JMBC Publishes The Just City Essays
Twenty-six urban thought leaders including mayors, internationally renown artists, architects and activists will release visions for urban justice in a provocative collection of essays published Friday, October 23, by The J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at The City College of New York, Next City, and The Nature of Cities with the support of the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Ford Foundation. More information >>
Gutman Wins Kenneth Jackson Award
Professor Marta Gutman’s book A City for Children: Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850-1950 has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Kenneth Jackson Award from the Urban History Association for the best North American book published in 2014. This new work of urban history, published by the University of Chicago Press, focuses on the use and adaptive reuse of everyday buildings in Oakland, California, to make the city a better place for children.
Aydogan Akseli Wins Grant
Assistant Professor Ahu Aydogan Akseli (left) in collaboration with Elizabeth Biddinger (Chemical Engineering, CCNY Grove School of Engineering) received a grant of $100,000 from the US Department of Army, Minority Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Research and Development Consortium to support the continuation of their research projects. The title of their proposal under the category of Science of Chemical and Biological Protection is “Adsorbents for use in Building-Integrated Plant-Based Dynamic Filtration Media for Removing Chemical Warfare Agents.”
PLOT Journal Honored
The Landscape Architecture Program at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, received a 2015 National Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for its student-edited landscape journal, PLOT.
For further information, see http://www.asla.org/2015studentawards/102033.html.
JMBC Appointed Quilian Riano as First Senior Fellow
The J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City has appointed Quilian Riano as its first J. Max Bond Senior Fellow for the fall 2015 semester. Riano will work with JMBC leadership in the development of JMBC's Design for the Just City Initiative.
Riano is a designer, researcher, writer, and educator working out of Brooklyn, New York. He teaches theory-based Design and Urban Ecologies studios at Parsons, The New School for Design in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the School of Design Strategies, and has also taught at Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development. Quilian founded DSGN AGNC, a collaborative design-research studio exploring political engagement through architecture, urbanism, art, and activism. He is also the Director of Strategy and Research at NYDesigns, a design residency, fabrication, and urban research program of the City University of New York (CUNY). He attended University of Florida for a Bachelor of Design in Architecture and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design for a Master of Architecture.
The fellowship is awarded to a professional with 5 to 10 years of practice and/or academic experience in the fields of architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, sustainability, urban studies, and/or urban planning. The fellow is selected based on his/or her professional track record for successfully addressing social and spatial justice issues as an integral part of their design practice, research or academic pedagogy.
op/al and SSA Students Design Plastic Flowers Pavilion
Working with SSA students in a summer class entitled Parametric Design Build, Adjunct Professor Jonathan Scelsa’s firm op/al designed and built the Plastic Flowers Pavilion. The pavilion currently functions as a visitor pavilion at the Freshkills Park in Staten Island, New York. More information >>
A Conversation with Assistant Professors Ahu Aydogan Akseli and Frank Melendez
In fall 2014, we welcomed two new junior, full-time faculty members: Prof. Ahu Aydogan Akseli and Prof. Frank Melendez. Prof. Aydogan Akseli’s research focuses on building systems. She holds a B.Arch. from Uludag University, an M.Arch. and M.S. in Engineering Management from the Izmir Institute of Technology as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Architectural Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prof. Melendez’s work deals with modes of digital design and fabrication processes. He received his B.Arch. from the University of Arizona and an M.Arch. from Yale University. I recently had he chance to sit down with them to discuss their ideas about architecture, and our conversation naturally turned to architecture’s relationship with technology.
—Prof. Sean Weiss
Let’s begin by discussing your research interests in greater detail.
AAA: My research focuses on building integrated system technologies. In particular, I deal with green wall systems in order to clean pollutants from indoor air, connecting this system to HVAC systems and reducing the energy consumption profiles of buildings. Normally, HVAC systems bring fresh air into a building. But you need to heat or cool the outside air when bringing air indoors. By recycling and remediating the indoor air through green wall systems, you reduce energy and the outdoor intake, therefore saving energy.
FM: My interest in digital technologies began while working at Frank Gehry’s office in Los Angeles and continued during my graduate education. These experiences really influenced how I thought about architecture and led to my current research in computational design, digital fabrication, and responsive systems. My interests in responsive systems focuses on the use of sensors and other nascent technologies that provide opportunities for embedding intelligence into kinetic building systems.
Given your shared interest in technology, how do you define its relationship with architecture?
FM: Architecture seems to evolve based on advances in technology. Technological processes in the industrial age had a profound impact on architecture, and, I believe, a similar impact can be seen today in our use of digital tools. This is critical in terms of how we design and build buildings, and advance the practice of architecture. Digital tools provide us with opportunities to design structures that are optimized for performance and integrate new methods for customizing components and assemblies.
AAA: Technology is a ways of expressing your ideas and design intentions. Do you want to express your ideas in a way that reveals the system and the technology? Or do you want to hide them?
Would you provide an example?
AAA: Technology unfolds in different ways as my research moves from experiment to different scales of prototypes. My research starts with a single plant experiment, using different kinds of growing media. Then the plant grows to one module and then into a wall section. There is, then, a multi-scalar approach using different technologies. In 2016 or 2017, it will be integrated into Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Public Safety and Answering Center II in the Bronx, where everybody will have the chance to see the real prototype, integrated at the scale of the building.
