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NOMAS FIU Chapter Represents University at 2014 NOMA Conference

From October 1st to 4th, students from FIU’s National Organization of Minority Architect Students (NOMAS) represented the university and the College of Architecture + The Arts at the 42nd annual conference of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

The students who represented FIU’s chapter of NOMA in the conference’s 2014 student design competition are: Santasha Hart, Jorge Rodriguez,  Ebehi Ijewere, Allan Abrantes, Jasmin Jenkins, and Alfonso Aaliva.

nomas2Santasha Hart, president of NOMAS-FIU, said that the conference was a motivating experience. She also mentioned that individuals at the conference from NOMA and other institutions recognized FIU for its outstanding design work. Hart provided the following statement:

“Competing against 16 other schools, FIU’s NOMAS Chapter held their own by placing top five overall. After presenting their boards and awaiting the results, they were pleased to hear the judge’s accolades. It was truly an honor to receive such praise from both the judges and other competitors in the competition. Even Georgia Tech, the winning team, came up and demonstrated their admiration of our school’s boards. FIU’s NOMAS chapter definitely plans to go and compete again!”

The featured images are provided courtesy of NOMAS-FIU.

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Thomas Spiegelhalter in Steering Committee and Marilys Nepomechie as Group Consultant for Research on Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems

The College of Architecture + The Arts’s Thomas Spiegelhalter (Associate Professor and Co-Director of the FIU Structural and Environmental Technologies Laboratory) is a member of the steering committee for RCN-SEES: Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE). The committee behind the Research Coordination Network (RCN) focusing on Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) recently met at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in California. The RCN-SEES is funded by a $652,846.00 grant from the National Science Foundation. Other steering committe members are Prof. Yong Tao (UNT), Prof. Yimin Zhu (LSU), Khee Poh Lam (CMU), Richard Feiock (FSU), Mirsad Hadzikadic (UNCC),  Chien-fei Chen (UTK), Wei Yan (TAMU), Carol C. Menassa (UMICH), and Derrick D’Souza (UNT).

In addition to serving as a steering committee member, Professor Spiegelhalter is a member in two working groups for RCN-SEES, Group I: Physical Systems – in which College of Architecture + The Arts Professor Marilys Nepomechie is a constultant – and Group V: Model integration and Validation. These two groups, along with the other four, are emphasizing separate themes as theoretical foci of Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems. The other working groups are covering Human Behaviors, Social/Policy Impacts, Life Cycle/Economics, and Sustainability Education.

Thus far, the RCN-SEES has hosted two workshops on two themes. A workshop on Physical Systems took place at the University of Texas in March 2014, and another on Human Behaviors took place at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in May 2014. The workshops consisted of presentations to stimulate discussion, breakout groups, and roundtable discussions to summarize action items. Some industrial and international entities that have participated in these workshops are InstitutoTecnológicode Saltillo (Mexico), TexEnergy, Schneider Electric, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and HKS, Inc.

A Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystem involves

  • differential needs and patterns of behavior for human occupants in various types of buildings with multiple, temporally, and environmentally demographic, cultural, and social preferences;
  • social-economic systems to sustain, or be adapted by, the human needs and patterns of behavior;
  • building envelopes to provide a shelter for people from weather;
  • active engineering systems and passive features providing thermal and lighting comfort;
  • quality air, fresh water, and their supply systems for human needs, and
  • micro-climate conditions such as urban centers, which may significantly vary from macro scale climate data and significantly correlate to the efficient energy consumption by human in buildings

The objective of this RCN-SEES, in which Professor Spiegelhalter is involved, is to develop a collaborative research platform centered on overcoming bottlenecks in engineering, software, and social-economic sciences that impede wider application of sustainable building technology. The network activities are focusing on defining an innovative, new interdisciplinary area, “Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystem (SHBE),” that integrates human behavioral science, social and economic sciences in tandem with sciences of building design, engineering, and metrology for data validation of building energy consumption and occupant comforts. The developed collaboration strategies and standardized data platform will lead to significant reductions of the uncertainty in predicting human adaptation to energy efficiency and sustainability of building ecosystems, which will also address fundamental questions such as: “What are the benefits of sustainable building investment to people at a personal, business, or urban planning level?” (Source: RCN-SEES : Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE))

The activities of the SHBE-RCN include: collectively developing a consensus-based mechanism for a cyber-enabled, data-networked research platform that allows sharing of the connectivity methods from different models of building ecosystem elements; creating the networking mechanism to recruit additional participants or update the working groups; developing the new research directions for identified subareas; evaluating the success of the SHBE network; and developing an innovative learning program for graduate students of diverse backgrounds. (Source: RCN-SEES : Predictive Modeling Network for Sustainable Human-Building Ecosystems (SHBE))

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New Book on Automation Published by Alfredo Andia and Thomas Spiegelhalter

The College of Architecture + Arts’ Alfredo Andia (Associate Professor) and Thomas Spiegelhalter (Associate Professor and Co-Director of the FIU Structures and Environmental Technologies Lab) have published Post-Parametric Automation in Design and Construction (ARTECH HOUSE, 2014), a new book set to be released on Tuesday, September 30th.

The following synopsis of the book is provided by Andia and Spiegelhalter.

