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Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
Contributing Editors: Linda G. Miller • Carolyn Sponza, AIA
Online Support: Ryan Canfield • Mauricio Alexander



EDITOR'S SOAPBOX: NYC's Public Toilet Problems Flushed Away


Atlantic Yards Reaches for Approval | SoBro Dons Green Necklace | Modern/Orthodox Building for Riverdale | Mixed-Use Master Plan Developed in Tianjin | Multi-Story Condo Rises in Arkansas | Williamsburg Grows and Grows...

AROUND THE AIA + THE CENTER Inaugural + Awards Kick Start 2007 | Strategic Plan Redefines AIA's Mission | FamilyDay Lights the Way







Oculus 2007 Editorial Calendar | 2007 AIANY Chapter Design Awards | Master-Disaster Architect Duel III | American Architecture Awards | Young Architects Forum: Proof | Wish You Were Here | Heated Issue | Timeless Design Competition


At the Center for Architecture

Going Public 2: City Snapshot(s) and Case Studies of the Mayor's Design and Construction Excellence Initiative | Project Showcase: The New York Times Building | 2006 NY ASLA Design Awards

About Town

Times Square Theatres: A New Century, A New Style | Reinventing the Globe: A Shakespearean Theater for the 21st Century | Robert Moses and the Modern City


Click the above link to go to eCalendar on the Web.



Editor's Note: Having completed my first year as Editor-in-Chief of e-Oculus, I would like to thank all of the design enthusiasts who read, consider, and respond to each issue. Please send me suggestions ( for what you would like to see improve over the next year. Happy Holidays and see you January 9!


Shrinking Cities Uncover Urban Epidemic
By Bill Millard

Wide highways and train tracks sub-divide Detroit into segregated neighborhoods, a contributor to urban shrinkage.
Shrinking Cities

Much of Detroit's inner city is deserted due to the auto industry.
Shrinking Cities

Event: Shrinking Cities: Negotiating Inequality
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.09.06
Speakers: contributors: Philipp Oswalt — chief curator; Johannes Fiedler — fiedler.tornquist (Graz, Austria); Damon Rich — Center for Urban Pedagogy (Brooklyn); respondents: Neil Smith — Center for Place, Culture and Politics, CUNY; Peter Marcuse — Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University
Organizers: Shrinking Cities, a joint project of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation), Project Office Philipp Oswalt, Gallery for Contemporary Art (Leipzig), Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, and archplus magazine (Aachen/Berlin);
Sponsors: Deutsches Haus at NYU; AIA NY

New York is projected to grow by nearly a million residents by 2030, and they have to come from somewhere. Many will be fleeing cities that globalization has turned from winners (or at least steady-state survivors) to losers. An accelerating number of cities, observes architect and writer Philipp Oswalt, have contracted economically and demographically over the past 50-100 years; former industrial centers are now centers of blight, poverty, crime, disinvestment, talent flight, infrastructural collapse, and the other all-too-familiar aspects of urban decline. Shrinking Cities, a four-year investigation of urban shrinkage, uses statistical analysis, scholarly publications, art installations, and thought experiments to analyze different regional responses to diminished circumstances. Research is currently being shown in a two-part exhibition curated by Oswalt at the Van Alen Institute and Pratt Manhattan Gallery, on view through 01.27.07.

Out of hundreds of such cities, the project focuses attention on Detroit; Manchester/Liverpool, England; Halle/Leipzig, Germany; and Ivanovo, Russia. The last two, respectively a mining/chemical center in the former German Democratic Republic and a textile center ("Red Manchester") during the Soviet period, face not only deindustrialization but a transition from socialist to capitalist conditions — with no appreciable social safety net and a population forced to improvise hardscrabble methods of survival, including subsistence gardening in the shadows of abandoned factories (a "blurred division of labor and occupational rotation," in Oswalt's terms).

Detroit's decline had more to do with suburbanization and white flight, symbolized by the wall one developer built to secure Federal Housing Administration approval in the 1940s by preventing racial mixing through blunt Johannesburg-style tactics. The metropolitan Detroit region is actually prosperous, but predominantly white municipalities have separated their tax base from the central city, now a ghost town of demolitions and fires. Damon Rich, founder and Creative Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and colleagues have worked to spread the recognition of the deliberate agency behind this process and the need to regionalize mal-distributed services and resources.

Cont'd . . .

When built, Halle-Neustadt in Leipzig/Halle, was the second largest socialist housing estate in the GSD. In 2003, when the city faced 25% unemployment and 60% occupancy, Berlin-based architect Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius organized a two-week event — with scavenger hunts, bike derbies, miniature golf, and repelling down the building's fašade — drawing guests from all over Europe and temporarily reviving the city.

Is Europe Tomorrow's Urban Wasteland?
By Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Event: Occupying Space: Experimental Projects in (East) Germany
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.08.06 Speakers: Daniel Kunle — Director, "no more | not yet"; Connie Klar — Director, "Sportification"
Organizers: Shrinking Cities; AIA NY Chapter

Contemporary urban populations are declining for the first time in over a century. Blown out urban centers, with abandoned buildings and vacant lots, are becoming more common. Cities, such as Dessau and Detroit, are experiencing a decline at such a rate that the population has halved in the last half century. As a result, city planners are struggling to fix this shrinkage, a phenomenon that is antithetical to the very definition of urban planning.

The documentary, "no more | not yet," is split into two sections that analyze urban wastelands ("no more"), and expose some of the underground initiatives taking place in Europe ("not yet"). Part of the problem facing shrinking cities is that governments are ordering demolition of abandoned buildings leaving gaping holes in the urban fabric. Thomas Sieverts, an architect in Bonn, Germany, suggests that urban planners should develop deliberate flexible spaces throughout cities. Whether they are growing or shrinking, the city will be able to adapt. Absent homeowners possess too much power, according to Berlin-based architectural critic Wolfgang Kil. Because they own their land, the future of cities is falling into their hands. Instead of leaving it up to them, Kil proposes that governments take over the land and offer it at a discount (or for free) to those willing to inhabit it.

