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News14 At Work

Dean’s Message 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 14853-6701 (607) 255-5317 Aaron Goldweber Rebecca Bowes contributing writers Daniel Aloi, Jose Perez Beduya, Kenny Berkowitz, Rebecca Bowes, Aaron Goldweber, Sophie Hochhäusl, Claire Lambrecht, Ashlee McGandy, Sherrie Negrea design Studio Kudos copy editor Laura Glenn photography William Staffeld (unless otherwise noted) distribution coordinator Sheri D’Elia cover Sophia Balagamwala (M.F.A. ’14) at work in her studio in The Foundry, in March. editor

assistant editor

© September 2013 Cornell University Printed on Rolland Enviro 100 Satin, a Forestry Stewardship Council stock. Printed by Monroe Litho, Rochester, New York. Monroe Litho is certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership and is an EPA Green Power Partner operating on 100 percent wind power.

“The feel of an artist’s studio.” Typical language in the context of AAP. But the quote is not from one of the usual suspects. It is from the Guardian newspaper, praising the work of the Irish firm Grafton Architects for their recently completed medical school at Limerick University in Limerick, Ireland. And it refers not to some marginal breakout room or extra-curricular recreational space for stressed medical students, but to the program’s core seminar rooms.* “Airy galleries,” notes the author, describing the loft-like configuration of open space complete with examination beds, a network of ceiling tracks for subdividing the space, concrete floors, exposed structure, and ample natural light. There is a marked raise of interest in the studio, not just as spatial type, but as pedagogy and epistemology. The concept of project-centered education has long held attraction as a form of engaged learning because such experiences foster a range of abilities beyond narrow specializations and technical skills. But there is a more fundamental value to studio pedagogy: The profound questions of our time are those susceptible to critical reformulation and creative reinterpretation. Yet, this is not to denigrate precise problem statements, linear methodologies, and well-mastered skills; such skills are certainly essential to addressing these complex problems. But some challenges are characterized by the perverse condition that the problem statement is not the beginning point on a line leading to a solution, but a recurring moment on a spiral that evolves with each subsequent engagement. In this sense, every answer is only an ever-more precise problem statement. The feel of an artist’s studio has as much to do with the space of creation as it does with the process of creative inquiry and knowledge acquisition. It is discursive, iterative, non-linear—and, as we know, anxiety-producing, open-ended, and interminably debatable. It may not come as a surprise that the leadership of Cornell Tech—arguably Cornell’s most ambitious and forward-looking academic adventure since the university’s founding—has begun to conceptualize their future home on Roosevelt Island as a studio, and ended their inaugural semester with public presentations and lively critiques rather than the assignment of grades via crowd-sourced algorithms. It may also not come as a surprise that amid the heated national discussion of disruptive educational technologies— particularly the advent of massive open online classes—studio pedagogy is emerging as a compelling example of why we need residential universities. Am I suggesting that the pedagogy and method of inquiry long apparent in AAP is a standard-bearer for an essential mode of teaching and learning in an age of profound uncertainly regarding the future of the university? Absolutely.

Kent Kleinman Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning *Oliver Wainwright, “Limerick’s Medical School: Architecture with a Scalpel,” The Guardian, August 14, 2013.

Shuning Fan (M.Arch. ’13), at right, during a pinup for the architecture design studio titled To Be an Architect Is to Be of Service, taught by Billie Tsien (left), Tod Williams, and Amber Botosh (center).

Fall 2013 2 News&Events

2  Fine Arts Library Gift; Hospitality Summit; Otto In Memorium 3  CJoA; Association; New Faculty Hires 4  Spring 2013 Lectures; Strauch Symposium; CSUD 6 Party Wall

8 Profiles


8 S  tudent Profile: James Blair (M.Arch. ’13) 9 A lumni Profile: Robert Pirani (M.R.P. ’89) 10 Faculty Profile: Maria Park, Art


14 Students



14  Bacon Win; LDR-Lab Publishes Práctica; Gordon Matta-Clark Reenactment 15  M.F.A. Show; CRP Papers on the Road; HAUD Conference; Peace Corp Work in Lesotho 16 Academic Awards; Wall of Sustainability; HPP Work Weekend; Smith SA President


20 Faculty&Staff

20 Puerto Rico Symposium; NSF Grant; Pearman In Memorium 21 Martín Domínguez; Gadeyne and Smith Book

22 Alumni 23




22 Storm Tharp 23 Alumni Art Tour; Wolfe; Guest; Beierle 24 Drawing on the City

photo / Bill Hocker Photographs

1. Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhao Wen. photo / provided


$6M Gift Funds Fine Arts Library Makeover Berkeley, California–based architect Mui Ho (’62, B.Arch. ’66) has made a $6 million gift commitment to overhaul and expand the Fine Arts Library (FAL) at Cornell. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the library will hold one of the country’s most distinguished academic art and architecture collections in state-of-the-art, revamped facilities on the top two floors of Rand Hall, a 1912 campus icon. “The FAL is absolutely essential to all students and scholars who work with visual material,” said Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. He foresees a luminescent, contemporary research center housing 250,000 volumes, ample digital resources, and generous study spaces. “It will be a light-filled, 21st century library, glowing from behind the large industrial windows of Rand Hall—a perfect metaphor for conserving the old while erecting the new,” said Kleinman. “It is critical that Cornell keeps this worldclass collection in a good environment,” said Ho. “These books are important for students in architecture, arts, history, and other disciplines on the Cornell campus. Most images found within this collection are not readily available on the internet, and students, researchers, and teachers need to use these books intensely.” A retired design faculty member from the University of California–Berkeley, Ho emphasized that accessing information is not only a mental act, but a tactile and visual experience as well. “The digital age changes how students research their information,” she said. “The physical handling of materials at a real scale and seeing the true color as intended is important—but digital representations will enable broader archiving and distribution of the important work of our alumni and faculty. As technology changes, the way the work is represented will, too.” Anne Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian, noted a “groundswell of academic interest” in visual materials at Cornell and said that the recent hiring of a visual resource librarian will strongly complement the resources of the new library. “The new FAL will be poised to compete with the very best art and architecture libraries in the world,” Kenney said. “Having a library that can bridge the physical/digital divide—offering cutting-edge services and deep research collections in tandem—will make the FAL one of the major jewels in the Cornell University Library crown and will serve to draw the best faculty and students to this amazing university on the hill.”AAP

Hospitality, Real Estate in China Set to Boom, Summit Finds The future lies in China’s emerging middle class, concluded participants at the “Cornell International Summit: Hospitality, Real Estate, and the Built Environment,” held at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund on April 20. Cornell faculty, international business leaders, Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhao Wen, and other Chinese government officials gathered to examine the state of China’s hospitality and commercial real estate markets and discuss current trends, challenges, and opportunities. “In 10 years’ time, the middle class in China will be twice as large as the middle class in the U.S., and it will have twice the purchasing power,” said Keith Barr ’92, CEO of IHG Greater China, during a panel on service. This growth is pushing Chinese domestic hotel companies to build brands and is driving international companies to bring brands to China. The emerging middle class is also spurring a dramatic increase in the number of hotel rooms in the country. Many hotel executives on the program confirmed that China is the fastestgrowing region for their brands. They also explained how future progress would differ from past development; today, companies are planning significant growth in secondary and tertiary cities and are focusing on three- and four-star properties. Historically, international brands have been successful in China’s luxury segment, while domestic companies have succeeded in the budget sector. During the panel on urban interconnectedness, moderator Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean, noted that more than 50 percent of the world population already lives in cities. A sustainable future will mean fundamental changes in the ways cities and buildings are designed and how density is managed. Michael Manville, assistant professor of city and regional planning, noted that new technologies can fight traffic congestion; and Jenny Sabin, assistant professor of architecture, described her work applying biology and mathematics to the design of material structures. Half of the 275 summit attendees were Cornell alumni, and 14 faculty and staff attended from across the university. The conference included 39 speakers. The summit—which was copresented by the School of Hotel Administration, AAP, and Cornell’s Center for Real Estate and Finance—was held in collaboration with the Cornell Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference and the Cornell Hotel Society Asia Pacific Regional Meeting. The next Cornell International Hospitality Summit will be held in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2014.AAP

major publication on Neumann in English. Otto was the editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians from 1974 to 1981. He also explored the connections between architecture and music, publishing on Bach and his surroundings and teaching National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminars on Mozart’s Vienna and on Prague. “Henry Detweiler, Stephen Jacobs, and Chris Otto were the founding fathers of graduate studies in architectural history at Cornell,” says associate professor of architecture and Asian studies Bonnie MacDougall. “Chris’s broad and detailed understanding of Modernism made him a most valued colleague, and placed him at the very center of department intellectual life for more than 40 years.” Among his peers, current students, and alumni, Otto was admired for his teaching skills and dedication Professor of architecture Christian F. Otto died of to his students. He received Cornell’s Outstanding cancer on March 27. He was 72. As an architectural Educator and Paramount Professor awards during historian, his research included Modernism, 18thhis career and was a faculty fellow with Campus Life century Central Europe, New York City, and urbanism. Residential Programs. Known as a passionate and committed educator, he “To Chris, the university was a family of learners, continued to teach and meet with graduate students the most important members of which were students,” during his illness. Otto joined AAP in 1970. says longtime colleague Professor Henry Richardson. “Chris Otto was a mainstay of the department’s “He engaged them well beyond the classroom. His local long-standing commitment to the teaching of the and foreign study trips, such as ‘Going for Baroque,’ history of architecture and urban design to all of which he guided with great relish, were not only its students,” says Mark Cruvellier, architecture enjoyable but most revelatory. To be around Chris was department chair and the Nathaniel and Margaret to share in the richest of learning experiences. We will Owings Professor of Architecture. miss his sense of irony, great wit, and incisive insight.” Otto wrote, lectured, and taught on a range of time Otto was born in New York City, and received periods and architects. Among his publications are degrees from Swarthmore College and Columbia UniWeissenhof 1927 and the Modern Movement in Architecture versity. He is survived by his wife, Roberta Moudry ’81 (University of Chicago Press, 1991), coauthored with (M.A. ’90, Ph.D. HAUD ’95), and four children.AAP Richard Pommer; and Space into Light: The Churches of Balthasar Neumann (MIT Press, 1979), the first

