Executive director of the New York–based nonprofit Van Alen Institute, David van der Leer, has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position effective November 21 to focus on his consultancy business. Van der Leer’s transition away from the institution he’s helped lead since 2013 will kick off a global search for Van Alen’s next executive director, although van der Leer will continue to serve in an advisory capacity through the beginning of 2019 to ease the transition. Managing director Elissa Black will serve as the interim director until van der Leer’s successor begins. Van der Leer’s tenure at the 125-year-old Institute has been marked by an outgrowth of interdisciplinary programs, design competitions, media partnerships, international outreach, and the formation of three leadership councils. Climate change has also taken center stage, as the Institute launched Keeping Current, an $850,000 design competition for mitigating sea level rise in Miami, sent their Climate Council across the country to search for urban resiliency solutions, and highlighted the issue in their Van Alen Sessions video series. “If Van Alen and New York have walked hand-in-hand for decades, David van der Leer has opened up the doors (and the minds) of the Institute to the wider world,” said Paola Antonelli, the Museum of Modern Art’s senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design. “He has initiated partnerships that have positioned Van Alen as an important node in the international network of research and debate on the future of cities.” Black said in a press release, "Through innovation and inclusivity, David inspired the vision for the important work of the organization. I and the entire staff are wholly committed to carrying our mission forward and building on the Institute's legacy of forward-thinking programs."
Posts tagged with "David van der Leer":
New York City's Van Alen Institute (VAI) is turning 120 next year, and to celebrate, the institute is taking its message of inspired architecture and urbanism to the street. The storefront space on West 22nd Street has been home to the institute's popular LOT-EK–designed bookstore and event space, organized around a stack of bleachers made from reclaimed wooden doors painted highlighter yellow. VAI's new director, David van der Leer, is tackling the redesign and expansion of the sidewalk space to maximize the organization's public visibility as it evolves its mission into the 21st century. Three finalists—Collective-LOK, EFGH Architectural Design Studio, and Of Possible Architectures (OPA)—were selected from over 120 respondents to VAI's "Ground/Work" competition earlier this year, and now their schemes have been revealed. EFGH Architectural Design Studio Hayley Eber, Frank Gesualdi, Spencer Lapp, Pat Ruggiero, and Ani Ivanova. Project statement from the Van Alen:
A microcosm of the space of the city, the new Van Alen Institute is imagined as a container for dynamic life. As an institution committed to the expansion of the definition of “public architecture” and the processes that shape the public realm, the VAI needs a home that embodies that ambition. Recognizing the dramatic proportions of the existing site as an opportunity, the proposed new Ground/ Work space turns a long skinny ground floor volume into a virtue: it maximizes the street level space, creating a single room - a large “grand hall” - that strives to reach the scale of the street, and extend the life of 22nd Street into the heart of the Institute. Through the easy manipulation of three mobile components in the space, The Media Wedge, The Bleacher and the Hinge Table, the VAI can be radically transformed by a few employees in a short amount of time. When one asks “What is the new space of the Van Alen Institute; A Workspace, Exhibition space, Lecture Hall, Book/ Media Outlet, Public Forum, Conference space, Performance Space or Party space?” The only suitable answer is All of the Above.View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. Collective-LOK Jon Lott, William O’Brien Jr., and Michael Kubo Project statement from the Van Alen:
The new institutional home of the Van Alen has to be many things at once. The brief requires curatorial flexibility for a breadth of public programming including exhibitions, lectures, reading groups, and book launches; a comfortable and efficient office environment for different scales and modes of work ranging from formal to casual; a framework that can grow to include the second floor and basement as the institution expands in the future; and a mobile street seat that will bring the Van Alen’s mission into the urban realm. To accommodate this range of scenarios within a limited square footage, we propose a Screen Play: a mechanism to order these spatial, curatorial, and temporal scenarios through a subtle interplay of surfaces that creates a complex and ambiguous presence in the city. The project proposes five strategies of screen play to enable and give shape to the broadest possible range of uses.View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. Of Possible Architectures Vincent Appel, Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Jaime Magaliff, Paul Miller, Heather Murtagh, Franklin Romero Jr., and Emily Ruopp, in collaboration with Jay Atherton. Project statement from the Van Alen:
The VAI has developed a legacy of architectural projects through competitions and commissions. The Van Alen Stairs, inspired by the TKTS Steps, capture this legacy most succinctly. The Stairs achieve an architecture of relational tectonics. We have identified relational tectonics as the dimension of architecture which intentionally provokes relationships between people, their behavior, and their environment...For the next iteration of the Van Alen Institute, we propose a translation of the Van Alen Stair into the Van Alen Table. The dimensions of the Table are precisely calibrated to the VAI's space. The Table allows for the full gradient of programs to easily expand and contract along, around, and in between its 70' length. This table presents those using it — whether reading, lounging, working, etc. — in a way that is both comfortable, natural, and uncanny. The experience is just off-center from typical expectations.View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. The public is invited to weigh in on their favorite designs through September 10, which will be evaluated by a jury later this month. The competition jury includes Stephen Cassell (Architecture Research Office), Winka Dubbeldam (Archi-tectonics), Mark Gardner (Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects), Mark Robbins (International Center of Photography), Ada Tolla (LOT-EK), Marc Tsurumaki (LTL Architects), David van der Leer (Van Alen Institute), and Marc Kushner (Hollwich Kushner). The winning design team will be announced in late September and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.
