DESIGNING AFFORDABILITY: PATHWAYS FOR MORE EQUITABLE CITIES
JANUARY 26, 2016
Marc Norman has dedicated his career to finding remedies to inequality and promoting economic development and social justice through innovative financial strategies paired with community development and design. He accomplished this through a variety of organizations including nonprofit developers, academic institutions, investment banks and as an independent consultant. Through writing, research and real world projects he supports mechanisms that reduce the cost of housing, expand access to education and employment opportunities and promote health.
With a background in real estate development and finance, Norman works with architects and housing and transportation professionals to capture the best practices from multiple fields to achieve supportive integrative neighborhoods. Currently an exhibition Norman curated is on view at the Center for Architecture in New York titled “Designing Affordability.” Additionally he is working in with a developer in Charlottesville to explore opportunities for a pivotal downtown site while maintaining affordability for existing residents.
NEW BEHAVIORS IN OLD CITIES: A PANEL ON USING URBAN SPACE AS A SUBSTRATE FOR ART (STREET ART, URBAN GALLERIES, PROJECTION SURFACES, BILLBOARD LIBERATION)
February 4th, 2016
Graffiti art, unauthorized political statements, guerrilla installations, public art shows, culture jamming and many other situated artistic practices have made new uses of urban spaces and surfaces. While many of these bottom-up creative impulses have been considered a nuisance and even a serious criminal offense, as in the case of graffiti and billboard alteration, some other instances of these same practices have come to actually be embraced by city governments, eager to make neighborhoods “cool” as part of the gentrification process. Art, in a generation that seems to be widely interested in city life and public space, has found its way onto chain-link fences and parking lots, raising questions about the status of high art institutions. How are these artistic/creative practices changing the landscape of art in general? How are once-subversive aesthetics and techniques being redeployed and exploited by corporations and governments, eager to appeal to a younger generation of citizens and consumers? These and other questions will be turned over by the panelists.
John Law (San Francisco Cacophony Society, Billboard Liberation Front)
Hunter Franks (League of Creative Interventionists)
Alexander Rogers (Street artist, urban explorer)
Anthony Discenza (California College of the Arts)
NEW BEHAVIORS IN OLD CITIES: A PANEL ON MAKING COMMUNAL LIVING IN A CITY NOT DESIGNED FOR IT
February 15th, 2016
Non-familial intentional communities have been adapting the products of existing real estate paradigms to their needs for generations, often living against the grain of the built environment. The occupancy of repurposed and vacant buildings, spanning households across multiple units, purchasing land or multiple houses on one block and then knocking down fences, and even inhabiting marine vessels, industrial buildings, and converting other non-conventional structures into residential space all attest to the creative, immanent capacity of these collectivities. Our panelists have all created these communal households, and have shared their thoughts on how they have used existing structures to make their communities happen. This panel was part of the Public Works Agency's Domestic Affairs symposium, put together by Neeraj Bhatia, Christopher Roach and Antje Steinmuller.
Jessy Kate Schingler (Embassy Network)
Eric Wycoff Rogers (New Haven Wooster Square Co-op)
Creon Levit (Planet Labs / NASA)
Zac Benfield (Radical Faery House)
Emily Abruzzo (Yale University)
Jay Standish (Open Door)
Thursday, February 25, 2016
"John Peterson, AIA, architect, educator and activist, is curator of the Loeb Fellowship. Peterson was president of Public Architecture–as well as design director, chief spokesperson and strategist–since he founded the organization in 2002 to bring design services to underserved communities. Public Architecture’s 1% program challenges architecture and design firms to pledge pro bono services to nonprofits in need and has attracted participation from over 1400 firms nationwide. Peterson also led the architectural practice Peterson Architects from 1993 to 2010, and has taught at the California College of the Arts and the University of Texas at Austin. A recipient of numerous design and social innovation awards, Peterson has played an important part in defining the concept of “public interest design.” He holds degrees in fine arts and architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a Loeb Fellow in 2006." -Harvard Graduate School of Design.
CAN SOCIETY BE SOCIALLY-RESPONSIBLE?
ON THE POLITICS OF 'INFORMAL URBANISM'
Tuesday, Mar 1st, 2016
Trained as an architect and historian of architecture, Andrew Herscher writes on the spatial politics of violence, humanitarianism and human rights, exile and migration, and public and counter-public memory. His research and writing has been informed by his long-term participant-observation in Kosovo’s “post-conflict environment,” which included work with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, and the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project, a NGO he co-founded and co-directed. He has also been invested in collective study, both in and out of the academy; among the research collaboratives he has co-organized are the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency, an open-access platform for the study of urban crisis using Detroit as a focal point, and the Spatial Democracy Project, which provides militant research in support of organizations resisting racial injustice in Detroit. Among his publications are the books Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict, published by Stanford University Press in 2010, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit, published by the University of Michigan Press in 2012, and the forthcoming Displacements: Architecture and Exile. He currently teaches at the University of Michigan, as well.
BEYOND BOTTOM-UP: PROACTIVE CITIZENSHIP AND PARTICIPATION AS PART OF PUBLIC SPACE PRODUCTION
Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016
Antje Steinmuller is an assistant professor of Architecture at California College of the Arts (CCA) and a principal at Studio URBIS, an architecture, urban design, and research practice in the Bay Area. She holds a professional degree in interior architecture from the Hochschule for Technik Stuttgart, a degree in architecture from the Technical University Berlin, and an MArch from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a John K. Branner Fellow and received the Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit as well as the Howard Friedman Thesis Prize. Her research looks at ways in which bottom-up urban tactics have been appropriated by city governments, and considers the expanded role of the architect in this context. At CCA, Steinmuller has been developing courses around public space production and emerging models of 'urban commons'. Most recently, she brought students to Spain to participate in a collaboration with Basurama on the Autobarrios (autonomous neighborhoods) project in San Cristobal, Madrid.
