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News

Working with Ghana ThinkTank

Nikhil Sambamurthy

In January, at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Terreform joined forces with Ghana ThinkTank to help solve diversity problems identified by residents in Houston, Texas. Ghana ThinkTank works with communities in 'developing countries' to propose solutions to the issues plaguing more economically developed regions. Drawing on their experience living in the diverse, multicultural, and secular city of Kochi, residents came up with insightful and creative grassroots solutions to problems related to racial identity, religious intolerance, and resentment towards undocumented immigrants. The solutions will be implemented by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at CounterCurrent 2017 arts festival in Houston. 

The images below are from two focus groups that Andrea Johnson, Terreform's Research Director, participated in: one with volunteers at the Biennale and one with students at Aquinas College. 

@ 3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennale - Vyjayanthi Rao, Terreform Director and member of artist collective, Samooha

mariacecilia fagel

While Mumbai’s informal communities are always available to the gaze of the privileged, we observed they rarely occupy the most privileged stages as protagonists themselves.

The intention was not to create a museum-like programme to display the talents of a single community but to allow a community’s public expression, long trapped in specific forms of public discourse around protest and rights, to take flight on another, more universally visible stage.

We named our project “On Stage: Sathenagar Here” to bring visibility both to the community as author and to the concept of the stage, which operates on multiple levels to support the community as author.
— http://www.dailyo.in/arts/kochi-muzhiris-biennale-dalit-writing-fort-kochi-urban-expression-mumbai/story/1/14696.html

UN Web TV - Sustaining Peace in an Urban World

Nikhil Sambamurthy

On December 14, 2016, Terreform co-sponsored the event Sustaining Peace in an Urban World with the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at NYU, UN-Habitat, PBSO, the Dutch and Australian missions to the UN, the Global Alliance for Urban Crises and FAST. Watch the event here on UN Web TV.

Sustaining Peace in an Urban World

Nikhil Sambamurthy

On December 14, 2016, Terreform is co-sponsoring the event Sustaining Peace in an Urban World with the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at NYU, UN-Habitat, PBSO, the Dutch and Australian missions to the UN, the Global Alliance for Urban Crises and FAST. Michael Sorkin and Deen Sharp from Terreform will be speaking at the event, alongside the UN Assistant Secretary-Generals Izumi Nakamitsu of UNDP and Oscar Fernandez Taranco of Peacebuilding Support and leading experts, such as Sarah Cliffe and Gizem Sucuoglu from the CIC at NYU.  

Full agenda PDF here.

Terreform Receives Award for Its Publication Series

Elisabeth Weiman

Terreform has received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts so that it can continue its publication series (URpub.org). This will support our initiative to disseminate speculative research,  designs and analyses that focus on a progressive urbanism.

See their announcement printed in Arch Daily: Graham Foundation Announces $419,000 in 2016 Grants to Organizations.

Also check out our grantees project page at Graham Foundation: UR (Urban Research), Volumes 07-11.

#GrahamFunded ‪#‎GrahamGrantee

 

Keeping the Lucas Museum in Chicago

Elisabeth Weiman

Terreform_Perspective View_1.jpg

As Terreform launches a new large-scale study of the South Side in Chicago, Michael Sorkin writes a letter to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson asking them to keep the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts within the city. He points out an alternative site for the museum, one that would no longer take up park land but utilize the northern portion of a U.S. Steel site.

Read more here: Michael Sorkin urges Lucas Museum to stay in Chicago and revitalize the city’s South Side  (Architect's Newspaper)
And here: Architect Asks Lucas to Reconsider Museum for Chicago, Suggests U.S. Steel Site (Curbed Chicago)

Proposing a Subway Freight System for NYC

Elisabeth Weiman

Makoto Okazaki, partner and principal architect at Michael Sorkin Studio, consulting on Terreform's New York City [Steady] State project, spoke at Urban Design Forum about a new form of mobility for the city. Makoto's proposal for a "Subway Freight System for NYC" introduced the idea of adapting the subway system to move goods. The subway could be used late at night to transfer items to distribution hubs and then in the early morning to move freight to shops throughout the city. He took this a step further, claiming that this would free up space above ground for pedestrians, recreation, and even urban farming. 

