Michael Graves, FAIA, a Memory

A few days have gone by since I heard of Michael Graves’s death. There has been wide coverage in the general media – spots on TV shows and a front-page obit in the New York Times. I posted my own photographic tribute on my maiden-name Facebook page: a picture I took last year of the wheelchair-bound architect, with my also-architect husband Benjamin Kracauer, AIA, at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT.

As a Princeton architecture student in the 1970s (almost the entire decade – 1971-1979), I was Graves’s student in design studio, repeatedly took his Visual Studies class, and had him on reviews. Five Architects was well thumbed, Peter Eisenman, FAIA, showed up for Michael’s juries. The Institute – not the American Institute of Architects, but rather the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies – was a mecca for internships with Peter, Rem Koolhaas, and a host of others making their own mayhem in New York. Oppositions came out regularly: a platform for an academic discourse on architecture and planning that may have singlehandedly invented its own private language through appropriation of critical thought from the other more verbal disciplines of literature, philosophy, and history. And I was a Navy-brat-public-school kid from Los Angeles, transplanted by ambition to the recently co-educated ivy halls. Continue reading “Michael Graves, FAIA, a Memory”

Sustainability Experts: It’s Time for Radical Response

Howard Roark died. A long time ago, some would add, perhaps even at birth; as professional icons go, the architect-as-solitary-aesthetic-hero character strikes many real-world architects as intellectually stillborn. Yet the “Edge Sustainability” panel’s most daring provocateur, RTKL Chief Sustainability Officer Lance Hosey, FAIA, finds the Roarkian image perversely staggering on, a zombielike presence obstructing efforts to apply architects’ expertise to the planet’s most pressing problem. Continue reading “Sustainability Experts: It’s Time for Radical Response”

Save the Date – FitCity 10

FitCity 10: Promoting Physical Activity through Design, organized by AIANY and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will take place on 05.11.15 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 5th Avenue. The 10th annual conference will bring together architects, planners, designers, developers, government officials, community advocates, and public health professionals to discuss how design, policy, and practice decisions can create opportunities to increase physical activity, access to healthier food and beverages, and overall well-being in NYC’s low-income communities. Continue reading “Save the Date – FitCity 10”

women. wikipedia. design. #wikiD: ArchiteXX’s Ongoing Campaign to Write Women Architects into One of the Internet’s Most Widely Consulted Databases

In her essay for Places, “Unforgetting Women Architects: From the Pritzker to Wikipedia,” Despina Stratigakos discusses the lack of women architects in our history books, current publications, and in our public consciousness. Unfortunately, some of those who are written into the historical record on Wikipedia are just as quickly being edited out. ArchiteXX felt that we had to take action. Global action. We organized the first-ever international #wikiD event on International Women’s Day, 03.08.15, to write more women architects, designers, and all those involved in the creation of our built environment, into Wikipedia. ArchiteXX teamed up with the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and the AIA New York Chapter for a #wikiD party at the Center for Architecture in New York; it took place concurrently with editing parties internationally on the same day. All told, the #wikiD campaign was a needed shot in the arm that brought widespread awareness to the issue, but now we’re tasked with leveraging that momentum to solve the Wikipedia gender gap in the long run. Continue reading “women. wikipedia. design. #wikiD: ArchiteXX’s Ongoing Campaign to Write Women Architects into One of the Internet’s Most Widely Consulted Databases”

Lina Bo Bardi’s Popular Rise

It was a coincidental night – the first day of spring, five inches of snow, the 100th anniversary of Lina Bo Bardi’s birth, and, to the day, the 23rd anniversary of her death – that brought together some who knew her well to share tales of Bo Bardi’s life and legacy.

To supplement his own education, Dr. Zeuler Lima began investigating Bo Bardi to uncover how one could design as she did. The results show in numerous exhibitions, a film, and a biography that he has produced. Because her interests were so eclectic, Lima devised a timeline that charted her polymath activities; what he found supports Bo Bardi’s conviction of “life as a work of art.” Zeuler showed his documentary film, which focuses on Bo Bardi’s exhibition and curatorial activities and reveals her democratic views on art, artifact, and craft. Continue reading “Lina Bo Bardi’s Popular Rise”

Oculus Book Review: Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, by Keller Easterling

On 03.16.15 the Center for Architecture hosted Keller Easterling, a professor at the Yale School of Architecture, to discuss her latest book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. As attendees walked into the Center’s lecture hall, Easterling projected a dramatic flyover of a glittering city of fiber-optic optimization with diamond- and dolphin-shaped buildings. In a continuous loop, the animation showed urban space and order, form and function – but it was scary. Was the audience to think it was so bad it was cool? Is Easterling intimating that there was an aesthetic to embrace? Was it offered up as something to correct or something to embrace? Is she a pro-Matrix (as in the movie franchise) Denise Scott Brown? Easterling’s delivery is journalistic in tone but disconcertingly optimistic. Her balletic cadence was compelling, and drifted in and out of preacher-like caution against neoliberalism and a gamer’s excitement of this new realm of nongovernmental parameters and freedoms. Continue reading “Oculus Book Review: Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, by Keller Easterling”

25 Great Ideas if Your Design Practice is Knocked Out by a Disaster – or to Avoid One Altogether

With disasters increasingly probable, would your office be in a position to work? What problems would you and your people – as a business and as individuals – encounter?

The 03.10.15 program, “Business Continuity: Resilience is Not an Expense,” had as its mission to make people aware of the threats facing their business operations, and show them how to meet disasters head-on.

People active in helping businesses through disasters, and some who have taken their firms through disasters, formed the panel that brought a combination of design professionals, design-firm business leaders, and administrators.   Continue reading “25 Great Ideas if Your Design Practice is Knocked Out by a Disaster – or to Avoid One Altogether”

Designing Sustainable Supply Chains

If you own a MacBook (or even if you don’t), perhaps you recall Apple’s campaign claiming it was the “world’s greenest notebook.” Beyond the exciting tagline, there was no real way for consumers to know whether this was an accurate statement. Dr. Leo Bonanni noticed the disconnect – the huge gap between sustainability claims and consumer information was the beginning of Sourcemap. Continue reading “Designing Sustainable Supply Chains”

2015 Arnold W. Brunner Grant Winners Announced

The Center for Architecture and AIA New York Chapter are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Arnold W. Brunner Grant. The Brunner Grant is awarded annually to an advanced study in any area of architectural investigation that will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching, or practice of the art and science of architecture.

The Scholarship Committee selected three recipients for 2015: Peggy Deamer, Ph.D., Mary McLeod, Ph.D., and Ruth-Claire Weintraub. Deamer’s project, “Architecture and the Sherman Antitrust Act,” investigates the history of the Sherman Antitrust Act and how it is deployed to advocate for the profession of architecture. McLeod will explore Le Corbusier’s response to World War II by focusing on his little-known proposal for refugee housing in her project, “Le Corbusier’s Response to World War II: His Proposals for Refugee Housing.” Weintraub has developed a pilot study, “Exposure, Explanation, Evolution: the Professional and the Personal in Architectural Education,” which examines builders’ experiences at Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti. Continue reading “2015 Arnold W. Brunner Grant Winners Announced”