POSTED ON: March 18, 2022
The 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB), co-curated by Cooper Union Professor Lydia Kallipoliti, has recently announced The Future Food Deal, an open call that invites students and recent graduates to contribute their design proposals to a compendium of cookbooks and manuals for sustainable food futures.
The open call is one component of the work to be explored in the Tallinn Architecture Biennale at large, whose theme “Edible, Or the Architecture of Metabolism” deals with the relationship between architecture and the metabolic relationships that produce fuel, waste and nutrients. Professor Kallipoliti’s seminar at the Cooper Union during the spring 2020 semester offers a glimpse into the types of issues, work, and research that will correlate with the biennale exhibition that opens on September 7th, 2022, in Estonia. Ranging from the architecture of food systems, to new building materials made of edible materials, to geopolitical questions related to circular economies, TAB offers a range of responses to the spatial and existential connections between architecture and food that surface in different scales: from the stomach to the territory and the ways in which we process mentally the journey of the edible arriving to our table. TAB explores how architecture can use its expressive capacity to investigate and act upon metabolic relationships, digestion, and the generation of resources.
The Future Food Deal open call is an opportunity for students to imagine new futures that deal explicitly with how architecture can produce food and also be eaten away. Given that the global food system in its entirety is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and our collective need for food continues to grow significantly in response to urbanization, questions about our food systems demand the attention of spatial practitioners. People become increasingly alienated from their sources of provisions, fostering a paradigm that reinforces carbon dependencies. Architectural thinking is thus positioned with the opportunity to imagine future scenarios that respond to this ever-growing gap between eater and eaten.
With a focus on the urban and architectural implications of food systems (production, distribution, consumption, decomposition) and the urgency for productivity in cities, the Future Food Deal open call aims to present alternative futures that explore the principles of kinship, interspecies alliances, circularity, and localization, and to ask what new rituals, practices and architectures can emerge from the networks of food production, consumption distribution, and decay. The open call’s curatorial team seeks a diverse range of projects developed in the form of cookbooks and manuals that will constitute new guidelines of food-driven and food-oriented projects within design disciplines. Students from the Cooper Union, and spatial practitioners at large, are encouraged to submit their work.
The full submission details for the open call are available on the 2022 TAB website (https://2022.tab.ee/futurefooddeal/). Please also visit the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale website (https://2022.tab.ee/about/) to explore the full roster of events and exhibitions that are slated to open this fall.
The Future Food Deal open call is organized by the curatorial team of the upcoming Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) “Edible, Or, The Architecture of Metabolism” opening in September 2022. TAB 2022 is curated by Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou in collaboration with assistant curator Sonia Sobrino Ralston.
Tags: Lydia Kallipoliti
POSTED ON: March 10, 2022
JA Architecture Studio—founded by Iranian-Canadian architects Nima Javidi and Behnaz Assadi—has been selected by The Architectural League of New York for its 2022 Emerging Voices competition and lecture series. Javidi is currently The Cooper Union’s Gwathmey Professor in Architecture; Assadi is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
Being named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Since 1982, the program has identified more than 300 awardees who have since developed influential careers. Paul Lewis, an Emerging Voices jury member and president of The Architectural League, describes the 2022 winners, noting:
“In our initial review of the applications for this year’s Emerging Voices, the jury was struck by the breadth of the different types of work. But, rather than indicating a fracturing of our discipline, this year’s winners were united in how they each clarified new types of agency, and new notions of value motivated by an optimism about what an architect could and should do.”
JA Architecture Studio is a Toronto-based practice that emphasizes light wood frame construction, geometric experimentation, and vernacular form. From the narrow plots of Toronto’s Queen West neighborhood to large-scale international design competitions, the Studio employs a “one-to-one” process, defined by Assadi and Javidi as a design approach shaped by “the physical register of immigration, of being slightly off from the context that you aspire to fit within, struggle with, and eventually change.”
Through conversations that range from the role of public art with curators to the wood joinery of a three-legged chair with a local furniture maker, the Studio investigates the core of architecture by operating at numerous points around its periphery, connecting Studio themes and interests to those of the world at large. This approach was not chosen for its assurance of success, but as a way of investigating the merit and relevance of the Studio’s ideas across as wide a variety of scales and contexts as possible.
