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If the school's existing website can be described as GSAPP’s daily newspaper, CC: is seen as its Sunday magazine. The goal of the project is to keep readers informed about the school and its broad global network of activities. CC: offers a real-time monitor of the wider GSAPP: the expanded school that reaches from the deepest recesses of Avery Hall to the most energetic forms of practice and discourse in the furthest corners of the planet. And, it’s been a while. We thought it was time to let people in on the experiments being conducted at the school (and, increasingly, outside of Avery Hall) in addition to the exciting work of its alumni, who continue to challenge the paradigms of their disciplines. The difficulty of capturing such a multi-dimensional, global, and ever evolving school is reflected in the deliberately simple organization of the content. Our hope is that this structure — organized only by length into notes, briefs, and papers — will accept almost any form 1


of content without trying to force the often embryonic activities of the school into set themes. In that regard we have been quite fortunate to work with our friends and collaborators at 2x4, Inc. for knowing the school well enough to realize that a spare organization and identity was the best way to accommodate the frenetic timbre of the GSAPP universe. The project lives largely online at, where you can subscribe to receive your updates about the wider GSAPP by visiting the site, via various social media outlets, or in the form of a top ten weekly e-newsletter. On occasion, CC: will appear in print, bringing dialogue that has been percolating online to the fore and re-presenting some of the more significant ideas that have been traveling through the school and its global network. However, while we remain stubbornly loyal to print media, CC: in magazine form is not intended to be an artificially egalitarian portrait of the school. Instead, it is a real-time 2


encapsulation of what the school looked like approximately three months (because of the speed of production) before the magazine reaches your hands. Therefore, if you are missing from this issue, it probably means that you have been up to incredibly interesting things that we need to know about. In that spirit, this inaugural issue forms a loose constellation around the celebration of Ken Frampton’s 80th birthday celebration in the fall of 2010 and the expansion of the Studio-X global network into Amman, Mumbai, and Rio. What does the name mean? We liked the fact that CC: suggests an action, specifically an act of inclusion. We are CC-ing you on what's happening in an around GSAPP; we hope you tell us what you’re up to in return. Please join the conversation and let us know what you think! Mark Wigley, Dean, GSAPP Jeannie Kim, Editor, CC: 3






GSAPP faculty member Kenneth Frampton, who celebrated his 80th birthday in October at GSAPP with colleagues, friends, and former students, reflects upon the tenure and influence of Monica Pidgeon (1913–2009), editor of the London-based journal Architectural Design (AD) from 1946–1975. A vocal champion of modernism and host to a series of Technical Editors that included Theo Crosby, Robin Middleton, and Frampton himself, Pidgeon — from her Bloomsbury Way office — avidly promoted her belief that only good work should ever be published or discussed. The essay that follows is part of Architects' Journeys: Traveling Building Thinking, edited by Craig Buckley and Pollyanna Rhee, bilingual edition (English/Spanish): GSAPP Books and T6) Ediciones, June 2011.

ON THE ROAD: AN AD MEMOIR Kenneth Frampton





Architectural Design, March 1964.



This journey takes place as much within my own mind as on the road, tracing a path through a period of time, but also through the pages of Architectural Design (AD), which I edited, along with Monica Pidgeon, between 1961 and 1965. It begins with the South African architect Theo Crosby who for eight years played a seminal role in the postwar evolution of AD. As Monica’s first Technical Editor, Theo helped to shift the magazine from being a journal of record towards becoming a magazine with a polemical edge, which eventually enabled it to challenge the British liberal establishment, represented, at the time, by the Architectural Review. Why Crosby should have selected me as his successor still remains unclear to me since I was not part of his intimate circle, which comprised Alison and Peter Smithson, the graphic artist Edward Wright and the sculptors Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. In retrospect I am brought to conclude that he must have sensed my capacity to succeed him from the reviews I had written for the British art newspaper, Art News and Review — where Reyner Banham also cut his journalistic teeth — and perhaps above all for my review of the emerging British Pop artists, David Hockney, and Peter Philips, who, together with the American émigré Ron Kitaj, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1960. I still cherish the memory of Kitaj’s haunting canvas “The Murder of Rosa Luxembourg,” now in the Tate. I slipped into Theo’s chair at the editorial table with uncanny ease and soon found myself writing and editing copy and manipulating the yellow trace which we used to layout the magazine. It is difficult to convey over a lapse of some fifty years how stimulating it was to divide my time between mornings in the service of Douglas Stephen & Partners, where I was designing and supervising the construction of an eight-storey block of flats in Bayswater, and afternoons devoted to editing the magazine in Bloomsbury. This work rhythm continued a pattern that Monica and Theo had long since established, namely to work on their own in the mornings and to come together to edit the magazine 8


in the afternoons. In this manner, Architectural Design was produced by two editors working half-time, five days a week, assisted by a support team comprising a full time secretary and editorial assistant. Such a skeletal staff would have hardly been able to sustain the pace of producing a monthly journal had it not been for the fact that the publishers — the Standard Catalogue Company — owned the Whitefriars Press, who were to put up with our last minute modifications and absorb the extra-costs that these necessarily entailed. From the outset, my inclination was to assemble special issues whenever I could and throughout my tenure at AD my ideal model was Ernesto Nathan Rogers’ brilliant Casabella Continuità [1953-1965] particularly the special issues featuring such figures as Adolf Loos, Hans Poelzig, and H.P. Berlage. Needless to say, I could not come close to this ideal, above all because the publisher’s rather fixed ideas as to economic paper sizes could hardly countenance the extravagantly square format of Rogers’ Casabella. This was hardly the only impediment to my emulating Rogers since I lacked both the graphic flair and the mature cultivation that emanated from its pages. The most I could do, apart from using large photos à la Rogers was to push for the luxury of the fold-out page which I would use whenever it seemed appropriate. Monica and Theo had already set the pace of the magazine long before I came on the scene, beginning with such features as the 1956 This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, documented by Theo on the spot, so to speak, to be followed by Peter Smithson’s “Letter to America” of 1959 and John McHale’s special issue on Buckminster Fuller in 1960, and issue which included the initial publication of the fold-out map of Fuller’s geodesic Air-Ocean World. Theo would follow this with a me-morial issue on Wright incorporating a testament by his son, John Lloyd Wright, before moving on to the work of Team 10, guest edited by Alison Smithson, which came out in May of the same year. 9




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Architectural Design, February 1964. Architectural Design, May 1964. Architectural Design, September 1962. 4 10


Aside from this, and not unlike Rogers in Casabella, Theo went out of his way to document certain buildings at length, particularly when the quality and density of their architectonic form demanded such treatment, as in the case of David du R. Aberdeen’s Trades Union Building of 1957 or Eero Saarinen’s U.S. Embassy in London of 1960. In this regard, Monica left me free to carry on where Theo had left off. That is, to not only to design the covers of the magazine, but also to shape and inflect our mutual approach to the content and layout of the material. Like Theo, I had no formal training in graphic design although he was something of a natural in this regard as his subsequent entry into Pentagram as a partner would suggest. As far as my own graphic capacity is concerned, I was able to come up with the most arresting cover designs when these concerned work I particularly admired, as in the case of Stirling and Gowan’s Leicester Engineering Building (February 1964) or the New Brutalist dormitory for Gonville and Caius College Cambridge designed by the Leslie Martin office with Patrick Hodgkinson taking the lead (November 1962). To a greater degree perhaps than the Architectural Review, AD stockpiled a great deal of unsolicited matter and this would gradually accumulate as potential copy to flesh out any issue of the magazine provided it was of sufficient merit and not out of date. This was a key aspect of Monica’s all too pragmatic strategy for keeping the issues flowing, and it was just this random, rather ad hoc policy that enabled me to cobble together my first special issue of September 1963 which, with an arresting red and white axonometric on the cover, was largely devoted to recent Swiss work including Andre Studer’s brilliant Neo-Wrightian Zur Palme office building in Zurich executed through the office of Haefli, Moser, Steiger and Ernst Gisel’s Brutalist concrete and copper clad church at Effretikon near Zurich of 1959, both, in my view, remaining as unique and forgotten minor masterworks. Switzerland was always a point of reference largely because I 11


stayed in the Siedlung Halen outside of Bern designed by Atelier 5 soon after it was completed with my friend Colin Glennie who lived there after he emigrated from England. In general I was able to bring a critical stance to AD which went beyond the transatlantic Anglo-American cultural agenda of the Independent Group, as well as transcending the Team 10 line of the Smithsons, who were in the habit of using AD as a vehicle to disseminate their own ideas. Without being opposed to either of these lines I tried to shift the focus of the magazine further afield and to focus on a certain number of peripheral European architects who, at the time, were largely ignored by the Anglo-American press. I have in mind such figures as Gino Valle in Udine, Aris Konstandtinidis in Athens, and Mangiaroti and Morasutti in Milan, not to mention the crew-cut Max Bill in Zurich whose Crystal Palace redux pavilion, built for the Swiss National Exhibition, Lausanne of 1963 was surely one of the high points of his architectural career. The November issue of that year also featured the hi-tech work of Frei Otto and Jean Prouvé along with Mike Webb’s poetically technocratic Sin Palace project. Around this time I have a vague memory of visiting Jack Coia in the Glasgow office of Gillespie, Kidd, and Coia to which we had been attracted by the rising young members of the firm, Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein, whose work, for whatever reason we sadly failed to publish. In retrospect I feel that my subsequent preoccupation with Critical Regionalism had some of its root origins in this moment when I first began to look upon the culture of European “city state” with a different eye. Again inspired by Rogers, my stance at AD was to push for what the Italians would have called “a magazine of tendency.” Hence the line of critique I attempted to cultivate went beyond Theo’s somewhat insular-transatlantic focus by shifting the emphasis of the magazine more towards a latter-day humanist line as was represented by Joseph Rykwert’s translation of Guilio Carlo Argan’s seminal essay “On Typology in Architecture” published 12


in December 1963, a prologue, so to speak, to Rykwert’s subsequent essay on the work of Gino Valle in Udine which we carried in the March issue of the following year. One way or another, I tried to feature the writing of a London-based critical elite who were equally removed from both the Independent Group and Team 10, coming out with such pieces as Alan Colquhoun’s “Symbolic and Literal Aspects of Technology” of 1962, Neave Brown’s critique of Siedlung Halen of 1963, and Gunther Nitschke’s reportage on Hans Scharoun’s Philharmonic in Berlin, and later, as he moved his base from London to Kyoto, his work on the Japanese Metabolists. At the same time I was susceptible to what one could see as the more technologically utopian approach to the imminent future. Thus we were the first to publish an English translation of Constant Nieuwenhuys’ Situationist thesis “New Babylon: An Urbanism of the Future” in June 1964. On the other hand, in the name of an emerging semiotic line, we published an excerpt from Peter Eisenman’s Cambridge thesis “Towards an Understanding of Form in Architecture.” Equally by way of revisiting the heroic period of the modern movement, was the special issue we devoted to the work of Pietro Lingeri and Giuseppe Terragni in the same year, with a critical overview of Italian Rationalism written by a close colleague, Panos Koulermos. In effect, this was the first attempt at recovering this lost wing of the Modern Movement since the end of the Second World War. Monica’s worldly drives and her gregarious and generous disposition were greatly enriching for me since it was through her that a day at AD always carried with it a range of socio-cultural surprises from our unrehearsed lunchtime meetings at L’Escargot with yet one more persona passing through London to solicit our patronage to a particularly memorable lunch near Chancery Lane when we were riotously entertained by the irrepressible wit of David Alford and Brian Henderson, the rising partners of YRM. At least once a week the day would end with an event or a gallery opening of one kind or another, which we invariably attended


together. Alternatively we were duty bound to entertain a distinguished passing figure to a night on the town: to a theatre and then dinner as in the case of Lucio Costa and his daughter just prior to our publication of Brasilia, or simply a dinner with Bucky Fuller and his wife when we inadvertently landed ourselves with the task of reassuring Fuller after he had been severely criticized in public by a radical student. I shall never forget Fuller’s transcendental reflection when we took him back to Whites Hotel overlooking Hyde Park. “I don’t know what the dear lord is trying to tell me by this” were his parting words. A comparable transatlantic melancholia could be felt when entertaining Vincent Scully at the Prospect of Whitby overlooking the Thames shortly after the assassination of Kennedy, mourning the violent death of an Irish-American prince with whom Scully understandably felt a profound affinity. Equally memorable for me was a soirée at the British Museum with Nigel Henderson where I first met Camilla Gray, the author of The Great Experiment, and with whom I shared an enthusiasm for Russian Constructivism. This was the same Camilla in whose company five years later I would witness Berthold Lubetkin in tears before a private showing of Lutz Becker’s assembly of archival documentary excerpts of the revolution in action, the film Art in Revolution (1971). Camilla would later marry the son of Prokofiev and tragically lose her life giving birth to their child in the Soviet Union. Working with Monica one came to be treated almost as though one was a member of her extended family. This was never more the case than on the trip that we took together to West Germany, when we met one interesting protagonist after another, including the wife of Oswald Mathias Ungers in the brick and in the Mungersdorf, Cologne in 1960. The seminal piece of Brutalist brick architecture documented by Rogers in Casabella still remains for me the highpoint of Unger’s entire career. From Cologne we went on to visit the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm where we were warmly received by Claude Schnaidt and Tomás 14





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Architectural Design, November 1963. Architectural Design, November 1962. Architectural Design, October 1962.



