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News17 Future Visions Renewed


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 aapcommunications@cornell.edu Aaron Goldweber Rebecca Bowes contributing writers Daniel Aloi, Kenny Berkowitz, Rebecca Bowes, Aaron Goldweber, Tyler Keegan (B.S. URS ’17), Sherrie Negrea, C. J. Randall (M.R.P. ’11), Zoe Siegel (M.R.P. ’16) design Studio Kudos copy editor Laura Glenn photography William Staffeld (unless otherwise noted) distribution coordinator Sheri D’Elia editor

assistant editor

City and Regional Planning students tour the New York State Pavilion of the 1968 World’s Fair during a September field trip. photo / Zachary Tyler Newton (M.Arch. ’10)

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© April 2015 Cornell University Printed on Rolland Enviro 100 Satin, a Forestry Stewardship Council stock. Printed by Brodock Press, Utica, New York. Brodock Press is a member of the Forest Stewardship Council and the EPA’s Green Suppliers Network.

Change is upon us at Cornell. As you certainly know, Elizabeth Garrett will soon be president, and the search for a new provost is underway. What you may not know is that the finances of all academic units are being reshaped as the university implements an entirely new budget model. This new model marks a significant change for AAP. Previously we relied on annual allocations from the Office of the Provost to fund our academic programs. All other mission-critical and quotidian responsibilities—from library services to lawn care—were covered by the university. While we can continue to rely on the provost for some support, under the new model the college receives all the revenue it produces, and pays all the expenses it incurs. This creates a historic opportunity for the college to shape its future by having more complete control of our resources. This change has naturally prompted a comprehensive review of our fiscal activity, and this review has yielded interesting insights. One of the more penetrating of the insights is that all of our top academic priorities depend to some degree on philanthropic support. To cite just a few examples: Our Rome program would be inaccessible to some students without the aid provided by endowed travel grants. Our professional Master of Architecture program could not recruit the top-quality students it does without the 10 new endowed tuition awards gifted to the college over the past two years alone. The Department of City and Regional Planning would not be able to offer coursework in New York City without a recent gift of current-use funds. We would not even have a new facility in New York City without the generous support of a visionary alumnus. The Department of Art could not host visiting artists every semester. Our galleries would not have world-class exhibitions. Our students would not have access to internationally known lecturers and visiting critics, or be able to travel around the globe to experience the complex world they will inherit. These are just some of the opportunities that AAP offers our students and faculty, and none would be possible without the generosity of our alumni and friends. So, thank you, all of you who have, over the years and decades, supported the mission of the college. As we enter a new era of greater fiscal independence, you should know that the college will not waiver from our core goals and standards: access regardless of financial means; creative and scholarly excellence; integrity; a commitment to the public good; and a sense of community that spans generations and geographies. You will see a subtle change in my messages to you: We need your help. Your generosity propels this college forward, and a broad base of participation is a measure of the impact we have in the world. I ask you to engage with AAP once again, or for the first time, in whatever way you deem fit. We are proud to have your support.

Kent Kleinman Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning

Arnold San (B.Arch. ’17) at the Palazzo Grassi art museum in Venice, in October. photo / Anna Orlando (B.Arch. ’17)


Spring 2015 2 News&Events

2  Planning the Future of Past World’s Fair Sites 3  Students Garner Prestigious Awards and Recognition; CRP’s Schmidt and Minner Receive Grants 4  Symposium Examines History and Future of Reuse in Architecture, Design, and Landscape 6  Fall 2014 Lectures and Exhibitions

8 Profiles

8  Faculty: Michael Ashkin, Art 9  A lumni: Lynn Ross (M.R.P. ’01) 10 Student: Rachel Tan (B.Arch. ’15)

14 Students

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14  Graduate Field Trip Explores Landmarks, Struggles, and Renewal in Detroit 15  Circus Comes to Town; CC: Revisits Discussions of Early Convivium Meetings; OURS Visits Buffalo; Keegan Participates in Urban Scholars Program 16 A rchitecture Studios: Tanzania, Vietnam

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20 Books by Lasansky, Ostendarp, Tomlan 21 Advocating for a Higher Price for Driving; Taft Receives Grant for Exploration of Rome Memorial Site; Planning Professors Conduct New Analysis of Cornell’s Economic Impact

22 Alumni

22 Erik den Breejen (M.F.A. ’06) 23 A rchitecture Alumni Included in “Design Vanguard”; Abadan and SOM Receive AIA National Honor Award; Young Alum Revives Historic Providence Property 24 Build, Preserve, Renew: An Interview with AAP Alumnae and Board of Trustees Buildings and Properties Committee Members


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Planning the Future of Past World’s Fair Sites In mid-September, a group of 29 CRP students converged on one of New York City’s most notable, but often underappreciated, landmarks: Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The trip was a joint effort between Assistant Professor Jennifer Minner, CRP, and Robert Balder, executive director of AAP NYC and visiting lecturer in CRP. Students from Minner’s Special Topics in Urban Design course met up with M.R.P. and M.L.A. students in Balder’s New York City Urban Planning Workshop to tour the park and imagine future possibilities for the historic New York State Pavilion and surrounding parklands. Minner’s urban design workshop, Sustainable Adaptation of Large Modern Footprints, focused on how best to steward and adapt the vast stock of mid-20th-century, large-scale sites across the country. Using Flushing Meadows Corona Park and other 60s-era World’s Fair venues, such as HemisFair Park in San Antonio and sites in Seattle and Montreal, Minner and her students examined the remnants of modernist design and planning. At the end of the semester, Minner’s class delivered a final report to representatives from both HemisFair and Flushing Meadows. “Throughout the semester, students investigated methods for preserving and adapting the legacy of modern era planning and architecture,” says Minner. “Our goal was to identify a type of ‘sustainable adaptation’ that can be applied to a range of sites.” The trip to Queens gave students the opportunity to experience the Flushing Meadows site firsthand, and to consider its past, present, and future uses. Minner and Balder arranged a series of in-depth, exclusive tours by park officials, including Janice Melnick, NYC Parks administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park; Marit Larson, director of wetlands restoration for NYC Parks; and John Krawchuk, NYC Parks director of historic preservation, who led students on a hardhat tour of the interior of the crumbling New York State Pavilion. “[John] Krawchuk was a phenomenal guide,” says Balder. “His tour of the pavilion revealed historical nuances that brought us back to a time when the eyes of the world were on New York City. The World’s Fairs were epic moments for the city, and he reconnected us with that past.” Students also met with Matthew Silva, cofounder of People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group focused on the history and future of the New York State Pavilion. Silva presented the group with a screening of his documentary film, Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion, which was released in mid-February. Students acted as a test audience for

the film, and received tips about crowdsourced fundraising and community advocacy from Silva and members of another community group, New York State Pavilion Paint Project. In early December, students presented their recommendations for the Flushing Meadows site to Melnick and Kathleen McCarthy, the project manager for wetland and riparian restoration for NYC Parks. Proposed ideas included converting historically significant but nonfunctioning fountains into interactive public arts spaces and a saline water garden; restoring pathways from the original footprint to allow for greater accessibility to various venues while using permeable paving as green infrastructure for the park; establishing a community market space at the original Pool of Industry; and rehabilitating the New York State Pavilion to include a restaurant, museum, and observation deck. Recommendations for the HemisFair Park site were presented to Andres Andujar, the CEO of HemisFair Area Redevelopment Corporation, and included adaptive reuse of several existing buildings with the addition of new features such as sustainable roof gardens and water features; mixed-use commercial and residential rental space; and two scenarios for a neighborhood within the site—a sculpture garden or a mixed-use development. “My hope is that this project will foster a long-term interest among students, and that they will go on to careers where they can not only address some of these large-scale projects from the past, but also propose designs for new sites that take the need for ongoing stewardship and adaptation into account,” says Minner. “I think students’ ideas represent new means of combining sustainability, urban design, and historic preservation to create the exciting cultural landscapes of the future.” Funding for the trip was partially provided by a grant from Cornell’s Engaged Learning + Research center.AAP Rebecca Bowes

1 Marit Larsen (at left), director of wetland restoration for NYC Parks, meets with Jennifer Minner and students. photo / Zachary Tyler Newton (M.Arch. ’10) 2 The rusting roof and towers of the New York State Pavilion. photo / Zachary Tyler Newton (M.Arch. ’10)

3 Students explore the wetlands that are part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. photo / Zachary Tyler Newton (M.Arch. ’10) 4 Stephan Schmidt 5 Jennifer Minner

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AIA New York State Student Awards Two projects by AAP architecture students were awarded AIA New York State Student Awards in June. Urban Incubator, by Lily Chung (M.Arch. ’15), Dillon Pranger (M.Arch. ’15), and Taylor Stollbert (M.Arch. ’15), proposed a startup incubator program on the site of a former papeterie, or paper factory, in Nanterre, France. The jury said, “The goal of the project was to reinvent the site and that goal was met.” The project was originally done for a fall 2013 M.Arch. core studio titled Nanterre Papeterie: Towards a New Urban Climate, taught by former visiting critic Alessandra Cianchetta of AWP and Jeremy Foster, assistant professor in architecture. A drawing from the project was published in the spring 2014 issue of AAP News. An award was also given to Hong Ji Chen (B.Arch. ’16) for An Ode to the Shipyard, a project that explored the use of recycled material in a cohousing project serving as a sustainable node in Boston’s North End. According to the jury, “The narrative was concise and straightforward,” and “The concept diagrams and renderings supported the project goals.” An Ode to the Shipyard was created for Housing Plus: Mixed Use— Boston, a third-year, B.Arch. core studio taught by Julian Palacio, former visiting critic in architecture.

News&Events

Architecture

Jason Koski / University Photography

Students Garner Prestigious Awards and Recognition

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Designed and operated by students, a new food truck opened on the plaza behind Sibley Hall in late August. Franny’s, named for donor Frances Shloss ’44 (B.Arch. ’45), sits at the crossroads for all three AAP departments, making it the ideal venue for impromptu conversations and spontaneous meetings between faculty, students, and colleagues as they eat delicious food served up by the Statler Hotel.AAP

CRP Best Dissertation on International Planning Award In September, Sudeshna Mitra (M.R.P. ’07, Ph.D. CRP ’13) was awarded the 2014 Gill-Chin Lim Award for the Best Dissertation on International Planning from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ASCP). The award recognizes superior scholarship in a doctoral dissertation completed by a student enrolled in an ACSP-member school, and is funded annually by the Consortium of Development Studies, an organization founded by Gill-Chin Lim in 1982. Mitra is currently a consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore. Mitra’s dissertation, which was completed in 2013, is titled Cities of Desire: Remaking Urban India for the Information Technology Sector. Her committee was chaired by Susan Christopherson, professor and chair of CRP; Porus Olpadwala, professor emeritus of CRP and dean emeritus of AAP; and Philip McMichael, professor and chair of development sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Mitra received her award and presented a paper based on her dissertation at the association meeting in October. This is the second Gill-Chin Lim Award received by CRP graduates in recent years. Andrew Rumbach (M.R.P. ’07, Ph.D. CRP ’11), currently an assistant professor at the University of Colorado–Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, received the award in 2011. McClure Award In the fall, Max Taffet (M.R.P. ’14) was awarded the 2014 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Edward McClure Award for Best Master’s Student Paper. Taffet’s paper, titled “Theory in Practice: PLAN-Boulder County’s Blue Line,” is based on a paper he originally wrote for the course Urban Theory. Taffet’s paper discusses the factors that contributed to the present-day greenbelt boundaries surrounding Boulder, Colorado. He chronicles the early beginnings of the community group PLAN-Boulder County, and the significant events involved in the creation of the city’s growth boundary. Taffet cites multiple primary research sources, including historic planning documents from the city of Boulder from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and community audio archives with interviews from the early PLAN-Boulder activists. According to Taffet, Boulder’s economy would not be as strong as it is today without the creation of the greenbelt and the strategic land controls and acquisitions that occurred during the creation of these boundaries. Taffet served on the board of PLAN-Boulder for two years prior to coming to Cornell and credits the organization with sparking his interest in the field of planning. Taffet is now a project manager for the New York City Economic Development Corporation working in the ports and transportation division.AAP

