Posts tagged with "Storefront for Art and Architecture":

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Step into Rio de Janeiro’s smart city nerve center at Storefront’s latest exhibition

As an architect or urban designer, how do you represent "smart city" technology? Something that deals with environmental conditions, government bureaucracies, and endless data streams as well as public space, human movement, and architecture? Governments and businesses are rushing to develop and implement these technologies, making this a pressing challenge for any designer seeking to represent contemporary cities. Control Syntax Rio at the Storefront for Art and Architecture offers its own evocative approach by avoiding the all-too-familiar format of wall-mounted photos, diagrams, and timelines. Instead, Control Syntax Rio uses an enormous streetscape model whose detailed tableaus—animated by sound effects, film, and vibrations—immerse visitors in a complex and unique piece of smart city command-and-control infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro. Control Syntax Rio was designed and curated by two Columbia GSAPP faculty members: Farzin Lotfi-Jam, principal at multidisciplinary studio farzinfarzin, and Mark Wasiuta, co-director of the GSAPP's CCCP program. The pair were tasked with creating an exhibition on Rio de Janerio's Centro de Operações Rio (The Center of Operations Rio, abbreviated to "COR") by the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The institute had been organizing a series of exhibits and events around the theme of the Olympics and the COR was developed to prepare Rio de Janeiro for hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic games. As Wasiuta told The Architect's Newspaper (AN), the city's "topography, infrastructure, population distribution, disparities between the formalized and informalized parts" make it difficult to manage. "The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wanted Rio to develop something like the center of operations, in order to demonstrate... that they were capable of managing the metabolism of the city." At the heart of the COR are a series of "if, then" statements—an algorithm that originated from IBM—that govern how the city responds to escalating levels of crises. The system first detects and categorizes a disruption (which range from quotidian "incident" and "event" to "emergency" and "crisis") then coordinates a response. Along this spectrum falls everything from traffic jams and peaceful gatherings to police actions, earthquakes, and landslides. Complicating Farzin and Wasiuta's task was that this system isn't hidden from the public eye: in addition to serving as a management device, the COR is a public relations tool aimed at Rio's residents and the IOC. The COR is how this smart city "sees itself, how it portrays that image of ongoing information extraction and control, how it portrays that image back to its residents and an international audience.... A representation producing device and mechanism for the city," said Wasiuta. Farzin and Wasiuta grappled with how to represent the COR in its dual functions. To tackle both challenges, Farzin said they created two intertwined "paths" to follow in the exhibition's model. One is physical: a single street leads the visitor through a series of events, emergencies, etc., that are frozen in time. Placed at eye-level (some may have to go on their tippy-toes), the model immerses you in each scene. Opposite the model is twenty monitors that depict the second "path," the algorithm itself. Half the monitors show a live feed streamed by small surveillance cameras trained on the model. The other ten monitors display a pre-recorded film of the model that moves from tableau to tableau. The film is supplemented by a monotone computer voice that narrates the COR algorithm at work: which sensors detected the event, current environmental conditions, the nature of the event, the coordinated response, etc. "We forced ourselves to put these multiple fragments and inputs into a singular whole... a continuous narrative" that depicts this "emerging computational urbanism," said Farzin. You feel almost as though you're the algorithm itself: hearing your own thought processes as your cameras—not penetrating beyond facades and hardtop—scan the streetscape. Meanwhile, it also feels like a performance: faced with scenes of perpetual crises, the COR is always there to respond. "We don't really want it to read like a model," Farzin added. "It's not such much a model as it is a movement path, a decision path through the city, and it's a film set. We wanted it to read that way more than an object." The end result is a fascinating depiction of the COR and how the COR depicts itself, all rolled into one. Thankfully, the exhibition is not a fetishistic enterprise of documenting the actual COR in all its high-tech, "situation room" glory. Instead, it takes us inside how the COR thinks and evokes how it would like to be seen—methodical, calm, and efficient in reacting to disruption. (It did make me wonder, however: What happens when technology enables cities to be proactive, even aggressive, in preventing disaster? When algorithms and controls shape how we use the cities, subtly or otherwise, to either prevent disasters or increase efficiencies?) Ultimately, the definition and practice of "smart cities" are still up in the air. Farzin and Wasiuta are currently looking at a project in South Korea that's built from the ground-up with smart city tech; it's a very different exercise as compared to retrofitting an old city like Rio de Janeiro. But faced with this specific urban condition in Rio de Janeiro, one where narrative and self-representation are critical, the pair eschewed a standard exhibition format. "We made a conscious decision not to be didactic or documentary in the sense that one might be," said Wasiuta. "Which isn't to say those projects can be amazing. But it was a conscious experiment to position the research within that space of representation and ask, 'What's still legible within that?'" Control Syntax Rio runs from March 28th to May 20th, 2017 at the Storefront for Art and Architecture (97 Kenmare St, New York, NY). It was originally commissioned by the Rotterdam-based organization Het Nieuwe Instituut, where it was on view from June 2016 to January 2017.  
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Storefront for Art and Architecture announces new fellowship and project to research architecture and global conflict

