Posts tagged with "Van Alen Institute":

15 great events to attend during the AIA Conference in New York City

The AIA Conference on Architecture is just around the corner, from June 21 to 23 at the Javits Center in New York City. To add to the excitement, the city will be bustling with architecture events and exhibits, including at MoMA PS1, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Van Alen Institute. Here are our editors' highlights for the week. 1) MoMA PS1 
Young Architects Program Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd St. (Midtown) June 18 6:00–8:00 pm. Free. RSVPs required* www.momaps1.org Exhibition reception for 2018 Young Architects Program, featuring finalists LeCAVALIER R+D, FreelandBuck, BairBalliet, and OFICINAA. The winning scheme Hide & Seek by Dream The Combine (Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers), opens to the public June 26. Opening reception, limited space. 2) Night at the Museums Various locations June 19 4:00–8:00 pm. Free. NightattheMuseums.org Fourteen Lower Manhattan museums open their
 doors, free of charge, as part of this annual event. Visit the Skyscraper Museum, African Burial Ground, Museum of Jewish Heritage, South Street Seaport Museum, National 9/11 Memorial, and others. 3) Architecture Books Opening Reception Storefront for Art and Architecture 97 Kenmare St. (SoHo) June 19 7:00–9:00 pm. Free. Storefrontnews.org Now on display at the legendary Steven Holl and Vito Acconci–designed gallery, selection of 100 fundamental books, selected by a jury, based on Storefront’s Global Survey of Architecture Books. On June 26, Storefront will host a conference at the New York Public Library Main Branch (6:30–8:30 pm, free), featuring prominent architects. 4) Solstice: 24x24x24 Storefront for Art and Architecture 97 Kenmare St. (SoHo) June 20–June 21 Storefrontnews.org Making the most of the longest day of the year, 24x24x24 brings together 24 designers to shape a day of programming and contribute a seat for a collective gathering during the summer solstice. From dawn until dusk, 24x24x24 is an experiment in collective production in design, action, and thinking. 24x24x24 is collectively organized and curated by a group of architects who will be taking over Storefront for Art and Architecture from 7pm on June 20 to 7pm on June 21. 5) Mind the Gap: Improving Urban Mobility Through Science and Design Van Alen Institute 30 West 22nd St. (Flatiron) June 20 6:30–8:30 pm. Free. VanAlen.org An examination of how populations move through cities, using tools and methods from neuroscience and behavioral psychology. Organized by the Van Alen Institute. AN’s very own Assistant Editor Jonathan Hilburg will moderate the discussion. 6) Summer Solstice Aperitivo
 Vitra 100 Gansevoort St. (Meatpacking District) June 21 4:00-8:00 pm. Free with RSVP* aiany.org Toast the summer solstice with Vitra and Skyline Design. Aperitivi, live DJ, and special exhibitions. 7) Architecture League Prize 2018: Night 1 Sheila C. Johnson
 Design Center Parsons School of Design 66 Fifth Ave. (Greenwich Village) June 21 7:00–9:00 pm. $10 for non-members. RSVP required* ArchLeague.org Lectures by the winners of the Architectural League’s prestigious annual prize, recognizing the nation’s top young architects: Gabriel Cueller & Athar Mufreh, Coryn Kempster, and Bryony Roberts. Followed by reception 8) Modulightor Building Open House 246 East 58th St. (Midtown) June 22 6:00–9:00 pm. $15. RSVP required* modulightor.com Tour Paul Rudolph’s stunning four-story glass townhouse.
9) Infrastructure: The Architecture Lobby National Think-In Javits Center 655 W 34th St, New York June 22 7:00 am–7:00 pm Prime Produce 424 W 54th St (between 9th and 10th aves) June 23 10:00 am – 7:00pm This Think-In is divided into two parts over two days: active engagement with relevant sessions at the AIA National convention to ensure substantive dialogues on professional issues on Friday, June 22; and Think-In panel discussions on Saturday, June 23 at Prime Produce that examine the theme of Infrastructure. Infrastructure is the network of systems necessary for an organization to function. When those systems are degraded enough, the defining functions of the organization fail. The Architecture Lobby has selected this theme for its first National Think-In to generate a way forward and rebuild our discipline’s infrastructure. 10) Architecture League Prize 2018: Night 2 Sheila C. Johnson
 Design Center Parsons School of Design 66 Fifth Ave. (Greenwich Village) June 22 7:00–9:00 pm. $10 for non-members. RSVP required* ArchLeague.org Lectures by winners of the Architectural League’s prize: Anya Sirota, Alison Von Glinow & Lap Chi Kwong, and Dan Spiegel. 11) A’18 Community Service Day Various locations Check-in: Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place 7:30 am–6:00 pm; reception 6:00–8:00 pm aiany.org/a18 Looking for a meaningful way to spend the last day of conference? AIANY encourages you to volunteer for a half or full day of work that will benefit local nonprofits. Roll
 up your sleeps and pitch in on projects that range from upgrading a church kitchen, fixing a shelter’s community room, working a mobile farmer’s market in an underserved community, and installing infrastructure at a school’s educational outdoor garden. Volunteers will have the chance to make a real difference for these organizations and the people they serve, and
 see parts of New York City that they might not otherwise visit. Collaborating firms include: Cannon Design and Stalco Construction, James Wagman Architect, Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects, FXCollaborative, Perkins Eastman, and 1100 Architect. Participants must sign up in advance. 12) Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers
 Arnold and Sheila
 Aronson Galleries Parsons School of Design 66 Fifth Ave.
(Greenwich Village) June 22–23 12:00–6:00 pm. Free. ArchLeague.org Exhibition featuring the 2018 winners of this prestigious prize program. This year’s theme, Objective, asked entrants to consider objectivity and criteria by which architecture might be judged today. 13) Panorama of the City of New York
 Queens Museum Flushing Meadows Corona Park Ongoing QueensMuseum.org Conceived by urban mastermind and World’s Fair President Robert Moses for the 1964 Fair, the Panorama is a 1:1200 scale model of New York City, covering 469 acres and including hundreds of thousands individually crafted buildings. In 1992, the original modelmaker updated the Panorama while the museum underwent its expansion, designed by Rafael Viñoly. 14) New York at Its Core: 400 Years of NYC History Museum of the City
 of New York 1220 Fifth Ave.
(Upper East Side) Ongoing MCNY.org What made New York New York? Follow the story of the city’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” Framed around themes of money, density, diversity, and creativity, the city delves into its past and invites visitors to propose visions for its future. 15) Designing Waste: Strategies for a Zero Waste City Center for Architecture 536 La Guardia Place (Greenwich village) Through September 1 CenterforArchitecture.org Waste is a design problem. This show presents strategies for architects, designers, and building professionals to help divert waste from landfills. Curator Andrew Blum will lead tours of the exhibition on Friday, June 22, 10:00–11:00 am, and Saturday, June 23, 11:00 am–12:00 pm. This exhibition is based on the Zero Waste Design Guidelines and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Text by AIA City Guide, Storefront for Art and Architecture and AN.

