That’s the best way to describe the past few months at AAP. Paul Milstein Hall’s construction progresses in inverse relationship to the time spent planning for it. Already, foundation walls of west Rand and north Sibley halls have been underpinned, the excavation work is largely complete, caissons are in the ground, pier caps have been cast, and the lower-level perimeter concrete walls are being formed. The footprint of the building is becoming legible, and the enthusiasm among the students and faculty is evident. The enthusiasm among the alumni is also evident. Since groundbreaking in May, the college has received extremely generous support for Milstein Hall from alumni around the world. Here I want to single out two extraordinary individuals, both holders of Cornell bachelor of architecture degrees: Ms. Mui Ho of California and Mr. Liong Phing Kwee of Singapore. I am deeply grateful for their philanthropy and for that of many others who collectively are constructing a truly mighty new force in the world of design education. Thank you. There are two new senior leaders in the college. In the Department of Art, Associate Professor Jolene Rickard has assumed the helm as interim chair. Jolene brings rigor and energy to the task of promoting art-making as a critical engagement informed by emerging technologies. I am convinced that we have a unique opportunity at Cornell to fold deep research in the humanities and sciences into the conceptualization and fabrication of artwork, and I am very pleased to have Jolene leading the charge. In architecture, Professor Dagmar Richter has joined the department as chair. Dagmar has taught at institutions around the globe, and her experimental design work is widely published and familiar to many of you. Dagmar joins the department at a critical juncture: a new facility is underway, two NAAB reviews are scheduled for next term, the college dean is demanding and persistent (but hopefully not completely unreasonable), and resources are constrained. However, we are both committed to the goal of building on the legacy of unparalleled academic excellence in architectural education, and a quick tally of our fall visiting faculty (Mayne, Libeskind, OMA, Manfredi, Snøhetta) and lecturers should help to convince you that we are forging ahead. Together with CRP chair, Professor Kieran Donaghy, we have a superb leadership team in place to help navigate difficult times. In closing, I want to note two milestones. First, master landscape architect Lawrence Halprin died on October 28, at the age of 93. Halprin received his undergraduate training in plant science and graduated from Cornell in 1939 during the 40-year period (1922–62) when landscape architecture was formally part of our college. Like few others, Halprin embodied the practice of landscape architecture as the creative common denominator for planning, art, and design, and the shared ecological ground for a rapidly urbanizing world. We still have much to learn from his legacy. Second, AAP alumnus Richard Meier celebrated his 75th birthday in October. He was, of course, much feted around the world. But the surprise party designed and hosted by our architecture students in AAP’s New York City studio was spectacular in a way particular to Cornell: it must be the Dragon Day training!
KENT KLEINMAN GALE AND IRA DRUKIER DEAN OF ARCHITECTURE, ART, AND PLANNING
News07 Fall2009 AAPnews——2 Work—8 Review—16 Student news——18 Faculty&Staff news—22 Alumni news—24 AAP News
is published twice yearly by the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, through the Office of the Dean. College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Cornell University 129 Sibley Dome, Ithaca, NY 14853 607 255.5317 email@example.com Editor Aaron Goldweber Contributing writers Dan Aloi, Jose Beduya, Sheri D’Elia, Blaine Friedlander, Elise Gold, Aaron Goldweber, Sabina Lee, Roberta Moudry, Sherrie Negrea, Krishna Ramanujan, Nancy Seewald, Sarah Smith Design Paul Soulellis (B.Arch. ’90) / Soulellis Studio Copyeditor Laura Glenn Photography William Staffeld (unless otherwise noted) Cover Recent on-campus lectures featured (front) Daniel Libeskind on November 4 and (back) Thom Mayne on November 6. Both are teaching studios this semester. Elise Gold contributed to the cover design. ©November 2009 Cornell University Printed on Lynx Opaque, a Forestry Stewardship Council stock. Printed by Monroe Litho, Rochester, NY. Monroe Litho is certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership and is an EPA Green Power Partner operating on 100 percent wind power.
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2——AAP News—Ratan Tata———— ——Arch #1—CRP Increased Enrollm Richter——Solar House—————— ——————— World’s Cheapest Car—and Corporate Responsibility—Occupy Ratan Tata in Two Reunion Appearances Ratan Tata (’59, B.Arch. ’62) was
riding in his car one night a few years ago in Bangalore, India, when a scooter carrying an Indian family of four—a common sight throughout the subcontinent— slid on a drizzle-slicked road, just missing the car. “At that time I figured, if we want to make a contribution we should find out what we could do to make safer transport available at an affordable price,” said Tata, the chairman of India’s Tata Group, a multinational conglomerate, speaking June 5 in Sibley Hall as part of Cornell’s Reunion Weekend activities. The result is the new $2,500 Nano minicar, made by the group’s Tata Motors arm, which seeks to provide an affordable, safe alternative to the millions of twowheeled vehicles now in use across India. Tata’s question-and-answer presentation on the world’s cheapest car and its potential impact on Indian society, was moderated by Kent Kleinman, AAP dean. In Bailey Hall, later in the afternoon, Tata delivered the annual Olin Lecture, which took the form of a dialogue with Cornell President David Skorton on “Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century.” The 1,200-pound, four-door “bare-bones car,” has a rear 33-horsepower, twocylinder gasoline engine that gets 65 miles-per-gallon. It has a single side mirror and windshield wiper, is priced at about half the cost of other Indian cars, and is roughly twice the price of a scooter, Tata said. At the same time, it makes use of vertical space so passengers sit high, creating more legroom. “This car seats five people,” he said. There is also a higher-end, air-conditioned Nano LX model that will sell for about $3,700. Already, there are 200,000 orders for the Nano and the LX model, 90 percent of which have been paid in advance. With 60,000 cars to be produced this year, there will be a two-year wait for some orders, Tata noted. Indians opposed to the car have mentioned pollution, congestion, and safety, Tata said, concerns that the company has tried to address. The car meets European safety standards and is safer than many existing Indian cars, Tata asserted, but would not meet more stringent U.S. standards that additionally require a rear crash test. Tata Motors is currently redesigning the car for the American market, with plans to sell a slightly larger vehicle here for around $7,500 in two years. Regarding the question of increased pollution from adding so many new cars to Indian roads, Tata noted that because the Nano has high gas mileage, it “is considerably less polluting than a scooter.” “In terms of congestion, there is going to be a problem until India’s infrastructure and roads improve,” said Tata. “That’s an issue that India is going to have to face, whether it be scooters or cars,” though the Nano will replace many motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and other small cars, he added. In the Olin Lecture, Skorton and Tata discussed the social responsibilities of corporations. The Tata Group’s many philanthropic trusts make it the largest grant-making organization in India, with aid to such areas as agriculture, water conservation, literacy, and education. This year, the Tata Education and Devel-
Ratan Tata (right) discussing the development of the Tata Nano car with Dean Kent Kleinman in John Hartell Gallery in June. Credit: Jason Koski/University Photography.
opment Trust committed $50 million to Cornell to establish the Tata Scholarship Fund for Students from India and the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition. The $25-million-dollar scholarship fund, which will bring the first four Indian students to Ithaca this fall, “was devised to give underprivileged Indians the chance to come to Cornell” and get an education they would not otherwise have access to, Tata said. The remaining $25 million will be used to create agricultural programs in India to increase crop yields, introduce new agricultural technologies, and better manage water. India has “over a billion people . . . and we have a problem,” he said. “We need to make sure we can continue to feed our people.”AAP
—Ashkin——— ment—Solnit——— ———————————
ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM REGAINS NUMBER 1 RANKING The B.Arch. program received top ranking in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence (DI). The 2009 list marks the fourth time in the past five years that the Cornell program has been ranked number 1 of the top 20 architecture programs in the U.S. In 2008 the undergraduate program was ranked number 2. The M.Arch. program was ranked number 6 out of the top graduate architecture programs. The five-year-old graduate architecture program has placed in the top 20 for the past three years. The rankings were based on a survey conducted at more than 200 architecture firms and organizations in the U.S. These leading firms were asked about which academic programs best prepare students for professional practice. Those surveyed have direct experience hiring and evaluating the performance of recent architect graduates. More than 900 architecture students were also surveyed about their satisfaction with their educational programs. DI also introduced the Cramer Report: America’s World-Class Schools of Architecture. This report notes architecture programs that have distinguished themselves based on specific criteria including: ranking by professional practices, rankings by deans and chairs, student evaluations, and program accreditation. The Cornell architecture program placed in the top category “With Highest Distinction,” with a score of 474 out of a possible 485 points.AAP
CRP GRADUATE PROGRAMS SEE INCREASED ENROLLMENT During economic downturns, universities typically see increased numbers of students applying to graduate programs in order to stave off entering a distressed job market or to make themselves more marketable. This trend held true for City and Regional Planning and many other departments across campus. The number of incoming students in CRP graduate programs increased by 67 percent—a high rate for the department, even in times of recession. For the graduate New Student Orientation on August 25, the department welcomed 52 new M.R.P. students, eight M.A. students, and five Ph.D. students to the program. The M.R.P. program has seen the highest increase in enrollment, with many of the incoming students having prior professional work experience. Three of these students are part of Master’s International, a new program offered to M.R.P. students with an international focus. The Master’s International program is designed as a three-part series: one year of coursework, two years of fieldwork through the Peace Corps, and an additional year of coursework. The undergraduate Urban and Regional Studies program welcomed 24 incoming freshmen to the department. AAP
SOLNIT NAMED A. D. WHITE PROFESSOR-AT-LARGE Cultural critic Rebecca Solnit is a new A. D. White Professor-atLarge, appointed to a six-year term through June 2015. Solnit writes about such subjects as landscape, politics, emerging technologies, place, and society. Solnit is also an activist concerned with the environment and environmental and social justice. “Rebecca Solnit’s work is remarkably broad and creative, spanning the sciences, arts, and humanities,” said Steven Strogatz, program chair and the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics. Professor Jean Locey, art, will be Solnit’s faculty host throughout the appointment. Solnit is likely to make her first visit to Ithaca during the 2010–11 academic year. Also named a professor-at-large was Jeffrey McNeely, chief scientist for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.AAP
MICHAEL ASHKIN IS NAMED 2009 GUGGENHEIM Michael Ashkin, assisFELLOW tant professor in the Department of Art, has been named as a recipient of a 2009 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Ashkin, who is also the director of graduate studies in the art department, will use the fellowship to support his solo exhibition at Secession in Vienna, Austria, from November 20, 2009 to January 4, 2010. Ashkin said, “My work spans various media (sculpture, photography, video) and addresses issues of landscape, specifically the intersection of subjectivity with the social, economic, and political production of space.” Ashkin’s work demonstrates a new understanding of marginalized landscapes. Often using photographs of his miniature models to focus on devastated areas and industrial wastelands, he creates unusual places of reflection. Recent work by Ashkin explores urban organization in terms of social ideals versus structural necessities. “The award of a Guggenheim fellowship is a prestigious intellectual and cultural accolade and an endorsement of the significance, relevance, and urgency of a scholar’s or an artist’s work,” said Patricia Phillips, former chair of the Department of Art. “Michael Ashkin is a deeply accomplished artist and public intellectual. This fellowship confirms the quality and integrity of his research and practice and brings distinction to AAP and Cornell University.” Ashkin is among 180 recipients from the creative arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences and is Cornell’s only Guggenheim fellow for 2009.AAP
Professor Michael Tomlan leads a walking tour of the Cornell campus and Ithaca as part of the CRP graduate student orientation in August.
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4————AAP News SILO HOUSE COMPETES IN SOLAR DECATHLON In mid-October, the Cornell University “rustic chic”
Silo House—three circular modules clad in rust-covered corrugated steel— headed to the National Mall in Washington, DC as part of the Solar Decathlon. The biennial interdisciplinary, design-build competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy featured entries by 20 colleges and universities from around the world competing in 10 domestic- and energy-based contests. The competition in DC was the culmination of two years of design work, fundraising, planning, and construction by Cornell students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The Cornell University Solar Decathlon (CUSD) team, the largest student team on campus, was comprised of 150 students from six colleges— including 20 AAP students—and divided into teams focused on architecture, business, communications, construction, engineering, and landscape. The Silo House finished seventh. Team Germany took first place, successfully defending their 2007 victory. Commenting on the team’s seventh-place finish, team leader Christopher Werner (M.Arch. ’09) said, “There were no mistakes in this competition; we just didn’t have the house to win it. We built a risky house, but we wouldn’t have done anything differently. There hasn’t really ever been a house like this in the decathlon.” Largely because of its breaking-the-box design—most other entrants were rectangular—the Silo House garnered widespread media attention, including coverage in Scientific American, the New York Times, Popular Mechanics, CNET, and the front page of the Washington Post’s real estate section. “Cornell University’s house stands apart from the other entries with its agrarian-looking design . . . intended to reference the grain silos on upstate New York farms,” the Post article said. Special interior design features were incorporated to be in harmony with the house’s architecture, designed by Irina Chernyakova (B.Arch. ’10), including: engineered ash tongue-and-groove flooring, energy-saving appliances, and systems including LED lighting; moisture-proof insulation in the walls; folding NanaWalls opening to the central courtyard; and an array of 40 200-watt photovoltaic panels. The three cylindrical living modules—living room, kitchen, and bedroom/ bathroom—are accessed via a long ramp on the structure’s north side that was landscaped with more than 1,000 lowwater-need plants. The house took shape over several months at Cornell’s High Voltage Laboratory where team members worked seven-day weeks over the summer to complete construction. Additional AAP Solar Decathlon Participants Marco Andrade (B.Arch. ’09) Kelly Ball (B.Arch. ’09) Eric Bernstein (B.Arch. ’11) Dave Bosworth (M.Arch. ’09) Molly Chiang (B.Arch. ’09) Benn Colker (B.Arch. ’10) Rebecca Dion (B.Arch. ’12) Kirk Finkel (B.Arch. ’11) Travis A. Fitch (B.Arch. ’10) Viola Diane Kosseda (M.Arch. ’09) Spencer Lapp (B.Arch. ’09) Elizabeth Munson (M.Arch. ’09) Jamie Pelletier (B.Arch. ’10) Jerome Soustra (B.Arch. ’11) Jesse Suchoff (B.Arch. ’11) Jessica Tranquada (B.Arch. ’12) Ben Widger (M.Arch. ’10) Kelly Zona (M.Arch. ’10) Find out more on the CUSD website: cusd.cornell.edu.AAP The Silo House during the Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, DC. Credit: Chris Goodney.
REGIONAL SCIENCE PROGRAM On April 19, CELEBRATION CRP Professor Emeritus Walter Isard, credited as the father of regional science, celebrated his 90th birthday. On April 24, the graduate field of regional science at Cornell marked this happy occasion, and celebrated more than 35 years of continuous activity, with a well-attended half-day program of events in the new seminar room of the Fine Arts Library. Dean Kent Kleinman opened the festivities by commenting on the critical role that regional scientists have played in helping the design professions to understand social and economic forces shaping the use of space. One of the graduate field’s founding faculty members, Professor Emeritus Stanislaw Czamanski, joined the proceedings with salutations telephoned in from Haifa, Israel. Professors Ralph Christy (AEM), Porus Olpadwala (CRP), and Iwan Azis
(CRP and director of graduate studies in regional science), then took turns reflecting on the relationship between regional science and development economics. Professor Isard suggested how room can be found in the social sciences for more generous and realistic models of human behavior than prevailing accounts of optimizing behavior. In the second part of the morning’s events, Professor Emeritus Sidney Saltzman (CRP) discussed how the graduate field of regional science came to be organized by professors Czamanski, Barclay Jones (deceased), Isard, and himself. Professor and Chair Kieran Donaghy (CRP) discussed the progression of research topics that students have investigated in over 50 scholarly dissertations. Current students in the field then offered their views on present needs and future directions in graduate education. Before exiting to a celebratory feast of Thai food in West Sibley, Professors Azis and Donaghy announced a new student Dissertation Completion Fellowship, to be named after the graduate field’s founding faculty members.AAP
New architecture chair Dagmar Richter introduces AAP NYC fall semester faculty in Manhattan.
