The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art announced the winners of the inaugural Stanford White Awards for Excellence in Classical and Traditional Design in the following categories: Residential Architecture – New Construction, A New Residence and Outbuildings by Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, Drumlin Hall by Peter Pennoyer Architects and Residence in Westport, CT by Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Residential Architecture – Renovation and Additions, Alterations and Additions to Pepperidge Farm by Ferguson & Shamamian Architects; Residential Architecture – Townhouses and Apartments, Park Avenue Apartment by John B. Murray Architect; Residential Architecture – Multi-Unit Buildings, Carnegie Hill Apartment Building by Zivkovic Connolly Architects and John Simpson & Partners, and Fifteen Central Park West by Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Commercial, Civic and Institutional Architecture, Saratoga Community Center by George Ranalli, Architect; Landscape Design, Forest Retreat by Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Architects; and Patronage Award, Lloyd Zuckerberg

Winners of the WAN AWARDS 2012 21 for 21 included the “highly commended” nARCHITECTS and Neil M. Denari Architects…The Preservation League presented the Pillar of New York Award to two honorees, Nicholson & Galloway and Building Conservation Associates…The Intern Development Program Advisory Committee (IDPAC) has selected eight architecture firms as recipients of the 2012-2015 Intern Development Program (IDP) Outstanding Firm Award, including the New York City offices of EYP; IDPAC also named 11 recipients of the 2012-2015 IDP Firm Award, including Mancini Duffy

Firms shortlisted in the competition to create Sydney’s Barangaroo Central include Bjark Ingels Group (BIG) with HASSELL; Woods Bagot with Scape NYC; UNStudio, LAB architecture Studio, NH Architecture and Imelk; Sasaki Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Jackson Teece; and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Anderson Hunter Horne…

MoMA/P.S.1 announced the five finalist firms for the annual Young Architects Program, who will compete to design the temporary installation in the P.S. 1 courtyard during the annual summer “Warm-Up” series that include NYC-based Leong Leong Architects, Moorhead & Moorhead, and TempAgency…Finalists in Morpholio’s EyeTime 2012 Photo Competition have been announced, and the public can vote for winners using the competition app; more information.

Antonio Torres, a co-founder of Bittertang, who designed “Burble Bup” for last year’s FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion, was named a TED2013 Fellow…

Belmont Freeman, FAIA, has published an essay in Design Observer’s Places Journal titled “Past Perfect: Four Freedoms Park,” on the newly opened memorial to Franklin Roosevelt.

Erika Hinrichs, co-founder of viaArchitecture, has been named Chair of Pratt Institute’s Undergraduate Architecture Department…The Leuphana University Lüneburg has created a new digital school; its first course, “ThinkTank Cities,” will be directed by Daniel Libeskind, AIA

After 25 years of service, Adele Chatfield-Taylor will step down as president and CEO of the American Academy in Rome, and a committee will begin the search for her successor in January…

Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Brad Gair as director of housing recovery operations with a mission to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to house New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy…

President Obama announced that Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, will serve as the administration’s “point person” for the region’s rebuilding efforts…

Warren Gran, FAIA, and Monica Lopez, AIA, LEED AP, announce the founding of Gran Lopez Architects and Planners…Material ConneXion announces the opening of a satellite office in Tibro, Sweden, and its fourth European location in Skövde, Sweden…

Julian Seward, principal of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA), has relocated from the London to the New York office…The John Hardy Group has appointed Nathan Hall as Senior Project Director…

Mancini Duffy / TSC announced that Theodore (Ted) S. Hammer, FAIA, LEED AP, will head the firm’s architecture practice. Hammer was most recently Managing Partner and Partner-in-Charge of Design at HLW International.

2013 OCULUS Editorial Calendar Announced!
The Oculus 2013 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated in the calendar to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Note: 2013 marks the 75th Anniversary of Oculus (launched 1938!), and 10th Anniversary of the magazine’s current iteration.