Van Alen Institute’s spring festival focuses on getting around New York City

New York City subways and buses serve eight million riders per weekday. However, the transit system that many New Yorkers rely on encounters frequent delays and suspensions. As a response, New York-based Van Alen Institute will bring together city planners and participants to imagine new approaches towards seeing, navigating, and moving through the urban environment, with a series of events ranging from bus and bike tours to a flash design competition, from June 17 to June 23. The Van Alen-organized spring festival, "FLOW! Getting Around the Changing City" seeks to rethink the consequences of the 15-month-long L-train shutdown, among other transit issues in New York City. They will host “The Williamsburg Challenge,” where participants will test out what it’s like to travel from Union Square to Williamsburg without using the L train. The institute has also invited professional teams to propose creative solutions to solve the over-ground congestion created by the L train shutdown, in a one-night-only design competition. On June 20, AN’s very own Assistant Editor Jonathan Hilburg will moderate the talk, “Mind the Gap: Improving Urban Mobility through Science and Design." Participants include author Susan Magsamen, Perkins + Wills Associate Principal Gerald Tierney, Gehl Studio Associate Julia Day, and Multimer Strategy Associate Taylor Nakagawa. Other events include an East Village-to-Harlem bus tour led by sociologist and author Garnette Cadogan, a four-hour Brooklyn bicycle tour, a screening of the William Holly Whyte-produced The Social Life of Small Urban Space, and an interactive Urban Mobility Variety Show at Figment NYC featuring dance, music and other performances. Check out this link for a full schedule and tickets.