DAGMAR RICHTER APPOINTED CHAIR OF ARCHITECTURE Dagmar DEPARTMENT Richter was appointed chair of the Department of Architecture on July 1. A leading figure in contemporary architecture, Richter is an internationally acclaimed educator, designer, and author. Richter comes to Cornell from UCLA, where she was a professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design since 1989. Educated at the University of Stuttgart, the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen, and the Städel School in Frankfurt, she has practiced and taught throughout Europe and the United States, including in London, Paris, Oslo, Berlin, and New York City. “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be able to welcome Dagmar to Cornell,” said Kent Kleinman, dean of AAP. “Dagmar is a colleague of the highest distinction. She brings strong leadership, a cooperative spirit, a great deal of energy, and a progressive vision that will ensure the architecture department will remain among the best in the world.” Richter has taught and lectured at leading architectural programs around the world and held professorships at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union, Columbia University, and the Art Academy in Berlin and in Stuttgart. “I am thrilled and feel very honored to have been appointed chair of Cornell’s Department of Architecture and have already had a wonderful experience working closely with the students, faculty, and the administration,” said Richter. “I hope that my international experience as an educator, designer, and critic will help to build consensus among the faculty and the students to let me lead us all forward into the 21st century.” Richter is the principal of DR_D, a design research practice in Berlin and Los Angeles, known for its inventive design approach and research-oriented experiments. Her work focuses on rethinking methods of architectural design in a global economy and high-speed cultural forum, produced with a rapidly evolving computerized technology. Her design work has garnered numerous prestigious competition prizes and awards, including second prize for the design of the National Library of Denmark in Copenhagen and a first prize for an office-park design for the Shinkenshiku Membrane in Japan. Richter’s work is the subject of two monographs: XYZ: The Architecture of Dagmar Richter (Princeton Architectural Press) and Armed Surfaces: Architecture and Urbanisms 5 (Black Dog Press). Her writings have appeared in Assemblage, AD, A+U, Daidalos, and many other publications in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Japan, and the United States. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including in shows at the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Richter succeeds interim-chair Mark Cruvellier, who continues to teach at Cornell and is spending the semester with the Cornell in Rome program.AAP
(l to r) Porus Olpadwala, Iwan Aziz, Terry Plater, Walter Isard, Sidney Saltzman, and Manas Chatterji during the Regional Science program celebration in the spring.
Sadie Smith (B.F.A. ’10), untitled (2009), latex acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24".
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Paul Milstein Hall
Paul Milstein Hall to Feature Interplay Between Sustainability and Design Paul Milstein
Hall, now under construction, will incorporate a 24,000-square-foot green roof, the largest on Cornell’s campus. Floor-to-ceiling glass facades will invite consistent natural light levels, and chilled beams installed in the ceiling will cool the three-level glass-and-concrete structure. The sustainable design of the $52 million project will allow Milstein Hall to achieve a 31 percent reduction in energy costs, exceeding national standards for new construction. The energy savings in the 47,000-square-foot building will add one more step toward Cornell’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Architects from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), the Rotterdam-based firm that designed Milstein Hall, say sustainability has been integrated into all phases of the project, from the site selection to the use of recycled steel. One of the initial decisions OMA made in designing Milstein was to integrate Rand Hall into the site, rather than demolish it as called for under previous plans. “The key is the preservation of existing resources and materials,” says Ziad Shehab, an associate in OMA’s New York office and project architect for Milstein Hall. “A lot of energy and resources go into the construction of a new building. Sustainability tries to find adaptive resuses of existing buildings rather than tearing them down.” Plans for the building have always featured sustainable practices. Commitment to this approach was bolstered in 2008, when Cornell mandated that all new construction projects greater than $5 million reduce energy usage by 30 percent and achieve silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. “Milstein is driving toward sustainability and benchmarking itself with a nationally recognized system that will be open for review to the whole world,” says Matthew Kozlowski, an environmental project coordinator with Cornell’s Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Office. Like other buildings on campus, Milstein Hall will rely on Lake Source Cooling, a system that circulates water from Cayuga Lake to campus, to operate its central cooling system. In Milstein Hall, the lake water will flow into the chilled beams in the ceiling to cool the building. What is unusual about the building’s sustainable design is the massive size of its green roof, says Jim Bash, an associate with Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc. of Houston, the project’s architect of record. “The sheer size of it is definitely unique to projects that I’ve worked on,” he says. Covered with two varieties of sedum supplied by Motherplants, a nursery in nearby Enfield, New York, the roof will insulate the building, reduce storm water runoff, and mitigate the heat island effect—urbanized areas that become hotter than nearby rural areas. From a design perspective, the green roof is another facade reinforcing the concept of the building as a connector. A field of lightercolored sedums merges with a field of gradually increasing circles of darker colored sedums to create a symbolic link between the dense natural gorge and the man-made landscape of the Arts Quad. “It’s very easy to check off the box by putting on a green roof, but we’re trying to put a design behind that,” says Shohei Shigematsu, a partner with OMA and director of the New York office. “This is one of the ways we integrate into the design the specifics of the program and the site with the technical solution.” With twelve-foot-high glass walls on the building’s three levels, 57 percent of the exterior vertical walls will consist of glass, allowing natural light to illuminate the studios and classrooms. Skylights placed near the center of the upper level will increase in size to draw more light to the center of the interior. The project will use at least 10 percent of materials from regional firms located within a 500-mile radius. Vitale, of Groton, New York, will supply the concrete for the foundations, while Saunders Companies, a Central New York firm with a plant in Ithaca, will provide the concrete for the caissons and the underpinning. Once Milstein Hall is occupied, Facility Dynamics, a consulting engineering firm based in Columbia, Maryland, will review the mechanical systems to make sure they are operating at peak performance. The firm will be commissioned to monitor the building for one year after construction is completed in August 2011.AAP
The Paul Milstein Hall web presence is now fully integrated into the AAP website at aap.cornell.edu/milstein. Constantly updated with news and photos, the site also features a usercontrolled webcam, interactive giving opportunities, construction schedule, animations, and more. Read construction updates on Twitter: @CU_MilsteinHall
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Work————Field Project— ——In Progress: Mayne—Sn ———Common Ground——Inter ——————Eco-Design in
Mayne Studio It is quite difficult to enter into a fourth-year architecture studio without having developed a certain propensity or approach to architectural design. I struggle to control what I create, which would explain my affinity for rigorous processes and well-backed philosophical foundations for formal justifications. This probably also explains why it is rather unexpected and surprisingly refreshing to be part of a studio that engages form in the absence of program, context, or even an idea. Taught by Pritzker Prize–recipient Thom Mayne, Professor Val Warke, and Andrew Batay-Csorba (Morphosis), my option studio this semester raises such a possibility in part by inverting an axiomatic question of authorship: What can happen when such forms are derived a posteriori? The daring and bold qualities that you find in Thom Mayne’s buildings are equally evident in his personality and vision for the studio. After meeting him in New York City, I learned that Thom Mayne carries a certain intensity based on his conviction that contemporary architecture is a complex system full of contradictions and isolated conditions. These factors should not merely be clarified, but also exploited to produce greater spatial and organizational potential. In place of the usual architectural problem, we find a strategy conceived not through its singularity but through these contradictions—a celebration of contemporary notions about the multiplicities in which we live. The strategy is intensely formal, pursued with the aggressive use of computation to generate new spatial possibilities. At first, these forms in virtual space are seemingly accidental. Through investigating specific formal intersections and overlaps, various complex relationships begin to emerge, yet are matched by the simplicity of the mechanisms. Already four weeks into the semester, the studio has produced a rich variety of spatial organizations capable of informing us with their newfound intelligence. While these seemingly “accidental” moves would suggest a sense of pessimism about the architect’s ability to control what he or she creates, it also reveals a profound optimism to achieve something bigger than ourselves through letting go of control. We leave our design processes to unexpected discoveries and inventions, which, through thoughtful rigor, are capable of tackling complex problems with solutions developed beyond our limited comprehension. We can only wait to see where these forms will take us. We anticipate anxiously, venturing into unchartered territory with a driven tenacity and desire for abundant inventiveness that is marked by the very man himself. —Justin Hui (B.Arch. ’11)
———Return to New Orleans nøhetta—Libeskind——— ernational Internships————— n China———————— Snøhetta Studio So far, my semester in New York City has been anything but conventional; between classes and working at a firm, I am beginning to understand the relevance of my education and that many things cannot necessarily be taught in a classroom. Immersing myself in the city has grounded me in a new reality and a new practicality. The Snøhetta studio (which we have aptly renamed Corn-hetta), led by Craig Dykers and Elizabeth Burow, is not only a design studio but also a crash course in architectural practice and the potential we can achieve as designers. I’m regularly surprised that the central ideals promoted within the studio are collaboration and sharing, rather than a dominating independence. Their rare attitude has manifested itself into an unexpected design problem as we have chosen to redesign our own studio space with the overarching question: What does it mean to come together? The studio stresses not only the final architectural form, but the research of culture and history that allows us to arrive at this. A recent visit to Brownsville, a neighborhood of Brooklyn where close to 40 percent of the population are below the nation’s poverty line, forced me to face that architecture and design transcend the sketch and diagram; that architecture is a culture of spaces. Navigating our way through public housing developments, we found that our initial impression of Brownsville as a derelict neighborhood devoid of community was incorrect. It was in fact overflowing with a unique microculture of children and adults playing and congregating throughout the neighborhood. Once we reached the project site, the Rescue 2 Firehouse, our misconceptions were further tested as we interviewed an elite group of firefighters who strongly desired a conventional red brick firehouse for the redesign of this well-respected institution. The site visit was unlike any that I have had because of our personal interaction with individuals who voiced desires and concerns for the implications of “the built” and helped me to realize that architecture, with all of its symbol and connotations, was in the end, a place to be occupied. A consultant, who led a session concerning “programming tools,” suggested distinguishing design as a tool mediating between individual and society; that is, that design could extend our own ability to see, but dually it could amplify or close off our perception of the world and its context. He further proposed that architecture, like poetry, must violate rules and usage, but never abandon its legibility or stability. And so, this project brings a task not to erase and reinvent, but rather, to push and elasticize what it means to truly design. —Courtney Jiyun Song (B.Arch. ’11)
Libeskind Studio The Sum of All Fears, an action film starring Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman, hit theaters in 2002 and received mixed reviews. The Sum of All Architecture, a studio starring 16 Cornellians, produced by Daniel Libeskind, and directed by Mark Morris and Eric Sutherland, will premiere in the Hartell Gallery in early December. The studio’s given name is Architecture in a Box: The Book-object, but I prefer the aforementioned title, as its epic tone gives us an Indiana Jones–like sense of adventure, which seems appropriate in light of our current quest. However, it is important to stress what Mark Morris made a note of emphasizing when he said those grand and terrifying words, “the sum of all architecture, to you . . . to you” (twice for extra emphasis). The act of summing up all architecture is, therefore, first and foremost, about defining our own inevitable boundaries that come with architectural adolescence. But our youth is to be revered, as it allows us to evaluate ourselves before our freedom is overrun by real-life responsibility. The first step of production was a gift exchange. Sitting crosslegged on the Arts Quad, we each carefully accepted our red pocketsized books delivered directly from the mind of Daniel Libeskind. I held in my hands the mind of the man himself: a title page with the word “(beginning)” followed by 140 pages of obscure yet tantalizing graphics. The book had an underlying organization and the index included people from every field and era, from Giordano Bruno to John Cage. Behold: a society of inspirational figures that remained in Libeskind’s memory for no other reason than to stimulate thought. Behold: the (imagined) “Libeskind Morris Academy.” And, of course, if Daniel Libeskind gives you a gift, it’s only polite to give him one in return. Sitting in his office in the financial district of Manhattan, those brave Cornellians placed 16 books of their own down on the table. My response dealt with the future of architecture, the “(end),” an index powered by Google to represent the work of the “Libeskind Morris Academy of 2109.” Our first interaction with the producer of our studio (and I stress the distinction of the title “producer,” instead of the less becoming, though often-assumed position of “executive producer” sometimes taken by starchitects [or, so I’ve heard]) was a four-hour discussion. His enthusiasm was refreshing, and it was immediately clear that this was not a review. After all, this semester is about personal identification and exploration and we just met the man. Mr. Libeskind’s criticisms were exactly what I needed: stories of personal experiences, allusions to Adolf Loos, Aldo Rossi, and Aristotle, and some good old-fashioned paternal guidance. We have now been given the task of creating our very own book-objects, a new sort of architectural treatise capable of inspiring an entire career through whatever medium our skill sets can sustain; an idea not far from Libeskind’s “Micromegas” collection of drawings that is still present in nearly everything he designs. So we now set out on our epic journey of ultimate internal discovery . . . The Sum of All Architecture (to us!). —Eric Bernstein (B.Arch. ’11) ————————CORNELL architecture—art—planning———NEWS 07 fall2009
Architecture Seminar Explores NYC’s “Common Ground” A group of Cornell Master of Architecture II (M.Arch.2) students completed their final semester at AAP NYC in August. The summer design research seminar, intended to support a studio headed by Associate Professor John Zissovici, Rob Rogers, and Jonathan Marvel, was led by Visiting Assistant Professor Mark Morris, with the participation of professors Mary Woods, Christian Otto, and Henry Richardson; and invited critics including Kathy Battista, education program director at Sotheby’s. The seminar was organized as a series of modules focused on reevaluating portions of Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s Collage City. For their two-week module, “Common Ground,” visiting critics Lebbeus Woods and Christoph A. Kumpusch focused on examining urban life and themes inspired by various New York City locations. “This common ground,” Woods said, “is the surface we share with others we do not personally know. If we can interpret this common ground, we can interpret relevant but previously hidden dimensions of living in the city.” Students studied ordinary city surfaces and environments—sidewalks, pavement, parks, plazas, noises, and markings on streets—that contributed to the diverse lives and everyday scenarios taking place within the cityscape. Manasi Pandey (M.Arch. ’09) presented “Ephemerality,” a digital photo collage depicting a world emerging and disappearing on puddles of evaporating water. For his interactive project “Body Politics,” Joshua Nason (M.Arch. ’09) imagined a world without divisions or boundaries, where people and space merge. The roundtable discussion marking the completion of the “Common Ground” project included jurors from Parsons The New School for Design, Pratt Institute, Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, as well as Cornell. Morris summarized the event: “This work took some risks and brought the students intensely together. The roundtable dialogue was useful to the evolution of the M.Arch.2 program and graduate architecture education in general.” M.Arch.2 is a post-professional degree program for architecture students who have an accredited bachelor or master of architecture degree and some professional experience. Students can choose one of five areas of investigation: discourse, urbanism, media, technology, or ecology.AAP Credit: Jaruwan Thavatkiattisak (M.Arch. ’09).
