Archtober Highlights

Autumn is finally here. The days have begun to cool, the leaves will begin to change soon, and I can start thinking about breaking out the slightly darker black tactleneck again. But most importantly of all, Archtober is almost upon us.

For those of you who may not be familiar, Archtober is New York City’s Architecture and Design Month. A month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, lectures, and exhibitions taking place across the city throughout the month of October. Focused on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life, the festival raises awareness of the important role of design in our city and the richness of New York’s built environment. So, while you might be busy with a big project or kicking off the new semester, it is worth carving out some time over the next couple weeks to take in a few of the highlights.

The official calendar is simply loaded with learning and inspiration opportunities, couple this with the plethora of “unofficial” events happening this month and it can get a little overwhelming… but because we know you don’t need any more stress in your life we have done some of the leg work for you. Below is a selection of our 15 most highly recommended events (both official and unofficial) for Archtober, 2016:

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future: Film w/ Q&A

Wednesday, September 28, 8:15pm, The Architecture & Design Film Festival
(also Sunday, October 2, 8:30pm)

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In this film we travel with his son Director of Photography Eric Saarinen as he visits the sites of his father’s work on a cathartic journey. Shot in 6K with the latest drone technology, the film showcases the architect’s body of work for the first time. Eero’s sudden death at age 51 cut short one of the most influential careers in American architecture. Today, Saarinen’s work stands apart and continues to inspire and renew interest in 20th-century architects and artists who exploded the comfortable constraints of the past to create a robust and daring American aesthetic. Produced and directed by Peter Rosen, the film will have its tv premiere in December 2016 on PBS as part of the American Masters series. More Information / Register

Design that Heals: Film

Thursday, September 29, 6:30pm, The Architecture & Design Film Festival
(also Saturday, October 1, 7:30pm w/ Q&A)

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Can a building help stem the tide of large epidemics? Haitian infectious disease specialist Dr. Jean-William Pape has dedicated much of his life to combating diseases that harm and kill Haiti’s poor, many of whom lack access to clean water and toilets. In the midst of the world’s worst cholera outbreak in over a century, Dr. Pape challenged MASS Design Group to design a cholera treatment center where the construction process, as well as the finished building, could address the underlying structural and social conditions that allow cholera to thrive. More Information / Register

Peter Behrens – A Pioneer in Architecture: Film w/ Q&A

Friday, September 30, 9:15pm, The Architecture & Design Film Festival
(also Sunday, October 2, 6:00pm)

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Peter Behrens was a versatile universal artist at the beginning of the 20th century, who was successful as a painter, architect, product designer and a pioneer for the development of New Objectivity and the emergence of world-famous Bauhaus movement. Although self-taught, he became one of the most important representatives of industrial architecture during that time. The film portrays Behrens’ development from the ornamentation of art nouveau to the objectivity of industrial architecture and shows many innovative creations and future-oriented approaches. More Information / Register

Authenticity and Innovation: Exhibition and Symposium

Saturday, October 1, 10:00am, Center for Architecture

The exhibition explores the preservation and reuse of existing buildings in contemporary New York City, a particularly relevant topic for a metropolis characterized by perennial change. While New York City has about 1,500 individual landmarks and 139 historic districts that are overseen by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Authenticity and Innovation will feature 28 projects that are not officially designated as ‘significant.’ Their reuse represents a phenomenon that can be called preservation beyond the preservation law.

This accompanying symposium will explore topics and concerns raised by the exhibition including the sustainability benefits of adaptive reuse, why older buildings appeal to new businesses, the relationship between preservation and gentrification, and the underlying cultural significance of reusing old buildings, whether landmarked or not. More Information / Register

Louis Kahn & the Making of Public Space Today: Lecture and Tour

Saturday, October 1, 1:30pm, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

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In 2012, FDR Four Freedoms Park was completed posthumously as one of the last great projects of the visionary architect Louis Kahn. William Whitaker, Curator of the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss the challenges of creating public spaces today, giving the story of the Park’s design, the sudden death of its architect, the near-bankruptcy of the city, and the effort that brought it to fruition. More Information / Register

Facing up to Mackintosh: Film w/ Q&A

Saturday, October 1, 6:00pm, The Architecture & Design Film Festival

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design for The Glasgow School of Art is renowned worldwide. New York-based Steven Holl Architects was given the daunting task of creating a new building to sit opposite Mackintosh’s masterpiece.

Filmed over three years, ‘Facing up to Mackintosh’ charts the design and construction of the new design school, now named the Reid Building, and explores how a building can affect the people working in it. More Information / Register

Maker Faire

Saturday, October 1 – Sunday, October 2, New York Hall of Science

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. More Information / Register

Designing for a Resilient City within Disrupted Climate: Discussion and Book Launch

Tuesday, October 11, 6:00pm, Center for Architecture

Climate resilient infrastructure is changing the way we build our cities to reduce the impact from superstorms, droughts and other severe weather. Innovations in Urban Water Infrastructure, a new book by pioneering practitioners and Columbia University faculty S. Bry Sarté and Morana M. Stipisic, features urban systems designs that decrease the urban heat island effect, reduce pressure on aging infrastructure, absorb water for flood protection, filter water for reuse, and provide ecological habitat and ecosystem services. The book presents solutions drawn from practice, consultation, and two years of work within United Nations Habitat III Conference Preparatory Process; offering a toolkit of infrastructure that simultaneously delivers engineering, social, spatial, environmental, and health benefits.