So building technologies impact everyday life in concrete ways?
FM: To my mind, it’s about improving the quality of our lives, not only from a functional or aesthetic point of view, but also in terms of larger issues related to climate change and other environmental factors. In cities around the world—for example, Beijing or Mexico City—high pollution levels pose serious problems. The depletion of natural resources is another serious issue. Some of the studios that I have taught in the past focus on the potential for responsive systems to use environmental phenomena as real-time data that drives kinetic prototypes. These projects speculate on adaptive architectures that enhance our environment by, for example, improving air quality or gathering natural resources. This impacts our lives as well as other biotic systems.
AAA: Working at the SSA and CUNY more broadly presents opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines, including engineering and the sciences. These kinds of collaborations ultimately allow us to impact society in important ways, while still working at the scale of architecture.
SSA Student Builds in Ghana
In summer 2015, rising fifth-year B.Arch. student Matthew Addeo participated in the Three + Two Ghana Earth Building Workshop. Matthew helped build a single-family house in the Abetenim village, whose design was inspired by traditional courtyard houses of the Ashanti region.
Photo: Matthew Addeo, far left, in Ghana.
Sorkin Named Guggenheim Fellow
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has named Distinguished Professor Michael Sorkin a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. He is one of a diverse group of 175 scholars, artists, and scientists to be recognized in the foundation's ninety-first competition for the United States and Canada. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of over 3,100 applicants.
Exhibit: Sagrada Família - Gaudí's Unfinished Masterpiece
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of La Sagrada Familia, the magnum opus of Antoni Gaudí, the father of Catalan Modernisme. This is the only time that such a demonstration of Gaudí's genius will be featured on American soil. Many institutions have vied for this singular opportunity, and City College is honored to offer this extraordinary experience to New York City. The exhibit includes several architectural models and casts used in construction, and showcases the 3D computer imaging software used to analyze and draw precise tridimensional geometry.
The exhibit Sagrada Família - Gaudí's Unfinished Masterpiece: Geometry, Construction and Site is on view in the Atrium Gallery.
- September 29, 2014-May 8, 2015
- Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Admission: Free
- Extended hours for Thursday evening lectures
- Closed holidays
- City College of New York
- Spitzer School of Architecture - Atrium Gallery
- 141 Convent Avenue
- New York, NY 10031
- [Directions >]
Gaudí's Unfinished Masterpiece
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York is poised to host a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of La Sagrada Familia, the magnum opus of Antoni Gaudí, the father of Catalan Modernisme. This is the only time that such a demonstration of Gaudí's genius will be featured on American soil. Many institutions have vied for this singular opportunity, and City College is honored to offer this extraordinary experience to New York City. The exhibit includes several architectural models and casts used in construction, and showcases the 3D computer imaging software used to analyze and draw precise tridimensional geometry.
The Opening Reception for Sagrada Família - Gaudí's Unfinished Masterpiece: Geometry, Construction and Site will be held on Monday, September 29, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public and will be on view from September 29, 2014-May 8, 2015 in the Atrium Gallery, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. free of charge.
The Fall 2014 Sciame Lecture Series—also entitled Gaudí's Unfinished Masterpiece—will feature architects and historians discussing their work on Sagrada Familia. All lectures are free, open to the public, and held at 6:30 pm in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Sciame Auditorium. Continuing Education Credit for registered New York architects is available. The first four lectures are featured Archtober events. [Lecture Series >]
Structures of Coastal Resilience
Structures of Coastal Resilience is a four-university research effort, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation with support from the US Army Corps of Engineers, examining four vulnerable urban sites along the North Atlantic coast that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Associate Professor Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, the Principal Investigator for the CCNY team, is proposing a strategic set of recommendations supporting coastal resiliency at Jamaica Bay, inclusive of the Rockaway Peninsula, the central marsh islands, and the tributary inlets at the back bay perimeter. This resiliency plan seeks to address social, environmental, and infrastructural vulnerability, with a focus on novel strategies of salt marsh island restoration within the bay. A resilient marsh ecosystem provides coastal storm risk reduction to adjacent communities through wind fetch reduction and wave attenuation. The City College team is comprised of recent graduates Kjirsten Alexander (MLA ’12) and Danae Alessi (MLA ’13), as well as current MLA graduate student Eli Sands.
On Friday 19 September, ten first-year MLA students participated in the 2014 Park(ing) Day festivities, a daylong, international “happening” in which people transform parking spaces into temporary public space. With support from the NY Chapter of the American Association of Landscape Architecture, the students converted two spaces in West Harlem, one focused on reflective power and another on hydrology.
ACSA Steel Design Competition Awards
Congratulations to the students whose projects from the Spring 2014 fourth-year B Arch studios won awards in this year's ACSA Steel Design Competition! The competition program was to design an international border crossing.
A project from Martin Stigsgaard's studio by Donovan Dunkley, Vail Nuguid, and Alexia Sanchez won first place: Kyrgyzstan-China Border Crossing. One from Joan Krevlin's studio by Joan Battle was awarded an honorable mention: Smart Door-Sculpture in the Landscape (at left).