Despite the bleak outlook for some cities, there are designers and planners who are not shying away from the problems. In Amsterdam, the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) Dockyard was given to artists by the government to squat in until the city could develop it further. In a case of mutual exploitation, the artists have developed a creative nucleus over the last 10 years, and reciprocally a blighted area of the city has new life. Since the transaction has been so successful, the artists are now trying to obtain land ownership.

Cont'd . . .

Miracle on 5th Avenue and 65th Street
By Linda G. Miller

Providing space for pedestrians and parkland is a human rights issue, according to Pe˝alosa.
The restored sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El.
Courtesy Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners

Event: Temple Emanu-El rededication ceremony
Location: Temple Emanu-El, 12.15.06
Restoration Design: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners
Consulting Restoration Architect: James F. Rhodes
Organizers: Congegation Emany-El

The festival of Hanukah commemorates the recapture and rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 165 BC, after it was desecrated by idol worshipping Syrians. The miracle that is celebrated today is that a drop of oil for the Eternal Lamp lasted eight days. It was quite fitting that some 2,100 years later, on the first night of Hanukah 2006, the largest synagogue in the world, Temple Emanu-El, was rededicated after an arduous two-year battle against 75 years of accumulated city soot and grime, decades of wear and tear on an aged infrastructure. Under the design direction of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, the building interior underwent an arduous two-year restoration of the main sanctuary and the smaller Beth-El Chapel.

Built in 1929 and designed by Robert D. Kohn, Charles Butler, and Clarence Stein along with a team of notable craftspeople, Temple is an eclectic mix of synagogue architectural styles such as those of 15th Century Islamic-ruled Spain, 12th and 13th century Eastern Europe, and 19th Century Orangienburgerstrasse Temple in Berlin, filtered through the sensibilities of the then contemporary Style Moderne. The Temple's floor plan and long-span steel structure create an interior space that's 147 feet long, 77 feet wide, 103 feet high, with a seating capacity of 2,500 on the main floor, and wrap-around balcony. An incredible palette of materials — marble, granite, travertine, limestone, cast and wrought metals, glazed tiles, mosaics, stained glass, Gustavino tile walls, and wood — made the restoration a challenge, but a majestic site to behold upon completion.

The $25 million effort included newly designed light fixtures, an improved sound amplification system, modern electrical and plumbing infrastructure, and the building's first ever air-conditioning system. The work was carried out in phases, beginning with the Beth-El Chapel and the western half of the main Sanctuary, then proceeding to the eastern half and the disassembling, cleaning, and re-leading of 62 stained-glass windows, cleaning and repairing mosaic tile, stone, metal and wood surfaces, and repainting the polychromatic ceiling.

The restoration of the Temple is documented in an exhibition "Sanctuary Revealed: The Restoration of an Architectural Icon" currently on view and open to the public at the Temple's museum.

On the Offensive: Cultural Capital Projects
By Kristen Richards

(l-r): Gail Lord, Kate D. Levin, Max Bond, FAIA, Baye Adofo-Wilson, and Karen Brooks Hopkins
Kristen Richards

Event: Building Cultural Capital into Urban Development
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.13.06
Speakers: Baye Adofo-Wilson, Esq. — Executive Director, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Newark, NJ; Max Bond, FAIA — architect; Karen Brooks Hopkins — President, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Commissioner Kate D. Levin — NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Moderator Gail Lord — President, Lord Cultural Resources
Organizers: Lord Cultural Resources

With experts in architecture, government, business, and the arts, one couldn't have asked for a more knowledgeable (and cultured) panel to discuss the issues surrounding the role of arts in urban development in the New York region. The evening led off with moderator Gail Lord asking, "What is cultural capital, and what are key success factors?" Max Bond, FAIA, jumped right in, saying, "We need to think in broader terms and be more exploratory, not just limited to libraries, museums, theaters, etc."

For BAM's Karen Brooks Hopkins, who has observed Brooklyn's transformation for more than 27 years, one of the greatest challenges BAM had to overcome was the "bias to cross the bridge." She said the BAM area "reflects the urban energy of the 21st century by balancing large and small scales, art and performance spaces, and ethnically specific and diverse communities." Her primary caveat for anyone considering a cultural project: "Don't build defensively. Engage with the street and be part of what's happening around you... Institutions need to work better with local businesses, and be better at connecting with other services in a neighborhood."

Lord then asked NYC Cultural Commissioner Kate Levin why the city invests so much in culture. "Cultural organizations reflect the aspirations of and anchor communities," Levin responded. The notion that culture breeds gentrification is not necessarily true. Bond suggested that one reason for resistance is "the concept that culture is 'high-end,' requiring organizations to emphasize their presence and involvement in the community."

Cont'd . . .

Boroughs Promote Social Infrastructure
By Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA

Under the Hell Gate span, before redevelopment.
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, courtesy Sustainable South Bronx

Under the Hell Gate span, after redevelopment.
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, courtesy Sustainable South Bronx

Event: Infrastructure is Public Space
Location: The Explorers Club, 11.29.06
Speakers: Guido Hartray — Fulbright Scholar Barcelona, associate, Rogers Marvel Architects; Neil Gagliardi — Senior Urban Designer, NYC Department of City Planning Queens Office; Linda Pollak, AIA, ASLA — principal, Marpillero Pollack Architects; Margie Ruddick — Margie Ruddick Landscape; Menaka Mohan — Project Coordinator, Sustainable South Bronx South Bronx Greenway
Organizer: Center for Architecture

There is a long history of infrastructure acting as a social gathering place. A notable New York example, the Brooklyn Bridge, is as much a significant means for transportation as it is a local destination and one of the city's major icons. Recently, there has been resurgence in the integration of social gathering places with the planning of major infrastructural undertakings. At the Llobregat Delta in Barcelona, the Delta Plan is transforming an underutilized industrial area into a pedestrian-accessible area complete with a network of walkways giving access to the waterfront while bridging infrastructural elements. A yacht marina will coexist with a water treatment plant.

Projects in New York City, including the Queens Plaza Bike and Pedestrian Improvements, are taking similar approaches. Queens Plaza is a gateway to Manhattan located where many subway lines converge. With the implementation of the Queens Plaza Bike and Pedestrian Improvement project designed by Marpillero Pollack Architects, the high traffic volume and uninviting areas beneath elevated trains will transform. Specially designed benches and dense, varied planting of trees and vegetation will soften this hard space.