Maldonado. Schnaidt was a committed left-wing Swiss architect and historian whose early documentation of the work of Hannes Meyer remains unsurpassed to this day, while Maldonado would later exercise a profound influence on me when I taught with him at Princeton at the end of the 1960s. As he was in the habit of putting it, “While one cannot make anything without waste, this is distinguishable from an ideology of waste.” A greater aphoristic indictment of capitalism would be hard to imagine. After Gelsenkirchen, Mannheim, and Dusseldorf, we ended up in the burnt-out, poetic landscape of West Berlin arriving through the elegant welded steel portico of Templehof Airport to be warmly received by the rising firm of Duttman, Heinrichs, Muller and by the architectural department of the Technische Universität Berlin, including the erudite Julius Posener who had only recently returned to Germany from Africa. Equally memorable on this whirlwind trip was being invited to tea by Hans Scharoun in Charlottenberg. In those years West Germany was more than we bargained for displaying an unexpected spiritual richness, which stayed with us, although somehow we failed to do justice to this spirit in the pages of our June 1963 special issue on Germany. despite the extensive treatment given to Egon Eiermann’s brilliant neo-constructivist Neckermann Mail Order Building, just completed outside Frankfurt. Somewhat fortuitously the magazine also afforded me frequent journeys to Paris, including contacts with Le Corbusier at 35 rue de Sevres when we published his last Unité built in Briey-en-Foret; with Georges Vantongerloo in his science-fiction studio near Mêtro Alessia after I reviewed his retrospective at the New London Gallery,; and with Yona Friedman, at the time when we published his project for a bridge over the Channel in April 1963. An early Israeli dissident refugee and generic Parisian intellectual, Friedman was a member of the Franco-German Group d’Etudes de l’Architecture Mobile, otherwise known as GEAM, an anarchic connection that I thought was somehow at odds with 16


his African fairy tales, his Boolean logic, and his skepticism as to the role of modern art, about which he had the provocative habit of saying, “I think there is one art and that is cooking.” With Michael Carepetian I would collaborate on the documentation of Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre in rue Ste Guillaume, at a time when the original clients were still alive and living in the building. This was surely a fruitful journey, as were the measured drawings produced by myself in collaboration with Robert Vickery. All of that material was redrawn in the US and eventually published in Yale School of Architecture’s magazine, Perspecta 12. It was experiences such as these that cured me once and for all of the naïve notion that the camera was a neutral instrument. From my editing of AD I soon learned that an entire world separated Richard Einzig’s plate camera images of Stirling and Gowan’s Leicester Engineering Building from John Donat’s highspeed, grainy shots of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Einzig’s photos were so refined as to give one a sense of the materials themselves, that is to say, they seemed to be etched into the negative, whereas Donat’s vision of tactile material was to dramatize the substance of its fabric with rich black shadows. Both photographers had a totally different sensibility from the middle-ground Hasselblad veracity of Sam Lambert’s photos of Craven Hill Gardens — the eight story block of flats that still consumed my mornings — a work which I was eventually able to publish in AD in September 1964. All of this was to be iconographically transcended by another set of photographs by Michael Carepetian, his elegiac image of the RCA building under snow and his equally evocative images of the Economist Building, the Smithson masterpiece with which I ended my time at AD in February 1965. Like Theo I was as much concerned with art as with architecture, although our tastes in both of these areas, despite certain overlaps, were distinct. I had close affinities with the British Constructivist artists, above all with Anthony Hill and Gillian 17


Wise, who together with Kenneth and Mary Martin, Stephen Gilbert and the American émigré John Ernest had been profoundly influenced by Charles Biederman’s Art as the Evolution of Visual Knowledge of 1948. It is this same affinity that led me on my visits to Zurich to seek out the Swiss concrete artist and graphic designer Richard Lohse. At the same time I was equally fascinated by the Duchamp-inspired work of Richard Hamilton. It was a great pleasure for me to publish his gloss on his mixed media painting She of 1958-61 in the October 1963 issue, which provided an occasion to visit his studio where I was impressed by his unique collection of Harvey Earl furniture. The intellectual and physical journeys which had begun at AD continued long after my own relatively brief time at the magazine. And here my debt extends beyond Monica to my successor Robin Middleton who, while he ultimately took a quite different tack, nonetheless remained aligned with some of the tendencies that Theo and myself had cultivated, evidenced above all perhaps in the AD Housing Primer issue of September 1967, whose cover carried an aerial view of Michael Neylan’s sensitively inflected Bishopsfield Housing, Harlow. While I had left London for the United States in 1966, Robin continued to extend a certain editorial patronage to me, carrying my critical review of Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonie, and later inviting me to write a critique of Kevin Roche’s Ford Foundation in New York under the title “A House of Ivy League Values.” As acquisitions editor for Thames & Hudson, Robin commissioned me in 1970 to write , which took a decade to complete and would never have been brought to its final form had it not been for the specialist scholars he linked me up with, and for his own testy but pertinent editorial voice interjecting from time to time, “You don’t need this sentence, you’ve said it already; you don’t need this adjective, it adds nothing.” In the end, I internalized this voice and hereafter my writing owes whatever conciseness and pertinence it has to his perennial presence whenever I pick up a pen. 18




Architectural Design, October 1964. All images courtesy of Kenneth Frampton.











On Saturday, November 13, GSAPP celebrated the eightieth birthday of distinguished professor Kenneth Frampton with an “anthology” of architects. Featuring presentations by Stanley Saitowitz; Brigitte Shim & Howard Sutcliffe; Rick Joy; John & Patricia Patkau; and Steven Holl, the day was an occasion to bask in some of the best recent work in North America (including Canada!). It was also a moment to celebrate the inauguration of a newly endowed lecture series in Professor Frampton’s name. Here, in an interview with Troy Conrad Therrien (M.Arch ’09) and, following, in an excerpt from his introduction to the conference, Kenneth Frampton reveals a bit about how that lecture series — already being embraced by some of the most prominent architects around the world — might reflect his legacy at the school and, also, his inimitable influence upon the practice of architecture.



Evidence (courtesy of Newsline) of Professor Frampton’s sartorial style, offset by Richard Meier’s regrettable embrace of the spread collar.

CC: Troy Conrad Therrien M.Arch ’09 KF: Kenneth Frampton

the period that Eisenman was studying in Cambridge.

CC: You were born in England and studied architecture in London at the Architectural Association (AA), getting your diploma in 1956. How did you arrive at Princeton in 1965? And was this your first stop in America?

CC: It has been written, more than a couple times, that you first discovered both the modern metropolis and Hannah Arendt in the United States, and that it was in the U.S. that you were first politicized. KF: Yes. Well, that connection was really How was this Princeton-Manhattan axis different made by Peter Eisenman. And it was my first stop in from London, and the AA in particular, when you left America, yes. I had met Eisenman in London during it in the 1960s? 22


KF: Surely the scale of production and consumption was and still is the most manifest difference. I mean, if one compares a capital city like London to a capital city like New York. This could be experienced only too directly with regard to New York. It was something that was beyond anything I had ever experienced in England. A particular image — which I will never forget was the first sight of the New Jersey Turnpike seen from the air, seen from a helicopter in early evening light. This consumerist panorama of electrical power and gasoline was something sublimely Piranesian, which I had never seen before. It made an enormous impression on me.

CC: But you had not arrived there until, I believe it was, 1971 at Columbia.

KF: Yes, but there was an echo of this in Princeton in the year after the Columbia bust — if I remember correctly. Princeton closed itself as a consequence of student protests against the Vietnam War. The University decided in its wisdom to shut itself down during the spring semester. I can’t remeber exactly when but I do recall the event. The other thing that made an impression on me was the fact that when the draft was relinquished, SDS disappeared overnight (Students for a Democratic Society). When I returned to Princeton in the fall, there was no SDS; it had comCC: Did you find in architecture culture it- pletely vanished. This was a very disturbing pheself, particularly at Princeton, that there was a more nomenon, that this political movement was basically explicit political imperative? emptied out by the cancellation of the draft. Which explains why there has not been a draft thereafter. Well, I think that there are two things. KF: When you did arrive at Columbia three One is the fact that Peter Eisenman was preoccupied CC: at that time with the fact that there had not been a years after the ‘bust’, did you find that there was simimodern movement in the United States; that is, a self- larly a post-1968 political vacuum? Had the energy conscious movement having certain political and cul- dissipated by that point? What was the scene like at tural ramifications. This was common ground for us. I Columbia at that time? was already very interested in the modern movement I think there was still some political in all its aspects before arriving in the States. In this KF: regard, the influence of Reyner Banham’s Theory and energy left because of the proximity of Harlem and Design in the First Machine Age was very considerable, the racial situation in the States. So it was much more published in 1960. focused, more localized, [more] to do with civil rights, with the impoverishment of Harlem and with black Right. CC: representation in the school. These were issues in Columbia when I came here, when Polshek became One doesn’t think of Peter Eisenman as Dean. It was an aspect of Polshek’s early deanship KF: being particularly political, I suppose, but I think he that he was responsible for appointing Peter Marcuse, was from this point-of-view. His preoccupation with who had been brought up in New York and educated Italian rationalism and with the Dutch neoclassic in California. Peter was responsible for the attempt to movement, for example. bring Frances Fox Piven into the planning division at Columbia. I was the representative of the architecture You’ve also mentioned before that you faculty on the University committee to decide whethCC: were also influenced by the student movement in the er she should be appointed to tenure or not. I, with one mid–1960s leading up to the demonstrations of 1968. other member of the committee, voted for her, but Columbia, obviously, was one of the key American we were out-voted. And before the vote took place, sites for these demonstrations. the Provost of the University came to the meeting — Theodore de Bary — and said,“We definitely don’t want Yes KF: this woman in this University.” The fact that then as



