Posts tagged with "GSAPP":

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How can cities double down on the climate change fight? Three experts share ideas

It's widely accepted that climate change affects us all, and cities in particular. So what are some of the most vulnerable cities doing to adapt to rising seas and extreme weather events? Three experts from three cities—all of whom are current or former government officials—zeroed in on cities' responses to climate change in their respective regions at a mini Columbia GSAPP conference titled Cities and Climate Action. They were: Jeffrey Hebert, from New Orleans; Adam Freed, from New York; and Rodrigo Rosa of Rio de Janeiro, a visiting scholar at Columbia University and a legislative consultant in the Brazil Federal Senate. Climate change, the experts agreed, is addressed not just through the environment—destructive hurricanes or deadly heat waves—but through a city's culture, economy, and landscape. In New Orleans, starting around 2007, post-Katrina planning responded both to hurricane damage but also looked realistically at the profound impact of climate change on the urban fabric, explained Hebert, the city's deputy mayor & chief resilience officer. Southern Louisiana, Hebert said, has the highest rate of relative sea level rise (coastal subsidence) in the world. New Orleans, consequently, has spent $14 billion in storm surge prevention, part of a $50 billion coastal master plan that covers the whole region.  Despite the destruction wrought by Katrina—over 1,800 residents died—the water in today's resilience planning is very present, in part to keep climate change adaptation at the forefront of people's consciousness. "The water will be visible," said Hebert. "We have to do that in order to remain the city we’ve always wanted to be.” A tight network of interventions supports this goal: The 25-acre Mirabeau Water Garden is parkland that controls flooding, while rain gardens in medians, disaster preparedness strategies for buildings and neighborhoods, and a pumping system (second largest only to the Netherlands) keeps the city from being inundated. Climate change planning, though, goes beyond big-ticket water management. New Orleans residents are still recovering from Katrina trauma, and a new program addresses the barriers people face when trying to rebuild after life-altering events; after all, neighborhoods are nothing without their people. Hebert said a new city program, Connect to Opportunity, aims to reduce barriers to employment, build social cohesion, promote public heath, expand access to safe and affordable housing, redesign regional transit, and improve the reliability of energy infrastructure. That program is part of the city's overall resilience plan that was adopted in 2015. Up north, New York City's infrastructure is being upgraded to accommodate a growing population—a projected one million new residents between now and 2030. According to Freed, former deputy director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the infrastructure boost “had absolutely nothing to do with climate change" but it was a collateral benefit from the city's projected growth. To build resilience, “every facet of our built environment needs to change,” said Freed, who is now a principal at Bloomberg Associates. He noted that when he worked under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, just two percent of buildings were responsible for half of energy use in buildings. To combat this, the administration launched the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, which phased out things like heavy heating oil, one step in the city's plan to cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Recent projects include CitiBike, which had more than 10 million rides last year, microgrids for local energy production, flood protection in public housing, and turning rooftops into green roofs. In a post-talk discussion, moderator and New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman was joined by Columbia's Kate Orff, founding principal of SCAPE and director of GSAPP's urban design program, and Weiping Wu, director of the urban planning program. A few key points emerged: regional collaboration, meaningfully extending resilience to include local culture, and getting people to consistently care about climate change. While cities are crucial nodes in climate change response, the commentators agreed that it's prime time to build connections between cities and regions. Even though the U.S. Department of Defense was one of the first agencies to recognize climate change as a security threat, it can be hard to get different levels of governments agree on a climate change agenda. But fighting factionalism is crucial: “To scale up what we do," Rosa said, "we have to be involved in regions.” There are surprising connections between the cities: Hebert noted that in NOLA and in Rio, carnival organizations provide deep connections for social cohesion. After all, big storms and rising seas are only the “spark in the tinder” that exposes existing problems, said Kimmelman. In the Netherlands, he added, people feel that water is "taken care of" and some fear that their fellow citizens have become complacent to the threat of climate change. Although it's true that climate change is hard to see, people care about its effects—extreme weather, compromised air and water quality. That's why, Orff said, projects that sport parks and green space but are also heavy-duty flood protection measures are a good strategy for public buy-in.
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Anthony Vidler reviews the “extraordinary models” on display at Columbia GSAPP