Automation, a mixture of algorithms, robots, software, and avatars, is transforming all types of jobs and industries. This book responds to one critical question for the design and construction industry: “how are architects, engineers, and contractors using information technology to further automate their practices?” Addressing the use of new digital technologies, particularly parametric automation for design and construction in the building industry, this book looks at how technologically advanced architectural and engineering practices are semi-automating their design processes by using sophisticated algorithms to transform their workflows. The book also documents a set of firms that are further advancing automation by using pre-fabrication, modularization, and custom designs via robotics.

Together, Andia and Spiegelhalter have previously published works such as “Topological and Parametric Temperatures in Architectural Academia,” a peer-reviewed research paper presented at the 2012 ACSA International Conference: CHANGE, Architecture, Education, Practices in Barcelona.

Andia earned his Ph.D. from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Spiegelhalter earned his Master in Design and Architecture from the University of the Arts in Berlin.

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Nick Gelpi and Roberto Rovira Win First Place in Wynwood Gateway Park Competition!

FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design Chair Roberto Rovira, Assistant Professor of Architecture Nick Gelpi, and Jim Drain (artist and 2005 Bâloise Art Prize recipient) have won first place in the DawnTown Wynwood Gateway Park competition with their design of “Wynwood Greenhouse Park.” Their design was selected from among 238 submissions from 23 countries. The inter-disciplinary team (Gelpi the architect, Rovira the landscape architect, and Drain the public artist) was the only one based in Miami.

The Wynwood Gateway Park competition sought the design of an urban park and garden in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The following description is provided by Dawntown:

The competition was conceived by neighborhood visionary and Metro 1 President and CEO, Tony Cho, in partnership with DawnTown, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting architecture in Miami and AIA Miami, the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects, with the goal of creating a dynamic 14,000-square-foot space that offers the local community, visitors and tourists a place to come together and enjoy the neighborhood in a public environment. It is located at 2825 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. (Source: http://dawntown.org/wynwood/)

park1

The winning submission, “Wynwood  Greenhouse Park,”  was  designed  to  serve  as  the  intersection  of  art,  architecture,  and landscape  for  a  local  community with  global  presence,  according to  Rovira, Gelpi, and Drain. “We are truly honored to be selected from among such a prestigious group of competitors,” said the team. “We look forward to working with the city of Miami and Metro 1 to realize an ambitious vision that acknowledges the vibrancy of the Wynwood neighborhood and that emphasizes the unique natural wonders of south Florida. We hope that our park will be a place where people come together with nature and art in an urban environment, where everyone can feel at home and where people and nature thrive together.” (Source: Wynwood Greenhouse Park)

In second place in the competition was “Graffito Green” by Meyer + Silberberg – Land Architects from Berkeley, California, and in third place was “Wynwood Commons” by Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu  /  SO-IL from Brooklyn, New York.

The winners of the competition were selected by an esteemed panel of expert judges that included:

Enrique Norten – Founding Principal, TEN Arquitectos
Terrance Riley – Principal, Keenan/Riley
Raymond Jungles, ASLA – FASLA, PLA, Founding Principal of Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Allan Shulman FAIA, Principal, Shulman + Associates
James Russell, FAIA, architecture critic and journalist
Andrew Frey – Development Manager, Codina Group
Tony Cho – CEO and Founder, Metro 1
Moderator: Joachim Perez, Executive Director of DawnTown

The featured images are provided courtesy of Wynwood Greenhouse Park.

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Nick Gelpi, Gray Read, and Felice Grodin Participate in FALL SEMESTER, an Initiative for Public Discussion

On October 9th and 10th, students, alumni, and faculty from the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts will participate in FALL SEMESTER, a new discussion series in Miami.

FALL SEMESTER is an independent initiative for public discussion on contemporary society and culture, aiming to test what can be achieved in the sped-up production of discourse and what can happen when new material is introduced into local discourse–a bomb-drop of new data. Will such a thing have quantifiable effects? Will it be jolting enough to speed up our own desire for a deeper dimension of self-understanding and reflection? Will it, on the contrary, only be another event in which theoretical performance is put to the service of spectacle, showing up the divisions that we face daily? FALL SEMESTER’s wager is laid down in the space cracked open by these questions. Having the general scheme of public lectures and a digital platform, FALL SEMESTER invites a group of international theorists and architects to take on topics of urbanization, turning their focus on the very city in which it is happening –Miami—since this city may itself be a model of what the contemporary city is slowly becoming. Founded in Miami in Summer of 2013 by artists Odalis Valdivieso and Lidija Slavkovic, FALL SEMESTER seeks to bring together a diverse group of theorists, critics, researchers, and interested individuals to engage in multifaceted discourse on contemporary society and culture available across multiple platforms at no cost to participants. (Source: FALL SEMESTER)

The team behind FALL SEMESTER is a diverse group of individuals from various disciplines. They are:

 

Odalis Valdivieso (Founder and Director)
Lidija Slavkovic (Co-Founder and Assistant Director)
P. Scott Cunningham (FIU MFA in Creative Writing ’08, poet, translator, and Founder/Director of O’Miami)
Marcos Valella (FIU BFA ’03, artist)
Antonia Wright (artist)
Angela Valella (artist, educator, and curator)
Felice Grodin (FIU Adjunct Faculty of Architecture, architect, visual artist, professor, and curator)
Andrew Horton (FIU Master of Fine Arts candidate, artist, educator, and curator)
Gean Moreno (artist and writer)
Rob Goyanes (writer)

Online Contributors

Keller Easterling, Jason Dittmer, Léopold Lambert, Matteo Pasquinelli, François Roche, Nathalie Rozencwajg, Leandro Silva Medrano, and Marion von Osten

 

FALL SEMESTER has structured its first iteration around four basic thematic lines: The Urban Real; Architectural Weather; Plasticity of the City; and The Urban Unreal.