AAP STUDENTS RETURN TO Community Building As Art Form— NEW ORLEANS TO HELP IN RECOVERY The Working Relationship Develops Ties If an entity wants to thrive in this accelerated age, it must become a network—throwing Students from AAP returned to New Orleans to assist in the conPROCESS down roots and multiplying connections. This realization occurred early on for Cornell tinuing recovery following Hurricane Katrina and volunteered with three projects. The
visiting fellow Wilka Roig (M.F.A. ’05), photographer, administrator, and Cornell employee Carrie Chalmers, Karen Brummond, and Wylie Schwartz when they founded the Working Relationship, a collective that brings together regional and international artists, and helps transform Ithaca as a venue for contemporary art. This spring marked their first year of building relationships through exhibits, public discussions, and interactive gatherings that challenge normative gallery practice. The first events the group organized were Art Salon Dinners, hosted for one night by volunteers in their own homes, where strangers were invited to share a meal and chat about the art on display. Last December, the Working Relationship transformed the space previously occupied by the Battery Warehouse into an improvised gallery. Titled Temp Space: Four-Day Social Club, this show diverted passersby on their way to grab coffee from the establishment next door, and surprised old customers who stumbled into the space expecting to find car batteries there. The busiest season for the group was the summer, with two art events both launched in July: Stations, an exhibit that linked the Community School of Music and the Arts in Ithaca and the String Room Gallery in Wells College in Aurora, by displaying interconnected pieces in both locations; and “to Let,” an ongoing series of site-specific installations in several empty storefronts on the Ithaca Commons. In “to Let,” pedestrians walking past what used to be a clothing store, for example, encountered grainy blown-up images sourced from the Commons webcam at night and during the day. The piece, by Hudson Valley artist Roman Hrab, tints an otherwise carefree window-shopping stroll with issues of public surveillance. In agreement with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and retail property owners, the artworks of “to Let” are meant be taken down as soon as the store spaces are rented out, as though to underscore the often push-and-pull dynamics of art and commerce. Tracking the Working Relationship’s movement from one space to another does A growing number of master of regional planning students are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain professional experience through internships around the globe. not simply require the recognition of how art is made to leap over walls and trespass Chris List (M.R.P. ’10) has returned to Sibley Hall this fall after spending the spring semester and into residential and commercial domains. More important, seen as a whole, the exhibits summer in Italy gaining professional experience as part of the Cornell in Rome program. foreground the criticality of context and setting, where art-making is no longer kept in List worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and U.N. Water white-walled isolation but revealed to be in fluid relation to other practices, spaces, developing a desk study on water rights and water law. This work will be used as his exit project for communities, and the larger, messier field of cultural production. the M.R.P. degree. Additionally, his time in Rome provided him with numerous professional contacts Current core member and art lecturer Graham McDougal explains, “Connectivity that will be integral to his upcoming international job search. is fundamental to our mission and it’s a response to our geographic location relative to Aside from his work, List cherishes the friendships he forged and people he met in Rome major centers of cultural production. In the absence of a larger art community, connecthe most. “Working at FAO allowed me to make a large number of friends who made my time in Rome much tivity and context become critical influences on all our projects.” As Roig puts it, “Many great artists with new ideas come through town but there’s no more enjoyable,” List said. “And then there is also the beauty of Rome itself and the surrounding regions as well as the nearby lakes and beaches.” place for them to create a dialogue with the rest of the community. They think that they List was the only graduate student from AAP to participate in the Rome program last year; he was have to go back to New York City, Chicago, or L.A., and so we asked ourselves, ‘Why joined by three graduate students from the Cornell Institute for Public Administration. can’t it happen here?’’’ Srinivasan (Srini) Vasudevan (M.R.P. ’10) returned to his native India this summer to work for Because McDougal, Roig, and Chalmers have affiliations with Cornell, the Working Indore City Transport Services Ltd., located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Indore is a Relationship also seeks to bridge the gap between art in the academe and art that is rapidly growing commercial city of 1-1/2 million people. more directly engaged with the larger community. Roig, who has experienced the transiVasudevan’s project involved developing a system to monitor bus performance in Indore on a tion from gown to town firsthand after finishing her M.F.A. in photography and decidregular basis, including the implementation of a penalty and rewards system to improve service qualing to remain in Ithaca, explains, “We wanted to make a support system that expands ity. Although his internship is not directly related to his exit project for the M.R.P. degree, it connected outside of the programs.” to his interest in public transportation in developing countries and gave him an opportunity to better To help achieve a continuity of art education and art practice, the Working Relationunderstand the institutions and processes of transportation in India. After having spent the previous year in Ithaca and other parts of the U.S., Vasudevan recognized ship has implemented a credited internship program for art students at the university. important differences between the American and Indian systems of government and public transporta- Over the course of the summer, interns have assisted in various ways, from acting as tion. tour guides to the storefront locations of “to Let,” to hanging artwork for the Stations “In India, the most stark contrast with the U.S. system is in the lack of capacity and professionalexhibit. Elaine Oh (B.F.A. ’11), a junior with a dual concentration in sculpture and elecism of the organizations, contractors, and stakeholders,” he said. “There is also little awareness of tronic imaging, is excited to continue her internship in the fall. She shares that “the best rights and responsibilities among the common people. People seem to be highly tolerant of low-quality aspect about being a Working Relationship intern is that I can be really involved and public infrastructure, especially when it comes to sidewalks. The media is very powerful and typically meet various artists, getting a firsthand perspective from them.” antigovernment in its stance and also tends to be very superficial in its analysis of issues.” AAP The internship program also provides gallery experience and involvement that Other CRP students have recently gone to Palestine, Cape Verde, France, and elsewhere. will help students make the difficult transition from art school to community life. As McDougal says, “One of the most critical moments in your art career is after the M.F.A. or B.F.A. and when you actually have to continue making work outside of the college In April, the cam- or school environment.” pus was host to a unique exercise in a site-specific art installation, the Field project, a continuous and Jan Kather is one of many Cornell alumni who have participated in the Working homogenous presentation of 2,800 red sacks filled with straw that covered the entire Arts Quad. The Relationship since it began. Having earned her M.F.A. in photography in 1982, she has sacks were distributed in a 10-feet-by-10-feet grid following the natural slope of the ground surface. been residing and teaching in Elmira but has also continued to exhibit in Ithaca and The installation was an optical exercise extended into a landscape format. occasionally lecture at Cornell. Kather recognizes that “the benefit of having more than “The project examined the formal properties of agricultural fields in reference to the past and curone community is finding a broader supportive network of creative minds that thrive on rent history of the Cornell campus,” said co-organizer Yehre Suh, visiting critic in the Department of collaboration.” She continues: “Although I believe that artists will always continue to Architecture. Suh organized the project with Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, both Baird Visitwork alone in their studios, it appears that a cooperative attitude has taken root, not just ing Critics in architecture at the time. in Ithaca, but in the world at large.” The trio was assisted by more than 40 Cornell architecture students including: Other Cornell-affiliated artists and interns involved in the Working Relationship Sae-Jun Ahn, Laura Amaya, Jesica Bello, John Best, Irina Chernyakova, Constanza or who have exhibited their work with them include Mariela Alvarez (B.Arch. ’08), Cortes, Karen Drummund, Monica Alexandra Freundt, Thea von Geldern, Lisa Hollywood, Paul Chambers (M.F.A. ’78), Jessica Evett-Miller (M.F.A. ’09), Blake Fall-Conroy Amanda Lee Huang, Soyoung Jung, Kyle Keene, Jina Kim, Viola Diane Kosseda, (B.F.A. ’06), Nathan Friedman (B.F.A. ’08), Lindsey Glover (M.F.A. ’08), Anthony Weonyoung Joy Lee, Chris Leonberg, Timothy Liddell, Jacqueline Liu, Hana Ovcina, Graves (M.F.A. ’09), Jenny Kononenko (B.Arch. ’09), Mollie Miller (B.F.A. ’10), Mia Ovcina, Mansi Ajit Pandey, Anna Pelavin, Hilary Pinnington, Mitchell W. Pride, Lorena Heather O’Hara, Barbara Page (M.F.A. ’75), Kate Shearman, Amy Shepsman Quintana, Ashley Reed, Samuel J. Reilly, Landon Gary Robinson, Hira Sabuhi, Johann SchAAP weig, Courtney Song, Jerome Soustra, Rachel Tan, Margarita Urquiza, Mauricio Vieto, Zhiq- (B.F.A. ’10), and Mariana Smith (M.F.A. ’04). AAP —Jose Perez Beduya iang Wang, Christopher Werner, Sonny Meng Qi Xu, Soo Jung Yoo, and Milena Zindovic. bulk of the team spent the week with the Beacon of Hope neighborhood group and Professor Michelle Thompson (Ph.D. ’01) of the University of New Orleans, tracking recovery efforts. Two graduate students assisted the MQVN Community Development Corporation with research and preparing a grant proposal for a new health clinic. Five students continued AAP support of the Ithaca-based Love Knows No Bound/ Temple Tikkun V’Or project to rehabilitate the flood-damaged home of Pastor Jerry Darby and his wife Norma. Further, the students attended briefing sessions to discuss the challenges faced by the city’s residents in the wake of Katrina. The students also toured reconstruction projects in New Orleans and visited devastated parts of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. In areas where the downtown business districts were heavily damaged, students spoke with business owners about their concerns. The AAP team, led by George Frantz, visiting CRP scholar, was comprised of: Maya Barrera (M.P.S./Real Estate ’09), Tim Becker (B.S. URS ’12), Juan Castellanos (B.S. URS ’12), Germain Chan (B.F.A. ’12), Haley Cohen (B.Arch. ’10), Giselle Denbow (B.F.A. ’10), Erica Gutierrez (M.R.P. ’10), Sebastian Hernandez (B.Arch. ’11), Amanda Huang (B.Arch. ’10), Joe Matthews (M.P.S./Real Estate ’09), Mia Ovcina (B.Arch. ’10), Robyn Stokes (M.P.S./Real Estate, M.B.A. ’10), Doug Swarts (M.R.P. ’09), and Julianna Velez (B.Arch. ’12).AAP
CRP GRADUATE STUDENTS RETURN FROM INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS
Field Project Takes Over Arts Quad
CRP Students Participate in Innovative Urban Eco-Design During Trip to China China is expected to urbanize 400 million people in the next 25 years, and the government is preparing by building new cities, largescale developments, residential towers, and an unprecedented expansion of infrastructure. At a two-week urban design workshop in northern China in March, a Cornell team of five students proposed an innovative eco-design for such Chinese cities. Included on the team were graduate students in city and regional planning Rita Kwong (M.R.P./M.L.A. ’11) and Xiaowei Zhang (M.R.P. ’10); along with faculty members Ying Hua, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis, and Deni Ruggeri (M.L.A. ’01, M.R.P. ’01), assistant professor of landscape architecture. The workshop took place in Huludao, a city that is being planned to be cardependent, with large arterial roads and mixed-use zoning. The team’s alternative model offered an urban design scheme that aims at a “regenerative future” and promotes walkability and diversity of human experience.AAP ————————CORNELL architecture—art—planning———NEWS 07 fall2009
12——— Architectural History Recent graduates from the HAUD program and their dissertation/thesis titles Niall Atkinson Ph.D. “Architecture, Anxiety, and the Fluid Topographies of Renaissance Florence”
Ela Kacel Ph.D. “Intellectualism and Consumerism: Ideologies, Practices, and Criticism of Postwar Modernism in Turkey and the United States”
John M. O’Brien III Ph.D. “The Openwork Dome as Sacred Theater: Illumination and Illusion in the Centrally Planned Churches of Bernardo Antonio Vittone”
Daniel Coslett M.A. “(Re)scripting a (Post)colonial Streetscape: Tunis’s Avenue Habib Bourguiba”
William Skinner M.A. “All for One: NationMaking and the National Museum of the American Indian”
Ruth Lo M.A. “Tasting Fascism: Food, Space, and Identity in Italy”
The History of Architecture and Urban Design (HAUD) program at Cornell represents a sophisticated blend of interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Projects, lectures, and publications coming out of the HAUD group showcase the diverse range of topics and methodologies embraced by the field. The awards, fellowships, and conference invitations our HAUD students receive underscore the vitality of the department’s M.A./Ph.D. degree track. It has been a pleasure to work with HAUD and watch its progress. Following are recent highlights of HAUD activity and engagement with AAP and beyond. —Dr. Mark Morris, interim director of architecture graduate studies
Rare Peter Greenaway Film Links to Cornell Architecture The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; The Belly of an Architect;
and The Draughtsman’s Contract are art–house cinema favorites with an architectural edge. Few, however, can claim to have ever seen director Peter Greenaway’s 1985 mockumentary titled Inside Rooms: 26 Bathrooms. A full house in a Sibley Hall lecture room enjoyed a 26-minute tour of British bathrooms set to music by Michael Nyman. Barbara Penner, senior lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, brought this rare film to Cornell with Greenaway’s express blessing, owing to its thematic ties to the research of Alexander Kira, a longtime Cornell professor of architecture and bathroom ergonomics researcher who passed away in 2005. Referencing Kira’s seminal book The Bathroom of 1966, Penner passionately revealed the sordid relationship between bathrooms, social boundaries, and architecture. “Toilets and bathrooms, by their very nature, are often a problem for architects because they disrupt well-established systems of values,” Penner said. “Toilets are not invisible. Rather, they have come to be spoken about in very particular ways to contain their subversive aspects.” Penner was invited to speak at Cornell by Associate Professor Medina Lasansky and Visiting Assistant Professor Mark Morris. Associate Professor John Zissovici informally shared his recollections of Kira following the lecture.AAP
Interdisciplinary Conference Explores Cinematic Urban In April, Professor Mary Violence Woods, architecture, and Associate Professor Sabine Haenni, theatre, film, and dance (TFD), hosted the “Mean Streets” conference featuring filmmakers, film scholars, and Cornell faculty exploring literal and metaphorical violence in the cinematic city. Delhi filmmaker and activist Vani Subramanian presented New (Improved) Delhi, a documentary probing the destruction of urban villages as the capital morphs into a global metropolis; Jason Kohn, American independent filmmaker, screened Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), about corruption, class warfare, and the militarization of São Paulo. Architecture faculty John Zissovici, associate professor, and Yanni Loukissas, visiting lecturer, showed Angel Dust, their film based on Robert Moses’s unbuilt mid-Manhattan elevated expressway envisioned through Google Earth. Haenni designed an innovative format using assembled film clips from panelists to frame thematic sessions. Professors John David Rhodes (University of
Sussex) and Nick Yablons (University of Iowa) participated in the panel discussions along with Cornell faculty Jeffrey Chusid, CRP, Jeremy Foster, landscape architecture, Luz Horne, romance studies, Christoph A. Kumpusch, architecture, Mark Morris, architecture, Marilyn Rivchin, TFD, Amy Villarejo, TFD, and others. Courtney Jiyun Song (B.Arch. ’11) designed all the conference graphic materials. Support for the conference and Subramanian’s visit came from the departments of Architecture, American Studies, and Theater, Film, and Dance; Cornell Council for the Arts; Rose Goldsen Fund; and University Lectures.AAP
Indian Architects and Preservationist Visit Ithaca Brinda Somaya, Mumbai architect and preservationist, lectured on “India: My Architecture Palette” and met with students and faculty during a two-day visit to campus last fall. She is a founder and principal of Somaya and Kalappa with work ranging from rebuilding an earthquake-devastated village in the Kutch to the Nalanda International School in Baroda. She is currently collaborating with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien on the Tata Consultancy Services IT campus in Mumbai. Indian architects Samira Rathod and Anupama Kundoo held a seminar for graduate and undergraduate students from architecture and HAUD in late April. Known for her contemporary residential designs in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Rathod is also the founding editor of Spade, a new magazine about design and architecture. Kundoo, who now teaches and practices in Berlin, explores sustainable and participatory modernism in South India. Both architects were featured speakers in “Emerging Exchanges: New Architectures of India,” organized by Parsons The New School of Design and the Architectural League in New York City.AAP
Grants Help Fund Graduate Student Lawrence Chua (Ph.D. Research candidate) spent the 2008-09 academic year in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand as part of an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council. This fellowship allowed him to delve deeply into Thaiand Chinese-language archival material on the historical intersections of architecture, leisure, and violence in 20th-century Thailand. During this historical period, architecture was the tool par excellence of royal elites in building both the Thai nation and the institution of the monarchy. They used architecture to build monuments, palaces, and temples, but also institutions of leisure and entertainment. This architectural culture of leisure became a site of violent
struggle between older elites and new classes that emerged in the early 20th century. Chua’s archival research coincided with a series of political disturbances in Bangkok in October and November 2008 and again in April 2009. Pitched battles were fought between government troops and demonstrators at key public monuments around the city. These events underscored the persistence of several historical themes that he is exploring in his research: the contested nature of public spaces; the fragile construction of Thai nationalism; and the violent rivalry between newly emerging classes and older elites. Every day Chua emerged from the archives and confronted the realities of what he had studied, underscoring the notion that history seems anything but a lonely academic pursuit. It can be a powerful tool that reveals much about how present-day realities have been constructed. Ph.D. candidate Richard Guy spent the past academic year as a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell, working through materials gathered from the Netherlands national archives and Cornell’s collections of 18th-century manuscripts and rare books, toward his dissertation, which is an inquiry into spatial aspects of control, resistance, and communica-
occupied and used, on territoriality aboard, on the relation between space and authority, and on the lines of control, communication, rivalry, and resistance. Over the past year Chad Randl (Ph.D. candidate) has explored post–World War II architectural production in East Central Europe and the United States, with the support of a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. Randl received both academic year and summer FLAS fellowships from the U.S. Department of State that supported Polish language and European studies at Cornell as well as participation in a six-week intensive Polish language program at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. While in Poland, Randl examined approaches to postwar reconstruction and commemoration that were motivated by the ideological priorities of the People’s Republic. Most recently, he received a traveling fellowship from the A. Henry Detweiler Fund for a research trip to Washington, DC. There, he examined National Association of Home Builders and United States Information Agency archives relating to American participation in trade fairs, expositions, and exchanges in the Eastern Bloc as well as promotion of the singlefamily home as a symbol of American prosperity, democracy, and capitalism. Cultural programs, housing initiatives, urban development, and living standards were the armaments and battlefields of the Cold War, with each side seeking to demonstrate the superiority of their system through promises of better architecture. A close reading of dialogues between East and West during the postwar era reveals modes in which political conflicts are expressed through the built environment, modes that extend far beyond 1960s Warsaw and Washington.AAP —Associate Professor Medina Lasansky
Mary Woods signing her new book in Hartell Gallery last spring.