One of the most charming and instructive accounts of the modern architect’s design process was offered by Filarete, architect of the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan and author of the long, neo-Platonic Trattato di architettura. Writing around 1450, Filarete compares the architect to a mother who conceives and gives birth to a child—the building. “When this birth is accomplished—that is, when he has made in wood a small relief design of its final form, measured and proportioned to the finished building—he then shows it to the father.” In this fable of creation the “father” is represented as the patron, and like Plato’s demiurge, or craftsman, the architect does not create a complete building, but rather its model in scale relief. Models since antiquity have taken on the roles of varying kinds of architectural representation, from the symbolic to the ceremonial. Yet the primary function of an architectural model was the demonstration of a design in three dimensions, made to scale and itself derived from drawings. But beginning in the 18th century, with the establishment of educational institutions—the Ecole des Arts of Jacques-François Blondel, the school of the French Academie Royale, and notably the school of the British Royal Academy—models came to seen as indispensable teaching tools. Sir John Soane’s Model Room in his museum-cum-house documents the scales and contents of a curriculum geared to those students who were (at least in the midst of their training) unable to visit the real thing in Italy or Greece, or even hypothetical reconstructions of lost or ruined monuments. Today “modeling” has become a virtual affair. Google “architectural models” and the first entries to appear are advertisements for modeling software. Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, has long been countering this trend towards the virtual. For the past few decades Frampton has taught the course Studies in Tectonic Culture, which is dedicated to, in his words, revealing to students “the tectonic essence” of works of architecture, a “constructive poetic.” By which he means the way in which a built building, as an object constructed out of materials with structural logic, could not be understood—let alone internalized—by architectural students through drawings or photographs alone. Consequently, over many years of teaching he has had his students build models of existing structures. However, these are not “representational” models of the kind an architect might display to clients, financiers, or even the public. Instead, they are analytical models whose process of design and realization—a process of careful interrogation of the constructive and tectonic nature of a building—is as important as the final object. “A tectonic model,” Frampton explains, “must be expressive of its intrinsic structure by way of the way it’s made. The tectonic is an expressive culture of construction… So what you choose to reveal and what you choose to conceal are part of its poetics.” For Frampton, an architect must internalize such “poetics” on many levels, which encompasses an aesthetic that is not purely visual, but that is grounded in the very process of material construction. Hence the difficulties of virtual modeling in revealing this process: only by, so to speak, re-living the step by step conception of a design, and its transformation into a tectonic object, can the student internalize the work of architecture on all levels. A selection of these extraordinary models is now on display in the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia GSAPP. Six of what must have been dozens of such objects built by students over the years have been rescued from the school’s storage and meticulously restored. They range from sectional models of the Bagsværd Church (1976) by Jorn Utzon and the Saint Benedict Chapel (1988) by Peter Zumthor, a fully furnished three-dimensional presentation of Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House (1924), to constructional analyses of Le Corbusier’s Pavillon des Temps Nouveaux (1937) and Norman Foster’s Renault Distribution Center (1982). Each is clearly a work of affection and intelligence; each demonstrates what the student has identified as a guiding formal, poetic, and constructive principle of the work. These six models, standing at appropriate heights in this small, spare gallery, would have been eloquent enough alone—they do, in a very concrete way, speak for themselves. But the curators have chosen to pair them with a series of specially commissioned photographs by the architectural photographer James Ewing. However, rather than replicate what the models exemplify in the straightforward fashion of model photography, Ewing has chosen to work with the models to fabricate his own artistic, photographic essays. In fourteen remarkable images he has responded to the history of the buildings represented by the models, as well as to his own photographic intuitions. Using projected backdrops, special lighting, and in one “spectacular” case a smoke machine, Ewing photographically manipulates the models in order to propose alternative, supplementary readings of their original analytical positions. Here, the results are mixed. Where these supplementary readings involve a demonstration of the power of the model and the photograph to produce, together, a new realization of the qualities of the building—as, for instance, in Ewing’s exemplary photograph of the interior light at Zumthor’s Saint Benedict Chapel—the photograph and the model are brilliantly paired in conversation. Where, on the other hand, the photographic image attempts to constitute an entirely different reality from that implied by the model—as in the case of the hyperrealist image of red clouds hovering behind Le Corbusier’s exhibition pavilion—the effect is less one of conversation between model and photo, as one of contrast pointing to the difference in medium. In sum, the importance of this little show is to open up another conversation—one that is sorely needed today—between the virtual, the visual, and the concrete, in a way that pays eloquent homage to a pedagogical approach and a teacher, whose indefatigable defense of architectural qualities has informed and inspired his students and colleagues for over half a century. Anthony Vidler, New York, March 2017 Stagecraft: Models and Photos is on view through March 10.
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GSAPP to open new exhibition of architectural models of iconic projects

