George Ranalli on “administrative leave” from Spitzer School of Architecture

Architecture, East, Shft+Alt+Del
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Ranalli. (Courtesy City College of New York)

Ranalli. (Courtesy City College of New York)

There has been a pretty big shakeup at the Spitzer School of Architecture. Last week, City College of New York President Lisa S. Coico announced in an email to the school that George Ranalli, dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture was on administrative leave effective immediately. Professor Gordon Gebert has been named the acting dean in the meantime. City College did not respond to AN‘s request for comment on the change.




High Marx: Sorkin Tells All At SVA’s Graduation Conference

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Michael Sorkin. (Courtesy CCNY)

Michael Sorkin. (Courtesy CCNY / Montage by AN)


Freshly anointed “Design Mind” of the year by the National Design Awards, Michael Sorkin dazzled the full house at the annual graduation conference hosted by SVA’s Design Criticism MFA program. Sorkin startled the audience to attention with his opener, “Our world is going to hell!” and then never let up. Presenting concepts for self-sustaining cities, the architect/professor/gadfly took a break from urban planning to critique some other types of design. “Get ready for the worst graphic design of the day,” he said, clicking to a the logo of his employer, The City College of New York, and its weirdly gargantuan “the.” Following his presentation, Sorkin and moderator John Hockenberry debated the appropriateness of a request Sorkin had received to write a good review of a recent tour on TripAdvisor…from a guide who had just taken him through the Dharavi slum in Mumbai. In vintage Sorkin style, the Design Mind lamented, “Everything is being assimilated to a system of consumption!”

City College’s Spitzer School of Architecture to Broadcast Lectures Online

Dean's List, East
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Louis Kahn's National Assembly building in Bangladesh. (William Curtis)

Louis Kahn’s National Assembly building in Bangladesh. (William Curtis)

One of the most important components of any architecture school is its semester-long lecture series. It’s a chance for schools to bring in voices from outside their building and communicate to students a broad range of approaches and ideas percolating in the culture and profession. Many schools send out posters of these lectures to other schools across the country to announce their programing and these are posted on hallway walls for all to see even if they are thousands of miles away on another coast.

But now City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture has taken the next step and is simulcasting its lectures live online for the public to view. Old lectures will be archived and viewable any time. This semester City College is focusing its lectures on Rethinking Kahn and have scheduled a distinguished line up of Louis Kahn scholars including Stanislaus von Moos this Thursday, February 28 speaking on Kahn’s urban projects. On March 7, Ken Frampton will be speaking on monumentality in Kahn’s work. March 21 will feature Gina Pollara who will lecture on New York’s FDR Memorial on Roosevelt Island and its construction. After that Robert Twombley and William J.R. Curtis will lecture. On the Friday after William Curtis’ lecture, there will be a discussion between William Curtis and George Ranalli and Rethinking Kahn.

CCNY’s Architecture School To Add Solar-Powered House On Its Roof

Dean's List, East, Newsletter
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Solar Roofpod to be installed atop CCNY's Spitzer School of Architecture. (Courtesy CCNY)

Solar Roofpod to be installed atop CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture. (Courtesy CCNY)

Beginning this summer, City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture will welcome home its 2011 entry to the U.S. Solar Decathlon, a biennial student competition to design ultra-sustainable homes sponsored by the Department of Energy. The solar-panel-topped house, dubbed the Solar Roofpod, will be perched atop the architecture school and flanked by rooftop gardens and even a windmill. The house will be used as a meeting space and teaching device to show the benefits of environmentally-friendly design and materials.

Solar Roofpod was designed as a prototype structure that could easily attach to the roofs of buildings in high-density neighborhoods in cities like New York. A team of more than 100 students at the Spitzer School of Architecture and the Grove School of Engineering along with Architecture Professor Christian Volkmann designed and built the structure that was eventually displayed on the National Mall. The Solar Roofpod is expected to be fully reassembled in its new home in time for the fall semester.

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