 

Guest Speakers

THU, Oct 9

Material Consequences – 4pm, Nick Gelpi

North – South Collisions – 5pm , Jean-François Lejeune

The Matter of Struggle in Urban Space – 6pm, Nick Srnicek

Soft Monumentality – 7pm, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Open Forum – 8pm

FRI, Oct 10

Second Landscape – 4pm, Gray Read

City Bodies: Undead or Alive? – 5pm, Jan Verwoert

The Stack We Have and The Stack To Come: Designing Sovereignty and the Geopolitics of Computation – 6pm, Benjamin Bratton

Where have all the leaders gone? – 7pm, Michael Hardt

Open Forum – 8pm

 

The following are abstracts for the talks that will be given by Nick Gelpi, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Gray Read, Associate Professor of Architecture.

Material Consequences, Nick Gelpi

“Cities are more than just the abstract property boundaries of land ownership; in fact taken collectively cities represent large scale concentrations of specific materials.  These materials, don’t fit neatly into the zoning maps of city ordinances, in fact the consequences of certain materials reach far beyond the property lines of site, and produce significant disruptions and interruptions at an urban scale.  Foregrounding larger scale consequences of the materials and configurations utilized in the construction of our built urban environments, this talk will highlight several large-scale and wide reaching effects that the city exerts on its surrounding environment with specific projects which highlight potentials for interacting with material consequences as new opportunities for design.”

Second Landscape, Gray Read

“In a warming world, Miami is already suffering death by pavement even before the waters engulf us.  Relentless asphalt of both roof and street feed the urban heat island of the city, turning the urban tropics into an inhospitable desert.   We ask,  what if Miami reclaimed its roofs as a second landscape and invited the rich, tropical ecosystem of South Florida to the heart of the city?  We suggest specific architectural strategies for mitigating urban heat island effect and envision the roofscape of downtown Miami as a living landscape inhabited by both people and wildlife.”

FALL SEMESTER will occur on October 9th and 10th, 2014 at 175 NE 40 Street, Miami, FL. Free and open to the public.

The header image was provided by Master of Fine Arts candidate Humberto Torres (FIU BFA ’12).

 

FALL SEMESTER is sponsored by Miami Dade College Museum of Art + DesignUniversity of WynwoodMiami Design DistrictManuel Estrada DesignMaman Fine Art, and The Freehand Miami.

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Nick Gelpi to be Guest Speaker at Flagler Village Art Walk GS Talks

On Saturday, September 27th, the College of Architecture + The Arts’ Nick Gelpi, Assistant Professor, and Vladimir Kulic, Assistant Professor at the Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture, will be the guest speakers for GS TALKS 04. The talk is part of Glavovic Studio‘s lecture series, held during the Flagler Village Art Walk. The theme of this lecture will be Surfaces + Constructs.

The GS TALKS Series engages the public on critical societal issues being addressed through art and design. Past GS TALKS series have included community and design topics in the context of historic preservation, contemporary design, and art and the aesthetics of architecture as a quality of life tool for affordable housing. Funding in part for previous series has been provided by a Broward County Board of County Commission grant and Art Works. (Source: Glavovic Studio)

Nick Gelpi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University and the founder and Design Principal of GELPI PROJECTS, based in Miami. Gelpi’s practice has been actively engaged in a diversity of projects including experimental installations and pavilions, residential architecture, retail design, and high-concept furniture and prototypes. Gelpi’s research is concerned with materials and representation, often incorporating procedures of fabrication and the conventions of testing through material collaborations with mockups. Gelpi has worked professionally as project architect for Steven Holl Architects in New York City, and has previously taught at numerous schools of architecture including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, and Columbia University.

Dr. Vladimir Kulić is an Assistant Professor at the Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture and teaches courses in architectural history, theory, and design. He specializes in architecture after World War II, modernism in Central and Eastern Europe, the global exchanges of architectural culture, and contemporary criticism. He is the author of Modernism In-Between: The Mediatory Architectures of Socialist Yugoslavia (with Maroje MrduljaÅ¡ and Wolfgang Thaler, 2012) and of numerous articles on architecture in the former Yugoslavia. He is also the editor of Unfinished Modernisations: Between Utopia and Pragmatism (with Maroje MrduljaÅ¡, 2012) and of Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities (with Monica Penick and Timothy Parker, forthcoming 2013). Exhibitions he co-curated have been shown at the ArchitekturzentrumWien in Vienna, Swiss Museum of Architecture in Basel, Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, etc. Dr. Kulić won a number of international fellowships and accolades, including the 2007 Trustees Merit Citation from Graham Foundation and the 2009 Bruno Zevi Prize for a Historical/Critical Essay in Architecture. He is the 2012-13 FAU Scholar of the Year at the Assistant Professor level and the 2013 Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. (Source: Florida Atlantic University)