The South Bronx Greenway Project will also provide waterfront access for residents and create opportunities for mixed-use development. As with the Queens Plaza project, adding vegetation and pathways will improve pedestrian and bike access. Obesity is a problem for many residents of the South Bronx, but the Greenway will provide space for them to exercise safely.

As illustrated by Barcelona's urban planning efforts as well as these two projects in New York City, the necessity of infrastructure offers exciting opportunities to create dynamic public spaces that promote social interaction within the context of daily routine.

Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA, is a freelance writer and architectural designer in New York City.

Estudio Straddles Border
By Gideon Fink Shapiro

Individual versatility is layered with public space and community planning in the work of Estudio Teddy Cruz.
Courtesy Estudio Teddy Cruz

Event: "Practices of Encroachment"
Location: Millennium Film Workshop, 11.15.06
Speakers: Teddy Cruz — principal, Estudio Teddy Cruz
Organizers: Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

The adjacent cities of San Diego and Tijuana "already contain each other" in spite of the increasingly militarized border wall that separates them, according to Teddy Cruz, principal of Estudio Teddy Cruz. Citing 1920s California bungalows perched atop steel frames in Tijuana, half-mile-long "mixed-use" tunnels covertly carrying goods and migrants beneath the border, and the inevitable sharing of the effects of environmental pollution, Cruz depicts the San Diego-Tijuana region as a dynamic, trans-border metropolis struggling to transcend parochial visions. Estudio Teddy Cruz has pioneered new approaches to housing and community planning that exploit modular building techniques and draw inspiration from the flexible layering of residential, commercial, and public space commonly found in Tijuana.

California's suburban zoning codes typically prohibit home-based businesses and multi-family occupancy. Deeming these rules obsolete and culturally biased, Cruz envisions functionally superior alternatives to the homogenous, gated tracts of single-family housing that dominate its landscape. Projects such as "Living Rooms on the Border" in San Ysidro, CA, provide an adaptable framework that occupants can modify to meet the evolving needs of their families and micro-enterprises such as car repair, catering, temporary lodging, and assorted vending.

If Cruz has injected fluid spontaneity into ossified San Diego neighborhoods, his proposals for improving the informally planned cities south of the border conversely incorporate the solidity and safety of building elements more readily available in El Norte. Cruz recently designed a versatile, prefabricated, S-shaped steel panel that can be linked and re-linked to form buildings, stairway stringers, or canopies. He says a large Tijuana-based manufacturer, such as the Hyundai truck plant that employs local workers and already uses the necessary materials and technology, could produce the piece inexpensively.

Cont'd . . .

2006 Procrastinators' Days
By Amanda Jones

Event: AIA NY 2006 Procrastinators' Days
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.30 — 12.01.06
Speakers: For full list of classes, click here.
Organizers: AIA NY Chapter; Center for Architecture

Just in time for many of the participants, more than 200 architects from around the region turned out to participate in "Procrastinators' Days" and meet their year-end CES credit requirements. Over the course of the two-day event, 16 Continuing Education Providers held 18 registered Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) accredited sessions.

Many of the programs focused on how architects can solve micro-macro-scale design problems by rethinking or applying specific remedies. Icynene discussed environmental foam insulation; ALC Environmental presented mold prevention strategies from sampling to decontamination; Hoover Treated Wood Products introduced technology complying with International Building Code standards and providing security against combustion; ASSAY ABLOY Door Security Solutions provided possible solutions to home and business break-ins; and DGA Security Systems covered basic fire alarm technology specifically relating to New York City and the New York City Building Code.

Procrastinators' Days provides architects a last minute opportunity to get continuing education credits which are required for AIA membership and continued state licensure. In New York State, the State Licensing Board requires 36 continuing education credits in a three-year period, of which at least 24 credits must come from programs conforming to health, safety, and welfare guidelines established by the AIA and the State of New York. AIA members are also required to have 18 continuing education units per year, of which 8 must qualify as HSW. Procrastinators' Days offers architects the chance to quickly secure up to 12 HSW credits before the year-end deadline.

Amanda Jones is the Program Committee Coordinator at the Center for Architecture.


EDITOR'S SOAPBOX: NYC's Public Toilet Problems Flushed Away

Inside the Charmin public restrooms in Times Square
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

What a relief it is to be able to find a clean, pleasant, free toilet in the middle of Times Square. Even Starbucks and the Marriott Hotel can't match this. If you haven't been by Times Square this holiday season, you are missing out on the new Charmin public toilets — a unique experience (if not slightly over stimulating) that only marketing geniuses could have envisioned.

Next to the Virgin Megastore at Broadway and 46th Street, the experience begins at street level. You are whisked up a long escalator under blue glowing lights along walls plastered with dancing bears and Charmin logos. When you reach the top, the floor is covered in soft, velvety, royal blue carpet. The line resembles an amusement park with music and dancers alongside. At the front of the line, 20 white doors line the perimeter of the toilet area. Staff members swiftly glide back and forth to open doors of vacant rooms and clean those that were just used. The rooms themselves are an experience — with white wainscoting and trim, dark blue walls, oval-shaped mirrors, and elegant wall sconces. There are some theme rooms and a couple of rooms set aside for children who can't wait any longer. This is not your average public restroom.

According to the online Flush-o-Meter, there have been 272,985 visitors, 65,343 from NY. Officials have agreed to keep the toilets active through December 31. After that, their future is uncertain. I hope the experiment has been successful enough that they remain despite the (undisclosed) high costs Charmin must absorb to keep them open. It has solved part of the public toilet problem in NYC. Other countries have figured out more sanitary solutions. The American Way does tend to be over-the-top and commercialized. We should embrace the kitsch and encourage private corporations to donate their services, especially if it means consistently cleaner toilets.



Atlantic Yards Reaches for Approval

The view east on Atlantic Avenue and 3rd Avenue of proposed Atlantic Yards project.
Gehry Partners, courtesy Atlantic Yards
The $4 billion Atlantic Yards project designed by Gehry Partners for Forest City Ratner is now one giant step closer to becoming a reality. The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Board approved the plan that includes the use of eminent domain. In addition to bringing Nets basketball back to Brooklyn, the project will create thousands of jobs — almost 22,000 construction jobs during the 10-year construction period, and over 5,000 upon completion — and provide an arena, commercial office space, 2,250 units of affordable housing, and market rate housing for which there is significant demand in Brooklyn. The Atlantic Yards project is expected to go before the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) for final approval Wednesday, 12.20.06.

