"The work shown at the exhibition, rather than serving as a speculative criticism pointing out towards a techno-fetishist paradigm, tries to act as recording device to capture a moment in architectural discourse. Both the excitement and skepticism around the presented methodologies are due to the fact that they are yet to come to fruition as built projects," said the curators in a statement.
Posts tagged with "Pratt Institute":
How has contemporary architecture and culture been shaped by our access to digital tools, technologies, and computational devices? This was the central question of Aesthetics of Prosthetics, the Pratt Institute Department of Architecture’s first alumni-run exhibition curated by recent alumni and current students Ceren Arslan, Alican Taylan, Can Imamoglu and Irmak Ciftci. The exhibition, which closed last week, took place at Siegel Gallery in Brooklyn. The curatorial team, made up of current students and recent alumni, staged an open call for submissions that addressed the ubiquity of “prosthetic intelligence” in how we interact with and design the built environment. “We define prosthetic intelligence as any device or tool that enhances our mental environment as opposed to our physical environment," read the curatorial statement. "Here is the simplest everyday example: When at a restaurant with friends, you reach out to your smartphone to do an online search for a reference to further the conversation, you use prosthetic intelligence." As none of the works shown have actually been built, the pieces experimented with the possibilities for representation and fabrication that “prosthetic intelligence” allows. The selected submissions used a range of technologies and methods including photography, digital collage, AI technology, digital modeling, and virtual reality. The abundant access to data and its role in shaping architecture and aesthetics was a pervasive theme among the show's participants. Ceren Arslan's Los Angeles, for instance, used photo collage and editing to compile internet-sourced images that create an imaginary, yet believable streetscape. Others speculated about data visualization when drawings are increasingly expected to be read by not only humans, but machines and AI intelligence, as in Brandon Wetzel's deep data drawing.
“It is with heavy hearts to write that our Pratt School of Architecture mourns the passing of Enrique Limon this past Friday, September 20th,” Pratt Architecture professor Dagmar Richter wrote to AN last week. “He has been a professor and dedicated teacher at Pratt since 2004. Students and colleagues alike adored him.” Enrique Limon received his MSAAD from Columbia University and BArch from the University of Southern California. He was the founder and principal of limonLAB, a Manhattan-based urban laboratory dedicated to experimentation in architecture and design. He was also an associate of Groundlab, an international landscape urbanism firm with locations in London, Beijing, and New York. Limon’s practice engaged in work across disciplines—graphics, furniture, interior design, and urbanism—and has been recognized in many publications and exhibitions including as an Emerging Architect in Architectural Record and as a participant in the Emerging Professionals show at the AIA headquarters in Washington D.C. He had given lectures across Europe, Asia, and the US. According to Richter, he had also just finished and published a design of a new sustainable, “smart city” in Nepal as well as large-scale housing projects in Mexico and Jamaica. Limon not only advocated for sustainable building practices but used his research to foster knowledge of local building materials and design that supported the health of the communities that it serves.
Pratt Institute began in 1887 in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood as an affordable college accessible to the working class of New York. Founded by industrialist Charles Pratt, whose company, Astral Oil Works, was absorbed into John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust in 1874, it was run as a charity for many years. It still had a Pratt family member, Richardson Pratt Jr., as president in 1990, the fifth family member to serve in that position. Its ninth president, Henry Saltzman, who served from 1970 to 1972, was an urban studies specialist, but other non–Pratt family leaders came from the fields of education and academia. Now for the first time, the school has selected a president, Frances Bronet, who has degrees in architecture and civil (structural) engineering. This, in itself, is a unique background for someone leading a design institute, but of course, she was also selected for her accomplishments in and out of design academia. In this interview, we questioned Bronet about her design background, what it brings to the school, and how it informs what she hopes to accomplish as the institute’s 12th president. William Menking: You’ve had a distinguished 20-year career as an educator before becoming Pratt Institute’s 12th president. You have degrees in architecture and civil engineering, and a diploma in management. This is not a common degree path to becoming a college president. How did it happen that you went from being a designer to a president? Frances Bronet: I have always imagined what it would be like to be the head of a think tank, from the time I was 17. I may not have known exactly what that meant, but at this moment we can all agree that leading a college would qualify. In Montreal, I worked in prominent, faculty-led architectural offices, and ultimately in a partnership with two colleagues. After graduating from McGill, I began teaching at McGill, Vanier, and Montreal Technical College in the evenings after working in practice during the day. It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to continue in the academy, and I came to New York City to study at Columbia University for grad school. As an engineer and an architect with solid experience as a teacher, I was offered a few jobs, from the University of Texas to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), as a tenure-related faculty member. It’s hard to believe