Architecture Professor Christian Otto Dies

The Cornell Journal of Architecture looks at architecture’s enduring love affair with another discipline in its new issue, Mathematics. Issue 9 of the journal approaches that relationship from two angles, faculty editor Caroline O’Donnell said: “From the traditional point of view, in which proportion, order, and symmetry are the basis of architectural form; and from the contemporary perspective, as architecture opens up to computation, and with it, uncertainty, chaos, and unpredictability.” O’Donnell is an assistant professor and holds the Richard Meier Professorship of Architecture. Architects, artists, and writers contributed their various perspectives to the issue, which was edited by a team of 17 B.Arch. and M.Arch. students who participated in one or both semesters of O’Donnell’s seminar, Sojourns: Rethinking the Publication. Interviews in the new issue include “Error and Generation,” a discussion with artist James Siena (B.F.A. ’79); “A Conversation on Uncertainty,” with Milstein Hall project leader Shohei Shigematsu, a partner with Rem Koolhaas in OMA; and “A Strategy of Posing Questions,” with former AAP Dean Anthony Vidler, recently dean of the school of architecture at Cooper Union.AAP

Sculptor Josiah McElheny is the inaugural Teiger Visiting Artist, and will make multiple extended trips to Ithaca throughout the fall 2013 semester. Learn more about McElheny’s time on campus and about the Teiger Visiting Artist program at:

Thomas J. Campanella (M.L.A. ’91) joined the Department of City and Regional Planning as an associate professor effective July 1. Campanella comes to Cornell after a decade at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, where his subject area covered planning and landscape history, urban design, and the historical development of the built environment. After receiving his master’s degree in landscape architecture at Cornell, Campanella earned a Ph.D. in urban planning at MIT. Campanella has received Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Rome Prize fellowships, and is the author of several books including The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008); and Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (Yale University Press, 2003), winner of the Spiro Kostof Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.AAP

Mergold Joins Architecture Faculty The Department of Architecture has hired Aleksandr Mergold (B.Arch. ’00) as an assistant professor on a tenure track. Mergold, who was a visiting assistant professor of architecture at AAP (2008–12) and a lecturer on design and environmental analysis in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology (2012–13), is a partner at Austin+Mergold LLC, an architecture, landscape, and design practice in Philadelphia. His research is focused on a “design-and-adapt” approach that aims to repurpose the cheap, disposable elements in today’s construction, including infrastructure, images, technology, and resources. Mergold has contributed to the Cornell Journal of Architecture, and was a design director of the Unpacking the Nano exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (winter 2011). He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University.AAP

photo / provided

First Teiger Visiting Artist Appointed

Campanella Returns to Cornell

photo / provided

The latest issue of Association—a publication that brings together works produced by dozens of AAP students, faculty, and alumni—was released in May. This issue, volume 5, marks the return to print of the student-run publication founded in 2005. “The issue is unbound and without hierarchy: a collection of plates, each presenting a single project, unique in content, medium, scale, and character,” says the editorial team. The publication’s box becomes a framework for indexing, filtering, and categorizing the project plates, revealing commonalities and expanding the scope of each discipline through a series of descriptive tags, such as discipline, campus, technology, level of realization, size, and dimensionality. Editors-in-chief for the issue were Katie MacDonald (B.Arch. ’13), Kyle Schumann (B.Arch. ’13), Donald Solomon Silberman (B.Arch. ’13), and Mauricio Vieto (B.Arch. ’13). Associate professor of art and AAP associate dean Barry Perlus served as faculty advisor.AAP

photo / Udo Reisinger

photo / provided

Association Returns to Print with New Issue


Architecture Journal Explores Uncertainty, Idealism in Math


Jennifer Minner Named Assistant Professor Jennifer Minner has been appointed as an assistant professor on a tenure track in the Department of City and Regional Planning, effective July 1. Minner, who has been pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Texas–Austin, was awarded the position after a national search. Minner’s dissertation research is on preservation, adaptation, and redevelopment along commercial corridors. She also researches the use of information technology in historic preservation and planning, including geographic information systems (GIS). Minner received her M.R.P. from Portland State University, and is a past president of the Mid Tex Mod Chapter of Docomomo U.S. Prior to moving to Austin, Minner worked in planning and institutional research in Oregon and Washington, where she was a heritage commissioner and chair of the City of Olympia Heritage Commission.AAP News14 | Fall 2013

Spring 2013 Lectures Pedro Barbeito Germà Bel Sandow Birk Savitri Bisnath  Giorgio Andreotta Calò James Carpenter Pablo Castro Doryun Chong Emanuele Crialese Giorgio de Finis Ellen Fullman  Roland Halbe Carrie Hessler-Radelet  Gerald Hines Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon  Alberto Kalach  Joan Kee  Elizabeth McKeon Tod Papageorge Laura Saija Joel Sanders Paul Smoke Randy Stoecker Vani Subramanian Jonathan Thompson  Billie Tsien Yoshi Tsukamoto  Alexander Zaitchik Stefan Ziegler   6


Ph.D. CRP ’02



B.Arch. ’94, M.Arch. ’96 3

B.Arch. ’95






M.R.P ’06






Strauch Symposium Examines a Design of Biodiversity This year’s Hans and Roger Strauch Symposium on Sustainable Design, held on campus in February, tackled the complex issues of urban ecology—and the multitude of questions that surround the field. Since its emergence in the 1970s, urban ecology has produced a wealth of research that has led to the adoption of policies geared toward the preservation of species in and around cities. Most of these actions have addressed the city at the scale of urban planning, but rarely paid attention to building-scale architecture. The two-day symposium examined questions including: How might architecture actively support multispecies habitats? Can these habitats help replace the existing fossil fuel–dependent systems that underpin settlements with low-impact, ecologically integrated systems that leverage natural sources and material processing capacity? How does reimagining the city as a locus for multispecies, mutualistic interaction change the way we think about urban form and phenomenology? And finally, what are the appropriate models to study? Presenters included Maria Aiolova, Terreform ONE;

Philip Beesley, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo; Alexander Felson, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and School of Architecture, Yale University; Michael Hensel, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Mitchell Joachim, Terreform ONE; Marianne Krasny, Department of Natural Resources and director of the Civic Ecology Lab, Cornell University; Kevin Pratt, assistant professor of architecture, AAP; Jenny Sabin, assistant professor of architecture, AAP; Birger Sevaldson, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Søren Sørensen, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Jeffrey Turko, University of Brighton; keynote speaker Michael Wells, Bath School of Architecture and Civil Engineering; and Shu Yang,

School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania. The symposium was organized by Hensel, Pratt, and Sabin, and moderated by Dana Cupkova, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University; Caroline O’Donnell, assistant professor, Richard Meier Professorship of Architecture; and Liss C. Werner, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University. The symposium was made possible by a gift from Hans (B.Arch. ’80) and Roger ’78 Strauch, which supports continued engagement with the topic of sustainability through funding the annual symposia, as well as a visiting critic for a three-year period.AAP








Symposium Tackles a Grand Project Cornell’s Case Studies in Urban Development (CSUD) 2013, the latest in a series of symposia examining the interdisciplinary nature of complex urban projects, was held on campus on April 12. This year’s installment—“A Grand Project”—focused on the latest effort to complete the 133-acre Bunker Hill Redevelopment in downtown Los Angeles. Known as the Grand Avenue Project, and originally conceived of in the 1930s, this massive overhaul aims to create business, civic, and cultural venues for L.A. CSUD 2013 investigated the historic conditions and motivations that led to the razing of the original Victorian structures and landform of Bunker Hill; the evolution of the public-private enterprise to develop the site; the economic pressures that led to revisions to the original plans; and the individual contributions by the developers, landscape architects, architects, governmental agencies, and urban planners. Presenters included Associate Professor Jeffrey Chusid, CRP; Dana Cuff, professor of architecture, urban design, and urban planning at UCLA; Liz Diller, founding partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ed Dimendberg, professor of film and media studies, visual studies, and German at University of California– Irvine; Mark Foerster, the C. Bradley Olson Real Estate Faculty Fellow; Greg Hise, professor of history

at University of Nevada–Las Vegas; Simon Pastucha, director of the Urban Design Studio in the Los Angeles Department of City Planning; Mark Rios, founding principal of Rios Clementi Hale Studios; Don Spivack, former deputy chief of operations and policy at the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; and Bill Witte, president of Related California. Complementing the symposium was a photography exhibit in John Hartell Gallery that drew on the thousands of images that southern California photographer William Reagh took from the 1930s to 1991. AAP students curated and mounted the exhibit and conducted additional background research for CSUD 2013. The students involved were Alex Choe (M.P.S. RE ’14), Molly Messersmith (B.F.A. ’13), Martin Romo (M.R.P. ’13), and Apexa Subhashchandra Patel (M.Arch. ’16). CSUD 2013 was the sixth in the series of symposia supported by Matthew Witte (B.Arch. ’79) examining economic and political catalysts for development; the dynamic processes of land use regulation; the cultural and social contexts and frictions of urban transformation; and the architectural, landscape, and infrastructure design aspects that attend any largescale urban project.AAP

Liz Diller during “A Grand Project.”

Socialize with AAP  Cornell AAP Events and Exhibitions Cornell AAP Alumni

 witter T @CornellAAP

Party Wall

Caroline O’Donnell’s Party Wall, winner of the MoMA PS1 2013 Young Architects Program competition, opened in June in PS1’s courtyard and played host to the Warm Up music series all summer.