tion aboard the ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the 18th century. The VOC has been called the world’s first multinational, capitalistic corporation, with a network of shipping and commerce that stretched halfway around the world employing a mobile labor force under uniform working practices. The company’s ships were its most widespread and indispensable architectural productions: reproduced everywhere, they played an active role in forming and transmitting the company’s culture and norms of comportment around the world. The ships were the homes of hundreds of sailors, soldiers, and craftsmen for years at a time. In addition to being the most complicated machines of their day, they were floating communities, embassies, hospitals, and fortresses. Guy’s dissertation traces the development of a novel kind of seafaring spatial order developed by the company, concentrating on how ships were
History Practicum Journeys to Montreal to Explore Architecture and the Senses Last fall, a group of graduate students pursuing M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the History of Architecture and Urban Development traveled to Montreal for an intense series of meetings at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) and Concordia University. The trip to Montreal was undertaken in conjunction with associate professor of architecture Medina Lasansky’s graduate seminar Sensational Space: Architecture and the Seven Senses. The seminar was the first history practicum or history studio to be offered in the architecture department—a new kind of seminar that required original historical fieldwork. The Montreal trip allowed the students to meet with curators at the CCA, view pertinent objects from the CCA’s Sense of the City exhibition, conduct their own research using the collection, as well as meet with the Concordia University Sensoria Research group directed by Professor David Howes. Students in the seminar produced a series of diverse projects: Ruth Lo, Dan Coslett, and William Skinner’s research lead to master’s essays on the design of Italian Fascist food culture, life on the Avenue Habib Borguiba in Tunis, and the multi-sensory environment of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Liz McFarland explored the sensualization of workhouses in Ireland while Chad Randl in turn produced a cultural history of shag carpeting—a floor (and wall!) surface that “encouraged consideration of the body in relation to lived domestic space—accommodating new means of indulgent living that characterized postwar American life.” Randl’s findings on shag carpeting will be published in the next issue of the London-based journal The Senses and Society. AAP
Photo Exhibition: Houses of Emptiness This fall, a
photo exhibition by Lawrence Chua (Ph.D. candidate) examined the unique architectural legacy of Suan Mokkh, a monastic complex in the south of Thailand that was founded in 1932 by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. The exhibition was cosponsored by the Department of Architecture; the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University; the Center for Visual Studies at Chulalongkorn University; and the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives Foundation.
O’Brien Earns Ph.D. after 25 Years Students in the field of history of architecture and urbanism typically spend a decade doing course work and teaching, research, fieldwork, and writing, and earn both an M.A. and Ph.D. For John M. O’Brien III, who received his Ph.D. this past May, the process took 25 years, and resulted in a nearly 900-page study of the Italian architect Bernardo Vittone’s openwork domed churches, a significant contribution to the field of Italian 18thcentury architecture. That O’Brien achieved this after a 1995 accident that left him a quadriplegic is nothing short of amazing. Arriving at Cornell with the specific intention of studying Vittone’s work, O’Brien profited from study of medieval architecture with Robert G. Calkins and architectural theory with Val Warke, in addition to a focus on Renaissance and Baroque architecture with Martin Kubelik and Christian Otto, respectively. “Two very special teachers were Colin Rowe and Chris Otto,” commented O’Brien. “Each offered me something very different, and both were important to my growth as a historian.” “My education under Colin was informal and wide-ranging, and our conversations often took place sitting around the round table at his house on Renwick Place, with glasses of Frascati,” O’Brien recalled. “Colin registered support of my proposed topic in characteristic form. One day at his house, Colin turned to me and asked, ‘So tell me, fella, what do you know about Vittone?’ And I replied, ‘Not much sir, except that he was something of a recluse and a miser’—to which Colin happily answered, ‘How charming, sounds just like me!’” In contrast, Otto helped O’Brien develop his interest in Vittone through course work, seminars, advising, and introductions to scholars of the Piedmont. “Everything I learned about Vittone, I learned in Chris’s classes, especially his Baroque class and his seminars,” John added. “There I was introduced to the work of Rudolf Wittkower—the art historian who put Vittone on the English-speaking map—and Richard Pommer. Curiously, both Rowe and Otto were themselves students of Wittkower. “Through Chris and Colin, I was fortunate to have had a real link to Wittkower, who I like to think might have liked what I wrote,” O’Brien reflected. Awarded the M.A. in 1989 for a study of Palladio’s Tempietto at Maser, O’Brien began focused work on Vittone. “While at Cornell, I was also fortunate to have access to fellow student Elwin Robison (M.A.’83, Ph.D.’85), who studied Guarino Guarini, another Piedmont architect,” O’Brien recalled. “In addition, my studies led me to a network of scholars, including Chiara Passanti, Hellmut Hager, and Susan C. Scott, whose knowledge of the Piedmont and the Accademia di San Luca was extremely valuable, and also Julia Smyth-Pinney (B.Arch. ’76), who was a great help from Rome.” In 1993, O’Brien left Cornell to teach at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, and to continue his research and writing. But in late September 1995, an accident left him a quadriplegic, with paralysis of legs, hands, and fingers. O’Brien faced the work of relearning to accomplish basic daily tasks, as well as the daunting feat of finishing a dissertation. “At the time of the accident, I had written the first two chapters,” O’Brien recounted. “I had the final three chapters to write after I was paralyzed.” With site visits and most research completed, the intensive work of synthesis, analysis, and writing lay ahead. After the accident, “the problem I had was in the actual doing of it, and in not knowing whether I could or would finish it.” The University of Tennessee, where O’Brien remains an adjunct professor, offered technical assistance,
Detail of the Spiritual Theatre. The wheel at the top is a symbol repeated throughout Suan Mokkh and symbolizes the “Irresistible Wheel of Dhamma.”
and Otto, his adviser, kept in touch and urged him to stay with the work of writing and revision. “For those ten-plus years,” O’Brien remembered, “Chris would call periodically and ask the same question, much like Rex Harrison’s Pope Julius II in The Agony and the Ecstasy: When will it be finished?’—and this became one of my motivations.” O’Brien did stay with the work, and years of writing, sometimes intensively, sometimes not at all, produced the final three chapters. With adaptive tubing, he wrote, drew, and typed one letter at a time. In this manner, O’Brien completed a dissertation that is 543 pages of text, a bibliography, and 246 images arranged in an appendix. He defended his dissertation by teleconference and turned his materials in to the graduate school for a May 2009 degree. As he looks to the future, O’Brien has put his dissertation aside to complete work on three unfinished articles: one on Le Corbusier’s Medusa/ Apollo emblem; another on the late Quattrocento Ideal City Panels at the Court of Urbino; and a third on a comparison of Vittone’s frontispiece to his treatise, Istruzioni elementari, and Laugier’s frontispiece to Essai sur L’architecture. When these articles are completed, O’Brien may consider publication options for his dissertation. However, he has a new project in mind that continues many interests and studies developed as a graduate student—a history of the centrally planned church in Italy. With anticipation, O’Brien acknowledged that it will likely be another multidecade project, one that “I have planned and wanted to do all along.”AAP —Roberta Moudry (’81, M.S. ’90, Ph.D. ’95) Architectural critic and historian Jean-Louis Cohen during his public lecture in September. Cohen also met with HAUD students.
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————————CORNELL architecture—art—planning———NEWS 07 fall2009
16—Review Hitoshi Abe / Carmen Andriani / Janine Antoni / Iwan Azis / Stuart Bailey / Benjamin Ball / Shigeru Ban / Frank Barkow / Chris Barrett / Sarina Basta / David Batchelor / Michael Bell / Nicole Blumner / Gregg Bordowitz / Matthew Buckingham / Craig Buckley / JeanLouis Cohen / Rustom Cowasjee / Enzo Cucchi / James Curtis / Teddy Cruz / Julien De Smedt / Mark Dion / Craig Dykers / Keller Easterling / Peter Eisenman / Luca Galofaro / Ruth Gilmore / Kevin Hamilton / Ellen Harvey / Lynn Hershman / Dan Immergluck / Gareth James / Mark Jarzombek / Ann Moss Joyner Sulan Kolatan / Anupama Kundoo / Machiko Kusahara / Cornelia Lauf / Ralph Lemon / Daniel Libeskind / Eugenia López Reus / Sofía Martínez von Ellrichshausen / Brendan MacFarlane / Mark Mack / Geoff Manugh / Michael Manfredi / Thom Mayne / Bill Menking / Jason W. Moore / Barbara Penner / Mauricio Pezo / Giorgio Piccinato / Peggy Preheim / Elizabeth Price / Samira Rathod / Jeffrey Raven / Thomas Saaty / Mark Sexton / Agit Singh / Neil Smith / Michael Sorkin / Barbara Maria Stafford / Dan Swinney / Nader Tehrani / Antonio Tosi / Harriet Tregoning / Hamza Walker / Kevin Walker / Rachel Weinberger / Linda Weintraub / Ken Yeang / Alejandro Zaera-Polo / Anna Zalik / Arthur Ziegler
Shigeru Ban talks with students—and signs an autograph—after his lecture this September in Ithaca as part of the FXFOWLE Foundation Lecture Series on Sustainability, Urbanisim, and Design.
Eisenman Details German Holocaust Memorial Project During Campus Visit Architect Peter Eisenman (B.Arch. ’55) made his first official visit to campus as a Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor in February. At his public lecture on February 17 in Sage Chapel, “Memory and Memorial,” Eisenman discussed two very different projects in Germany—a holocaust memorial in Berlin, which was built, and a Nazi history museum in Munich, which wasn’t. “This should have been titled ‘Memory, Memorial, and Politics,’” Eisenman said before detailing his decade of involvement with the German government on the Berlin project, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, completed in 2005. His design went through three different iterations, and the project was nearly stopped both times before the memorial was finally built. After winning the design competition in 1997, in collaboration with sculptor Richard Serra, Eisenman agreed to a compromise design requested by then-chancellor Helmut Kohl that caused Serra to protest and then exit the project. “He is not the kind of person who liked to make changes in his work,” he said. “Architects are used to having to deal with it; sculptors rarely do.” The completion of Kohl’s preferred version of the project, Eisenman said, depended on the outcome of the 1998 World Cup. “The Germans lost the World Cup, Kohl lost the election, and sure enough, the project was dead,” he said. After the memorial commission was revived with the backing of a new cultural minister, a fear of anti-Semitic sentiment nearly doomed the project a second time, until public opinion changed about that sensitive issue. The political process is very public in Germany, he said; and “is very different from what I experience in this country.” He had to publicly apologize for choosing a graffiti-proofing chemical that, it turned out, was supplied by a company that also made the poison gas used in World War II concentration camps. Eisenman said both he and the public, more than 3 million visitors to date, have been satisfied with the resulting memorial—a field of 2,711 tall, rectilinear stone markers set on an undulating landscape, with archival space allowing visitors to remember the historic facts. The field evokes “the immemorable—what can’t be remembered,” he said. “There’s a certain otherworldly quality when you walk into the field.” Eisenman’s exhibition of his other recent works in Galicia, Germany, France, and Italy, Presenting the Past, was on display in Hartell Gallery. Eisenman stayed on West Campus and met with students at Hans Bethe House and in architecture studios. In Sibley Hall, he introduced three short films by Michael Haneke; and he presented a video at Bethe House about his award-winning stadium for the Arizona Cardinals, with members of the Cornell football team among his audience. The Sage Chapel lecture and the Haneke screenings were cosponsored by Cornell’s Department of German Studies and the Institute of German Cultural Studies.AAP
Yeang and Ban Lecture as Part of New Series on Green Architecture and Sustainable Growth During the fall and spring, the newly established FXFOWLE Foundation Lecture Series on Sustainability, Urbanisim, and Design welcomed its first guests. Shigeru Ban lectured in Ithaca in September. Ban, founder and principal of Shigeru Ban Architects, became a “green” architect before ecology became fashionable. He is known for his use of inexpensive construction materials such as paperboard and cardboard tubes. His presentation to an overflow crowd in Goldwin Smith Hall’s Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium featured slides and discussion of his wide-ranging built projects—from custom residential homes and small urban towers to inexpensive and quickly constructed refugee housing used for disaster relief. In February, Ken Yeang, a Malaysian architect, ecologist, writer, and principal at Llewelyn Davies gave the inaugural lecture in the series. Yeang—known for pioneering the passive low-energy design of skyscrapers, what he has called “bioclimatic” design—described his multidisciplinary firm, which is made up of urban designers, architects, and landscape architects, and his belief that true eco-design approached the built environment so that it integrates benignly and seamlessly with the natural environment. Daniel J. Kaplan (B.Arch. ’84), a senior partner at FXFOWLE Architects, established the lecture series on behalf of the firm. The series is an outgrowth of FXFOWLE’s long-term interest in green architecture and sustainable growth. The primary goal of FXFOWLE, which was founded in 1978, is to create projects that have social, environmental, and aesthetic integrity. By sponsoring the series, the firm hopes to expose AAP students to the importance of sustainability and design.AAP
Stafford Gives Public Lecture and Makes Studio Visits In April, Barbara Maria Stafford, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, emerita at the University of Chicago, lectured on campus and met with students. The Department of Art and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology cosponsored her visit. Stafford’s public lecture to an audience of artists, designers, philosophers, historians, and scientists focused on the visual typology of “slow looking” in contemporary art and neuroscience. During her second day in Ithaca, she engaged in individual conversations and critiques with M.F.A. and B.F.A. students in the art department. Stafford spent spring 2009 as a distinguished visiting scholar at the Humanities Institute at SUNY Buffalo. Author of many books, including Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine; Good Looking: Essays on the Virtue of Images; and Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images, her multidisciplinary work spans art and visual studies, and physical and biological sciences to consider the visualization of knowledge in the past and to speculate on the role of visuality and interdisciplinarity in the future.AAP
—17 Barbara Maria Stafford in Tjaden Gallery discussing the paintings of Whitney Oldenburg (B.F.A. ’09).