when looking back, but I taught for almost 30 years. In my experience, the academy, somewhat like an ambitious office, offers an amazing amount of freedom. As a faculty member, you have an incredible bandwidth for experimentation, new ideas, and collaboration. In many ways, it is both an entrepreneurial environment and one that has manageable boundaries. As soon as I was tenured, I became associate dean (I was also a new parent!). This was a great experience. I love building relationships and brokering genius—and being in an administrative position lets me do that. There are certainly many architects who would avoid administration, but it can be unbelievably creative. And where else do you get to engage this extraordinary amount of intelligence and aspiration? I then left RPI to become dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts (now the College of Design) at the University of Oregon. Being dean across domains—from painting to architecture to public policy—gave me access to understanding the big picture. When an even larger university-wide landscape was made available to me as acting provost at Oregon, I couldn’t resist. The ability to take opportunities across disciplines and connect remarkable people, projects, and places was key, as was designing teams where the unexpected can unfold. From there, I went on to be provost at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago and now have the honor of being the president of Pratt Institute. The school has a massive external face, leading through design—and as an extreme extrovert, this position is perfect. WM: The next logical question is how did an architecture and engineering degree prepare you for your academic career? Did it give you particular and unique insights into design education? FB: Absolutely. Studying and working in these environments exposed me to various ways of thinking and unique modes of defining complex problems and solving them. I was impressed by how distinct expertise came together to make it all work. We all have different modes of learning and teaching, and people self-select these disciplines. For me, architecture, although tough, resonated with how I experienced and performed in the world; engineering put me in a place that was unfamiliar, so that very precariousness opened up a new universe. WM: Your resume highlights your publishing career “on multidisciplinary design curricula connecting architecture, engineering, STS (science, technology, and society), dance, and fine electronic art.” You’re now the president of an art and design institution of higher education. How will you expand or develop interdisciplinarity between schools at Pratt? FB: Ah! That would be the provost’s gig. And now that we have a strategic plan developed with all our constituencies, this very recommendation is central. I could guide, advise, and listen, but the provost is the chief academic officer. My work is how what is going on in the world impacts our strategic vision and how we share this beyond our own gates, building broad constituencies of support. We have 1,200 faculty members—many of whom have their own practices—already connected to the world at large and bringing the world here when they teach. How can these connections be magnified and supported? Many educational enterprises are building experiential, embodied, problem-based, and practice-oriented courses. Pratt has been doing this for more than 130 years. That is where we should take a leadership role. WM: What are the challenges of directing an art and architecture and design academy in 2019? How do you hope to change or expand the institute? FB: Some challenges transcend the institute—preparing students for careers that don’t yet exist, accessibility, including cost, and wellness, to name a few. But for us, it is that excellence will be measured by how a private institution works for the public good, from social and environmental to cultural metrics. We are part of the economic and social engine that has transformed our neighborhood into a new, creative economy. And we must do more to create an academic institution that can collaborate to make a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable community. WM: What are the challenges and advantages of directing an institution of higher education for creative thinkers and makers in New York City? FB: The world’s best and brightest are here or are coming to New York City. It is also important to be aware that some great talent is outside of New York City, too. When thinking about the great diversity of this city, we ask ourselves, how do we represent the communities in which we sit? How do we collaborate with all this extraordinary talent and get out of institutional silos? How can we leverage our practice-based faculty, who bring both new ideas to their students and their students’ ideas to bear on their practices? There is an incredible opportunity to ask what are the key projects, and how do we partner and get involved? How are we part of a larger ecosystem? Climate change, rapid urbanization, ethical practice, and so forth impacting our world will require research, working across many disciplines, universities, and other organizations. This infrastructure can serve as a frame for true participatory democratic practice. Pratt is uniquely poised to do this type of engaged work and be part of this ecosystem. Our goal is to equip our students as cultural, environmental, urban, design, and education contributors and leaders. We are sitting next to one of the great new emerging developments at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That’s where you’ll find our Consortium for Research and Robotics. It’s clear to me now that I was on the right track envisioning myself at a think tank. But in today’s world—with so much possible through technology and collaboration—we work in think-make tanks. There is so much possibility for partnership that, indeed, it will be the only way to address some of the most difficult issues confronting us. Designers are optimists. As Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon said, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.”