Flatiron holiday installation provides festive respite from the city

If you’re craving holiday cheer in Manhattan, Brooklyn-based Future Expansion’s festive seasonal installation in the Flatiron is now open. Urbanist nonprofit and installation co-sponsor Van Alen Institute unveiled the winning design in October, and it recently released images of Flatiron Reflection, the final design by winner Future Expansion, comprised of shimmering semi enclosure of metal tubes and sited across from the Flatiron building. The installation resembles a public pipe organ, with a white base that floats above the ground. Niches on the outside are meant for close huddles, while the interior allows for quieter contemplation of the busy 23rd Street intersection near Madison Square Park. “We’re excited to be working with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute to temporarily transform this spectacular site,” said Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott, principals of Future Expansion, in prepared remarks. “The installation is designed for three scales of experience: The deeply creased exterior makes spaces for individuals; the interior room offers an intimate panorama for small groups; and the north-facing wedge presents a platform toward the plaza. We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site.” Future Expansion’s installation is the fourth in the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, an annual event produced in collaboration with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the neighborhood’s Business Improvement District (BID). The project is permitted through New York City Department of Transportation’s DOT Art program, and is free and open to the public daily through January 1, 2018, weather permitting.

Van Alen competition on Miami’s sea level rise comes with $850,000 budget

Recognizing how vulnerable southern Florida is in the face of climate change, the Van Alen Institute has launched Keeping Current: A Sea-Level Rise Challenge for Greater Miami. Targeting the Greater Miami Area, Keeping Current is a multi-disciplinary design challenge that is not only looking for answers about how to build a more resilient coastal city, but also offers sites ready to turn the winning plans into reality, with an $850,000 budget to implement them. Hurricane Irma’s near-miss this past summer only served to underscore just how vulnerable Miami really is, in a city already under threat from rising sea levels, where saltwater bubbles up through the porous limestone bedrock below. Recognizing the problem’s urgency, Van Alen has teamed up with the Greater Miami Area municipalities’ resilience, procurement, and budget teams to evaluate resilient infrastructure projects that both adapt to climate change as well as safeguard the investment that local municipalities will put into the project. The contest itself is spread out over three challenges across two sites, scheduled for the winter, spring and fall of 2018. Working with local elected officials, stakeholders, academics and business leaders, design teams will propose resilient solutions for a variety of sites facing different climate change-related problems. Winning entries will focus on addressing “economy, ecology and equity” or balancing budget concerns with community input, and will be given a total of $850,000 to realize their designs in real life. Ultimately, the goal is that the winning designs be scalable and replicable across all of Florida. Keeping Current is about more than safeguarding existing infrastructure. What Van Alen and the municipalities want from this contest is to turn Miami into a leader in urban coastal resilience, while encouraging growth in an area that would be devastated by only a three-foot rise in sea levels. With everything from drinking water, to agriculture, to billions of dollars’ worth of residential and commercial buildings at risk, interdisciplanary solutions are needed now more than ever. Keeping Current is sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, The Miami Foundation, and Target. The full design and community engagement guides will be made available by the Van Alen Institute in February of 2018.

Van Alen Institute reveals winner of Flatiron holiday installation contest

The Van Alen Institute has announced the winner of its annual competition to design a festive holiday folly in the Flatiron. This year the architecture nonprofit, in collaboration with a local BID, tapped Brooklyn's Future Expansion to design a temporary installation on a traffic island right off of Madison Square Park. This year's installation is shiny. For Flatiron Reflection, Future Expansion used bright tubes to create closed spaces for quiet contemplation, with a central stage that opens out onto the plaza. The interior massing freezes the famous Flatiron Building in a romantic tableaux. Flatiron Reflection is fourth iteration of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, a seasonal initiative sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID). The project is sanctioned by NYC DOT Art, and will remain on view through January 1, 2018. “We’re excited to be working with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute to temporarily transform this spectacular site,” said Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott, principals of Future Expansion, in a prepared statement. “The installation is designed for three scales of experience: the deeply creased exterior makes spaces for individuals; the interior room offers an intimate panorama for small groups; and the north-facing wedge presents a platform toward the plaza. We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site.” When the competition opened this summer, Van Alen invited ten firms—Future ExpansionHive Public SpaceKyle May, ArchitectPracticeSchaum/Shieh; The Principals; and BAS; FIRM a.d. with Marman and Borins—to submit proposals for the installation. Last year, LOT illuminated the same plaza with bright white arches. There were hammocks for lounging, too. Planning a visit? Van Alen and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership are encouraging visitors to tag their Twitter and Instagram posts with #FlatironReflection to win prizes from area businesses.