11.23.12 Call for Entries: 2012 Palladio Awards Honoring Excellence in Traditional Design

11.30.12 Call for Entries: Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Design Competition

11.30.12 Call for Entries: Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint Design Contest

11.30.12 Call for Entries: 2013 AIA Housing Awards — Residential Architect Magazine

11.30.12 Call for Submissions: Detroit by Design 2012: Detroit Riverfront Competition

12.01.12 Call for Submissions: AIA Young Architects Forum (YAF) Connection e-Magazine

12.01.12 Call for Entries: 2013 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition – The Architect and the Accessible City

12.01.12 Call for Applications: Fall 2013 Residential Teaching Fellowship at Cranbrook Academy of Art

12.03.12 Call for Entries: BMW Guggenheim Lab International Design Competition: “Rethinking Kala Nagar Traffic Junction”

12.03.12 Call for Entries: Guerrilla Green — Architecture for Humanity

12.04.12 Call for Nominations: 2012 Recognition Award for recently licensed women architects — The AIANY Women in Architecture (WIA) Committee

12.07.12 Call for Entries: USITT 2013 “Ideal Theatre” Student Design Competition for Architecture and Theatre Students

12.10.12 Call for Applications: 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

12.14.12 Request for Proposals: Design and the Learning Environment — American Architectural Foundation (AAF) /AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE)

12.15.12 Call for Entries: 2012 Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Awards

12.15.12 Call for Entries: 2 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) Com-petitions: Schools and ICFF Studio

01.07.13 Call for Proposals: The 2nd Annual Folly Competition —Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League of New York

01.25.13 Call for Presentations: 2013 Healthcare Design Conference, 11.16.13—11.19.13, Orlando, FL

01.31.13 Call for Entries: Flat Lot Competition: Re-Imagine the Parking Lot — AIA-Flint and Flint Public Art Project

02.08.13 Call for Abstracts: The 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference in Melbourne, Australia (06.10.13 – 06.12.13)

02.15.13 Call for Submissions: National Associates Committee (NAC) Forward Design Journal

03.06.13 Call for Entries: 3 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Student Competitions: Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition; Steel Design Student Competition; and Preservation as Provocation Ideas Competition: Castle Pinckney for the 21st Century

[Ongoing] Call for Applications: TH!NK:Art+Architecture Design-build Camp, Abetenim Arts Village, Ghana

11.16.12: Charles Renfro, AIA, of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Justin Davidson, of New York Magazine, and Toby Cecchini, bartender & author, headlined the first installment of “Cocktails & Conversations.” The series pairs an architect and a critic, journalist, or curator in conversation; a custom drink inspired by the architect’s is created especially for the occasion. The event was organized by Abby Suckle, FAIA, President of cultureNOW, and the AIANY Architectural Dialogue Committee.

(l-r) Justin Davidson and Charles Renfro, AIA

Daniel Fox

Toby Cecchini mixes the night’s cocktail.

Eve Dilworth Rosen

11.14:12: The Center for Architecture and the Norwegian Consulate General hosted a lunch seminar on the collaboration between architects and artists on large scale public projects, “Demystifying the Architect/Artist Collaboration: The Norwegian National Tourist Routes to NYC.”

The National Tourist Routes in Norway has for years served as an incubator for artistic and architectural interventions in the most scenic parts of the natural landscape. Two artist/architect teams presented on their collaborations: artist Mark Dion / architect Lars Berge and artist Mary Miss / architect Susan Rodriguez, FAIA. A panel discussion was moderated by Alan Brake, Executive Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper.

(l-r) Mark Dion; Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP; Alan Brake; Lars Berge; Susan Rodriguez, FAIA, Ennead Architects; Henrik Width, Deputy Consul General of the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York; Mary Miss; Svein Rønning, Curator and Head of the Arts Council for the National Tourist Routes

Daniel Fox

11.12.12: As part of the Oculus Book Talk series, Jeff Speck presented his new book Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.

Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, editor, Oculus, with author Jeff Speck.

Julie Trébault

11.14.12: A “ground raising” was held for 50 UN Plaza, a project by Foster + Partners.