NEW BEHAVIORS IN OLD CITIES: A PANEL ON QUEER POSSESSION AND DISPOSSESSION OF THE CITY
Thursday, Mar 17th, 2016
The ways in which LGBTQ people and communities have found a home in existing urbanism, challenging "traditional”, hetero-normative settlement patterns, and the ways in which these gains face different challenges today—from so-called “homonormativity” to gentrification will be the topics under discussion by our panelists. In a time that is witnessing rapidly rising rents, evictions, and redevelopments, the ways in which LGBTQ people possess and are dispossessed of space becomes a matter of critical importance. San Francisco and the Bay Area in particular have been historic locations of queer spatial practice. The built environment, and its intersection with culture, politics and economics begs for an equally intersectional take on the manifold issues facing the spaces that LGBTQ people and communities have settled. Such intersectionality would necessarily include emerging voices that seek a place for trans and queer people of color in discourses about queerness. Using such a lens, the discussion will attempt to offer insight on many important questions: Why were queers able to take possession of spaces where and when they did? How have such locations been mediators of race, gender, and class amongst queers? How has space worked for and against changing demographics and new ways of life in these places? How do power and privilege, legal and societal acceptance factor into new forms of displacement? What are the prospects for new modes of spatial practice, perhaps operating outside of possession and ownership, and instead rooted in collectivity? These and other questions will be addressed by our panelists.
Zac Benfield (Radical Faery House)
Sben Korsh (All-Gender Bathroom Brigade)
Stathis Gerostathopoulos (UC Berkeley)
PANEL: TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONES: EPHEMERAL MOMENTS OF FUTURE SOCIETIES?
Tuesday, Mar 29th, 2016
San Francisco is no stranger to the notion of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ). Throughout its colorful history, the region has witnessed an efflorescence of small portals into worlds beyond the status quo: from hippie communes and the Haight-Ashbury of the 1960's to the Beat Poets' literary salons, to Burning Man and the other Cacophony Society shenanigans, to Ephemerisle and the contemporary commune movement, to the rave scene and the many unauthorized parties and events hosted in public, semi-public and vacant spaces, many immanent moments and activities have sought to create projective, experimental and sometimes even utopian "zones", in both space and time. What are the roles of these kinds of activities? Are they really effective as a tactic for social change? What are the advantages of ephemerality? Can such moments be sustained beyond the temporary? What differentiates an emancipatory zone from a conformist enclave? How can the values created by such creative flourishings be protected from immediately being commodified and commercialized? What is being evaded in these zones? The law? Money? Norms? Gender, race, cultural or other roles? How does a consensus arise about this, and what happens when there is no agreement about what is being escaped from? These and other questions will be addressed by our panelists.
ADAPTIVE INTERVENTIONS: TRANSIENT OCCUPATIONS IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Amy Campos is the founder and principal of ACA and holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is the 2014 recipient of the American Society of Interior Designers Nancy Vincent McClelland Merit Award and the 2013 recipient of the International Interior Design Association Educator of the Year Award. Prior to establishing ACA, Amy’s professional experience includes working as a senior designer and project manager at Atema Architecture in New York as well as with SHoP Architects and Brian Healy Architects, among others in Boston, San Francisco, New York, and Florence. In addition to practicing, Amy has taught for 15 years in architecture, urban design, and interior design. Amy is currently teaching at California College of the Arts and has taught at the Pratt Institute, Columbia University, the Boston Architectural College and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
"Simon Sadler teaches the history and theory of architecture, design and urbanism, and researches ideologies of design since the mid-twentieth century. His publications include Archigram: Architecture without Architecture (MIT Press, 2005); Non-Plan: Essays on Freedom, Participation and Change in Modern Architecture and Urbanism (Architectural Press, 2000, co-editor, Jonathan Hughes); and The Situationist City (MIT Press, 1998). He is Affiliated Faculty with the Graduate Programs in Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, Art History, Transportation Studies, and the Environmental Humanities Supercluster, and is Faculty Mentor for students in the University Honors Program. He is a Mellon Researcher at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA)." -University of California, Davis
Eric Wycoff Rogers
DISINTEGRATIVE URBANISM(S): NEW ECONOMIES AND THEIR URBANISMS
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Eric Wycoff Rogers is a writer and urban strategist. He studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, interior architecture at California College of the Arts and environmental design at Yale University. His work and play consider the implicit politics and economics of the built environment—a physical manifestation of what he calls “urban softwares”: social uses of space that both shape and are shaped by the physical hardware of the man-made environment. Rejecting determinism in either direction, Eric explores the deep contingencies of the historical processes that shaped the physical and social city, and uses this historical inquiry to drive more praxis-oriented ideation about how to explore and propagate new urban life modes. Eric is the co-founder of Nookzy--a "switch economy" platform that enables users to share spatially-fixed assets with one another, either with money, or via commons-based resource pooling and innovative "matching"-based permissions. Operating at the intersection of architecture, interior design, software development, web design and business, Eric is a practitioner in many senses. Outside of his entrepreneurial work, Eric also co-hosts the Red Victorian Lecture Series and Embassy SF Salons, and is the founder of several underground events/arts forums, which ideate about and inject creative (and sometimes subversive) activities into the built environment.