Stagecraft: Models and Photos at Columbia University's Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery will showcase newly commissioned photography of student-crafted models of major 20th-century buildings, along with the models themselves. The six models—which interpret projects by Peter Zumthor, Jørn Utzon, Gerrit Rietveld, Frank Lloyd Wright, Norman Foster, and Le Corbusier—were crafted by GSAPP students of Professor Kenneth Frampton during the 1990s through the early 2000s. Noted architectural photographer James Ewing is behind the new photography. "Experimenting with a range of photographic techniques, Ewing’s photographs of these models invite a reexamination of how architectural creativity and thinking unfold through the picturing of objects and the crafting of images," said the GSAPP in a press release. In the same release, GSAPP Dean Amale Andraos added:
This exhibition allows us to revisit a set of models that have long peppered the halls of our School.... They serve as an integral part of Professor Kenneth Frampton’s pedagogical project to teach both architecture and architectural history. While offering a critique of the ways in which architectural history is normally taught, the process of building models allows students to access knowledge about architecture through making it again.
Stagecraft: Models and Photos will be on view from Feb. 9 to Mar. 10. A discussion and exhibition reception will take place 6pm on the 9th and feature Kenneth Frampton, James Ewing, Amale Andraos, and Irene Sunwoo.
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GSAPP is taking its students out of New York and up the river for innovative urban design

Many New Yorkers know the Hudson Valley from weekend trips to Hudson or Beacon, but the urban designers at Columbia University want to introduce new ways of thinking about the diverse and complex region. Famous for rolling hills immortalized by the Hudson River School, the mostly rural five-state region is home to prisons, 19th-century asylums, back-to-the-land hipsters, art museums, and 13 cities, too. Tomorrow, students and faculty from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University will join community leaders in Poughkeepsie to celebrate the opening of a pop-up exhibition featuring urban design proposals for a more resilient and just Hudson Valley. Justice in Place is the culmination of student projects that explore how equity and justice can be fostered spatially. Student projects explored these themes through incarceration and education; health; historic preservation; landscape; and food systems. The work will be on display through January 31 at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center. The projects are part of GSAPP's Hudson Valley Initiative (HVI), a research platform and archive that combines the strengths of GSAPP's programs to build partnerships and projects in the region, as well as facilitate inquiry into the American landscape more broadly. "Central to the whole urban story of the region is the story of the river itself. Thinking about water as the economic driver provides rich ground in which to think about urban design," said landscape architect and HVI director Kate Orff. "The Hudson Valley is extraordinarily beautiful, but there's also this dramatic inequality," added HVI assistant director David Smiley. "This is out backyard, and we need to take the research here to another level." Through the HVI, GSAPP has extended and deepened its relationship to the region. The projects, Orff and Smiley said, aim to benefit both students and the community: Using an applied research framework, students incorporate community feedback with what they've learned in class into activist proposals for the study area. In building longstanding regional ties, the HVI also counteracts a common problem with ostensibly community-engaged projects—students parachute in for a semester, create a project with little follow-up, and leave the community once they've earned their credits. In contrast to this method, work through the HVI from previous semesters informs current projects. Since the end of World War II, the once-prosperous region has experienced a slow and steady slide in its economic fortunes. Although recent migrants and investment have revived towns like Cold Spring and Hudson, but left others behind. The videos here showcase work from past urban design studios centered on Newburgh and Beacon. Orff and Smiley said GSAPP is adding an optional fourth semester onto the three-semester urban design program, so the "same projects hit the ground running," said Orff. "We need to dig deeper in these places." The Justice in Place: Design for Equity & Regional Currents opening party is tomorrow, January 28, at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. More information can be found here.
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Columbia GSAPP exhibit looks to past experimenters for contemporary inspiration

The Other Architect at Columbia’s GSAPP showcases 23 case studies of architects who emerged within the discipline and society without producing built work. With examples dating back to the 1960s, the exhibition seeks to illustrate how international and often multidisciplinary groups used experimental devices to approach design outside of the traditional realm.