JA Architecture Studio has pursued a broad repertoire of built works, research projects, and award-winning competition entries, which together have been published widely and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Studio projects include Bore-ing Lightness, a finalist proposal for the Canadian pavilion at the 2020 Venice Biennale; Wardell, a curved, brick-clad addition to an existing string of row houses in Toronto; and Forno Cultura, a cafe and bakery on the site of a former mechanic’s garage in Toronto. The Studio has also received numerous recognitions from Canadian Architect, as well as two Progressive Architecture Awards from Architect Magazine, the most recent a Merit Award for the studio's project One and a Half.
Javidi and Assadi will present their Emerging Voices lecture on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Cooper Union's Great Hall. Advance registration with The Architectural League—available here—is required.
Tags: Nima Javidi
POSTED ON: February 15, 2022
A Design IV studio section led by Stella Betts traveled to Albany this past week to visit the Empire State Plaza, the subject of her studio’s brief.
Titled Re-Imagining Empire State Plaza, the studio is both an urban and architectural investigation. Conceived and designed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and the architect Wallace Harrison, Empire Plaza was built in New York’s capital city of Albany in the late 1960s and early 70s, and is a paradigm of modernist urban planning. Through a series of choreographed operations, Betts is prompting students to deeply re-adapt the plaza by transforming its relationship to its larger urban context and infrastructural systems, rethinking its program and use, adapting its existing buildings to become carbon neutral, and imaging a new kind of public plaza for the people of Albany and the citizens of New York.
The field trip featured visits to the plaza’s buildings, including a performing arts venue known as The Egg, Corning Tower and its observation deck overlooking the city, the New York State Museum and Library, the Justice Building, and the concourse below the plaza. In addition, the studio visited two H.H. Richardson buildings—the State Capital, with its famous “million dollar stair” completed in 1899, and Albany City Hall, completed in 1883.
Tags: Stella Betts
POSTED ON: February 3, 2022
2016 School of Architecture graduate Diego Salazar recently completed New York Titans, a multimedia project honoring New York City’s built environment. Initiated in response to his 2016 encounter with the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, the work began with his vision for a large drawing to commemorate, twenty years later, those who lost their lives on 9/11. As Salazar developed a visual language that transposes human and architectural form, he began a parallel effort to create a series of drawings featuring iconic New York City buildings. He would create fourteen drawings, all at 36 x 60 inches.
Over the next five years, Salazar expanded New York Titans to include several collaborators, some of them former Cooper Union classmates. He had started a company, Studio Rombo, which represents and collaborates with artists and designers, and began traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico to meet local artists and artisans. Diego quickly realized that he could combine his two endeavors and commissioned Oaxacan artists to create, along with him, work for New York Titans. He also reconnected with his childhood friend Rafael Quijano, a practicing artist, in late 2020. Salazar invited in Quijano to develop artworks based on the Titans concept and in return Quijano agreed to find an exhibition venue for the project as a whole.
Salazar expanded his collaborative effort to include additional artists, reaching out to Vanessa Tai AR’16 and Akash Godbole AR’17, who created digital artwork—available as NFTs—for the Titans theme. The group soon grew to include five fellow Cooper Union Architecture graduates: Connor Holjes, Hui Rong Liu, Jieun (Hannah) Kim, Kelsey Lee, and Joey Parrella, all 2017 alumni. Each of them made work for the Titans project using their own techniques and perspectives.
In the summer of 2021 Diego turned to his former classmate Janine Wang AR’16 commissioning her to fabricate a large frame to house his tribute to 9/11. On September 11th, 2021 Salazar presented his drawing via Instagram, and on November 2nd, the Day of the Dead—inspired by his days in Oaxaca—he installed the drawing inside Janine’s frame, creating an altar and placing it, along with marigold flowers and candles, in Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick to honor those who perished on 9/11.
An exhibition of Diego’s New York Titans drawings, as well as the work of his collaborators, was held at Luxuny Atelier in December 2021. Jorge Islas Lopez, the Consul General of Mexico in New York, attended the opening reception.
In reflecting on his five-year journey, Diego stated “I feel gratified, but with an ever-stronger desire to continue creating and collaborating with other artists. I hope this is the first of many future projects and exhibitions.”