Assistant professor of architecture Caroline O’Donnell different times in different ways?’” said Berry Bergdoll, isn’t normally one for big speeches. For the opening chief curator of architecture and design at MoMA. of her installation Party Wall, in the courtyard of “Every year, a canopy appears, something familiar MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, however, she made an appears, and then something unbelievable appears— exception. “There are a lot of things that I could say such as this.” about the project,” she told a crowd of more than Composed of remaindered steel and wood recycled 200 guests in attendance for the June 27 opening. from skateboard manufacture, and ballasted by hot “I know who the audience is here tonight and I find air balloon–sized bladders of water, Party Wall not only myself returning to the idea of the shared wall: the met the demands of the contest—combining shade, party wall.” seating, and water with sustainability in mind—it also Party Wall, a Trojan horse–sized installation close incorporated elements of the urban landscape. to the future home of the Joan and Irwin Jacobs “I think we were conquered as a jury,” said Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, does quite a Pedro Gadanho, curator of MoMA’s Department of bit of talking for itself. Designed by O’Donnell, who Architecture and Design. “Caroline was offering a holds the Richard Meier Professorship of Architecture, structure that related to the scale of the city around us, and her team at CODA, an Ithaca-based architecture evoking some of the elements that we see around, like firm, Party Wall beat out 30 nominees to win the MoMA billboards and so on, [and had] this strategy of using PS1 2013 Young Architects Program competition. The byproducts of skateboard production . . . as the recycled annual contest is designed to engage young, innovative element that would go to waste, and to transform architects in creating a temporary structure for them into a beautiful rendered lace structure of installation in the courtyard of PS1. architecture.” “Every year we enter into the jury for the young A group of Cornell undergraduates, graduates, architects program and we think, ‘What can somebody and first-year teaching associates were among those do that will really stun us and surprise us in this who assisted with the Party Wall project. During courtyard that has already been transformed 13 or 14 “Skateboard Saturdays” in Ithaca, they turned 3,000

pieces of remaindered skateboard cutouts into 150 panels used to build the structure. “The crew that helped us, the Cornell student and alumni volunteers over the last five weeks have been a really stellar group and have taught me a lot about attitude being everything,” O’Donnell said. Seeing the project come together, particularly with the help of undergraduate students, was a particular point of pride for Kent Kleinman. “I’m enormously proud of Caroline and the team,” he said. “It feels really, really great to have this happen on this stage, outside of Ithaca, in this context where Cornell’s presence in New York is so important. I couldn’t be happier.” Pat Govang, CEO of Comet Action Sports, the Ithaca-based skateboard company who supplied the wood necessary to build Party Wall, shared Kleinman’s enthusiasm. “It was great to walk in and just see it,” Govang said. “We had seen the pictures. We had seen the boards going out the door for the last couple of months. It’s fantastic beyond my wild expectations.”AAP



1. Party Wall lived up to its name at a second opening, with an alumni reception and dance party on July 9 that drew more than 500 attendees, including alumni from all of Cornell’s colleges and professional schools with class years spanning from 1954 to 2015. 2. Individual pieces of wood are artfully hung to create the mosaic wall. 3. Attendees of the July 9 reception party among pieces of remaindered wood. 4. Bladders of water, each the size of a hot-air balloon, ballast the Party Wall. 5. O’Donnell addresses the crowd at the alumni gathering on July 9. 2


photo 1: Robert Barker / University Photography; photos 2–5: Zachary Tyler Newton (M.Arch. ’10)




News14 | Fall 2013

Small Town Roots to Big City Pace: M.Arch. Student James Blair Keeps Busy

There are about 6,000 people in Whitefish, where James Blair (M.Arch. ’13) grew up, and almost as much water as land. The town bills itself as “Montana’s outdoor recreation playground,” and though there aren’t any buildings of architectural note, it’s only a short drive to Glacier National Park, which contains over a million acres of wilderness. For the teenage Blair, surrounded by places to fish, swim, hike, and ski, anything sounded better than academics.

“I didn’t care much about high school, and I wasn’t planning on going to college,” he says, sitting on the couch of his first-floor apartment on West Hill in Ithaca. “My friends from back home all laugh that I’m going to grad school, because I was the last one they thought would do something like this. But after working in a lumber mill, I decided college might be the best thing.” He’d always liked building projects with his father, and while at Flathead Valley Community College he wandered into a goldsmithing class and was surprised to learn how much he enjoyed design. Encouraged by a guidance counselor, he continued to Bozeman, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape design at Montana State University, and was in the process of applying to the master’s program when he changed direction. “As I was finishing up, I took an intro to architecture class,” he says. “It was incredible, just so much fun, and it blew my mind.” So he earned a second bachelor’s in environmental design, completed an internship in New York City, and stayed there to work at a small firm in Midtown Manhattan, where he rendered

images for presentation, red-lined drawings, inspected “There were some abandoned lumber mills in town, project sites, and worked closely with contractors and as kids, we’d go exploring them,” says Blair, who and clients. finished the sukkah in time to catch the bus to New It was on-the-job training at a New York pace says York City, pick up his fiancée, and begin a road trip Blair, like “drinking water out of a fire hydrant,” and, together through the South. “They were such incredible after two years, he was ready to go back to school. By spaces, with saws and boilers and catwalks, and then, he knew what he needed next: a Cornell master’s everything about them was just so amazing. That’s what of architecture. Since arriving in fall 2011, everything led me to this idea, and in trying to pick a site, I looked he’s done has been focused on reaching that goal. at ship-dismantling facilities in Texas and lumber mills In Associate Professor Vince Mulcahy’s comprein Louisiana before deciding on coal mines, probably in hensive design studio, Blair studied the variety of soils, West Virginia. On the stretch we drove, that’s all there plants, and topography on a Seneca Lake winery in was to see: coal. It was coal mining or nothing.” order to create a multiple-use microwinery/guest house, With one semester to go, it’s too early for Blair to with two lower floors dedicated to production and two know where his thesis will land, but he’s expecting upper floors to residences; for this he was named a to focus on the relationship between architecture finalist in the Ken Roberts Architectural Delineation and collective narrative, finding commonalities Competition. With Assistant Professor Jenny Sabin, within company-town memory and “mapping out the he used Nike’s new Flyknit technology to erect a emotional trails of people’s experiences.” But before he bio-inspired textile pavilion from photo-luminescent, could start writing, he had more pressing deadlines: solar-active, reflective threads. While in residence at Over the summer, he compiled his portfolio and worked AAP NYC for a semester, he investigated the boundary as a teaching associate for Introduction to Architecture. between city and nature in Pelham Bay, which lies on With a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts, he the Bronx’s east shore, then traveled to Mumbai for a and Mia Kang (M.Arch. ’13) are collaborating on an comparative study of how the city engages with water, installation that explores the connections between and how its pipelines distribute enough water for 13 ceramics, sound, and the human body, which will be million people. on view in John Hartell Gallery in September. He and Back in Ithaca, he worked as a teaching assistant Freedman have talked about entering a competition in for Visiting Critic Amber Bartosh; analyzed the Berlin, and establishing a regular routine of all-nighters geometry of water use in a bathhouse; examined an as future opportunities arise. alternative to a type of concrete called pycrete, which “There are all these different challenges,” says Blair, is a combination of wood chips and ice; ate lunch with who plans to relocate to San Francisco after graduation. Lord Peter Palumbo, chair of the Pritzker Architecture “To me, that’s what architecture is about. You find a Prize jury; flew to Madrid to study a slaughterhouse problem and you have to solve it—just like when I was that had been repurposed as a cultural center; spent growing up, building with my dad. At the time, school an all-nighter with Jason Freedman (M.Arch. ’13) on a never really got into my head, but now, these challenges competition entry for Toronto’s Sukkahville, proposing are mine. I love academia, and I just want to keep going. a three-sided plywood structure with a ceiling made of I could have stayed in Montana and finished my six-pointed stars to be used during the Jewish holiday master’s there, but I was looking for bigger, harder of Sukkot; and began planning a graduate thesis about puzzles to solve. That’s why I came to Cornell, and I’m one-industry towns, inspired by the factory buildings of so happy I did.”AAP Kenny Berkowitz his youth.



Alumnus Robert Pirani Leads Charge to Green the New York City Metro Area For more than a decade, Governors Island was an often-ignored, 172-acre expanse of abandoned military buildings and parade grounds a half mile from the southern tip of Manhattan. But over the last several years, the property has been transformed into a public space where stone forts, shady lawns, historic carousels, and artist studios attract 9,000 people a day during summer weekends.

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg is credited with committing more than $250 million to renovate the historic buildings and build parkland, another key player in the revitalization of the former army base is the Manhattan-based Regional Plan Association (RPA) where alumnus Robert Pirani (M.R.P. ’89) leads research and advocacy efforts that guide development for the New York City metropolitan area. “The RPA helped galvanize public support for the island becoming a park, and, working with a variety of elected officials, helped to achieve that vision,” says Pirani, who is vice president for energy and environment for the RPA. The rejuvenation of Governors Island is just one of many projects in the tri-state area in which Pirani has worked to preserve or protect natural resources so that public access to newly created recreation areas and watersheds is increased. In New Jersey, Pirani helped lead efforts to protect the Appalachian Highlands, a swath of forested hills and valleys that provides clean drinking water to more than five million state residents. Working with elected officials, the U.S. Forest Service, and the non-profit Highlands Coalition, Pirani helped create a regional planning commission that has permanently protected over 415,000 acres of critical watershed lands while encouraging local government to modify local zoning codes in another 444,000 acres. More recently, Pirani has helped garner support from residents and elected officials to create a 14-mile greenway along the Brooklyn waterfront. The RPA helped create a local community group to champion the initiative and worked with the city’s Department of Transportation to prepare an implementation plan. Today, five miles of the walkway have been built. “My work has always been about the relationship between natural resources and land-use planning,” Pirani says. “Whether it’s creating park space in urban areas along the waterfronts or protecting drinking water in more rural areas, it’s always been about: How do you protect ecological systems while at the same time insuring that the community can grow and change?” With a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Hampshire College, Pirani arrived at Cornell in the fall of 1984 with the hope of gaining an understanding of how planning could address environmental policy and advocacy in the framework of land-use decisions. While working on his master’s degree, Pirani took courses in natural resources in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in remote sensing in the College of Engineering. “Cornell introduced me to urban planning as a profession,” Pirani says. “Through both the coursework and working with some of the professors on projects, it gave me a perspective on how planners can affect change in the world.” One critical skill Pirani learned at Cornell was the method of gathering compelling and mind-changing information to inform the planning process. “The idea of planning as preparing information for decision makers, I think Cornell helps you to understand how to best assemble that information and how to differentiate between the kinds of decision makers, whether it’s community groups, elected officials, or other stakeholders,” he says. After working for the Berkshire County Regional Planning

photo / Nancy Borowick

Association in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Pirani was offered an internship at the RPA in the spring of 1986. Using the skills he had learned in his engineering class at Cornell, Pirani was hired to create maps for the association, which led to a fulltime position that fall. The devastation of coastal communities in New York and New Jersey caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 has raised a new set of issues for RPA to address. The group is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on a design competition to create innovative methods for adapting coastlines to hurricanes and the rising sealevel associated with global warming. “With the world changing, we need to adapt our coastlines in the metropolitan area to a changing climate,” Pirani says. “We’re going to need to rethink business as usual so we don’t just rebuild in place.” Because scientists project that hurricanes and nor’easters will occur more frequently in the coming years, local governments may need to consider measures that will protect wetlands and create flood walls and levies. “In an urban area like New York City, you need to integrate that into existing communities,” Pirani says. “How you do that in an equitable and environmentally sustainable way is a great challenge.”