SoBro Dons Green Necklace

Lafayette Street in the Bronx, before redevelopment.
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, courtesy Sustainable South Bronx

Lafayette Street in the Bronx, after redevelopment.
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, courtesy Sustainable South Bronx
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects' master plan for the South Bronx Greenway was recently unveiled by Mayor Bloomberg to government officials and community leaders at Hunts Point Landing, the future site of a waterfront park. The planned greenway, a network of streets and waterfront linkages will connect existing and proposed greenway projects, create alternative means of transportation, improve air quality, and provide opportunities for compatible economic development. The first four projects will add 1.5 acres of publicly accessible open space and 2.3 miles of pedestrian-friendly public routes designed to improve access and environmental quality.

The waterfront park will create community and recreational spaces as well as a sustainable river-edge ecosystem. Mathews Nielsen will provide a greenway lane and direct access to the waterfront for pedestrians via jogging and bike paths. Lafayette Avenue, in the heart of the residential neighborhood, will also be improved, with streetscaping, a landscaped center median, and dedicated bike and pedestrian paths. NYC is working with the State and local partners to acquire land to develop a Randall's Island connection allowing pedestrian and bicycle access to the Island's sports and recreational facilities. Construction is slated to begin by summer 2007 and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

A Modern/Orthodox Building for Riverdale

Arlington Suites accommodates Orthodox Jewish traditions.
Courtesy Meltzer/Mandl Architects
The two-story base of Arlington Suites, a new 13-story residential building designed by Meltzer/Mandl Architects, is made of Jerusalem Stone (limestone). Common amenities include a 107-space parking garage, large storage units, 12-seat screening room, roof deck with barbeque, on-site fitness center, pool, and sauna. But what makes this building special for observant Jews is its designated Sabbath elevator programmed to continually stop on each floor, the large terraces meeting spatial criteria for the Succot holiday, and double sinks in the kitchen. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2008.

Mixed-Use Master Plan Developed in Tianjin

A new hotel/condominium tower in Tianjin.
Courtesy Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects
Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects unveiled its design of a new 56-story hotel/condominium tower to be erected in the Tianjin/Beijing Seaport Area and Economic Development Zone. The glass and steel hotel/condo is composed of a small, medium, and large-sized cylinder, and will contain a 220-room, five-star hotel plus 144 luxury residences. Concurrently, the firm announced that construction has begun on the second and final phase of its Bin Hai International Exposition Center located adjacent to the tower site. The three-level Chinese fan-shaped center completed in 2004 is undergoing a 323,000-square-foot expansion.

Multi-Story Condo Rises in Arkansas

Grandview Heights
Courtesy Sydness Architects
New York-based Sydness Architects has designed Grandview Heights, a three-building luxury residential condominium complex of 360 units, on a 170-acre waterfront property on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. "The buildings' curved plans are a response to the lake and natural setting with its rolling hills and soft, lush landscape," according to firm principal K. Jeffries Sydness, Jr., AIA. The top five floors of each 15-story building will step back from the lakeside, offering residents private terraces with views. A network of paths will connect the various elements of the development with the lakefront where owners will have access to boating and beachfront activities.

Williamsburg Grows and Grows...

510 Driggs
Courtesy Stephen B. Jacobs Group
Brooklyn-based real estate brokerage firm Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates has broken ground on a Stephen B. Jacobs Group-designed six-story luxury rental in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The 55,000-square-foot building, called 510 Driggs, will contain 25 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom apartments. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.


Inaugural and Awards Kick Start 2007
"Climate change, carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, green design — the need to change how we inhabit the planet to avoid catastrophic consequences is now widely accepted... I plan to work with the AIA Board's Sustainability Discussion Group to aggressively advance sustainable design and... the future of our planet." Pledging his commitment to sustainability, RK Stewart, FAIA, a principal at Gensler, was inducted as AIA's 83rd president during ceremonies held December 8 in Washington, D.C. Stewart was instrumental in formulating the AIA position on sustainable architectural practice, promoting green design and resource conservation to target fossil fuel reduction used to construct and operate buildings by 2010.

The importance of diversity and the development of emerging professionals are two themes also addressed by Stewart: "If we are to ensure that our profession is a true reflection of the communities we serve, we must become more effective at understanding their issues, addressing those issues, and welcoming a broader range of talented people into the ranks of this great profession."

Stewart's inauguration comes on the heels of several other important announcements by the AIA. The 2007 Gold Medal was posthumously awarded to Edward Larrabee Barnes, FAIA, who was nominated by the AIA NY Chapter. New York professor and urban planner Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, has been awarded the 2007 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education, given by the national AIA Board of Directors and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates will receive the 2007 AIA Architecture Firm Award, becoming the first woman-owned firm to receive the distinction.

Strategic Plan Redefines AIA's Mission
In a quest for continuity, consistency, and accountability, the AIA Board of Directors has adopted a new directional approach. With the release of the 2007 Strategic Plan, the mission states that the AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. It claims to serve as a credible voice, optimize organizational performance, be the authoritative source, and increase member value. The process began with collaborative exercises among a cross-section of stakeholders to define goals, strategies, and metrics and clearly articulate what AIA leaders want to accomplish. Members can now access the plan, complete with an interactive overview, downloadable pdf, and blog, by clicking here.

FamilyDay Lights the Way
By Erin McCluskey, Director of Education, Center for Architecture Foundation

Elizabeth Martin, AIA

Families were introduced to light festivals from around the world, including those celebrated in France, Sweden, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Holland, and Mexico at the most recent Family Day@the Center, "Festivals of Light." After receiving a handout describing each festival's light-oriented traditions, families used paper, fabric, and battery-operated tea lights (complete with flame-like flickers!) to create small illuminated vessels, light crowns, and luminaries celebrating the Loi Krathong Festival (Thailand), St. Lucia's Day (Sweden), and Los Posadas (Mexico) respectively. Sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York (IESNY), each kid was given three candles so everyone could construct all three projects.