Within The Other Architect, audiences can find objects that display how the selected architects thought and worked, such as books, drawings, photographs, budgets, tactics for accessing resources, videos, mission statements and manifestos, surveys, posters, meeting minutes and organizational schemes, T-shirts, questionnaires, and even boats and buses.

The exhibition looks into the source of these alternative methods of creative development and questions how similarly unique approaches can be applied to contemporary architecture. The Other Architect is itself, too, a research project that contributes to the discourse surrounding the role of the architect responds to the question of how architecture can be viewed beyond built forms.

The Other Architect Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery Buell Hall, Columbia GSAPP 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York Through December 2

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SOM Foundation announces annual travel fellowship winners

The SOM Foundation has announced the 2016 SOM Foundation Fellowships. Since 1981, the foundation has awarded over 200 graduating undergraduate and graduate students of architecture, design, urban design, and structural engineering with money to fund travel and research in the year after graduation. This year’s winners include MIT M.Arch graduate Jongwan Kwon, Columbia University M.Arch graduate Lindsey Wikstrom, and MIT M.S. in Building Technology graduate Nathan Collin Brown. The SOM Foundation also awarded three $5,000 SOM China Prizes to recent graduates in China. The awardees are chosen by independent juries composed of multi-disciplinary professionals and SOM Foundation officers. The mission of the awards is to “nurture future leaders in design by giving them the opportunity to broaden their cultural and aesthetic horizons through travel outside of their countries.” The top award, the SOM Prize, was awarded to Jongwan Kwon for his proposed research topic, “After Efficiency: Logistics Infrastructure from a Regional Perspective.” With the awarded $50,000, Kwon will travel through international ports, airports, canals, and tunnels to study the impact infrastructure projects have on their regional environment. Kwon will interview noted scholars and practitioners throughout his travels to better understand the subject. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Architecture degree and a Certificate in Urban Design, Kwon was appointed as a Teaching Fellow at the school. Kwon has worked at Kengo Kuma & Associates and Morphosis Architects. The $20,000 SOM Travel Fellowship was awarded to Lindsey Wikstrom, a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP). Wikstrom’s research topic “An Immersive Catalogue of Housing Systems,” will focus on producing a catalogue exploring the how living environments are produced through the “convergence of markets, demand, and social vitality.” The catalogue will be a “comprehensive visual report of the systems, occupants, and typologies.” The SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship was awarded to Nathan Collin Brown. The Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship “aims to foster an appreciation of the aesthetic potential in the structural design of buildings and bridges.” Browns proposal, “Integrating Secondary Goals into Structural Design,” will take him to North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The SOM Foundation was established in 1979. The fellowships were set up in order to provide support outside of the traditional academic setting. Awardees are expected to use the money to travel internationally to conduct research and “broaden their cultural and aesthetic horizons.”
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Time to experiment anew: David Benjamin on embodied energy and design

Buildings are ideas made physical. They carry silent histories. They manifest culture, values, and technologies. And they also embody environmental impact. In terms of numbers, buildings account for about one-third of the world’s solid waste, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. They are serious and un-ignorable. The physical presence of buildings has always been imposing, and now the making of buildings has become imposing in a new way. The energy story involves a striking twist: in the past fifty years, operational energy—defined as the energy for things like heating, cooling, and lighting—has actually declined as a percentage of total energy consumption in buildings. At the same time, embodied energy—defined as the sum of all energy required to extract raw materials and then produce, transport, and assemble the elements of a building—has rapidly increased. This makes embodied energy an increasingly urgent topic for architecture. But where exactly is all of this embodied energy? How is it calculated? What are the forces involved? How is embodied energy actionable? And how might architects design with it? Perhaps one clue is time. Maybe architectural materials should no longer be considered static and permanent, but instead dynamic and continually transforming. And architects will actively design these transformations. They will study where matter has been, specify how it takes shape in building blocks, and plan where it ends up going. In addition to managing the technical performance of energy, architects should choreograph the acts of embodiment and dis-embodiment—and ultimately re-design the experience of time. Embodied energy is complex, and no single formula or framework is sufficient to encapsulate it. As architecture, engineering, and construction navigate the latest materials, technologies, politics, and environmental outlooks—as well as the increasingly important intersection of quantitative and qualitative factors in design—there has never been a better time to discard default thinking and experiment anew. David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), where he has organized the symposium Embodied Energy and Design on April 22. Columbia GSAPP's Embodied Energy Pilot Project is supported by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®. Visualizations by Accurat, based on research by David Benjamin and the Embodied Energy Pilot Project at Columbia GSAPP.  
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GSAPP’s House Housing exhibit comes to The Schindler House