Composition, a solo exhibit by art Associate Professor Maria Park, was held at Margaret Thatcher Projects in New York City in September and October. Above, detail from the bookcase series (2014), acrylic on Plexiglas, each 7" x 21".AAP

CRP’s Schmidt and Minner Receive Grants

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This fall, two faculty members in CRP were awarded grants for projects in Africa and Flushing Meadows, Queens. In October, Stephan Schmidt, associate professor and director of graduate studies, received a $75,000 grant to fund a research project titled Building Spatial Data Collection and Research Capacity for Sustainable Development. Cornell’s Institute for African Development (IAD) awarded the grant. The project will pilot Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) training sessions in Moshi, Tanzania, and Lusaka, Zambia, with the hopes of producing training workshops in other sub-Saharan African countries. The long-term goal of the trainings is to improve the capability of partner institutions to gather data, conduct spatial analysis, monitor and evaluate programs and projects, and ultimately improve decision making in the fields of public health research, planning, wild life conservation, and land tenure formalization. Also in October, Jennifer Minner, assistant professor, received a $33,650 grant from the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). The grant will support a project titled Visualizing the Past, Present, and Future of New York City’s 1964–5 World’s Fair Site Using 3D GIS and Procedural Modeling. The project will test the 4D GIS capabilities—3D visualization with an added time dimension—for historic preservation and cultural resource management. Using the Flushing Meadows Corona Park site in New York City as a pilot area, Minner, the principal investigator (PI) on the grant, will assess the degree to which 3D procedural modeling can support preservation professionals and the general public in understanding landscape change and analyzing planning alternatives for large-scale sites. CRP’s Associate Professor Jeffrey Chusid is co-PI on the project. Members of the research team include Professor Michael Tomlan and Associate Professor Thomas J. Campanella, both from CRP, and Andre Hafner, director of AAP IT Solutions.AAP News17 | Spring 2015


Symposium Examines History and Future of Reuse in Architecture, Design, and Landscape

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From the multiple lives of Roman columns, to present-day New York Harbor, a recent symposium explored the ancient phenomenon of spolia and its relevance to current efforts to forge more sustainable and resilient human patterns of habitation. “Spolia: Histories, Spaces, and Processes of Adaptive Reuse” was held in Milstein Hall on November 14 and 15. “Spolia refers to using scavenged materials for new—and often originally unintended—purposes in constructed environments,” says architecture assistant professor and symposium organizer Aleksandr Mergold. Sites, buildings, and structures of antiquity were repurposed into new edifices, not only to facilitate the production of new form, but also to claim the cultural and political heritage of the donor structures. “This practice is millennia old, dating back to Ancient Egypt and perhaps beyond,” says Mergold. “It’s extremely pragmatic and symbolically charged. More than recycling, spolia also has social, cultural, and even political dimensions. We think of it as an archaic practice, yet we also think that we have just invented recycling, life hacking, and adaptive reuse.” Keynoted by Scape’s Kate Orff and structured around the themes of “spaces,” “histories,” and “processes,” symposium participants described the connection between spolia and currently emerging concerns about environmental degradation, and the resulting interest in adaptive reuse, ongoing historic preservation debates, recycling, and the slow movement. Orff’s talk focused on the recently launched phase I of Scape’s Living Breakwaters project to rehabilitate and protect the southern coast of Staten Island. Funded in part by HUD’s Rebuild by Design competition, Orff described the massive build as a collaborative effort that includes designers; federal and local government agencies; community organizations; and schools, scientists, and engineers. And, perhaps most exciting for Orff, Living Breakwaters marks the beginning of the Billion Oyster Project—a 20-year plan to restore a thriving oyster population in New York Harbor. The Spaces panel focused on spolia’s application in architecture and design and included Jennifer Di Leonardi, Club Monaco/Ralph Lauren; Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lugano, LOT-EK; Dennis Maher, Assembled City Fragments; and was moderated by Jack Elliott, Cornell’s Department of Environmental Analysis (DEA). Preservation and cultural heritage were discussed on the Histories panel, which included Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG; Abraham Thomas, John Soane Museum; Dale Kinney, Bryn Mawr College; with Jeffrey Chusid, Department of City and Regional Planning, moderating. The Processes panel—made up of Ernesto Oroza, Architecture of Necessity; Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco Ltd.; Margaux and Walter Kent, Peg and Awl; and

between the various participants, who came from very different backgrounds, faculty, and students on the subject of the symposium.” An exhibition on display in Milstein Dome presented the student sculptural work from Mergold’s seminar ARCH 4605/6605 Spolia: Special Topics in Technology. The site-specific sculptures located in Milstein Dome were created with fragments from the broken plaster replicas of ancient statues once owned by Cornell’s first president A. D. White, and with the moderated by Denise Ramzy, DEA—focused on more help of various high-tech prototyping tools in the recent global examples of reuse and adaptation. Rand Hall digital fabrication shops. The seminar was a “The speakers did an incredible job illuminating collaboration with the Department of Classics and the the complicated but productive relationships embedded Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design. in spolia in order to better understand its potential Assisting Mergold on the symposium were teaching in contemporary design practice, art, history and associates Gretchen Craig (B.Arch. ’13) and Juliette preservation, material science, and formation of Dubroca (M.Arch. ’10), and student Andrew Fu (B.Arch. culture,” says Mergold. “And what was really great ’15). The “Spolia” event was part of the Preston H. to see were the multiple conversations happening Thomas Memorial Lecture Series.AAP Aaron Goldweber

3 1 Work by Elena Toumayan (B.Arch. ’15) on display in Milstein Dome. photo / Andrew Fu (B.Arch. ’15) 2 From left, the Kents, Oroza, Buchbinder, and Ramzy during the Processes panel. photo / Andrew Fu (B.Arch. ’15) 3 Work by Prim Chanarat (B.Arch. ’15), Oat Luengvarinkul (B.Arch. ’16), and Ben Kessler (B.Arch. ’16) on display in Milstein Dome. photo / Andrew Fu (B.Arch. ’15)


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Scales and Dimensions With a rare glimpse into the scale models used to inspire his photographs, James Casebere’s Scales and Dimensions exhibit in John Hartell Gallery in September was uniquely organized to engage viewers in the creative process behind the work. The show revealed the artistry of how modeling is handled in the creation of an image conceptualized from specific vantage points. The exhibit featured works from the Landscape with Houses (Dutchess County) series, including several large framed photographs and a display of the corresponding scale models that were used to create them.


Fall 2014 Lectures and Exhibitions aap.cornell.edu/events

LECTURES

EXHIBITIONS

Anjum Altaf Ramon Bosch and Bet Capdeferro Richard Campanella João Luis Carrilho da Graça James Casebere Alejandro Cesarco Judith Clifton Abigail Cooke Raymond Craib and Suman Seth with Neema Kudva Bruno De Meulder and Kelly Shannon Gianni Dessî Petra Doan Ellen Dunham-Jones Renia Ehrenfeucht Anoka Faruqee Zhan Guo Randolph Hester, Jr. George Homsy Jerold S. Kayden Baseera Khan Kimsooja Marcio Kogan Anupama Kundoo Shanjun Li Zhilin Liu Sébastien Marot and Arthur Ovaska David Mason Thom Mayne Nicholas Muellner Porus Olpadwala Yasmil Raymond Witold Rybczynski José María Sánchez García Wendy Sarkissian Carolina Sarmiento Gilles Saucier  -SCAPE: Alessandro Cambi, Ludovica Di Falco, Francesco Marinelli, Paolo Mezzalama Bruce Seifer Michael Smart J. P. Sniadecki Julie Snow David Snyder Michael Sorkin Spolia Symposium Alex Steinberger Peter Stutchbury Sharon Zukin

Nanoessence

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M.F.A. ’12

Paul Thomas, CCA Biennial

Print Text Language

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Curated by Associate Professor Elisabeth Meyer, Art

Project Projects Portfolio

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Adam Michaels

Scales and Dimension

James Casebere

Gensler: Shanghai Tower

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Gensler

Structural Systems Class Models

Students of Professor and Chair Mark Cruvellier, Architecture

Surface Mining

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Anthony Titus

We Take Our Fun Very Seriously

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Marcio Kogan

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Alejandro Cesarco, the fall 2014 Teiger Mentor in the Arts, delivers a public lecture titled “Some Recent Examples” in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium in September. Cesarco made three multiday visits to campus to work closely with students with a focus on the M.F.A. program. He was the third Teiger Mentor in the Arts, following Shannon Ebner and Josiah McElheny. The program will continue to host renowned artists through spring 2016.

News&Events

Kimsooja’s A Needle Woman: Galaxy Was a Memory, Earth Is a Souvenir was the focal piece for the 2014 Cornell Council for the Arts Biennial, “Intimate Cosmologies: The Aesthetics of Scale in an Age of Nanotechnology.” Other projects in the show included Colorfolds eSkin + Kirigami: From Cell Contractility to Sensing Materials to Adaptive Foldable Architecture by Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Assistant Professor Jenny Sabin’s Sabin Design Lab and the Department of Architecture; and Paperthin, a mixed-media installation by Caio Barboza (B.Arch. ’13), Joseph Kennedy (B.Arch. ’15), and Sonny Xu (B.Arch. ’13).