Read more about Urban Design Forum's "Onward: New Ideas for Urban Freight" panel.

The Power of Vertical Architecture

Elisabeth Weiman

Vyjayanthi Rao presented at "The Center Cannot Hold?" conference (London), the Calvert 22 Foundation's launch of event of its 12 week season of art and events, entitled "Power and Architecture." At this premiere, Vyjayanthi spoke about "Verticality, Post-Socialism and Re-Structuring in Mumbai" for the panel "Edifice Complex: Verticality Revisited."

Full conference schedule and topics: The Center Cannot Hold? New Monumentality, Neo-Modernism and Other Zombie Utopias.

First Friday (June) with Sorkin Studio & Terreform

Elisabeth Weiman

Sorkin Studio and Terreform along with design firms 2×4, GRADE, Hargreaves Jones Landscape Architecture, and Andre Kikoski Architect will be hosting First Friday at their offices on 180 Varick Street for happy hour drinks and behind the scene looks at recent and upcoming projects.

Look to The Architectural League's First Friday calendar for more details on each of the groups participating.

REPORT: The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict

mariacecilia fagel

On April 18th, 2016, in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and Habitat III, and in coordination with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, the co-hosts presented the one day panel event: “The nexus between urbanization, violence and conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16”.

This one-day panel engaged academics, policy makers and member states who discussed contemporary understandings of urban violence and conflict, its consequences and possible ways in which it can be addressed. The event produced six key messages to be taken forward to the WHS and Habitat III. The event highlighted the synergies between Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and Goal 16 “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies” through grounded case studies. 

The event was co-hosted by the City College of New York – CUNY, the Permanent Missions of Lebanon and Norway to the UN, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). 

View and download report compiled by Deen Sharp, CUNY, and Hanne Kristoffersen, UNDP.

Waterfront Alliance Conference

Fern Lan Siew

Join Terreform's Michael Sorkin and Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO of NYC Economic Development Corporation aboard the Hornblower Infinity on May 12, 2016 as they lead the keynote conversation: "How do we define--and deliver--equity at the waterfront?" for Waterfront Alliance's 2016 Waterfront Conference. This year's conference will provide a platform to debate the future of New York's metropolitan waterfronts and the challenges of defining and delivering equitable access to jobs, education, transportation, and recreation at the water's edge.

For more details about the conference, check out Waterfront Alliance's events page.

American Academy in China Announces Inaugural Research Fellow

Fern Lan Siew

Michael Sorkin was selected as an inaugural research fellow with the American Academy in China (AAC), University of Southern California, School of Architecture. Upon the announcement, AAC's director, Clifford Pearson remarked: “As a writer and critic, Michael has often challenged established perspectives, offering a penetrating and often witty take on what is really happening in architecture and design. And as an architect, he is fully engaged with the realities of building in China.”

Sorkin's project titled "Made for China" begins this summer with an introspective look at his firm's work in China and a search for an "urbanism with Chinese characteristics." The research will also analyze the work of other architects from the west working in China and the interactions with local regulations and stakeholders.

For more about the fellowship and ACC, check out The Architects Newspaper article here.

 

 

 

Key Messages for the “New Urban Agenda”

mariacecilia fagel

"By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Rapid urbanization is producing new contexts through which violence and conflict operate and it is critical to understand these complex dynamics. Urban settings have characteristics, which require effective, context- specific approaches. Violence and conflict in urban areas can involve different kinds of violence and can be driven by diverse vectors such as political, socio-economic, institutional and environmental. The event aimed to enhance our understanding of the nexus between urbanization, violence, and conflict in fragile settings. The following key messages emanated from the event and should be given consideration in the discussion on the New Urban Agenda." 

Key messages here. Also, Hanne Kristoffersen, Local Governace Specialist of UNDP, wrote an article on Leaving No One and No City Behind, reflecting on one of the UN's sustainable development goal.

Transcript: Opening Remarks by Deen Sharp

The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16 was organized by the Permanent Missions of Lebanon and Norway to the UN, City College of New York - CUNY, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in coordination with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises. 