Like many cities across the country, Los Angeles is suffering from a chronic shortage of housing, period. So, it's quite timely that House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Thirty­ One Episodes is set to arrive April 9. The exhibition, to be held at the Schindler House's MAK Center, showcases recently published research from the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. The product of a multi-year research project, House Housing is being published as a book and traveling exhibition, both of the same name and designed by New York City-based graphic design studio MTWTF. The research analyzes contemporary American housing typologies through the lens of design, policy, and finance, aiming to elucidate the interdependency between these topics in American housing today. The exhibition comes to Los Angeles after being exhibited at the recent architecture biennales in Venice and Chicago as well as in conjunction with the Wohnungsfrage ("The Housing Question") project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.  The opening event is scheduled for Saturday April 9 from 3-5pm and will be accompanied by a panel discussion moderated by LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne featuring Juliana Maxim, Julie Eizenberg and Andrew Wiese, to be followed by a free public reception. The exhibition runs through May 8th.
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Columbia GSAPP selects Jorge Otero-Pailos to lead its Historic Preservation Program

Columbia GSAPP Dean Amale Andraos announced that Professor Jorge Otero-Pailos will be the new director of the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program, beginning July 1, 2016. He will succeed Andrew Dolkart, who has served as program director for eight years.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLkTAJIqzTs
"At this moment, preservation faces many challenges in light of climate change, the divestment of governments from heritage, the war ravages to monuments, the ongoing challenges to preservation laws, and the digital impact on preservation technology," noted Andraos in a statement. Otero-Pailos’ appointment will keep the preservation program engaged with these global issues.
Trained as an architect and historian, Otero-Pailos has been teaching at GSAPP since 2002. He is the founder and editor of Future Anterior, the first American academic journal devoted exclusively to the history, practice, and theory of historic preservation. Otero-Pailos has served as vice president of DoCoMoMo US, the international modern architecture preservation organization.
His "Ethics of Dust" series investigates pollution as a transformative force in cities that mediates relationships between people, cultural objects, and the built environment. At the 2009 Venice Biennale, Otero-Pailos applied liquid latex to the wall of Doge's Palace, peeled off the coating (and, most importantly, the embedded grime), and hung the resulting sheet, a comment on materiality and the diffuse but tangible impact of human activity on architecture. See the video above for a full look at "The Ethics of Dust: Doge's Palace" and Otero-Pailos' process.
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Architects confront global warming at Columbia GSAPP’s Climate Change and the Scales of Environment

On Friday, December 4th—while hundreds of officials gathered in Paris for the COP21 UN climate change conference—scholars, historians, scientists, architects, and designers came to Columbia GSAPP’s Avery Hall for a similarly urgent conference, “Climate Change and the Scales of Environment.” The urgency lies in the fact that buildings are accountable for approximately half of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the United States today. At the December 4 conference, the range of experts discussed this issue across multiple scales—ranging from a single molecule to the planet as a whole. At what scale should architects engage? And how do the different scales tie together? Dean Amale Andraos explained to AN that using these disciplinary questions of scale to enter a cross-disciplinary discussion on climate-change kept the conversation focused.

HISTORY

The first topic of the day, History, was moderated by Reinhold Martin (Columbia GSAPP) and included presentations from Daniel A. Barber (University of Pennsylvania, Architecture), Deborah R. Coen (Barnard College, History), Gregg Mitman (University of Wisconsin, History), and Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths, University of London, Visual Cultures). Addressing different moments in history, the speakers collectively unveiled how ecological understandings dictate societal development. 

POLITICS

The second topic, Politics, was moderated by Laura Kurgan (Columbia GSAPP) and included talks from Michael B. Gerrard (Columbia University, Earth Institute and School of Law), Saskia Sassen (Columbia University, Sociology), Richard Seager (Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), and Christian Parenti (New York University, Liberal Studies). Each presentation addressed environmental failures, which Kurgan called “sobering,” and the related risks facing architects, planners, and builders. Before heading to COP21 to represent the Marshall Islands, Gerrard told the audience in Wood Auditorium, “Architects might be legally liable for failure to design for foreseeable climate change.”