The authors will be joined by renowned sustainable design experts Kate Orff and Eugenie Birch for a discussion that will interest urban designers and planners, architects, engineers, public agencies, NGOs, and anyone interested in creating healthier, safer, more resilient urban environments. More Information / Register

David Chipperfield: 10th Annual Arthur Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture

Monday, October 17, 6pm, Center for Architecture

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David Chipperfield Architects has developed a diverse international body of work including some of the world’s foremost museums and galleries, ranging from private collections such as the Museo Jumex in Mexico City to public institutions such as the revitalized Neues Museum in Berlin. With practices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai, the firm has won more than 100 international awards and citations for design excellence. Chipperfield will provide an overview of his practice’s museum projects, both past and present, and share his observations about the changing role of the museum. More Information / Register

Deborah Berke: Architecture Inside Out: Lecture

Wednesday, October 19, 6:00pm, New York School of Interior Design

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Deborah Berke, FAIA, LEED AP, is an architect, educator, founder of Deborah Berke Partners and dean of the Yale School of Architecture, the first woman to hold the position. She has been a professor (adjunct) at Yale since 1987. In 2012 she was the inaugural recipient of the Berkeley-Rupp Prize at the University of California at Berkeley, which is given to an architect who has advanced the position of women in the profession and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community. Berke and her firm are the subject of two recent books: House Rules (Rizzoli, July 2016), which focuses on the firm’s residential work and offers practical and poetic advice for better living; and Working (Artifice, fall 2016), a survey of the firm’s workspaces, including offices, galleries, factories, and learning environments. More Information / Register

David Adjaye in Conversation with Spencer Bailey

Wednesday, October 19, 7:30pm, Warburg Lounge

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Tanzanian-born architect David Adjaye, whose Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., opens this fall, discusses his new project and other recent work with Surface magazine editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey.

A leading practitioner within his field, Adjaye has designed buildings around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Russia and the Sugar Hill development in Harlem. More Information / Register

Brooklyn Navy Yard: Urban Ecology Tour

Sunday, October 23, 11:00am, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92

Discover the natural world in the midst a thriving urban industrial park on this 2-hour tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where we will explore New York City’s waterways, terrestrial ecosystems and urban farms. The highlight of the tour is the stunning 65,000-square-foot Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm, where we will learn how they produce thousands of pounds of vegetables annually – as well as honey and eggs – and are a national leader in the development of rooftop and urban farming techniques.

Descending to the bank of the East River, we will visit an oyster restoration project led by students from the New York Harbor School and will discuss the improving health of the city’s waterways, and the challenges that remain. We will also explore planned and unplanned natural landscapes of the Yard, including the landscape architecture surrounding BLDG 92, identifying native and exotic plant species along the way. Finally, we will visit New York City’s newest green space, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative‘s Naval Cemetery Landscape, a meadow designed to restore the natural habitat, provide a space for environmental education, and commemorate the thousands of sailors, Marines, and others once interred at the site.

This tour will reveal that the natural world truly is all around us, even in the heart of the city. More Information / Register

Global Migration, Refugees, and a Role for Design: Lecture

Monday, October 24, 6:00pm, Center for Architecture

The unprecedented number of migrants and refugees on the move has put new pressure on cities to respond to increases in population, resource scarcity, and climate change. Moreover, as migrant and refugee populations take shelter in temporary housing and camps, it is important to remember what makes a city habitable for its residents: access to public space, education, and basic healthcare. When planning these emergency accommodations, we must remember that migrants and refugees require access to these basic needs in order for their new living situations to be truly habitable.

Following the conversations held at the UN General Assembly’s Summit for Refugees and the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development’s Habitat III, panelists will discuss the design community’s responsibilities and obligations to this global refugee crisis, and will share global case studies, best practices, and solutions for how to integrate these migrant and refugee populations within existing urban contexts. Further topics for discussion include the national, regional, and local implications for design and the positive impact migrants and refugees can have on cities. More Information / Register

Wood You Rather: Lecture

Thursday, October 27, 6:00pm, Parsons’ School of Constructed Environments

Andrew Waugh, Principal at Waugh Thistleton Architects, strives to make the London Borough of Hackney an international centre for timber innovation…it’s sustainable, it’s renewable and it makes great buildings. A brief history so far and a glance into a timber future. More Information / Register

The Reports of My Death have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Libraries for the Future: Symposium

Saturday, October 29, 1:00pm, Center for Architecture

In the early 1990s, the rapid rise of digital technologies led many to predict the demise of the library as we knew it. Not only were books going to disappear as the support for knowledge and literature, but digitization, combined with the internet, would negate the need for the public gathering to read and consult research indices in libraries. Yet libraries have flourished at all scales, even as we recognize that there are great challenges to their function and to their public place. Today’s libraries continue to thrive and evolve.

The symposium consists of two panels. The first panel looks at the library in civic life, the second panel looks specifically at issues of the architecture and spatial design of libraries. More Information / Register

For more activities, programs, lectures, and exhibitions check out the official Archtober site.

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