Author Archives: Anna Gibertini

Public Square by FXFOWLE. Image: FXFOWLE/Driverless Future Challenge.
Reports from the Field by • 07/12/17

Driverless Future Challenge Names Winner

The Driverless Future Challenge, organized by AIA New York in partnership with the City of New York, New Lab, and Fast Company, came to a close on 07.11.17 with the lively presentation of the four finalists’ visions of a world populated with autonomous vehicles. New York City-based architecture firm FXFOWLE, in partnership with Sam Schwartz Engineering, won the competition with their modular streetscape system “Public Square,” which now has a patent pending. Other contenders included driverless farm-to-table food trucks; “smart curb” technology with an aim to coordinate and ease high-density bottleneck traffic zones; and an autonomous vehicle extension of MTA’s limited options for disabled commuters. The five person jury panel consisted of members of the Department of Transportation, the Economic Development Corporation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the Department of City Planning, and one representative from Brooklyn-based, tech workspace New Lab. As a part of its winnings, the “Public Square” team will have access to New Lab and all of its resources to build a working prototype of their idea. Read More

From left: Peter Lampen, AIA; Luke Surowiec, LEED AP; Steven Winter, FAIA; John Lee, AIA. Photo: Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 06/28/17

A Closer Look at 80×50 Initiative’s NYC Retrofit Accelerator Program

On 06.07.17, the AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE) brought the conversation around New York City’s 80×50 initiative back to the Center for Architecture. The lecture, titled “NYC Retrofit Accelerator: An 80×50 Resource”, introduced a promising feature of the ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. A key aspect of Mayor De Blasio’s endeavor to make New York City a green city, the Retrofit Accelerator program focuses on making the city’s older buildings just as sustainable as new, cutting-edge construction. Read More

Bartholomew Voorsanger, FAIA, Principal, Voorsanger Architects, and Alastair Gordon, Contributing Editor, Architecture and Design, Wall Street Journal. Photo: Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 06/28/17

Cocktails and Conversation with Bartholomew Voorsanger, FAIA, and Alastair Gordon

On 06.16.17, the Center for Architecture gathered two of the industry’s beloved veterans and a good-sized crowd for another installment of “Cocktails and Conversation.” The hosts were distinguished architect Bartholomew Voorsanger, FAIA, of Voorsanger Architects and renowned journalist Alastair Gordon. The two recently collaborated on a biography of Voorsanger’s poignant and fascinating life and his artistic process. The book is titled Unfolded: How Architecture Saved My Life and is available now through Gordon’s own “Gordon de Vries Studio” imprint. Read More

From left: Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA; Cynthia Rosenzweig; Susanne Desroches; Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, LEED BD+C; and Jee Mee Kim, AICP. Photo: Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 06/21/17

Climate Change in NYC: Bridging Science and Practice

On 06.08.17, the Center for Architecture continued the environmental momentum from the previous night’s lecture with a panel discussion on the effects of climate change on New York City’s future urban design. While the previous lecture addressed what individual property owners could do to mitigate their environmental impact through retrofitting, “Climate Change in NYC: Bridging Science and Practice” focused on the imminent threat to New Yorkers of rising sea levels and increased average temperatures. Read More

Star Apartments, Los Angeles. Credit: Iwan Baan.
At the Center for Architecture by • 04/05/17

Michael Maltzan, FAIA, Says Public Housing Must Anticipate the Future

On 03.29.17, the conversation surrounding the future of public housing returned to the Center for Architecture. Housing by Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan, FAIA, Design Principal, Michael Maltzan Architecture, has won numerous awards within the past year including the American Architecture Award, the AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal Honoree, and two Residential Architecture Design awards. Architect and AIANY Housing Committee co-chair Fernando Villa, AIA, LEED, AP BD+C, introduced Maltzan’s work, calling it “always inspiring, innovative and thoughtful.” He noted too how architecture can be “a bulwark” against a government that is increasingly unconcerned for people relying on public assistance. Read More

Michael Kimmelman, New York Times architecture critic, and Jeanne Gang, Founding Principal of Studio Gang. Credit: Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 04/05/17

Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman Discuss Truth and Public Work in Architecture

On 03.24.17, two of the biggest names in architecture stopped by the Center for Architecture for a lively evening of illumination and calls to action. Once the crowd of 180 fans filed into Tafel hall and the mezzanine balcony, AIANY and Center for Architecture executive director Benjamin Prosky warmed up the crowd for the two giants who, as he noted, needed no introduction: Jeanne Gang, principal of Chicago-based Studio Gang, and Michael Kimmelman, New York Times architecture critic. Read More

From left: Farzana Gandhi; T. Alexander Aleinkoff; Sean Anderson; Eliza Montgomery; Alfredo Brillembourg. Credit: Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 03/09/17

Designing for the Refugee Crisis Reveals Both Hard Truths and Hope

On 02.23.17, AIANY’s Global Dialogues Committee brought the roiling debate around refugees to the Center for Architecture for a night of hard truths and small glimmers of hope. The lecture, titled “Designing for the Refugee Crisis,” gathered a distinguished panel of political and design experts to discuss the complex concerns surrounding this global problem. Read More

Over 300 attendees gathered at the Center for Architecture. Photography by Center for Architecture.
At the Center for Architecture by • 01/25/17

NYCHA Debuts Design Guidelines for Improving Public Housing

On 01.12.17, representatives from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) debuted the authority’s new Design Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of NYCHA Residential Buildings to a packed room of architects, policy makers, urban designers, and concerned NYC residents. As part of  NYCHA’s 10-year strategic plan entitled NextGeneration NYCHA, which aims to dramatically improve residents’ quality of life through updated health, environmental, and social policies, the publication details new guidelines and procedures to improve the interiors and exteriors of the 2,550 buildings within NYCHA’s domain. Read More

Industry City by Mathews Nielsen.
At the Center for Architecture by • 12/15/16

Women in Landscape Architecture

On 11.29.16, AIANY’s Global Dialogues and Women in Architecture Committees hosted the fourth annual “Leaning Out” lecture, a series focusing on women in the industry, with a discussion of women in landscape architecture. Dan Gallagher, AIA, and Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP, moderated the discussion, and AIANY 2016 President Carol Loewenson, FAIA, LEED AP, provided introductory remarks. Read More

New York City's Roadmap to 80x50
At the Center for Architecture by • 12/01/16

Roadmap to 80×50

On 11.14.16, the Center for Architecture hosted an intimate discussion of New York City’s progress on its 80×50 initiative, an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Mayor de Blasio’s Office of Sustainability released its “Roadmap to 80×50” strategy this September, detailing how this goal would be achieved in various sectors of environmental concern, including waste, energy, transportation, and buildings. The city joined the 80×50 initiative in 2014.

Three members from the Office of Sustainability led the discussion: Benjamin Mandel, Renewable Energy Policy Advisor; Lia Carione, Senior Policy Advisor; and John Lee, RA, LEED AP, Deputy Director, Buildings and Energy Efficiency. Read More