Sweden comes to New York for a series on democratic architecture

From October 24 to 28, the Center for Architecture and Van Alen Institute will host Swedish Design Moves New York, a program exploring Swedish innovation in architecture and design. In addition to a series of public panels, an exhibition of Swedish architecture projects called Aiming for Democratic Architecture will be on view at the Van Alen Institute from October 26 to 28, curated by Architects Sweden and the Swedish Institute. This program is part of the Center for Architecture's Archtober 2017. The program, curated by an international nonprofit called STHLMNYC, will focus on the concept of democratic architecture using Sweden as a progressive touchpoint. According to the series' press release, "Sweden's egalitarian society and intimate relation to nature have generated great examples of balanced architectural solutions that accommodate both community and environmental needs." Through multidisciplinary panels that bring together architects, planners, and designers from the U.S. and Sweden, Swedish Design Moves will look at the application of these principles worldwide. Previous iterations have been hosted in Stockholm, Milan, London, and Paris. The four-day program will open with The Process of Democratic Architecture, a panel that will include Christer Larsson from the Department of City Planning in Malmö, Sweden, Alexandra Hagen from White Arkitekter, Per Franson from the KTH School of Architecture, David Burney from Pratt Institute, Claudia Herasme from the New York Department of City Planning, and Chris Sharples from SHoP Architects. The series will also include a conversation on nature and well-being with panelists from Wingårdhs, Urbio, Marge, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and RAAD STUDIO, a conversation on culture and people with panelists from GoDown Arts Centre, White Arkitekter, Mandaworks, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and a conversation on innovative solutions with panelists from CFMoller, Färgfabriken, Stockholm City, ORE Design, and HPD Architecture. Along with the panels, several workshops will also offer an in-depth look at questions of a "new urban agenda" and the potential of self-built housing. Equity in design will be a central topic at each panel. "One of the largest challenges we face when it comes to the built environment is affordability," said Chris Sharples, Principal at SHoP Architects. "Our role as architects and planners is to come up with new material systems and design/building processes that allow us to address the cost constraints." Swedish Design Moves New York was organized through a partnership between Visit Sweden, STHLMNYC, Architects Sweden, The Swedish Institute, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York. The full program for Swedish Design Moves New York (October 24 - 28) at the Center for Architecture and Van Alen Institute is available here.