The next FamilyDay@theCenter will be held 01.13.07. Participants ages 10 and up will make books and paper designs inspired by cityscapes and buildings. Volunteers from a variety of design backgrounds continue to bring their invaluable expertise and enthusiasm to the youth Programs@theCenter and the in-school component program, Learning By Design:NY. If you are interested in perpetuating enthusiasm for design by volunteering, contact Erin McCluskey, Director of Education for the Center for Architecture Foundation at or 212-358-6136.


Submit your response for the latest poll:
The Partnership for New York City (PFNYC) recently released the report, Growth or Gridlock? The Economic Case for Traffic Relief and Transit Improvement for a Greater New York. A team of experts explored the consequences and remedies of implementing a fee levied on drivers into and out of downtown, south of 60th Street, during rush hours to reduce volume and raise funds for improving public transportation. The report states, "The cost of doing nothing about the traffic congestion problem is simply too great."

Do you think NYC should implement congestion pricing?

Results from last issue's poll:

Note: Poll results are not scientific.



TunaHAKI Center in Moshi, Tanzania Seeks Green Architect
Since 1998, the TunaHAKI Foundation in Moshi, Tanzania, has used acrobatics and dance as a vehicle for change for street orphans. In addition to arts training, the children receive food, shelter, medical care, and are sent to school for a full education. After being forced to move from their home, they found themselves in unsafe living conditions. The foundation recently purchased 3 acres of land which is the future home of a permanent shelter for the children, and is looking to build dorms, a training facility/theater, a vocational center, and a dining hall large enough to accommodate 100 children.

TunaHAKI Foundation executive director Scott Fifer wrote, "Given that nearby Kilimanjaro has become such a worldwide symbol for the effects of global warming, they would like to build as green as possible, and to make this a model for all of Africa... since we have an empty canvas before us, I would like to consider all green options and hopefully find partners to donate their time and skills."

If you are interested in helping, e-mail your resume, digital work samples, and your availability to



The Municipal Art Society has received a $25,000 grant to develop the program Staten Island: Beyond the Boat and the Bridge, a series of six bus, walking, and boat tours of the borough. The grant, given by The Richmond County Savings Foundation, will include a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mike Wallace... New Yorkers Clodagh Design, Hariri & Hariri Architecture, Naomi Miller Lighting Design, Suzanne Tick , and Katherine Bragg are all recipients of the 2006 Women in Design Awards, given by VNU Business Media and New York Spaces...

ASLA NY Chapter has announced the 13 winners in its 2006 Awards program. Recognized in the Category of Landscape Architectural Design were honor winners: Saratoga Associates (Battery Bosque), Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (Tribeca Green Residential Tower) and Dirtworks (Elizabeth & Nona Evan Restorative Garden in Cleveland, OH), and merit winners: Thomas Balsley Associates (Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA), Saratoga Associates (Front Street Courtyards), Abel Bainnson Butz Landscape Architects (Schaefer Esplanade), and Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Architecture Design (Burley in Berkshire, England). Urbitran Group (Beacon Station Canopy Landscape in Beacon NY) nabbed an award in the Small Project category; HM White Site Architects (New York Times Solar Radiation Study) merited in the Planning, Analysis, Research, and Communications group. Matthews Neilsen Landscape Architects (Monsignor Kowsky Plaza and South Bronx Greenway Master Plan) and Ken Smith Landscape Architect (55 Water Street Elevated Plaza and East River Waterfront Study) both earned distinctions in the Collaborative Design and Planning, Analysis, Research, and Communications categories.

Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering has established a new services group within the firm dedicated to providing comprehensive energy consulting to building and facilities operators, owners, and designers... Edward Cohen, AIA, has joined SBLM Architects to augment the company's new Development and Transportation Divisions... The Storefront for Art and Architecture has announced that architect and former Domus staff editor Joseph Grima will begin as director in January...



12.11.06: At the ASLANY Holiday Party and Design Awards exhibition opening at the Center, landscape architects really rocked (l-r): Jeff Grob, Landscape Architect at Vollmer Assoc. (lead guitar); George Ranalli, Dean of the School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, CCNY (drums); Len Hopper, FASLA, NYC Housing Authority (guitar); David McConnell, landscape architect, Vollmer; Christopher Crowley, landscape architect, NYC Parks Dept. (guitar); Marcha Johnson, landscape architect, ecological restorationist, NYC Parks Dept. (harmonica)
Kristen Richards



"Project Showcase: The New York Times Building" exhibition at the Center for Architecture is currently featured on the international webzine ArcSpace.


Oculus 2007 Editorial Calendar
Don't be shy... if you have ideas, projects, opinions — or perhaps a burning desire to write about a topic below — we'd like to hear from you! Your input is most welcome and appreciated; deadlines for submitting suggestions are indicated; projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please send suggestions to: Kristen Richards
12.20.06     Spring 2007: Architecture, Inside Out
02.09.07     Summer 2007: AIANY 2007 Design Awards
06.01.07     Fall 2007: Collaboration
09.07.07     Winter 2007-08: Power & Patronage

2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards
The AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Program seeks to recognize and promote design excellence in three categories: Interiors, Architecture, and Projects. Please note the new submission dates for 2007:
01.26.07     Entry Forms and Fees Due
02.09.07     Submissions Due
02.12.07     Symposium: Jurors' Announcement of Award Recipients
04.11.07     Design Awards Luncheon for Award Recipients and their clients
04.12.07     Design Awards Exhibition Opening at the Center for Architecture

Spring 2007: Architecture Inside/Out
The interiors of buildings, the design of the spaces that people work, live, and play in have profound influences on our relationships, productivity, well-being, health, and spirit. This issue will focus on the design of spaces where we spend the majority of our lives. This is AIANY Chapter's 2007 theme issue, and will be distributed at the 2007 AIA National Convention in May.
Submit ideas by 12.20.06

01.07.07     Submission: Master-Disaster Architect Duel III
LVHRD is currently accepting expressions of interest for competitors for its third design competition. The event pits architects from two different firms against each other in a build-off before a live audience, to be held in January.

02.01.07     Submission: American Architecture Awards
The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press are looking for the best new buildings designed since 01.01.05. Winning projects will be exhibited and published.

