Another Summer of Discovery at the Center, with Special Thanks…

As the dreams of summer drift away and the gravity felt in going back to school or work takes hold, we are reminded of the incredible work that took place here at the Center for Architecture in 15 workshops for K-12 children over nine summer weeks. About 277 students called the Center for Architecture home over the summer, as they spent hours drawing, sketching, taking photographs, and building elaborate models of their own designs. They visited places as diverse as backstage at BAM; the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum; the Knoll showroom; the Hudson Yards site and showroom; and the architectural offices of Grimshaw and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. We were glad to welcome Molly Hughes, production designer for the Harry Potter movies, and Roderick Romero, a “Treehouse Master,” to share their work with students at the Center. Many others, both young and old, shared their interest in architecture, design, and the city, and the students found a forum for sharing their own design ideas with each other, both in class and during their final presentations at the end of each week. Through all of the hard work, the students also had a lot of fun making things. Continue reading “Another Summer of Discovery at the Center, with Special Thanks…”

Names in the News

The National Building Museum will present the 2014 Vincent Scully Prize to Charlie Rose, anchor and executive editor of Charlie Rose on PBS, and co-anchor of CBS This Morning. Frank Gehry, FAIA, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger, and former Director of the NYC Department of Planning Amanda Burden will give remarks at the 11.18.14 ceremony…The NYC Historic Districts Council will honor architectural historian and preservationist Andrew Scott Dolkart, the James Marston Fitch Professor of Historic Preservation and Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), at the 26th Landmarks Lion Award Benefit… Continue reading “Names in the News”

New Deadlines

2015 Oculus Editorial Calendar
The Oculus 2015 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect in practice or by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! You may submit projects/topics from anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas/projects by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Spring 2015: President’s Theme: “Dialogues from the Edge of Practice” A look at how innovative practices are boldly enlarging the purview of the architect, expanding beyond the traditional scope of practice with new services and revenue models, new modes of collaboration with other disciplines, designing new computational tools to better create design, etc.
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 11.07.14

Summer 2015: AIANY 2015 Design Awards
Submission deadline: 02.06.14

Fall 2015: “Home” (In conjunction with the Housing Exhibition + Archtober)
Housing progress report/report card: whether market rate or affordable, is it living up to our expectations for design, community integration, environmental responsiveness? For affordable and low-income housing, is innovation helping us hit the number of units New York City needs? Continuing controversy about “inclusionary” housing (80/20 and such). Off-site/modular construction. BSA Housing Awards. (To include input from social scientists, urban anthropologists, psychologists, etc.)
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 05.22.15

Winter 2015: “Makers in a Digital World” or “Architecture & the Digital World”
How we present and build what we do: 21st-century visual representation, mapping, big data. Life-cycle of a building: an idea, draw it, digitize for CNC milling machines, construct, share via Instagram, etc. Cooper-Hewitt tech “pencils”; etc.
Deadline for story ideas, projects: 08.14.15 Continue reading “New Deadlines”

“Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations”

If you have yet to see our summer exhibition, “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” the culmination of this year’s presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” established by AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, you should stop by the Center for Architecture soon! The exhibition will close on 09.08.14. Before this happens, however, we will be celebrating the opening of Christopher Janney’s public art installation, “Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” on 09.05.14 at 5:00 PM. As the name suggests, this program is an important initiative of President Brown’s theme.

“Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” is an “urban musical instrument that will further activate the Center for Architecture’s neighboring public space, LaGuardia Park. A site-specific pattern of 16 eight-foot-tall “trees” will join the statue of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia by Neil Estern. Each “tree” houses interactive photo-electric sensors, computer-controlled LED lights, and an audio speaker. Visitors will trigger the sensors by touch or movement, producing an ever-changing score of melodic tunes and environmental sounds enhanced by light effects.

The opening reception will precede the final program for “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” a panel discussion titled “The Future of Public Space.” Suzanne Fraiser, AIA, associate professor at Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning, Guido Hartray, AIA, founding partner at Marvel Architects, and Susan Silberberg, AIA, founder of CivicMoxie and lecturer in urban design and planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, will discuss the critical role played by our shared urban realm in the face of increasing population density in a conversation moderated by Richard Sennett, founder of Theatrum Mundi and professor of Sociology at NYU and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

After the panel discussion, the celebration will continue at Favela Cubana (543 LaGuardia Place) across the street from the Center for Architecture!

Sapolin Awards

Signed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has fostered independence, empowerment, and inclusion for millions of Americans. On 08.19.14, Anthony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, welcomed Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Commissioner Victor Calise , a few hundred friends and well-wishers, and the winners of the 2014 ADA Sapolin Awards. The awards, presented each year by the mayor and MOPD, recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to increasing accessibility for people with disabilities, and an Advocacy Award to an individual or entity that has advocated on behalf of people with disabilities. The ADA Sapolin Awards are named for the late MOPD Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who passed away in 2011, and the Advocacy Award is named in honor of the late Frieda Zames, a disability activist and mathematics professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

Marx started the evening by reminiscing about his mother’s role in working with people with challenging medical conditions. He stated: “New York is the capital of the diversity of experience of the world,” and added, “I could not be more proud to host this event here at this library, bringing this diversity of experience and insight – making sure that everyone has the opportunities they deserve.”

Mayor de Blasio noted that the library “is a place of inclusion, a place where inequality is addressed and equality fostered. I am so proud to join everyone tonight celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s a victory we should respect and celebrate over and over again.” He kicked off the festivities by thanking Commissioner Calise, saying, “Victor has done extraordinary things for this city.” He also noted, “Somehow he finds time for his athletic life as well,” and complemented the commissioner on his prowess as “an Olympic athlete who competed in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics on the Paralympics Sled Hockey Team.” Continue reading “Sapolin Awards”

Communities as Critical Systems: Building Resiliently

On 08.20.14, Enterprise Community Partners held a resilience roundtable on ways to incorporate resilience measures into its Green Communities Criteria. Enterprise Green Communities aligns affordable housing investment strategies with environmentally responsible building practices, and the Green Communities Criteria were developed to provide a framework for building green, affordable housing developments. Developments must fulfill an adequate number of the criteria in order to receive Green Communities certification. After 10 years of successful implementation, Enterprise is updating the list of criteria with resilient building methods. For the New York region, the focus is on flooding issues.

Enterprise brought together a group of experts to suggest standards for the updated criteria. After opening remarks by Enterprise VP & Market Leader Judith Kende and a thorough introduction to the Green Communities Criteria by Enterprise Program Officer Michelle Mulcahy, there were keynote introductory remakrs by Alex Wilson of Resilient Design and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA. An overview of the resilience work of Enterprise Community Partners was followed by participants breaking into four work groups. These were based on the criteria’s four existing categories: Location and Neighborhood Fabric + Site Improvements, Materials Beneficial to the Environment and Healthy Living Environment, Integrative Design and Operations & Maintenance, and Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency. Each group was encouraged to consider their assigned area in context and to think holistically about approaches to resiliently. Continue reading “Communities as Critical Systems: Building Resiliently”