(l-r): Arthur Zeckendorf, Zeckendorf Development; Daniel Garodnick, NYC Councilman representing Manhattan’s 4th District; Eyal Ofer, chairman of Global Holdings Inc. and Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd.; Armstrong Yakubu, partner, Foster + Partners; Sherrill Kazan, president, Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza; Brandon Haw, senior partner, Foster + Parterns; and William Zeckendorf, Zeckendorf Development

Monika Graff

10.27.12: Storefront for Art and Architecture held its annual Critical Halloween party, with the theme “On Banality, on Metaphor.”

Architecture firm SO-IL dressed as “Shades of White.”

Naho Kabuto

HWKN dressed as “Architecture Blows.”

Naho Kabuto


10.21.12: Architecture for Humanity New York presented an interactive installation in Coleman Oval Skate Park under the Manhattan Bridge titled “The Urban Web.”

Ehsanul Haque

Through 02.01.13: “BUCKYBALL,” a 30-foot-tall LED light sculpture by artist Leo Villareal inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller is on view in Madison Square Park.

James Ewing/Madison Square Park Conservancy

Through 02.03.13: On display at the Jewish Museum is “Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries,” an exhibition by Morpholio and MESH Architectures.

Courtesy Morpholio

11.19.12–Summer 2013: A sculpture by Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui, titled “Broken Bridge II,” will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line between West 21st and West 22nd Streets. The sculpture was originally shown in Paris during the 2012 Triennale.

Installation view of El Anatsui, Broken Bridge, 2012, at La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, 04.20.12 – 08.26.12.

Erik Lasalle. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

As a nameless Nor’easter blows through a week after Superstorm Sandy, it’s perhaps hard to think of anything but those in need and the long recovery ahead. We all know, of course, that New York and its neighbors will recover. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

To aid in this effort, AIANY has launched two programs. One is “Members Helping Members”: following Superstorm Sandy, AIA New York Chapter members are invited to contact us if you are looking for office space or if you want to share office space with displaced members. We will do our best to coordinate needs and offers.

The other is AIANY and its Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee’s work with New York City agencies, registered architects, and professional engineers interested in helping with the recovery. The first opportunity for service will most likely be on-the-ground neighborhood assessments organized in conjunction with the NYC Department of City Planning. Click here for a statement on this ongoing process.

We hope that this issue of e-Oculus is informative, as well as a respite from the blustery weather.

Oculus Deadline Reminder: 11.15.12 is the deadline to submit project and story ideas for the Spring 2013 issue based on the AIANY President’s Theme, “Global City / Global Practice.” We are particularly interested in waterfront cities (resilience desired, not required). Contact Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, editor:

Heritage Ball 2012

(l-r) Jaime Endreny, Executive Director, Center for Architecture Foundation; Michael Strauss, President, Center for Architecture Foundation; Robert Hammond, Joshua David, Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line; Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, City University of New York; Robert Selsam, Senior Vice President, Boston Properties; Cesar Pelli, FAIA, Senior Principal, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY 2012 President; Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director, AIANY

Sam Lahoz

Event: Heritage Ball 2012
Location: Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, 10.25.12

More than 1,200 gathered at Pier Sixty for the Heritage Ball, our biggest party and largest fundraiser of the year. With all that’s happened in the intervening weeks, it seems like such a long time ago. Nevertheless, our honorees can give us hope that so many facets of our built environment are in competent hands.

Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, opens the program.

Sam Lahoz

Robert Selsam (AIA New York Chapter Award), Senior Vice President, Boston Properties, in both his award acceptance speech and discussion at the Center for Architecture, noted the value excellent design brings to the buildings he develops.

Sam Lahoz

Iris Weinshall (Center for Architecture Award), Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, City University of New York, spoke about the power of design and architects in her work for CUNY. A new library designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects for Bronx Community College had students lining up to enter the day it opened, she remarked.

Sam Lahoz

Joshua David and Robert Hammond (Center for Architecture Foundation Award), Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line, also commented on the way in which design has led to the High Line’s overwhelming success.

Sam Lahoz

Perhaps the most moving moment of the evening was the standing ovation for Cesar Pelli, FAIA (2012 President’s Award), Senior Principal, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCP). Pelli’s long and distinguished career was elucidated in a well-produced video; the other honorees were also celebrated through video.