For many architecture and design schools across the United States, 2019 marks a shift in institutional leadership. From Charlotte to Berkeley, new deans will assume the helms of some of the country’s most challenging—and exciting—programs. The deans will have the opportunity to shape design pedagogy and practice in significant ways, potentially guiding how academic institutions teach and address issues related to the built environment for years to come. But in an era of collaborative learning and community engagement, what does deanship look like? AN asked eight of the country’s new deans about their plans for the future of their schools and their discipline. Here’s what they have to say: Respondents’ answers have been edited and condensed in some cases. Vishaan Chakrabarti University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design A former principal at SHoP Architects, Vishaan Chakrabarti is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the founder of the New York-based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. The Architect’s Newspaper: What is your vision for the school moving forward? Given the spatial nature of our three existential challenges—climate change, social inequity, and technological dislocation—I believe that schools of architecture are as relevant today as law schools were during the civil and equal rights era. I am keenly interested in exploring with students, staff, and faculty the questions of how to reconcile the demands of professional practice—which takes decades to do well—with the understandable impatience of many students to radically and immediately change our world in light of the environmental, intersectional, economic, and political crises in which they have come of age. How is your new school different from your previous institution, Columbia University? Because [Berkeley] is public, it serves disproportionately large numbers of first-generation college students, Pell Grant recipients, and other diverse groups relative to most private institutions. More broadly, Berkeley is part of the Pacific Rim and therefore exists at a healthy distance from the Eurocentric framework that still dominates many design schools. Harriet Harriss Pratt Institute School of Architecture Before assuming her role at Pratt, Harriet Harriss was the head of the postgraduate program in architecture and interior design at the Royal College of Art in London, where she explored new models of design education addressing gender imbalances that exist at many institutions. What is your vision for the school moving forward? The tradition of parachuting in architectural visionaries ready to superimpose their agenda and aesthetics upon an unsuspecting faculty—with little regard for the established expertise within a school of architecture— is no longer viable. The vision I have is the one I intend to co-design with the talented and dedicated educators, students, and administrators at Pratt Institute School of Architecture… What’s needed is a dean who is willing to facilitate, enable, and empower, who is committed to ensuring talented students’ and educators’ work gets the recognition and exposure it deserves, and one who will work toward ensuring the work is realized across an expanded field of professional practices and public contexts. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? Architecture’s habit of focusing upon an individual’s contribution over that of a collective does not reflect the reality of architectural practice or education. Instead, we need to recognize the achievements of collectives in shaping the most successful spatial outcomes and increase our capacity for collaboration in order to respond effectively to challenges ahead. What would you make your school’s mascot? Do we need mascots? Or actions that lead to meaningful impact? Branko Kolarevic New Jersey Institute of Technology Hillier College of Architecture and Design Previously a professor and administrator at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape at the University of Calgary, Branko Kolarevic is a designer and educator with experience at multiple universities across North America and Asia. How is your new school different from your previous institution, the University of Calgary? The urban fabric and the demographics of [Newark and Calgary] are very different, as are the local economies and politics. The school in Calgary was based on graduate and postgraduate education, while the Hillier College is mostly focused on undergraduate degrees, even though we have both professional and post-professional masters degrees (and also a PhD program)… There are similarities, as both NJIT and the University of Calgary place great emphasis on research; both are in the top tier research-wise. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? My role model is late Bill Mitchell, the former dean at MIT, who was my mentor when I was a doctoral student at Harvard GSD, and who provided unwavering support throughout my academic career. I also had a privilege early on to learn about leadership from two great deans: Marvin Malecha, who was dean of the Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design in early 1990s when I taught there, and Roger Schluntz, former dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. They both radiate positive energy that is infectious and are great minds and compassionate leaders who care deeply about people around them. What would you make your school’s mascot? That's a tough one. Given that New Jersey is known as the “Garden State,” I would pick our state bird (American goldfinch) or insect (honeybee) as a mascot. Both the goldfinches and bees are designers and builders of their nests, so in my view they are appropriate mascots for a design school. Lesley Lokko The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York Beyond her training as an architect and her tenure as head of school at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, Lesley Lokko is a Scottish-born-Ghanaian-raised writer with 12 best-selling novels. How is your new school different from your previous institution, the University of Johannesburg? Managerially and administratively, they are very different, but the hunger that drives the staff and students is very similar. Both places have a desire to say what has previously remained unsaid: that issues of class, race, gender, and power are central to architectural production, not marginal; that diversity strengthens architectural, landscape, and urban culture; that difference matters, not because it is “different,” but because it enriches discourse. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? Alvin Boyarsky [chair of the Architectural Association from 1971 to 1990]. He made the marginal mainstream and was committed to change. What would you make your school’s mascot? A chameleon. Shape-shifter. Brook Muller University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture Brook Muller was an associate dean of the University of Oregon (UO) School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and his work focuses primarily on design theory and ecologically responsible practice. What is your vision for the school moving forward? I seek to build a shared vision for the College of Arts + Architecture, so the idea is to shape it when I hit the ground… My priorities include (1) Introducing [students] to an expansive set of issues and asking them to assume active stances…(2) [Building] community partnership…in the arts and design…(3) Promoting interdisciplinarity and other forms of intra-college community building; (4) Assuming a proactive stance in fostering equity… (5) Pushing the boundaries of sustainability and ecological responsiveness. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? Frances Bronet, my former dean at UO, who is now President at the Pratt Institute. [An interview with Frances Bronet is on page tktk] Frances was tireless, visionary, and enthusiastic, always one step ahead. I have seen many different models of leadership; hers was predicated on building effective collaborations and trust. It was a lot of fun to walk into work when Frances was at UO. What would you make your school’s mascot? I like UNC Charlotte’s current team nickname (49ers). This name came about as the institution was founded in the late 1940s after World War II in response to rising educational demand. Focusing on the city and on opening up educational opportunities for those who are deserving—that strikes me as a beautiful pairing. Dan Pitera University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture Dan Pitera served as the executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, a community-based nonprofit located at the University of Detroit Mercy. The center’s website describes him as “a political and social activist masquerading as an architect.” What is your vision for the school moving forward? We do not need to abandon the tools of our discipline to engage a wider variety of people in a collaborative way… Working in this way is often viewed as an alternative practice. Instead, I propose that we are working to alter how architects practice. Our school of architecture will interrogate and craft methods to meaningfully incorporate community-driven practice throughout the profession. What would you make your school’s mascot? A mascot for the Detroit Mercy School of Architecture would have to amplify and celebrate our values. It would stand for justice, be inclusive, have a global perspective, be daring and be fun. After consulting several students, we came up with the Canada goose. Yearly, two Canada geese nest on a visible section of roof at our school of architecture on their daring annual journey… The geese are unaware of political boundaries of countries, cities, institutions, or buildings. They have welcomed us into their home. Sarah Whiting Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Previously the dean of the Rice University School of Architecture, Sarah Whiting is a founding partner of WW Architecture, a practice she established with her husband Ron Witte. How is your new school different from your previous institution, Rice University? The GSD is almost five times bigger than Rice, and it has three departments and multiple programs, whereas Rice was a one-department school. At the same time, both schools are filled with extraordinary faculty and students, and both schools situate design’s importance within global culture, so they really do share a similar ethos. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? Two figures who immediately come to mind as role models include Robert (Bob) Geddes at Princeton (dean from 1965 to 1982) and Harry Cobb at the GSD (chair of architecture at the GSD from 1980 to 1985). Both did a remarkable job of building up faculties of diverse yet precise voices—resulting in specific, yet unpredictable conversations within their schools—during extraordinary moments for architectural education. Meejin Yoon Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Before joining the faculty at Cornell in early 2019, Meejin Yoon led the architecture department at MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning. She is a cofounding principal of the architecture firm Höweler + Yoon. How is your new school different from your previous institution, MIT? [Cornell and MIT’s] overlaps are probably more interesting than their differences. Specifically, I’m thinking of the underlying social and cultural values that drive creative imagination, breadth of scholarship, and depth of research across the domains of architecture, art, and planning at both schools. Who would you consider a role model dean and why? Dean William Mitchell… I will never forget Dean Mitchell’s response when I anxiously shared the news that my students, in fulfilling a studio assignment, had caught the building on fire. He acknowledged that no one was hurt, assured me that insurance would take care of the physical damage, and concluded by sharing that experimentation means taking risks and that he was happy that I was stirring up things in the department of architecture. His level of encouragement and support for taking risks that push boundaries was profound, and I have always admired him as a role model for academic leadership. What would you make your school’s mascot? A fire-breathing dragon.