On the same night of the GS TALKS 04, Margi Nothard, Design Director of Glavovic Studio, will open the exhibition Sunset Hammock: Vision of the Everglades, A Viewing Portal_Tamarac Conceptual Public Art Project. The exhibition “renders saturated moments in time as the day reveals itself, increasing in intensity in color, view and connectivity to the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.” The exhibition also “explores the expansiveness of the Everglades, the extreme juxtaposition of infrastructure transposed on the delicateness of ephiphytes, the integration of the wetland and the regeneration of systems, movement, [and] community placemaking with tectonic form.” The project is a concept for a public artwork in Sunset Point Park, Tamarac, and its next phase has been awarded an NEA Our Town Grant. (Source: Glavovic Studio)

GS TALKS 04: Surfaces + Constructs and the opening of Sunset Hammock will take place on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 6PM at the Flagler Village Art Walk, Glavovic Studio: 724 NE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304.

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NC-Office Ranked Among Top 50 in Sustainability in Architect Magazine!

NC-Office – a firm founded by the College of Architecture + The Arts’ Nikolay Nedev (Department of Architecture Instructor and First-Year Design Coordinator), Peter Nedev, Cristina Canton, and Elizabeth Cardona – has been ranked the 10th best architecture firm in the nation by Architect Magazine in the category of Sustainability. Among the firms listed in the magazine’s top 50 are EYP Architecture & Engineering, Gensler, HOK, and Perkins+Will.

“We feel quite honored to be a part – and towards the top – of such an elite group,” said Nikolay Nedev.

NC-Office is a firm that works in fields such as master planning, landscape design, and commercial and residential architecture, among others. NC-Office has produced winning urban design proposals for Somerville, Massachusetts (Edge as Center-Boston Society of Architects) and Biscayne Bay in Miami (Build in the Bay), and its work has been exhibited in New York, Boston, and Stockholm. Several projects have also been published in various architectural journals and newspapers, including Archivos de Arquitectura Antillana, Azure, Florida InsideOut, The Miami Herald, and The Boston Globe. NC-office received an award for ‘Excellence in Interior Design’ from the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the Cafe Bustelo project in Miami Beach. Other awards include a citation for “Innovation and Technology” from the Boston Society of Architects for a short film featuring the ‘Third Avenue Commons” residential project in Miami. Most recently, NC-Office received an honorable mention for their entry in the Dawntown Seaplane competition.

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Dean’s Distinguished Fellow: Robert Zuckerman

Dean Brian Schriner of the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts has selected Robert Zuckerman as a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow for 2014-2015.

Mr. Zuckerman is a photographer in the motion picture industry and a public speaker. He is called “Picasso” by Will Smith, “The Master” by Jerry Bruckheimer, and “the best photographer I have ever worked with” by Arnold Schwarzenegger. His images have been used for the promotional campaigns of films such as Training Day, Terminator 3, and Transformers and television series such as The Shield, Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, and American Horror Story. He has done album cover and movie poster photography for Will Smith and was invited to be the personal photographer for the family of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Mr. Zuckerman has also photographed campaigns for United Way and City of Hope, was a co-producer for the award-winning documentary Video From Russia: The People Speak (1984, directed by Dimitri Devyatkin), and was the director and producer of the New York City portion of the official “Hands Across America” video (1986).

Mr. Zuckerman is also known for his book Kindsight® (Kindsight Press, LLC), which is a collection of photographs and accompanying texts recording the richness of everyday experiences, showing “the extraordinary within the ordinary.” The book includes laudatory texts by, among others, Will Smith, Debra Winger, poet Michael Lally, and novelist Elaine Kagan. It is currently on the PEN American Center’s “Best Book Read This Year” list. Since the publication of Kindsight®, Mr. Zuckerman has spoken to student and youth groups across the country, teaching them how to integrate photography with writing to show the extraordinary in everyday life.  He has spoken at Authors at Google, been featured in a PBS story about him, and was a panelist at the KidsRisk Symposium at the Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, speaking on empowering youth through positive media modalities.

“For me, [doing] photography as much as possible has become an integration of life and craft,” said Mr. Zuckerman. “Through it, I am able to give value to people’s lives and derive value in my own life, beyond making a living.” In regards to his appointment as a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow at CARTA, he said, “One of my primary goals is to inspire and empower students, and connecting them with leaders in relevant professional fields creates bridges of possibility and accessibility.”

Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year at FIU, Robert Zuckerman will participate in a virtual exhibition, which will be an online publication of images with short essays that document his experience at CARTA. He will also host ten master classes, some of which will involve special guest lecturers.

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Dean’s Distinguished Fellow: Alastair Gordon

Dean Brian Schriner of the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts has selected Alastair Gordon as a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow for 2014-2015.

Mr. Gordon is an author, curator, critic, filmmaker, publisher, and public speaker. He is the Co-Founder and Editorial Director of Gordon de Vries Studio, Multimedia Publishing Imprint, a contributing editor for the Architecture/Design section of The Wall Street Journal Magazine, the Founder and Director of “Wall to Wall” – an interactive website and blog about the built environment – and the Presidential Counselor of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. He has also worked as a contributing editor for The New York Times, for House & Garden, and for Atelier Magazine.