Sam Lahoz

(l-r) Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, Iris Weinshall, and Senator Charles E. Schumer

Sam Lahoz

Illustrating AIANY’s continuing work with our local, state, and federal governments, there were many notable public officials in attendance including: Senator Charles E. Schumer; Robert LiMandri, Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings; Seth Pinsky, President, NYC Economic Development Corporation; Council Member Gale Brewer; Council Member Robert Jackson; Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito; Leslie Koch, President of the Trust for Governor’s Island; Mathew Wambua, Commissioner, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development; and Veronica White, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

(l-r) Eric Goshow, AIA; Susan Chin, FAIA; Marcus Marino, AIA; Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA; Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA; Eva Franch Gilabert

Sam Lahoz

Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, 2012 AIANYS President, and Eric Goshow, AIA, 2013 AIANYS President, along with Anselmo Genovese, AIA, AIA Staten Island President, and Susan Chin, FAIA, Regional Director and 2013-14 AIA Vice President, represented additional AIA leadership.

Scholarships were awarded to four students, who were nominated by this year’s honorees. (l-r) Filipp Blyakher, The City College of New York | The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (Iris Weinshall); Shachar Beer, Pratt Institute School of Architecture (Joshua David and Robert Hammond); James Morgan Petty, Yale School of Architecture (Cesar Pelli, FAIA); Ryan Lovett, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Robert E. Selsam)

Sam Lahoz

Many attended Party@theCenter, the Heritage Ball’s official after-party, at the Center for Architecture.

Sam Lahoz

Edgeless/Best Schools in Depth: New Schools of Thought on Educational Edges

Center for Architecture

Center for Architecture

Center for Architecture

Center for Architecture

Thomas Mellins, curator, “The Edgeless School” and Juulia Kauste, director, Museum of Finnish Architecture, and project leader, “The Best School in the World,” in front of a panel from “The Best School.”

Sam Lahoz

Organizers, “The Edgeless School: Design for Learning: AIANY in collaboration with the Committee on Architecture for Education and the Center for Architecture Foundation
Senior Research Consultant: Edith Ackermann, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist, MIT School of Architecture
Exhibition Design: Sage and Coombe Architects
Graphic Design: Hyperakt
Organizers, “The Best School in the World: Seven Finnish Examples from the 21st Century: Museum of Finnish Architecture, as part of New Finnish Design CITY campaign, produced by the Consulate General of Finland and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York

Eerily suspended rows of traditional school desks, aligned identically and equipped with sheets of ruled paper and uniformly positioned apples, are currently drawing the eyes of curious passers-by into the Center for Architecture’s Hines Gallery. The effect is both familiar and uncanny. Perhaps everyone’s recollections of grammar school, fond or otherwise, share certain qualities with dreams.

The new “The Edgeless School” exhibition, once one’s gaze moves past the disembodied desks and orderly geometries of yesteryear, offers variations on themes of fluidity, blurred borders, shifting roles for teachers and students, and altered relations between schooling and extracurricular life: forms and practices that the schools of the not-too-distant past were unprepared for.

Displays representing 19 architecturally distinguished K-12 schools nationwide (including urban, suburban, and rural settings; a mix of public, private, and special-needs institutions; and scales from the tight Manhattan sites of the East Harlem, Stephen Gaynor, and Rodeph Sholom schools to spacious campuses like Blue Valley Southwest High in Overland Park, KS) show how built forms express evolving teaching philosophies. These American examples share some features with the seven schools in a companion exhibition from Finland, where progressive design and policy have converged to yield impressive gains in student performance.

Schools’ built environments – like contemporary pedagogy itself – commented curator Thomas Mellins at the press preview, are abandoning the artificiality reflected in the Cartesian grid of airborne desks. “Everyone seems to agree that we’re at a watershed moment in terms of formal education in this country,” he said, noting that educating “digital natives,” students who have spent their whole lives in an information-rich environment, creates new expectations. If information and knowledge are now universally accessible, are traditional schools dinosaurs? Does introducing young people to the life of the mind require dedicated rooms or buildings at all? (One recalls President James Garfield’s legendary definition of the ideal college as [Williams president] “Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.”)