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The Partial World

Michael Ashkin never intended to become an artist. After earning his master’s degree in Middle Eastern languages, he spent a number of years teaching Arabic and Hebrew at Brooklyn College, but it barely paid the bills. So he left academia for Wall Street, where one of his jobs was at Salomon Brothers, writing computer programs to reverse engineer their competitors’ mortgage-backed securities.

there’s something about the way the spray paint falls on the cardboard that resembles photography, and it’s still basically the perspectival view of photography, the way it sees the world. But I painted it.” Stepping back, he talks about “this weird interrelationship between painting, photography, sculpture, and text that’s been ongoing in my work,” which is reflected around him in the studio, almost all of it in the monochrome brown of industrial cardboard or the black and white of 1950s photography. In the beginning, Ashkin was a photographer, taking pictures as a teenager in Rumson, New Jersey, a town best known as a turn-of-the-century summer home for New York industrialists. In grad school at Columbia studying Middle Eastern languages, he converted his bathroom into a darkroom, back in the days of developer, fixer, and stop baths, but by the time Ashkin reached Chicago, he was focused solely on paintings. That changed as soon as he graduated, when he switched to sculpture, starting with a small wooden rowboat that sits at the top of a tall ladder, waiting for the coming flood. To support the sculptures, in search of details he couldn’t otherwise see, Ashkin turned back to photography, shooting the models as close-up as he could, and reigniting his interest in landscape photography. Later, with his book Garden State, he showed his wanderings through the Meadowlands, exploring the world he’d seen from his 60th-floor window and capturing the stark, gray drama of abandoned landfills and long-forgotten industrial debris. “From here, I see surfaces, not even objects,” he writes in the text, facing an image of a dry creek bed with car parts in the foreground and power lines in the back. “I retain my mobility, my shifting viewpoint, my ever-changing story, perhaps even my potential. Yet I see only a partial world, and a partial world reveals no truth. “It was ugly, that whole business I was involved in,” says I remain isolated, distant from God’s infinite quiet.” Ashkin, talking in his studio at The Foundry. “I was The photos fed the sculptures, which grew into smart enough to do the job I was doing, but I knew my vast, miniature cardboard cities, tabletop models of future was limited, because I didn’t want to be a trader, construction sites, fortresses, desert outposts, pipelines, and I didn’t have the personality to be a salesman. At and power lines, then grew again, until they were big one job, I had an office on the 60th floor of the World enough to fill a whole room with tiny cardboard boxes. Trade Center, and I used to look out the window, across In Adjnabistan, named after the Farsi word for stranger the river, and wonder what was out there. I hated or other, Ashkin built a refugee camp with block after working there, really hated it, and I started making art block of abandoned shipping containers, perfectly as a way to find some kind of meaning to my life.” ordered and perfectly desolate; in Hiding places are With the help of a friend, who donated his old, many, escape only one, he created a sprawling, unplanned half-empty paint tubes, Ashkin bought some canvas squatter city, viewed from above, its shanty rooftops and started painting. Before long, he’d turned his open to the air. Manhattan apartment into an artist’s studio, throwing Success came early, allowing Ashkin to keep away his furniture to make room for artwork. For working, and hasn’t stopped, with pieces at the Arp three years, he took night painting classes at the School Museum, the Berardo Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Visual Arts, and even though he doesn’t think much of Art, Documenta 11, PS 122, the San Diego Museum of those early works—“They’re bad,” he says, “but I had of Contemporary Art, Secession, the Whitney Biennial, a good time making them”—when he applied to the Art and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. After the birth Institute of Chicago for an M.F.A., they were more than of his child, Ashkin returned to teaching, arriving at enough to get him accepted into the program. Cornell as an assistant professor in 2006, directing Twenty-five years later, he’s the chair of Cornell’s graduate studies for four years, and winning a Department of Art. Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009 and the Watts Prize On one wall of his studio, Ashkin has hung an for Teaching Excellence in 2007 and 2011. array of spray paintings that are still too new to have a In a 2010 solo exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson title. Because they’re painted in grainy, soft-focus black Museum of Art, he showed a new collection of and white, are mostly images of architectural forms, marginalized landscapes in a range of media. In and are small enough to fit inside a picture frame, they Centralia, projected onto the museum facade, a fixedlook like photographs. position video camera captured the comings and goings They’re not. If you get close enough—a few inches of trucks outside a coal mine in Pennsylvania, where away from their cardboard surfaces—you can see the a fire has been burning steadily since 1962. With edge of the paint as it curled around Ashkin’s template. the sculpture Wall (Western Sahara), mounted like a You can see that the forms are too abstracted to be real, frieze on one wall of the gallery, he reimagined the and that they’re not images of buildings at all. They’re desert landscape of southeastern Morocco, where a two or three or four generations removed—images fortified 2,700-kilometer sand berm runs alongside the of models of buildings, or images of photographs longest minefield in the world. Then, returning to the of models of buildings, or images of templates of black-and-white New Jersey of his youth, Long Branch— photographs of nearly empty fields that once held published last fall by Ithaca’s A-Jump Books—used offbuildings, now become wasteland. center, vertical landscapes to document the destruction “I feel like I’m constructing photographs out of a working-class beachfront community, dismantled of paint, reverse engineering them,” says Ashkin, in the name of eminent domain. pointing to an image that was once a New Jersey “There’s a certain apocalyptic element to everything apartment building with balconies jutting out like I do; you can’t avoid that,” says Ashkin. “I don’t know teeth on the edge of a saw. “For example, this one what the common thread is, but it has something to do came from a cardboard sculpture I made of a tower, with escape from a bad situation to a better one, with based on a photograph I’d shot in Long Branch. I took this modulation between optimism and pessimism. a photograph of that sculpture, made a template based Things are really bleak in most of my work, but it’s like on that photograph, and spray-painted onto cardboard looking in the face of a cataclysm and still imagining a using that template. I’m using light and dark, and way out.”AAP Kenny Berkowitz


Profiles

photo / Mattox Photography

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A Passion for Housing

“I am a planner because this is how I feel and think,” says Lynn Ross (M.R.P. ’01).

If you’re a planner, chances are you’ve been affected by Lynn Ross’s work. Her exceptional career—from her post-Cornell work at the American Planning Association (APA) to her position as executive director of the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing—has covered nearly everything in the planner’s toolbox: brownfield redevelopment, zoning, smart growth, and workforce and affordable housing. “Sometimes it feels like an out-of-body experience,” she says of her professional ascent. Now as deputy assistant secretary for policy development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R)—HUD’s think tank— she’s helping to set the tone for the next generation of policy decisions in housing. Ross, 38, was sworn in last May to oversee PD&R’s Office of Policy Development, and its two divisions, Policy Development and Research Utilization. Years of limited resources led to suggestions that HUD’s research agenda had become too insular: Ross is part of an infusion of talent helping to bolster HUD’s research capacity and furthering the department’s mission to gather reliable and objective data—evidence—to help federal agencies, as well as state and local communities, make policy decisions. Evidence is literally Ross’s business; among the host of publications issued by the Office of Policy Development and Research is Evidence Matters, which examines the evidence base for a range of housing and community development issues. A recent issue focused on research to identify the complex physical and socioenvironmental factors in housing and neighborhood quality that affect children’s well-being. Ross’s own childhood in Joliet, Illinois, played a key role in her decision to become a planner. Watching the blue-collar city dramatically shift from manufacturing to disinvestment inspired her interest in issues related to city planning. It was her first laboratory for imagining better housing. She’d take the Rock Island District rail line into Chicago with her father, an educator with a penchant for urbanism, and ask him about the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the nation’s largest housing projects, which ran for two miles along a stretch of highway and rail in Chicago, until its last buildings were taken down in 2007. “I can remember seeing people in what was very clearly isolated, dilapidated public housing, and I

would ask my dad, ‘Who lives there? How come it’s so separated from everything else? Where do those kids go to school? Where do their parents work? Where is the park?’ He would explain to me that these folks live in public housing and this is the housing that’s available to them . . . it’s what the government provides. I remember many of my early thoughts being that we can—and we should—do better than that.” At her undergraduate orientation at Iowa State University’s College of Design, a planning lecturer told Ross and a roomful of aspiring architects and landscape architects what they may be missing out on by overlooking planning. Then, in her sophomore year, she was further inspired to consider a career in planning and had already begun to consider graduate school. This early immersion in planning is reflected in the broad scope of boards and initiatives Ross is sought out to lead. Before her position at HUD, she served on the editorial advisory board of the journal Housing Policy Debate and the national advisory committee for the new National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, based at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. Ross completed her undergraduate degree in planning at Iowa State and transitioned right into graduate school at Cornell. She then spent five and a half years at the APA in their research department, eventually becoming the manager of their Planning Advisory Service, a subscription service providing customized research and resources. Then, in 2007, she decided to make the leap to Washington, DC, when she got her chance to be director of state and local initiatives at the National Housing Conference (NHC) and Center for Housing Policy, which was a brand-new position for a brand-new program she was asked to build. “In order to build that program at NHC and the center, I had to get out and meet all the people in the housing and planning space who were working on state and local issues,” says Ross. “It really forced me to get out there. This is a happy hour place, and business gets done at happy hour.” Being in the center of the political world brings Ross an important step closer to tackling the affordable housing shortfalls that have been on her mind since childhood. She admits, though, that this is a difficult topic that currently lacks good messaging, particularly in light of recent media upheavals in tight housing

markets, like San Francisco and New York City, where a host of creative—and sometimes controversial— financing and design efforts have put affordable housing in the news. “Taking away the mechanics of financing, we don’t talk about affordable housing and who it serves and that it’s beneficial to everyone,” says Ross. “Housing affordability is not just about the people at the low end of the scale; this is about people across a range of incomes who need a range of housing, transportation, education, and employment options. And we don’t have a terribly good system for getting mixed-income affordable housing built.” According to Ross, the complexities of building affordable housing pop up at every step of the process, including combining the challenges of financing, permitting, rehabilitation codes, holding costs, the underlying zoning and land-use processes, minimum parking requirements, assembling the design team, and even well-intentioned (but sometimes misapplied) goals like green building and energy standards. “We wrote a whole book about it,” says Ross, referencing her work in Bending the Cost Curve: Solutions to Expand the Supply of Affordable Rentals, published in 2014 by the Urban Land Institute in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners. “We argue that you should build those standards into your code with the understanding of the cost implications. Is it more important to have that be mandatory? Or is it more important to have other levers that are going to increase the supply of housing affordability?” Increasing access to affordable, quality housing is a cornerstone of Ross’s efforts. She highlighted the recent work by researchers at HUD to explore housing as a platform to improve quality of life in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation’s How Housing Matters research initiative, a five-year, $25-million effort to highlight the effect research-based investments in housing have on social and economic outcomes. “Housing is an essential platform for achieving positive outcomes in health, neighborhood, well-being, aging, education, and economic success,” says Ross. “The body of work that has come out of that [HUD and MacArthur] team is really fantastic; it’s really solid, needed work. To actually have an evidence base that says, ‘This is what it means for children to have access to stable, affordable housing’—that’s really powerful.”AAP C. J. Randall (M.R.P. ’11)

News17 | Spring 2015


photo / Giffen Ott (B.Arch. ’12)

Profiles

Embracing Newness From her first experience in a drawing and architecture studio course in high school, it was the ability to create something new and in the third dimension that drew fifth-year B.Arch. student Rachel Mei Lan Tan into architecture.

