Connecting Research and Age-Friendly Design

The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was a key figure at the Center for Architecture on 05.31.16. Throughout “Connecting Research and Age-Friendly Design,” panelists and audience members referenced Peter Pan as a figure who is often present in how we design buildings and communities, as well as in how we think about ourselves. Though we would all like to believe we will never grow old, we cannot continue to design and build spaces that do not support an aging population. AARP New York Associate State Director Bill Armbruster led off his presentation by saying that he lives in a “Peter Pan house” – one that was not built with aging occupants in mind. The evening’s panelists offered their thoughts on how architects, planners, and designers can push for more inclusive physical and social environments that will accommodate our aging population. Continue reading “Connecting Research and Age-Friendly Design”

Intellectual Property in a Digital World

In recent years, many creative industries – most notably the music industry – have dealt with the ramifications of the ease of digital sharing as it relates to intellectual property. On 05.18.15, a panel moderated by Melissa Marsh, founder and CEO of PLASTARC, gathered to discuss what the future of intellectual property for architecture will be. The speakers included Nancy Wolff and Joshua Sessler, partners at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP; LeAnn Shelton, Esq., AIA, general counsel and director of business affairs at Rockwell Group; and Matthew Bannister, founding partner and CEO of DBOX. Continue reading “Intellectual Property in a Digital World”

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”

Postcard Identity: Architecture in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Social media is the root of much conversation, worry, speculation, and excitement across many fields and seems to pervade our everyday lives – so how is it affecting architecture, planning, and design? On 06.19.14, “Postcard Identities | Esoteric Landmarks” gathered speakers to discuss how these evolving technologies and methods of connecting people to one another – and to spaces – are changing how projects are conceived, and how people create and interact with iconic images and landmarks. If the proliferation of instantly shareable moments, photographs, and feedback is fundamentally changing how we, as users and creators, relate to space, what does this mean for the future of the profession? Continue reading “Postcard Identity: Architecture in the Age of Digital Reproduction”

Urban Nature, from Zurich to New York

“‘Nature’ is simply another 18th- – and 19th-century fiction.” – Robert Smithson

This is one of the quotations that AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, chose to introduce the 05.16.14 event, “Urban Nature: Between Human and Non-Human.” A collaboration between ETH Zurich and Columbia GSAPP, the conference featured eight speakers who approached the relationship between “urban” and “nature” from a variety of angles; yet, the construction of nature as a concept and the natural-built dichotomy were major themes running through the fascinating collection of topics explored. Continue reading “Urban Nature, from Zurich to New York”

Inclusive Urban Practices on the Rise

As Miodrag Mitrasinovic, associate professor of Urbanism and Architecture at Parsons The New School for Design, pointed out at the 12.07.13 “Cultivating Engaged and Inclusive Urban Practices” forum, many people talk about the importance of inclusive urbanism and design, but don’t follow through with it in practice. Luckily, the panel comprised five individuals who walk the walk. The event was the first of two forums presented in conjunction with the traveling exhibition “People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization.” Beginning in Bangkok in February, the exhibition has been seen in 10 cities so far, including New York. Global Studio’s Anna Rubbo introduced the panel by noting that the exhibition comes at a pivotal moment for New York City, when the mayoral election, among other events, has brought inequality and inclusivity to the forefront of public conversation. In this context, architecture, planning, design, and advocacy are making great strides to address issues of social justice through the built environment. Panelists spoke about projects that are subverting traditional top-down approaches to the creation of the urban environment and bringing a public voice to various facets of urbanism. Continue reading “Inclusive Urban Practices on the Rise”

Building a Just City

Then the hand seeks other hands to help,
A community of hands to help-
Thus the dream becomes not one man’s dream alone,
But a community dream.
Not my dream alone, but our dream.
Not my world alone,
But your world and my world,
Belonging to all the hands who build.
Langston Hughes, “Freedom’s Plow” (1943)

An excerpt from “Freedom’s Plow” is inscribed on the Langston Hughes Community Library in Flushing. On 10.04.13, AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, opened the J. Max Bond Lecture by reading from the poem, saying that it exemplified Bond’s belief in the need for social justice in the building, design, and workings of the city – and the Hughes Library was one of the last projects Bond worked on. Bell named Bond not only as a former teacher, but a mentor and major influence on Bell’s career. The lecture was a collaboration between the newly reinstated AIANY Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NYCBOA/NOMA), and the J. Max Bond Center for the Just City (JMBC), carrying on Bond’s commitment to inclusion and justice in the built environment. Continue reading “Building a Just City”

Listen and They Will Build

From the moment she took the podium, it was evident why Joy Bailey Bryant is so successful in her career as a cultural planner and outreach specialist. Bryant immediately announced that this 07.09.13 event, titled “Listen and They Will Build: Incorporating the Results of Community Engagement into Cultural Building Projects,” would be more of a conversation than a formal lecture, and that she was eager to hear thoughts and feedback from the audience. In her capacity as principal consultant with Lord Cultural Resources, she employs these tactics on a daily basis for community outreach and engagement when advising on cultural plans and institutions. In her presentation, Bryant outlined recommendations for successful engagement in cultural planning and illustrated her approach with two Lord projects: the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Continue reading “Listen and They Will Build”

A Seat at the Table: Architecture, Design, and the Future of New York

Cross-disciplinary. Streamlined. Flexible. These are the principles New York architects hope to see in the city’s future, as evidenced by the major themes presented at The Future of the City Symposium on 05.11.13. Taking lessons from their own experiences, four present and former AIANY presidents, along with leaders from AIANY’s Post-Sandy Initiative, spent the afternoon discussing the issues related to architecture, planning, and design that will be facing the New York’s next mayor and the city as a whole. Continue reading “A Seat at the Table: Architecture, Design, and the Future of New York”