Rustom Cowasjee (B.Arch. ’80) speaking during the “Point/ Line/Plane” conference in the spring. Credit: Robert Stuart.
Thomas Saaty, professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh, giving his lecture “Resolution of Retributive Conflicts” in September, as part of the CRP Distinguished Visitor Lecture Series.
Multidisciplinary Conference Focuses on the Rebirth of Washington, DC’s NoMa District The convergence of planning, real estate, architecture, and art was on display during the recent “Point/Line/ Plane—Transit-Oriented Development in the Nation’s Capital” conference hosted by AAP and the Program in Real Estate. The two-day event examined current development and revitalization ventures in the North of Massachusetts Avenue district (NoMa) in Washington, DC. The conference marked the fourth annual installment in the Case Studies in Urban Development series (CSUD). Dean Kent Kleinman said, “This conference, and the Case Studies series as a whole, is particularly significant because it is one of the few events that deliberately and systematically refuses to conform to the disciplinary boundaries of our college.” The conference also served as the culmination of the half-semester course Urban Redevelopment jointly taught by Senior Lecturer Brad Olson of real estate and Associate Professor Rolf Pendall of city and regional planning. Located just north of Union Station, NoMa is a 35-block neighborhood undergoing a transformation from an industrial area to one of mixed use. The NoMa Business Improvement District (BID) hopes the neighborhood will provide over 20-million square feet of commercial and residential space. At least 20 of the planned buildings are intended to be LEED certified. Speakers at the conference included Harriet Tregoning, director of Washington, DC’s Office of Planning; James Curtis, managing partner of Bristol Group; Liz Price, president of NoMa BID; Rustom Cowasjee (B.Arch. ’80), managing director of design and construction for Tishman Speyer’s Washington, DC office; Mark Sexton, founding partner of Krueck & Sexton Architects; and artist David Batchelor.
Michael Sorkin, distinguished professor of architecture and director of the graduate program in urban design at the City College of New York, delivered the keynote address titled “Eutopia, DC.” “[NoMa] seems to have, at least in Washington terms, a critical density,” Sorkin said. “It looks, in the sketches I have seen, dense enough to qualify as a pressure cooker of urbanity to generate enough variety of trips and accidents to begin to create those qualities of the good city.” Later sessions explored more closely the issues surrounding NoMa, including the partnerships between developers, architects, and artists. Cowasjee discussed the challenges of floorarea ratio when planning a complex. “The whole exercise is how do you do good architecture in DC and actually get 1.0 FAR,” he said. “There is not much room to play with.” Sexton explained how his firm, along with Tishman Speyer, arrived at their design for the buildings. Considerations such as Washington, DC’s building height limitations, construction timetables, and the desirability of capturing as much natural light and sense of open space as possible while reducing the “floor-to-ceiling glass clutter syndrome,” all factored into the final design of two facing buildings that contour first toward then away from each other. David Batchelor, a London-based artist and writer, spoke about site-specific art, providing a context for his work with Tishman Speyer: “I have made art for public spaces of one kind or another, but I wouldn’t call what I do public art. I make art that sometimes finds its place in a public space.” The CSUD series is made possible with support from Matt Witte (B.Arch. ’79).AAP
An exhibition in Hartell Gallery in September, organized by Elisabeth Meyer, associate professor of art, brought student and faculty work from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China. The artwork displayed an engagement with traditional forms of print media, including European based lithography, intaglio, serigraphy, and woodcut, as well as video. The figure to the left, CAFA instructor Cao Pailun’s The Fly Without Head, looks like a digital image but is a hand-carved woodcut. It is mounted using traditional scrolls on six gampi panels and measures roughly 8 feet by 15 feet.
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Boggs–——Bolton–——Chen–—Dixon–—Gutierrez—–— ——Koenig–—Kelleher–—Liddell–—Mastrigli–—Micic–— Phillips–—Rizzo–—Rukus–—Rumbach
dragon’s egg, which they then set alight. The dragon, a maroon monster built on a lean, lightweight structure of steel rods and chicken wire topped with cardboard and fabric, was moved well away from annual Dragon Day on March 13 featured the usual excitement—toilet the bonfire and later returned to Rand Hall. paper in the trees, a parade through campus, and a ritual burning. Designed by Kyle Schumann (B.Arch. ’13), the dragon was the Except that this year the dragon itself survived. Due to New York culmination of many hours of work by first-year architecture students. State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations now in The phoenix, which as tradition demands challenged the dragon on effect, open burning is restricted to wood and agricultural products. its route, was created by a group of engineering students.AAP That means no combustible dragons. See more photos at flickr.com/photos/cornellaap/ Following a parade to the Arts Quad, the burning dilemma was sets/72157616214657835/. solved by students who built a nest of lumber and hay and a large
DRAGON DAY ENDS IN FLAMES, BUT THE DRAGON REMAINS Cornell’s 108th
————————————————19 –—Haine–—Harrison–—Johnson–—Kirschner——— –— NEWS Bob Silman ’56 of Robert Silman Associates selected Irina Chernyakova (B.Arch. ’10) as the scholarship recipient awarded in Silman’s honor at the AIANY’s Heritage Ball in October. This fall, she has been a TA for Dean Kent Kleinman in his Architecture Analysis I course. Mitchell Harrison (M.R.P. ’09) and Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez ’09 are launching an innovative waste management program in Morelia, Mexico, which will allow residents to trade recyclable materials for fresh, locally grown produce. The project, “Cambio Verde” Exchanging Food for Recyclables: A Tipping Point Mechanism for Poverty Alleviation, is partially funded by $10,000 from the Wal-Mart Foundation awarded by the Clinton Global Initiative University’s Outstanding Commitment Awards. In July architecture students Justin Hui (B.Arch. ’11), Gary Huafan He (B.Arch. ’09), Justin Chu (B.Arch. ’09), and faculty sponsor Jerry Wells received an honorable mention for their submission to the Preservation as Provocation: Re-thinking Kahn’s Salk Institute, an international student design competition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, Historic Resources Committee and administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The team’s entry, Parts to Whole: Expanding the Serial Front of Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute, was recognized for its “high quality and clarity.” Andrew Nahmias (B.Arch. ’09) contributed to the team’s project. Grant Johnson (M.A. HPP ’09) presented his ongoing research and poster, “Christ Church and Manlius Village Cemeteries: Varied Management of a National Register Landscape in Onondaga County, New York,” at the 2009 meeting of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation in St. Louis, in May. Joshua Kirschner (Ph.D. candidate), CRP, published an article titled “An Analysis of Three Labor Unions’ Outreach to Brazilian Immigrant Workers in Boston” in WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Kirschner also submitted an article, “Migrants and Citizens: Hygiene Panic and Urban Space in Santa Cruz,” to be published in Bret Gustafson and Nicole Fabricant’s book, Remapping Bolivia: Territory, Rights, and Resources in a Plurinational State. Chris Koenig (M.R.P. ’10), Dan Kelleher (M.R.P. ’10), and Chris Haine (M.P.S. RE ’10), along with Zac Boggs (M.L.A. ’10) and Maureen Bolton (M.L.A. ’11), competed in the intensive two-week interdisciplinary Hines ULI urban design competition. Their project highlighted the urban transformation of a suburban-format shopping center. The team was awarded an honorable mention and placed in the top 10 of 99 entries from graduate students nationwide. Vladimir Micic (M.R.P. ’10) was awarded the Reese Miller International Exchange Scholarship, which allows him to spend the 2009–10 academic year at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. In addition, he received the International Research Travel Grant administered through Cornell’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Mitchell Harrison, along with Peter Rizzo (M.R.P. ’09), have been accepted as Presidential Management Fellows. The Presidential
In October, David Dixon (M.F.A. ’10) screened his double feature cinema/ performance piece Unloosed and Root, with live director’s commentary, and David Dixon is dead. at Cornell Cinema. The Ithaca Times published an interview with Dixon ahead of the screening. The opening for Dixon’s exhibition in Tjaden Gallery featured a piano concert by Warner/Chappell recording artist Fernando Otero.
Management Fellows Program is a competitive program established in 1977 to attract outstanding graduate students to federal service. Joseph Rukus (M.R.P. ’09) and Lynda Laughlin of the U.S. Census Bureau, presented a poster titled, “Who Minds the Kids in the Summer?” a look at child care arrangements during the summer of 2006, at the Population Association of America Conference in the spring. Andrew Rumbach (M.R.P. ’09), a Ph.D. candidate, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for studying flood vulnerability in Kolkata, India, for the 2009–10 academic year, and received a PERIship National Award for research in hazards, risks, and disasters, to support his dissertation research. He was also awarded the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship for the summer of 2009, and studied Hindi in Jaipur, India. Rumbach lectured at the School for Visual Arts in April 2009 on the role of design and design criticism in mitigating the impact of urban disasters.AAP
Planning Students in Spotlight at APA 2009 HONORS, Annual Conference Lingwen Zheng (M.R.P. ’09) has been awarded AWARDS, AND the American Planning Association’s (APA) Economic Development Division Graduate ScholarFELLOWSHIPS ship for her paper titled “Trapped in a Race to the Bottom: Who Is Using Economic Development Incentives Now?” The $1,000 scholarship was presented to Zheng at the APA Conference in Minneapolis in April 2009. The annual APA conference also featured presentations from two M.R.P. students, along with Professor Mildred Warner. Kathleen Hoover (M.R.P. ’10) presented on the session “Planning for Family Friendly Communities,” and Erica Gutierrez (M.R.P. ’10) presented on the session “Life-Cycle Housing: How to Keep Children, the Workforce, and Older Americans at Home in the City.” The presentations were developed as an extension of a collaborative project between Warner, Evelyn Israel (M.R.P. ’08), and the APA on the role of planners in creating family-friendly cities.AAP
COMPETITION INSPIRES ART FROM INSIDE THE BRAIN William Chen (B.F.A. ’10) created a vision of his own thought process that won an art competition sponsored by the Department of Psychology. The winning work, I AM IR . . . RATIONAL? was created specifically for the competition. The 24-by-30-inch digital print with lithography is a series of six self-portraits, interconnected by arrows linking various concepts expressed in text and illustrations. “I wanted the viewer at first glance to be overwhelmed and confused by clusters of text,” Chen said. “Once he or she focuses on a particular word of interest, the viewer can begin to see connections, and hopefully this triggers in their head some thoughts and memories of their own.” Student artists were encouraged to imaginatively and critically explore elements of human psychology—such as thought, emotion, behavior, or perception—in their work. Chen’s winning entry “really hit at the heart of the theme of the project, which is to illustrate a topic central to psychology—and it certainly did that, in its depiction of what the mind is up to,” said Thomas Gilovich, chair of psychology, who initiated the competition. The judges included Gilovich, former Department of Art chair Patricia Phillips, psychology professor James Cutting, psychology graduate student Emily Rosenzweig, and Elizabeth Chandler, psychology department financial manager. Chen received $2,000 for the honor, and his artwork has been acquired for permanent display by the psychology department.AAP
ARCHITECTURE Aaron Kazam Sherbany (B.Arch. ’09) Victor Tzen (M.Arch. ’09) Lester S. Yu (B.Arch. ’09) Nathaniel Jones (M.Arch. ’09) Huafan Gary He (B.Arch. ’09) Justin Lawrence Chu (B.Arch. ’09) Miriam Lina Roure Parera (B.Arch. ’09) Thena Jean-hee Tak (B.Arch. ’09) Peter James Rodway (B.Arch. ’09) Brenda Petroff (M.Arch. ’09) Nathan Friedman (B.Arch. ’09) Woo Young Shim (M.Arch. ’09) Christine Siaw Hui Song (M.Arch. ’09) Katharine Shaw Meagher (M.Arch. ’09)
ART Dana Kash (B.F.A. ’09) Stefanie Hirsch (B.F.A. ’09) Emily Parsons (B.F.A. ’09) Carol Zou (B.F.A. ’09) Whitney Oldenberg (B.F.A. ’09) Allen Camp (M.F.A. ’09) Anthony Graves (M.F.A. ’09) Sarah Humphreville (B.F.A. ’09)
CRP Grant Johnson (M.A. HPP ’10) Christopher Koenig (M.R.P. ’10) Lesli Hoey (Ph.D. candidate) Seth Eden (M.R.P. ’10) Anisa Diane Mendizabal (M.R.P. ’09) Erica Gutierrez (M.R.P. ’10) Kathleen Hoover (M.R.P. ’10)
WRITING FROM ROME Students in the Cornell in Rome Program are documenting online their impressions
Jinwoo Kwon (M.R.P. ’09) Emma Ong’ayo Osore (B.S. URS ’09) Oren Arthur Gruss Hirsch (B.S. URS ’09)
of the Italian city’s art, architecture, contemporary culture, and urban landscape. The Cornell in Rome blog was initiated in September 2008, with different students reporting on their experiences, from orientation to final projects, and such cultural topics as wine and cuisine and spring break travel in Italy. Other entries detail the inspiration and motivation gleaned from a photography lecturer, a firsthand account of work being done in a City and Regional Planning studio course focusing on The European City, and a recent field trip to sites in Tuscany. Other Cornell in Rome blogs include Itopia, from the current architecture theory course taught by Gabriele Mastrigli; and The Archive, by architecture student Tim Liddell (B.Arch. ’10), which includes his fall 2008 semester in the Rome program and a summer spent on an archaeological dig in Tuscany. AAP aap.cornell.edu/rome/rome-student-work.cfm
Bryan McCracken (M.A. HPP ’10) Agnes M. Ladjevardi (B.S. URS ’09) Joseph Anthony Rukus (M.R.P. ’09) Julia Mae Dailey (M.R.P. ’09) Katelin Elizabeth Olson (M.A. HPP ’09) Efrem Zane Bycer (B.S. URS ’09) Andrea Michelle Nelson (M.R.P. ’09) Find more details at aap.cornell.edu/news.
William Chen. I AM IR . . . RATIONAL? (2009), mixed media, 24" x 30".
M.R.P. Student Elected to Serve on Student Assembly Erica Gutierrez (M.R.P. ’10) was elected to be the executive vice president of the Cornell University Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) for the 2009–10 academic year. The GPSA represents 6,000 graduate students on the campus by working to improve their quality of life. She will serve along with Darrick Evenson, president, from natural resources, and Brian M. Forster, vice president of operations, from microbiology. Gutierrez hopes to see more graduate student participation in the GPSA and in campus and community affairs in general; to open up more dialogue on diversity on campus; and to work closely with the newly formed university sustainability committee.AAP
Credit: Jeremy Burke (B.Arch. ’11).