now she represented the radical left in terms of public schism arose. On the one hand there was the history/ policy was obviously a decisive factor. theory part of the school, and on the other there were the design studios. That split was established during CC: How did you end up at Columbia? Tschumi’s tenure as Dean. And it still goes on, basically. After a while, it came to be the case that Mary KF: I suppose I was very much attracted to and I would rarely be invited to studio reviews. living in New York rather than living in Princeton. The other issue is that I [was considered] for the Chair- CC: You were trained as an architect and manship position at the AA in London, which I didn’t you have worked as a designer even, I think, as late as the get it. […] I was the rival candidate to Alvin Boyarsky late 1980s, when you spent some time in Richard who, in the end, prevailed. Meier’s office... CC: You’ve been at Columbia through about KF: Yes, my second mid-life crisis. 40 years now, and under three different Deans. Is there anything that has remained constant to Columbia CC: As a practicing historian, what effect did over this time? Or is it constantly re-making itself? this environmental schism at Columbia have on the way you viewed and wrote history at the time? KF: Yes, I think it is constantly re-making itself. One curious thing is that since Polshek’s KF: When the Phaidon collection of essays deanship, there has always been a housing studio in was published — Labor, Work and Architecture — I atthe second year of the three-year graduate design tempted to characterize my position given that the anstudio program. I think Columbia is unique among thology was divided into sections of theory, criticism, graduate schools in persisting with this topic. Other- and history. Maybe it’s a bit disingenuous but I tried wise, history/theory at Columbia was always an in- to suggest that I’m not either a theorist, a critic, or an tense topic, partly because of me, but also because of historian. I settled for the idea that I’m a writer on arMary McLeod and Gwendolyn Wright. This emphasis chitecture. I think the way in which I write and what started before Tschumi’s time although he strength- I write about is very much conditioned by having been ened this line deciding to start a doctoral program in trained as an architect. History/Theory at Columbia, […] but it wasn’t our move, it was his move. CC: Modern Architecture: A Critical History was largely influenced by Reyner Banham’s Theory CC: In addition to the doctoral program, and Design, particularly the idea of a history concerned Tschumi also introduced the computer as a design with protagonists, be they architects or buildings tool. Columbia students have since gained a reputa- themselves. There is now a younger generation of tion of being virtuoso image-makers, a trait thought architectural historians taking form at Columbia — to be rooted in the days of the paperless studios. Reinhold [Martin, Director of the PhD program], You have mentioned elsewhere your desire to resist Felicity [Scott, Director of the CCCP program] and the tendency to reduce architecture to images. How Jorge [Otero-Pailos] come to mind. The first two partidid you maintain this position, and your critical and cularly seem to focus on much more non-canonical, informal, sometimes even so-called marginal elements political imperatives, in the school at the time? of architectural history. How do you see the Hitory/ I don’t think it was a premeditated strat- Theory discourse at the school today and your posiKF: egy on Tschumi’s part, but when he created the doc- tion in it? toral program it was no longer possible for Mary McLeod or myself to teach in the studios. So in fact, KF: Of the three figures you mentioned, he got us out of the studio. In this way, a kind of probably Felicity is the most committed to a kind of 24


detailed historical analysis although they each display different empathies. Jorge being very much preoccupied with restoration, preservation, while Reinhold is more preoccupied with theoretical questions in very broad terms. It’s evident that all three cases in relation to myself seem to be more distanced from current architectural practice. CC: One of your principal roles has been as an educator. What is it that you enjoy, or have enjoyed over the years, about teaching? Do you have any kind of particular strategy or set of goals that you bring each year to teaching? KF: As is true of other Ivy League schools Columbia is a rather privileged place to teach. The quality of the students is surely exceptional. So one of the pleasures of teaching is the opportunity one has a kind of continuous encounter with one generation after another of lively, intelligent and inspired young aspirants to the field. That is a pleasure in itself, I think.



Almost twenty years ago, the Architecture and Urban Program at GSAAP was re-structured in its current form as an experimental, exploratory, and unorthodox education of architects interested in urban discourses relative to the established canons of the traditional architectural design studio. Since then and through hundreds of dedicated design studios and seminars, over 500 graduates have been exposed to architecture's traditional concerns for site specificity, spatial experience, constructional logics, economics of organization, morphology and physical form, while also engaging forms of knowledge associated with disciplines such as urban ecology, urban geography, and landscape design. Our alumni are an impressive international group representing innovation in both teaching and practice. For this publication series and for the next twelve months we have invited twelve graduates of the AUD program to share their reflections on the program’s pedagogy, the role it has played in shaping their views and practice of urban design in the current global environment. The series begins with a consideration of the discipline from Ward Verbakel (MsAUD '04). — Richard Plunz


Given how many times GSAPP's architecture faculty are using the word “urban” at their lottery presentations, I find myself wondering where the actual education in urban design stands in this circus of self-declared urbanists. Architecture in the expanded field of space making is well on the way to becoming the only means of addressing urban problem statements. There is, of course, the planning field, which often applies a hands-off approach to spatial experience

and physical identity. While urbanists throughout the last decades or so left the urban in pursuit of landscape, they allowed architecture to fill in the gaps, literally. The makeshift urbanism that arises from those architectural solutions is just Big Architecture, as Moji Baratloo has put it. I'm not against the critical note that outsiders can add to an urban discussion, but the deafening silence — as if in a ghost city — of urbanists in the sustainable cities symposia and conferences at 26





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Dominicus Chapel Interior, Heverlee, Belgium, 2010, plusofficearchitects. Photograph courtesy of F. Vercruysse. Elderly Housing, Lommel, Belgium, 2009, plusofficearchitects. Photograph courtesy of Studio Claerhout. Elderly Housing (courtyard), Lommel, Belgium, 2009, plusofficearchitects. Photograph courtesy of Studio Claerhout.



GSAPP, for instance, seems odd. And while architects deal with urbanism and urbanists wander in the realm of landscape urbanism, architecture has developed a parasitical relationship with landscape, in the form of green roofs and vegetated walls. Within this rotated realm of expertise, our practice aims at questioning architecture through urban concepts. Let's reclaim urbanism by committing architecture. Within a school that is so much invested in form making, the urban design program holds a peculiar position. Of course student group work naturally tends to produce compromise instead of formal rigor. The idea of advanced architectural design is not at the forefront of the urban design educational experiment. While the systemic investigations and multiple temporalities are key to understanding the often complex studio sites and topics, the actual AUD design interventions display mostly undercooked and often uninspired placeholder forms. I strongly feel that through the actual design of buildings we could just as well address urban goals. Nothing new of course one might

say, however this is rarely part of the discussion in urban design education. GSAPP under Mark Wigley's deanship has been steering full steam ahead towards the notion of “dissolving the institute�. One could take advantage of this moment to redefine the role of urban design education and actively engage with architectural form production as a means to interact with the urban field. In the dispersed field of space making can we not move beyond addressing the territory as our main concern but we can can we equally dissolve the expertise boundaries and start to tackle architectural questions with urban strategies? Over the last few years I have found myself steering my practice back to the architectural scale in order to address the physical and personal experience of spatial concepts. This is by no means a detachment from urbanism, but rather an expansion of urban praxis by stretching it throughout a wide range of scales. Reclaiming the design object can be a true urban statement. Forgive me, if you must, for committing architecture.



The Latin Lab held a panel discussion on October 18 about infrastructure-based post-disaster responses in the context of Haiti. Here, Andrea Marpillero-Colomina (MsUP '09) discusses the event and its thought-provoking insights into Haiti.


October 18, the Latin Lab presented “After Catastrophe/ Before Design: Rebuilding Haiti After the Earthquake” at GSAPP’s Wood Auditorium. This wellattended panel event, which attracted a dynamic and diverse audience from the Columbia community and across the region, was a unique opportunity to discuss and learn about the current Haitian context and the infrastructure-based post-disaster responses which

ought to take place in reconstructive efforts before further design innovations and interventions can occur. The four invited panelists made short presentations reflecting their expertise on issues pertaining to rebuilding in Haiti. Marc-Andre Franche, Deputy Director of UNDP in Haiti, discussed immediate and long-term challenges for reconstruction, focusing on the different strategies and approaches on the



table to guide the return of the population home, the rebuilding of the city and the improvement of livelihoods in those neighborhoods. Charles Marks, an architect and GSAPP alum who has worked in Haiti for 40 years, reflected on the ability of Haiti to rebuild itself into a modern sustainable nation, and its ability to construct the social and architectural infrastructure required to do so. Jesse M. Keenan, Adjunct Professor of Housing Law and Policy at theUniversity of Miami and the 2010-2011 PREA Scholar for the MSRED Class of 2011 with extensive work involvement in Haiti, discussed the opportunities and challenges of land tenure reform as a contribution for a sustainable resettlement of Port Au Prince. Finally, Dowoti Desir, Founder of the OGUN Taskforce for Haiti, examined the role of cultural identity and cultural coding in Haiti and the challenges of a just dialogue between Haitians and the international community that respect sovereignty and overcome ethnocentrisms. With their diverse range of knowledge and views, the panelists’ presentations created an enlivening

and enlightening discourse for the audience. Latin Lab Director and Urban Planning Assistant Professor Clara Irazábal, who moderated the discussion, asked thought provoking questions which probed the panelists to further articulate the tenets of their discussion and occasional points of contention or disagreement with one another. The audience — composed of students and faculty from all disciplines within GSAPP, members of the larger Columbia community, and representatives of regional and transnational organizations who work on issues relating to Haiti and the Haitian diaspora — also participated with thoughtprovoking questions and insights. The discussion continued immediately following the panel with a jovial reception just outside Wood Auditorium. Audience members took advantage of the opportunity to engage directly with the panelists and continued to share insights and ideas with one another. The event was a success in educating and networking attendees about Haitian rebuilding challenges and spurred ideas for follow-up projects.




Photographs courtesy of Jane Borock



On the occasion of the inclusion of their Caracas Metro Cable project in Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, at the Museum of Modern Art this fall, we took a moment to ask Alfredo Brillembourg (M.Arch ’86) of Urban Think Tank, and Andreas Rudolph, Deputy Sales Director, Doppelmayr about the unique collaboration that led to this game-changing example of urban infrastructure. The work of Urban-Think Tank and GSAPP’s SLUM Lab (Sustainable Living Urban Model) — led by Alfredo Brillembourg, MsAAD '86 and Hubert Klumpner, MsAUD '95‚ — is paradigmatic of the way that innovative practices have embraced new forms of collaborative relationships that have the potential to transform the built environment at a global scale.


JK: Jeannie Kim AR: Andreas Rudolph AB: Alfredo Brillembourg M.Arch ’86

An email dialogue with Alfredo Brillembourg (M.Arch ’86) mainly of community liaison officers, operators and of Urban Think Tank, and Andreas Rudolph, Deputy Sales cleaning personnel so they are also very invested in Director, Doppelmayr. maintaining the cable car and ensuring that the community takes care of and uses it properly. Sometimes JK: The San Agustín cable car has been they do come up against arrogance and destructive beopened for a year, and I am curious to hear about the havior from people who say that, as they've been givevolving ecology of the identity of the project and, in en this transport system by the president, it's theirs to particular, the way that the station itself has become a do as they like with, but [we believe] this is mostly new form of public space in San Agustín. from adolescents. Although the nodes with additional programs are AB: The spaciousness and quality of materi- not yet finalized, community groups are very keen als used in the construction of the stations has certain- to see the original project [realized] and to see some ly had a positive impact on the community. The group of the ideas for public spaces [emerge] in ways that that we have worked most closely with is comprised they haven’t seen before. [In fact, the anticipation of ] 32


these community spaces has [already] encouraged initiatives to start activating the public space. For instance, at the end of February 2011, an urban art festival took place in La Ceiba where graffiti artists went to paint the facades of the houses to be seen from above. Most of their graffiti [is] usually done in more impersonal public spaces so [the artists] really enjoyed the involvement with local people and vice versa. As [we conducted] a paint workshop with the children of the area to develop ideas for a mural that they will then produce.

and to pick up the newspapers is now an agreeable activity; getting to and from work or school is much quicker; and the neighborhood is much more integrated because it is much easier to travel between the different sectors, tying together the horseshoe-shaped coves that marked out distinctly separate and isolated communities beforehand. JK: The fact that the first arm of this project was installed in a highly visible part of the city, seen en route from the airport and finished in marble and granite with strong super-graphics is obviously no accident. How has the symbolic meaning of the project evolved in the past year? Has the San Agustín project become part of the visual and cultural identity of Caracas?

JK: After such a collaborative and community-driven process, what type of civic dialogue has the project produced? Are there new types of related program that have emerged? Has the symbolism of the cable car and the station itself had any effect upon the invisible boundaries of the barrios or the psychology of its residents? To your knowledge, has the fact that a connection between the main infrastructure and the informal sector had any effect upon? measurable? social factors like crime, education, or employment?