Mr. Gordon has exhibited his own artwork at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, The Aidekman Arts Center at Tufts University, and the Wolfsonian-FIU, and has curated exhibitions at the SCAD Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Princeton University, and the National AIA Museum in Washington, D.C. He is known for his highly-praised literature, such as Spaced Out: Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties and Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Revolutionary Structure. Mr. Gordon has lectured about architecture/design and the arts at Columbia University, the AIA Convention, the Museum of Modern Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year at FIU, Alastair Gordon will host six master classes, all of which will involve special guest lecturers.

“I am thrilled to be joining the CARTA community and working with students and faculty over the coming year as a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow,” said Mr. Gordon. “The process of discovery is at the very heart of any authentic learning experience and I plan to share my own experiences and moments of discovery in a forthright and personal way . . . Miami continues to emerge as a fascinating urban laboratory/cultural melting pot, and FIU is playing a crucial role in the city’s transformation. I look forward to taking part in such an exciting experiment!”

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Coral Gables Museum student exhibit gathers large crowds!

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City, an exhibit of projects by FIU Architecture students, saw many guests at its public opening on Friday, September 5th. The exhibition at Coral Gables Museum opened as part of the museum’s Gallery Night.

IMG_8240The work of All Buildings Great & Small affirms the value of small-scale development. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American cities began their urban growth with small urban buildings. Before the high-rise, a fabric of one- to five-story buildings defined city streets. These buildings created lively urban spaces and neighborhoods; they were mixed use and did not have parking, elevators or air conditioning. In the best examples, as these cities grew throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, high-rises were added to this pre-existing urban fabric to create a complex urbanism that absorbed the demands of modern life, while maintaining the character of the older neighborhood.

Miami is a young city and did not inherit a small-scale, nineteenth and early twentieth century urban fabric. As a result, our high-rises coexist with surface parking lots, ill-defined streets and impoverished public spaces. The work of the architecture students in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University re-conceives small-scale urbanism as a missing component of Miami’s urbanism. This work understands the nature of the modern city as a complex collage of urban types, none of which can solve the concerns of a city on its own.

The focus of the student projects in this exhibition was the discrete infill project within a restricted urban site and its potential repeatability. As a repeatable unit, an urban townhouse becomes an urban proposition, a definer of the street, and the integral component of a neighborhood and city life. The site for this year’s design projects is Wynwood, a new arts district undergoing an urban renewal. In addition to design proposals, students documented existing small-scale buildings in downtown Coral Gables and Wynwood. (Source: CARTA News, September 2014)

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City will run until Sunday, October 26th, 2014 in the Abraham Gallery of the Coral Gables Museum: 285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134. For information on admission into the museum, click here.

IMG_8271

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‘All Buildings Great & Small:’ FIU Infill Housing Exhibit opens to the public

All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City, an exhibit of projects by FIU Architecture students, will have a public reception at the Coral Gables Museum on Friday, September 5th at 6:00 pm. The exhibition is running from August 29th to October 26th, 2014.

allbuildings_exhibit.001The following statement was written by Jason Chandler, Chair of the FIU Department of Architecture.

“The work of this exhibition affirms the value of small-scale development. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American cities began their urban growth with small urban buildings. Before the high-rise, a fabric of one- to five-story buildings defined city streets. These buildings created lively urban spaces and neighborhoods; they were mixed use and did not have parking, elevators or air conditioning. In the best examples, as these cities grew throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, high-rises were added to this pre-existing urban fabric to create a complex urbanism that absorbed the demands of modern life, while maintaining the character of the older neighborhood.

Miami is a young city and did not inherit a small-scale, nineteenth and early twentieth century urban fabric. As a result, our high-rises coexist with surface parking lots, ill-defined streets and impoverished public spaces. The work of the architecture students in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University re-conceives small-scale urbanism as a missing component of Miami’s urbanism. This work understands the nature of the modern city as a complex collage of urban types, none of which can solve the concerns of a city on its own.

The focus of the student projects in this exhibition is the discrete infill project within a restricted urban site and its potential repeatability. As a repeatable unit, an urban townhouse becomes an urban proposition, a definer of the street, and the integral component of a neighborhood and city life. The site for this year’s design projects is Wynwood, a new arts district undergoing an urban renewal. In addition to design proposals, students documented existing small-scale buildings in downtown Coral Gables and Wynwood.”

The public opening reception for All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City will take place on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 6PM in the Abraham Gallery of the Coral Gables Museum. For information on admission into the museum, click here.

The featured images are provided courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum.

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‘ABYECTO – Sonic Environment’ on display at MBUS

ABYECTO – Sonic Environment is currently on display at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios.

The original 3D-printed installation and musical instruments of ABYECTO are created by Eric Goldemberg, Associate Professor of Architecture with MONAD Studio / Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg, and a design team made up of FIU Architecture students John Gioello, Stephanie Colon, Matt Barnard, Manuel Perez-Trujillo, and Jack Garcia. The installation brings together architecture and music through the collaboration of faculty and students in both disciplines. MONAD Studio created a three-dimensional mural that serves as a sonic environment for the performances of Jacob Sudol, Assistant Professor in the FIU School of Music and Scott F. Hall.

The reception and performance for ABYECTO – Sonic Environment will take place on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 6:30PM at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Road, Suite 440, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.

The following text is taken from a statement about ABYECTO, provided by MONAD Studio / Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg.