Another project that is drawing Pirani’s attention is RPA’s development of the fourth regional plan for the metropolitan area. In its 90-year history, the RPA has created three regional plans that analyze the long-term challenges and opportunities for the New York City area. “In our region, there is no governmental entity that looks at the whole metropolitan area,” says Pirani, who lives in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in Manhattan. “Public or private, we are the only institution that looks at all three states.” Pirani will give a lecture on the proposed regional plan at Cornell on October 18. He hopes that his talk, “Toward a More Resilient Region: Developing a Fourth Regional Plan for the NY-NJ-CT Metropolitan Area,” will generate some ideas about the plan when he visits campus. “I’m excited to be able to present some of our early concepts to people at the planning school and to get feedback on how these plans set a template for planning in terms of how to think about New York and its future,” he says. “We want to make sure by having conversations like the one at Cornell, we are going to be able to tap into that knowledge base of the faculty and students.”AAP Sherrie Negrea News14 | Fall 2013

Profiles Around the World with Associate Professor Maria Park At the start of the year, Maria Park knew exactly what she was going to do during her semester in Rome. But soon after arriving, she found herself reevaluating her latest project, a group of pieces inspired by Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451.

“Being in Rome, suddenly my whole routine was thrown out the window, and all the things I thought were working in the studio at home didn’t seem to be working in the same way anymore,” says the recently promoted associate professor of art, talking in her studio on the fourth floor of Tjaden Hall. “Walking a lot and commuting on buses to sites around the city, I had a chance to think about the problems in the work. It was during those times that new ideas came to me.” Set in a dystopian future where reading is against the law, and named after the temperature at which paper catches fire, Fahrenheit 451 opens with a scene of “firemen” methodically ransacking an apartment, bagging all the books they find, and burning them to ashes. It’s that sequence, those images—a bag of books tossed off a balcony, slowly falling four flights, and crashing onto the pavement below—that Park has rendered in acrylic, reverse-painted on Plexiglas, along with larger, life-size paintings of the bag of books and of books on shelves. Park likes to work in series, and she expects to spend the next year working on this project, preparing for upcoming solo exhibitions at galleries in San Francisco and New York City, and using her sabbatic to explore these ideas, following wherever they lead. Her paintings have already been to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Seattle, Miami, St. Louis, Chicago, Houston, Santa Rosa, Moscow, Beijing, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Paris, London, and Seoul. Along the way, Park has received the Cornell University Watts Prize for Faculty Excellence (2008), an M.F.A. Grant Award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2003), a Korea Arts Foundation of America Award (2002), and a commission for a permanent installation by the Johns Hopkins Hospital (2012). Born in Germany, where her father worked as a high-energy physicist, Park moved to California as a toddler, then to South Korea, then back to California by the time she was nine years old. In all those places her father worked—including the Max Planck Institute, the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science, HP Labs, and Sun Microsystems—the young Park was surrounded by graduate students and research work, which makes her feel particularly at home in academia and with teaching art within the context of a major research institution. She was also surrounded by science fiction, which was the inspiration for an earlier group of paintings based on a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey; and by books, which have helped draw her to this latest series. “Whenever I look at a book, or at a shelf of books, I can see all the things I don’t yet know,” says Park, who teaches classes in drawing and painting. “There’s a longing for more, but more than information, it’s a relationship of ideas, a relationship of knowledge that is exciting to me. There’s always more that I don’t know, more that I should know, and that can be intimidating, overwhelming—especially at a place like Cornell. But there’s also always the possibility of orienting oneself at any given point, of finding correspondences between ideas and experience. Books are the promise of more, the beckoning beyond the present moment, evidence of the abundance of life.” In Italy, that abundance brought her new friendships, the paintings and frescoes of Caravaggio and Fra Angelico, lush Roman parks, and the surprises of traveling with her two young children, Lucy and Joseph, who were befriended by her students in the same way she’d been befriended by her father’s students in South Korea. In one field trip after another, the semester provided an ongoing conversation with the past—between the first and the twenty-first centuries— and daily interactions with her students both inside and outside the classroom, visiting sites from the ancient cave-city of Matera, to the Vitra Campus outside Basel, to the still active marble quarries in the mountains of Carrara. Travel meant being away from her studio and working small, focusing her energy on the paintings of books on shelves, each Plexiglas panel no bigger than two sheets of notebook paper. Coming back to the familiarity of Ithaca, Park talks about her time in Rome as feeling like a dream. It’s only after unpacking and seeing the paintings again that she “was reminded of the time and circumstances around the work, and it made the semester in Rome seem much more real, as if it were present again. “I want my work to feel both interesting and right,” she continues, not yet sure how much of the work around her will be part of her next show. “It always takes time to test things out, so with each project, I do several stages of experimenting, thinking through ideas until the project becomes much more specific. It’s been great to be away, to have these moments of intense life, intense traveling, intense looking, intense talking, because you get to appreciate things you don’t otherwise experience. But now that I’m in my studio again, it’s definitely nice to get back into the routine of making work.”AAP Kenny Berkowitz

Burberratory: A Thesis on Assemblage Julia Gamolina (B.Arch. ’13) “I explored how an identity could be presented architecturally—through siting, form, tectonics, materials, activities, atmospheres, and journeys. Culminating in an iconic epicenter that combines the store, factory, and public space on the banks of the Thames, Burberratory collects and assembles ideas and objects both from Burberry’s rich heritage and bold, contemporary image.”

Dragon Holi The spirited Dragon Day 2013 brought its colorful exuberance to campus.

Student News Eva Birk (M.R.P. ’13) displayed a poster and made a presentation titled “Coordinating LandscapeBased Controls: Lessons from Multi-Party, Integrated Clean Water Permits” at the annual American Planning Association conference held in Chicago in April. Also presenting was Professor Mildred Warner, who addressed the topic of multigenerational planning at sessions focused on aging. Six students from Warner’s workshop, Economic and Community Development: Multigenerational Planning, accompanied her to the conference: Danielle Dunn (M.R.P. ’14), Xiaomeng Li (M.R.P. ’14), Victoria Long (M.R.P. ’14), Haylee Madfis (M.R.P. ’14), Abby Rivin (M.R.P. ’14), and Danai Zaire (M.R.P. ’14). A team of Cornell students received honorable mention in the 2013 Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition. The juried competition selected the team’s project from among 149 entries representing 70 universities in the U.S. and Canada. Team members included Yang Chen (M.L.A. ’14), Jia Li (M.R.P. ’14), Man Su (B.Arch. ’13), and Qianqian Ye (M.L.A. ’14). Faculty members H. Pike Oliver, CRP, and Marc Miller, landscape architecture, advised the team. Schoolhouse South Africa, a project designed and built by Cornell University Sustainable Design (CUSD), recently received two prestigious awards: the Popular Choice Award in Architizer A+ Awards’ Student Design/Build Project category, and the Engineering News Record (ENR) Global Best Projects Award for Best Small Project. AAP students who worked on Schoolhouse South Africa include Mercedes Cuvi (B.Arch. ’13), Carly Dean (B.Arch. ’14), Mary Bray Erickson (B.Arch.’14), Andrew Fu (B.Arch. ’14), Mikhail Grinwald (B.Arch. ’13), Stephanie Gitto (B.Arch. ’14), Peter Gudonis (B.Arch. ’14), Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin (B.Arch. ’13), Shuping Liu (B.Arch. ’14), Lexi Quint (B.S. URS ’15), and Eric Rutgers (B.Arch. ’11).

AAP Team Wins Bacon A plan by a team of five Cornell graduate students calling for the removal of part of a Philadelphia highway to make way for a public riverfront arcade received first place in an international student design competition sponsored by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. This was the third time a Cornell team has won the top prize in the six-year-old Ed Bacon Student Design Competition, which is dedicated to the vision and legacy of Philadelphia’s former city planning director, Edmund N. Bacon (B.Arch. ’32). The objective of this year’s contest was to create a plan to integrate a major transportation hub, which includes an Amtrak corridor and Interstate 76, with the city’s central core. The team included Logan Axelson (M.R.P. ’13), Caleb Cheng (M.R.P. ’13), Katherine Li (M.L.A. ’13), Jesse Nicholson (M.L.A. ’13), and Travis North (M.L.A./M.R.P. ’13). After the winners of the competition were announced, Cornell’s plan, called SHIFT (Smart Hub Infrastructure for Tomorrow), was praised by two Philadelphia media organizations for its bold vision for proposing removal of part of the highway. “It seems that our team really landed on a concept that resonates with a few folks,” said H. Pike Oliver, the team’s advisor and a senior lecturer in city and regional planning.AAP

In May, Yoonjee Koh (B.Arch. ’13) received an Award of Excellence in the student category of the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) New York Council 18th Annual Design Awards for The Kelp House, a project from the spring 2012 Icelandic Farmhouse option studio taught by Associate Professor Andrea Simitch. Courtney Knapp, Ph.D. candidate in CRP, coordinated the Graduate Student Engaged Research Conference in May. The conference, which aimed to establish long-term collaborations between graduates and mentors across the Northeast and Upstate New York regions, involved students and faculty from across campus, and was cosponsored by the Engaged Learning and Research Initiative and the Cornell Participatory Action Research Network.