AB: The Metrocable is certainly a very visible showcase project. San Agustín as a whole is considered a political pilot project in many ways but it's also quite small and contained making it easier to work with. It is an incredible viewing point of the city since this small hill is centred in the middle of the valley, offering vistas from Los Teques in the west to Petare in the east, so the idea of developing tourism here is quite reasonable. They do already receive a lot of visitors because the cablecar also offers a secure and somewhat detached way of visiting a barrio, quite different to the usual experience of going in a bus or on foot. We have heard criticisms of the invasion of people’s privacy because you're passing over homes and backyards, but not from the people who live there. Middle-class Caraqueños are still quite dismissive about the usefulness or pertinence of the system, but projects like this are needed to begin the process of inclusion and connection in a fragmented city. Again we think it will take time to really see the result of the Metro Cable’s influence in the cultural identity of Caracas, even though we are very optimistic and looking forward to 2025, perhaps even sooner, with [two visions]: that the San Agustín scheme will be translated to other Caracas barrios, eventually effecting the physical, economic, social, and cultural integration of formal and informal cities; and that the empowerment of the barrio communities will be

AB: [In addition to] the immediate positive effects of the cable car as a new means of transportation, within a few months of its opening, residents started using roofs for advertising their businesses and started finishing their homes (which are otherwise typically left with exposed raw material), and the crime rate dropped because of the fear of being seen from the cabins of the cable car. As soon the system started operations in January 2010 the people of San Agustin hills have been able to see their homes from a cable car to easily reach a subway station and from there connect to the rest of the city. It is still quite early to measure quantifiable social changes, but the relationship between the residents of the San Augstin neighborhood with the city has changed dramatically, especially for those living on the top half of the hillside who [arguably] benefitted the most from the system. Instead of a long walk up to the top of the hill to then catch at least two buses to reach different parts of the city, they now come down from the north side of the hill in the cablecar in five to ten minutes. So a Sunday morning trip to the bakery 33


least-densely developed neighborhood and offers the planners more space to work with. The development of this site also includes the restoration and expansion of an existing soccer pitch and the implementation of a major open-space and streetscape plan.

perpetuated and grow stronger, giving them permanent ownership of their own destinies. JK: Can you give us a brief update on how the other nodes are progressing? Even though the cable car system is a piece of infrastructure that hosts and supports other possibilities, how do the other envisioned nodes get altered or transformed by their differing local contexts? Is the same cable car system being used for the entire project?

JK: Doppelmayr has recently been awarded a major contract to complete a cable liner shuttle in Caracas, connecting Waraira Repano to Petare. This seems like a much heavier piece of infrastructure and treads very differently upon the existing context than the eight-person ropeway installed in San Agustín. What factors, other than the obvious (terrain, topography, budget) play a role in the system that is chosen and the capacity that is desired for each installation? [To put it another way? Is the decision to have an eight-person car in Agustín (vs. the 28-person car at Whistler that we saw internationally during the last Winter Games) simply one of weight, or are there other factors? social, cultural, psychological, etc.? that go into these decisions?]

AB: The entire system is designed on modular principles, effectively a kit-of-parts, using prefabricated components. The stations, essentially shed buildings, are inexpensive to manufacture and erect, producing economies of scale and meeting functional and aesthetic objectives. Critically, the structural and architectural design enables simple, low-cost, and rapid alteration and expansion of each station, to adapt to future needs and objectives. In this, as in other features, the UTT design team borrowed from the organic nature of the barrio itself, a process of unending growth and change, of potential and accommodation. Also we are expecting that the next phases planed for each one of the stations get built on time, these are:

Indeed when planning a project like AB: Metro Cable San Agustin the social factor is very important involving communities in the decision making of the process, but what defines the type and the capacity of the system is the number of users and the frequency. Petare has a population of almost 400,000 people compared to 40,000 in San Agustin; these factors — and others — influence the different characteristics.

The San Agustin and Parque Central stations, at the base of the hillside, including social, cultural, and system administrative functions. At Los Mangitos, 40 units of housing will be built, replacing homes whose demolition is an inevitable necessity for station construction. The station structure also includes public spaces for community gatherings, out-patient health care facilities, and other similar amenities as well as a playing field on top.

JK: Without getting mired in a discussion about the cost/benefit ratio of such a project, how can a $270 million project that transports 36,000 people a day at approximately $0.10 per round trip be evaluated for its success?

In addition to the station itself, the La Ceibita site has a second structure that links the station to ground level, 16 meters below, and includes a gym and government-sponsored supermarket and day-care center. The station is also connected to an existing housing complex and to a roadway with a municipal bus stop.

AB: The need for the implementation of the aerial ropeway system was especially acute for barrios such as San Agustin that are isolated from the main amenities from the formal city, providing a way for these zones of poverty [to be transformed] into zones of growth. As an investment from the national government, the success of the project

Hornos de Cal, the third of the ridge-line stations, affords unique opportunities, as it is the




All photographs courtesy of Urban-Think Tank.



should be measured in terms of social and economic JK: Infrastructure at a truly urban scale is ofdevelopment through the integration of the formal ten romanticized but not always seriously considered city into the informal city and vice versa. within architecture schools. Similarly, discussions about the potential role of design in transportation JK: This project was obviously an unusual systems have been muted, lately, by an interest in fabone for Doppelmayr. What insights did the company rication at a much smaller scale. This project demongain from working in a densely urban context for a strates that it is possible — and, indeed, necessary — to fairly atypical “client” and in such a collaborative think in infrastructural terms at multiple scales. How way? How has the experience of realizing San Agustín can such thinking be reintroduced in the pedagogy of informed the other work of the company and, also, its architecture schools? potential future markets? Do you think, as U-TT has suggested, that such installations will become stan- AB: We are standing in an important modard in urban contexts with similar topographical and ment of urban investment where cities of the noth are socioeconomic divides? suffering from infrastructure decay of water, electricity, and tranportation systems that are 100 years old and AB: The idea of the work of U-TT and the seemingly beyond repair. On the other hand, the cities MetroCable project was a 10–year process that began of the south are gearing up to intall their first generawith activism, urban politics, and, finally, design. We tion of infrastructure in areas that previously had little went from research to prototyping and then bring- or no investment of centralized infrastructure. This ing in technology partners like Doppelmayr, to then poses an important question: do we reconstruct our realize those prototypes, which are the cable car sta- ideas about how urban infrastructure works, or do we tions. Like all our projects from the architectural accept the challenge to leapfrog into a new era where, toolbox, the Metro Cable stations can be replicable in as a result of the experimentation in the [global] south, other dense urban contexts. With the experience we a green revolution will provide completely new paraacquired from this project along with two successful digms for providing the city with infrastructure that workshops U-TT organized with Doppelmayr in col- is free from centrilized systems? Only when these laboration with GSAPP we have been able to set the questions are answered will we see a level of true framework for two important similar projects in Rio collaboration beyond global urban borders that will de Janeiro and Amman, Jordan. provide new solutions and alternatives [to a highly segregated] past. AR: Typically Doppelmayr builds stations Since we have been teaching at Columbia and diand installations in ski resorts where design and archi- recting the SLUM LAB we have developed an experitectural issues are not as essential as in urban areas, mental teaching methodology that rethinks the so the collaboration with the designers was rather former physical limitations of contemporary achiunique for Doppelmayr. tecture in architectural education, shifting the [From this collaboration] and [through] other emphasis from form-driven to purpose-oriented urban projects, [the company] has gained the insight design. With the development of the architectural that, of course, the market is [significantly] different toolbox we have intended to create strategies to exfrom the ski market, [from] the type of customer [to] plore urban landscapes, stimulating the analytical the various stakeholders involved in such projects. thinking of the students in order to take them off Thus, the project management [was also] very differ- the predictable path and introducing them to a new ent from our core market (skiing and tourism). How- awareness of social and physical dynamics in cities ever, the product as such is almost the same (with a of the global south. This way of understanding the few technical adjustments for long hours of opera- city without conventional logic suggest seeking intion) as used in the ski resorts. novative ways to approach urban problems. With



this premise, we took our first group of Columbia students to San Agustin a territory that they would otherwise never considered visiting, and worked with them to creatively solve problems with the residents in an important exchange of ideas.

and running for a year and, even, was featured in a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is it “done”? AB: Everything about the Metro Cable project was a surprise and it was only possible within an environment that had not yet made a decision to rely on road-based combustion engine traffic. In South America and in the rest of the urban south nothing is rigid and everything is in doubt, which is, in many ways, an irritating environment for recent Columbia graduates; yet, from the limitless potential of chaos, informality and the absence of investment, everything is possible. Only in such context can a project like Metro Cable exist. We are continuously monitoring the transformation process around the system to use that information and learn more about programs, social density, and possible urban typologies to bring them into new projects we are working on Brazil, India, and elsewhere.

JK: In your view, is the cable car a new potential infrastructural paradigm for cities of the global south that have are not yet dependent upon road-based transportation systems? AR: We are convinced that cable cars are a niche solution for cities worldwide. It is essential to integrate them in the existing public transport system and to collaborate and discuss the project with the affected community. Of course, the system is especially effective where roads are either overcrowded or nonexistent as in a lot of informal areas in the cities of the global south [or] in contexts where a perfect “feeder” [to more robust systems like] the Metro or BRT [is required].

JK: What was unusual or surprising about working in this context for Doppelmayr? Can cable car systems become a cost-effective way of providing transportation alternatives to underserved areas of the world? Will this arguably more sustainable model become the dominant infrastructural solution of the future, or will it still be limited to regions with certain adverse conditions (extreme topography, geological hazards, highly fluctuating weather patterns, etc.)?

JK: At Columbia, initiatives like the Building Intelligence Project (C-BIP) are examining the way that new collaborative relationships will transform both the building industry and future architectural education. The San Agustín project is a wonderful example of an innovative application of existing techn-ology that is the potential result of such collaboration. AB: Dominant ideas about past collaborative relationships are often more powerful than good, [producing a dynamic that] polarizes everything around them and unilaterally influences all decisions. When that happens, structural change becomes impossible, and being aware of that [calcifying] condition is the first step toward changing it. As we have learned, new ideas are often understood as technical innovation. However, it is design that is required to advance these ideas; technical innovation is only partly responsible […]. So, initiatives like C-BIP are an extremely part of creating a new culture of design.

AR: Cable cars can be strong where other transport systems have weak characteristics. Hence, it makes sense to install them in certain adverse conditions such as extreme topography. However, cities around the globe struggle with mobility and connectivity, many are finding that standard forms of mass transit cannot cope with modern cities and traffic. With its minimal footprint, small price tag, and environmentally friendly qualities, aerial cable cars are becoming fully integrated components of public transit systems around the world. Not only are they able to easily traverse steep terrain, rivers, traffic and residential settlements, but they Is there anything about the process that also emit zero emissions and consume less energy per JK: surprised you? Now that the cable car has been up rider than other standard transit technologies. 37


GSAPP faculty member and Director of the Technological Change Lab Smita Srinivas considers the benefits and potential pitfalls of the globalization of standards in everything from electricity systems to telephones and flush toilets while addressing the seduction of "modernization" in a global planning context. In January 2011, Professor Srinivas took part in "Re-Imagining the WorldClass City" a weeklong workshop organized by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India.


