Unlocking Potential: Libraries as Hosts for Universal Pre-Kindergarten

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced his initiative to provide free, universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) for all eligible children in NYC. To make enough seats available, the city must engage more community-based organizations. Branch libraries have been identified as ideal locations for UPK because of the existing programmatic synergies. On 06.12.14, AIANY hosted “Uncovering Synergies: A Design Charrette,” organized by AIANY and the NYC Department of Design + Construction (DDC), and sponsored by the AIANY Committee on Architecture for Education. The charrette explored how seven library branches in five boroughs can accommodate UPK by fulfilling the city’s varied requirements. This interdisciplinary exercise brought together representatives from the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library, relevant city agencies, non-profit organizations, and architects. Continue reading “Unlocking Potential: Libraries as Hosts for Universal Pre-Kindergarten”

Why Compete

The first P(RE)Think panel discussed competitions from the architect’s point of view: portfolio building, exploring ideas, media attention, and that pipedream of winning a commission. Version two-point-oh brought together city agencies, academia, and a cultural institution to examine why clients offer competitions. From theoretical exploration to developers’ bottom lines, competitions can bring together ideas and economy. Introducing the symposium, AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, targeted the ability of competitions to identify the heart of a problem, which could be completely different than first considered, and their ability to “make things happen.” Continue reading “Why Compete”