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20——AAP NYC Kicks Off Another Pa
There’s nothing like preparing newly arrived students for the bustling Manhattan tempo than packing their AAP NYC orientation day tight with information sessions, course presentations, walking tours, and an evening reception with alumni. This fall—the beginning of program’s fourth year—17 M.Arch.1 students and 19 B.Arch. students are taking a range of studios and seminars taught by a roster of faculty made up of some of New York’s most prominent practioners and educators. For the undergraduate studios Michael Manfredi (M.Arch. ’80) of Weiss/Manfredi is teaching Sectional Ecologies: Waterfront Architectures with teaching assistant Justin Kwok; and Craig Dykers of Snøhetta is teaching The Big & Small Studio with teaching assistant Liz Burow. Ben Gilmartin of Diller, Scofidio, and Renfro (DSR) returns to teach the thesis proseminar. For the graduate studio Shohei Shigematsu from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), along with his colleague Christy Cheng, is teaching Integrative Design Practices; while Mark Rakatansky is teaching the graduate proseminar. Other courses being taken by both M.Arch. and B.Arch. students include: a history of architecture course focused on
Gordon Matta-Clark with Professor Mary Woods; professional practice with Jill Lerner (B.Arch. ’76); photography with Douglas Ross; and architecture theory with Sulan Kolatan. On orientation day, prior to the faculty presentations, students took a walking tour of the nearby High Line park with Nahyun Hwang of James Corner Field Operations, lead project designer and design project manager and with Matthew Johnson of DSR. Students also took a tour of the new Standard Hotel, which straddles the High Line. The tour was organized by Stephanie Goto (B.Arch. ’97) and was led by Christine Gachot from Andre Balazs Properties and Michael Tavani from Nadine Johnson & Associates, Inc. and joined by Tara Leibenhaut (B.Arch. ’00) from Polshek Partnership Architects. Students are making use of facilities improvements made to the AAP NYC studio this summer, including a laser cutter, a new workbench with basic hand tools and power equipment, and upgrades to memory and software in the computer labs. And, most noticeable to returning visitors: the loft is home to improved studio work surfaces and lighting.AAP Credit: Robert Barker/University Photography.
————————CORNELL architecture—art—planning———NEWS 07 fall2009
Ashkin—Chusid—Christopherson—Cupkova—Forsyth— —Forester—Graves—Kudva—Loukissas—McDougal— Pratt—Richardson—Rickard—McGrain—Ochshorn—— ——Reps—Schmidt—Silver—Morris—Tomlan—Waller— News CRP Associate Professor Jeffrey Chusid moderated an international symposium on the conservation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture at Florida Southern College, at the school in Lakeland in April. Also focusing on the preservation of Wright’s buildings, Chusid’s book Saving Wright: The Freeman House and the Preservation of Meaning, Materials, and Modernity is forthcoming in 2010. Chusid’s chapter, “Natural Allies: Historic Preservation and Sustainable Design,” in Pragmatic Sustainability will also be published next year. CRP Professor Susan Christopherson was featured in a collection of six articles, titled “Race to Innovate,” in the Fall issue of the policy journal Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Christopherson’s article “Manufacturing: Up from the Ashes” discusses how innovation is working to save the manufacturing sector. The forward-looking package of articles focused on the question of what government can do to spur innovation and new ways to grow the economy in the years ahead. Christopherson’s book Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (Routledge, 2008), cowritten with Jennifer Clark (Ph.D. ’04) of Georgia Tech University, received the 2009 Regional Studies Association Best Book Award. Professor Gillian Bristow of Cardiff University’s School of City and Regional Planning nominated the book. Several articles coauthored by CRP Professor Ann Forsyth have been published recently: “Explaining Changes in Walking and Bicycling Behavior: Challenges for Transportation Research” in Environment and Planning B (36: 725–740); “Non-motorized Travel Research and Contemporary Planning Initiatives” in Progress in Planning (71: 170–184); “A Typology of Comprehensive Designed Communities since the Second World War” in Landscape Journal (27, 2: 56–78); “Measuring the Built Environment for Physical Activity: State of the Art” in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (36, 4s: s99–s123); “Alcohol Outlets and Youth Alcohol Use: Exposure in Suburban Areas” in Health and Place (15: 642–646); “Test-Retest Reliability of the Twin Cities Walking Survey” in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (6, 1: 119–131); “The Built Environment, Walking, and Physical Activity: Is the Environment More Important to Some People than Others?” in Transportation Research Part D (14: 42–49); and “Assessing Planning School Performance: Multiple Paths, Multiple Measures” in the Journal of Planning Education and Research (28: 323–335). In March, CRP Visiting Lecturer George Frantz presented a talk on “Tools for Planning for Agriculture” at the American Farmland Trust Planning for Farms, Food, and Energy conference, in Syracuse. Dealing with Differences: Dramas of Mediating Public Disputes, the new book by CRP Professor John Forester, was published this fall by Oxford University Press. In the book Forester shows how skillful “facilitative leaders” and mediators have helped parties settle daunting, apparently intractable disputes. From their accomplishments he
draws lessons for community leaders, managers, planners, and organizers. In late 2010, art department Visiting Lecturer Anthony Graves (M.F.A. ’09) will be part of an exhibition titled Modifications at the Aarhus Kunstbygning in Aarhus, Demark. Graves’s contribution, as part of the Camel Collective, is a video titled The Second World Congress of Free Artists. The Camel Collective is an affiliation of artists, architects, and writers. Also, Graves is a founding editor of C-M-L, an online journal of art and activism, and an ongoing project of the Camel Collective. The journal has just released its third volume. Neema Kudva, CRP, has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure. Kudva’s research on urban conditions in the global South cuts across social and spatial disciplines and demonstrates the insights that are possible when economic, political, and cultural policies are studied as situated practices with place-specific consequences. Her current focus is on the numerous, yet under-studied, second-tier cities in India that are experiencing explosive expansion on a scale comparable to the world’s mega-cities. AAP events coordinator Beth Kunz and her husband David Flaten recently published A Family of Friends: The First Hundred Years of the Lake George Club, 1909-2009. The privately commissioned book traces the social history of a prominent club as it transforms from a private escape for New York City’s elite to a family-centered haven for the greater Albany area. Yanni Loukissas, visiting lecturer in the architecture department, was the opening speaker at the Emerging Voices lecture series at the University of Michigan. He presented a selection of work from his Ph.D. dissertation titled “Conceptions of Design in a Culture of Simulation: Socio-Technical Studies at Arup.” “Keepers of the Geometry,” an essay by Loukissas, has been published as part of a collection of essays in Simulation and Its Discontents by Sherry Turkle. The book examines the phenomena of how the technologies of simulation and visualization have changed the way people view the world and approach their workplaces. Loukissas’s essay is on information technologies and professional identity in architecture offices. Art department lecturer Graham McDougal was included in an exhibition at the Print Center in Philadelphia this past summer. McDougal’s prints were among the work of 29 exhibiting artists chosen from a pool of 1,900 entries in the juried 83rd Annual International Competition: Printmaking. In the spring, Associate Professor Todd McGrain, art, unveiled a 540-pound bronze sculpture of a Labrador duck at Brand Park in Elmira, New York. The statue is one in a series created by the artist focusing on extinct birds. Brand Park was chosen for the Labrador duck statue because it is the site of the last-known spotting of the wild duck on December 12, 1878. The Lost Bird Project also includes sculptures of the passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet, the great hawk, and the heath hen. The figures took five years to complete, and each will be installed at locations throughout the globe that were
Design for Health Project Receives Two Prominent Awards
Design for Health (DFH), a collaborative project between Cornell University, University of Minnesota, and University of Colorado, received a 2009 Great Places research award in a competition cosponsored by the Environmental Design Research Association, Places, and Metropolis as well as the National Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice from the American Planning Association (APA). Cornell CRP Professor Ann Forsyth has been the principal investigator on the project. The project’s goal was to bridge the gap between urban design, healthy living, and local government planning. The DFH team, composed of experts in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and public health, created a variety of innovative, practice-oriented tools to integrate health research into the practice of urban planning and environmental design. “Few, if any, other communities across the U.S. are doing this work,” said Carol Rhea, APA jury chair. “It is a model for what should become a standard part of any comprehensive plan.” In phase one of the project the DFH team provided technical assistance to 19 municipalities in Minnesota to help them integrate healthy living principles into their comprehensive plans and ordinances through funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. As a result, these communities have included not only physical activity, accessibility, and safety in their plans, but have also addressed a wider range of topics, including mental health, social capital, food access, water quality, air quality, environment and housing, and noise. The second phase focused on the lessons learned from the partner communities. Using the knowledge gained in phase one, the DFH team developed, and continues to develop, a variety of practice-based tools for a wider geography. “The connections between a community’s design and its health are now partand-parcel of the civic dialogue in many Minnesota towns and cities—due significantly to the efforts of the Design for Health team,” said Michael Huber, cardiovascular health consultant at the Center for Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.AAP
New Art Department Associate ProAppointments fessor Jolene Rickard has been appointed the new chair of the art department for the 2009–10 academic year. Rickard holds joint appointments in the departments of Art and History of Art and is affiliated with the American Indian Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Rickard replaces Patricia Phillips, who left Cornell to become the Dean of Graduate Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. Stephanie Owens, visiting assistant professor of art, has been named director of programmatic initiatives, a new position created in part to add focus and leadership in the area of digital arts. Michael Ashkin, assistant professor of art and director of graduate studies, will serve as director for another three-year term.AAP Graham McDougal’s untitled (11/11/06–10/25/08 /ongoing) (2009), screenprint over white columns newsprint, 22–3/4" x 15".
central to the decline of that particular bird. The Village of Cayuga Heights, New York, has created its first independent planning board. Village trustees voted on six appointments, including Mark Morris, and Henry Richardson (M.R.P. ’71), both architecture professors. Department of Architecture Associate Professor Jonathan Ochshorn’s book, Structural Elements for Architects and Builders, is scheduled to be published by Butterworth-Heinemann in December. Also being published in December is his article “Approximate Derivation of Critical Buckling Load” in the Journal of Architectural Engineering. The Western History Association’s Dwight L. Smith Award (ABC-CLIO) for best bibliography or research tool was bestowed on CRP Professor Emeritus John Reps for his book John Casper Wild: Painter and Printmaker of Nineteenth-Century Urban America (Missouri Historical Society Press, 2006). CRP Assistant Professor Stephan Schmidt recently completed an article, “Land Use Planning Tools and Institutional Change in Germany: Recent Developments in Local and Regional Planning,” which is forthcoming in the journal European Planning Studies. Schmidt coauthored the article, “Is Open Space Preservation a Form of Exclusionary Zoning? The Evolution of Municipal Space Policies in New Jersey,” which is due to be published in the journal Urban Affairs Review. Cornell architecture faculty members joined forces for “Material Feedback,” a conference hosted by Storefront for Art and Architecture in July. The event was to mark the close of Reef, an installation by Joshua G. Stein, who was a visiting critic in fall 2008, and his design partner, Rob Ley, principal of Urbana. Assistant Professor Mike Silver and Yanni Loukissas each presented their research alongside eight other practitioners and educators. The projects focused on digital design, material logic, computational geometry, and fabrication. A panel discussion, moderated by Visiting Assistant Professor Mark Morris, examined the representational, educational, and social implications of such work. CRP Professor Michael Tomlan has been chosen as the recipient of the National Council of Preservation Education’s annual James Marston Fitch Award. The award, named in honor of pioneering preservation educator James Marston Fitch, recognizes lifetime achievement in and dedication to historic preservation education.AAP
Visiting Scholars in Residence in CRP Visiting scholars are an integral part of the CRP community and provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on new research endeavors and add to the intellectual growth and development of the department. This year’s visiting scholars offer a diverse array of research interests. Visiting Scholar Thomas Hahn, a geographer and China specialist by training, has conducted extensive research in regard to China’s territorial assets (both urban and rural). Visiting Scholar Maria do Carmo L. Bezerra, a professor in the technology department of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Brasilia, will spend the fall consulting with faculty regarding her work on the environment and illegal/informal settlements in Brazilian cities. Inaki Permanyer has been working on the research project, “Development Indices in Multidimensional Settings: An Application to the Measurement of Gender Inequality,” as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Professor Wang Zhenpo, a physicist and urban planner, is visiting CRP from the Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction whose main research interests are housing policies and strategic planning for the greater Tianjin area. Read more about each of these scholars at aap.cornell.edu/crp/news/newsitem. cfm?customel_datapageid_2892=253305.AAP
Park Maria Park, assistant professor of art, presented her installation Manifest Destiny at the Seoul National University’s Museum of Art from July 1 to August 16. Park joined other past recipients of the Korean Arts Foundation of America (KAFA) award in the exhibition titled For Excellence: 11 KAFA Awarded Artists. Park’s installation used images from the 2006 Lebanon War and two films—Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch—giving “human presence” the exact space allotted on the screen/image. “I am interested in how these films demonstrate the subtle sanctioning of dehumanization through an aestheticization of violence, a mechanism often at work in media coverage of war,” says Park. “My process of painting seeks to expose the dehumanization at work within these images through a relentless rendering of edges in shards of color, embedding subject into object, figure into ground.” Credit: Seoul National University.