I came across some notes this week that I had made on technical standards for a UN agency in 2005. I focused on how firms and economies face technical standards and global regulations that may or may not assist their own local needs — from food to health to construction — but are often essential for the export trade of firms. In other words, buyers’ needs often dictate these standards. Firms respond to these global technical standards through a process I dubbed ‘learning

by proving’ (as opposed to the economics term ‘learning by doing’); they prove that they meet certification guidelines. These technical standards require firms to make more standardized various items such as furniture, wall panels, automotive parts, cell phones, even stoves (think ISO 9000). Such standards shape market rules: buyers and sellers share information and have joint expectations about the viability of the product or service. Standards are also vital to the mechanical 38


adherence of one system to another: a housing pre-fab unit must fit a ceiling, or a car component the car. Of course, product differentiation is a business strategy and firms do try to make sure not all their components are mix-and-match with those of competitors’. Yet standards determine rules about what products and services can make their way into global trade and thus tie local and international economy together. However, standardization not only shaped prototyping and manufacturing in firms, but it also shapes cities in dramatic ways and should therefore be acutely interesting for planners concerned with both efficiency and equity. This is not just because planners have justification for shaping markets, but also because the physical context for the technologies can shape design and investments and make the terms of participation for some in the economy more challenging. After all, many standardized products that we take for granted as urbanized essentials in many cities need land, employment, capital investments, and particular coalitions of public plans and private actors. Examples of these are sodium lamps, telephones, elevators, processed foods, flush toilets, vaccines, as well as the components of more composite technologies such as rail or electricity systems. There exist also network and switching costs to these standards that economic development planners and those concerned with employment in particular should be concerned with: standards establish institutional relationships between products and processes, so changing standards can upset the path established, resulting in more expense and uncertainty about technicalities, markets, and skill sets. Because of this, planners must exercise caution about soliciting investments without some appreciation for how industry responds, and also question the diffusing of technologies and their standards from one city-region to another. Above all, the differences between places and capabilities are fundamental in the absence of knowledge transfer institutions and local controls, availability of vital parts, and repair ecologies (including skilled people, necessary workshops, and spare parts). For example, it matters in Buvaneshwar, India, or Lagos, Nigeria, whether the urban economic projections reflect the absorption challenges of informal workers with new technologies, machinery, even equipment storage, and the planning

challenge to integrate them with wider market opportunities. Likewise, community toilets require a diffusion of sanitation design and materials that work well spatially and geo-physically, but also with the right match of skills and customs. Finally, sometimes private firms may successfully meet global standards, but not attend to urgent domestic needs. A case in point is vaccine technologies: while private firms in several emerging economies do exceedingly well in competitive export markets, they may have mixed contributions to their domestic immunization programs, as the figure shows (adapted from my research on vaccine advances). In other words, local ‘needs-necessitated’ and ‘harmonization-necessitated’ standards adoption are two different endeavors where planning means and goals are worth debating. In sum, technologies that have spread so widely across the world’s urban contexts are often increasingly standardized, but does this mean that non-standardized products cannot and must not diffuse? By and large standardization galvanizes mass manufacture and vice-versa. So planners are left with important questions: should physical infrastructure improvements on land allotted for light manufacturing, for example, come equipped with all the bells and whistles necessary for more customized 'hand-crafted' manufacture? The technological challenge if products are so standardized is that it can prove a large barrier to entry for firms producing chairs, elevators, food, and telephones, for example. Of course, some standardization for health and safety reasons is necessary (safe food, safe elevators and egress, mix-and-match in electrical wiring or telephones), but is also locally determined: does it make sense to adhere to fire codes written for stone buildings when most of the materials today in informal settlements are tarpaulin and asbestos? There is pressure to standardize because it may be faster for regulators (and planners, in many instances) to decide the safety of standardized goods and services rather than very different ones. What are the potential roles for to boost knowledge institutions and economic opportunities in this context? For one, we must consider whether standardization in firms and the types of knowledge necessary to get certification is sufficiently complex that we must assist firms in this process. Second, we must consider 39


Domestic Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) need. (Local Needs).

Primary supply for domestic EPI

Unmet supply for domestic EPI

Public sector enterprises facing primarily domestic standards/regulations. Ability to source in vaccines as well as indigenous R&D capabilities

Private enterprises facing primarily domestic standards/ regulations

Private enterprises facing both domestic and less regulated markets standards/ regulations






(Tiered Path) Some ICs

(Tiered Path) Few ICs

Extremely few ICs

Some Industrialising countries (ICs)

(Tiered path)

see Srinivas, 2004

Those ICs with private sector

Private enterprises facing primarily international standards/regulations in various export markets

Private firms become suppliers to international procurement programs

t (with increasing technological capabilities)

Š Smita Srinivas, Adapted from World Development, Vol. 34, No. 10, 2006.

whether the local economy needs more customized or standardized inputs into vital sectors such as health, housing materials, transport, or sanitation. Urban design standards in developing economies for housing and worksites have a history often derived either from colonial norms and/or a different understanding of how urban health should be regulated. Neither attends directly to the actual needs of low-income individuals or the employment, skills, or space necessary for machinery, for instance. Similarly, for establishing new markets or shoring up old ones, planners must ask who assists firms supplying important goods and services? It may well be the case that housing materials need not be standardized, but if they are to export such materials, the firm will have to standardize. Third, the employment and skills implications of the knowledge associated with standardization are immense. Take,forinstance,theconstructionsector,whichinmost developing countries, is a largely domestically oriented sector with immense inequalities in income, skills, and access to technology training. The more

you standardize the products, the harder it becomes for someone interested in craft manufacture to sustain production against the volume of newer mass produced markets. Should it be the task of planners to create organizations that attend to this type of knowledge and knowledge transfer? Apprenticeship systems, relgious or cultural organizations that boost some industries? Can we use this as a chance to diffuse some types of knowledge and skills more broadly to low-income or other workers who might not have had an opportunity. The seduction of technical standardization is it promises ‘modern’ and homogenous economies with all technology amenities. But it is precisely this seduction that planners should consider carefully. If among our goals is the desire to better match individuals and communities to particular economic opportunities and to assist them in mitigating the risks of this transition, then we must view standardization with mixed feelings and take a closer, harder, look at specific technology designs and their institutional setting. 40


The Urban Landscape Lab (co-directed by Janette Kim and Kate Orff) spent part of the summer researching the problem of urban flooding in Sao Paolo. Here, Gena Wirth describes the research trip and, also, explains why Sao Paolo is a bit like New York.


Urban Landscape Lab went on the road this summer to join with GSAPP’s SP/Lab to explore strategies for understanding and solving the problem of urban flooding in Sao Paulo. Partnering with the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Sao Paulo’s own Escole da Ciudad, and the Universidade de Columbia, teams of Brazilian, Dutch, American, and Paulistano designers and scientists worked together with architecture students from schools throughout the region to explore, document, and project alternative hydrologic scenarios for the Tiete and Pinheiros Rivers that intersect the Sao Paulo’s urban fabric.

Transportation has been central to the physical development of Sao Paulo’s waterways — centuries ago Sao Paulo’s rivers shaped the identity and economy of the city as the river provided a vital shipping connection to the region’s abundant coffee resources. As the city expanded, the river’s flat and expansive floodplains proved ideal for the construction of freight and passenger railroads that aided in Sao Paulo’s industrial success and population boom in the mid 20th century (2 million to 6 million in a mere twenty years!) With this growth came the development of the modern highway network, which, with help from New 41


York City’s own Robert Moses, constructed an everexpanding web of highways over, under, around, and through the urbanized hills of Sao Paulo. The construction of the ever-trafficked Marginal system, the major expressways that ring the River, marks the final step in the complete transformation of the city’s meandering and biodiverse tropical wetlands to concrete drainage canals that receive much of the region’s raw sewage and industrial waste. Our task for the 5-day workshop was to examine the flooded condition of Sao Paulo’s urban rivers, when the rivers overflow their banks during the rainy season in November through April and infiltrate the city’s low-lying areas — stopping traffic flow, spreading municipal and industrial sewage water throughout the city, and adversely affecting lower income neighborhoods. The highly impervious nature of the city and the constricted condition of the river combine to immobilize the city for hours, days, and weeks out of the year and expose Paulistanos to disease and health risk. Sao Paulo’s flood severity is projected to intensify in the future, as Amazon rainforest clearing alters weather patterns and the city’s urban area heat island effect attracts increasingly severe storms. Recent progress has been made by the municipality and federal government in addressing the issue of water quality, as city programs are underway to slowly clean the murky waters of the Tiete to acceptable standards and concurrent proposals from the local design community call attention to the possibilities of the city’s neglected and underutilized waterfront. The Inundações Urbanas/Urban Flooding workshop built upon this work to project future scenarios for a cleaner and more integrated riparian network throughout the city. Groups formed to imagine this water/city relationship

in distinct ways as applied to the site of the confluence of the Tiete and Tamanduateí Rivers. In all projects, the message was clear: in order for water to be reintroduced into the urban life of the city, its quality, quantity, and extent needed to be understood as opportunities for design and interaction with the city’s residents. Ideas formed around filtering and slowing the water — proposing upstream water storage plazas as neighborhood public spaces in their dry condition, uncovering hidden underwater streams to relieve flood pressure, and utilizing vacant structures as vertical treatment filters in built-up urbanized areas. Community engagement was understood as central to all projects, and groups worked to make their proposals relevant to the everyday Paulistano — proposing the creation of a water economy and riparian employment strategies as well as public awareness campaigns that incentivized the conservation and reuse of water. At the workshop’s conclusion it was clear that no one project could solve the issue of urban flooding in Sao Paulo in its entirety, but that strategies employed in the projects could work additively and incrementally to remake Sao Paulo’s urban fabric as absorptive and flood-adaptive. Though Sao Paulo currently deals with the problems of urban flooding, these issues are not isolated to this city or region but are global in relevance and scale and increasingly prevalent even in our home base of New York City. How we adapt and design to address the issues of urban flooding in the context of global climate is the challenge for our current generation of designers. Our studies in Sao Paulo and the talented cast of design partners and scientists working there offer creative solutions for how we might begin to better craft our relationship with the ever-changing natural world.







1 2 3 4

Students explore the remade riverbank. Photograph courtesy of Gena Wirth. The TamanduateĂ­ River in central Sao Paulo. Photograph courtesy of Gena Wirth. Tim Aarsen and his group explore the confluence of the Tiete and TamanduateĂ­ Rivers. Photograph courtesy of Gena Wirth. Dutch architects in action at the Escole da Ciudad.Photograph courtesy of Gena Wirth.



On November 13, 2011, friends, colleagues, current and former students from around the world gathered in Wood auditorium to celebrate Kenneth Frampton in his 80th year and nearly 40 years at GSAPP. Instead of the usual celebration of such an esteemed scholar where we invite people to school to say how wonderful he is, as if he has finished his work, I asked Kenneth himself to curate a conference in a way that communicates his latest thinking, his new work. I wanted to celebrate him as an ongoing active part of our shared intellectual future as architects. The result was a great and emotional event where Ken invited five architectural offices that he has been writing about during the last year. At dinner, we surprised Kenneth with the School's plans to keep his voice echoing in perpetuity for generations to come by creating an annual Kenneth Frampton Lecture. To properly honor Ken, this annual event will be at the level of brilliance and dignity of the top university lectures and result in an important publication to resonate even more widely with the field. Most importantly by establishing a prestigious, endowed annual lecture and publications devoted to the themes most important to Ken though out his whole career, his thinking will be remembered and extended into the next hundred years and beyond — Mark Wigley


When I was asked by Mark Wigley, the Dean of the GSAPP, Columbia University to determine the nature of a public event to be staged on the occasion of my eightieth birthday, I opted for inviting five distinguished architectural practices to present their work in succession, as the basis for a collective reflection, on the state of architectural culture in North America. As should be evident from the work of these five practices and their respective partners who graciously

accepted to participate in this somewhat unusual, not to say eccentric exercise, I deliberately construed the term North America to include Canada as well as the United States, since in my ostensible role as a so-called curator, I wished to draw attention to the exceptional quality of contemporary architecture in Canada which, in my view, over the years, New York opinion, in its provinciality, has somehow managed to ignore. 44