Storefront for Art and Architecture, along with Preeti Sriratana of MN Architects, yesterday announced a one-year Program and Strategy Fellowship that will build to a new project, Architecture Conflicts, which seeks to explore the role of design and architecture in addressing global inequalities and conflicts. "At a time when national and global political trends threaten the stability of our cities and communities, how can architecture serve as a driver of change around the world? The Architecture Conflicts project, along with this fellowship, seeks to create understandings of (and opportunities for) places and people who have been absent from historical and contemporary structures of power,” states a letter by Eva Franch i Gilabert of Storefront for Art and Architecture and Preeti Sriratana of MN Architects. The project and the fellowship aims to provide a way for researchers and aspiring professionals from underrepresented backgrounds and communities to contribute to the resolution of global conflict through design. Candidates from those backgrounds will have the opportunity to work with a team from Storefront for Art and Architecture, to investigate the ways art, architecture, and design aid in the solution of local and global struggles. Strorefront’s curatorial team and its administrative and strategic development staff will mentor the fellow. To receive the chance to be part of this team working for global change, applicants must meet various requirements including a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Design, Urban Planning or other affiliated fields along with a proven record of excellence in research and curatorial methods, and excellent ability to use Adobe Creative Suite. The candidate who receives the fellowship and begins the Architecture Conflicts project will be responsible for curation and research, project management, and development and communications. If interested in applying, email a PDF document (maximum 5 MB) with a cover letter, resume, writing samples, and past design work to apply[at]storefrontnews.org, with the subject line “Program and Strategy Fellow.” More information about the program, including application criteria can be found here. Storefront works toward the advancement of contributions to the design of cities, territories, and public life, providing platforms for discussion about issues such as homelessness, gender identity, and public housing. The organization looks at global movements like the Gulf War and the Occupy Wall Street movement from a design perspective. The Architecture Conflicts, Program and Strategy Fellowship is also the beginning of a global biennial event, World Wide Storefront. World Wide Storefront will be a new platform to further these endeavors, exposing global conflicts, and create an understanding of how art and architecture can be used as tools for resolution.
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See the “People’s Choice” winner of this year’s Storefront Critical Halloween party!

It seems only fitting that on this November 8, The Architect's Newspaper and the Storefront for Art and Architecture have our own election results to announce. From October 31st to November 7th, we asked you to pick the best costume from this year's Storefront for Art and Architecture Critical Halloween party. Storefront had asked attendees to critique old ideas of excess in art, architecture, and design, reimagining what luxury means in the process. Hosted within the ornate United Palace, the party offered up an excess of excellent costumes: a shimmering Frank Gehry-inspired dress (complete with headgear), money guarded by LLCs, and even a riff on artist Yayoi Kusama and her polka dot pumpkins. We're pleased to announce this year's winner: "The Duck and the Decorated Shed" by Katherina, Katie, and Betty. Thanks for voting! And we hope to see you at next year's party.
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Vote for your favorite Storefront Critical Halloween party costume!