This design team has ideas for a better, more humane jail system

Rikers Island, New York City's notorious jail complex, is set to close within the next decade. For some activists, the pace of change is too slow, but, if the city is taken at its word, ten years is a solid chunk of time to rethink justice in 21st century New York. A design team, convened by Van Alen in collaboration with NADAAA, has set out to do exactly that. Justice in Design, a new report from the Van Alen Institute, a design advocacy organization, gives broad guidelines on how New York's criminal justice system should look, feel, and function. Notably, it centers the urban condition but aims to enhance life for those behind bars, as well as those outside the justice system, by elevating both the city and the jail's livability with public programming, dense service networks, and lots of light and greenery. The project was deeply collaborative. To produce Justice in Design, Van Alen partnered with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the legal experts, politicians, developers, and prison reform advocates she convened last year to address the Rikers closure. That group, sometimes called the Lippman Commission but known formally as the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, issued its recommendations this past March: Closing Rikers Island, it said, is a "moral imperative," and it advocated for reducing the city's overall jail population and creating a network of neighborhood-based jails. To that end, Van Alen convened architects, environmental psychologists, prison reformers, and nonprofit leaders for the project team. Dan Gallagher and Nader Tehrani, principals at New York– and Boston-based NADAAA, partnered with urbanist Karen Kubey; Susan Opotow and Jayne Mooney, a psychologist and associate professor of sociology, respectively, who work at both John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center, CUNY; as well as Susan Gottesfeld of the Osborne Association, a nonprofit that works with justice-involved individuals and their families. (The team is credited in the commission's report with providing "additional support" to the study.) The group hosted workshops in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens with law enforcement, reformers, academics, and formerly incarcerated individuals to get an idea of what jail is like inside, and after. The workshops, Gallagher said, helped the designers better understand both day-to-day life in Rikers and incarceration's impact on housing choice, employment, and mental health long after release. From there, the team developed its design guidelines. Instead of producing a strictly carceral space, the designers envisioned a networked jail system spread throughout the city and meant to serve the wider community, not just prisoners. Called Justice Hubs, the mini-neighborhoods are intended to confront re-entry dilemmas—despite new rules, for example, many industries still discriminate against people with backgrounds—while addressing day-to-day challenges faced by those who work in the criminal justice system. In the Brooklyn forum, residents said they weren't concerned about safety if a jail were to open in their neighborhood. Instead, Gahllager said, people were worried the building would be ugly: a grey concrete Hulk surrounded by razor wire. That prompted the team to think not only about the design of the jail itself, but its relationship to the city and its people. "The building has to become more than a big wall with something else going on inside," said Gallagher, a partner at NADAAA. "It has to be an active tool of civic engagement." NADAAA's conceptual designs try to make life on the inside as normal ("more conventional," per Gallagher) as possible. The report emphasizes access to natural light and ventilation not only in outdoor areas, but in visitor rooms, activity spaces, and (especially) cells. Instead of monolithic cinder blocks and concrete finished, the architects advocated for softer, natural finishes to add visual variety and reduce background noise, a significant stressor in close quarters. The layout is supposed to make it easier to move within the jail, and the facilities would be placed near courts and social services. There would be ample but unobtrusive parking for corrections officers, too. The team didn't want to reproduce the spatial segregation that Rikers—a literal island in the East River, near Laguardia Airport—embodied. As a result, community facilities like public outdoor space, gardens, art studios, and libraries are part of the program and are open to detainee's friends and family, as well as residents who have no personal involvement with the jail. This is the first time NADAAA has done a project like this. Van Alen approached the firm both for their design sense and for their ability to analyze and rethink troubled systems. "It was one of those situations where we said, 'okay let's jump in with both feet,'" Gallagher explained. He gave full credit to the team's non-architects, whose research and work experience brought a local and highly international perspective to the project. They read up on Denmark, for example, which lets inmates wear street clothing and cook with sharp knives (but even their relatively progressive prison system is far from perfect). The design team's role going forward is unclear, Gallagher and Van Alen confirmed, but both parties want to stay involved. The general recommendations, summarized on the last few pages of the report, are just that. The concepts don't specify designs, as Justice Hubs will adjust to local zoning: A 200-bed facility in densely developed Downtown Brooklyn might look very different from a similar-sized jail in St. George, Staten Island. With a mandate to envision a system that at its core features many jails, there wasn't much room for questioning the fundamentals of the carceral state or challenging the culture of surveillance. But the guidelines are a cautious step in the right direction to end a traumatic system where detainees suffer degrading and abusive treatment, visitors lose hours on the bus to see family, and guards are hurt by inmates who themselves may struggle with poor mental health. Although Mayor Bill de Blasio supports the closing of Rikers, he hasn't been totally clear on whether he supports community-based jails. Given how quickly NIMBYs mobilized against the mayor's new homeless shelters, it's unclear how residents may react to neighborhood jails. Still, the design team is optimistic about the recommendations. "As a society we have a responsibility to facilitate best outcomes," said David van der Leer, Van Alen's executive director. And architects, he hopes, will keep a seat at the table.