All anthologies are in some sense invidious and a preposterous anthology such as this, comprising only five exemplars, is bound to be even more invidious than most and I have here to beg at once for the indulgence of all those distinguished American architects whose work will not be represented during the course of this event. By way of making some kind of amends, I can only hope that this selection might be read in the future by some potential publisher as a sample of a much larger anthology which would afford a quite different critical take on contemporary North American architectural production than that to which we are exposed by the modish media of our time. Apart from my idiosyncratic preoccupation with Canadian work, I wanted this somewhat biased anthology, despite its curtailed scope, to focus upon three particular points in the trajectory of architectural creation as this unfolds today within the boundaries of the United States; that is to say, two representatives, one each from the West and East coasts, Stanley Saitowitz from San Francisco and Steven Holl from New York, while the third intermediate point on the symbolic triangle would be carried by Rick Joy, from Tuscon in the Southwest. However, the schematic, not to say arbitrary, nature of this selection, was not solely determined by geographical location, despite my bias towards the north. Instead, I would like to think that for all the prejudices of taste, my selection of these architects was determined, in the last analysis, by certain characteristics, values and preoccupations that may be found to an equal degree in all of them. At the risk of resorting to banal criteria, I would like to suggest that despite creating fundamentally different work, all five of these late modern practices manifest a common concern for the following five expressive factors which may be characterized as landscape, volume, craft, material and light. While we may commonly assume that these expressive factors are invariably present in all works of architecture, I would like to put it to you that today this is far from being the case, for not uncommonly we encounter spectacular works that display little concern for the context and the topography in which they are situated, or, just as frequently, we are confronted with buildings in which everything is given over to the tactile aesthetics of the material surface

rather than to any significant articulation of the space within. Instead, all of these practices are committed, in nuanced ways, to situating and integrating the work in hand into a specific context and landscape, and, while they are all equally preoccupied with material expressivity they do not pursue this concern at the expense of not according sufficient attention to the rhythmic articulation of space. Finally, there are the diverse, somewhat disconnected, attributes of the manifestation of craft and iteration of light which every one of these practices displays to varying degrees without in any way being reduced to mimicry. By craft, I mean, first and foremost, the craft of architecture itself as a practice, that which Herman Hertzberger once characterized as “the skill of an architect� as though, in the last analysis, it was still a trade that one has to master if one is going to imagine and synthesize, in detail, a complex and articulate work with total assurance and conviction. Inseparable from this over-arching concept of tectonic craft lies the cultivation of craft in terms of manual technique, which, however augmented and transformed by modern technology, still prevails as the non plus ultra of quality production in this field. This bring me to the most elusive attribute of all, namely, the fluctuating, iridescent quality of light which is modulated by a structure over time; a spectrum of luminosity which not only varies from one practice to another but also from one building to the next. It is perhaps the most imponderable and unpredictable phenomena, and as such, may be seen as the subtle, ineffable consequence of all other attributes combined. There remains in the work of each of these practices one other crucial characteristic that I have so far failed to mention, namely, their capacity for typological invention, whereby the building becomes a programmatic catalyst for the realization of conditions and metaphoric significations not entirely foreseen by either the client or the architect prior to the occupation of the work. What I have in mind can perhaps only be clarified by citing certain works for the way in which both program and form come together so as to transcend their separate genesis and intent as in the large, over-hanging roof of the Gleneagles Community Center in West Vancouver, by Patkau Architects, 45


ing the society are not being adequately addressed by works of this genre, despite their not too infrequent public character. To this objection I would like to argue that architecture has its intrinsic limits, and that while I do not subscribe to its hypothetical autonomy, since it is the one cultural form that is inextricably mixed with the life world and dependent on material, I would nonetheless insist, at the same time, that it cannot be expected to answer for the dysfunctional, self-destructive convolutions perpetuated by global, corporate capitalism in its rampant decline.

which goes beyond its passive climatological function to symbolize the status of the society it serves, or, let us say, Holl’s building for Iowa University housing the Schools of Art and Art History wherein a particular spatial juxtaposition, evokes the interdisciplinary nature of the institution it houses while at the same time activating the landscape over which it is suspended. It could well be argued that all of this is too aesthetically determined, or that it is my old preoccupation with critical regionalism masquerading under another guise, or that the pressing dystopic ruptures confront-



The GSAPP Alumni Association held a very well-attended (more than 300 people!) launch party at Valcucine Showroom in Soho on January 20. Images of the festive evening accompany a conversation between Troy Conrad Therrien (M.Arch ’09) and Sharon Liebowitz (M.Arch ’91), Chair of the newly formed Alumni Association Board. In addition to discussing the shifting character of the school and the role of the Alumni Association, Sharon Liebowitz talks about her unique career trajectory and the GSAPP moments that most influenced her.


CC: Troy Conrad Therrien M.Arch 2009 SL: Sharon Liebowitz

in 2006, that’s when I started to get involved in a more formal sense.

CC: You completed your master of architecture degree at GSAPP between 1988–1991. What was your relationships at Columbia following graduation? And when did you first start becoming involved in efforts to build the GSAPP alumni?

CC: Now that the Board has been formed, how would you define the scope of the Alumni Association?

SL: I would say that I was always involved with my classmates and peers. We had a tight group of friends — both from the architecture program and the AAD program — and everybody stayed in touch. Certainly, many were here in New York City, and a bunch abroad as well. Those years were terrific, and everybody did kind of keep in touch, so I always felt very close to the school. When Devon [ErcolanoProvan, Director of Development] reached out to me

SL: It’s broad and very exciting. We put together the mission this past year, and the guiding tenet is to work with, not for. We will coordinate efforts between the school and the alumni and also the students, but take a more holistic approach to bring all the different programs together. We have put committees in place, and ideally that’s where the rubber is going to meet the road, working on various initiatives that should be reflective of the school as well as reflective 47


of all the programs and their graduates. We have committees under the titles of Communications and Technology, International, Fundraising, Events, and Alumni Students and Careers, which seems to draw a lot of interest these days.

SL: I did spend several years working in architecture firms immediately after graduation. And then, when the dot-com era hit, there seemed to be a lot of opportunities in the digital world. Like many of my classmates and those around me, I think lots of people took off and thought there were some interesting and exciting opportunities within technologies within the 3-D space, within websites. [Of course], it was the “brave new world” at that point. Once I got hooked on technology, I did stay in technology for a number of years and really got involved in running large-scale projects,which, in a way, is not so different from running large-scale architectural projects, right? You’re dealing with people, and resources, and budgets, and timelines, and all that good stuff. But in the back of my head, architecture and the built environment [were] really my first love. So I was always looking for a way to come back into it. This was a good way to get back into that and draw some of those skill sets together.

CC: The departments of the school have always seemed to me to be quite siloed. Is providing more cross-departmental interaction an explicit initiative of the Alumni Association, and how does it plan to go about fostering this? SL: Yes. I think it’s certainly a mission of the Alumni Association. It is part of our mandate. I think the other thing that’s probably pretty clear is that once people do graduate and are in the working world, they realize that silos don’t necessarily exist. The difference between what you do isn’t necessarily going to always fit in a specific silo. There are going to be architects who might be working on older buildings, [which] involves preservation. Or there may be urban planners who are working on a big development, [which] involves architects. So that span in the professional world exists. I think the Dean has already made efforts to get the students collaborating and working in classes together, as a reflection of how it works in the real world.

After GSAPP you attended the Stern CC: School of Business at NYU for a period of time. Why did you decide to pursue further education?

SL: I was there for a year. When I was at Deutsche Bank, they offered me the opportunity to pursue an MBA and they were going to pay for it, which sounded all really well and good. I basically CC: As VP of Corporate Real Estate for JP started for a year. It was a bit crazy; it’s quite demanMorgan Chase, you have yourself transcended the ding and then, you know, you have a day-job on top boundaries of your architectural education. What do of that. I guess at that point the market was still you do in this position? pretty good so I said, “You know what? I don’t think I need this to enhance my career.” SL: The firm J.P. Morgan has a portfolio of properties that they manage for all their employees­— CC: So you found, after going through a bit office locations. My responsibility is to look at a subset of business school, that your architectural training of those properties and to understand how they really had sufficiently prepared you for operating successfit the demand of our company — matching supply fully in another field. You were at Columbia at a very with demand. I look at each building or each prop- specific time in its recent past, starting in the fall of erty in the same way you’d look at any sort of asset: 1988, when Bernard Tschumi took over as the Dean. buy, hold, sell, upgrade. Something akin to that. Bernard is often credited for bringing two things to the school, and perhaps architectural education in CC: In previous years, you were VP of Techn- general, French post-structuralist theory and the ology, so you didn’t come directly into real estate computer. You, and a number of your classmates, through architecture. What path did you take? later went into technology. Did you feel that being at




Images from the Alumni Association launch party on January 20, 2011.



Columbia in the late 1980s and early 1990s had given SL: Yes. I think it probably [did] all the way you a certain proclivity, or even preparation, for an- through, because you’re working on these projects — ticipating that? and some of them are quite experimental. Some of them may be very… you know, Housing Studio. I’m SL: I think those initial years with Tschumi sure they still have Housing Studio. Right? were tremendously exciting years and very dynamic. There was a lot going on and [it was] quite experimental. CC: Right, in quotes. I think it’s interesting, but an architectural education in a way is so broad because it does really prepare you SL: We still had real program [requirements] to do anything. I think any sort of education is really for housing, [but also] things that were totally, off-theteaching you how to think and how to analyze and wall and wouldn’t qualify as buildings in any way, look at a situation. I would say that the way an archi- shape, or form. So there was always that freedom. tectural education specifically is different in that it requires more synthesis. In my education to date ev- CC: You mentioned “synthesis,” which is erything had been analysis, analysis. You take some- something that’s explicitly fostered (hopefully, at thing, you dissect it, you take a look at it in its parts, and least) in our architectural education. Another thing you say, “Okay, what does this mean? What’s the mes- that ends up indirectly being fostered, especially with sage?” I think the architectural education was more the studio culture, is individuality. Students create their taking things and building them up and synthesizing own ideas, and teamwork can often be downplayed in them. I had Steven Holl my very first semester. He a design education. How then can you leverage this colsaid to us, the day we all sat around and took our class lective proficiency in synthetic thinking to overcome picture, “So if only a few of you become architects individuality in building an alumni network? and the rest of you, go do something else, that’s fine, too.” So the attitude was that an architectural education SL: I think the one thing that’s really imporis valuable regardless of where you take it. tant to all of us in the Alumni Association — and I think it’s also important to the school — is that we do CC: Was there any particular event person at get to hear everybody’s voice; and we do want to hear Columbia that stands out has having inspired you to everybody’s voice. And so, I feel that one of my main go on the particular career path you ended up on? responsibilities is to make sure that we have a forum that allows everybody to be heard. Right now it’s just SL: Yes, that’s an interesting question. It the Board. Obviously we do want to get people more was because Steven Holl did say that: “If only a certain involved in the Alumni Association and activities. amount of you become architects…” That doesn’t mean Hopefully at the launch party [on January 20] we’ll that he has failed, or we failed, or the school has failed. generate some more interest. […] It’s terrific that we He probably didn’t use the word “fail”. But, you know, have representation across the programs and across it always… class years. So there are very disparate perspectives on what it is to be an alumnus and what the Alumni AsCC: But he sanctioned it right from the sociation can be. I think that’s the challenge of getting beginning. everybody together to form that cohesive goal, but I think we’re going to be able to get there. SL: Yes, absolutely. CC: Is there a roadmap for how you see the CC: And do you think Steven Holl’s advice in Alumni Association developing over the next, say, three, your first and introductory semester tinged your student or five, or ten years? Or, is it a take-it-as-it-goes approach? experience with an experimental curiosity and license to think of architecture beyond just being a building? SL: I would say a little bit is sort of a take-it50


as-it-goes, because this is something very new. Clearly, different types of alumni associations have been around for a while. I think what sets this one apart is that it is a group of professionals, and varied professionals, as opposed to let’s say a college alumni association. So the needs and the wants and the challenges are a bit different. It’s not all about re-living our glory days at the school up in studio or in the different programs or seminars. [It’s] also about, “What’s relevant to me as a professional?” And I think that makes it a bit more challenging because it’s a moving target.