“Previously I had taken the normal high school classes— calculus, biology,” she says. “But at some point I strayed because architecture was like finding an emerald. Seeing the possibility of something unique, beautiful, and fresh was very momentous for me.” During the studio course, which she took at the Otis College of Art and Design in her hometown of Los Angeles, Tan was drawn to images of contemporary architecture that the professor presented in class. “Buildings by people like Lina Bo Bardi really moved me,” she says. Looking to further explore her new interests while still in high school, Tan pursued an independent study in architecture for a semester, and then attended the summer architecture program at Cornell before her senior year. After that time in Ithaca, she knew what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. “During that summer, I learned that the correspondence between architecture, the environment, and the scale of human occupancy is vital in creating a good, working design. I knew I wanted to continue my studies at Cornell . . . and it’s the only place I applied!” During her first years as a B.Arch., Tan focused on theory and conceptual work. “I was interested in the possibility of an idea—any idea—being executed through architecture,” she says. “Cornell is great for this because I could take a wide range of courses and incorporate those learnings into my architecture. I brought in ideas from an entomology course, an English course, a new media course . . . I realized I could make anything relevant in architecture.” After spending a semester in Rome in the spring of 2013 where she took studios with both Associate Professor John Zissovici—“we looked at the interface of iPhone apps in relation to the user and their ability to stimulate daily life . . . then we had to bring this relationship to architectural design”—and art’s Michael Ashkin, Tan heard about an internship opportunity with Herzog & de Meuron (H&deM) in Basel, Switzerland. “When I was a first year, I wouldn’t have dreamed of being able to work with them,” she says. Zissovici connected Tan with H&deM’s Vladimir Pajcik (B.Arch. ’00), and she submitted her portfolio to him. She was the only undergraduate accepted as an intern for the year, and worked closely with Jason Frantzen (B.Arch. ’03), a newly named H&deM partner. Her time there had a profound impact on her. “It was a real shift from what I had chosen to focus on at Cornell—the ‘paper architecture’ theory,” says Tan. “At Herzog & de Meuron they are simply focused on building. They can flawlessly execute the ideas that are a bit crazy—there are no structural issues, clashing details, or dead spaces in their projects. They have the reputation for focusing on materiality, or the ‘skin’ of a building, but they understandably don’t like this reputation because it makes them seem one dimensional—in reality, they deliver well-developed

and spatially complex spaces that emphasize a sense of are still relevant to me,” she says, “but I feel a greater possibility in the field.” responsibility to expand my technical knowledge, Tan was also impressed with how intimately the logic of construction, in structure and in new Herzog and de Meuron are involved with the firm’s materials.” projects. “Jacques [Herzog] and Pierre’s [de Meuron] Her thesis, which is in progress and currently titled individual attention to detail is what brings them “Push Planar,” embraces this interest in newness, and success,” she says. “They run [the firm] as if it was a focuses on examining the architectural, cultural, and small atelier, even though there are more than 300 socio-political possibilities that could emerge from people working there. They think of the finished creating buildings with “thinner” structures. The work details of the project from the very beginning of the explores what she feels is a crisis in building. Her thesis process. They understand the importance of the details brief says, “There are clear boundaries to the available of the interior experience, and rigorously study every materials that form our built environment, which space with that in mind.” poses a question: How long can we go on hoisting raw The focus on the interior spaces was an aspect of materials from the earth’s depths? The new frontiers the process Tan was not familiar with, but soon had of a future lie within what exists: although we know to embrace. For one of the projects she worked on, a what is available, we most likely don’t know what the competition for the New North Zealand Hospital in multitude of things we can do with it are.” Hillerød, just north of Copenhagen, Tan was tasked The thesis goes on to explore how minimizing the with working on the layout of the ICU, outpatient materials used in construction could reimagine not just clinics, courtyard structure, and interior images. buildings, but what she terms a “lighter urbanism” that H&deM won the competition and construction is questions the permanence of town and city. scheduled to start in 2017. “Their work on hospitals is In addition to pursuing her thesis, Tan continues unconventional and highly respected,” says Tan. to explore other fields and use them in her work. Her “Their design marries machine and nature. It brings fall studio was in sculpture; tasked with creating in courtyards to provide gardens and daylight, “something useless except for one moment in time,” fostering healing to help people get out of bed as part she created a human-scale ladder that looped back of their recovery.” into itself to create a wheel-like structure. Featured Tan worked on two other projects currently in in Storefront’s Circus for Architecture event at the planning—the National Library of Israel, and the Argos Inn in November (see page 15), Tan says several mixed-use retail, residential, and parking project 1111 people actually got on it and ran “like on a human-size Lincoln Road in Miami. For all three projects, she was hamster wheel.” lucky enough to be part of a small team of five or six The focus on real scale also features heavily people. This intimacy allowed for “more responsibility in Tan’s hopes for the future. After spending time and greater opportunities to learn” than had she been working for an established firm to get comfortable on a larger, 20+ person team. in the professional world, she would like to open a The experience working with a diverse and largely practice “with the ambition to design everything from non-American team also revealed to Tan what she a teaspoon to the city as a whole.” “I’m thinking about feels is a difference in the American approach to partnering up with some friends in furniture and architectural education. “The Europeans focus much ceramics to focus on small-scale design; I’ve learned more on structural and technical issues than we the value of building something in a 1:1 ratio because do,” she says. “Cornell is fantastic because it’s theory you learn from what doesn’t work,” she says. “Right and broad based; but the Europeans really learn the now, that’s more appealing to me than the 1:100 scale building as a piece.” we often use in creating building models. But who Embracing this focus on technicality and interior knows . . . I have a lot ground to tread before anything detail, Tan came back to Cornell for her final year with is mineral!”—her way of saying before anything is set a change in approach. “Theory and conceptual design in stone.AAP Rebecca Bowes


BOOK, PARK, BOX, PIT, RING, PROP Rachel Mei Lan Tan (B.Arch. ’15), BOOK, PARK, BOX, PIT, RING, PROP (2012), Gosan Library, Daegu, South Korea, created in collaboration with Hyunseok Kang. “The library serves as a reading room for a house, and is enveloped in an environment distilled from its congested surroundings to ensure a proper atmosphere for engaging knowledge. Simultaneously, it is imbued with nature, and the space invites residents and visitors into a peaceful and contemplative environment.”


Dillon Pranger (M.Arch. ’14), thesis project site model. “‘Distinctive Praxis’ posits that architecture borne from the complexity of events past and objects ruination within a site’s history produces an architecture of recollection. This project’s search for remembrance addresses juxtaposing elements of history and future development through a series of interventions mediating the two.” Site: Gdansk Shipyards, Poland.


Student News In September, Alvaro Alvarez (B.Arch. ’15) presented a paper titled “Museum of Memory: An Analysis of How Museum Circulation Can Help Visitors Remember a Space” at the 2014 Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture conference at the Salk Institute in San Diego. The paper was based on observations made by Alvarez during the summer 2013 traveling course, Museum as Spectacle. Led by Professor Werner Goehner, architecture, the trip toured museums in nine European countries.

Art student Jenn Houle (M.F.A. ’15) presented featherlight (foul falls), at the Ithaca Falls Natural Area on September 26. During the installation, Houle projected colors into the waterfall with 1,000-watt halide construction lights, and created a shadow play of birds on the site.

Joseph Kennedy (B.Arch. ’15) received an honorable mention for his entry in matterbetter’s Typhoon Class Submarine competition. Entrants were tasked with exploring the architectural potential of transforming the biggest nuclear In early December, Yana Azova (B.S. URS ’15) received an Academic Excellence Award submarine ever built into a peaceful architectural object. Kennedy’s entry, in Urban Design from the Danish Institute Typhoon Class Watertower, positions separate for Study Abroad (DIS). The awards are segments of the submarine along the Saudi given to students who have distinguished themselves through diligence, commitment, Arabian coast of the Red Sea to become water towers with desalination treatment academic performance, and contributing facilities. Time Capsule: 2020 Dubai World’s to a positive, collaborative learning Fair, by recent alumni Caio Barboza environment in class. Azova spent the fall (B.Arch. ’13) and Natalie Kwee (B.Arch. semester as a student at the DIS in the ’13) also received an honorable mention urban design program. in the competition. The trio of Kennedy, Barboza, and Kwee were the winning team Collegetown Crepes, a new food truck of the 1407 Broadway Space Forward: Ideas founded by Forrest Crawford (B.F.A./B.S. Competition. Their entry, (Print Screen), is ’15) and Max Richman ’11, opened on a commercial product that includes a kit October 1, at the corner of Eddy Street and of large-format, industrial printers that Dryden Avenue in Collegetown. The truck serves a variety of sweet and savory crepes, can be installed in the structural grid of any open floorplan. Rather than using as well as seasonal nonalcoholic beverages, paper, (Print Screen) uses a high-strength, to late-night revelers. lightweight, and soundproof material that can be attached to any partition. The team For the second straight year, students received a $14,000 prize. in Visiting Lecturer George Frantz’s Land Use and Environmental Planning Whitten Overby, a Ph.D. student in the Field Workshop have captured the New Department of Architecture’s History York Upstate Chapter of the American of Architecture and Urban Development Planning Association (APA) Outstanding program, was awarded a research Student Project Award. The winning fellowship at the Canadian Centre for project, Sustainable Keuka Lake, had two Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. Overby components: a graduate student team was in residence at the CCA in June and produced the Keuka Lake Waterfront July 2014, while he worked with the Revitalization and Scenic Viewshed center’s archival and library collections Protection Plan, and an undergraduate and participated in the Toolkit seminar team produced the Keuka Lake Watershed Farmland and Agricultural Protection Plan. led by architectural historian and theorist The award was presented to representatives Jacques Lucan and the CCA’s Senior Mellon Fellow and associate director of research from the class at a luncheon during the Maristella Casciato. APA Chapter Conference in Rochester on September 18. J. David Pagan (B.Arch. ’15) recently returned from a trip to Puerto Rico where Akshali Gandhi (M.R.P. ’15) spent the he was part of a team that presented a book summer working in Chicago as the 2014 titled La Historia de Pfizer Guayama Pharma to Graduate Peters Fellow at the Chicago the present-day leadership of the company. Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). While there, she helped administer CMAP’s The book chronicles the 30-year history of the plant’s operations in Puerto Rico. Pagan local technical assistance program, which oversaw image selection, graphic design, provides staff assistance to communities and translation from Spanish to English. in northeastern Illinois for community The book was written by Professor Jose planning and transportation studies. Longo of the University of Puerto Rico. Gandhi also assisted with writing text for comprehensive plans, researched A photo by Michael Raspuzzi (B.Arch. sustainability best practices for a county ’16) was chosen as a finalist in the 34th government campus, attended public annual Photographer’s Forum magazine’s meetings, and “learned the ins and outs of Best of Photography Competition in the project management.” professional/amateur category. The photo is titled A Bubble Performance in Barcelona. An essay by Athanasiou Geolas, a Ph.D. candidate in history of architecture and Josi Ward, a Ph.D. candidate in the urban development, was published in Department of Architecture’s History Pidgin 18. Titled “We Are Professionals of Architecture and Urban Development After All,” the piece discussed the program, was awarded a research perils of interdisciplinary rhetoric for a fellowship from the Wolfsonian-Florida bureaucratically defined profession. Pidgin International University (FIU) in Miami 18 was released in November. Beach. She was in residence at the Wolfsonian in January 2014, during which Sophie Hochhäusl (M.A. HAUD ’10, Ph.D. time she worked with the museum’s HAUD candidate) was recently named object collection and library holdings. The cochair of the interest group Architecture fellowship was awarded in support of Ward’s and the Environment of the European dissertation, which is tentatively titled “A Architectural History Network (EAHN). Place for Our Landless Farmers: Recovery Hochhäusl’s cochair is Torsten Lange, and Reform in FSA Migratory Labor Camps.” professor of architectural theory at ETH Her research focuses on the design and Zurich. Hochhäusl hopes the group will inhabitation of camps built for migrant “offer a platform where the two concerns— the historical/empirical and the theoretical/ workers during the Great Depression, and draws on histories of labor politics and methodological—can meet and engage in environmental reform to understand the fruitful dialogues so as to advance further importance of these built spaces. research in the field.”