h—Frantz— —Morris—Owens— —Olpadwala— r————— Katia Balassiano
Waller Named Associate Director of Advising and In August, Tremayne (Trey) Diversity Waller became AAP’s new associate director of
Visiting Professors Teach Communication, Sustainability in Planning Katia Balassiano and Abdulrazak (Razak) Karriem take to the
advising and diversity. Waller’s responsibilities include working with faculty advisers and college staff to plan and oversee academic support for halls of West Sibley starting this fall to teach AAP undergraduate students; providing counselfuture planners about the importance of sustaining on academic, personal issues, and profesability and the how-to’s of being a saavy commu- Student work from Cupkova’s Component Systems studio sional development; coordinating mid-semester nicator in the workplace. At a town hall meeting was on display in John Hartell Gallery this fall. progress checks for AAP students; and conductbetween CRP faculty and students, organized by ing outreach programs and workshops. He also the Organization of Cornell Planners in the spring, coordinates special advising and support for AAP the students and faculty working together identimulticultural students and facilitates interaction fied professionalism and sustainability as areas between AAP multicultural students, faculty, and of the department’s curriculum that needed to be staff. bolstered in order for the M.R.P. program to stay Waller comes to Cornell from a position as competitive with other planning programs and the director of precollege initiatives in the Center give students a marketable edge out of graduate for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at school. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University As a planning practitioner, Balassiano intro(VPI) in Blacksburg, Virginia. In March 2009, he reduced innovation and streamlined procedures in Visiting assistant professor of architecture Dana ceived the Minority Engineering Program Director land-use regulations and zoning laws. In Rhode Cupkova and assistant professor of architecture of the Year Golden Torch Award from the National Island, she drafted the state’s first municipal Kevin Pratt were awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Society of Black Engineers. affordable housing plan. Her current research Grant from the New York Chapter of the American Waller obtained his B.S. from Averett Univerinvolves how nongovernmental organizations help Institute of Architects for their project proposal, sity and has an M.S. in counseling and human municipalities produce civic spaces in Thailand, “Adaptive Modularity: A Sustainable Approach to development from Radford University, and a Ph.D. and the degree to which such spaces lead to Adaptive Reuse in the Eastern European Housing in curriculum and instruction with a certificate in greater participation in governance. This fall, she Block.” race and social policy from VPI. He is the recipient is debuting in her teaching at Cornell with AmeriCupkova and Pratt will apply the $12,500 of the 2009 Brenda H. Loyd Outstanding Dissertacan Cities and Communication Skills for Planners. grant toward further developing methods of using tion Award from the Virginia Educational Research Karriem will focus his instruction this semesenvironmental data simulation to inform building Association (VERA).AAP ter on global sustainability issues in planning. For design. Their project seeks to establish “a buildexample, in Urban Sustainability students will ing’s ecological footprint in the earliest stages of explore the socioeconomic and environmental design process” through the use of digital techdimensions of sustainability in cities. Particularly, nology. students will analyze the contemporary urban enThe adaptive component design methodolvironmental crisis in the context of global climate ogy they employ was developed out of a series change, critically evaluate government policies of research studios taught at Cornell and at the David Mah and Leyre Asensio and programs that try to address the challenges Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Slovakia, Villoria of asensio_mah, visiting faculty of sustainability in both developed and developbeginning in 2006. The first studio was based in in architecture, recently completed ing country cities, and assess struggles for social Bratislava, the second in Dubai (fall 2007), and their Q-House in northern Spain in and environmental justice. Among the case studthe third in Fiji (spring 2008). Pratt and Cupkova collaboration with J. M. Aguirre Aldaz. ies explored will be the vulnerability of cities to are planning to revisit the site of the first studio The designers made a conscious effort climate hazards (e.g. New Orleans and Hurricane and expand their concept of adaptive reuse in the to develop an alternative domestic Katrina), the implementation of a sustainable post-Soviet period. environment to the surrounding villas urban development plan in Curitiba, Brazil, and Cupkova and Pratt were also recently awardof the new suburban neighborhood by the development of a municipal adaptation plan ed a grant from the Cornell Center for a Sustainconstructing a more explicit relationship for climate change in Cape Town, South Africa. able Future’s Academic Venture Fund, providing between the house and garden with the Karriem will also include Urban Transformations funding of the project “Integrated Digital Design existing conditions of the steep site. The in the Global South and Social Movements and Environment for Sustainable Architecture,” prohouse is clad in dark composite panels Collective Action in the Age of Globalization in his posed in collaboration with the departments of that have been customized with digital teaching repertoire.AAP Computer and Information Sciences and Mefabrication techniques and offer a range chanical and Aerospace Engineering. The CCSF of different surface consistencies and funding will serve to further develop and extend patterns that reflect the site’s changing the hardware infrastructure and computational light conditions, producing an evertools necessary to the scope of work proposed changing range of texture and tones. for the Brunner Grant.AAP Carl Ostendarp, visiting assistant Credit: Ricardo Loureiro. professor of art, had a couple of notable exhibitions during the spring, summer, and fall. Pulled Up, at RISD’s Museum of Art, was the result of a collaboration between the artist and the museum. In the Lower Farago Gallery, Ostendarp painted a twocolor “drip” wall mural as part of the exhibition that featured his paintings and his selection from the permanent collection, including works by Jean Arp, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and others. One of his paintings from the exhibition, Yaaaah, was purchased by the museum for its permanent collection. Also, this fall, Ostendarp collaborated with sculptor Gail Fitzgerald on the installation PlastiKool, on display in the CUNY Graduate Center’s James Gallery vestibule windows on Fifth Avenue in New York Visiting architecture critic Alex City. Credit: RISD Museum of Art. Mergold (B.Arch. ’00), along with Jason Austin (B.Arch. ’00) and their firm Austin+Mergold (A+M), had an active summer and fall. A+M was among the seven finalists for the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ competition to redesign the Grand Concourse. In the design for the Grand Resource (pictured), A+M proposes to install an array of openstructure towers supporting powerful, silent wind turbines along the whole stretch of the Grand Concourse. “NYC is committed to sustainable energy—the windmill sails have always been on the city’s seal. Let’s make them spin and generate local clean power. And let’s celebrate this process and make it a new monument for the city.”
Cupkova and Pratt Receive Grant to Develop Adaptive Reuse of Eastern European Housing
Trustee Endows Bethe House Professor-Deanship in Dale Corson’s The post of house professor-dean Name of Hans Bethe House has been named in honor of Cornell’s eighth president, Dale R. Corson, thanks to a $2 million gift from university trustee Robert Harrison ’76. The gift is the first to endow one of the five house professorships in the West Campus House System. Porus Olpadwala, the professor-dean of Bethe House since it opened in 2007, is now its first Dale R. Corson House Professor-Dean. CRP professor Olpadwala is former dean of AAP. Harrison described Corson, who served as president from 1969 to 1977, as “the model university president. He was able to balance the interests of different constituencies,” Harrison added. “And there were some difficult issues at that time.” “I admire [Corson] professionally and personally. He has the capacity to make people work together,” said Olpadwala. “He’s been my role model for an academician.”AAP
Hascup Holding a visually critical intersection at Aurora and State streets, the design for Hotel Ithaca is the collaborative project of Arthur Gensler (B.Arch. ’58) and Professor George Hascup. Intended as a gateway to the Commons and a central landmark viewable from campus, this boutique hotel proposal has urban aspirations. Gensler and Hascup worked together to develop a concept that aligns the luxury of a five-star hotel experience with the regional ambiance of a famous college town. Hotel Ithaca promises to be unique to the area in its design and experience and will maintain close ties to Cornell University and Ithaca College. The new Hotel Ithaca will be built on the same site as the original Hotel Ithaca and house the revived Zinck’s Bar, a cherished icon of the city’s past. Constructed with brick and local Llenroc stone, the slender mid-rise building captures picturesque views of town, campus, Cayuga Lake, and the nearby gorge. Upon completion, the 10-story, environmentally sustainable Hotel Ithaca will feature 136 luxurious rooms to accommodate visitors and locals alike, and will include 4,000 square feet of penthouse flexible meeting space, perfect for hosting groups and meetings.
————————CORNELL architecture—art—planning———NEWS 07 fall2009
—Abebe—Rose Augustus—Bornstein——Brown-Manr Stein—Schneider———DiMaio—Handel—Norten——P ———Jeevanjee—Kaplan—Lloyd—Pathak—Peng—Ma Prideaux-Brune—Quintero——Rantilla—Reed—Rodrig ———Park—Sutro——Thomforde—Way——
In Memoriam Joan Goody Joan (Edelman) Goody ’56, architect, author, and teacher, died in September at 73. She studied history at Cornell before going on to study architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She joined Goody Clancy, the firm founded by her husband, Marvin, and became a partner in 1978. Goody was the designer on the renovation of H. H. Richardson’s Trinity Church in Boston, and was known for her work on the Harbor Point project, also in Boston, as well as many other buildings. Thomas L. Schumacher Thomas L. Schumacher (B.Arch. ’63, M.Arch. ’66), professor of architecture at the University of Maryland and fellow of the American Academy in Rome, died this summer after a short battle with brain cancer. At Cornell, Schumacher studied under Colin Rowe and formed part of the “contextualism” school of thought, which was critical of modern urban design. A registered architect, Schumacher was also an authority on the architectural facade and pioneered architectural theory focused on the composition of the vertical surface.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has named Yeshimebet Abebe (B.Arch. ’98) as Special Assistant for Rural Utilities. Kansas City, Kansas photographer Sylvia Rose Augustus (M.A. HPP ’90) and photographer Marian Brickner of St. Louis teamed up to showcase their prints of water lilies and orchids. Their work was on display at the Greater Kansas City YWCA in June. Architects Per Bornstein (M.Arch. ’99) and Jenny Bornstein had their self-designed home in Gothenburg, Sweden published in the inaugural issue of the Swedish magazine Arkitektur. Rudolf Fränkel and Neues Bauen: Work in Germany, Romania, and the United Kingdom by Gerardo Brown-Manrique (M.Arch. ’74) was recently published by Wasmuth. The 200-page monograph documents projects from historical and contemporary sources, and draws on the extant albums of original photographs that belonged to Fränkel. Julie Campoli (M.L.A. ’89), author, landscape architect, and principal of Terra Firma Urban Design based in Burlington, Vermont has been named a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Campoli will be in residence at Harvard for the 2009–10 academic year. As a Loeb Fellow, Campoli plans to explore how greater density might be combined with local renewable energy and food production to create a more sustainable urban infrastructure. She will investigate the physical arrangements and urban forms that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and achieve greater energy and food self-sufficiency. Jennifer Clark’s (Ph.D. ’04) book Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (Routledge, 2008), cowritten with Susan Christopherson, CRP, received the 2009 Regional Studies Association Best Book Award. Professor Gillian Bristow of Cardiff University’s School of City and Regional Planning nominated the book. In April, alumni Michael Covello (B.F.A. ’09), Alison Cheng (B.F.A. ’09), Nicole Tariverdian (B.F.A. ’09), Benjamin Stein (B.F.A. ’09), and Elizabeth Schneider (B.F.A. ’09) displayed paintings as part of a multi-artist exhibit at Spark Contemporary Art Space, in Syracuse. The exhibit, titled “PHOENIX: Five artists’ interpretation on the mythical and cross-cultural status of reinvention, renewal, and resurrection,” presented artists who view the world in fundamentally different ways through the lenses of their various cultural and experiential backgrounds. The American Academy in Rome honored Judy DiMaio (B.Arch. ’75) in January as the Colin Rowe Resident in Design and Architecture. Distinguished architects, urban designers, and critics of architectural thought will be invited every other year to reside for four months at the academy. Colin Rowe, a renowned architectural thinker and critic during the second half of the 20th century, was the A. D. White Professor of Architecture at Cornell from 1962 until his retirement in 1990.
FXFOWLE Architects’ award-winning masterplan for a Copenhagen port site. Provided.
DiMaio first met Rowe when she was a student at Bennington College. Meeting Rowe influenced DiMaio’s decision to attend Cornell and began and lifelong friendship that lasted until his death in 1999. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City named Gary E. Handel (B.Arch. ’79), president of Handel Architects; Enrique Norten (M.Arch. ’80), principal at TEN Arquitectos; and L. Bradford Perkins ’67, cofounder of Perkins Eastman, as the honorees for its 2009 gala dinner, which was themed as a celebration of the built environment. The festivities were held in April at the Capitale facility on Bowery Street. Editors of Architectural Record selected two of Rafael Herrin-Ferri’s (B.Arch. ’99) house projects, Deer House and Berkshire House/Studio, for inclusion in the residential showcase gallery of the McGraw-Hill Construction website. Herrin-Ferri is the founder of B Side Design Studio in New York City. Woods Bagot, a global architecture and design firm, opened its first North American offices in New York and San Francisco, expanding their current network of 14 studios serving Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Principals Jeffrey Holmes (B.Arch. ’88) and Patrick Daly (B.Arch. ’88), based in New York and San Francisco respectively, will lead Woods Bagot’s expansion in the U.S. Photographs from Lee S. Jablin’s (B.Arch. ’72) collection of architectural documents were displayed at the Guggenheim Museum as part of the Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward exhibition. The show, marking the building’s 50th anniversary, ran from May through August. Jablin is a founding partner of Harman Jablin Architects and serves on Cornell’s Trustee Nominating
Mario Vincenti Mario Vincenti (M.F.A. ’53) died of pneumonia in the spring at 88. A World War II veteran, Vincenti received a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design before coming to Cornell in the early ’50s to earn his degree and then teach. He went on to found the art department at Suffield Academy in Connecticut, where he remained until he retired in 1993. After his retirement, he continued to teach into his 80s.
Lighting fixtures readapted from domestic curtains in the Casa Cor project by Eduardo Quintero (Forza Creativa) in Panama.
Committee and the University Library Advisory Council. Ali Jeevanjee (B.Arch. ’98) was featured in the home and garden section of the Los Angeles Times for his innovative home redesign in L.A.’s bustling Chinatown neighborhood. Jeevanjee and his business partner and wife, Poonam Sharma, are the principals of LOC Architects. World Architecture News has selected FXFOWLE Architects’ masterplan for a Copenhagen port site as the Best Urban Design Project in the unbuilt category. Daniel J. Kaplan (B.Arch. ’84) is senior partner and codirector of FXFOWLE’s urban studio. The first-place submission, titled Nordhavnen: City Regenerative, is envisioned as a 200-hectare waterfront district that houses 40,000 residents, creates 40,000 jobs, and provides access for 40,000 bicycles. Robert Lloyd (M.R.P. ’85), chair of the Seaver College International Studies Program at Pepperdine University, has been named a 2009–10 Academic Fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The foundation aims to “bring together educated minds to explore the threat to democracy posed by terrorist organizations.” Five of the 2009 AIANY Design Awards went to Cornell alumni. In the architecture category L. Bradford Perkins ’67 received a merit award for the TKTS Booth and Revitalization of Father Duffy Square in New York City. In the projects category Michael Manfredi (M.Arch. ’80) of Weiss/Manfredi received a merit award for Wandering Ecologies in Toronto; Daniel J. Kaplan (B.Arch. ’84) of FXFOWLE Architects received a merit award for Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing in Dubai; and Enrique Norten (M.Arch. ’80) received a merit award for Xochimilco Master Plan and Aquarium in Mexico City. Susan T. Rodriguez (B.Arch. ’81) of Polshek Partnership Architects was recognized in the interiors category for the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in Brooklyn. O’Fallon, Missouri has named Shashi Pathak (M.R.P. ’91) the city’s economic development director. Pathak was named interim director last October shortly after she began working for the city as an economic development. Shih-Fu Peng (B.Arch. ’89) and Roisin Heneghan of the Dublin-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects won a competition to design a bridge that will span the Rhine River in Germany. The stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley where the Mittelrheinbruecke Bridge will be built is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This was the third competition Heneghan and Peng have won involving a World Heritage site. The firm has also recently been selected as designers for a fourth World Heritage site—they have won the competition to design the new school of architecture for the University of Greenwich in England. Joel Perlman (B.F.A. ’65) exhibited his sculptures—made of steel, bronze, and aluminum—with Sigmar Polke’s lithographs at Ober Gallery in Kent, Connecticut, during the summer. Diana Prideaux-Brune (M.A. HPP ’89) was named associate vice president for facilities at Williams College in Massachusetts. PrideauxBrune was formerly vice chancellor for facilities (Continues on page 26)
nrique——Campoli—Covello——Cheng—Tariverdian— —Perkins——Herrin-Ferri—Holmes—Daly—Jablin———— Manfredi—Rodriguez—Perlman——————— guez—Schwarz—Sung———————
EIDLITZ FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED Of the 25
proposals submitted by architecture students and alumni for the 2009–10 Robert James Eidlitz Travel Fellowship, five projects were chosen by the selection committee to receive funding. Peter Christensen (B.Arch. ’05): En Plein Air! Skansen and the Geopolitics of Open Air Museums Patrick Delahoy (B.Arch. ’07): Unraveling Minimalism: Miles, Dugimoto, Sanna Adam Greene (B.Arch. ’06) and David Yang (B.Arch. ’06): Stereoscopic Regionalism: Lessons in Scandinavian Authenticity Gwendolyn Macgarland (B.Arch. ’06): Environmental and Energy Education: The Creation of a New Architecture and Community Collective Eric Oskey (M.Arch. ’08) and Ana Leshchinsky (M.Arch. ’08): Hybridized Completion The annual competition is open to fifth-year seniors and graduate students in history of architecture and urbanism, architecture, and landscape architecture, as well as alumni of these programs who graduated within the last five years. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or groups and are accepted each spring. The fellowship was established in 1938 by Robert Eidlitz’s widow, Sadie Boulton Eidlitz, as a memorial to her husband. Both Robert and Sadie are Cornell alumni, who graduated in 1885 and 1884, respectively. Sadie Eidlitz designed the fellowship to supplement professional education through travel-based study.AAP Jennifer Cecere (B.F.A. ’73). Doily 20’dia (2009), laser cut rip-stop nylon and acrylic paint. Installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York, in the summer and spring of 2009.