These questions aren’t easily answerable. Hence ”The Edgeless School” model, offering gray areas rather than sharp conceptual and physical demarcations between teachers’ roles as wise elders dispensing information or facilitators of students’ discoveries; separate and merged interior areas; purpose-built and ad hoc spaces; built environments and nature; town and gown; and the most basic borderline: formal schooling vs. informal, extramural, experiential processes of education. Parental expectations, adds Mellins, have evolved, and school design needs to consider them: “In the early 20th century, parents were very often expecting the schools to Americanize their children” and looked to school authorities for that role, while today’s parents, connected through constant electronic communication, not just annual parent-teacher conferences, are more directly involved and hold teachers “accountable to them,” altering the metaphoric meaning of transparency.

Despite all too many schools’ depressing atmosphere of carceral chain-link fencing, the best ones are organized for flexibility and surprise, not warehousing and discipline. Mellins described a “discovery that corporate America made quite some time ago: very often the best ideas don’t come out of the conference room or the board room, but… out of the chance encounters that happen at the water cooler.” The educational equivalent is to design for social interaction and collaboration, emphasizing open areas, multipurpose spaces (e.g., “a science lab that’s also an art room”), and scales appropriate to students’ needs. Children with autistic-spectrum conditions, for example, benefit from alcoves small enough for two or three kids and a teacher, plus extensive glazing to help them observe and mirror other kids’ interactions.

Mellins and colleagues look to a series of pathbreakers in progressive education for theoretical grounding, including John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, Ivan Illich, Howard Gardner, John Seely Brown, and others whose ideas are presented in interior displays, among more up-to-date furniture: a Smart Board and an array of Steelcase rolling desk/chair/storage modules, which Mellins described as ideal for classrooms where teachers circulate freely, rearrange the students’ positions, and strive to keep floors uncluttered by ubiquitous backpacks. Such spaces support engagement with students’ diverse forms of intelligence and fit teachers’ evolving role: once the “Sage on the Stage,” now more often the “Guide on the Side.”

If media reports too often associate American schools with funding shortages, program cutbacks, declining scores, “teach to the test” narrowness, and metal detectors, what helps some schools perform better? Handsome facilities alone don’t create an atmosphere of professional dedication and imagination, but they can aid educators in developing one. Finland’s school system has earned global admiration among teachers and designers, as Finnish students recurrently earn high scores in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys, across the range of academic subjects and family socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Museum of Finnish Architecture’s Juulia Kauste answers recurrent questions about the key to this success in terms of Finland’s egalitarianism, providing free state-funded education to all as a national principle, as well as its lively tradition of architecture competitions (five of the seven schools shown here resulted from open competitions) and its dedication to upgrading learning environments, diversifying open communal spaces to help schools’ various age groups socialize safely or work privately without constant supervision. Local authorities, she reports, run 97% of the nation’s schools, which observe a national curriculum allowing for local variations. National guidelines consider building features as well as curricula.

“There’s a strong emphasis on this idea that everyone deserves to have the equal right to equal quality of education,” Kauste said, adding that schools provide healthcare and other services, with attention to nutrition and recreation as well as classroom work (the typical Finnish school day includes hourly recesses, she noted, aiding students’ alertness). The double-boomerang volumes by the young firm Verstas Architects for the Kirkkojärvi School in Espoo – perhaps the most striking of the seven sample schools – are both graceful and purposeful: each separate yard, as demarcated by the building’s wings, accommodates a different age group. Since communities also use the facilities after hours, Kauste added, “the school is the center of the community in other ways as well, not only for the students but for other activities,” defining “sustainability not only in terms of green and energy, but [as] cultural sustainability.” These schools treat their indoor and outdoor spaces not as neutral containers, but as environments designed to foster the development of the whole student and the whole community.

The Edgeless School: Design for Learning” and “The Best School in the World: Seven Finnish Examples from the 21st Century” are on view through January 2013.