As a gold toilet-owning billionaire vies for the Presidency, a development corporation builds its own $150 million sculpture at Hudson Yards, and a $1.25 billion man-made pleasure island rises off China, the theme of this year's Storefront for Art and Architecture Critical Halloween party—Luxury—couldn't be more on the money. Storefront asked attendees to critique old ideas of excess in art, architecture, and design, reimagining what luxury means in the process. Hosted within the ornate United Palace, the party offered up an excess of excellent costumes: a shimmering Frank Gehry-inspired dress (complete with headgear), money guarded by LLCs, and even a riff on artist Yayoi Kusama and her polka dot pumpkins. Who did it best? Scroll through the candidates, click any thumbnail for a closer look, and select an option from the survey below. Then, click "Done" to cast your vote for the “People’s Choice” costume! Voting runs until Monday, November 7th, 11:59 pm EDT. (All images are courtesy Storefront and photographer Yuko Torihara; they appear in the chronological order that guests registered.) This survey has concluded, stay tuned for results!
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Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center will host 2016 Storefront for Art and Architecture auction

It is almost time for the annual Storefront for Art and Architecture spring benefit and auction. This year’s event is taking place at the Eero Saarinen*-designed Trans World (TWA) Flight Center, soon to close this year, and slated to reopen as a hotel in 2018. But first, to make sure you’re up to speed, a little bit about the Saarinen space at the JFK airport: a New York City landmark, the 1962 terminal head house has been closed since 2001, the same year American Airlines acquired Trans World Airlines (the original terminal airline). The Saarinen head house underwent a renovation, while portions of the surrounding terminal were demolished to make way for the Gensler-designed terminal that opened in 2008. The Storefront auction on May 8 will be the last public event in the terminal before redevelopment. The theme this year is BEYOND BORDERS, which the Storefront defines as: “In the space of the border, architecture intersects with dilemmas of flow, control, identity, and belonging. The scale of such dilemmas ranges from geopolitical to liminal. Borders, as lines of division between political, social, ecological, and moral issues, are subtle and ubiquitous protagonists in the poetics of daily life. They absorb the desires that exist on the margins of the legal and the possible”. In addition to the Denise Scott Brown photograph above, here is a sampling of the diverse pieces in the silent auction.       *For those on the west coast and want to check out an Eero Saarinen project, there is one in the Pacific Northwest. Saarinen designed an Oregon monastery library at Mount Angel Abbey in 1970. You can see a crossover between his light filled architecture and practical industrial design sensibilities carried through from the site placement down to the arrangement of study spaces.
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The Storefront for Art and Architecture’s most recent exhibition features 42 “closed worlds”

The ubiquitous white box gallery is an attempt to construct a valueless neutral space that has become an internalized universal cliché that says “art.” The Storefront for Art and Architecture was designed by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci to be a space physically open to the city and the street that would fight back against to the usual sealed and closed world of the art gallery. But a new exhibition at The Storefront, titled Closed Worlds, takes on the architectural, design, and engineering of closed systems. It creates an exhibit that is itself a closed world of multiple closed worlds. One enters directly off the Kenmare Street sidewalk and enters a space that is expansive and claustrophobic at the same time. Its creator and curator Lydia Kallipoliti, along with an impressive research group that includes exhibit designer Natasha Jen from Pentagram, have created an exhibition that highlights 41 historical prototypes of closed worlds and weaves their integration into the reality of today’s daily life. In fact, despite the open façade of the Storefront, the exhibition is almost claustrophobic. Take, for example, the 1976 New Alchemy Institute's “Ark for Cape Cod.” Fearing an imminent ecological collapse and famine due to run away capitalism, the group designed an interior environment to support a small colony of people. Its design, once only seen in journals like the Whole Earth catalogue, can now be found in quiet, rural Northern California, Vermont, and the survivalist compounds in Eastern Oregon. The exhibition also features Some World Games, a virtual reality ecosystem by Farzin Farzin that serves as a contemporary 42nd prototype. The project was selected as the winner of Storefront’s Closed Worlds Competition. Closed Worlds is one of the most thoughtful and challenging exhibitions in recent memory of the Storefront and worth leaving the sidewalk. It closes on April 9.          
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This 3D topographic installation raises questions on the high cost of housing in New York City