ABYECTO is an installation designed and fabricated at FIU and resulting from the collaboration between students and faculty members in architecture and music. An ironic play of words, the title refers to recent discussions about object-oriented ontology in contemporary design. The piece sets up a productive ambiguity between object and environment privileging multiple readings as the removable guitar is un-docked from its intense geometrical environment in order to generate sound, only to return to the interactive sonic environment as passive docked object. The geometry of the piece is generated by the multiplication and modification of the guitar’s profiles, extending the qualities of the object onto a larger rhythmic field of three-dimensional curves and subtle variations that resonates with the sonic ambiance of the music performance. The three-dimensional profiles of the extended instrument are magnified and disseminated throughout the space once the sonic qualities of the installation begin to reverberate, activating a multi-sensorial field of perception that ranges from the visual to the tactile and the aural. Ultimately, the room, the mural, the guitar, the performers, and the public will be involved in the shaping of a complex, collective sensorial object.

The surface of this complex topological environment is further activated and becomes interactive using computer-generated sounds created by composer/computer musician/professor, Jacob Sudol. These sounds are emitted directly through the 3-D printed sculpture by means of handheld transducers that activate the installation as if it were the cones of a speaker to fill the space with constantly changing fields of sonic activity.

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Discover the I-CAVE, a new virtual reality system in development at FIU

The Department of Architecture’s Dr. Winifred Newman (Associate Professor and Director of Advanced Studies) is leading a team of seven FIU faculty members designing and developing a new Virtual Reality (VR) system on campus. The new instrument is called the I-CAVE (Integrated – Computer Augmented Virtual Environment). The FIU School of Architecture and School of Computing and Information Sciences recently finalized the location of the facility and made plans to move towards its completion.

The I-CAVE is a large room with wall-to-wall and floor LED flex-screens and a surround-sound system that creates an immersive virtual reality experience. The room, a 15-feet by 11-feet cube, tracks how a person moves within the space with a four-camera shutter-synchronized tracking system. This system eliminates the need for the equipment that is usually needed for movement tracking on other platforms, such as gloves or headgear.

icave_articlebodyimage“The I-CAVE enhances instructional technology in a number of ways,” said Dr. Newman. “First, using a total immersion environment as an instructional space offers new and exciting possibilities for all departments to incorporate animations, large-scale imagery, and virtual realities into their curriculum. Second, students will be able to propose their own projects for the I-CAVE, thus learning to plan, design and work through issues related to data visualization, basic computing skills, and information fusion. Third, CAVEs are dynamic instruments that require constant development and adjustment for research.”

The new facility will be available for use by FIU students and instructors across all disciplines. Dr. Newman said, “Student involvement with the I-CAVE will occur . . . as instructional space for courses, faculty-sponsored and student-generated research and creative projects, and for the development of skills necessary to run and maintain an active, immersive virtual reality instrument.” One of the team’s focuses is the ease and timeliness with which the I-CAVE can be operated. According to Dr. Newman, “this facility will offer state-of-the art imagery and user-friendly interaction so that students and faculty can develop projects quickly and with minimal start time.”

Currently, there are CAVE facilities located on most major research universities in the United States and abroad. This includes the Computer Graphics Group at Brown University, the Visualization Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Chicago, and the Calit2 at the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology.

The FIU I-CAVE will be only the second Virtual Reality environment built in the Florida university system, after the facility at the University of Central Florida.

The I-CAVE will be located on the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, at the Engineering & Computer Science building. It will be designed, constructed, developed and maintained by FIU’s School of Architecture, School of Computing and Information Science, Department of Electrical Engineering, Instructional & Research Computing Center-High Performance Computing, and University Technology Services.

Dr. Newman and the FIU I-CAVE team were granted $502,489.00 for the project through the university’s Tech Fee. The team will be working with several industry partners in South Florida, California, and China to develop a way to field test equipment, look at alternatives, and develop practices as they finalize the design.

Below is the list of FIU faculty members involved in the development of the new I-CAVE.

Dr. Winifred Newman
College of Architecture + The Arts | School of Architecture

Dr. Scott Graham
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Mr. Eric S. Johnson
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Mr. Mike Kirgen
Division of Information Technology, Instructional & Research Computing Center-High Performance Computing

Dr. Shu-Ching Chen
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Dr. Nezih Pala
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mr. Steve Luis
School of Computing and Information Sciences

This article was written with the help of the FIU I-CAVE team.

The images in this article are provided by the FIU I-CAVE team.

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CARTA Faculty and Miami Artist, Finalists in Wynwood Gateway Park Competition

Assistant Professor Nick Gelpi, FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design Chair Roberto Rovira, and Jim Drain (artist and 2005 Bâloise Art Prize recipient) make up one of the eleven team finalists in the Dawntown Wynwood Gateway Park Competition. Selected out of a pool of 238 international submissions, the inter-disciplinary team (Gelpi the architect, Rovira the landscape architect, and Drain the public artist) are the only finalists based in Miami.