UNCERTAINTY

Jesse M. Keenan (Columbia GSAPP and CURE) moderated Uncertainty, which included talks from Radley Horton (Columbia University, Earth Institute and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Adrian Lahoud (Royal College of Art, London, Architecture), and Kate Orff (Columbia GSAPP and SCAPE). The presentations unveiled each profession’s individual roles and how they overlap. Horton works with quantitative climate science; Lahoud uses the qualitative method of narrative; and Orff works in both realms. Keenan concluded, “Architects and planners are mediators. They are helping make that translation to define values and vulnerabilities and to weigh what that really means.”

VISUALIZATION

The final section, Visualization, was moderated by Mark Wasiuta (Columbia GSAPP) and included presentations from Heather Davis (Pennsylvania State University, Institute for the Arts and Humanities), Laura Kurgan, Emily Eliza Scott (ETH Zurich, Architecture), and Neyran Turan (Rice University, Architecture). Again, the presentations covered a wide spectrum of curation, ranging from Davis’s discussion of subject-object relationships to Kurgan’s video visualization of climate change data, EXIT, currently on display at COP21. Wasiuta, said in the panel discussion, “Laura’s work produces a different type of knowing, or knowability. Fascinating, the idea of curating a dataset: curating as the construction of a political form.” The day’s presentations ended with keynote speaker Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago, History). Chakrabarty’s talk, “The Human Significance of the Anthropocene” was a fitting way to pull together the wide-ranging but interrelated disciplines contributing to the conference. Videos of the conference will appear on Columbia GSAPP’s YouTube channel in the coming weeks.
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Columbia’s GSAPP launches alumni incubator for architecture, technology, and planning

To facilitate exchange and collaboration among its alumni, Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) has launched the GSAPP Incubator, a co-working space for the school's graduates. The incubator, directed by Assistant Professor David Benjamin, has precedent in GSAPP's Studio-X, the Soho salon and exhibition space active from 2008–2014 (Studio-X's global branches are alive and well). Thirty individuals in 11 member groups will work on design projects and criticism across disciplines. The GSAPP Incubator shares space on the Lower East Side with NEW INC, the New Museum's incubator. Consequently, members will have the opportunity to forge partnerships with members of the museum and art worlds. The inaugural member groups' practices, studios, and partnerships range in focus from virtual reality to "urban acupuncture," emergency response, textile design, and resiliency. A(n) Office, founded by Marcelo López-Dinardi and V. Mitch McEwen, was picked by the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to design for a seven acre property in Detroit. Eight graduates participate in [giving copy editors headaches as] member group : a workshop that "[examines] the spaces and modes of architectural practice that have emerged under the banner of  'alternative' – spaces which ostensibly operate in opposition to the institutions that surround them." Consortia, founded in 2014 by Christopher Barley, crafted digital strategy for the Chicago Architecture Biennial while Dong-Ping Wong and his group, "FAMILY + PLAYLAB + POOL," are building a floating, water-filtering pool, the world's first.
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Columbia University receives grant to start Center for Spatial Research

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation (GSAPP) has announced the creation of a new Center for Spatial Research (CSR) that will act as a focal point linking humanities, architecture, and data science departments as well as sponsoring a series of curricular initiatives built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization and data collection. The Center will be directed by GSAPP Associate Professor Laura Kurgan. The new center was made possible thanks to a $1,975,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a foundation that seeks to "strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies." The development of the center responds to the contemporary influx of information available regarding geolocations, spending habits, transit, and other activities in a local population. Subsequently, the CSR intends to aid scholars and citizens in understanding what is happening in cities worldwide—past, present, and future. The contribution means the university is now a participant in the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, launched in 2012. The grants seek to strengthen ties between programs in the schools of humanities and architecture with architecture studios becoming a pedagogic model for humanities, proposing large scale research on the questions that develop in dense urban environments. Such research would look into data about public health, transportation, economic activity, and demography. “Laura’s long standing pioneering work in visualizing data as an architect, with a deep commitment to engaging social, political and environmental issues, and a unique ability to draw aesthetics and ethics together, has been a critical inspiration to our school and to the field of architecture,” Amale Andraos, GSAPP dean, said in a statement. “This new collaboration with Sharon Marcus and the humanities is an important step forward for Columbia. We are very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its embrace of this initiative, which will contribute not only to the fields of architecture, urbanism and the humanities but to the University as a whole.”