The Van Alen Institute has announced three finalists for its competition Ground/Work, which called on emerging designers and architects to reimagine the institute’s New York storefront. In celebration of Van Alen’s 120th anniversary, the competition furthers the institute’s ambition to bring innovative architectural ideas into the public dialog by reframing the organization’s relation to the street. Young designers were invited to consider the Van Alen's shifting role within New York City through the redesign of its physical space, integrating all of its functions and creating a more visible and accessible presence on the ground floor of 30 West 22nd Street. From over 120 teams, representing more than 350 young designers up to ten years out of school, three finalists were selected: Collective-LOK, EFGH, and Of Possible Architectures. “We are thrilled by the jury’s selections, and look forward to the finalists’ imaginative visions for Van Alen as a center for innovative projects and public programs,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, in a statement. “Ground/Work is an opportunity to recognize emerging talents in architecture while bringing fresh creativity to the Institute during an exciting period of change.” Finalists were selected by a jury consisting of Stephen Cassell (Architecture Research Office, and Board of Trustees, Van Alen Institute), Winka Dubbeldam (Archi-tectonics, and University of Pennsylvania), Mark Gardner (Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects), Mark Robbins (International Center of Photography, and Board of Trustees, Van Alen Institute), Ada Tolla (LOT-EK), Marc Tsurumaki (LTL Architects), and David van der Leer (Van Alen Institute). The three chosen teams will present their proposals to the jury in September, following which the finalist will have four months to finalize their design before construction is set to begin this winter. The three winning teams each present innovative, interdisciplinary approaches that diverge from the traditional architectural practice, reflecting Van Alen’s mission to support and promote pioneering young designers. Below are self-descriptions of the three firms. Collective–LOK is a team formed by Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O'Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under). Our approach is shaped by an architectural mindset, but draws on a broad range of interests — historical, conceptual, curatorial, and cross-disciplinary — in order to shape discourse on design in the public realm. Our interest in the potentials of collaboration is rooted in an engagement with the history and methods of architectural practice as scholars, educators, and practitioners. We take inspiration from the rich legacy of firms that have shared a commitment to collaboration as the means to create a socially and culturally progressive architecture. EFGH (Hayley Eber, Frank Gesualdi, Spencer Lapp, Pat Ruggiero, and Ani Ivanova) is a New York-based architectural design practice founded in 2007 by principals Hayley Eber and Frank Gesualdi. The studio actively engages projects across scales: from the projective design of large urban sites to innovation at the scale of custom furniture, and everything in between. We explore design as an extensive network of interrelated and often competing issues, interrogating them along the way. Our design process reflects an intense curiosity mixed with a drive for experimentation. Of Possible Architectures (OPA) (Vincent Appel, Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Jaime Magaliff, Paul Miller, Heather Murtagh, Franklin Romero Jr., Emily Ruopp, in collaboration with Jay Atherton) is a creative practice working across spheres of architecture, social sculpture, large scale public art, and urbanism. OPA is committed to architecture as an act of cultural production and focuses on radically innovative, often self-initiated, cultural projects. What we do is based on optimistic speculations for how people and the built environment affect one another.
David van der Leer, an associate curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, has been appointed executive director of New York's Van Alen Institute. He will take over in May. The Institute, which has existed for more than 100 years in various forms, is dedicated to improving the public realm through exhibitions, competitions, and programming initiatives in New York and beyond. Reached by email, van der Leer declined to elaborate on his plans for the Institute. Van der Leer, 33, has been at the Guggenheim since 2008. He helped curate the landmark exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward and Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum. He was also active outside the walls of the museum, initiating stillspotting nyc, a series of site specific events and installations across the five boroughs, as well as the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a traveling pavilion that serves as a forum to investigate the future of cities. Prior to the Guggenheim, van der Leer worked in the publications departments at Steven Holl Architects, OMA, as well as 010 publishers, as well as a contributor to AN and other design publications. The Van Alen Institute is named for William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building, and one of the organization's biggest benefactors.