02.12.07     Submission: Young Architects Forum: Proof
Young architects and designers are invited to submit all projects, either theoretical or real, based on the theme of "proof." Selected work will be presented in public forums, an on-line installation, and an exhibition at the Architectural League of New York. Winners will receive a cash prize and their entries will be published.

02.16.07     Submission: Wish You Were Here
CITY|SPACE, a cultural organization dedicated to exploring the built environment, asks designers to reinterpret the idea of a traditional souvenir for the San Francisco Bay Area. Selected individuals will be asked to produce their souvenirs for an exhibition in Summer 2007.

02.18.07     Submission: Heated Issue
The first in a series of competitions entitled "Design It," DESIGN 21: Social Design Network asks participants to create an educational campaign to raise the public's awareness of how daily activities and lifestyle choices can contribute to global warming.

02.26.07     Submission: Timeless Design Competition
The Boston Society of Architects and Historic New England invite emerging professionals to address the idea of how history inspires them. Ten finalists will be chosen to select an architectural drawing or sketch that sparks their creative spirit for display. For more information contact Jamie Segel at (617) 951-1433 x223 or



At the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place:

Gallery Hours
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Friday: 9:00am–8:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am–5:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Bjorn Wallander

Related Events

October 10, 6:00–8:00pm
Exhibition Opening

October 11, 6:00–8:00pm
Going Public Roundtable


October 6–December 30, 2006

Going Public 2: City Snapshot(s) and Case Studies of the Mayor's Design and Construction Excellence Initiative

Galleries: Judith and Walter Hunt Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery, Edgar A. Tafel Hall

Two-part exhibition celebrating public projects in New York City. City Snapshot(s) is the second installation of the Center for Architecture's inaugural exhibition showcasing recent and newly proposed public architecture, art, engineering and landscape projects submitted by open call. Highlighting the efforts of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to enhance the city's built environment, Case Studies of the Mayor's Design and Construction Excellence Initiative will focus on seven projects and look at how the NYC Department of Design and Construction is redefining what public architecture can be in the twenty-first century. Together, the two installations document the scope, quality, and diversity of public work in New York City.

Curator: Thomas Mellins
Exhibition and Graphic Design: TRUCK product architecture

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter

Bovis Lend Lease; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; FXFOWLE Architects; KPF
Bovis Lend Lease   Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson   FXFOWLE   KPF

Forest City Ratner Companies; National Reprographics, Inc.; Rose Brand; W Architecture and Landscape Architects

The LiRO Group

Special thanks to:
Office of the Mayor, City of New York; New York City Department of Design and Construction; Center for Architecture Foundation; The Thornton-Tomasetti Group

Bjorn Wallander


September 26–February 17, 2006

Project Showcase: The New York Times Building

Galleries: Street Gallery, Public Resource Center

The Center for Architecture presents a preview of the new 52-story New York Times Building currently being constructed on Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets. Models, drawings, and material samples describe the innovation and design process, with photography by Annie Leibovitz documenting the urban context of this spectacular new skyscraper. Special emphasis is placed on the sustainable features and technique in creating this remarkable new tower for Times Square. Find out why architect Renzo Piano calls the design—a collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects—"An Expression of Love" for New York City.

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter in partnership with Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects
Exhibition Design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Graphic Design: Pentagram

MechoShade Systems
Mechoshades Systems

Flack + Kurtz; Duggal; FJ Sciame Construction
Flack + Kurtz   Duggal   Sciame

Clarett Group; Gardiner + Theobald; The Thornton Tomasetti Group; Zumtobel Lighting

Special thanks to: The New York Times Company; Forest City Ratner Companies; Annie Leibovitz

Related Events

Monday, 12/11/2006, 6:00—8:00pm
ASLA Holiday Party and Design Awards Exhibition Opening!


December 9, 2006—January 6, 2007

2006 NY ASLA Design Awards

Galleries: Library

The New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects presents its 2006 Design Awards. From an environmentally sensitive Master Plan for the South Bronx Greenway to a charming English countryside garden, this year's award winning projects illustrate the breadth of the profession of landscape architecture, and the national and international reach of landscape architects in our area.

Organized by: NY ASLA

About Town: Exhibition Announcements

01.10.07 through 03.07.06
Times Square Theatres: A New Century, A New Style

Depicting the diverse architectural styles of 20th-century Broadway theaters, this exhibition traces changing technology, literary style, and audience taste that inspired a century of theater design. Twelve theaters will be profiled, from the last Victorian playhouse to the newest showplaces.

The Municipal Art Society; 457 Madison Avenue

01.13.07 through 08.27.06
Reinventing the Globe: A Shakespearean Theater for the 21st Century

This exhibition examines the longstanding fascination with the Globe Theater, where many of Shakespeare's plays premiered, and culminates with a series of hypothetical Shakespearean theaters for the 21st century. The exhibition is part of Washington D.C.'s "Shakespeare in Washington" festival.

National Building Museum; 401 F St, NW, Washington, DC

Untitled (Wollman Rink, Cenral Park, #1), 2/23/51 by John Harry Lufbery
Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Robert Moses and the Modern City

The work of New York's master builder, Robert Moses, will be the subject of three concurrent exhibitions that display models, historic objects, plans, and vintage and new photography to illustrate his planning vision. Each venue will examine a different facet of his legacy within the context of contemporary New York. The three exhibitions include:

01.28.07 through 05.13.07
Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Road to Recreation

Queens Museum of Art; New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park

01.30.07 through 04.21.07
Robert Moses and the Modern City: Slum Clearance and the Superblock Solution

Columbia University Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery; Schermerhorn Hall, 8th floor

02.01.07 through 05.28.07
Robert Moses and the Modern City: Remaking the Modern City

Museum of the City of New York; 1220 Fifth Avenue


eCalendar now includes the information that used to be found in eOculus' Around the Center, Around the AIA, and Around Town sections. Click the above link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.




Would you like to get your message featured in eOCULUS? Spotlight your firm, product, or event as a marquee sponsor of eOCULUS, the electronic newsletter of the AIA New York Chapter. Sponsors receive a banner ad prominently placed above the table of contents. Your message will reach over 5,000 architects and decision-makers in the building industry via e-mail every two weeks (and countless others who access the newsletter directly from the AIA New York web site). For more information about sponsorship, contact: or 212.358.6114.