CC: In addition to dispersing its alumni all over the world, GSAPP, despite changing ideologies and leadership, has provided enough of a flexible and universal education that its alumni are some of the most exciting innovators in many other disciplines and professions outside of the specific educational mandate of the school. Can this disciplinary dispersion also be instrumentalized by the Alumni Association? SL: I think that’s definitely going to be one of our big challenges; and I think it’s also one of our big initiatives. The Student and Careers committee — which is growing by the moment — seems to be the one people want to focus on. Part of that is focusing on the alumni who have all sorts of disparate careers, and part of that is working with the students to explain to them what’s going on, what opportunities there are out in the world, and [letting] them see different models or examples of people who are doing different things — whether [that is] a straight practitioner in any one of the professional areas, or someone who has gone on a different tangent [altogether]. But I think the key is networking and [meeting] different people and hearing about different things, […] creating collective opportunities for ourselves and promoting the brand of the school as well.

CC: Coming into it, do you have any kind of key personal initiatives or interests that you would like to accomplish; or even any kind of fantasy projects? SL: There’s definitely a lot of cross-disciplinary work, and also perhaps global initiatives that are exciting. I [was] lucky enough to be in Amman, Jordan in the fall, and was able to visit the GSAPP lab there. There’s so much neat stuff going on in the globe that it would really be great if there’s a way that we can integrate all our alumni and just keep that feedback loop happening, not only between the alumni and the school, but also the alumni in these outposts. CC: You came to Columbia right at the moment when it’s typically thought to have become more international, with Bernard coming from Europe and through Boyarsky’s AA. Now not only are the students international, but the school has become itself dispersed internationally — most markedly with the Studio-X sites in places like Amman, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, and others — providing a global classroom model for architectural education. How do you see the Alumni Association network overlaying, interacting, plugging into, and helping to program that network?

CC: How can alumni who are not on the Board kind of best help the efforts of the Alumni Association? SL: We definitely want this to be an inclusive association. And we want people to get involved. There [are] various committees. We want people to feel free to participate, and join, and actively participate. It should be fun. And it should be beneficial. CC:

SL: We certainly have international representation on the Board level. We have folks in Europe, SL: and Asia, and the Middle East. So hopefully, we’ll be able to really get participation in those areas, [and] having this representation around the world will help generate some of that interest and feedback. Yes, this school was and is incredibly international; and it’s hard to even think about it not that way, having lived it. 51

Wonderful. Thanks so much. Thank you.


Studio-X New York celebrated its informal second anniversary with a cabaret book launch to celebrate the release of a guidebook on new forms of conversation about design. Here, the Publications Office explains its decision to use notoriously difficult to predict Day-Glo ink and the future of the DIY spirit of GSAPP Books.


Early September: printing was halted and a rush or-der for more Day-Glo ink placed by Linco Printing, temporarily interrupting the production of one of GSAPP Books’ fall releases — The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation. Day-Glo inks are notorious for being unpredictable on press, and the folks at Linco were a little reluctant towards the idea at first. [Thanks go to Tammy Lin and press manager Mr. Yao for their cooperation and patience...]

The approximations of Day-Glo colors on the screen are far more “approximate” than with non-DayGlo colors, leaving the final results to be something of a surprise on press. Yet the unpredictable nature of the process was exactly what attracted the designers and us to the process in the first place. Day-Glo may be symptomatic of the contradictory situation of print today, split between a fascination for oversaturation (the speed of digital processing and distribution 52






on the one hand) and intensified attachment to the physicality books. Despite the global dissemination of Studio-X and The Studio-X Guide the origins remain in New York, so it's fitting that, in spite of the fact that we can and do print our books from Winnipeg to Shenzhen, the guide's production took place just across the East River in Hunter’s Point, Queens with editor Gavin Browing and designers Aliza Dzik and Glen Cummings on hand documenting the massive quantities of Day-Glo ink used to produce the final product. The Studio-X NY guide (launched at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, on Friday October 8th) is the third job GSAPP Books has done with Linco. Together with Potlach and our fall books poster (also printed at Linco), The Studio-X NY Guide represents a shift in the way we are approaching book production in relation to the changing ecology of print today. Whereas in the past books were most frequently


printed in cost-competitive centers far from New York, working closely with jobbing printers for specific books allows us to realize smaller print runs at the same (or better) prices, and with more hands-on involvement in the process. While working in this more DIY fashion, GSAPP Books has also negotiated a contract with the distributor D.A.P. ensuring that these titles will reach a wide audience. This approach to print is part of a broader rethinking of the publications office agenda. In addition to this hands-on, medium-scale approach, we have embarked on a hybrid download/ print-on-demand model for the production of books related to GSAPP studios, and continue to work with a broad range of the top architectural publishers on larger publications related to conferences and exhibitions at the school. Stay tuned... Craig Buckley, Director of Print Publications, and Pollyanna Rhee, Assistant Editor, Office of Print Publications.

The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation on the press.



On Friday, October 8, Storefront for Art and Architecture hosted its inaugural cabaret event on the occasion of the launch of The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation, at which David Benjamin telecommunicated; Craig Buckley surprised; MTWTF published; Michelle Fornabai painted; Eva Franch emceed; Larissa Harris and Damon Rich conspired; Mitchell Joachim and Ioanna Theocharopoulou narrated; Janette Kim counted; Mitch McEwen rapped; Daniel Perlin made noise; Sarah Williams visualized; Mimi Zeiger formulated; GSAPP Dean Mark Wigley wrapped things up; and departing Studio-X New York programming coordinator Gavin Browning (MsUP '08) told a story. Below, a Studio-X mashup from Gavin’s two and a half years at GSAPP’s downtown incubator.

THIS BOOK LAUNCH WILL SET YOU FREE Performed by Gavin Browning, Storefront for Art and Architecture 10/08/10

Opposite page: Images from The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation book launch

When your body is in a heightened state (121) from how hard it is to relax in New York City (110), parties and social scenes are important (114). What’s a hot spot? (118) It intimates hidden relations (105), and architects would be wise to co-opt them (160). They are memorable spaces (168), with people driven by affect as a dimension of life (121) — at a scale that we couldn’t have predicted (167). Your job is to create a link (pg 126), to inject the fantasy back (83), to change the dream (136). This book will set you free (1). Close the door (33). We all

dreamed it together (139): in New York City, the hottest spot on the hottest day (92), we had a sense of being in the world amidst all its chaotic, uncontainable glory (122). But this is new. To me, this is beautiful (153). Anyone can be a creator (119). Enjoy your freedom (85). Words by Heather Rowe, Greta Byrum, Elizabeth Currid, Sarah Williams, Michelle Fornabai, Interboro, Henry Urbach, Harvey Molotch, Molly Wright Steenson, Mitchell Joachim and Ioanna Stephen Mosblech, Nora Libertun de Duren, Astra Taylor, Jonas Mekas, Stephen Duncombe, Cathy Wilkerson.









The next phase of NYC's favorite elevated park. 12.09.10 This will be lovely come spring. A view of the next phase of Diller Scofidio (B.Arch '60) + Renfro's (MsAAD '94) High Line.

DSR in Manhattanville! 01.14.11

No plans for that Sunday before Valentine's Day (February 13)? Nothing like the shadow of an ongoing housing crisis to make you feel like you're in good company. Join Urban Design Program director Richard Plunz and Damon Rich of CUP for a dialogue in the home of Moses's Panorama of the City of New York (i.e., the Queens Museum of Art). Not that they're hurting for work, but Columbia's Business School gives Diller Scofidio (B.Arch '60) + Renfro (MsAAD '94) the nod for two new "bookend" buildings in... Manhattanville. (The image is of Avery Fisher Hall, however.)

Elie Derman and Els Verbakel (both MsAUD '01) transform a municipal park in Israel 02.24.11

a Top Ten list. 01.03.11 Happy 2011! The proliferation of Top Ten lists is a bit overwhelming, but we like the fact that the Curbed "10 Craziest" includes LOT-EK (Ada Tolla + Guiseppe Lignano, both MsAAD '91), GSAPP students Muchan Park and Luc Wilson, and SOMA Architects (Michel Abboud, MsAAD '04).

GSAPP faculty member Kate Orff on oysters as infrastructure.

Deborah Gans on the new genre of biennale suggested by Bat Yam, featuring On the Way to the Sea, designed by Derman Verbakel Architecture (Elie Derman and Els Verbakel, both MsAUD '01).

02.01.11 Get your Tevas on! Urban Landscape Lab co-director Kate Orff is bringing the oysters back to New York.

What is the greatest building in New York? 01.11.11 Winka Dubbeldam (MsAAD '92), Gregg Pasquarelli (M.Arch '94), former Dean and GSAPP faculty member Bernard Tschumi, and others on the greatest building in New York.

Urban Design Program director Richard Plunz and Damon Rich at the Queens Museum of Art (February 13) 60

Nicolai Ouroussoff (M.Arch '92), still seeking post-crash optimism, finds some in New Haven. 02.24.11 Nicolai Ouroussoff (M.Arch '92) reviews the Kevin Roche exhibition at the Yale School of Architecture in this weekend's New York Times, signaling the full rehabilitation of Roche's reputation as an architect.


Skye Duncan (MsAUD '07) on the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ.

The Times of India covers the arrival of Studio-X in Mumbai, quoting Dean Wigley: "There needs to be the possibility for a real estate developer to sit across the table from a policy maker or a student to sit across the table from an urban planner. If 85 per cent of the world lives in cities, it is not an urban story, it is a human story. And the subcontinent is the biggest experiment in this regard."

02.28.11 GSAPP faculty member and New York City Plan-ning Department urban designer Skye Duncan (MsAUD '07) talks to the Otago Daily News about the recent earthquake in New Zealand and planing for the future in a sustainable way.

Is the next generation of architects ready to build? 03.11.11 Katharine Jose of Capital reflects upon the first night of the Architectural League's Emerging Voices 2011 lecture series, wondering why no one was really talking about new buildings. After speaking to all of the winners (except for Marcelo Spina, MsAAD '97), Jose describes an era of collaborative practice, a broadened definition of what architecture is today, and David Ruy (M.Arch '96) debunking the "myth of creativity".

A house in the suburbs turns its back to the street. What will the neighbors think? 03.08.11

A cardboard column with 16 million facets

CCCP student and Domus correspondent JosĂŠ Esparza visits Mary Ellen Carroll's prototype 180 in the suburbs of Houston. The living archive of the project is on view through March 25 in the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery.

03.11.11 Over at Architizer, a preview of Winka Dubbeldam's (MsAAD '92) profile in the April issue of ELLE Decor. She has an IKEA kitchen! (Albeit, with Trespa panels...) And she loves the 1976 AMC Pacer.

02.28.11 Michael Hansmeyer (M.Arch '05) talks to FastCompany about his prototype for a computational architecture column, nine feet tall and made out of 2700 1mm-thin slices of cardboard. We're wondering... who stacked that all together?

12 things Winka Dubbeldam (MsAAD '92) can't live without

"Partner up," says Joel Sanders 03.10.11 In an interview with Architect Magazine, architect Joel Sanders01 (M.Arch '81) discusses his strategies for thriving as a smaller office and attracting adventurous clients.

Arch Is_ P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. 03.11.11 Cryptic enough? AIA/Los Angeles announces the winners of its annual Arch Is_ competition, who will speak at the A+D Museum on March 24 at 7:00pm. Congratulations to FreelandBuck and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Georgina Huljich and Marcelo Spina, MsAAD '97). A/N features some of their work here.

Studio-X Mumbai: Bring your own thoughts. 03.07.11 61


Variations on a table, courtesy of C-Lab and Jeffrey Inaba 03.15.11

In Mimi Zeiger's interventionist's toolkit: Candy Chang's (MsUP '07) Vendor Power and The Studio-X NY Guide GOOD Magazine profiles the recent dining collaboration series between Michael Hebb and C-Lab just prior to the 30 Project dinner held at Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco. And, while we're checking in on Jeffrey Inaba, we somehow missed this: C-Lab @ HuffPo06!