The competition seeks the design of an urban park and garden in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The following description is provided by Dawntown:

The competition was conceived by neighborhood visionary and Metro 1 President and CEO, Tony Cho, in partnership with DawnTown, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting architecture in Miami and AIA Miami, the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects, with the goal of creating a dynamic 14,000-square-foot space that offers the local community, visitors and tourists a place to come together and enjoy the neighborhood in a public environment. It is located at 2825 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. (Source: http://dawntown.org/wynwood/)

The finalists selected for the competition are:

The Miami-based, independent team consisting of artist Jim Drain, architect Nick Gelpi, and landscape architect Roberto Rovira
 AGENCY Architecture LLC from New York City, New York
Aranda/Lasch from New York City, New York
Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu  /  SO-IL from Brooklyn, New York
stpmj from Brooklyn, New York
Meyer + Silberberg – Land Architects from Berkeley, California
SFA from Madrid, Spain
Colour: Urban Design Limited from London, England
Wayward Plants from London, England
AZC – Atelier Zundel Cristea from Paris, France
ONZ Architects from Ankara, Turkey

The eleven finalists for the competition were selected by an esteemed panel of expert judges that included:

Enrique Norten – Founding Principal, TEN Arquitectos
Terrance Riley – Principal, Keenan/Riley
Raymond Jungles, ASLA – FASLA, PLA, Founding Principal of Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Allan Shulman FAIA, Principal, Shulman + Associates
James Russell, FAIA, architecture critic and journalist
Andrew Frey – Development Manager, Codina Group
Tony Cho – CEO and Founder, Metro 1
Moderator: Joachim Perez, Executive Director of DawnTown
Former Director of Miami Art Museum and Museum of Modern Art
Founder, DawnTown

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MONAD Studio’s work published in Italian journal ‘Architetti’

The work of MONAD Studio/Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg has been published in the Italian journal Architetti.

The tenth issue of the journal, entitled Complexity and Sustainability in the Project, was written by Gabriella Padovano and Cesare Blasi from the Politecnico di Milano and features four architectural practices: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Xefirotarch (Hernan Diaz Alonso), Tom Wiscombe Architecture, and MONAD Studio.

Architetti covers MONAD Studio’s Wolfsonian Satellite Pavilion, Miami. The text below is a description of the project written by Padovano and Blasi:

Founded in 2002 by Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg, MONAD Studio is a design research practice with focus on spatial perception related to rhythmic affect, with explorations ranging from the scale of urban plans to buildings, and from landscape to installations and product design. MONAD Studio’s designs highlight the range and complexity of sensations involved in constructing rhythmic ensembles. The activity that results from intense digital design is not only revealed through structural or programmatic constraints but take a much more important presence in the articulation of the topology of buildings. The work of MONAD Studio has been published and exhibited. Eric Goldemberg is currently the Digital Design Coordinator and Full-Time Professor at Florida International University. Veronica Zalcberg taught design studios at Columbia University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

MONAD Studio was founded by The College of Architecture + The Arts’ Eric Goldemberg, Associate Professor, and Veronica Zalcberg, architect.

The featured image is provided courtesy of MONAD Studio/Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg.

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Spring 2014 FIU Architecture Folio Released!

Our issue of FIU Architecture Folio, Spring 2014 highlights some of the semester’s accomplishments made by students, faculty, and alumni of the FIU Department of Architecture. The Folio can be viewed by The College of Architecture + The Arts family and those beyond the College and University!

To view the FIU Architecture Folio, Spring 2014 issue, click here!

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Students, semi-finalists for Miami Herald design entrepreneurship challenge

Tom Pupo and Daisy Nodal, Masters of Art in Architecture candidates became semi-finalists in The Miami Herald‘s 16th annual Business Plan Challenge. Their project Moonlighter joined a pool of 29 semi-finalists, after almost 200 projects were submitted.

Moonlighter “is a tech cafe and lounge that allows local designers, entrepreneurs and the public to co-create, prototype and retail new products,” as described by Pupo and Nodal. The project started in “Designing Models” (LAA6936), a Special Topics Landscape Architecture course taught by George Valdes and Adrian von der Osten, Adjunct Faculty. Pupo said that “Designing Models” aligned perfectly with the business timeline he and Nodal had for the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge. Taking the course instilled in them more confidence regarding the development of Moonlighter. “Valdes and von der Osten were able to effectively bridge the gap between our training in the design process and the iterative process of entrepreneurship,” said Pupo. “In architecture, we are taught to think systematically, so this class just empowers you to apply that method to entrepreneurship, as well as every aspect of your life.”

“Essentially, the objective [of the course] is to expose design students to the practice-based concepts of entrepreneurship,” said Valdes and von der Osten. “There’s a lot of applicable overlap with the skill-set and strategic/conceptual thinking the students gain in the studio environment and the start-up world, and we encourage them to explore that. Ultimately we want future Landscape Architects and Architects to have a macro level understanding of the way technology-driven fields are innovating through business models and methodologies so that they can begin to innovate in the same way in what we see as a very stagnant industry, with respect towards business development.”

Currently, Moonlighter is undergoing review and certification with SCORE and SBA Miami for its business plan financials. Later this year, Pupo and Nodal will be securing funding and a location for the project, which has involved Pupo and Nodal in the critical thinking and skills behind design entrepreneurship.

“[Design entrepreneurship is] critical,” said Valdes and von der Osten. “The concepts and methodologies that start-up founders tackle on a day to day basis can help designers think through their work in a focused, systematic way that considers not just the stakeholders involved in any given product/project, but also the flows of value that ultimately influence design and development.”

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Discover Design in SoBe Showcases Talent at MBUS

The Discover Design in South Beach (DD@SoBe) Summer program, led by Associate Professor David Rifkind, saw growth and the demonstration of talent among thirteen students at The College of Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios.