Besides the overcrowded L and the overabundance of Starbucks/Chase Banks, one of New York's favorite things to kvetch about is the rent: it's too damn high. Now, through Wage Island, an installation created by a New York–based interaction and information designer, it's possible to see in 3D how much housing really costs in this city. https://vimeo.com/138549946 Ekene Ijeoma's Wage Islands sprang from the designer's conversations with Fast Food Forward, a labor advocacy organization that's pushing for a higher minimum wage for fast food workers. Compelled by the group's commentary on how difficult it is for minimum wage workers to pay for housing, Ijeoma put his designer's training to work, correlating median monthly housing costs of each neighborhood with the amount one would have to earn to afford to live there. "This created a poetic way of creating empathy between minimum wage workers and citizens they serve; making the issue about everyone," Ijeoma mused. He collaborated with a team of six to execute the GIS modeling of New York City, design and build the model, and program the Arduino board that controls the islands' topography. Wage Islands was commissioned for Measure, the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s exhibition that ran from August 14 through September 19, 2015. The map's elevations are comprised of over 500 pieces of laser-cut acrylic. Elevations are derived from median monthly housing costs in different neighborhoods, with $271 on the low end and $4,001 at the top. The islands are situated in a tray filled with blue-black water. The user can adjust the amount of water in the box by scaling wages up from the city minimum of $8.75 per hour to a high of $77 per hour. The tallest peaks represent the most affordable neighborhoods; those who make at least $77 per hour have the luxury to choose Manhattan's tony Tribeca or Brooklyn's Brownsville, one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Precision, and reflection on the real world factors that go into determining affordability, is scuttled in favor of highly evocative representation. New York is a renter's city: Less than a third of residents own their own homes. When asked what data was used to gauge median rents, Ijeoma explained that "this was more about looking at New York City together and not separating the different neighborhoods and people from the larger issue." He used the American Community Survey's (ACS) median monthly housing costs as a stand-in for median rents, although ACS data covers both housing costs incurred by homeowners and renters. 69 percent of New Yorkers rent, not own, so the choice to rely on this ACS dataset is unclear. The American Housing Survey, however, has fine-grained data on renters for major metro areas.)

Like Fannie and Freddie, Ijeoma pegs affordability to spending no more than 30 percent of one's income on housing. That's sensible advice, but more than half of New Yorkers are, by this measure, rent burdened, spending over 30 percent of their income on rent.

Affordability guidelines are generally broken down by the number of bedrooms per unit as a proxy for household size. Instead of looking at average rents across neighborhoods, or rents for units of one particular size, Ijeoma dismissed those nuances as irrelevant for this project, as "[the data] would've more or less looked the same because of the geo-spatial interpolation and translation into 3D."

Currently, Ijeoma is doing a stint at Orbital as a designer-in-residence, where he's working on a mapping project that covers a broader swath of America, as well as a project that addresses social media–engaged phone-zombies who blunder through the streets of New York.
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Taking Buildings Down: Storefront provokes ideas on the built environment in new competition

Perhaps following up on its Halloween Party this year that explored the theme "DEMO," as in DEMO-lition among other words sharing the root, the Storefront for Art & Architecture has launched a competition called "Taking Buildings Down," where “removal is all that is allowed.” The competition takes what is usually considered to be a violent act and calls upon “anyone interested in articulating visions for the future of our built environment” to submit proposals for “the production of voids; the demolition of buildings, structures, and infrastructures; or the subtraction of objects and/or matter as a creative act.” The intent of the “competition of the competition of competitions” is to elicit ideas about demolition, to provoke criticism, and to speculate. Judges include Jeff Byles, author of Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition; architect and professor at Yale University, Keller Easterling; associate professor and associate dean at the New School’s School of Media Studies and adjunct curator of new media arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Christiane Paul; and principal of  Selldorf Architects, Annabelle Selldorf. Monetary prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners; winning entries and “any additional entries deemed to be worthy of publication” will be published by Storefront for Art & Architecture. Entries are due on January 20th. More information, including specific eligibility and criteria, can be found here.
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Vote for your favorite Critical Halloween costumes in Storefront for Art & Architecture’s annual competition