Last summer, work from a spring semester research and design initiative, Right of Way, Reprogrammable City, appeared at the sixth International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). Led by visiting critics in architecture Nahyun Hwang and David Eugin Moon, Right of Way explored historical and present notions, plus future meanings, of the public right of way and its future meanings in the contemporary city. The 2014 IABR, titled “Urban by Nature,” examined the way architecture tackles urban challenges by analyzing the relationship between urban society and nature, and between city and landscape.AAP

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Graduate Field Trip Explores Landmarks, Struggles, and Renewal in Detroit Each fall, CRP organizes a field trip that gives first-year M.R.P. and M.A. HPP students a glimpse of the planning and preservation issues they may face in their careers. This year the group visited Detroit. “Detroit has been much in the news lately with its protracted struggles,” says Associate Professor Jeffrey Chusid, who organized the trip with Assistant Professor Jennifer Minner, Michael Catsos (M.R.P. ’15), and Anna Duvall (M.A. HPP ’15). “Issues such as white flight, shuttered industries, and vacant neighborhoods make it a potent symbol. At the same time, alternate narratives of revitalization, selfdetermination, and opportunity are appearing.” The group began with a guided tour of downtown Detroit and Bedrock Real Estate Services, the multifaceted corporate umbrella for Quicken Loans and owner Dan Gilbert’s many enterprises. The tour included visits to office spaces and to the security center that monitors downtown, and a panel discussion of development projects with three company officials. The tour prompted many students to think about the motives and process behind Bedrock’s development. “It was clear that Bedrock’s goal is to completely transform the downtown area into a modern urban atmosphere for career-driven young professionals,” says Hilary Dowden (M.R.P. ’15). “A topic that was lacking from the presentation was how this new vision fits into a city with its own population and rich history.” Contrasting visions for Detroit were provided on the next day’s itinerary, including

an artist-led tour of the Heidelberg Project, a multiblock art installation initiated 28 years ago by Tyree Guyton. “The most unusual part of the project,” says Yongyong Jiang (M.R.P. ’16), “is how the once devalued properties transformed from a decayed corner into a shining gallery.” Students had lunch with Malik Yakini, founder of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) and D-Town Farm, a two-acre, urban farm in northwestern Detroit. “The work that Mr. Yakini and the members of the DBCFSN are doing goes far beyond growing food,” says Daniel Keough (M.R.P. ’16). “They are getting people involved in building community self-reliance.” Other stops included tours of the Fisher Building, the former General Motors Headquarters, the vacant Packard Plant and Michigan Central Station, the Renaissance Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the DELECTRICITY Festival, Eastern Market, several historic neighborhoods, the Glendale-Rosemont Community Development Corporation, and a tour of Hamtramck—a city wholly enclosed by Detroit. Highlights were a boat cruise along the Detroit River with students and faculty from local planning programs, and the annual alumni reception at the spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright– designed Dorothy Turkel House. “I was expecting an urban environment defined solely by blight, crime, and decay,” says Sean McGee (M.A. HPP ’16). “Instead, the trip exposed a struggling American city filled with the potential for opportunity and growth.”AAP


Students

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Circus Comes to Town Circus for Construction, a traveling gallery and event space, spent two days in Ithaca in November. The visit included a staging of POP-UP HIP HOP, an interactive dance performance held at the Milstein Hall loading dock. Using digital interactive media, POP-UP HIP HOP captured the choreography of hip-hop dancers and recorded each movement as virtual graffiti, projected on the side of the Circus truck. Edbert Cheng (B.Arch. ’16), Henry Chuang (B.Arch. ’16), Jessica Jiang (B.Arch. ’17), and Andrew Moorman (B.Arch. ’16) organized the event. The circus truck also made an appearance at the Argos Inn in downtown Ithaca for a Pecha Kucha– style evening event, titled Relocating America, which featured local speakers representing design practices, labs, and communities from a range of aesthetics. Simultaneously, an exhibition titled The Architecture of Aging was on display at Argos, and featured works by Austin Beierle (B.Arch. ’11), Anton Dekom (B.Arch. ’12), and Sebastian Hernandez (B.Arch. ’11). Circus for Construction is part of WorldWide Storefront, a Storefront for Art and Architecture project, and was founded by Ashley Mendelsohn (B.Arch. ’10), Ann Lui (B.Arch. ’11), Ben Widger (M.Arch. ’11), Larisa Ovalles (B.Arch. ’11), and Craig Reschke.AAP

2 1 Students and alumni gather for a reception at the recently restored, Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Dorothy H. Turkel House. photo / Xiao Huang (M.R.P. ’16)

Hive Mind, an art collective formed by five M.F.A. students in the fall, held their first installation, Five Mined, at Olive Tjaden Hall in December. Based on a three-day trip to the Catskill Mountains in New York, Five Mined explored the myths, literature, and art of the region. Artists include Neeraja D (M.F.A. ’15), Artemisha Goldfeder (M.F.A. ’15), Jenn Houle (M.F.A. ’15), Ahmed Ozsever (M.F.A. ’15), and Connie Wong (M.F.A. ’15). Five Mined was sponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts, AAP, and the Department of Art.AAP

2 Circus for Construction truck at Argos Inn in downtown Ithaca. photo / provided 3 Rahwa Ghirmatzion of PUSH Buffalo, second from the right, guides students through the Green Development Zone. photo / Thomas J. Campanella

CC: Revisits Discussions of Early Convivium Meetings

CC:

CONVIVIUM

CC:, a new book coedited by Sophie Hochhäusl (M.A. HAUD ’10, Ph.D. HAUD candidate) and Melissa Constantine (M.Arch. ’11), was published by AAP and the Department of Architecture in 2014. CC: features a diverse selection of essays and interviews that reflect on conversations from the early years of Convivium. Formed of graduate students interested in discussing architecture, urbanism, and cultural production, Convivium hosts an ongoing series of dynamic meetings that include presentations, readings, visual materials, and exhibitions. CC: contributors include Mario Carpo, the Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London; Vivian Chen (M.Arch. ’12); Louie Frazier and Stephen Powell, members of the “Back-to-theLand” movement; Aaron Gensler (M.Arch. ’14); Ang Li and Matthew Storrie, former editors of Pidgin magazine; Bradley Kinsey (M.Arch. ’14); Margot Lystra (M.A. HAUD ’13, Ph.D. HAUD candidate); Anthony Morin (M.Arch. ’11); Caroline O’Donnell, assistant professor of architecture; Barbara Penner, senior lecturer in architectural history at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London; Chad Randl (M.A. HPP ’00, Ph.D. HAUD ’14); and Youngjin Yi (M.Arch. ’14).AAP

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OURS Visits Buffalo In October, more than 30 students spent a day touring the historical legacy and changing urban landscapes of the city of Buffalo. The outing was hosted by the Organization of Urban and Regional Studies (OURS), which takes undergraduate students from a variety of fields to a different northeast city each year. Students met community leaders, including Cornellians, who are working in planningrelated fields. The trip included students from urban and regional studies, civil engineering, and architecture, and was organized by Angela Moreno-Long (B.S. URS ’16) and Hannah Reichel (B.S. URS ’17), the student leaders of OURS, and Thomas J. Campanella, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies for CRP. Highlights included walking and driving tours of the Olmsted Parks with Brian Dold (M.L.A. ’03) from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy; lunch at the West Side Bazaar, a small-business incubator directed by Ben Bissell (M.R.P. ’14); a tour of the Green Redevelopment Zone with Rahwa Ghirmatzion and Jenifer Kaminsky of PUSH Buffalo, an organization engaged in affordable housing and community development; a visit with Jim Watkins of Silo City to the historic waterfront grain elevators now used for art installations, performances, and other events; and a walking tour of downtown led by Campanella, who describes Buffalo as a living museum of American architecture and urbanism.AAP

Keegan Participates in Urban Scholars Program “I can say with confidence that the Cornell Urban Scholars Program (CUSP) truly made a difference in my college experience,” says Tyler Keegan (B.S. URS ’17). As a participant in CUSP, Keegan spent the summer working at the Regional Plan Association (RPA), a nonprofit advocating for metropolitan-scale planning in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region. Keegan worked in the transportation division, where he completed a research project related to the future of cars. The project highlighted changing trends in car ownership and usage, the impact of emerging services such as Uber, and the potential of driverless car technologies to transform mobility and urban form. “In addition to learning from a self-driven research project, I also learned a great deal about the planning profession from sitting in on RPA board meetings,

hearing practitioners’ opinions on current events, and visiting different neighborhoods around the city,” says Keegan. “The program gave me tools to critically reflect on what I learned, to integrate my off-campus experience with the curriculum of my classes at Cornell, and to understand the complexity of real world problems.” Keegan’s research will be used by RPA during its Fourth Regional Plan effort, an ongoing project to create a blueprint for the region’s growth, sustainability, governance, and economic opportunity for the next 25 years. The Fourth Regional Plan is scheduled for release in late 2016. CUSP, a program overseen by Cornell’s Engaged Learning + Research, seeks to engage undergraduates with New York City’s social justice issues through

meaningful internship placements at nonprofits. As preparation for the summer program, students complete CRP 3310: Social Justice and the City, a discussion-based course focused on a variety of issues ranging from community organizing practices to housing policy. Once in New York City, urban scholars attend weekly reflection sessions and field trips to connect classroom learning with on-the-ground experience.AAP elr.cornell.edu/students/programs/CUSP

News17 | Spring 2015


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An Exploration of Water and the City in Dar es Salaam Students in the fall option studio Water and the City, taught by visiting critics Kunlé Adeyemi and Suzanne Lettieri, were given a broad assignment: choose sites in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam that are impacted by water, and create a design intervention that addresses the challenges and opportunities that emerge as water and the city relate. For the first four weeks of the semester, students prepared for the trip to Tanzania by undertaking a quantitative analysis of the entire African continent in order to better understand the key drivers of development in African cities and settlements. A wide range of African experts, including city authorities, economists, environmentalists, planners, and developers, met with the class to discuss the opportunities and challenges they might find in the formal and informal urban environments in Africa. Once on the ground in Dar es Salaam, students were turned loose in the city to identify individual sites. “The students didn’t have the option of selecting a site before the trip,” says Lettieri (M.Arch. ’12). “They had to chose something simply by walking around and experiencing the city. They began the semester by researching specific topics at the continental scale, and then had to quickly transition to the scale of the city, and attempt to understand it through the lens of their former research.” “Dar es Salaam is a great example of an African water city,” says Adeyemi, who was the Baird Visiting Critic for the

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“The wide range and scales of the final projects perfectly capture the diversity of the challenges, opportunities, and critical gaps yet to be filled in the ongoing development of many African cities,” says Adeyemi. “Although each project had very different results, most of them successfully examined the meeting points of the evolving relationships between water and the city.” The work done in the studio built on the research and design project African Water Cities conducted by Adeyemi’s firm NLÉ. African Water Cities and its award-winning companion project Makoko Floating School in Lagos, explore the impacts of urbanization and climate change on African cities and communities situated in or along water. NLÉ and Zoohaus also collaborated on a 2014–15 MoMA exhibition titled Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.AAP Rebecca Bowes

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fall semester. “It was an ideal case study for our students to investigate the complex dynamics that shape development of many African cities. During their short trip, they quickly discovered deep sociopolitical histories, environmental challenges, and natural resources which played significant roles in the city’s development.” The students had some critical assistance with managing the unfamiliar city: seven students from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam partnered with the Cornell students, and served as guides, translators, and on-the-ground experts. “Working with the Ardhi students was invaluable,” says Kate Kerbel (M.Arch. ’15). “They were not only our guides to the city and our translators, but they constantly reminded us of who would actually be using our designs—and how.” “[The Ardhi students] were our age,” adds Madeline Burns (B.Arch. ’15). “Being with them helped make us feel more comfortable, and gave me a deeper understanding of Dar es Salaam. And the cross-cultural exchange was fascinating.” Final projects ranged from a port terminal to a trash filtering system for storm drains.