Van Alen presents: Crossroads Conversations

From the Van Alen Institute:
Today we are pleased to announce with Times Square Alliance Crossroads Conversations, a public program series hosted at the base of the Red Steps in Times Square that invites passersby from all walks of life and political convictions to engage in thoughtful dialogue on some of the most pressing issues of our time in an iconic public space at “The Crossroads of the World.” The first event in the series will focus on immigration, and take place on Monday, March 20 from 6–7 PM. The program invites passersby to participate in 10-minute conversations with a fellow stranger facilitated by journalists at the base of the Red Steps, encouraging people from across the nation and around the globe to reveal multifaceted personal beliefs, provoke robust debate, and find common ground with those who may share differing viewpoints. A pilot Crossroads Conversations event was hosted in December 2016 in immediate response to the divisions evidenced following the 2016 national election. The pilot event fostered compelling discussions and unforeseen viewpoints, inspiring Van Alen Institute and Times Square Alliance to organize future events within a multi-month series hosted at the base of the Red Steps.
More information about the event can be found here.

Van Alen to host public conversation on immigration between New Yorkers and visitors in Times Square

Compared to the online comments section—that domain of the keyboard warrior and the realm of dumb trolls—public, in-person conversations are still the gold standard for constructive dialogue, because it's harder to be rude to someone when you're staring right at them. That's why, to combat toxic discourse, the Van Alen Institute and Times Square Alliance are hosting a friendly discussion series on hot-button issues in the middle of New York's busiest public space. Crossroads Conversations pairs perfect strangers to talk—without animus—about the divisive topics that dominate the headlines. This evening, in front of the Red Steps in Times Square, New Yorkers and visitors passing through the "Crossroads of the World” will be matched up for one-on-one conversations about immigration, facilitated by journalists. Participants at tonight's discussion will be speaking with Quartz's design reporter Anne Quito and The Architect's Newspaper's very own associate editor, Audrey Wachs. Rather than digging into the nitty-gritty of the border wall RFP or Presidents Trump's travel ban, the 10-minute conversations are meant to reveal personal stories, inspire sharing, and find common ground within divergent viewpoints. Van Alen held a pilot Crossroads last December in response to the current political climate and the strong feelings it provokes on the Left and Right. Future conversations will center on health, sexuality, the environment, and infrastructure, and, to wrap up the series, Van Alen will aggregate key ideas from the conversations into “Word on the Street” reports that add another dimension to the issues of the day. Crossroads Conversations' first discussion runs tonight from 6–7 p.m. in front of the Red Steps. The talks are free and public—no RSVP required.

Delve into Bo Bardi’s archives, take a VIP tour with Robert A.M. Stern, and more, with Van Alen’s Auction of Art + Design Experiences