David Adjaye’s “Oculus Quick Take”

In October, Miguel Angel Baltierra, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, interviewed David Adjaye, OBE, principal of London-based Adjaye Associates about his new book African Metropolitan Architecture (Rizzoli). It is a very large and rich catalogue of his exhibition “Urban Africa: David Adjaye’s Photographic Survey.”

The first of seven volumes presents essays by several scholars sharing their observations on the evolving urban experience in Africa. The remaining six volumes examine a decade of Adjaye’s documentation of 53 urban centers in six distinct geographic zones.

Adjaye has projects underway in North America, Europe, and Africa. The beauty and ingenuity of his design work is expressed with very exciting commissions, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American Culture and History, the Moscow School of Management, and the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, among others. He is also working on projects in Ghana, Nigeria, and Gabon.

This is an excerpt from an interview with Adjaye; the entire interview can be heard on the Center for Architecture’s SoundCloud page. Enjoy!

Miguel Baltierra: As an adolescent, you saw a recently independent Africa while traveling with your parents. As an adult, what were the greatest surprises or concerns that you came upon during your personal journey, begun in 1999, that we can come to appreciate in African Metropolitan Architecture?

David Adjaye: What was interesting for me, growing up as a young boy on the continent was at a time when there was a transition from the colonial legacy being finished and the new nation identities being birthed. It was an incredible period of new nation-building.

There was an extraordinary energy on the continent. There was a lot of inward investment, there was a lot of re-planning of cities and new architecture. Modernism was being used as the tool to express the new identify of these new nation-states. Very much in the way we look at the explosion happening inside China. Although China is much, much, more [developed] … it was seen in that way: this new birthing country. And I was born in that soup. In a way I was energized by that.

What happened 30 years later, going back to the continent, in a more systemized way and observing what has happened in those post independence days, is that in some countries there has been a sense of loss of that excitement of nation-building because they have been gripped by financial issues, social issues, difficulties having to do with governance and political issues. So some of that has dampened some of the energy that was incredibly [evident] on the continent at that time.

There are other [African] countries where there is a renewed enthusiasm for that time and [are trying] to latch on to that energy, that dynamism, and try to understand how the continent can now grow. These are countries whose economies are doing well, and they are becoming growth engines in central, west, and parts of south Africa, as well as parts of east Africa that have become the new growth areas.

MB: This is your second book published by Rizzoli. Can you share the process you went through to develop the relationship, and how you worked with them to curate the final product?

DA: Thames and Hudson was really the prime publisher. They were in from day one. During the process I started working on another book with Rizzoli. They saw that I was studying this Africa project in the studio. They indicated they would be very keen to be the American publishers and they came on board. The team at Rizzoli was very interested to see something that would talk about the contemporary condition in Africa, so it was pretty easy. It was more of a realization of common goals: really wanting to see something contemporary about Africa to put into the public realm. It was a natural fit.

Listen to the entire interview here.

Taking it to the Streets

(l-r) Jonathan Marvel, FAIA, Rick Bell, FAIA, Ilaria Salvadori, Ariel Ben-Amos, and Andy Wiley-Schwartz

Linda G. Miller

Event: NACTO Conference, “Asphalt, Paint, and Gravel” panel discussion, 10.25.12
Location: New York University, Kimmel Center
Moderator: Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director, AIA New York Chapter
Panelists: Jonathan Marvel, FAIA, principal, Rogers Marvel Architects; Ilaria Salvadori, urban designer, City Design Group, San Francisco Planning Department; Andy Wiley-Schwartz, assistant commissioner of Public Spaces, NYC DOT; Ariel Ben-Amos, senior planner, analyst, Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, City of Philadelphia

“Low cost opportunities in cities are transformational,” said AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, at “Asphalt, Paint, and Gravel,” the panel discussion he moderated 10.25.12 at NACTO’s (National Association of City Transportation Officials) Designing Cities: Leading the Way to World Class Streets conference held in New York City. The program, which explored ways that low-cost innovations can create vibrant public spaces and how cities can learn from each other, was attended by transportation officials and professionals from across the country and as far away as Copenhagen and Mexico City.