LDR-Lab Publishes Práctica Latino Design and Research Lab (LDRLab), a student organization dedicated to the planning and design of culturally, environmentally, and economically sustainable Latino communities, recently published the first issue of Práctica. The journal features a collection of practitioner profiles, research articles, field reports, and public policy papers that focus on a range of issues that impact Latino communities in the United States and abroad. Práctica is distributed across Cornell, to planning programs around the country, prominent alumni and practitioners, and select bookstores. AAP students working on the publication include editor in chief Luis Angel Martinez (M.R.P. ’13); contributing editors Ben Cummins (M.R.P. ’13), Maren Hill (M.R.P. ’13), and Inna Kitaychik (M.R.P. ’13); and contributor Katherine Filardo (M.R.P. ’13). Professor John Forester, CRP, provided advisory support. The staff plans to publish the journal twice a year.AAP

Two teams of AAP students were finalists in the Tokyo Replay Center competition, organized by ARCHmedium. The competition aimed to develop a new leisure center in central Tokyo that fit with the lifestyle of Japanese society while offering a new method of entertainment designed especially for them. Team members included Natalie Kwee (B.Arch. ’13), Karen “Chi-Chi” Lin (B.Arch. ’13), and Mauricio Vieto (B.Arch. ’13). Hannah Levy (B.F.A. ’13) won a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) graduate study scholarship in the arts this spring. She will use the scholarship for tuition, living, and travel expenses for the next year while attending the Städelschule in Frankfurt, where she will study with artist Tobias Rehberger. In May, as students, faculty, and friends looked on, Andrew Hart (M.Arch. ’13) re-created one of the early works of Gordon MattaClark—the inflation of a winding plastic tube. The installation, lasting about two hours, was on the site of the original exhibit: the Buffalo Street home of LeGrace Benson, art historian and Matta-Clark’s former professor. Matta-Clark’s 1969 work had no photographic record, so, for his research, Hart interviewed many who were present at the original exhibit, including Benson, Professor Jerry Wells, Professor Kent Hubbell, and filmmaker Marilyn Rivchin, who documented the groundbreaking Earth Art exhibition in which Matta-Clark played a pivotal role.AAP

photo / provided

Three CRP Ph.D. candidates will be starting academic jobs next semester. Javier PerezBurgos (Ph.D. CRP) will be an assistant professor at Universidad de los Andes’s Public Policy School in Bogota, Colombia; Sheryl-Ann Simpson (Ph.D. CRP) will be an assistant professor at University of California, Davis; and Gunawan Wicaksono (Ph.D. RS) will be an Indonesian research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.AAP



CRP Grad Students Take Their Papers on the Road During the spring semester, a number of CRP students had the opportunity to present papers on a wide variety of topics at conferences across the country. Ben Cummins (M.R.P. ’13) presented “How Close Is Close Enough? Statistical Equivalence of Onboard Versus Online Surveys of Transit Customers” at the Transportation Research Board’s 92nd annual meeting in January, in Washington, DC. The paper described statistical methods borrowed from the medical sciences and applied to market research; it attempted to answer the question, “Can we survey people more cheaply online and still get usable data?” Traveling from Los Angeles to Saratoga Springs, Rebecca Jablonski (Ph.D. CRP ’14) presented several papers, including “The Effect of ‘Local’ and ‘Scale’ in Local Agri-Food Systems” at the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference in Los Angeles in April; “Estimating the Economic Impacts of Local Foods” at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in Washington, DC, in March; “New Research on Food Hubs: Building a Methodology to Assess Economic Impact” for the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in Saratoga Springs in February; and “Promoting Food Hubs: Update on Farm to Market Projects in NYS,” coauthored with T. M. Schmit and D. Kay, for the New York State Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Albany in February. In April, Xiaomeng “Sylvia” Li (M.R.P. ’14) presented an issue brief titled “Reconnecting Planning to Health: The Multigenerational Approach” at the APA National Planning Conference in Chicago. Her paper addressed how multigenerational planning can be an effective method of tackling health challenges in the face of skyrocketing health-care costs and the declining health of the U.S. population. By linking together each age group’s diverse yet complementary health needs, she argued, this type of approach addresses the multidimensional elements of health, and can bring more funding opportunities to planners to create healthier communities for people of all ages. Melanie Sand (Ph.D. CRP ’16) presented the paper “Public Space: The Local Challenges of Place-Making” at “Building the 21st Century City: Inclusion, Innovation, and Globalization,” the Urban Affairs Association annual conference in April, in San Francisco. The paper explored how designing viable, equitable, and safe public spaces entails a massive amount of foresight by architects, planners, and urban designers, and presents a set of unique challenges for the design professional as constructs of modern society change and evolve. Other students presented papers at the Urban Affairs Annual Association Conference as well, including George Homsey (Ph.D. CRP ’13), and Ph.D. CRP candidates Silvano de la Llata Gonzalez, Courtney Knapp, Katelin Olsen (M.A. HPP ’09), Xiaoling Li, Shoshana Goldstein, and Zhilin Liu (Ph.D. CRP ’07). AAP

The opening reception for Free School, the M.F.A. exhibition on display in May at the Gary Snyder Project Space, in Chelsea. On the occasion of the exhibition, a catalog of student work was published featuring an essay by noted writer and critic Chris Kraus.AAP


HAUD Hosts Virtual Research Exchange


Notes from the Archive, a collaborative research exchange between AAP’s History of Architecture and Urban Development (HAUD) program and the Ph.D. program in architectural history and theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, took place in February via web conference. The session was aimed at addressing core questions of writing architectural history and theory in image and in text. Students and faculty were encouraged to bring current, unpolished work to the discussion, in order to help think about methodological challenges. Presentations given by HAUD Ph.D. candidates Elvan Cobb and Margot Lystra, and Bartlett students Kalliopi Amygdalou and Eva Branscome, sparked lively discussions around the state of architectural research within and across both institutions. The session was attended by architecture faculty members Medina Lasansky, associate professor; Mark Morris, visiting associate professor; Christian Otto, professor; and Mary Woods, Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architecture; as well as Sara Pritchard, from the Department of Science and Technology Studies in Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. Organizers Sophie Hochhäusl, Ph.D. HAUD candidate, and Torsten Lange from Bartlett, hope to continue the event in the 2013–14 academic year.AAP

Peace Corps Volunteer Examines Rural Electrification in Lesotho As a participant in the Master’s International program, which combines Peace Corps service with graduate study, Juliana Fulton (M.R.P. ’13) spent two years in Lesotho in southern Africa. Her primary responsibility there was coordinating community outreach in the village of Ha Mali; however, she also focused on her master’s thesis topic, examining how modernization and the introduction of electricity would impact the lives of the village residents. Fulton’s thesis project involved extensive research and fieldwork, and included both qualitative (life-story interviews) and quantitative research (two household surveys of all 205 families in the village). Based on her observations, Fulton predicted that Ha Mali would experience increased commodification, and decreased socialization and time spent helping neighbors, which would ultimately lead to a loss of social capital. “While the data from the surveys and some longer interviews with village elders revealed many positive effects from electricity, the effects on life satisfaction and socialization varied greatly by gender,” says Fulton. Whereas women experienced an increase in life satisfaction and free time, men were less satisfied and reported decreases in the number of times they helped neighbors. Fulton acknowledges that her study covers only a limited period of time, which makes it difficult to understand the long-term effects of bringing electricity into the village. However, her hope is that the study will be useful to others seeking to understand the effects of rural electrification.AAP

1. Residents of Ha Mali, in Lesotho, work amongst the newly installed electrical poles. photo / Juliana Fulton 2. Participants converse via web conference during the Notes from the Archive exchange. photo / provided

News14 | Fall 2013

photo / provided


2012–13 Student Academic Awards Architecture Awards & Prizes

Art Awards & Prizes

Edward Palmer York Memorial Prize Jamie (Sun Jae) Choi (B.Arch. ’17) Pamela Chueh (B.Arch. ’17) Vinayak Portonovo (B.Arch. ’17) Daniel Preston (B.Arch. ’17)

Faculty Medal of Art Anne Wu (B.F.A. ’13)

Paul Dickinson Prize Andrew Moorman (B.Arch. ’16) Baird Prize First Prize: Isidoro Michan Guindi (B.Arch. ’15) Second Prize: Veronica Guzman (B.Arch. ’16) Hyemin Jang (B.Arch. ’16) Ben Kessler (B.Arch. ’16) George How Summer Travel Award Sejung Song (B.Arch. ’16) Oppenheim Family Travel Award Da Ye Lee (B.Arch. ’13)

A Fresh Wall of Sustainability To show the potential of design to respond to a burgeoning global population and dwindling arable land, architecture students created a thought-provoking solution: growing mint, chives, and basil at a bar. Using local and recycled materials, Nicholas CassabGheta (B.Arch. ’14), Carly Dean (B.Arch. ’14), and Peter Gudonis (B.Arch. ’14) created the Hydroponic Bottle Wall in April at Stella’s restaurant in Collegetown. Twenty-four wine bottles were mounted on a double-sided wall and fitted with an exposed hydroponic growing system.AAP

Curtains Up in Albion: HPP 2013 Work Weekend The 2013 historic preservation planning (HPP) work weekend, which took place from April 18 to 21, focused on restoring sections of the historic Pratt Opera House in Albion, New York. Situated only a few steps from the Erie Canal, the opera house served the local and traveling public for decades, with seating for hundreds of patrons in its third floor, high-ceilinged space. Now being restored through the efforts of the Albion Main Street Alliance and project leader Katelin Olsen (M.A. HPP ’09), the site hosted 35 Cornell students, alumni, and professors for the weekend, who focused on tasks including glazing, painting, and masonry. Each spring, the HPP work weekend provides an opportunity for current students, faculty, and alumni to collaborate in an attempt to preserve a historic property through shared knowledge and hands-on efforts. Next year’s site will be determined in November. AAP

Smith to Lead Student Assembly In March, Ulysses Smith (B.S. URS ’14) was elected president of the Cornell Student Assembly for the 2013–14 academic year. Smith, who has served on the assembly since his first year at Cornell, previously held the office of vice president for diversity and inclusion. He plans to continue many of the Student Assembly’s current initiatives, including improving campus safety and working with the Greek system. In addition, he hopes to make the assembly more transparent by improving its outreach programs and strengthening its physical presence on campus, as well as work with the administration to improve residential and community life. AAP