Urban Meta-Morphology: Revealing the Invisible Image of the City

mariacecilia fagel

Screenshot from video lecture. Damiano Cerrano, "Urban Meta-Morphology. Revealing the Invisible Image of the City." UCLA-ICAM, March 2016.

Screenshot from video lecture. Damiano Cerrano, "Urban Meta-Morphology. Revealing the Invisible Image of the City." UCLA-ICAM, March 2016.

Terreform principal researcher, Damiano Cerrone, was invited to present at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM). Located in UCLA campus, ICAM is a NSF Mathematical Sciences Institute dedicated to bringing researchers from various disciplines and areas of mathematics for interdisciplinary collaboration. Damiano's presentation was part of Workshop 1: Culture Analytics Beyond Text: Image, Music, Video, Interactivity and Performance. 

Damiano's talk, Urban Meta-Morphology. Revealing the Invisible Image of the City, aims to "hack the invisible city, leverage the strengths of urban spaces and explore how the many characters, all the different layers of the urban fabric come together." Abstract and video here

LIVE NOTES: The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16

mariacecilia fagel

Panel II 'New Geographies of Urban Violence' (L-R) Alexandra Hiniker, PAX representative to the UN; Samuel Doe, Policy Advisor, UNDP; Deen Sharp, Doctoral candidate at the City University of New York; Esteban Leon, Chief Technical Advisor, UNHABITAT. Photo: Reem Aliessa

Panel II 'New Geographies of Urban Violence' (L-R) Alexandra Hiniker, PAX representative to the UN; Samuel Doe, Policy Advisor, UNDP; Deen Sharp, Doctoral candidate at the City University of New York; Esteban Leon, Chief Technical Advisor, UNHABITAT. Photo: Reem Aliessa

Less visible forms of urban violence that go beyond ideas of construction and deconstruction need attention. --- Deen Sharp

Explosive weapons are leading cause of destruction of healthcare facilities.... Use of wide area explosive weapons in populated areas always leads to high injury of civilians. --- Alexandra Hiniker

Challenges of urbanization can be combated through understanding the city rather than individual challenges. --- Esteban Leon

Notes by Kira Rakova.

UPDATE: Read the Key Messages for the "New Urban Agenda" here.

The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16 was organized by the Permanent Missions of Lebanon and Norway to the UN, City College of New York - CUNY, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in coordination with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises.

the nexus between urbanization, violence and conflict: linking sdg11 to sdg16

Fern Lan Siew

Michael Sorkin, Vyjayanthi Rao and Deen Sharp will be speaking at the United Nations Headquarters on April 18, 2016. The event The Nexus of Urbanization, Violence and Conflict: Linking SDG 11 and SDG 16 will be held in conjunction with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises. Co-hosted by CUNY, the Permanent Missions of Lebanon and Norway to the UN, UNDP, UN-Habitat, and the IRC, the event brings together academics, practitioners and member states to debate priorities for the New Urban Agenda. Speakers will present on new concepts and understandings of the rapidly shifting urban landscape within developing countries of the Global South.

 

[NYC] Human Migration in the 21st Century

Fern Lan Siew

Terreform's Director, Vyjayanthi Rao was a panelist along with Juan Corradi, Professor of Sociology, NYU and Geir Haarde, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States at The Penn Club in New York City on Thursday, March 31, 2016 for a discussion on human migration. Hosted by the Wein Alumni Network and moderated by Deborah Berebichez, Chief Data Scientist at Metis, the panel session focused on the economic, social and political implications of human migration in the 21st century and provided a platform for attending WISP alumni to share their migrant experiences.

Waterproofing New York Exhibition

Fern Lan Siew

WPNYExhibition_Image.jpg

The City College of New York celebrated the launch of the book Waterproofing New York, edited by faculty members Denise Hoffman Brandt and Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, and published through Terreform's imprint, UR (Urban Research)  with an exhibition of the same name at the East Gallery in the Spitzer School of Architecture.

The exhibition runs through April 15, 2016. The Spitzer School of Architecture is located on 141 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street in Harlem, New York.