Each year, the Storefront for Art and Architecture hosts a Halloween Party in New York called "Critical Halloween." Themes have ranged from "Corporate Avant-Garde" to "On Banality, On Metaphor," and the costume contest is the highlight of the night, as party-goers relive the Avant-garde tradition of building fantastic architectural costumes. This year, the theme as "DEMO-", giving dressers-up an open field for ideas, including democracy, demolition, demographics, and even Nicholas DE MOnchaux or MaDEMOiselle. With Halloween receding into the past, it's time to vote for your favorite costume. Vote here and make sure to cast your vote for AN Senior Editor Matt Shaw, pictured below, and his "you figure it out," knowledge-DEMOlishing costume non-sequitur "DEMO? I thought you said DEVO!?" COSTUME COMPETITION PRIZES This year the DEMO jury announced the awards at midnight. The jury was comprised of: Keller Easterling, Winka Dubbeldam, Andres Jaque, and Beatrice Galilee. The jury awarded seven prizes in the following categories: Best Overall Costume “Building Cuts: The Ghost of Matta” Steven Holl Architects Best Individual Costume “Archzilla” Evalynn Rosado – Weiss/Manfredi Best Duo/Couple Costume “Permitted and Unpermitted” Adam Frampton and Karolina Czeczek – ONLY IF Best Group Costume “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” Francisco Rocha, Joana Bem-Haja, Joana Torres, and Sandra Shizuka Special Prize for Best Demolition Costume “The Fall of the Berlin Wall” Leong Leong Special Prize for Best Demonstration Costume “Smoke” Studio Dror Special Prize for Best Democracy Costume “Democracy, The Puppet of Capital” Miguel de Guzman and Ines Esnal Vote for our editor Matt Shaw here.
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Storefront’s Critical Halloween to explore the idea of “DEMO” at a historic Lower Manhattan firehouse

This October, the Storefront for Art and Architecture will host its annual Critical Halloween party in tandem with its ever-fascinating costume competition. The event will be held at the historic DCTV firehouse and engine bay in Lower Manhattan and will have a "DEMO" theme, with a prize for the best costume. Critical Halloween is a place to party, engage in intellectual debate, dress up in the most outlandish way possible, acting as a "space for expression of radical thought." During its tenure the event has quickly become the scene and welcome excuse for many to meet up, dance, talk and engage in one of the most celebratory nights of the year. This time the event is running the theme "DEMO"—a term that has multiple uses, being an abbreviate, prefix, verb and a noun. Hence, "DEMO" is the theme of dress partygoers are invited explore and examine ideas pertaining to contemporary issues and discourses in art, architecture and design focusing on those in need of a "dose of DEMO." From acts of collective will (DEMOnstration) to institutional erasure (DEMOlition), the notion of DEMO is one that penetrates many aspects of our contemporary society and that often inspires trepidation among those who produce culture. Tickets are $50, being found here and doors open at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.

As for the prizes, awards will go to the following categories:

  • Best Overall Costume
  • Best Group Costume
  • Best Individual Costume
  • Best Duo/Couple Costume
  • Special Prize for Best Demolition Costume
  • Special Prize for Best Demonstration Costume
  • Special Prize for Best Democracy Costume

DEMOcratic Peoples Choice Award: Storefront will partner with Hyperallergic to host a Democratic People’s Choice Award. During the week following the event, online audiences will be able to vote on for their favorite Critical Halloween costume through Hyperallergic.