Streets comprise 25% of the city’s land and yet outside of parks, it has relatively few places to enjoy public life. One way to improve this condition is to create more public open space by reclaiming underutilized street space. Panelist Andy Wiley-Schwartz, assistant commissioner for planning and sustainability at the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), who co-managed the development of the New York City Design Manual, cited several projects in the DOT’s pedestrian plaza program.

One such project, the Putnam Triangle in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, now connects a traffic triangle to the sidewalk. The space was created with the support of local civic groups, block associations, nearby institutions, businesses, and the Community Board, after consultations with city agencies. Once void of benches, ripped out because they were a magnet for drug dealing, the public plaza now has moveable tables and chairs for those who want to sit and relax. The first day it opened, the Fulton Area Business Alliance, which maintains the plaza, held a block party, and the space is now available for community-programmed events. Wiley-Schwartz feels that the asphalt, paint, and gravel make a nice place for people to enjoy before a capital project begins.

Wiley-Schwartz also spoke about the success of the city’s bench program at bus stops and “pop-up cafés” and “parklets,” a term borrowed from San Francisco, and a nod to fellow panelist Ilaria Salvadori of that city’s planning department, who says her city is “nspired by what we are doing in New York City. She also noted that San Franciscan’s have a fear of change and there is no commitment to these temporary low-cost interventions. Philadelphia’s Ariel Ben-Amos, a planner and analyst, said his city has just launched its own pedestrian plaza program with its first parklet.

Jonathan Marvel, FAIA, principal of Rogers Marvel Architects (RMA), a firm whose portfolio includes several street projects such as their NOGO sculptural bollards on Wall Street and raised subway grates throughout Queens that serve as benches, spoke about the need for making streets more bike-friendly. RMA’s winning submission – “Streets for Everyone” – in Transportation Alternative’s Designing the 21st Century Street competition, reinvents a “car-first” situation in Park Slope, Brooklyn. by creating express and local lanes for traffic with two-way bike lanes in a median.

How to Succeed in Design Competitions

The panelists discuss ENYA’s “The Harlem Edge|Cultivating Connections” Ideas Competition.

Marvine Pierre

Event: Insider Information: How to Succeed in Design Competitions
Location: Center For Architecture, 10.11.12
Organizers: AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA)
Speakers: Tyler Caine, LEED AP, 2012 ENYA Ideas Competition “Harlem Harvest|Cultivating Connections” second place team; Behrang Behin, Assoc. AIA, 2010 “City of Dreams: Living Pavilion” – first place team; Ian Gordon, RA, 2008 ENYA Ideas Competition “South Street Seaport: Re-Envisioning the Urban Edge” second place; and Richard Sarrach, Adjunct Professor, Pratt Institute
Moderators: Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, AIANY Assoc. Director, and Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA

The Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) is responsible for organizing several competitions such as “Figment: City of Dreams Pavilion” and the “ENYA Biennial Ideas Competition.” The committee recently held a panel discussion on how to succeed in design competition, an event offering emerging architects the opportunity to learn about competition strategies from design experts.

The panelists included: Tyler Caine, LEED AP, who won third place in the 2008 Ideas Competition, and first place in the Gowanus Lowline Competition in 2011; Ian Gordon, RA, who won second place in the 2008 Ideas Competition; Behrang Behin, Assoc. AIA, who won first place in the 2010 City of Dreams Pavilion; and Richard Sarrach, a professor at Pratt University who has participated and won a number of competitions.

The discussion covered strategies such as selecting which competitions to enter, selecting teammates for the project, designing the presentation layout, and managing time and funds. All of the panelists agreed that awards are important when selecting a competition to enter, including how much publicity a winning project might gain. The panelists also agreed that emerging and experienced architects should treat high-pressure competitions as integral to developing necessary skills as an architect.

“You have to invest in a competition just like you would your college education,” said Professor Sarrach, responding to a question regarding high competition entry fees for recent graduates. “You are investing in yourself.”

Moderators Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA, also described the committee’s experience with designing the competition brief and materials, and shared insights into what they look for in project entries. The event was successful in providing emerging architects an opportunity to discuss strategies and gain the confidence needed to be successful in their next design competition venture.