Continuing the relationship with Fendithat began at the Venice Biennale, Aranda\Lasch (Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch, both M.Arch '99) brought their fractals to Rodeo Drive earlier this month for an interactive exhibitionthat allowed visitors to build their own objects on an iPad then watch them being fabricated and ultimately skinned in handcrafted Fendi leather. Given how expensive this season's Peek-a-Boo tote is, we're not sure this bit of fun falls into the design student price range, but it's coming to Fendi's New York store (677 5th Avenue @ 53rd) on March 24-25.

03.14.11 Mimi Zeiger outlines more strategies for making some noise through guerilla and DIY print strategies, including The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation and Candy Chang's (MsUP '07) Vendor Power and renderings of an ersatz future via The Hypothetical Development Project.

ames Moorhead (MsAAD '94) on the unusual life and legacy of a 30-room home overlooking the Hudson River 03.17.11

Andrew Dolkart on the history of the garment district @ MCNY tonight

Good news for print on 22nd Street 03.22.11 Coming soon to the storefront of the Van Alen Institute (at last being put to good use...), a pop-up bookstore being designed by LOT-EK (GSAPP faculty members Ada Tolla + Guiseppe Lignano, both MsAAD '91) with, we hear, the help of the curatorial genius of Fake Industries (GSAPP faculty member Cristina Goberna, MsAAD '08 and Urtzi Grau, MsAAD '04).

James Moorhead(MsAAD '94) discusses his colorful family history as witnessed by their 30-room home in Croton-on-Hudson.

03.14.11 Tomorrow (March 16) at the Museum of the City of New York at 6:30pm, Andrew Dolkart, Director of the Historic Preservation Program, discusses the geography of the garment district. Plus, he got a mention on CBS New York's listing of the best things to do in New York.

Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch (both M.Arch '99) on fractals and Fendi 03.22.11 62

RED Director Vishaan Chakrabarti on Japan 03.23.11 In Urban Omnibus, RED Director Vishaan Chakrabarti submits his final entry for his A Country of Cities series, a poignant reflection on the culture of the built environment in Japan, including its belief in rebuilding and hope for rebirth in the face of the recent multiple tragedies the country has faced.


Studio-X Rio!

The Architectural League announced the winners of its annual prize, a roster that includes form-ula (Ajmal Aqtash, Richard Sarrach, and Tamaki Uchikawa, all MsAAD '03), whose research and curatorial work can partly be seen here. Be sure to put their lecture on June 22 at Parsons (66 Fifth Avenue) in your calendar now. .

Michael Hansmeyer (M.Arch '04) discusses his 2,700 piece sixteen million faced column with CNN. Apparently, a forest is on its way. We're still wondering who glued that all together...

03.24.11 From last week's launch in Rio, some photos of the action (including evidence of the global influence of GSAPP faculty member Keith Kaseman's (M.Arch '01) hair), coverage of the opening from the American Planning Association, and a report from Building Design.

Coming to the Bowery in May: cotton candy worms 04.01.11

David Benjamin (M.Arch '05) takes a deep breath and considers new forms of life 03.30.11 Over at Domus, GSAPP faculty member and Living Architecture Lab co-director David Benjamin (M.Arch '05) discusses new life forms, what it means to design with biology, and embracing the unknown. Architizer reports on the press conference kicking off the Festival of Ideas for a New City and the event schedule goes live here. Highlights include a keynote by Rem Koolhaas on May 4; a World Cafe with GSAPP faculty member David Benjamin (M.Arch '05), Dr. Mitchell Joachim (M.Arch '97), Mitch McEwen (M.Arch '06), GSAPP faculty member Jorge Otero-Pailos, and others on May 7; and new large-scale works by Richard Long at Sperone Westwater .Oh, and the aforementioned worms will be designed by Family (Dong-Ping Wong, M.Arch '06) and PlayLab. See you there!

Barry Bergdoll + Beatriz Colomina + Keller Easterling + Kurt Forster + Joseph Grima + Sarah Herda = ? 04.13.11 Cerebral cocktail party? Close. The CCCP program (Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture) is hosting a day-long symposium entitled Interpretations: Exhibition Practice on Friday, April 22 in Wood Auditorium questioning the nature of architectural exhibitions with a trio of reflections upon some significant moments in curatorial practice from the past decade.

Boris Dramov (M.Arch '70) on how genius works... 04.14.11

Congratulations to form-ula (an all MsAAD '03 team), winners of the 2011 Architectural League Prize! 03.31.11

More on Michael Hansmeyer's (M.Arch '04) algorithmic column 04.12.11 63 In The Atlantic this month, check out the special report on culture with a series of profiles of prominent artists discussing their creative process. Keeping company with Paul Simon and Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte are Bonnie Fisher and Boris Dramov (M.Arch '70) of the San Francisco-based ROMA Design Group whose Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is scheduled to open on the National Mall this August.






















2 4 1






7 10




Greta Hansen deserves all the gold cubes in the world.


CHRISTOPHER BARLEY, 03.25.11, 11:00am

Unfortunately, he thinks we architects are no longer relevant for our own profession, architecture.









DANIEL YEP TABOADA, 01.25.11, 2:53pm





good design is good practice.








MERAL EKINCIOGLU, 03.02.11, 5:10pm









BACK COVER C-LAB + Festival of Ideas for the New City. 05.04.11 Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream Symposium. 05.03.11

Work AC shows what you can do with just 500 square feet in Texas. 04.19.11 GSAPP faculty member and space lab director Yoshiko Sato contemplates the future. 04.18.11

GSAPP student Jordan Carver on Interpretations. 05.03.11

National Guard vs. preservationists in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 04.18.11'

Gavin Browning (MsUP '08 and the force that made Studio-X New York happen) on the planned expansion of QMA. 05.03.11

More from Milan... 04.18.11

18 critics + 2 Dyson Air Multipliers = Christoph Kumpusch's final review. 05.03.11 Kazys Varnelis on the emergent spatiality of the "Arab Spring". 05.01.11 Cantilevered shelves, a cast bronze bird, and a Japanese master painter in Brooklyn Heights. 05.01.11 On marijuana growhouses and other alternative economies @ Studio-X New York. 04.28.11 Final review week! 04.25.11 Levittown as small-business oasis. 04.27.11 DS+R's high-maintenance "corner of the earth". 04.27.11 More about Jürgen Mayer's Metropol Parasol: We LIKE it. 04.27.11

Fred Willson (B.Arch '02), singular architect of Bozeman, Montana. 04.18.11 GSAPP sweeps the 2011-2012 Rome Prize in Architecture. 04.16.11 David Benjamin (M.Arch '05) on tinkering. 04.15.11 Art=Relief on April 30 @ Studio-X New York. 04.15.11 An architectural bookstore in Van Alen's storefront, courtesy of LOT-EK. 04.15.11 On living in John Johansen's Plastic Tent House in Stanfordville, NY. 04.14.11 Brad Zizmor (M.Arch '93) and Dag Folger (M.Arch '93) use their experience with financial clients to shop for piggy banks. 04.14.11 Global music in real-time at Studio-X. 04.14.11

Dan Hill (City of Sound) on GSAPP faculty member Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid and the realities of public/ private development in Beijing. 04.12.11 GSAPP friend Geoff Manaugh has some questions... 04.12.11 Michael Chen's (M.Arch '01) design of a multi-functional pivoting space within a 450-square foot studio apartment is an Editor's Pick on Architizer. 04.12.11 Fake Industries Architectural Agonism @ GSD. 04.11.11 Anthony Abel Sunga, on book decomposition 75% of the way through the semester. 04.11.11 Happy National Architecture Week! 04.11.11 Rachely Rotem (MsAAD '06) and Phu Hoang (M.Arch '99) win competition to build an interactive architectural environment in Boston's Fort Point Channel. 04.11.11 Core 77 previews GSAPP faculty member Caterina Tiazzoldi's social cave for Salone Milan 2011. 04.11.11 gsapp girl has a new look. 04.11.11 Field trip to Levittown! 04.05.11 Yong Ju Lee (M.Arch '09) and Brian Brush (M.Arch '10) at Pecha Kucha Portland (April 9). 04.05.11

"Where are the books? Does it matter?" 04.25.11

Brad Cloepfil (MsAAD '85), Pacific Northwest expat, celebrates a new book. 04.14.11

On the heels of a discussion about the meaning of architectural exhibitions, GSAPP @ MoMA on the question of housing. 04.25.11

GSAPP faculty member and Cloud Lab co-director Toru Hasegawa (M.Arch '06) at Global PechaKucha Night this Saturday 04.14.11

On water in the city (via Studio-X Mumbai). 04.21.11

(April 16). Boris Dramov (M.Arch '70) on how genius works... 04.14.11

Tom Stoelker of A/N on GSAPP's Exploding Plastic Inevitable. 04.01.11

Network Architecture Lab director Kazys Varnelis on getting management theory out of architecture. 04.21.11

Cast your vote for GSAPP-designed infrastructure. 04.13.11

CCCP student José Esparza can read while standing on his head. 04.01.11

Ask him about the meat houses... 04.13.11

Congratulations to form-ula (an all MsAAD '03 team), winners of the 2011 Architectural League Prize! 03.31.11

Charles Renfro (MsAAD '94), on finding your inner service provider. 04.21.11 Ben Hansen (M.Arch '92), challenging the brownstone hegemony of Brooklyn. 04.21.11 Preservation Landmarks Commission unanimously approves SYSTEM architects 'parametric' addition in Tribeca. 04.20.11 Steven Holl's new Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture, a reflection on the rejection of single-point perspective in the 13th century. 04.19.11

Barry Bergdoll + Beatriz Colomina + Keller Easterling + Kurt Forster + Joseph Grima + Sarah Herda = ? 04.13.11 “La Belle et la Bête” and 1930s Shanghai at Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz's (MsAUD '83) Mondrian Soho. 04.13.11 More on Michael Hansmeyer's (M.Arch '04) algorithmic column. 04.12.11

David Benjamin (M.Arch '05) takes a deep breath and considers new forms of life. 03.30.11

Coming to the Bowery in May: cotton candy worms. 04.01.11 More from Rio (and, if you were wondering, the X is for ambiguity). 04.01.11

Mark Lamster on the monograph studios at GSAPP. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. 03.30.11 The debate inspired by GSAPP visitor Francois Roche's cancellation letter: still going... 03.30.11 Sagaponac, one decade and one recession later: back in the New York groove. 03.30.11

Perhaps this has gone on too long, then. 03.30.11 C-Lab + the street festival with more than just fried dough and fresh lemonade. 03.30.11 Stargazing without even heading down the Low steps. 03.28.11 They know where you are. 03.28.11 LBD:NY + CFAF > UIA. 03.25.11 GSAPP visitor François Roche causing a bit of a stir on the left coast. 03.25.11 GSAPP visitor Jürgen Mayer H. brings a metropol parasol to Sevilla. 03.25.11 From the archives: Anatole Friedland (M.Arch circa 1905). 03.24.11 From sugar cubes to social cave. 03.24.11 Studio-X Rio! 03.24.11 A National History Museum in the Netherlands (not France). 03.23.11


RED Director Vishaan Chakrabarti on Japan. 03.23.11 Good news for print on 22nd Street. 03.22.11 Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch (both M.Arch '99) on fractals and Fendi. 03.22.11 Juan Herreros @ ETSAM: smoking blue foam and a city for 1,000 in less than a week. 03.22.11 For your summer reading list or Kinne trip itinerary... 03.22.11 Think spring. Recent images of Bernard Tschumi's M2 Metro Station in Lausanne. 3.22.11 A big anniversary for the move that produced "undreamed-of freedom for three-dimensional anarchy," according to Rem Koolhaas. 03.21.11 "... I was facing the real thing, and it was good." 03.21.11 GSAPP faculty member and C-Lab director Jeffrey Inaba wins KORO Public Art invited competition. 03.21.11



CC: A Global Report from Columbia University  

If the school’s existing website can be described as GSAPP’s daily newspaper, CC: is seen as its Sunday magazine. The goal of the project is...