**2/27 Breaking news: The New Yorker‘s Paul Goldberger will be joining the panel discussion. Critical mass!
Monday, February 27
Architecture Criticism Today
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Who is best served by criticism? Who is the proper audience? Can it simultaneously serve the profession and the wider public, or are they mutually exclusive? How has role of general-interest media critics evolved? As a project comes to life, at what point(s) should critics weigh in?
The first of a four-part series on Architecture and the Media will address some of these questions, when architecture critics discuss the role of criticism in the field of architecture today and how it informs the general public’s understanding of design.
AN‘s executive editor Julie Iovine will moderate a panel discussion among architecture critics at consumer, business and trade publications: Justin Davidson (New York Magazine), Cathleen McGuigan (Architectural Record), and James Russell (Bloomberg), with audience Q&A to follow.
1.5 CEUs; $10 for members and students; $20 non-members. TICKETS
Organized by the Oculus Committee, the AIANY Marketing & PR Committee, and The Architect’s Newspaper.
While most design students are starting the scramble for plum summer internships, Tina Uznanski can rest easy, knowing a desk with her name on it will be waiting at Gensler’s London office. Uzanski, an interior design student at the Pratt Institute, has received Gensler’s annual Brinkmann Scholarship, winning a paid summer internship at the Gensler office of her choice and a cash prize to be put toward her final year of study at Pratt. The award was established in 1999 as a memorial to interior designer and former Gensler partner Donald G. Brinkmann.
Uznanski won the competition with her clever concept for a renovation of her neighborhood library in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that creates a flexible room through “shifting stacks.” images after the jump
Luka Fineisen: Phase Transitions
531 West 36th St.
Through March 31
“Phase transition” refers to the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one state of matter to another. German artist Luka Fineisen explores these shifts by framing the moment of transformation from one condition to another; she sculpts dynamic systems, the final work of art being the system’s realization of potential. In this way, even sculptures that appear static, such as Bubbles (above, 2010), draw attention to the temporality of material—this is not plastic, but a material in search of its form. This will be Fineisen’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Dan Flavin: Drawing
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave.
February 17 to July 1
The Morgan Library & Museum exhibits for the first time the drawings of Dan Flavin, ranging from early abstract expressionist watercolors to studies for installations to modern and classic works from his personal collection. While he is known for his fluorescent light installations, Flavin was an avid draftsman; he developed compositions, like In Honor of Harold Joachim, above, with ink and colored pencil on graph paper. Striking in their sparseness, his more representational sketches of landscapes, sailboats, and portraits have minimalist and calligraphic qualities that harken to the Japanese drawings in the artist’s personal collection. Two of Flavin’s major light installations are also installed in the gallery.
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Architects and fabricators discuss creating facades in the digital age
Yesterday The Architect’s Newspaper and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York presented their first-ever educational conference at McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York. More than 250 professionals and students attended the event, themed Metals in Construction, which addressed facade design in an age when skilled collaboration between architects, consultants, and fabricators can more than ever affect a building’s performance and longevity. The day began with a presentation by Bill Zahner, who spoke of his company’s forward-looking work with metal facades, then moved into discussions covering everything from new retrofit strategies to the latest projects from Zaha Hadid Architects with the firm’s director, Patrik Schumacher.
The day also included the official announcement of a new international alliance of academics, professional designers, hardware and software developers and digital fabricators. Born out of a regional organization known as Tex-Fab, the group will be called Digital Fabrication Alliance and offered a look at the kind of minds it will be bringing together at future events with a panel discussion with Phillip Anzalone, Anna Dyson, and Erik Verboon. Read on for AN‘s coverage of the day’s events:
Is drawing dead? That was the burning question (and title) of last weekend’s symposium at the Yale School of Architecture, which assessed the contemporary state of drawing through three days of lectures and panels, with pen-and-paper proponents from across the architectural spectrum. This convergence of many great drawers past and present coincided with the recently opened exhibition Massimo Scolari: The Representation of Architecture, a largely drawing-based show on view through May 4 in the School of Architecture Gallery.
Tour New York’s design hot spots! Open House New York (OHNY) opens up scores of the city’s most important building for public tours every year, and now it’s doing the same for architect’s offices. OHNY will open a variety of offices for self-guided public tours in four of the city’s most creative design centers: DUMBO, The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Varick Street, and Red Hook.
The first tour of Dumbo (also sponsored by Two Trees Development, the DUMBO Improvement District, and The Architect’s Newspaper) is schedule for Saturday, February 25 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. You will gain unprecedented access to some of the most creative design firms in New York, but you must sign up on the OHNY website. The day will end with a reception at a Dumbo design space with the participating architects. To see a full list of participating firms and to register, click here.
The hullabaloo over Brooklyn bike lanes at Prospect Park subsided continues as strong as ever, but a new bike controversy has been brewing up in the Bronx over the past few months. The drama centers on Parks Department plans to pave over Van Cortlandt Park‘s Putnam Trail, a path that was originally cleared for a rail line more than a century ago. The new plan was spurred by the “Rails to Trails” movement. The path, much beloved by the runners, has spurred some mudslinging by the pro-dirt contingent against “an elite, mostly out-of-borough handful,” as trail lover Michael Burke put it in an Op-ed piece for The Riverdale Press back in December.
The runners have been fighting back by gathering over a thousand letters and nearly 600 signatures through their Save the Putnam Trail Facebook page. The group argues that a stone dust surface would be far more eco-friendly than the proposed asphalt and would cut the projected $2.4 million budget for the project in half. The group says its not anti-bike, just anti-asphalt and a stone dust path would suit wheels just fine. For their part, Parks said that the their plan would open the trail to all users by providing a dirt path for runners, creating a lane for bikers and making the path ADA accessible. The new trail would be a contiguous path connecting to a paved path in Westchester County and the citywide greenways. Van Cortlandt park administrator Margot Perron said in a statement that stone dust is much more difficult for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles to navigate than a hard surface and requires much more maintenance.
UPDATE 2/15: On the Save the Putnam Trail site yesterday, Meg Riordan reports that she spotted machinery preparing the trail for the paving. “From an ecological view, I am also confounded as to ‘how’ adding more impervious surfaces – to replace dirt – benefits the natural wooded habitat,” she writes. A spokesperson from Parks pointed out that new drainage will carry runoff. Also, four hundred saplings and 42 young trees will be added and invasive species will be cleared away. The project will last one year.