Now in its fourth incarnation, the Van Alen Institute's Auction of Art + Design Experiences is back, with truly global offerings that range from Miami ("Soak up the sun" with Terry Riley at sea and a spa) to Tokyo (hang with Metabolist Kayoko Ota or designer Go Hasegawa) to Lyon (tour the Musée des Confluences with its architect, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au). This year's experiences were put together by leading figures in the architecture and design world, including: photographer Iwan Baan, Barry Bergdoll (Columbia University, formerly Museum of Modern Art), Jing Liu (SO–IL), architectural historian Victoria Newhouse, design consultant Marc Norman, Alexandra Polier (DNA brand agency), and writer Mayer Rus. See the list below and make your bids here! Verdant Vidro: Disappear into the rainforests surrounding São Paulo with Renato Anelli and Sol Camacho to the Casa de Vidro, the former home of Brazilian modernist architect, Lina Bo Bardi (1914 – 1992). Enjoy lunch amid the tropical foliage with a menu inspired by Bo Bardi, followed by a dive into the designer’s archives, which are typically off-limits. McKim, Piano, and Wright. Oh My! Follow architectural historian Barry Bergdoll as he shares his knowledge of gems by McKim Mead and White on Columbia University’s campus and brings you north to Renzo Piano’s new Jerome L. Greene Science Center in the gentrifying Upper Manhattan neighborhood. Top off the afternoon with a rare visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Broadacre City model. Party with NMDA: Be the toast of Hollywood as you and seven members of your entourage are invited to dinner with architect Neil Denari at the NMDA-designed Alan-Voo House in Los Angeles, a 21st-century high-tech bungalow. Altered States with Winka: Leave the world behind at the New York City meditation studio Inscape with its designer, Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics, then join her for celebratory drinks – two nights at The Standard High Line included. Peru Perspectives: Fly over Lima’s Brutalist revival university complex by the 2018 Venice Biennial curators, Grafton Architects, and speak with UTEC’s Carlos Hereen about how the structure is helping revitalize this district of the vibrant coastal capital. Glamp Ground: Heard of glamping? Well, this is on an altogether different level. Spend the night at minimalist lifestyle guru Megan Griswolds luxury, marble-countered yurt under the wide-open skies just outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ride the Sakura Wave: From the canal-side rooftop of designer Go Hasegawas Tokyo office, enjoy the peak of cherry blossom season with your friends amid the city’s ancient castles and modern skyscrapers. Meet Me in the Stacks: Browse the back of house of the New York Public Library on a private tour with a world-renowned master of archival design, Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architecten, then book it to her apartment for a meal. Can You Handle the Heat of Kundigs Kitchen?: Come to worship at the “gastronomical temple” of Seattle’s Mistral Kitchen, designed by architect-cowboy Tom Kundig, then visit the 12th Avenue Iron forge, leaving with a special piece selected just for you. Photo Flâneur: See New York City anew as you prowl the streets with acclaimed architectural photographer Yueqi JazzyLi on a personalized photoshoot. Waterhouse Down: Visit Shanghai in enviable style at its hippest hotel, the Waterhouse, with its designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Bring a friend and indulge at the tapas bar in this retrofitted 1930s structure. Lindo Lido Laps: Escape winter with famed Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti while getting a personal tour of his Coliseum in Medellín. Leave physically and mentally refreshed following a dip in the Olympic swimming pool and whirl around the complex’s five gymnasia and public gardens. Urbanists and Architects Take Flight: Soar over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and microclimates of Marin County in a seaplane with urban designer Marc Norman while learning about the challenges of building affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable city. Metabolist Boost: Meander through Tokyo with AMO’s Kayoko Ota while she discusses the groundswell effects of the Metabolist movement that Kenzo Tange envisioned across the fabric of this dense metropolis. Southern Dystopia: Architect Jack C. Portman, III invites you for a night and a few sumptuous meals at the new Hotel Indigo in Atlanta as well as a tour of the futuristic additions to the cityscape by his father, John C. Portman, Jr. A studio visit with the elder Portman might even be in the cards during your visit to the Peach State Capital. Chat and Chew: Join world-renowned architect Wolf D. Prix at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, as you tour its fascinating exhibits on how the environment has impacted the evolution of humankind, finally situating yourselves in front of some fine French fare. Seven Deadly Sins Escape: Expatriate just off the coast of Miami to a collection of stilted houses with K/R Architects’ Terry Riley with four of your friends. Soak up the sun – before climate change raises the tides too high – then pamper yourselves at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach for two nights. The Genius of John Lautner and Tony Duquette: Join design editor Mayer Rus for a visit to two of famous designs by John Lautner (1911–1994), the backdrop of multiple films and star-studded Hollywood parties. Next, hit the home of designer Hutton Wilkinson, who has preserved Dawnridge, the house created by Tony Duquette (1914–1999), for a meal in this collector's paradise. Ivy League of Your Own: Meet lionized architect Robert A.M. Stern for a VIP preview of Yale’s new residential college, the first building of the type to arrive on campus in over six decades. Catch a glimpse of Stern's yellow socks while he unravels the architecture’s embedded symbolism. Parrish the Thought: Head to Long Island’s Parrish Museum with director Terrie Sultan as you tour the Herzog & de Meuron-designed campus set in the East End landscape that fostered such minds as Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollock, and Cindy Sherman. Wonder Dome: Hit the field of the vacant “Eighth Wonder of the World,” Houston’s Astrodome, with Rice University and WW Architects’ Sarah Whiting and architectural historian Stephen Fox as you explore the embattled history of this otherwise inaccessible midcentury modern marvel – then adjourn to Whiting’s home for a memorable meal. Tea Time Travel in Shanghai: Meet Atelier Deshaus founder Liu Yichun for tea at Shanghai’s serene Fangta Park, which is crowned by a nine-tiered pagoda and ringed with tranquil gardens, as you discuss the architecture and natural environment of this expanding city.