The students in the DD@SoBe program ranged in age from high school sophomores to young professionals considering careers in design. From June 9th to June 20th, the thirteen students developed one design project per week and attended workshops on freehand drawing, measured drawing, and model-making. This was made possible with the leadership of program director David Rifkind and the expertise of FIU Architecture faculty and recent graduates such as Priscilla Pagan, Marsha McDonald, and Jorge Bonsenõr, as well as the expertise of local designer Holly Zickler.

“…[T]he students [had] a fantastic time,” said Rifkind. “We saw real growth in their design sensibilities, representational skills and presentation abilities between the first and second weeks.”

DD@SoBe is a two-week summer program that provides an intense and enjoyable introduction to architecture and the related disciplines of landscape and interior architecture. The program takes advantage of the rich cultural context of our studios on Miami Beach’s famous Lincoln Road by using the city as a laboratory in which to study the relationships between design and the built environment. Participants spend a considerable portion of each day working on design projects, and engage in group discussions with faculty from FIU’s Department of Architecture. Guest lectures by prominent local practitioners and visits to offices enhance the learning experience, and guided tours of significant local architecture and urban design projects demonstrate the impact of design on our world.

The featured image above is provided courtesy of David Rifkind.

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FIU Architecture: Let’s Keep our National Ranking!

The design programs of The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts are gaining national reputations for delivering a preeminent education in the disciplines of architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture. From prominent scholars to recognition in national design competitions, and through local and global industry and academic partnerships, the design programs have emerged as thought leaders in the delivery of forward-thinking design education. We are very proud that the hard work of our faculty, students, alumni, and friends was recognized last year with both national and regional rankings, placing us amongst the strongest programs in the nation.

DesignIntelligence tracks the quality of design education nationally by asking for your professional opinion as to which schools best prepare students. Please take 5 minutes to fill out this year’s DesignIntelligence survey and support our national ranking. Thank you!

How You Can Help

1.    Take 5 minutes and fill out the DesignIntelligence questionnaire:

Architecture

Interior Architecture

Landscape Architecture


2.    Spread the news and send this link to anyone you think should provide their input.

3.    Stay connected with FIU Department of Architecture by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter and Instagram.

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‘nomas_LA’ Masters Project featured on eVolo and SUPER//ARCHITECTS

nomas_LA, the Spring 2014 Masters studio project presented by alumni Patrick O. Soares (M.Arch ’14) and Indra Alam (M.Arch ’14), has been featured on international and reputable media. The project was posted in eVolo, an internationally-renowned architecture and design journal,and on SUPER//ARCHITECTS, a prominent platform for showcasing work and ideas of the academic community. Below is Soares and Alam’s project statement.

“Our thesis project, nomas_LA is about testing post-apocalyptic urban strategies through interface – interface of human + machine and architecture + machine. It aims to negotiate friction between mechanical components and organic landscape. The landscape penetrates the mechanical. The user physically plugs into the structure, while the structure itself plugs into existing infrastructure (railroad track).

Analysis derived from research on the circuitry and motherboard of a computer, and the components within it, was used to inform the architecture on the site. The “capacitors” on the motherboard were interpreted as the existing structure on the site, the HUBS in nomas_LA feed from these capacitors. The HUBS will, eventually, fragmentally detach and plug into the next station to serve a different purpose from site to site, essentially becoming nomadic themselves. Hence the word “nomas” in the title (latin origin for nomadism). nomas_LA strives to question the possible future of operational, architecture, in motion.”

Soares considers nomas_LA a conglomeration of different aspects of his FIU education. He is proud to have chosen FIU as – what is now – his alma mater. “One of the reasons I decided to pursue architecture at FIU,” said Soares, “is because of FIU’s status as a research university. As such, at the core of its teaching philosophy is affording students the freedom to explore different answers or – perhaps even more important – how to formulate a different set of problems to solve.” In regards to the field of architecture and what he learned as an architecture student at FIU, Soares said, “It is more than putting a comprehensive building together. It’s about taking the critical thinking skills we learned not only in studio, but also in theory and in history, and intensely applying them towards an architectural problem and, by extension, a solution.”

“My contributions to nomas_LA are ultimately the result of skills I developed in…design studios, among other constructive courses,” said Alam. “During the three intense years of architecture studies at FIU I experienced great studio professors (such as Sabah Corso, Nick Gelpi, and, of course, my thesis instructor Eric Goldemberg) who afforded me the freedom to explore projects that pushed my creative limits.” Alam said that she is especially grateful to Professor Eric Goldemberg, who encouraged her to continue her work on hybridization of mechanical components and dynamic architecture, a major theme of nomas_LA. “It is truly rewarding to see our thesis project being supported by the architecture community and FIU.”

Eric Goldemberg, Associate Professor and the studio advisor of Soares and Alam’s nomas_LA said, “Patrick and Indra did a great job at engaging their last studio project as a thesis statement – a visionary project about the active role of architecture structures in a shifting ecology of future urbanity. Their view of technology as catalyst for social and physical mobility within the city was expressed both in their speculation about the emergence of nomad groups and the provision of infrastructure that adapts and enables the movement of platforms.” Goldemberg noticed the potential in these two alumni, considering them “a talented, self-motivated group of students.”

 

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