Kingston, New York, is a charming town on the Hudson River 90 miles north of New York City. It was the first capital of the state before being burned to the ground in 1777 by the British in the revolutionary war, and then, with the discovery of natural cement, it became a center of the country’s industrial revolution. It has three stone and wood historic districts, the Stockade District uptown, the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and the Rondout-West Strand Historic District downtown, but the town seems like its best years are way in its past. This could be changing, as a new effort is driving momentum to build on the village’s industrial core using design and education to create a “creative exchange.” The Kingston Creative Exchange (KCX)—a group funded by southern California based Mary and David Martin’s MADWORKSHOP and including an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from Pratt Institute—have opened a center in Kingston. Students will gain an introduction to the design world and practices through the use of historical techniques once employed in the town. MADWORKSHOP - PRATT CREATIVE XCHANGE, KINGSTON from PLANE—SITE on Vimeo. The new center, a peer-to-peer incubator space in a historic building, will support an exchange of design ideas between the local artisans and young people from Kingston High School and focus on workshops that propose bringing design thinking and education to confront serious urban problems. Architects and designers often use the phrase “design thinking” as a possible solution for all sorts of urban ills, so it will be interesting to see if this experiment has the legs necessary to make a difference in Kingston.
PRATT MANHATTAN GALLERY PRESENTS: MEDIATED MEDITATIONS Niama Safia Sandy curates a sculpture exhibition that challenges our ability to recognize another’s humanity.
Niama Safia Sandy curates a sculpture exhibition that challenges our ability to recognize another’s humanity. Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents a multi-media group exhibition with a selection of Pratt Institute Fine Arts MFA sculpture alumni. The exhibition, titled Mediated Meditations, is curated by New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, and essayist Niama Safia Sandy. In Mediated Meditations, the selected works interrogate relationships with our bodies, nature, language, internet culture, gender, sexuality - and overall and most importantly - our relationship to our humanity and ability to recognize another's. The artists challenge and reshape the genre of sculpture with unique material approaches to ask questions about our experience as humans. Additionally, the exhibition examines how technology can be engaged as a material, used by the artists to create a means to order the world and solve problems, as well as navigate an artistic practice. Art is a conduit for making sense of lived experiences which are often viewed through the prism of subcategories — the built environment, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and spirituality. In this exhibition, these categories inform the selected artists’ sensibilities, and the way they each manipulate their materials to observe, question and quantify the many states of the human condition. ARTISTS: Lana Abu-Shamat Evan Paul English Tal Gilboa and Elizabeth Stehl Kleberg Alana MacDougall Lara Nasser Hyunjung Rhee Luisa Valderrama
The search to replace Thomas Hanrahan, the long-serving outgoing dean of the Pratt Institute School of Architecture, is now over, as Pratt has selected Dr. Harriet Harriss to take over come August 20, 2019. Dr. Harriss will bring an international spin to the position, as well as one of inclusion and pedagogy, topics that Harriss has written about, lectured on, and researched extensively. Harriss currently leads the Post-Graduate Research Program in Architecture and Interior Design at the Royal College of Art in London, and before that, led the Masters in Applied Design in Architecture program at Oxford Brookes University. Harriss has also taught at the New School and Parsons in the past and has run international collaborations with the New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University, among others. Additionally, Harriss cofounded Design Heroine Architecture (DHA) in 2004 and has worked on projects in both the public and private spheres. “Buildings aren’t just products, they’re philosophies with the potential to lead the zeitgeist. Tomorrow’s most successful architectural designers will be those whose education has enabled their intellectual agility and fostered connectivity to their communities,” Dr. Harriss said in a statement. “These qualities are what make Pratt Institute so unique. I am incredibly excited to get started.” Harriss will replace Hanrahan after his 22-year tenure. In his “exit interview,” Hanrahan expressed his desire to stand aside and let the next generation take the reins, but he’ll stick around at Pratt in a more hands-on teaching role.