William Downing Prize Adrianne Ngam (B.Arch. ’13) Robert James Eidlitz Travel Fellowship Austin Beierle (B.Arch. ’12) Anton Dekom (B.Arch. ’12) Sebastian Hernandez (B.Arch. ’12) Ryan Glick (M.Arch. ’13) Justin Hui (B.Arch. ’11) Michael Jefferson (M.Arch. ’12) Suzanne Lettieri (M.Arch. ’12) Yoonjee Koh (B.Arch. ’13) Michelle Ruby Ray (M.L.A. ’14) A.I.A. Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit B.Arch. 1. Medal and Certificate: Mikhail Grinwald (B.Arch. ’13) 2. Certificate: Jacqueline Liu (B.Arch. ’12) M.Arch. 1. Medal and Certificate: William Smith (M.Arch. ’13) 2. Certificate: Dick Kar Ida Tam (M.Arch. ’13) Clifton Beckwith Brown Memorial Medal Jacqueline Liu (B.Arch. ’12) Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Award ARCH (silver): Meng Qi Sonny Xu (B.Arch. ’13) ARCH (bronze): Julia Gamolina (B.Arch. ’13) ARCH (bronze): Natalie Kwee (B.Arch. ’13) ARCH (bronze): Mauricio Vieto (B.Arch. ’13) Alpha Rho Chi Giffen Ott (B.Arch. ’13) Armando Rigau (M.Arch. ’13) The Eschweiler Prize for Merit and Distinction in M.Arch. Design Studio Shao Vivien Chen (M.Arch. ’13) Hyun Chung (M.Arch. ’13) Ryan Glick (M.Arch. ’13) Gunho Kim (M.Arch. ’13) Ruth Bentley Richmond Harold Shreve Award Ryan Glick (M.Arch. ’13) Noah Ives (M.Arch. ’13) The M.Arch.II Award for Outstanding Performance in Architecture Matthew Finn (M.Arch.II ’13) Andrew Hart (M.Arch.II ’13) A.I.A. Certificate of Merit Jacqueline Liu (B.Arch. ’13) Ida Tam (B.Arch. ’13) Merrill Presidential Scholar Mikhail Grinwald (B.Arch. ’13) Earl R. Flansburgh Merit Award Seijin Na (M.Arch. ’13)

Department of Art Distinguished Achievement Award Hannah Levy (B.F.A. ’13) Charles Baskerville Painting Award Christina Leung (M.F.A. ’13) Elsie Dinsmore Popkin ’58 Art Award Michael Picos (B.F.A. ’13) Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Award Jeremy Handrup (B.F.A. ’13) David R. Bean Prize in Fine Arts Woo Jung Oh (B.F.A. ’15) Ekaterina Savelieva (B.F.A. ’15) The Edith Adams and Walter King Stone Memorial Prize Joanna Baucic (B.F.A. ’14) Calvin Kim (B.F.A. ’15) Natani Notah (B.F.A. ’14) Jung-Ho Sohn (B.F.A. ’15) Rosebelle Tenaglia (B.F.A. ’14) The Gibian Rosewater Traveling Research Award Danni Shen (B.F.A. ’15) John Hartell Graduate Award Elizabeth Corkery (M.F.A. ’13) Gabrielle Wolodarski (M.F.A. ’13) Post-Baccalaureate Art Award Michelle Chen (B.F.A. ’13) Michael Picos (B.F.A. ’13) Anne Wu (B.F.A. ’13)

CRP Awards & Prizes Thomas W. Mackesey Award Eva Birk (M.R.P. ’13) American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award Jennifer Pierce (M.R.P. ’13) John W. Reps Award Caitlin Kolb (M.A. HPP ’13) Urban and Regional Studies Academic Achievement Award Martin Leung (B.S. URS ’13) Kevin Yen (B.S. URS ’13) Peter B. Andrews Memorial Theses Prize Chuyuan Zhong (M.R.P. ’12) Department of City and Regional Planning Graduate Community Service Award Marshall McCormick (M.R.P. ’13) Robert P. Liversidge III Memorial Book Award Luis Martinez (M.R.P. ’13) New York Upstate Chapter of American Planning Association Award for Outstanding Student Project George Frantz’s Fall 5072/3072 Land Use and Environmental Planning Field Workshop students: Daniel Dillon Clausner Jr. (M.R.P. ’13), Desmond Corley (M.R.P. ’13), Ben Cummins (M.R.P. ’13), Amy Ellingson (M.R.P. ’13), Katherine Filardo (M.R.P. ’13), Norton Clay Frickey III (M.R.P. ’13), Francis Ho (M.R.P. ’13), Jason Patch (M.P.S. RE ’13), and Kemberli Sargent (M.R.P. ’13) Urban and Regional Studies Community Service Award Katerina Athanasiou (B.S. URS ’13) Wei Onn Yuen (B.S. URS ’13) Portman Family Graduate Student Award Jia Li (M.R.P. ’14) Helen Schnoes (M.R.P. ’14) Pamela Mikus Graduate Fellowship Courtney Knapp (Ph.D. candidate) Michael Rapuano Memorial Award Logan Axelson (M.R.P. ’14)


Collage Erica Yong-Eun Cho (B.Arch. ’15) developed this collage in the spring visual representation course titled Collage: A Process, taught by associate professor of architecture Andrea Simitch.

Double Associate professor of art Michael Ashkin (left) and AAP photographer William Staffeld in Ashkin’s spring exhibition Architecture Is for Creeps, in Milstein Hall’s Bibliowicz Family Gallery.

Faculty News Michael Ashkin, associate professor, art, had an installation in a group exhibit at the Artsonje Center in Seoul, South Korea, from April 13 until June 23. He spent the early part of the summer as a Yaddo Residency Fellow. Associate Professor Victoria Beard, CRP, has been accepted into the Engaged Learning and Research Faculty Fellowship Program, a yearlong faculty cohort program designed to significantly enhance the capacity of Cornell faculty to conduct courses and develop research projects that directly engage the university with the community. Beard also presented a coauthored paper, “Using M&E to Support Performance Based Planning and Budgeting in Indonesia,” to the World Bank in January. Art department chair Iftikhar Dadi and his wife, Elizabeth Dadi, collaborated as part of a group exhibition titled Border Cultures: Part One (homes, land) on display in March at the Art Gallery of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Their installation, Efflorescence, was a series of four neon and mixed-media flowers that focused on the concept of nation-states and how they ascribe symbols exclusive to themselves in order to characterize their singularity. Dadi also presented at a symposium titled “Contemporary Art In Cambodia: A Historical Inquiry,” held on April 21 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The one-day session, which focused on the emerging contemporary arts scene in Cambodia, was co-organized by Cornell University and the Center for Khmer Studies as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week. Visiting associate professor of art Bill Gaskins premiered his short film The Meaning of Hope at the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) Film Theatre on February 16. The film examines the concept of hope through individual portraits of Detroit residents. In March, Assistant Professor Michael Manville, CRP, was part of a podcast on titled “Parking Is Hell.” Manville and other experts discussed the costs of free parking and parking reform movements across the country. Manville also published two new articles, “Turning Housing into Driving: Parking Requirements and Density in Los Angeles and New York” in Housing Policy Debate, and “Parking Requirements and Housing Development: Regulation and Reform in Los Angeles” in the Journal of the American Planning Association. Mark Morris, visiting associate professor of architecture, published two essays in two editions of Architectural Design: “iPastoral” appeared in an anthology issue titled “The New Pastoralism: Landscape into Architecture,” and “All Night Long: The Architectural Jazz of the Texas Rangers” appeared in an anthology issue on architectural drawing. Morris also delivered the kick-off lecture, titled “Paracosmic Overture,” at the “Future Cities 2: Other Worlds” conference in London in April. Jonathan Ochshorn, architecture professor and director of graduate studies, presented a paper titled “A Probabilistic Approach to Nonstructural Failure” at the Architectural Engineering Institute Conference at Pennsylvania State University in April. In May, Carl Ostendarp, associate professor of art, had an exhibit at the Elizabeth Dee Gallery booth at the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island, New York City. In addition, Ostendarp’s work was included on the cover and in the catalog of Smile: Amerikanische Kunst, produced by the Kienbaum group. In February, Jenny Sabin Studio, the firm of Assistant Professor Jenny Sabin, architecture, unveiled a 52-foot-long knitted structure commissioned by Nike FlyKnit Experience. The exhibit, titled myThread Berlin, opened on February 20 in Berlin, Germany. Sabin also coauthored a paper with Simin Wang (M.Arch. ’13), titled “Simulating Nonlinear Nano-to-Micro Scaled Material Properties and Effects at the Architectural Scale,” which was accepted by peer review and presented by Wang at the annual conference on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (SIMAUD) in San Diego. Mildred Warner, professor in CRP, received the David J. Allee and Paul R. Eberts Community and Economic Vitality Award in February. The award was presented at a research roundtable seminar, “Planning Across Generations.” In addition, Warner hosted an American Planning Association webinar for 400 planners on “aging in place” in February, and three sessions at the national APA conference in April. Her presentation to the Mayor’s Innovation Project in Washington, DC, in January, inspired syndicated columnist Neal Peirce to feature multigenerational planning in his weekly column on cities, “Cities for All: No Skipping Generations.” Also, Warner published issue briefs on “Planning for the Aging Population: Rural Responses to the Challenge,” “The Economic Importance of Families with Children,” and “Joint Use Agreements: School Community Collaborations” with Rebecca Baran-Rees (M.R.P. ’12) and Lydia Morken (M.R.P. ’12); coauthored a book, Rural Transformations and Rural Policies in the US and UK (Routledge); and published journal articles in Cities, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of the American Planning Association, Government and Policy, and Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

How We Teach: Architecture Pedagogy Featured in Puerto Rico Symposium In April, a cadre of current and former architecture faculty and alumni were the invited guests of the University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) School of Architecture. The occasion was the second in UPR’s symposium series examining the teaching of architecture. “The Evolution of Pedagogy: Architecture at Cornell,” featured presentations and panel discussions with Professor Jerry Wells, associate professors Lily Chi, Andrea Simitch (B.Arch. ’79), and Val Warke (B.Arch. ’77), Visiting Associate Professor Jim Williamson, former associate professor Milton Curry (B.Arch. ’88), and alumnae Hansy Better (B.Arch. ’98) and Gae Buckley (B.Arch. ’79). The symposium was hosted by Francisco Javier Rodríguez, dean of UPR’s architecture school, who has been conducting ongoing research on various forms of architectural teaching pedagogy and their histories. The event was organized by Rodriguez, Simitch, and Williamson. The Cornell participants presented in pairs, with each tackling a time period or thread of design pedagogy evident in the school in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. Simitch says that the structure meant that groups “gave a slice of the story that then came together to give the full picture of the past 50 years.” Wells and Warke led the first session, with Wells 1. Warke (left) and Wells during the symposium at the University of Puerto Rico. photo / provided

