Names in the News

The Preservation League of New York State will honor Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the Pillar of New York Award on 10.30.13…

El Barrio activist Iris Morales was honored with the Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Chief of Operations Charles Gili was honored with the W. Alison and Elizabeth Stubbs Davis Award at the 2013 Municipal Art Society Summit for New York City…The Municipal Art Society’s 2013 MASterworks Winners are the Campbell Sports Center by Steven Holl Architects (Best New Building), McCarren Pool and Bathhouse by Rogers Marvel (Best Restoration), Barclays Center by SHoP Architects (Neighborhood Catalyst), and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center by Weiss/Manfredi (Best New Urban Ammenity)… Continue reading “Names in the News”

New Deadlines

10.25.13: Call for Submissions: 31st Annual IALD International Lighting Design Awards

10.28.13: Call for Submissions: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) Arts Pavilion International Design Competition

11.01.13: Call for Applications: American Academy in Rome’s 2014 Rome Prize

11.01.13: Call for Entries: 2014 Architizer A+ Awards – Second Annual Global Architecture Award

11.01.13: Call for Papers: 51st International Making Cities Livable Conference on Making Cities Healthy for All Continue reading “New Deadlines”

On View: At the Center for Architecture

Colombia Transformed / Architecture = Politics
Through 10.26.13

Archtober Lounge
Through 10.31.13

Surface Innovation: Redefining Boundaries of Interior and Exterior Spaces
Through 10.31.13

New York New World – 2013 Subway Show
Through 11.03.13

Future of the City
Through 11.05.13

Dorothy Heller Paintings from the 1950s and 1960s
Opening 11.07.13

FAR ROC: For a Resilient Rockaway
Opening 11.07.13

Building Connections 2013
Opening 11.14.13

Arch Schools 2013
Opening 11.16.13

Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo
Through 01.18.14

Editor’s Note

Correction: In “AIANY Celebrates Design Excellence at the 2013 Honors and Awards Luncheon,” featured in e-Oculus issue 04.18.13, Medal of Honor designer João Duarte was mistakenly identified as a Brazilian sculptor, medallist, and professor.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1952, João Duarte is one of Portugal’s foremost sculptors and medallists. Duarte graduated with a degree in plastic arts and sculpture from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon in 1978, where he is now an Associate Professor. In addition to his distinguished teaching career, he has designed 47 public monuments, more than 150 medals, and 12 commemorative coins for the Portuguese Mint. Continue reading “Editor’s Note”

Amid Layered Paradoxes, Five Cities’ Utopian Experiments

“Practical Utopias,” the Center for Architecture’s new exhibition on global architecture firms’ work in five Asian cities, organizes a wealth of visual and textual information around one neatly oxymoronic title phrase and five simple, potent adjectives. Along with generating a productive tension between practicality and utopianism, these built environments in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo are connected, dense, green, thick, and fun. That the exhibition and the accompanying high-profile panel also embodied these five concepts might go without saying, but it deserves to be said. These conversations attracted a crowd dense enough to pack Tafel Hall, developed thick layers of discourse connecting specific questions of design with multidisciplinary considerations, and touched on pressing environmental concerns. And inevitably, any evening bracketed by Daniel Libeskind, AIA’s humane, poetic, historically-grounded design sensibility and Thom Mayne, FAIA’s formidable, rapid-fire syntheses of cutting-edge theory with common sense provided more than the usual share of fun. Continue reading “Amid Layered Paradoxes, Five Cities’ Utopian Experiments”

Rhetorically Speaking: Don’t Know How Lucky You Are…


At the invitation of the Royal Norwegian Consulate, I travelled to Norway to participate in the Oslo Architecture Triennale. This conference attracts a large number of architects, urbanists, and theorists from Europe and Asia. The U.S. was represented by Barry Bergdoll (MoMA & Columbia GSAPP), Eva Franch i Gilabert (Storefront for Art & Architecture), Gregory Dreicer (Chicago Architecture Foundation), and Chase Rynd (National Building Museum). The conference, organized by Norsk Form director Andreas Vaa Bermann, focused on sustainability, and was complemented by the exhibition “Beyond the Green Door,” curated by Rotor, a young collective of architects, engineers, designers, and researchers based in Brussels. The exhibition remains on view at DogA Norsk Design, the Norwegian Architecture Center at Hausmanns Gate 16, Oslo, until 12.01.14. It brings together more than 600 projects and objects from more than 200 architecture offices, companies, and environmental organizations. The “cabinet of curiosities” exhibition questions accepted assumptions about sustainability, arguing for a more engaged interaction. A related exhibition at the Nasjonalmuseet – Arkitektur, or National Museum of Architecture, is called “Far-Out Voices,” curated by Jérémie McGowan with Caroline Maniaque-Benton, on view until 03.02.14. It speaks of lessons from 1960s U.S. counter-culture that started to change the world, especially in regard to sustainability.


