculus; Amy Stroud, JaffeHolden Architects; and Mary Burke, AIA, IIDA, Burke Design and Architecture.


Kristen Richards

12.06.11: The second annual Architects for Animals project, “Giving Shelter,” to aid NYC’s homeless, stray and outdoor cats was held at the Steelcase Showroom at 4 Columbus Circle. Teams included architects and designers from FXFOWLE, Gage Clemenceau, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, RMJM, and Team Anemoi.


This eco-friendly, sensor-embedded DIY cat shelter designed by Kathryn Walton, founder of The American Street Cat, and Co-Adaptive Architecture, won the prize.

Dana Edelson


Lucio Santos from the FXFOWLE team proudly presented his cat shelter designed to harmonize with the environment.

Dana Edelson