Thomas Hanrahan, dean of the Pratt Institute School of Architecture since 1996, is stepping down. During his tenure as dean, Tom rebuilt the School of Architecture, which encompasses eleven programs, into a modern institution. He did this literally from the ashes of a devastating fire that happened one year after he took office, and figuratively from the ashes of Pratt’s checkered institutional history. Tom advocated for and oversaw a new building designed by Steven Holl in 2005, which connected two existing buildings and added both space and grace to the school. He took the school out of its insular history and into global architectural conversations about pedagogy, disciplines, and practices, the dilemmas of cities, environments, and technologies. Pratt Institute is a relatively old school of art, but it is still a young institution. It is not uncommon for leaders—deans, presidents, provosts—to find the parties thrown for them at the end of their term tiresome. They are often, themselves, drained by years of facilitating programs and individuals. These jobs are prestigious, but they are also unforgiving. I was hired by Tom to be the chair of the graduate architecture program in 1998, essentially to start a Master’s of Architecture program which did not then exist. I knew Tom before coming to Pratt because we had both sat on many juries at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard and at Columbia University (where he taught for many years under Dean Bernard Tschumi). When I arrived, there was an office for the chair of the graduate program but there was, in fact, very little that looked or felt like a graduate program. With Tom’s considerable help, I started the Master’s of Architecture program the year after I arrived and successfully accredited it five years later. When I arrived there were approximately 18 graduate students, and when I stepped down there were approximately 150; five years after that, under William MacDonald’s chairmanship, the numbers almost doubled, and now under David Erdman they are increasing all the more. This slice of the school’s development is only one of many initiatives that Tom supported and its success is not primarily attributable to our collective chairmanships. We were all heavily backed up by Dean Hanrahan, who found ways to build this and other programs. He found funds for lecture series and visiting faculty; he equipped the school with contemporary technologies (laser printers, cutters, 3-D printers, robotics); he acquired the software and hardware that was then flooding into architectural schools in the early 2000s because of shifts to digital and parametric design work; he insisted on rigorous maintenance of the building; he consistently hired women for teaching and leadership positions; and he nurtured the creative life of the school at every turn with exhibitions, support of scholarly work, publications, and events. This sounds like the normative work of any dean but unlike most of the schools in New York and adjacent areas, the lack of institutional systems, as well as money, at Pratt made everything more protracted and difficult. The admissions system was Dickensian, the financial system was archaic. While it was becoming increasingly self-evident in the early 21st century that architecture schools needed to have serious websites, it took years for this to come about at Pratt. “Running interference,” is a too bureaucratic and simplistic term for what Tom has accomplished as dean. What I most want to say is that Tom infused the school with his deep dedication to design and the sustaining of architectural work as contributive to culture and life, and he motivated its growth through an informed intellectual curiosity about everything. Everyone benefited from an awareness of his incredible generosity and insight. Numerous faculty, who have been offered other opportunities, stayed at the school because of Tom. Tom is an excellent architect and a founding principal of the firm Hanrahan Meyers (hMA), which has designed many contemporary buildings that reflect both his modernist training at the GSD and his openness to experimentation. The firm’s work has won numerous prizes and awards. Tom is also an intellectual and, in the best sense, a systems thinker. hMA’s first monograph, The Four States of Architecture, was both philosophical and scientific in its exploration of how architecture can transform the common elements of everyday life into systems of energy in which perceptual assumptions about light and ground are flexible rather than static. In a similar manner, he transformed the architecture school materially into a well-kept environment and intellectually into a dynamic and non-divisive community. Tom is not a demonstrative person nor does he launch personal vendettas. He generally does not feel he should be credited with anything. He happens, also, to be a fantastic cartoonist. Many of his cartoons depict an almost existential falling into clueless-ness that is the state-of-things-as-they-are that most of us spend our lives suppressing. They are astute and hilarious. Tom’s relentless work as dean on behalf of all the programs that are part of the School of Architecture is now deeply inscribed in the school, which is one hundred percent for the better. Many, many others—faculty, students, staff, visitors—would have joined me, had they been asked, in saying thank you. Thank you so much, Tom, from all of us.
