On View: At the Center for Architecture

Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo
Opening 10.01.13

Archtober Lounge
Opening 10.01.13

Surface Innovation: Redefining Boundaries of Interior and Exterior Spaces
Opening 10.01.13

New York New World – 2013 Subway Show
Opening 10.07.13

Colombia Transformed / Architecture = Politics
Through 10.26.13

Future of the City
Through 11.05.13

New Deadlines

09.30.13: Call for Submissions: The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s 5th Advance Architecture Contest: Self-Sufficient Habitat

10.01.13: Call for Entries: AIA San Francisco’s Third Annual Architecture at Zero 2013 International Competition – A Competition for Zero Net Energy Architecture

10.02.13: Call for Submissions: Hatch Hub’s Hatch Live live design competition

10.09.13: Call for Submissions: Spirited Artist Show in Beacon, New York – Mediums accepted include sculpture, architectural models and designs, photography and other art work Continue reading “New Deadlines”

Sighted

09.11.13: AIANY Committee on the Environment Co-chairs Pat Sapinsley, AIA, LEED AP, and Ilana Judah, Intl. Assoc. AIA, organized “Integration Series – Succeeding at Nothing: Achieving Net Zero”, featuring speakers Jeffrey Rios, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Engineer, Possee/AKF, and Anna Serra, Associate Sustainability Consultant, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers.

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All Eyes on Oculus

This year, Oculus, AIANY’s quarterly magazine exploring issues relevant to architectural discourse and practice in the city, turns 75. On 09.03.13, attendees – including contributors, Oculus Committee members, and current and past editors of Oculus and its digital sister publication e-Oculus – gathered to celebrate the magazine’s long trajectory during the opening of the exhibition “Coverage: Seventy-Five Years of Oculus.”

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Lhota at Center

Former Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota, a Republican candidate for mayor, met with members of the AIA New York Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, and colleagues from other civic and design groups at the Center for Architecture on Friday, 08.23.13. After touring the “FitNation” exhibition and Hudson Yards installation, Lhota discussed what he sees as the key issues in this election, including the economy, education, and quality of life. Describing his background in the operations of city government and as head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), Lhota talked about the need to diversify the economy, suggesting that he would bring “more businesses that are on the cutting edge” to New York, building upon the applied technology initiatives of the Bloomberg Administration at Cornell/Technion and NYU-Poly.

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Would-BPs Tangle Over Policies on Built Environment

“Everything is political,” a wise person once said, “but politics isn’t everything.” In the first explicitly campaign-oriented event to be held at the Center for Architecture, three Democratic candidates for Manhattan Borough President (all of the major aspirants to succeed BP Scott Stringer except Council Member Jessica Lappin, who had a scheduling conflict) sparred over master plans, housing policy, rezoning, and more, finding certain areas of agreement but offering sharply contrasting profiles. The AIANY’s Platform for the Future of the City suggests that the local architectural community is ready not only to offer expertise, but to pose challenging questions about design, infrastructure, and social policy. If this lively one-hour conversation is any indication, elected officials are eager to reach out to New York’s architects –- at least to put their own positions forward.

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Oculus Book Review: “A Country of Cities” by Vishaan Chakrabarti, Assoc. AIA

Vishaan Chakrabarti’s A Country of Cities is more cultural artifact than text. With 100-plus pages of argument, balanced with 100-plus pages of graphs, data, and illustrations, the book is a manifesto for the visual age. Chakrabarti proclaims smart urban growth as a way to overcome many of society’s ills. In most of the book he preaches to a happy urbanite choir – I found myself saying “yes, yes, yes” to much of the discourse. Chakrabarti guides us through the somewhat “hackneyed” (his word, not mine) arguments of the sustainable landscape: the car equals bad, density equals good, suburbs equal bad. He uses cues from other great texts from the sustainability movement: a good-looking book design and easy handling from Cradle to Cradle, fashionable and epic imagery from An Inconvenient Truth, and an attempt to make graphs sexy from Bruce Mau’s Massive Change. The book works – and pushes the argument farther into the American mindset than any other text to date, but its potential is in the things that I think Chakrabarti “slips in” rather than the obvious arguments.

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Designing to Elevate the Public Realm: ENYA Launches the QueensWay Connection Design Competition

The AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee’s 2014 biennial design ideas competition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm, supports Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land in their efforts to transform the QueensWay into a greenway. Abandoned since 1962, the QueensWay is a 3-1/2 mile elevated railway running between Rego Park and Ozone Park. ENYA’s competition program challenges young designers to program and design access points to the proposed linear park that extend street activity onto the railway above.

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Behind Every Sadik-Khan, a Streetful of Jacobses

When public officials implement Active Design principles in the built environment, they’re not making an arbitrary top-down decision (no matter how often that complaint has arisen from NIMBYs, smokers, the internal-combustion-engine-über-alles faction, and others); they’re responding to expressions of political will. At the most recent FitNation panel, amid an overview of Transportation Alternatives’ (TA) effective campaigns to reclaim street space for human-powered movement and transit, TA spokesperson Jennifer So Godzeno drew a distinction between activists like Jane Jacobs, who create and amplify that political will, and officials like Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who translate it into policy decisions and constructed forms. Both are indispensable. Citizen activism is an integral aspect of Active Design, the counterweight to all the interests whose inertia supports a pathogenic status quo in built space. The case studies offered here added up to an encouraging pattern of individual initiative driving democratic action to enhance public health.

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Behind the Scenes on Governors Island

Attendees donned hard hats to peek behind the scenes at the new park and public spaces under development at the center of Governors Island before meandering through the FIGMENT “Head in the Clouds” pavilion. Jamie Maslyn Larson, principal-in-charge of West 8’s Governors Island Park and Public Space Project, discussed the multi-phase Governors Island Park Master Plan while guiding attendees through portions of the Liggett Terrace and Hammock Grove construction sites. The future four-acre Liggett Terrace public space is framed by the wings of Liggett Hall, a massive Neo-Georgian structure designed by McKim, Mead & White in the 1930s for military use. Liggett Terrace’s interactive water features will encourage kids to play, while the Hammock Grove’s seven-acre grove will offer a shady relaxation area. In homage to Governors Island’s former name of “Nooten Eylandt,” or “Nut Island,” the 55 species of Hammock Grove’s 300 new trees will feature nut-producing varieties.

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