Calling All Bloggers!

Archtober, our annual Architecture and Design Festival, is right around the corner. Sadly, Festival Director and daily Building of the Day blogger Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP, is marching into Archtober with something of a handicap. Due to untimely foot surgery, Cynthia has relinquished one of her personal perks as Festival Director – her daily deadline.

While we will miss her consistent insights, we Archtoberites are not so easily thwarted. We thought this would be a great chance to get fresh voices to share their perspectives on some of New York City’s most celebrated buildings. After all, Archtober is all about spreading awareness of the important role of architecture and design in our city.

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The Architects of the Sea

The Architects’ Regatta took place this year on Thursday, 09.12.13, following a course laid out near the Statue of Liberty. As we have come to expect, the AIA New York Chapter’s “Flying Eagles” did exceedingly well given the strange skies and despite an unfortunate technical mishap. Skippered by AIANY Housing Committee Co-Chair Wids DeLaCour, AIA, this year’s salty crew included 2013 Chapter President Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, former President Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, Blake Middleton, AIA, of Handel Architects, and Bruce Fowle, FAIA, of FXFOWLE. Continue reading “The Architects of the Sea”

To Everything There is a Season…and Fall Means Archtober

The AIA New York Chapter has three main goals: design excellence, professional development, and public outreach. Archtober fulfills all three, and goes above and beyond when it comes to public outreach.

Under the aegis of the AIA New York Chapter, and via a diverse schedule of programming, Archtober is a grassroots effort, supported by 53 participating organizations and institutions – a third more than last year – that collaborate on ways to raise awareness of the role architects and designers play in creating New York City’s built environment. Continue reading “To Everything There is a Season…and Fall Means Archtober”

Commodity, Firmness, Delight, and Blastproof: The New Normal

The 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, with violent fanaticism still very much in the headlines, makes a look at the built environment’s security a timely exercise. For the “Are We Safe Yet?” program, architects involved with public spaces and structures joined specialists in security and engineering to deliver expert commentary on this sobering aspect of design, illuminating the concepts and negotiations behind features that have become commonplace since the attack. The hot-button term “terrorism” wasn’t prominent in the discussion, perhaps implicitly for the sake of keeping the emotional temperature under control; as events elsewhere in the city recognized the tragedy of 9/11, this conversation focused on the nuts and bolts of preventing or mitigating another one.

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Oculus Book Review: “New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future”

Reading the epic New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future, however ominous the title, is actually an optimistic act. The 600-page tome will go down as a tremendous resource for a design community that is in desperate need of assessing evidence-based research of the highest quality. Orchestrated by sociologists David Halle and Andrew A. Beveridge, the collection of papers discusses the NYC/LA continuum in an impressive and lively manner. The Oculus Book Talk on 09.09.13, with its three-minute presentations and rock music impetus, broke new ground for the intersection of public policy and architectural thought.

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Digital Spaces in the Public World or Public Spaces in the Digital World

On Monday 09.16.13, the AIANY Marketing & Communications Committee, in its penultimate event of the year, took on the topic of our converging digital and built worlds from a uniquely marketing-oriented perspective – namely, a focus on the ability of public space to play a role in communications – both political and advertising in nature. The panelists, introduced by Signe Nielsen, FASLA, principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, and president of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York, explored a range of topics through each of their own works and practices. The conversation included technological entertainment installations in public space, digital signage for safety and way-finding, next-generation philanthropic sources, and leveraging of marketing dollars for public media. Continue reading “Digital Spaces in the Public World or Public Spaces in the Digital World”

On Bleecker Street, a History Tour in Brick and Steel

On a crisp weekday evening, a dozen architecture enthusiasts gathered at the Center for Architecture for “Reading the Streetscape: Bleecker Street” – a walking tour of Greenwich Village history hosted by the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF). “This is sort of an Architecture 101,” said Tim Hayduk, CFAF lead design educator and tour guide, at the outset. “It’s almost a vertical archaeology, with layer upon layer of construction.” Continue reading “On Bleecker Street, a History Tour in Brick and Steel”

Names in the News

Tod Williams, FAIA, and Billie Tsien, AIA, of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects were awarded the 2014 International Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects…The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum announced the selection of Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, as the 2013 Design Patron recipient of the National Design Awards… Continue reading “Names in the News”