Professor Emeritus Charles Pearman Dies at 86 Charles W. Pearman, professor emeritus of architecture, died on May 10 at the age of 86. Pearman, who joined the faculty of AAP in 1962 and taught until his retirement in 2003, served as both associate dean and interim dean during his tenure. A recipient of the Martín Domínguez Award for Distinguished Teaching, Pearman was known as a patient, generous, and empathetic instructor. He regularly taught for Cornell in Rome, and was involved with the Cornell in Washington Program. Engaging his interest in a wide range of traditional and contemporary movements in Japanese architecture, Pearman led numerous summer program trips to Japan with Associate Professor Lenny Mirin. Pearman received his bachelor of architecture from the University of Michigan, where he also taught for several years. He is survived by his wife, Carol Skinner; his daughter, Marie-Laure Pearman; and his son, Peter Pearman.AAP


focusing on the roots of the legendary Texas Rangers, of which he and Colin Rowe were a part. Warke discussed the arrival of O. M. Ungers on campus in the 1970s, and the effects the binary Urban Design and Architectural Design graduate programs had on undergraduate education. For their pairing, Simitch and Williamson presented case studies of recent undergraduate and graduate work in the context of shifting and expanding representational tactics. Alumnae and practitioners Better and Buckley showed the outbound influence that architectural pedagogy can have in other realms of design— including film production design and social practice. The use of expanded practices, informality, and urban design were the subjects of Chi’s and Curry’s lectures, as they explored the role of design in the context of environments not driven by—or subject to—planning. Sessions were moderated by Cornell alumni Maria Rossí (B.Arch. ’98), Jorge Rigau (B.Arch. ’75), Victor Níeto (B.Arch. ’06), Javier Isado (B.Arch. ’95), and Esteban Sennyey (M.Arch. ’82)—all currently practicing or teaching in Puerto Rico. A large number of Cornell architecture’s alumni were also in attendance.AAP

Sabin Earns Shared NSF Grant Assistant Professor Jenny Sabin, architecture, and Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, are among the lead investigators on a new research project to produce “buildable, bendable, and biological materials” for a wide range of applications. The pair will share in a $2 million, four-year, National Science Foundation (NSF) grant with University of Pennsylvania researchers Randall Kamien, physics, and Shu Yang, materials science. The project is intended to bring new ideas, motifs, portability, and design to the formation of intricate chemical, biological, and architectural materials. The research will include cutting and joining nano-sized DNA-polymer hybrids, 3D printing, and geometric models on the macroscopic scale. Researchers also hope to illuminate new principles of architecture, materials synthesis, and biological structures, as well as advance several technologies—including metamaterials, sensors, stealth aircraft, and adaptive and sustainable buildings. A complementary goal is to generate public interest through an enhanced impact on science, art, and engineering.AAP

photo / provided


Editor's Note

Martín Domínguez: The Exile of Architecture considered one of the most ingenious works of 20thcentury Spanish architecture. Domínguez’s forced exile to Cuba occurred because of his participation in the construction of Madrid’s defenses in the initial moments of the Civil War, and also because of his well-known position as a liberal and a democrat. Domínguez belonged to a class of social and political elites, yet he demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the social problems of his time. In Havana, Domínguez found an ideal place to live and work, despite never having secured an official Cuban architectural license—a constraint that forced him to design with established Cuban architects. The first of these was Honorato Colete, with whom he completed, among other works, the Radio Centro Building (1947). Later, he worked with Miguel Gastón and Emilio del Junco to design the Plan Marianao (1950) and the Miramar Theater and Shopping Mall (1949). Last, he collaborated with Ernesto Gómez Samper to create the most applauded of his works in Cuba, the FOCSA Building (1952–56). In 1959, his proposed design for a monumental, 50-story building in Alamar called El Edificio Libertad was nominated for an important prize, but a confrontation with Fidel Castro mandated his withdrawal from the competition and subsequent exile from Cuba. Once at Cornell, Domínguez embarked on a truly rich phase of his career, one that centered on his teaching in Sibley Hall, but also included projects with the Ford Foundation and the School of Architecture in Puerto Rico. From a professional standpoint, he had the opportunity to collaborate with Peter Cohen in an assignment from Lyndon Johnson’s administration to undergo a vast urban renewal project in Rochester. During his years at Cornell, he developed a strong friendship with Colin Rowe, one of the most important thinkers in the field of urban theory. He also continued to maintain a deep friendship with the Spanish architect, Félix Candela, who had been exiled to Mexico. Domínguez arranged to bring Candela to Sibley Hall on various occasions to give lectures and classes. On the last night of his life, September 12, 1970, Domínguez ate dinner with Félix Candela in New York City, as they prepared a series of classes for the coming autumn. Rowe, Dean Kelly, and Félix Candela all participated in his funeral. A beautiful letter signed by Francisco García Lorca, the younger brother of Federico, arrived from New York and was read aloud to those gathered:

Gadeyne and Smith Publish Perspectives on Public Space in Rome Cornell in Rome instructors Jan Gadeyne, visiting critic, architecture, and Gregory Smith, visiting critic, CRP, recently published a book titled Perspectives on Public Space in Rome, from Antiquity to the Present Day (Ashgate, 2013). Organized chronologically into sections on antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, baroque, modern, and contemporary periods, the book provides readers interested in urban history with a collection of essays focused on the evolution of public space in Rome. Gadeyne and Smith were also the editors of the volume. The book was inspired by the authors’ participation in the 2011 Biennale dello Spazio Pubblico (BISP), an annual event in Rome that brings together academics, professional planners, and urban activists to assess and promote the design and use of public space in urban environments across the globe. Smith also organized a workshop at the 2013 BISP.AAP

photo / Nancy Borowick

Martín Domínguez tasted the bitter fate of exile for the second time at the beginning of 1960. Domínguez and his family gathered what few belongings they could fit in their car and, by way of Miami, entered the United States. They left behind them 23 years of life in Havana, a few memorable buildings, and a wide circle of friends. Their fortune had repeated itself. Just as this most recent confrontation with Fidel Castro ended in forced exile, years before, the victory of the fascists in the Spanish Civil War had made it impossible for Domínguez to practice architecture in his own country. Initially, Domínguez thought to stay nearby, in Miami. He hoped that the situation would become more peaceful in Cuba. As was the case in Spain, however, Domínguez soon sensed that this second rupture marked a defining change in his life, and so decided to move to New York City, where he had been offered a job at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union. However, his path took another unanticipated turn—the documents necessary to finalize his contract did not arrive from Spain in time and by the time they had, the position was filled by someone else. Domínguez thus chose to accept a new offer, this time from Cornell University. It was September of 1960 when Domínguez and his family arrived in Ithaca. Accompanied by his wife, Josefina, and their son, Martín, Domínguez drove onto campus in a beautiful Mercedes with seats of red leather and fine wood detailing that immediately called attention to the crowded vehicle. They brought several suitcases, a few folders filled with the work Domínguez had completed in Spain and Cuba, and a precious handful of books. Upon their hasty departure from Cuba, they decided that each member of the family could only choose one book from their library; they would not be able to fit more. Domínguez selected the complete works of Manuel Azaña—the president of the Spanish Republican government during the Civil War. Josefina chose a cookbook with Spanish recipes for cooking rice. The young Martín opted for the complete works of Federico García Lorca, his father’s classmate in the Student Residence of Madrid, who was later assassinated by Nationalists in Granada at the end of the summer in 1936. Domínguez’s impressive trajectory as an architect bolstered his appointment at Sibley Hall and his tenure as a visiting professor. In Spain, Domínguez had received his training at the School of Architecture of Madrid and at the Student Residence, an institution through which an entire generation of brilliant artists, scientists, and intellectuals—including Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, Severo Ochoa, and Luis Buñuel— had passed. Domínguez’s active period coincided with the great personalities of the 20th century, including Le Corbusier, with whom he would go on to enjoy a brief correspondence. During this period, he worked in association with the architect Carlos Arniches to design several important works, including the Auditorium of the Student Residence (Madrid, 1933), los Albergues de Carretera,* and most importantly, the Hippodrome of Zarzuela (Madrid, 1936). Today, the Hippodrome, which he designed with engineer Eduardo Torroja, is


AAP’s distinguished teaching award rotates among the departments. When it is conferred by the Department of Architecture, it is known as the Martín Domínguez Award for Distinguished Teaching. Domínguez was on the faculty from 1960 until his death in 1970. As time has passed, the knowledge of who he was has begun to fade— that is, until recently, when Spanish architectural historian Pablo Rabasco began research on a book about Domínguez’s life and work and his unusual path from Spain, through Cuba, and to Ithaca.

In the words of his friend Federico, words that he surely would have enjoyed, I might say, alluding to the fall of the tall poplar, our symbolic tree “I saw you descend as evening fell, and now I write your elegy, which is also mine.”AAP Dr. Pablo Rabasco, University of Cordoba, Spain Translated by Amber Rounds *Translator’s note: Los Albergues de Carretera were a series of popular hotels, built and managed by the state, that received great acclaim during the Second Republic of Spain.

AAP NYC visiting critic Mark Tsuramaki, architecture, in review as his comprehensive design studio students present their ideas for a new urban swim center located in Coney Island. Christopher and William Sharples of SHoP Architects also taught architecture studios at AAP NYC during the spring semester.AAP


Storm Tharp Tharp (B.F.A. ’92) (left) and Rebecca Ashby-Colon (B.F.A. ’13) work on Tharp’s mural Spring Picture (Aristocrat & Athlete) which was part of his exhibition Third Person (Part II) on display in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery in the spring. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum hosted Third Person (Part I) throughout the spring semester.AAP





Young, Local, and Active

Alumni Treated to Studio Art Tour in NYC

The first house designed by recent grad Austin Beirele (B.Arch. ’12) nears completion near Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca. AAP

Four AAP graduates who are now practicing artists in New York City opened up their studios to a group of 14 Cornellians for a tour that started in the South Bronx and ended on the Lower East Side. The fourth annual AAP Distinguished Artist Alumni Studio Tour, held on March 16, showcased the work of sculptor John Ahearn (B.F.A. ’73) (work seen above), collage artist Joel Carreiro (B.F.A. ’71), painter Elizabeth Dworkin (B.F.A. ’65), and painter and photographer Allison Wade-Wermager (M.F.A. ’06). In their studios, the artists described how attending Cornell influenced their work. Ahearn, who uses fiberglass to create life casts of working-class people in his South Bronx neighborhood, said his art is informed by two formative events at Cornell in 1969: the takeover of Willard Straight Hall by protesting African-American students; and the Spring Earth Art exhibition, a show of experimental art held at Cornell’s White Museum of Art (now the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art). “My experience of living in Ithaca as a student at Cornell was crucial to my art and self-identity,” Ahearn said. Carreiro, who studied collage at Cornell, creates tapestries using images from classical Western art, particularly from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Recalling his undergraduate years at Cornell, Carreiro said, “Ithaca is seductive in a good way. It is a great place to waste your time creatively.” Tour attendees included current AAP students, alumni working in art galleries or architectural firms, and other Cornellians involved in the New York City art world. The tour was led and organized by two AAP Alumni Advisory Council members, Peter D. Gerakaris (B.F.A. ’03) and Mark Gibian (B.F.A. ’77).AAP