Invited by the Union of Architects of Russia (UAR) to speak in St. Petersburg at the time of its annual conference of emerging professionals, I was also asked to be a juror for the Lazar Khidekel Award. Named for the renowned Russian Suprematist, the Lazar Khidekel jury and other student and post-graduate awards also drew some 600 projects from 30 cities and universities throughout the Russian Federation and former Soviet Union. Suprematism, founded in St. Petersburg in 1913, is distinct from Constructivism in that it is based more on pure geometry and artistic feeling, using a limited but specific range of colors. The awards jury was led by architect Mark L. Khidekel, son of the award’s namesake, and included deans of architecture schools as well as Swiss architect Martina Bigliardi Möhr. A series of meetings was also hosted by UAR St. Petersburg President Alexei Romanov and held at the UAR/SPb’s building, the former Stieglitz mansion on Bol. Morskaya. It followed two days of equivalent discussions in Moscow, with UAR National President Andrey Bokov at Granatniy Per. 12, the UAR national headquarters, with Irina Korobina at the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture, and at the Strelka Institute in the Red October chocolate factory district. Continue reading “Rhetorically Speaking: Don’t Know How Lucky You Are…”

Dekton by Cosentino: Traditional Echoes in Hyper-Performance

On Thursday 10.03.13, Archtober’s Platinum Sponsor Dekton by Cosentino celebrated the opening of its exhibition “Surface Innovation: Redefining Boundaries of Interior and Exterior Spaces at the Center for Architecture. The event marked the global launch of its latest product, Dekton, an ultra-compact, highly resistant surface that can be used on interiors and exteriors, allowing designers to rethink conventional boundaries of indoor and outdoor spaces.

“Surface Innovation,” designed by Whirlwind Creative, tracks Dekton’s development from the idea’s inception to its final production. Despite being a family-owned business, Cosentino is not a traditional, conservative-minded company. The headquarters in Almeria, Spain, boasts extensive R&D facilities, including a ceramics and glass lab, a pigments lab, and a polymer lab that actively collaborate with leading architecture, design, and engineering experts to develop materials that meet current construction demands. Continue reading “Dekton by Cosentino: Traditional Echoes in Hyper-Performance”

UN-Habitat Symposium Considers the Elements of Resilience

No one attending the United Nations conference for World Habitat Day needed convincing about certain key principles: that climate change and extreme weather events are accelerating; that these conditions challenge the sustainability of the world’s cities; and that decisions about whether, where, and how to build deserve the attention of every global citizen, not just that of architects and planners. One of the strengths of these UN-Habitat meetings is that broad acceptance of these fundamentals removes the need to debate the obvious and reinvent the wheel. (That certain powerful social elements do reject the obvious was manifest here only in a negative sense: with federal functions shut down by a faction in the House of Representatives, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, had to cancel his appearance.) Inside the chamber, the rhetorical tone could be ceremonial or exhortatory, but the panelists wasted no time on drama, adversariality, or grandstanding, proceeding instead to consider relevant experience and practical disaster-mitigation strategies. Continue reading “UN-Habitat Symposium Considers the Elements of Resilience”

Rebuild Renew Re-Create: A New York State Convention Report

Arriving late can be unsettling; arriving late to the opening keynote presentation of the 2013 AIA New York State Convention by Roman Mars, host of99% Invisible,” felt a bit like landing on the Red Planet instead of in the home of the “Syracuse Orange.”

Mars’ radio show about architecture, design, and all the thought that goes into the things that most people don’t even think about, provided a wide-ranging, follow-my-lead-but-keep-thinking tone that prepared one for the broad array of programming, awards, and interactions that followed over the next three days. Throughout the presentation, snippets of image, voice, interview, story-telling, and rock music were integrated like the many elements to building, street, and community that AIA members leverage for their projects. This method of holding together threads that are not always thought of at the same time continued throughout the convention as programs explored the theme “Rebuild, Renew, Re-Create.Continue reading “Rebuild Renew Re-Create: A New York State Convention Report”