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Led by Associate Professor Lily Chi and Assistant Professor Jeremy Foster, architecture, the fall option studio Floating Cities: Mekong challenged students to use the Mekong’s urban landscape and water traditions to explore alternatives to current development proposals in Ca Mau, a small but rapidly growing Vietnamese city in the south of the delta. In preparation for a 10-day trip to Southeast Asia, early assignments delved into issues of indeterminacy and questions of resiliency, and aimed to give the students context around the delta cities and their increasing popularity as tourist destinations. Dynamics such as colonialism, globalization, climate change, and oil extraction were explored in texts and relevant work undertaken by experts at universities in Belgium and Norway. One of these experts, Kelly Shannon, professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, was an important collaborator on the trip. As a leader in research on contemporary Vietnamese cityscapes, Shannon helped set up interactions with the local designers, guides, and translators. “Her knowledge of the city was critical for structuring the fieldwork,” says Foster. Once in Ca Mau in late September, students attended lectures by local officials, toured the city’s

1  Allen Phan Chhav (M.Arch. ’15) drawing a site of interest from the Ilala district on the floor of the NAFASI art space. Students from Cornell and Ardhi University met at the NAFASI art space for discussions and a lecture series featuring presentations from local artists, Ardhi University professors, and representatives from U.N. Habitat. photo / provided 2 Data Mappings: Comprehensive information about the African continent researched through seven perspectives— demographic, economic, environmental, morphological, infrastructural, socio-political, and resources—with a focus on rapid urbanization and climate change. 3 Kate Kerbel’s (M.Arch. ’15) Mnazi Mmoja: Urban Watering Hole, a proposal to provide a clean drinking water source and distribution venue at a bus station adjacent to an urban park in Dar es Salaam.

floating markets by boat, and spent significant time in the city documenting and analyzing selected sites. “We had amazing access to Ca Mau and its environs thanks to our Vietnamese hosts,” says Chi. “Ma Hung Minh, chief architect of Ca Mau, and key figures from the Vietnam Institute of Spatial Planning—in particular Le Ngoc Linh and Nguyen Ngoc Tung—literally smoothed our way with local officials and taxi operators on more than one occasion.” “One of the highlights of the trip was the boat ride [to Ca Mau],” says Jordan Berta (M.Arch. ’16). “We could see the entire system of ecology plus urbanity, a water highway which contained incredible vitality. It gave us a scale, a point of reference to draw from. This had a huge impact on my planning strategy in this studio.” Materials gathered during the trip were used by studio participants to inform the development of new housing prototypes that respond to the shifting

and emerging conditions in Ca Mau. According to Foster, the topic of housing is rarely explored in architecture studios, even though it often constitutes a large percentage of any urban formation and can be a very effective way to systematically address larger economic, social, and environmental issues in the built environment. “The students are be commended for the methodical, thorough way they researched and incorporated the many different—and for most of them, quite unfamiliar— metrics involved,” he says. “They came up with proposals that were not only elegant and original alternatives to the current urban development in Ca Mau, but also probably more responsive to ‘actual existing’ social, economic, and environmental circumstances in the delta as a whole.” AAP Rebecca Bowes

Architecture Studios

Students Propose Development Alternatives in the Mekong Delta

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4 A rendering shows water containers being stored and distributed via the public bus system in Kerbel’s proposal. 5 From left, visiting critics Suzanne Lettieri and Kunlé Adeyemi at the final reviews of Water and the City. 6 Final reviews of Floating Cities: Mekong in Milstein Hall. 7  Forest Revolution Archipelago by Lucas Greco (M.Arch. ’15), Sophia Szagala (M.Arch. ’15), and Andreea Gulerez (M.Arch. ’15), proposes three different kinds of cut-and-fill operations on the existing water-based agricultural landscape of Ca Mau to create a new city that will prevail even in the event of a storm surge. 8/9  Deepshikha Jaiswal’s (M.Arch. ’15) House as Prototype proposes a house as an object that has the ability to adapt to various conditions and contexts along the length of the Ca Mau river.

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News17 | Spring 2015


Katya Savelieva (B.F.A. / B.A. â&#x20AC;&#x2122;16), chromogenic print, 22" x 17".


Faculty News Associate professor Esra Akcan, architecture, delivered several lectures in the fall, including “The ‘Occupy’ Turn in the Global City Paradigm” at Northwestern University on October 11, and “Open Architecture and the Noncitizen” for AAP’s Department of City and Regional Planning on November 21. She contributed to the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennale, held in November and December, under the theme “The Future Is Not What It Used to Be,” with her article and collection “A Manifesto for Collecting and Translating Manifestos,” as well as the organization of an oral history event under the theme “1960 Manifestos.” Her article on the 14th Venice Architecture Biennal, “Is a Global History of Architecture Displayable?” will appear in the forthcoming issue of ARTMargins (4:1).

A solo exhibit by Carl Ostendarp, assistant professor and director of graduate studies in art, was on display at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York City in July and August. The show was titled Blanks, and was reviewed in the New York Times, Time Out, ARTNews, and the website Hyperallergic.

Architecture’s Jenny Sabin, Wiesenberger Assistant Professor, and Kunlé Adeyemi, Baird Visiting Critic, are among the 10 people that comprise Metropolis magazine’s New Talent 2014 list. The list, which appeared in the October issue, features emerging designers who are employing a wide variety of disciplines—including sound, biodesign, development policy, and urbanism—into their work. Sabin was also awarded the 2014 Association of Computer Aided A team from RICA* Studio, led by Iñaqui Carnicero Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Digital Practice and Lorena del Río, visiting assistant professors in Award of Excellence. The award is one of six conferred architecture, received an honorable mention in the by ACADIA each year. ACADIA is “an international Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium International Competition. network of digital design researchers and professionals As part of the district’s centennial anniversary, the that supports critical investigations into the role of competition aimed to replace an existing, outdated computation in architecture, planning, and building sports hall with a new gymnasium complex for the local science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, residents of the Hyeonpung-myeon neighborhood within sustainability, and education.” the Daegu district of Dalseong-gun in South Korea. In October, Andrea Simitch, associate professor of As a member of the 2014 Guggenheim’s Asian Art architecture, directed a weeklong WallWalk workshop Council, Iftikhar Dadi, associate professor of art history, in Rome. Sponsored by the Italian architecture school visited Bangkok in September, where he participated Roma Tre and the Association of American College in a series of lectures, roundtable discussions, and and University Programs in Italy, WallWalk is an museum visits. The council’s trip was designed to organization investigating the development of a new and strengthen the Guggenheim’s curatorial and educational expanded public space, including bicycle and pedestrian programming by exploring and presenting global paths, along the historic Aurelian Wall. The program perspectives on modern and contemporary art. Dadi included a lecture by Iñaqui Carnicero, visiting also spent July and August in Hong Kong as a scholar assistant professor of architecture; and a walking tour in residence and artist in residence in a collaborative of the Aurelian Wall by Jan Gadeyne, visiting critic at venture between Asia Art Archive and Spring Workshop. Cornell in Rome. The two-month residency included both scholarship and art practice. Professor Mildred Warner, CRP, was invited to Cape Town, South Africa, in April 2014, where she presented N H D M’s proposal for the reuse of an urban island at the Municipal Services Project’s international in Seoul was featured in the Seoul Architecture conference on “Putting Public in Public Services.” She Festival 2014. N H D M is the firm of visiting critics was invited to participate in a follow-up workshop on in architecture Nahyun Hwang and David Eugin articulating measures of social efficiency in water Moon. Other participants in the exhibition included delivery in Montreal, in October. The project seeks to Dominique Perrault, Nader Tehrani, Yung Ho Chang, encourage learning and exchange between public utility and Toyo Ito, among others. The exhibit ran from operators in the Global South. Warner also had two October 17 to November 23, 2014.  coauthored articles appear in a special issue of Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics titled The Governance of Mixed Companies: Policy Implications for Local Governments: “(post)line,” an article by Michael Jefferson and “Hybrid Firms and Transit Delivery: The Case of Berlin” Suzanne Lettieri, visiting critics in architecture, (85(1):127–146), coauthored with Doug Swarts (M.R.P. was published in the third issue of the journal Project. ’10); and “Public Owner with Business Delivery Mode: The article addressed the effect of high-water marks Case Study of the Shanghai Public Bus System, China” (or post-lines) on structures that survive floods, and (85(1):147–164), coauthored with H. Wang, M. Y. Tian, how those lines inform the future of structures built in and D. Zhu. Warner’s research in another area—social flood zones. The topic related directly to the pair’s fall seminar, Underrated, which asked students to work with impact bonds—caught the attention of the Government the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Accountability Office (GAO). The director of the GAO came to Cornell and interviewed her for a report the to form a rating system for the future of design and GAO is doing for Congress. Warner also participated in construction in flood zone areas. A corresponding workshop titled Resilient Visions was held on campus in a one-day conference titled “Local Fiscal Stress: State October, and featured presentations by Kunlé Adeyemi, Austerity Policy and Creative Local Response,” sponsored by Cornell’s Community and Rural Development Baird Visiting Critic and principal, NLÉ; Gabriella Institute and the Fiscal Policy Institute. The conference Amabile, senior planner, U.S. Department of Housing was held in Saratoga Springs in December for an and Urban Development; Tom King, environmental audience of municipal and school district officials, certifying officer, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery; union leaders, fiscal administrators, state legislators and Jason Long, partner, OMA; and Jeremy Siegel, project staffers, and New York state agency representatives. leader, BIG. While on sabbatical, Professor Mary N. Woods, architecture, is the Milton Rogovin Fellow at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. Woods and Vani Subramanian, a New Delhi filmmaker and Fulbright Fellow at Cornell for 2012–13, received a seed grant from Cornell’s South Asia Program for their documentary film and ebook on Indian cinema halls as architectures of migration and immigration. Shooting for the film began last December in Mumbai’s picture palaces and will resume this January on location there and in Chennai. Woods also published an essay titled “Pravina Mehta: A Woman Architect in Post-Independence India” in the collection Women’s Jonathan Ochshorn, professor and director of Eye, Woman’s Hand: Making Art and Architecture in Modern graduate studies in architecture, published an article India (Zubaan Books, 2014); and a chapter on the titled “Architecture’s Dysfunctional Couple: Design electrification of Bombay/Mumbai, including original and Technology at the Crossroads” in the International photographs by Mumbai photographer Chirodeep Journal of Design Education 7, no. 4 (2014):35–46. The article addresses what Ochshorn sees as the gap between Chaudhuri, in the book Cities of Light: Two Centuries of Urban Illumination (Routledge, 2015). abstract building design objectives and increasingly subtle technical requirements. The result, he argues, is a “perfect storm of building failure in practice.”

Visiting Associate Professor Mark Morris published a chapter titled “School of Thought,” in Educating Architects: How Tomorrow’s Practitioners Will Learn Today (Thames and Hudson, 2014). His chapter focuses on the postwar phase of curricular reform, the creation of unique identities of individual architecture schools, and growth of studio culture as their defining characteristic. Morris attended the book launch and two-day symposium in London, celebrating the release of the publication. An image from Morris’s essay was selected for the book’s cover.