Looking for help? See resumes posed on the AIA New York Chapter website.

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Consulting for ArchitectsArchitects Wanted
CFA is a referral registry for architects, seeks resumes from qualified individuals for project or full-time placement.

Our clients, NYC's most desired architectural practices, have requests at all levels for design and production:

CFA has been building consulting careers for 22 years. Our project and permanent positions offer great opportunities for career path development.

As an architect working on a consulting basis, you benefit by working on a per-project basis, setting your own fees and schedule, while building your portfolio and experience, for a greater long-term career purpose.

We have openings at New York's most desired practices, and have successfully matched over 5000 people, since 1984, with firms that share likeminded design sensibilities such as yours.

Must have architecture degree and excellent CAD skills.

Consulting For Architects, Inc./Attn: Recruiters
236 5 Avenue
New York, NY 10001

(212) 532-4360 (Phone)
(212) 696-9128 (Fax) (email) (Web)

Adamson Associates Architects
is looking to expand their New York office, currently involved as Architect of Record in the redevelopment and reconstruction of the World Trade Center Site, working in association with "World Class" architects Foster and Partners, Richard Rogers Partership, and Maki and Associates who are the designers. Adamson has the task of assisting with the technical resolution of the architectural designs and coordinating teh requirements of each building with the requirements of a number of stakeholders.

We are looking for motivated and experienced individuals, from interns to project architects, who have excellent communication, computer, and problem solving skills as well as appreciation and sensitivity to architectural design intent. Candidates will need to posses strengths in the area of detailing, contract documents, and coordination of complex building program requirements. Proficiency in the latest AutoCAD software is required and experience with Revit is a big bonus.

Salary will be commesurate with experience.

Resumes can be sent by e-mail to

The NYC Region of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation seeks a well rounded NYS licensed architect or professional engineer. Contract management, field inspections, design and NYS building code experience desired. Provisional appointment to Civil Service position (must pass exam when offered). Starting salary $62,019.

Send resume to Charles Place, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, 163 West 125th Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10027 (fax: 212 866 3186) by November 30, 2006.

design manager

Experienced design managers needed. Responsibilities include: Managing architectural design process, ensuring compliance with codes and securing permits and building approvals. Will also monitor design modifications and monitor production of construction documents. Requirements: Architecture or Interior Design degree, five years experience with a specialty retailer as an in-house designer or experience working for architectural/design firm designing retail/restaurant spaces. Experience managing outside architectural, MEP and other desired.

Please send cover letter and resume to


job captain

Experienced job captains needed. Responsibilities include: Solving design questions and issues, coordinating project planning and reviewing/analyzes site surveys, developing preliminary drawings, tracking project timelines and producing architectural drawings. Requirements: Architecture of Interior Design degree, three plus years producing construction documents using a CAD software and must be proficient in communicating, both orally and in writing, and have demonstrated team work.

Please send cover letter and resume


ARCHITECT - Eastern Long Island, New York firm with a flourishing practice in residential architecture seeks architect with minimum 5 years experience as project architect for high-end projects.

Flexible work location and schedule.,

Brooklyn College wants to hire an architect as an independent consultant to be the liaison between the academic staff and the design architects for a science facility and a performing arts center. The ideal candidate would have a minimum of 10 yrs experience and have worked with educational or governmental agencies. It is anticipated that the weekly work load will be around 20 to 25 hours weekly. Fax resumes to 718-951-4642 or email to

Marketing Professional

Bermello Ajamil & Partners seeks dynamic Sr. Marketing Pro for our SOHO office. Includes strategic plannign, brand management, rfp / proposal preparation, market research, PR and maintenance, up-keep of the regional office CRM. Architectural/Engineering experience required.


Designers-Project Managers

Designers-Project Managers NBBJ is a multi-national design firm and is among the world's most prominent architecture firms. There are tremendous growth opportunities for individuals looking to join a highly collaborative team environment. Our New York Studio is seeking SR Designers, Project Architects and JR Designers to contribute to award winning project work both domestically and internationally. For more information please visit our website: or submit resumes to< /p>


Small firm seeks motivated hardworking, selfstarter individual with a strong knoweledge in Zoning, Building Code, M.D.L., City Agencies filling processes, etc. for part/full time position. Midtown great office work environment.

Fax resume and salary requirements (212) 725-1419

Project Architect

(NY,NY) hanrahanMeyers architects ( ) is seeking a full-time Project Architect to work on variously scaled projects, freestanding and interior. Good benefits. Pay commensurate with applicant's abilities.

Please submit resume (hardcopy preferred) to :

Ms. Victoria Meyers and Mr. Thomas Hanrahan
hanrahanMeyers architects
135 West 20th Street
Suite 300
New York, NY 10011

please include :

  • samples of student work, professional renderings and contract document working drawings
  • names and telephone numbers for three references, preferably at least one prior employer

or you may email to:

Rapidly expanding, award winning NYC firm spec- ializing in boutique hotels and large-scale residential projects throughout North America has openings at all levels of experience.


We are looking for exceptional, talented indivi- duals at all levels of experience with strong de- lineation skills and knowledge of software inclu- ding Form Z and 3D Studio Viz.


Intermediate and Senior Project Managers/Job Captains for large and medium scale projects. Autocad proficiency, experience with client contact, consultant coordination a must.


Architects of all levels with strong Autocad skills, detailing and shop drawing experience for both residential and hotel building types.

Excellent benefits, salary commensurate with experience. Email resume to H. Weber:


We employ the very best, do you qualify?
Architectural intern, minimum 4 years experience. National and international firm. Autodesk ADT 2007, Revit 9.1 a plus. DeWolff Partnership, Fochester, NY. Michael Holvey at 585-454-5860.


We employ the very best, do you qualify?
Openings for several licensed Architects, minimum 10 years experience in Health Care & Cancer Hosipitals, Justice/Prisons, Recreation/Community Centers, DeWolff Partnership, Rochester, NY a National and international firm.

Intermediate Architect

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP New York is seeking intermediate level architects for involvement in both large and small scale projects. Applicants should have interest in a full range of project responsibilities.