See the glowing winner of this year’s Flatiron holiday design competition

On a blustery night this week, local architects and members of the public came out to relax in hammocks in the middle of 5th Avenue for a festive holiday season kick-off. The hammocks, suspended on white powder-coated steel armatures, are part of Flatiron Sky-Line, this year's winning installation in a contest hosted jointly by the Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID). The Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, now in its third year, asks architects to design a temporary structure for the traffic island at Broadway, 5th Avenue, and 23rd Street, adjacent to Madison Square and with the famous triangular building at its southern edge. LOT, the New York City– and Greece-based firm founded by Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, won the invited competition to design a temporary interactive installation that anchors the Partnership's holiday programming. Ten connected arches with strategically-placed mesh hammocks, illuminated with inset LED lights, mirror the form of the Flatiron Building. “Flatiron Sky-Line creates a dynamic new social space underneath its illuminated arches. The structure invites visitors to walk within and around it, gaze through it toward the skyline, and experience the Flatiron District’s surroundings through a unique lens,” said Trampoukis. “The simplicity of the design draws in passersby and inspires them to savor this iconic intersection.” The installation is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., as weather permits. See The Architect's Newspaper's coverage of the 2014 and 2015 winners here, and here.

Van Alen Institute explores how to improve the voting experience

It's election day and The Architect's Newspaper hopes you make (or already made) your trip to your polling place! But as with almost every human activity, design plays a critical role at the ballot box (remember those hanging chads?). In preparation for 58th Presidential election, the Van Alen Institute hosted a competition (dubbed "Open Poll") where interdisciplinary teams explored how to improve the voting experience. Open Poll asked how design could incentivize voting, make it more accessible for all, utilize the streetscape, and bring new energy to the democratic process. The winning team took home $1,000 and the Van Alen Institute will work with them to further refine their proposal. We've included the winning proposal below, along with the two other finalists. For more on the competition, see the Van Alen website. Winning Proposal: Voting at Your Fingertips: A National Celebration of the Democratic Process Team: Racha Daher, Alexandra Gonzalez, and Elena Kapompasopoulou The current voting process is inefficient, strenuous, wasteful, non-inclusive, and prone to human error. This proposal aims to change the way the voting process works, so that it is easier and inclusive, and is accurate, secure and transparent. It aims to change the mindset of the voting experience so that it becomes a national celebration of the democratic process, strengthening social and community ties. To do this, several strategies are to be implemented: 1. Digitalize the voting platform to facilitate the democratic voting experience (multi-step identity verification: SSN number, fingerprints, photo). 2. Increase number of public institutions that serve as polling stations (churches, post offices, libraries, city halls, schools). 3. Change the voting day to Sunday to allow all-day family events. 4. Transform parks and public spaces into event areas, re-engaging in activities, while broadcasting voting results to promote transparency. 5. Utilize street infrastructure for political engagement. 6. Hold national festivities to celebrate the democratic process. Finalist Proposal: In Between the Lines Team: Larissa Begault and Julia Borowicz Most voting in NYC takes place in public schools, which provides an opportunity for civic engagement to occur within these educational institutions. Our proposal offers a curriculum of collective storytelling and cultural archiving. Given the current political rhetoric around national identity we need to reflect on diversity. This curriculum engages parents through excavating their histories while empowering children as the future generation of voters. Students collect their family history, highlighting diverse heritages across the U.S. Once workshopped, the stories become an interactive artifact distributed to voters in line. Showcasing their plurality allows neighbors to find common ground through unexpected conversations around identity and difference. Addressing these themes bridges challenges around belonging and citizenship. This proposal offers an occasion to reflect on what unites us. Finalist Proposal: Re-Thinking Urban Elections Team: Vahhab Aboonour and George Dimos Our proposal examines the importance of public spaces, like parks, plazas or college campuses, as democratic archetypes promoting social interaction and political education. We are re-thinking the poll site, incorporating elements from the ancient Greek agora and the Parisian café scene, as a place where political conversation can spontaneously occur. We propose that Election Day becomes a national holiday that both public and private organizations respect. Voters are therefore given more time to travel to their poll sites and share views with their communities. Furthermore, the private sector can actively participate in the electoral process, with college campuses serving as poll sites, and students working at the polls, getting paid through their workstudy awards. Voting then becomes an educational and celebratory public event.