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David Adjaye exhibition, Ukrainian urban planners among winners of new Graham Foundation grants

Chicago's Graham Foundation today announced nearly half a million dollars in grant funding for “groundbreaking” architectural projects by organizations, including the first major career survey of architect David Adjaye, an urban planning program in Ukraine, and architecture festivals in Norway and Portugal. The Graham Foundation, whose director Sarah Herda sits on AN's editorial advisory board, will award $496,500 to 49 projects that “chart new territory in the field of architecture.” The award recipients were plucked from a pool of over 200 submissions representing 22 countries. The Adjaye show, titled Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye, opens September 19 at the Art Institute of Chicago and will be “the only North American venue for this globally focused exhibition,” according to the Art Institute. Other grant recipients include a plan to exhibit sound sculptures designed by Harry Bertoia at Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio, the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s biannual World Wide Storefront event, and the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale. The announcement follows the Graham's “grants to individuals” program, which in May awarded $490,000 for architectural research to 63 projects. Here's the full list of recipients, organized by category: EXHIBITIONS [23 awards] Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL) Chicago Design Museum (Chicago, IL) Columbia College Chicago-Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL) Elmhurst Art Museum (Chicago, IL) The Jewish Museum (New York, NY) MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, at the Schindler House (West Hollywood, CA) Materials & Applications (Los Angeles, CA) Monoambiente (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL) Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY) National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington, DC) Oslo Architecture Triennale (Oslo, Norway) Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art (London, England) Serpentine Gallery (London, England) Slought (Philadelphia, PA) Socrates Sculpture Park (Long Island City, NY) Southern California Institute of Architecture (Los Angeles, CA) Swiss Institute (New York, NY) University of California, Berkeley-Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA) University of Chicago-Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society (Chicago, IL) Video Game Art Gallery (Chicago, IL) Yale University-School of Architecture (New Haven, CT) FILM/VIDEO/NEW MEDIA [2 awards] Wavelength Pictures (London, England) The Wende Museum of the Cold War (Culver City, CA) PUBLIC PROGRAMS [12 awards] Archeworks (Chicago, IL) Architectural League of New York (New York, NY) Association of Architecture Organizations (Chicago, IL) CANactions (Kiev, Ukraine) Chicago Architecture Foundation (Chicago, IL) Chicago Humanities Festival (Chicago, IL) Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago, IL) The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (Scottsdale, AZ) Lampo (Chicago, IL) Ohio State University-Knowlton School of Architecture (Columbus, OH) Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York, NY) Van Alen Institute (New York, NY) PUBLICATIONS [12 awards] Anyone Corporation (New York, NY) Art Papers (Atlanta, GA) California Institute of the Arts-REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA) Columbia University-Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (New York, NY) LIGA-Space for Architecture (Mexico City, Mexico) Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon, Portugal) MAS Context (Chicago, IL) Primary Information (Brooklyn, NY) The Renaissance Society (Chicago, IL) Rice University-School of Architecture (Houston, TX) Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN) Zone Books (Brooklyn, NY)
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Eavesdrop> The Bell Rings In Silence: Gossip swirls over changes at AIANY

There was one question on everybody’s mind in New York this spring: What happened to Rick Bell? On March 27, without warning or explanation, the former executive director of AIANY and the Center for Architecture tendered his resignation, effective immediately, which AIANY’s board of directors promptly accepted. The unforthcoming announcement stirred up a steamy fountain of rumor and conjecture—very little of it fit for printing—over what could have precipitated Bell’s speedy departure, and AIANY’s continued reticence on the matter (there seems to be a gag order in place among its staff) hasn’t done anything to lessen the sheer salacious heights to which the gossip has climbed. Bell, for his part, doesn’t seem to be very phased by the upheaval. Eavesdrop spotted him at the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s annual benefit party—held this year in the unfinished lobby of the Rafael Viñoly–designed 432 Park Avenue—wearing a T-shirt that read “I Am Still Alive” and smiling like the cat that ate the canary. Also like a cat, Bell has landed on his feet. On May 8, New York City Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora announced that the agency had hired him as its executive director of design and construction excellence. Meanwhile, in an interesting game of musical chairs, the AIANY appointed David Burney, who recently left his post as commissioner of the DDC, as its interim executive director.