Theoharis David 50 Years Teaching and Learning: A Process of Design St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church WTC / NYC
50 YTL Press Release Theoharis David 50 Years Teaching and Learning A Process of Design St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church WTC / NYC Opening Reception: Monday March 18th 6:00 PM Hazel and Robert Siegel Gallery Higgins Hall School of Architecture Pratt Institute Brooklyn NY This exhibit aspires to communicate through primarily one specific project, the personal process of design of an architect / educator and to underline in the digital age the value of the act and art of drawing as a method of architectural design and a medium for representation. The over 40 original drawings being shown and created between 2012 and 2015, demonstrate a process initiated by conceptual sketches which are then further developed as a continuation of a personal process of design. These drawings are not meant to be considered as standalone works of art or accepted as finished, but as evidence of an ongoing process of exploration, correction, and experimentation. They are meant to offer visual evidence of architectural design explorations inspired by the provocation of the design challenge, a Greek Orthodox Church within the WTC Ground Zero memorial site. The visitors are asked looking at the drawings, to consider that it is when the architect puts pencil to paper, that a critical moment of architectural creation begins. Also that it is the intelligence indicated in that initial act of drawing reflecting building technology, spatial concepts and environmental transformations, which will determine the quality of the result. They are invited to consider how the initial concept drawings along with subsequent design studies, and which address a broad range of architectural challenges, compare with those produced for a presentation. The exhibit also includes models, related student projects and essays contributed by Jayne Merkel Architecture Critic and Historian, George Ranalli FAIA former Dean of Architecture City College NY with Anne Valentino PhD., Nicos Kalogeras PhD. Professor and Chair Emeritus National University of Athens and Thomas Hanrahan Dean. School of Architecture. This exhibit is sponsored by the School of Architecture with the support of the Academic Senate of Pratt Institute. Theoharis David FAIA is an alumnus of Pratt has been named Distinguished Teacher is a practicing architect and Professor of Architecture. Exhibit Duration: March 18th –April 4th. 9-6 daily except Sunday. Information 718 636 3405, 718 399 4304
Michael Hollander (May 27, 1934–November 11, 2015), was an influential and distinguished professor of architecture at Pratt Institute for 40 years. Professor Hollander inspired generations of Bachelor of Architecture students in their designs, drawings, and writings. Founded and spearheaded by Professor Richard Sarrach in 2016, and supported by Dean Thomas Hanrahan and Undergraduate Architecture Chair Erika Hinrichs, the Michael Hollander Drawing Excellence Award (MHDEA), has completed four years of evaluating and designating the best drawings from all five levels of our curriculum. On Monday March 4, 2019 at 6 PM, we will honor Michael Hollander and celebrate the permanent display of the drawings and the exhibition opening in the Higgins Hall South Main Stairwell, at Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Michael Hollander on the naming of the Award: “. . . I am honored, of course— but for the acknowledgment of the significance of drawing implicit in the award: that the representations involved are not just visualizations or depictions, no matter how affecting, but rather conceptualizations of aspects of a building, which carry information. And that, naturally, they become instruments both in design and analysis, at once powerful and extremely sensitive, in which even the slightest seemingly idiosyncratic indication may convey something essential. I am moved too that Pratt should choose to become an instigator in advancing this orientation. Yes, I would be extremely grateful that my name be affiliated within the prize. Thank you so much . . .” —August 2015
Invitation: Michael Hollander Drawing Excellence Award Exhibition_March 4th 2019 Dear friends and colleagues, We cordially invite you to join us in celebrating the Michael Hollander Drawing Excellence Award Exhibition opening. Michael Hollander (May 27th, 1934 - November 11th, 2015), was an influential and distinguished professor of architecture at Pratt Institute for 40 years. Professor Hollander inspired generations of Bachelor of Architecture students in their designs, drawings and writings. Founded and spearheaded by Professor Richard Sarrach in 2016, and supported by Dean Thomas Hanrahan and Undergraduate Architecture Chair Erika Hinrichs, the Michael Hollander Drawing Excellence Award (MHDEA), has completed four years of evaluating and