On Monday, dozens of designers, planners, and community organizers packed the amphitheater at the newly opened LEESER-designed BRIC House in Brooklyn's rapidly-growing BAM district. The attendees were there to hear the details of the latest Request For Proposals (RFP) from the Design Trust for Public Space, The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm. The Design Trust has launched pivotal projects before, like their Five Borough Farm that is helping to redefine urban agriculture in New York City. This time, the group is seeking new ideas for public space and, according to a statement, "develop new forms of connectivity among the diverse people, systems, and built, natural, and digital environments of New York City." At stake is the future of public space in New York, along with seed funding that could provide research fellows and eventually a publication of ideas from the winning proposals. Chin said at the launch event that the Design Trust takes the long view, and that winning proposals could move on to future phases with higher budgets and potentially much more lasting impacts. "Public space is all around us, yet for so many New Yorkers it remains invisible and unchangeable. The Design trust is committed to unlocking the potential of NYC's public spaces. With The Energetic City, we will continue to push for design innovation," Chin said in a statement. "We're open to revolutionary ideas that change ways that public space is conceived in many different areas, ranging from sustainable design, transportation, and communication to art, product design, and technology initiatives. We want to help ordinary and extraordinary citizens make a difference in their own communities and in the life of their city." Chin has asked interested parties to look closely at a particular public space in New York City and how ideas revolving around "connectivity" can help to create a more sustainable and equitable city. The Energetic City initiative is open to public agencies, community groups, and, this year, individuals—a first for the Design Trust. The deadline to participate in the RFP's first phase is June 30. Chin highly recommended that interested groups and individuals coordinate their proposals with Rosamond Fletcher, Director of Programs at the Design Trust, to make sure the RFP process goes smoothly. Read more info about the RFP and submit your proposals on the Design Trust website.
Posts tagged with "Susan Chin":
New York City is home to over 700 food-producing farms and gardens spread over 50 acres of reclaimed lots, rooftops, schoolyards, and public housing grounds. This week at a launch and press event, the Design Trust for Public Space (in partnership with the Brooklyn-based non-profit community farming project Added Value) debuted the most comprehensive survey yet of the city's urban agricultural infrastructure, Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City. Currently, the non-profit organizations, commercial entities, institutions, and community members who operate urban farms lack a reliable means to obtain resources such as land, soil, compost, and funding. Five Borough Farm lays out a roadmap for the integration and expansion of New York’s urban farms, with analysis of present conditions, metrics that establish a common framework for evaluating success and determining strategies, and policy recommendations that would make agriculture integral to city planning. Five Borough Farm describes the health, social, economic, and ecological benefits of urban farms. Distributing food to under-served communities and providing nutritional education supports public health. By developing unused land, farms and gardens fill gaps in the streetscape and create space for community gathering and organizing. Farmers are able to sell their food in farmer’s markets, while education and stewardship programs empower youth and provide job training. Gardens can act as filters for wastewater and composted food waste while working to detoxify soil and educating communities about sustainability. The study builds on New York’s existing urban agriculture initiatives, calling for a citywide interagency task force that would coordinate policy and procedures for organizations that manage farms and to allocate resources and land to those organizations. At the launch event, Design Trust Executive Director Susan Chin described the need for this body to engage with communities in the planning and operation of urban farms: “We need to select, digest, upload, and disseminate information and data on farms to the community.” The metrics established in Five Borough Farm describe agricultural production, biodiversity, employment, and impact on health, allowing communities to monitor their progress and receive necessary support. Raymond Figueroa, a program director at South Bronx-based Friends of Brook Park, trains youths in urban agricultural production. “The real power of urban agriculture is the promotion of healthy living,” Figueroa explained, pointing to precedents demonstrating how such initiatives can be effective. During the Great Depression, for example, Relief Gardens provided social stability and well-needed food. “Communities can actively engage in the cultivation of land—the fight we have is alerting communities to the possibilities they have,” Figueroa said. So what's the next step? Phase two of the project will bring in New York City government to help locate 100 publicly-owned sites with the potential for food production. Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab will partner with the Design Trust in identifying under-served areas, growing conditions, and suitability of land. The trust hopes to formalize the city’s support by initiating new programs and subsidies, while partnering with departments that are not directly responsible for urban agriculture, like Waste Management.
D.B. Kim has joined Daroff Design as a principal and will lead the firm's luxury hotel and resort practice. Kim was previously at Pierre-Yves Rochon and prior to that at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Design Trust for Public Space's executive director Susan Chin was elected Vice President of the 2013-2014 AIA National Board at the recent national convention in Washington, D.C. Al Eiber, a Miami-based physician and collector of 20th century design, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Steven Gifford has joined the New York office of Perkins Eastman as a principal. Gifford was previously led the Global Science and Health Design Studio at Hillier. Ennead Architects has promoted Guy Maxwell and Thomas Wong to partners. Maxwell has been with the firm since 1994 and Wong since 1993. Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to email@example.com.
Design Trust for Public Space has announced the appointment of Susan Chin as the new Executive Director, effective October 10. Chin has served as Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs for over twenty years. John Henderson has been appointed Managing Director at Morris Adjmi Architects. Henderson was previously studio director at Clodagh Design in Manhattan. Prior to this position, he was associate principal at STUDIOS Architecture in New York and D.C. Material ConneXion and its sister company, Culture & Commerce, both part of Sandow Media Corporation, have announced the appointment of Susan Towers to the position of VP Marketing & Communications. Towers was previously a partner at NICE Partners and has held marketing and PR roles with Kiehl’s since 1851 and Chandelier Towers, among others. The New York City Department of Buildings has appointed Fred Mosher to the newly created title of Deputy Commissioner of Building Development to streamline the city’s construction process. Previously, Mosher was a senior technical architect at Skidmore Owings & Merill for nine years. The beleaguered American Folk Art Museum, which will continue operations at 2 Lincoln Square, has appointed a new president of the board: Edward V. (Monty) Blanchard, Jr., a member of the museum's board of directors since 2003. Have news on career moves in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Unhelmed for five months, the sixteen-year-old Design Trust for Public Space tomorrow will announce the appointment of Bloomberg administration’s Susan Chin as the new executive director, effective October. Chin is a public servant through and through, having served as Assistant Commissioner for Capital Projects for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs for over twenty years. Some of the projects that she has helped shepherd into existence with city funding include Leeser Architecture’s Museum of the Moving Image (2011), Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Alice Tully Hall (2009), SANAA’s New Museum (2008), and Curtis + Ginsberg’s Staten Island Zoo Reptile Wing renovation (2006). She also oversaw the Percent for Art program and the Community Arts Development Program. Chin’s particular interest in advancing the cause of architecture has been amply demonstrated by stints as the president of AIA New York and as current chair of the AIA Gold Medal advisory committee. In a press release, Design Trust founder Andrea Woodner said, “The selection of Susan Chin affirms a bedrock principle of our organization: we work in partnership with the public sector to improve New York’s built environment.” The Design Trust has been a player in such city-improving initiatives as the first study on readapting the High Line, developing a greenish taxi cab, and the first-ever High Performance Guidelines for Buildings, Infrastructure and Landscape in collaboration with the NYC Departments of Design and Construction, and Parks & Recreation. That impressive range of civic activism took place while Bloomberg was in high gear. The challenge now will be to keep operations as vital should a subsequent administration be less design-minded. Presumably, Chin will draw some inside support from the Parks Department where her husband, Charles McKinney is the Principal Urban Designer. Former executive director Deborah Marton, who served from 2004 until last April, is now Vice President for Programs at the New York Restoration Project.