New Book Lauds Urban Spontaneity Charles R. “Chuck” Wolfe’s (M.R.P. ’82) new book argues that a deep understanding of how, unprompted, urban dwellers successfully interact with each other and their environment is critical to the creation of “vibrant, sustainable” cities. In Urbanism Without Effort (Island Press, 2013), Wolfe asserts, “it is critical to first isolate these spontaneous and latent examples of successful urban land use, before applying any prescriptive government policies or initiatives.” Future highly functioning cities, Wolfe claims, should be modeled on the study of how people have functioned in both wellknown and lesser-known cities throughout history and in the present day. In addition to writing about urbanism, Wolfe is an attorney in Seattle. In his law practice he focuses on land use and environmental law, including the use of emergent land-use regulatory tools and sustainable development techniques and the redevelopment of infill properties. He is also an affiliate associate professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, where he teaches land-use law and contributes to research efforts addressing brownfield, urban-center, and transit-oriented redevelopment.AAP

Recent Alum Is Working on the Railroad

photo / provided

Attorney Nathaniel Guest (M.A. HPP ’11) may spend much of his day focused on real estate law, but his passion is his volunteer work to create a heritage railroad on the Colebrookdale line, a former Reading Railroad branch, 40 miles west of Philadelphia. Built during the Civil War, the Colebrookdale Railroad links Pottstown (in Montgomery County) with Boyertown (in Berks County) through several miles of scenic Pennsylvania landscape. The railroad connects the sites of the earliest iron-making industries in the American colonies—sites once familiar to William Penn, George Washington, and Thomas Edison. Several years ago, seeing an economic opportunity as a tourist attraction, Guest founded the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization with the goal of creating a tourist railroad along the historic tracks. Guest has gained the support of Berks and Montgomery counties, the Redevelopment Authority of Berks County, the boroughs of Pottstown and Boyertown, regional chambers of commerce, and a variety of business and cultural organizations. In 2012, the Trust raised $60,000 for an implementation plan

and economic impact study. The study, which will be released to the public soon, conservatively estimates that the railroad will create 200 jobs at implementation and more than 80 sustained jobs thereafter, and produce over $10 million in economic benefit to the region. As a longtime engineer and conductor on the steam trains on the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Guest is no stranger to railroads. He is also the preservation programs director and grants chairman for the National Railway Historical Society, the nation’s largest railway heritage organization, and serves on the Governance Committee of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania as well. Guest practices law at Wade, Goldstein, Landau, and Abruzzo in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and is a visiting lecturer in AAP’s Department of City and Regional Planning, where he teaches preservation law, economics, advocacy, and ethics.AAP

News14 | Fall 2013

photo / provided

Alumni Drawing on the City The Brain Trust series, co-organized by Perspective magazine and the Hong Kong Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, featured a live, two-city discussion between Hong Kong and New York City on June 13. The session was held at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Participants included Peter Eisenman (B.Arch. ’55); Jill Lerner (B.Arch. ’76), current president of New York City AIA; Michael Manfredi (M.Arch. ’80); William Lim (B.Arch. ’80, M.Arch. ’81), president of AIA Hong Kong; and Michael Lynch, chief executive officer, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. The session was moderated by AAP Dean Kent Kleinman, and coordinated by Christine Bruckner, IPP AIA Hong Kong and director of Calexian. Kleinman said that while statistics suggest that 51 percent of the world’s population live in cities, “we still don’t have a working definition of what it means to be a city.” He cited Colin Rowe’s 1981 essay, “The Present Urban Predicament,” wherein Rowe criticizes the modern city in which individual buildings strive to be independent objects, and argues for a more complex, fragmented, and collaged approach to both architecture and urban design. “This discussion will focus on the role of the city as a generator of architectural form, and the role of architecture as urban catalyst,” Kleinman said.

Are architecture and urban design the same thing? Kleinman: The problems facing global society— economic, social, and environmental—all have an urban dimension, so we need a working theory of urban design. I want to ask the panel this question: Fundamentally, do you agree with Rowe’s proposition that the shaping and forming of city space and the shaping of architectural space are essentially the same activity? Eisenman: One fundamental question regards the phenomenologist versus the conceptualist; in other words, the people who believe architecture is about presence, as opposed to the people who believe that architecture is also about absence. Then you’ve got the question of architecture and the city: Do we believe that it is possible to design something at one time; that is, is there such a thing as an urban plan? The real question is: Should we be thinking about the possibility in China of designing a city for a million people or not? My answer would always be that the partial condition is probably the one that would work. The scale of thinking about a million people is really questionable. While I think the city, the urban fabric, and architecture are the same thing, I think design at that scale is a big problem. Lerner: I would say that they are related, but different. And the difference has to do with two things: one is the issue of scale, which is very different when you do an individual building versus when you do a whole city or a collection of buildings or a part of the city. But other issues are the social and client dimensions. Doing an individual building for an individual client, you know much more about what their specific aspirations

to be able to meet the needs of a Western orchestra while at the same time meeting the needs of a Chinese orchestra. It is not a simple case of one size fits all. Lim: It is the debate of “form-making” that interests me. Should it be up to the users to define the building and redefine it as time changes? Maybe that is the kind of flexibility in architecture that is important to look at in the future. Historically, probably one of the most form-led structures to drive its operators crazy is the Guggenheim in New York City. No museum person would think that it works as a building; it makes planning an exhibition almost impossible. But it has become iconic and almost like a gathering place. That it still stands after so long explains the relationship between architecture, form-making, and functionality. Lynch: Relevant to this issue is the Sydney Opera House—the building not only transformed Sydney, but it had a profound impact on transforming the psyche of Australia. But it really doesn’t work in some of its internal parts.

Public, private, and somewhere in between

Manfredi: Maybe 20 years ago, we would have said, “the city is dead, any kind of identifiable public realm is obsolete.” However, in our own practice, we have seen a shift—what seems to be emerging now is a kind are. When you do a whole city, it’s quite a different of quasi-public realm, a new kind of hybrid public proposition. realm that is part architecture, part landscape, part Lynch: I’ve worked on fabulous arts buildings in urbanism, and part infrastructure. This hybrid public fabulous cities. My major task has been to try to realm is both physical and digital in that it defines democratize the buildings and connect them to the itself locally in spatial terms but is perceived globally cities in different ways. The more important issue in digital terms. This new hybrid is in an evolutionary in Hong Kong is how the public realm works for the state and is exceptionally interesting because of this. people of the city; how you put the public realm and the cultural buildings together, then create a place that Eisenman: Rem Koolhaas and Bjarke Ingels are in a is going to live and work and make sense to the people competition for a convention center in Miami Beach. I think it’s great they are in this competition; the thing I of the city, as well as those who come into the place. don’t think is great is they are working for developers. Lim: Everyone says Hong Kong is a beautiful city, What has happened is, slowly, as the capitalist city can but when you look at the buildings, not many are no longer afford to build public institutions and public beautiful. Mathias Ungers talked about “planned chaos” and “planned accidents,” a perfect application to monuments, the public land is being given over to a city like Hong Kong. A lot of space utilization evolved private developers.

The role of the city as the crucible for democratic exchange—the place where the public voice finds the public realm—needs to be preserved. away from the way it was meant to be. Buildings are built, then the occupant comes in and transforms the original intention, connects activities that are originally within the building, and spills them out into the open areas because of the tightness of space. Hong Kong has a lot of different layers with footbridges and linkages. As a result, buildings become another structure connected to this massive network in a very random environment. The planned accident is really what we should think about. The flexibility of what architecture could be and the elasticity of the city is important to a place like Hong Kong.

Flexibility and fleshing out individual projects in a masterplan Kleinman: At West Kowloon, they are handling a master plan for 40 hectares, all of which looks very carefully scripted. I’m wondering how you imagine actually fleshing that out with individual projects, and how flexible the plan is. Lynch: The Foster masterplan provides a framework to make a whole lot of individual decisions, while at the same time recognizing it is a 40-hectare site with enough constraints imposed top-down, one of which is that nothing can go over 100 meters [high]. So that’s significant in terms of contrasts to the buildings surrounding and immediately behind the site. We are putting up exhibitions and temporary venues to enable us to start dealing with the artists, the content, and the community, to try to ensure that we can maintain public support, maintain enthusiasm, and maintain future ownership of it. Kleinman: Do you see a creative program as an architectural device, something that you could use for your 40 hectares? Lynch: That is just one of the challenges; if you look at design for concert halls going forward, we have been stuck in a rut for a very long time. It is a big challenge

Lynch: West Kowloon is a very rare project in the fusion of the architectural, the landscape design, and the urbanness; we want to create democratic public spaces . . . That will be an important part of the success of the project. I don’t think it will be judged in 10 or 20 years’ time on the quality of the acoustics in the concert hall. What will be much more important is that it will have created public space in Hong Kong. Lerner: The public realm is enormously important—it addresses the collective voice, the need for public space, and the discussion about public ground. In this way, Hong Kong and New York share a common theme. In both cities, people live in very small spaces, and therefore the public realm becomes even more important. Development of large projects is driven by both public and private investment. It’s the public investment—the infrastructure—combined with the private investment and the ability to get it done. A developer has a lot more freedom as a private entity than a public agency would. Lim: Developers, of course, build for profitability. But hopefully, we will have some great buildings coming out from private and public sectors like West Kowloon. The Asia Society headquarters is a very good example of how both private and public sectors can come together and create really great work, great spaces for public use. Kleinman: The role of the city as the crucible for democratic exchange—the place where the public voice finds the public realm—needs to be preserved. When Colin Rowe advocated for a city pieced together as in a collage, this can be understood as both a physical description as well as a description of the body politic. But this is a topic for another session!AAP This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Perspective magazine. Reprinted with permission.

Hangin’ in Milstein Hall Isabel Oyuela-Bonzani’s (B.Arch. ’17) installation for a class competition in the architecture second-year comprehensive design studio in Milstein Hall extended from the ceiling of the L. P. Kwee Studios to just above the floor in the crit dome.AAP

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