Lasansky Publishes Archi.Pop Published in October, D. Medina Lasansky’s Archi.Pop: Mediating Architecture in Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, 2014) explores how architecture and design have been represented in popular culture, and how these fictional reflections feed back into and influence “the real world.” The book offers a contemporary critical overview of this diverse and intriguing relationship in cultural forms, including television, cinema, iconic buildings, and everyday interiors, music, and magazines. Contributors include art history alumna Sarah Benson, Iain Borden, Lawrence Chua (M.A. HAUD ’00), Denise Costanzo, Gabrielle Esperdy, Visiting Associate Professor Mark Morris, Barbara Penner, Chad Randl (Ph.D. HPP ’14), Merrill Schleier, Holly Wlodarczyk, and Jon Yoder. Lasansky is the Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory.AAP

New Book Reproduces Ostendarp’s Murals in Printed Form A new artist’s book by associate professor of art Carl Ostendarp was published in December. Book presents, as an object, Ostendarp’s two-tone wall murals that have been used as backdrops in exhibitions of his and his colleagues’ paintings at Pace (London), MMK 2007 (Frankfurt), the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. According to the publisher, Köln-based Snoeck, with Book, “viewers are free to project their own imaginary selection onto Ostendarp’s book(pages)walls.” Designed by Uwe Koch, Book is part of the Kienbaum Artists’ Book series edited by Jochen Kienbaum. Book is published in both red and blue versions.AAP

Tomlan Publishes Historic Preservation: Caring for Our Expanding Legacy A new book by Professor Michael Tomlan, titled Historic Preservation: Caring for Our Expanding Legacy (Springer, 2014), draws on a wide range of research and scholarship from the past 50 years to explore past and current ideas in preservation. The book begins with a historical review of preservation activities through the mid-1980s. Subsequent chapters explore demographic changes in tandem with responses of the preservation community; financial challenges and the sources of revenue available to preservation projects; an illustration through short stories of the ethical battles of below- and above-ground historic resources; and an attempt to explain why religion is often held at arm’s length in publicly supported efforts. More than 150 illustrations complement the text, and display the accomplishments of preservation projects throughout the country.AAP


Folio Faculty&Staff

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Advocating for a Higher Price for Driving If you want to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and global warming, pumping more money into public transit isn’t the answer. Americans simply need to drive less, and the only way to achieve that is to make driving more expensive, says Michael Manville, assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Currently, Manville says, drivers do not pay the “full social costs” of driving because the price they pay does not account for the negative consequences it causes, from emitting pollutants to increasing the risk of accidents to clogging highways. “The idea is not for people to give up their cars— that’s not desirable,” Manville says. “The question is, if you have a car, how much do you use it? In the aggregate, Americans drive more than they would if they had to pay its real price.” In the United States, Manville says driving has been subsidized by local, state, and federal governments— the average gas tax in the U.S. is less than 50 cents a gallon, compared to more than $3 a gallon in Germany—and most importantly through the free use of roads. Congestion occurs because roads are free, he adds, and like many underpriced goods, they are prone to shortages. To reduce clogged roadways, Manville says cities need to create electronically managed congestion tolls, which use changing toll fees to keep traffic moving at a set speed. Cities could program tolls, for example, to maintain the lowest price that allows traffic to travel at 65 mph. “So at eight in the morning, when many people want to get on the road, the price might be higher,” Manville says, “whereas at three in the morning, it might be close to zero.” San Diego County uses traffic congestion tolls on a highway that bases the system on an algorithm that changes the toll rate every six minutes, adjusting to

demand. Singapore, which also uses electronic road pricing for its freeways, is another example other cities should look to, Manville says. While some transportation planners advocate increased investments in public transit usage, Manville says a focus on building more transit distracts people from the fact that driving is “mispriced.” A study he recently coauthored shows that while voters strongly favor increased funding for public transportation, that support rarely translates into less driving or more public transit use. Published in the journal Transportation in September, the study finds that tax increases in 21 local ballot measures from 2001 to 2003 were approved, on average, by 63 percent of voters. Ten years later, however, the proportion of commuters who drove alone in these communities had dropped by only two points, from 87 to 85 percent—the same as the national average—while the share of transit riders remained at 5 percent. “Support for public transportation is very strongly associated with people’s concerns about broad social problems,” Manville says. “People who are worried about the environment, worried about global warming, and worried about congestion also support spending money on transit. But there was no association at all between people supporting public transportation and their desires to drive less or actually use transit themselves.” For Manville, this illustrates the dangers of building transit to solve problems that mainly occur on roads: If people will not use transit, why build it in the first place? “If everyone thinks, ‘I’m going to finance it and other people are going to ride it,’ then what you have is a lot of people spending a lot of money and no one riding the train,” he says. “And then you run the risk of having wasted a lot of money.”AAP Sherrie Negrea

Taft Receives Grant for Exploration of Rome Memorial Site Associate Professor W. Stanley Taft, art, is the recipient of a seed grant from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. With the grant, Taft will continue work on a project about a monument in Rome commemorating the 19th-century unification of Italy under the leadership of Guiseppe Garibaldi. “At the center of a park on the Janiculum Hill stands a monumental 25-meter-high equestrian bronze sculpture of Garibaldi,” says Taft. “Lining the three streets leading into the park are 83 portrait busts of his supporters.” Taft’s project, Risorgimento: The Memorial Portrait Busts of Garibaldi’s Supporters on the Janiculum, focuses on the cycles of deterioration and restoration and subsequent deterioration of the busts. Taft photographed the busts over several weeks in various stages of restoration, at different times of day, and in the context of the park. In order to isolate the figure from its surroundings, Taft edited contextual information by overpainting with Flashe, a vinyl paint similar to acrylic. Taft’s Einaudi seed grant will fund the production of an artist book and the preparation of exhibitions of the work.AAP

photo / provided

Using 3D printing and advanced geometry, a team at Cornell has developed a new kind of building material—interlocking ceramic bricks that are lightweight, need no mortar, and make efficient use of materials. Developed by the Sabin Design Lab in collaboration with Cornell and Jenny Sabin Studio, the PolyBrick project team included assistant professor of architecture Jenny Sabin with Martin Miller, visiting critic in architecture; visiting lecturer Andrew Lucia, architecture; and Nicholas Cassab-Gheta (B.Arch. ’14).AAP

Planning Professors Conduct New Analysis of Cornell’s Economic Impact While the economic recovery of the past six years has primarily benefited the top 1 percent of income earners, that is not the case in Tompkins County, at least when it comes to the impact of spending by Cornell. A new analysis finds that Cornell’s purchasing, construction, and payroll expenditures have helped residents in all income classes, from households below the poverty line to those earning more than $150,000, according to research conducted by two Department of City and Regional Planning faculty members, Professor Kieran Donaghy (top left) and Visiting Associate Professor Yuri S. Mansury. “The distributional impact of Cornell’s economic activity is fairly egalitarian,” Donaghy says. “Cornell’s expenditures provide that tide that lifts all boats.” This finding is part of a new report, Economic Impact on New York State, which was released by Cornell on October 13. While the 22-page document is the third economic impact study Cornell has conducted since 2007, the report offers new insights into the university’s economic influence on the community, the region, and the state because of two new analytic models introduced by Donaghy and Mansury. In previous reports, Cornell’s economic impact in Tompkins County and Central New York was analyzed

by measuring multiplier effects of its expenditures. This approach was based on three aspects of the university’s spending: the direct effects of its expenditures; the indirect effects—how companies that do business with Cornell pay their employees or buy equipment or services; and the induced effects—how Cornell’s employees and its suppliers’ employees spend money on items such as food, rent, and child care. For example, the new report finds Cornell’s direct spending in Tompkins County in 2012 was $834 million, including the university’s payroll, purchasing, and construction. On top of that figure, induced impact generated $328 million, and its indirect impact added another $18 million. Donaghy and Mansury took this analysis a step further by incorporating two types of analyses that allowed them to develop a fuller picture of Cornell’s economic impact on the community. The first, a structural path analysis, allowed them to follow how expenditures filter through the community to different households and income classes. This analysis reveals that half of the total impact of Cornell’s purchasing, construction, and payroll spending in Tompkins County benefited households with incomes of $75,000 or less. For households at the

bottom of the scale—those earning $10,000 or less— Cornell’s economic impact was $4.7 million, or 3 percent of total income. This impact is achieved through Cornell’s induced or indirect influence—the construction worker building a project on campus who buys a drink at a hot dog stand and the food operator who then hires a teenager to rake leaves. “In an economy, everyone will be connected to everyone else,” Mansury explains. “Even the lowest-income groups will benefit from Cornell’s expenditures.” Another new tool Donaghy and Mansury introduced in the 2013 report was a computable general-equilibrium model, which enables researchers to study the effects of government policies or university economic development initiatives on regional economies—taking into account supply and demand behavior, price adjustments, and resource constraints leading to crowding out of investment. Donaghy says that he and Mansury plan to use this model to analyze the impact of the construction and operation of the Cornell Tech campus on the New York City economy later this year.AAP Sherrie Negrea

News17 | Spring 2015


’06

Erik den Breejen Erik den Breejen’s (M.F.A. ’06) 19' x 23' mural of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun greets visitors to the company’s new Gensler-designed headquarters at 1633 Broadway in Manhattan. Den Breejen says, “The mural honors Ertegun’s legacy by constructing his portrait out of painted words to over 100 Atlantic hits from the 1940s until today.”

photo / Eric Wolfe


2 Christiana Moss 3 Eric Schuldenfrei

photo / John Wagner

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photo / John Wagner

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Architecture Alumni Included in “Design Vanguard” This year’s “Design Vanguard” feature in Architectural Record included three AAP alumni—Christopher Alt (B.Arch. ’95) and Christiana Moss (B.Arch. ’95) of Studio Ma, and Eric Schuldenfrei (B.Arch. ’99) of ESKYIU. Updated yearly and in its 15th year, “Design Vanguard” showcases emerging firms from around the world that are “expanding the role of the architect by championing new approaches to design and practice.” Studio Ma was chosen for its focus on sustainability and ability to “draw from the desert environment for its economical, innovative designs.” Based in Phoenix, the 12-person firm has been designing significant projects for Arizona State University, including the Sun Devil Fitness Center, a project targeting LEED-platinum status. Formed with his wife, Marisa Yiu, Schuldenfrei’s firm ESKYIU was selected for its aim to expand the definition of architectural work and engage the public in projects ranging from installations to events. Recent projects include an installation of aquatic plants and “conceptual fishing reefs” to promote marine sustainability; and a series of talks and workshops tackling topics from crossborder issues in China’s Pearl River Delta region to the future of architectural education.AAP

Young Alum Revives Historic Providence Property

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Providence has long had an image problem: it may be home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, but its name has been tarnished by corruption and urban blight. The opening of the new Dean Hotel in the Downcity district suggests how even a single development could help improve not just the physical fabric of the city, but also its public reputation. The story of the building’s history provides, in some ways, a microcosmic crash course on the past century in Providence. Built by the Episcopal Church in 1912 to provide a social services center, a chapel, and housing for the poor, it devolved into what in recent years was essentially a flophouse and strip club. In 2012, Ari Heckman (B.S. URS ’05), a Providence native and cofounder of the New York–based development and design firm ASH NYC, bought the property with three partners and a small group of investors. Their intention: to turn it into an affordable, tastefully designed hotel using creative know-how from the city and the Northeast region. The idea for the Dean started when Heckman returned home after graduation from AAP to work for a local investor and urban planner. He stayed for two years. “When I was living here, I realized that there wasn’t any hotel that was remotely reflective of Providence,” says Heckman. “All of the hotels here were super-corporate, which is strange because Providence isn’t really corporate. It’s a college town, there are a lot of artists; it’s really quirky. So why was there this mismatch?” The 52-room hotel, which was restored by local firm Kite Architects, puts an end to that discord. “The main goal of the Dean is to highlight the best local stuff for visitors, but also bring the best of the outside to Providence,” Heckman says. “We wanted to create a fun, interactive space that’s a little schizophrenic and has all of these crazy things happening in it, but that ultimately feels really peaceful.” Interactivity comes in the form of a lobby coffee shop, as well as a beer hall, Moroccan-inspired lounge, and karaoke bar. Heckman credits the late Ace Hotel cofounder Alex Calderwood, whom he met in 2008 and who became a sort of mentor to him, for initiating this approach. “He was truly the first to connect real, local experiences to a hotel experience,” Heckman says of Calderwood, adding, “I consider the Ace a pioneer for creating the type of hotel that I think a lot of hotels now aspire to be, which are these social, local places where the lobby is not a lobby; it’s a place where the community can come in.” AAP

photo / Christian Harder

photo / provided

When completed, the new Prudential headquarters in Newark will house more than 3,000 employees in a 675,000-square-foot, state-of-theart office setting. Led by Doug Hocking (B.Arch. ’84) of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Prudential Newark also includes a cafeteria, conference center, a health and wellness center, a retail podium, a plaza with a green wall and a water wall, and a fifth-floor cafeteria that steps out onto the podium’s roof garden.AAP