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at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell, where she also previously held the position of special assistant for economic development. Eduardo Quintero (M.Arch. ’02) has opened Forza Creativa, a collaborative design office whose mission is “advancing the urban, architectural, and artistic status quo.” In his Casa Cor interior design project, Qunitero incorporated design strategies such as readapting old-fashion domestic curtains into lighting fixtures and reusing discarded glass slats from jalousie windows as a sculptural partition. Michael Rantilla’s (B.Arch. ’96) house, which he designed and built for himself (1804 Pictou Road: Raleigh), won an AIA Triangle Design Honor Award, the highest level of recognition. AIA Triangle, a section of the North Carolina chapter of the AIA, draws from a 10-county area. Rantilla is a senior associate with Freelon Architects. John P. Reed (B.Arch. ’85), principal of John Reed Architecture, recently won a second-stage invited competition to build a new government center in Chung Cheong Nam-Do, south of Seoul. Completion of the 102,300-square-meter building is expected in 2012. Carlos Rodriguez (B.Arch. ’99) is the subject of an Architectural Record (April 2009) article that focuses on his early career working for Gensler and Kohn Pedersen Fox and his transition to his own firm, Rodriguez. The Indian School of Business commissioned the New York office of Perkins Eastman to create a 70-acre campus as part of a 300-acre “Knowledge City” in Chandigarh, Mohali, India. The campus design will support social interaction and collaborative learning. Principal in Charge Aaron B. Schwarz (B.Arch. ’80) expects construction to be completed in 2012. Woo Jae Sung (M.Arch. ’09) and Chulmin Park (M.Arch. ’09) received an honorable mention for their project Component Architecture as part of the Bentley Academic Be Inspired Awards in the computational design competition. The project was developed in spring 2008 as part of Visiting Assistant Professor Dana Cupkova’s building technology seminar. Watercolor, ink, acrylic, and natural color paintings of Sarah Sutro (B.F.A. ’72) were exhibited in two shows in Thailand in the spring and winter. New Ecologies was a group show curated by Brian Curtin in conjunction with Gallery Opium Pattaya and was hosted by the Sheraton Pattaya Resort; Layers of Marks and Mind: Meditation on Landscape was a solo show in the Thammasat University gallery. The interdisciplinary team másTransit—which included Jaclyn Thomforde (M.Arch. ’08), Joshua G. Stein of Radical Craft who was visiting faculty in the Department of Architecture in fall 2008, Aaron Whelton of AAW Studio, and city planner Jacob M. Brostoff—took first place in the international design competition A New Infrastructure: Innovative Transit Solutions for Los Angeles, sponsored by the SCI-FI program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Architect’s Newspaper. Thaisa Way (Ph.D. ’05), assistant professor in landscape architecture at the University of Washington, was elected president of the Landscape History Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Way’s new book, Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century, was recently published by University of Virginia Press.AAP Rendering of Skylab Architecture’s Weave Building in Portland, Oregon. Provided.
Jeff Kovel: Breaking Down Boundaries Between Inside and Out Those lucky enough to live or work in a building designed by the architect Jeff Kovel should have no need for an interior decorator. Kovel (B.Arch. ’96) considers himself a designer of environments, not just buildings. “Landscaping, lighting, furnishing—it’s all about place-making, and the more things are talking to each other, the more interesting it is for me,” Kovel says. “Rather than focusing only on shape and form, we’re using every single component of the project, whether it’s a fire alarm, electrical outlet, or finish,” the Portland, Oregon– based architect says. Consider the Portland restaurant Departure, for example, which Kovel’s firm Skylab Architecture completed this year. The restaurant was built on the rooftop of a former department store in a building dating back to 1908, and its decor was chosen to tell the story of that bygone era, albeit using contemporary language. Kovel chose a nautical theme as an allusion to a time when ocean liners were about the voyage, not mere transportation. “Departure is an escape. It is a place to experience the unfamiliar, to observe as much as be seen,” Kovel says. From a host stand customers are greeted and taken to one of four connecting spaces inside. Octagonal walls of upholstery tiles focus the entrance portal to the dining room, lounge, stateroom, and deck. The dining room is defined by marine teak decking, sailcloth panels, and helm bar seating. A skylight cuts 65 feet along the ceiling and continues down a main wall, and from banquette seats facing out, sliding glass doors reveal a floor-to-ceiling view of downtown. Kovel moved to Portland in 1997, after spending about a year working for an architect in Telluride, Colorado. He loved Colorado, but says it wasn’t the right time in his career to be there. Building code restrictions made it difficult to branch out creatively, and he was looking for more opportunities and a chance to be engaged in an urban environment. Portland seemed an obvious choice because he had spent a summer there while in college, and its culture, topography, and recreational activities fit well with his personality.
When I was studying urban planning at Cornell in the mid ’90s, I never imagined that I would run for elected office of any kind, much less end up in Congress. Now that I’m here, I feel strongly about using this opportunity to make a positive difference, both for my constituents and the country as a whole. Ever since I first joined the House of Representatives in 2007, advancing solar power has been one of my highest policy priorities. This is because solar is well suited to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our nation: boosting our economic competitiveness, reducing our dependence on foreign energy, and mitigating our impact on the climate and natural environment. Solar provides a viable solution to all of these challenges People have talked about solar power’s potential for decades, but in the last few years this industry has finally started to come into its own. It’s very exciting. We have seen major improvements in solar economics and performance, and experts tell us that further improvements are on the way. The fact is: solar is serious energy, and it is poised to make a major contribution to our nation’s power needs. All this industry needs—like almost any fledgling industry—is supportive public policies and concerted advocacy to help it take root and thrive. I am committed to using my time in Congress—both on Capitol Hill and in Southern Arizona—to do all I can to promote a positive, pro-solar agenda for our nation. Gabrielle Giffords (M.R.P. ’97) U.S. House of Representatives
JAMES SIENA TAPPED FOR ALUMNI ARTIST AWARD James Siena (B.F.A. ’79) has been selected to receive the 2009–10 Eissner
Hornberger + Worstell is a San Francisco–based architecture and planning firm cofounded by Mark Hornberger (B.Arch. ’73). Over the last 30 years, Hornberger + Worstell has become most well known for its work in hospitality and mixed-use project design. In recent years, Hornberger + Worstell has applied its expertise in hospitality design to a new arena: academia. The connection between hospitality and academic design is increasingly strong as today’s students factor facilities and amenity into their choice of preferred schools. Hornberger + Worstell’s recent student union addition at California State University–East Bay illustrates how the tenets of hospitality design—inviting public spaces that support multisource revenue generation, and seamless service connections to back-of-house operations—can be applied to an academic setting. With campus dining, retail outlets, student offices, internet cafe, a 400-seat divisible meeting hall, and outdoor commencement plaza, the union has become the most active gathering place on campus. The firm is currently designing student life facilities at both Sacramento and Sonoma State universities.
Artist of the Year Award, administered by the Cornell Council for the Arts. Siena creates complex linear abstractions based on his own “visual algorithms,” resulting in concentrated, vibrantly colored freehand geometric patterns. He works in a variety of media, including lithography, etching, painting, woodcut, drawing, and engraving. An exhibition of his work will be displayed at the Herbert F. John“The city was so young—a really easy point son Museum of Art from January 16 to April 20, 2010. Siena will of entry for anything,” Kovel says. He worked for a building contractor for a year, and then got hired receive the award and give a lecture on campus on April 16. Siena’s art is in many private and public collections, including the by Architropolis. While there, he served as lead on a project to build a house and music studio for Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Lenny Kravitz in Miami. His work has been featured in more than 100 solo and group “That was a really important experience for exhibitions since 1981. He was included in the 2004 Whitney Bienme because it was a great creative design oppornial, a showcase for contemporary American and international artists, tunity, but we were also building it all ourselves, so it was the best training one could have,” Kovel and since 2005 has mounted three successful solo exhibitions at New says. In fact, many of Kovel’s later projects would York’s PaceWildenstein Gallery. “James Siena is one of the most inventive, independent, focused, end up challenging the traditional boundaries and prolific artists working today,” wrote Patricia Phillips, former between architect, contractor, interior designer, chair of the Department of Art, in her letter of nomination. “Thirty years and owner. after he received his B.F.A. from Cornell, Siena has emerged as one Back in Portland after completing the Kravitz of the art world’s internationally respected leaders . . . [He] balances project, then-26-year-old Kovel decided to take the traditions of 20th- and 21st-century abstraction with a maverick a big gamble and start up his own firm. “I just went for it,” says Kovel, acknowledging that it was sensibility to craft-salient, if speculative, insights on the contemporary world, and the intricate workings of human perception.” probably a mix of youthful naïveté and bravado The annual alumni artist award winner is selected by a jury of artsthat enabled him to leave the stability of an estabrelated department chairs at Cornell. lished company to strike out on his own. Read the thank-you note from Siena to President Skorton: “I spent two months setting up my new office, aap.cornell.edu/news/upload/Siena_Eissner_thanku.pdf.AAP and then I asked myself, what do I do now?” James Siena. Credit: Robert Stuart. Fate intervened—an old client from Architropolis commissioned Skylab to design a building in Another eye-popping Skylab project is also Los Angeles, and the work has been continuous in the works—this one in Brooklyn. The buildsince then, Kovel says. Although he has undering, commissioned by Flavor Paper—a firm that taken several projects outside his home base of makes custom hand-screen-printed wallpaper— Portland, it is that city that really played a big part will be built in a former parking structure, and in launching his career and forming his creative will house a production facility, showroom, two vision. residential levels, and a deck. Two 50-foot-long “I think of it as a really soulful place. It’s less wallpaper screening tables will be placed in the flashy on the surface than a place like L.A., and middle of the ground-floor space, allowing the more internally substantial,” Kovel says. “The mirrored ceiling to reflect the color of the paper thing about Portland, though, is it’s not the type all the way out to the street. The building’s five of city where you open up your doors and have levels are connected through a stair laced with a great clients. We had to be really inventive about 60-foot-tall neon installation inspired by one of our opportunities, and industrious in making those Flavor Paper’s patterns. The building’s original opportunities turn out the best they could.” windows were replaced with new steel boxes, Skylab was owner, architect, and contractor creating and balancing the dialogue between old on a number of its early projects, mostly out of and new, Kovel says. necessity. Skylab’s first project in Portland was Skylab has designed many other commercial the 1680 House, which was built on a parcel of and private spaces that have become landmarks land so steep it was considered unsuitable for around Portland. Doug Fir, a bar, restaurant, and construction. The concrete home fetched the live music venue on a major thoroughfare, is strikhighest price of any residential property in the city ing with its log-cabin-meets-1950s-diner exterior. at that time. It also proved that Kovel is adept at Kovel says he drew on his experience in Coloutilizing to his advantage specs that others would rado, where he built mostly log cabins, in designdeem obstacles, a skill reminiscent of the archiing Doug Fir. The interior continues the log cabin tect John Lautner, who Kovel cites as a favorite. motif, but in combination with the plentiful mirrors, Kovel would put that skill to use again when dethe effect is chic and urban. signing the Weave Building in downtown Portland. Skylab’s work is also well known to most preThe Weave is planned on an odd-shaped and teens thanks to the film franchise Twilight, which small lot that is hemmed in by a national historic features the Hoke House (otherwise known as the registry property to the west and a major city trafCullen House in the film), a single-family home fic artery to the north. Kovel says his proposed built on spec in 2007. Now Skylab is licensing design “playfully reinterprets” the property line the design of the house to Twilight’s production and creates a space defined by five points. The company so it can re-create the home on a stage design strives to connect tenants to each other, to set in Vancouver, where filming takes place. their neighborhood, and to the city at large, Kovel Kovel’s most game-changing work may says. With its facade of angular glass panels prove to be “modular” prefab homes, a project separated by crenelated precast concrete, finSkylab is currently working on in partnership with ished with a hand-troweled concrete stucco, it is Method Homes, a Seattle-based prefab home destined to be eye-catching, especially for a city builder. If prefab conjures images of bland boxes Rendering of Skylab Architecture’s Weave Building in not known for its daring architecture, yet. making their way down the freeway on the back Portland, Oregon. Provided.
of a flatbed truck, or the seemingly ubiquitous McMansion, then Kovel’s modular homes will shock. Kovel says his firm’s prefab homes, which are meant for urban locales, offer an approach to “moving beyond the old paradigm” of inflexible and nondurable housing stock. “We imagined creating a system using a single basic geometric module that would scale to solve the space planning needs of programs from 100 square feet to thousands of square feet,” Kovel says. Perhaps the best part—they are affordable. Kovel even envisions operating his own assembly plant for the homes at some point, enabling him to bring “creatively designed homes to the masses.” Kovel and Skylab are intent on using the currently available methodology, economics, and materials, he says. “Every project we do is a current response, not just to our client, but to everything we’ve learned or seen,” Kovel says. “A lot of our projects are metaphors for other times, but to recreate something from another era without your own conceptual overtaking, to me that is just theatrical set creation,” Kovel says.AAP —Nancy Seewald
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designs. The new emergency department at the Rome Memorial Hospital was recognized for the centralized traffic pattern and work areas that eliminated some of the distractions typical alumni dominated the recent American of emergency rooms. Gillespie’s second Institute of Architects Southern New award-winning project was the SwetYork Chapter (AIASNY) Design Jury man Hall renovation at SUNY Oswego. Review–2008, receiving six out of six In addition to the renovation, a pedesawards presented from the competitrian spine was created to help join the tion. newer west campus with the older east Robert J. O’Brien (B.Arch. ’69), campus. of HOLT Architects, received a merit Grace Chiang (B.Arch. ’81), also of award for his design of the Sentor HOLT Architects, received a citation for Academic Building located on the State Ann Wilder Stratton Hall on the Wells University of New York (SUNY) Upstate College campus in Aurora. Stratton Medical Center campus in Syracuse. Hall, the first new building constructed The jury commented on how the build- on the campus in 35 years, was deing’s four-story atrium provided a “light signed to replace the hundred-year-old break at the entrance, and serves as science facility. The jury remarked that a welcoming space that is sensitive to Stratton Hall was a “strong project, the historic nature of the surrounding which maintained the historic aesthetic buildings.” without mimicking traditional styles.” O’Brien also received mention for All awards given in the competition his design of the University Downtown were in the built category. A jury of six Center in Binghamton. As an extension conducted three rounds of review for of the SUNY campus, the building is the 18 projects submitted. intended to bring 3,500 students to the AIASNY is a not-for-profit chapter of downtown area as part of a revitalizathe national American Institute of Archition effort. The jury observed how well tects, and a component of the regional the project fit in its urban setting. organization known as AIA New York Noted by the jury as “an interestState. AIASNY represents architects ing project on a stark site [that was] and professionally related members very well presented,” John Barradas in the engineering, construction, and (B.Arch. ’87) of HUNT Engineers, Archi- building materials manufacturing intects & Land Surveyors received a merit dustries within the southern tier of New award for the Wagner-Holmberg resiYork State.AAP dence, which was designed to resemble an unfolding box that opens into a surrounding vineyard. HOLT architect Graham L. Gillespie (B.Arch. ’81) placed in the mention category for two of his recent
CORNELL ALUMNI SWEEP THE AIASNY AWARDS Cornell architecture
Höweler + Yoon Architecture
BOOK FEATURES DARING WORK OF ARCHITECTURE ALUMNI PROVISIONAL:
Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice USA (Princeton Architectural Press), edited by Elite Kedan (B.Arch. ’90), F. Jonathan Dreyfous, and Craig Mutter, profiles nine exciting U.S.-based architectural practices that “reveal a shared commitment to experimentation and learning-bydoing.” Cornell architecture alumni are ably represented in work by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis and Höweler + Yoon Architecture. Featuring interviews and illustrated by drawings, diagrams, models, renderings, and building process photographs, PROVISIONAL also highlights projects by SHoP Architects, Front Studio, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, among others. Kedan is a practicing architect in Miami and an adjunct professor at Florida International University.AAP Höweler + Yoon Architecture
Lauren Valchuis (B.F.A. ’11), blue tape (2009), screen print, 14" x 17".
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129 Sibley Dome Ithaca, NY 14853â€“6701 aap.cornell.edu