designating the best drawings from all five levels of our curriculum. On Monday March 4th, 2019 at 6 PM, we will honor Michael Hollander and celebrate the permanent display of the drawings and the exhibition opening in the Higgins Hall South Main Stairwell, at Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Michael Hollander on the naming of the Award: “. . . I am honored, of course— but for the acknowledgment of the significance of drawing implicit in the award: that the representations involved are not just visualizations or depictions, no matter how affecting, but rather conceptualizations of aspects of a building, which carry information. And that, naturally, they become instruments both in design and analysis, at once powerful and extremely sensitive, in which even the slightest seemingly idiosyncratic indication may convey something essential. I am moved too that Pratt should choose to become an instigator in advancing this orientation. Yes, I would be extremely grateful that my name be affiliated within the prize. Thank you so much . . .” August 2015
Warren Gran, a New York City architect, died Sunday at age 85 in Los Angeles. Gran practiced in New York City for over 45 years and was known for his commitment to making social change through architecture. Gran specialized in public and non-profit projects with an emphasis on affordable housing, sustainability, and social responsibility, including supportive housing for the homeless and those suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems. He worked on many projects with the New York Public Schools, producing innovative spaces to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Prominent projects include: PS/IS 395, PS/IS 78Q Robert F. Wagner School in Long Island City, PS/IS 109 in Brooklyn, multiple projects for the Bank Street College of Education, and Brooklyn Family Court. His renovation of and addition to PS 14 won an AIA New York Design Award. Gran was also awarded the Boston Society of Architects/AIA Award for his work on the Lighthouse Charter School in the Bronx. One of his most visible projects was the conversion of a large Brooklyn courthouse on Adams Street into two high schools. A rooftop addition provided gyms and a signature look with red cylinders facing the street. On Morris Avenue in the Bronx, his 1974 housing development built with then-partner Irv Weiner, Melrose D-1 (a.k.a. the Michelangelo Apartments), has been described as an overlooked, pioneering, humane answer to housing problems that still plague the city today. “Why look at Melrose D-1 today? Because it acknowledges housing as a banal, repetitive, highly cost-driven design problem, and makes a virtue out of it,” wrote Susanne Schindler in The Avery Review in 2012. The complex is praised for its innovative floor plan, with access to three courtyards landscaped by Henry Arnold. Gran also worked in historic preservation. Among the prominent projects he worked on were the renovation of the dome at Manhattan Surrogate Court, the Manhattan Appellate Court, Queens Supreme Court, and a restoration of the Pratt Institute Library in collaboration with Giorgio Cavaglieri. Gran also worked as a residential architect designing homes in New Jersey, Connecticut, the Hamptons, and upstate New York that were often inspired by vernacular rural architecture, and balanced humanism and modernist ideals. These include the Weininger Residence in the Hudson Valley and his own weekend home in Ghent, New York, where he and his wife Suzanne vacationed. Gran’s career started while working in the office of the great Edward Larrabee Barnes. From 1967 to 2003 he taught architecture and urban design at Pratt Institute, also serving as the chairperson of the graduate program in urban design, the acting dean of the school of architecture, and teaching seminars at Yale, CUNY, Cooper Union, and NYU. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture at Penn State and his Masters in Planning from Pratt. Students have always said he was incredibly tough—but that they appreciated that toughness, and what he taught them launched their careers. He was a member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Urban Design Committee of AIA’s New York chapter. Gran was an officer in the navy in the late ‘50s, on the aircraft carrier the USS Ticonderoga. During these years he kept an apartment on Fillmore Street in San Francisco that was memorialized in Herb Caen’s San Francisco Chronicle column: Apparently, Gran and his Navy buddies’ parties were so loud the nightclub downstairs had to complain. Suzanne of Kansas City, Missouri, worked at The New Yorker magazine throughout the 1960s. Suzanne died in July of 2017. They are survived by two daughters, designer Eliza Gran and novelist Sara Gran, who went to Saint Ann’s and now live in Los Angeles. Warren is also survived by three grandchildren, Violet Phillips, 19, Ruby Phillips, 17, and Charles Wolf Phillips, 14.