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photo / © Eduard Hueber / Archphoto

photo / ESKYIU

’95/’99

Mustafa K. Abadan (B.Arch. ’82, M.Arch. ’84) and his firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), were awarded a 2015 AIA Honor Award for Architecture for the new John Jay College of Criminal Justice building in New York City. Abadan was the design partner on the project. Located in Midtown Manhattan, the new building includes all the functions of a traditional college campus contained within a single city block. At 625,000 square feet, the building doubles the size of John Jay’s existing facilities and creates a unified academic presence for the institution. The 13-story building houses 56 state-of-the-art classrooms, cyber lounges, computer labs, science facilities, a moot court, conference rooms, an exhibit gallery, a black box theater, dining facilities, and other educational and administrative features in a 100 percent wireless environment. The main entrance is topped by the student-named Jay Walk, a 65,000-square-foot landscaped terrace that acts as a campus commons. Jury comments on the project note that “This massive programmatic space has created an entire village—from a beautiful and happy day care to a full-service kitchen and dining facility, mock courtrooms, and full-science laboratories. The diversity of space is impressive, and it is hard to imagine that it could be done better”; and “The green roof was thoughtfully executed and creates an oasis in the midst of skyscrapers.” The jury for the 2015 awards was comprised of Ray Calabro, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Nicole Gerou, AIAS student representative, Lawrence Technological University; Ana Guerra, Jacobs; Sherri Gutierrez, Arquitectonica; Jill Lerner (B.Arch. ’76), Kohn Pedersen Fox; Calvin Lewis, Iowa State University; James McDonald, A&E Architects; Waller McGuire, executive director, St. Louis Public Library; and Angela O’Byrne, Perez. Another project led by Abadan, the Tajong Pagar Center in Singapore, won the World Architecture News 2014 Award in the Mixed-Use category. The 1.7 million-square-foot, mixed-use development in the Central Business District will be Singapore’s tallest building, and is scheduled to open in 2016.AAP

Alumni

Abadan and SOM Receive AIA National Honor Award

1 Christopher Alt

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Excerpted and adapted from an article written by Spencer Bailey for the April 2014 issue of Surface magazine.

News17 | Spring 2015


Alumni

Build, Preserve, Renew

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An Interview with AAP Alumnae and Board of Trustees Buildings and Properties Committee Members Dalia Stiller (B.Arch. ’84) and Susan Rodriguez (B.Arch. ’82) are longtime members of AAP’s Alumni Advisory Committee. Here, they speak with AAP News editor Aaron Goldweber, not only as AAP alumnae, but as Cornell trustees and members of the Buildings and Properties Committee. Stiller is committee cochair (with Leland Pillsbury); Rodriguez joined the committee in 2014.

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2014–15 BUILDINGS AND PROPERTIES COMMITTEE MEMBERS Leland C. Pillsbury, cochair Dalia P. Stiller, cochair Jerry Bilinski Richard L. Booth Ezra Cornell Ira Drukier, emeritus Robert S. Harrison, ex officio Kent L. Hubbell

Kent Kleinman John A. Noble Susan T. Rodriguez Meredith A. Rosenberg David J. Skorton, ex officio Andrew H. Tisch Laura A. Wilkinson Craig Yunker

Goldweber: What is the charge of the Buildings and Properties Committee? Stiller: The committee establishes the board of trustees’ policy related to Cornell’s real estate and physical plant, including maintenance and utilities, for all campuses. For the most part, the projects we review have a value of $10 million or more, or will substantially affect the aesthetic composition of the campus. When weighing decisions, we use the university’s master plan, our own comprehensive policy plan—with a defined vision and criteria—and a sustainability plan. When a project is underway and going as expected, we simply receive status reports from the staff. But if something arises, like an increase in budget or major changes in the design or construction scope, we review it again and approve the new changes as needed. Rodriguez: Another part of our role is to collaborate with the administration—the deans and the academic leadership who are responsible for proposing new projects and executing those that are approved. The facilities team, under Vice President Kyu Whang, does a great job presenting detailed reports that keep us up to date so that we can give strategic input. Goldweber: What do each of you bring to your position on the committee? Stiller: As trained architects, what Susie and I bring is the designer’s perspective. We understand how critical it is to preserve a sense of place for Cornell and how architecture is an essential component of that. I’m a developer, with an expertise in renovations, so when we are talking about designing interior spaces and exterior renovations and maximizing the use of existing space, that’s in my realm of expertise. And with that knowledge, I can argue that good design can actually save us money. I don’t think that is something nondesigners always realize.

Sometimes the best thing we can say, as architects, is: “Don’t build it.” Susan Rodriguez

Rodriguez: One thing Dalia and I have talked a lot about is that the studio environment and project-based learning that we, as architects, are accustomed to, is becoming more applicable to other disciplines; so we bring that insight into how these methods of teaching and learning will impact the design of the campus moving forward. We also bring a strategic vision. Sometimes the best thing we can say, as architects, is: “Don’t build it.” People too often think an architect’s view is just about building; but it’s really about trying to contextualize

1 Susan Rodriguez 2 Dalia Stiller

decision making in order to determine what the right approach to solving the problem is. Synthesizing the complex issues surrounding any project is critical. And as an architect who designs buildings for institutions like Cornell, I bring that perspective and experience to the committee. Goldweber: You just said “Don’t build it” is sometimes the best approach. Has that approach played into any recent decisions that will have a lasting impact on Cornell’s physical plant? Stiller: The committee recently decided that we will only approve new buildings when a dean or administrative head can make the case to us that they cannot rejuvenate existing facilities to meet their needs. This is changing the way we’re looking at building on campus, which will lead to Cornell being more creative and taking our historical buildings more seriously. Before the economic downturn of 2008, everybody was optimistic and the trend was to say, “If this building is not fitting or is not complying with the needs we have, let’s build something new.” This approach became unsustainable. The committee’s agenda in recent years became more focused on completing the projects that were already on the table and committed to. With those legacy projects now largely completed, we’re moving toward implementing a new approach of rejuvenation instead of new construction. Goldweber: How does this change in approach relate to buildings in need of major repairs? Stiller: It’s a balancing act between the old and the new, and how to reimagine what already exists. It’s looking at a building in a new way—for example, Upson Hall—and seeing it as a building that could retain its structure while being renewed to comply with the new programming. Sometimes razing buildings is inevitable because the existing structure is not of any value either historically or functionally and cannot be reasonably reused, making it prohibitive to bring the building back to life. Rodriguez: For me, representing the alumni as a trustee, I think it’s important to understand and preserve the integrity of what creates such memories on the historic campus, but also be able to refresh and bring the campus into the future. Milstein Hall is a good example of how to combine programmatic and financial planning, by blending old and new. The project preserves and renews historic infrastructure—in Rand and Sibley—by interconnecting them with a new state-of-the-art addition that links the two buildings and breathes new life into the entire complex.

and want to make a donation. Susie and I think that it is possible to get people excited about restoring or renovating. Some of these older and existing buildings are a great part of Cornell’s history and our Ivy League identity, and there are many Cornellians who would like to preserve this legacy for generations to come. Rodriguez: The potential of enhancing the old isn’t always obvious when buildings haven’t been touched in decades. Our fiduciary responsibility as trustees is essential, along with our stewardship of the campus as our institutional identity in an increasingly competitive environment. The quality of the campus—its facilities and infrastructure­­—need to be aligned with our aspirations for academic excellence. Goldweber: How does the committee balance “visioning” and these aspirations for academic excellence in a physical plant with more project-based discussion and decision making? Rodriguez: This fall we had a special committee meeting to begin discussions on a strategic direction for the campus. The 2006 master plan was focused on growing the campus beyond the existing footprint. Today there are different challenges about how to renew the campus that go beyond campus expansion. Are there greater efficiencies? Can we better utilize the buildings at the core of campus? What is the quality of life on campus? A successful vision for campus will be informed by new ideas about teaching and learning, the role of technology, the increasing globalization of a Cornell education and the spaces that are required to support these new academic initiatives, and the enhancement of the overall quality of life on campus. Stiller: We are making visioning a priority and incorporating discussion of it into every meeting we hold. We are going to be revisiting the master plan to be more inclusive in scope and incorporate areas like Collegetown and key areas in Ithaca, which are important campus gateways and potential community development enhancement opportunities.

It is very exciting to be part of creating a whole campus from scratch that will expand our academic mission. Dalia Stiller

Goldweber: And how does the Tech Campus fit into the committee’s responsibilities? How do decisions for the Ithaca campus impact decisions for Tech and vice versa? Stiller: We use the same review process for both campuses. We see the Cornell Tech campus as an extension of our Ithaca campus. Since there is so much going on to open Cornell Tech by 2017, we have status reports at almost every meeting. It is very exciting to be part of creating a whole campus from scratch that will expand our academic mission, and the committee understands that the physical component of this campus is essential to making it a success. Rodriguez: There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the programs that are going to link campuses, and allowing for spaces that will welcome students and faculty from one campus to the other. The landscape is an important component of that, creating a distinct sense of place for Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. Both campuses have unique vantage points in very different contexts, but both provide a perspective of seeing beyond—into the great metropolis of New York City from Roosevelt Island, just as the Ithaca campus has its own sense of place on top of the hill overlooking Cayuga Lake. Susan T. Rodriguez is a founding partner and design principal in Ennead Architects. Her portfolio includes projects for civic, cultural, and educational institutions and has been recognized for design excellence, innovation in sustainability, and its contribution to the public realm. Rodriguez has been an active member of the AAP Advisory Council since 1998, and has taught a number of AAP design studios in New York City.

Dalia Stiller is an architectural consultant for Goldweber: Is there a difference in how you approach Woolbright Development, Inc., the fastest-growing retail funding of new buildings versus renovations? real estate developer in Florida, which was founded by Stiller: I have to admit that we struggle with it: how to her husband, Duane Stiller ’84. Stiller has served on the go about raising the money for these buildings and how AAP Advisory Council since 2008, and has been a vocal to make renovations compelling so people get on board advocate for the college throughout the university.AAP


Lily Chung’s (M.Arch. ’15) thesis, “Meat Culture: Censored Spaces and Radical Alternatives,” which proposes a publicly accessible slaughterhouse in downtown Chicago.


Cornell University 129 Sibley Dome Ithaca, NY 14853-6701 aap.cornell.edu

Profile for Cornell AAP

AAP News 17  

Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning semi-annual publication.

AAP News 17  

Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning semi-annual publication.