Applicants must hold a 5 year professional degree or Master's degree in Architecture and have 3 to 8 years of professional experience. Knowledge of AutoCAD, Photoshop and 3d Studio Max and/or Rhino is required.

Please send a cover letter, resume and 1-2 work samples to:

Human Resources
14 Wall Street, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10005
ATTN: 061215 Intermediate Posting
Or you may email all files to (PDF or JPEG only please)
No phone calls please. Work samples will not be returned.

Junior Architect

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP New York is seeking intermediate level architects for involvement in both large and small scale projects. Applicants should have interest in a full range of project responsibilities.

Applicants must hold a 5 year professional degree or Master's degree in Architecture. Knowledge of AutoCAD, Photoshop and 3d Studio Max and/or Rhino is required.

Please send a cover letter, resume and 1-2 work samples to:

Human Resources
14 Wall Street, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10005
ATTN: 061215 Junior Posting
Or you may email all files to (PDF or JPEG only please)
No phone calls please. Work samples will not be returned.

The AIA Contract Documents program
provides proven, consistent, and effective standard form contracts to the building design and construction industry. The program directs its efforts toward improving existing documents and developing new ones. In late 2005 the AIA introduced six new contract documents. These included two new agreements and four new scopes of service documents for use with owner-architect agreements.

Paper Documents
The AIA New York Chapter is a full-service distributor of AIA Contract Documents, which are the most widely used standard form contracts in the building industry. These comprehensive contracts have been prepared by the AIA with the input of contractors, attorneys, architects, and engineers. Typically, industry professionals and home/property owners use these documents to support agreements relating to design and construction services. Anyone may purchase and use the AIA Contract Documents. AIA Members receive a 10% discount. For a full list and order form, see list.pdf or call 212.358.6113 with your fax number.

Electronic Format Documents
The new AIA Contract Documents software is completely redesigned, based on Microsoft Word, and is easier to use than Word itself. Enter project and document information once and reuse it automatically. E-mail documents as Word or PDF attachments. Print "clean copy" final documents with all changes captured in a special report. Go to docssoftwaretraining for Contract Documents Software Training and to download the AIA Contract Documents software.

If you already have the software, Version 2.0.5: Software Update is now available.

AIA New York Chapter's HOME page
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Shrinking Cities Uncover Urban Epidemic - cont'd...
By Bill Millard

Perhaps most provocative was Austrian architect Johannes Fiedler's proposal to create "exterritories" within contracting regions, administered by more economically dynamic nations (e.g., a Chinese economic zone in Halle/Leipzig), anatomizing these experiments through projected publications such as a Foreign Affairs article dated from 2010. Peter Marcuse, professor of urban planning at Columbia University GSAPP, and Neil Smith, Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at CUNY, exposed such schemes to necessary critiques: who benefits from such arrangements? What is growth, and why assume it is always desirable? How could we conceive a social economy, more democratic and humane than the current entrepreneurial model? And, ultimately, what local efforts can make headway against forces operating on global scales? "You cannot solve the problems of shrinking cities in a shrinking city," observed Marcuse. "They need to be solved in a much broader context." The multifaceted Shrinking Cities project sets the stage for debates that merit serious public attention in boomtowns and busted towns alike.

Bill Millard is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Oculus, Icon, Content, and other publications.

Is Europe Tomorrow's Urban Wasteland? - cont'd...
By Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Situated with a view of the city's dockyard, the poverty-stricken inhabitants of St. Pauli, in the outskirts of Hamburg, Germany, are constantly reminded that society is gaining wealth while their conditions remain dire. The intent behind Park Fiction was to create a collective expression of individuals' desires. Community members submit ideas for plots of land on the park, and organizers Christoph Shńfer and Cathy Skene facilitate their realization. Everything from a grassy knoll in the shape of a flying carpet to an oasis with metal palm trees, everyone's wishes are respected and fulfilled.

"No more | not yet" does not offer any solutions; its aim is to spark discussion about rectifying urban wastelands. By claiming urban planners are not prepared to handle the stresses of shrinking cities, the film calls for everyone to come up with solutions. By being proactive, life and optimism can be resuscitated in areas that once thrived. There needs to be a shift in urban planning so it does not only imply growth, and communities and governments should become more open and flexible to innovative ideas.

On the Offense: Cultural Capital Projects - cont'd...
By Kristen Richards

Baye Adofo-Wilson used Newark's Museum of African American Music (MoAAM), an affiliate of the Smithsonian being designed by Hillier in the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, as an example of a cultural project being developed with great respect for the existing culture. The museum is part of a phased development that includes affordable housing which will be constructed first. "Too often cultural projects come in as quick fixes without considering the community," Adofo-Wilson said. "For us, the more inclusive, the more successful. It allows the community to see short-term gains and makes everyone feel comfortable that you have the capability to deliver."

Though there is a great need for smaller neighborhood cultural organizations, many are being pushed out of communities by new developments. Hopkins said cultural developments should be looked at in the same way as affordable housing quotas: "We need to figure out a formula, another way to raise opportunities for everyone." She finds it exasperating when developers "go forth and build [cultural facilities] with no reason, no vision." Bond agreed: "Buildings are dangerous things — get the program first, then build."

Estudio Straddles Border - cont'd...
By Gideon Fink Shapiro

Equally important to Cruz's architectural innovations are his collaborations with Casa Familiar, a San Ysidro-based non-profit community planning and advocacy group. Having finally persuaded the City of San Diego Planning Department to investigate their vision for this migrant community, Cruz and Casa Familiar won approval for an overlay zone that allows for more integrated land uses. The series of public planning workshops has helped crystallize Cruz's theory of urban density, which is defined by volume of economic and social relationships rather than housing units per area.

Meanwhile, Cruz notes that the political and built realities at the border — especially in the era of intensified Homeland Security — fundamentally clash with the notions of mobile and permeable architecture so fashionable among designers today. His final slide juxtaposed a migrant's ephemeral footprints in the desert sand with the impervious, triple-layer border fence under guard towers and surveillance cameras. Nonetheless, he encourages architects and planners to pursue "practices of encroachment" and the ideal of vibrant communities through greater collaboration across disciplines and borders.

Gideon Fink Shapiro is a writer and researcher at Gabellini Sheppard Associates, and contributes freelance writing to several design publications.