Rensselaer | Architecture Rensselaer | Architecture Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:56:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CASE / NYC featured in Architect Magazine Wed, 08 Jul 2015 11:53:23 +0000 Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) News:

Architect Magazine on CASE’s Active Modular Phytoremediation System

The multi-institutional Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) was recently featured in the technology section of Architect Magazine. The article “Breathe In: CASE Puts Its Green Wall System to the Test” examines the center’s Active Modular Phytoremediation System, which will be installed on the ground floor of the Public Safety Answering Center II in the Bronx, N.Y.

A research unit of Rensselaer School of Architecture, the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) is addressing the need for accelerated innovation of Built Ecologies through the development of next-generation building systems. A multi-institutional and professional research collaboration co-hosted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, CASE is pushing the boundaries of environmental performance in urban building systems on a global scale, through actual building projects as research test beds.

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RPI Students Help Public Art project win $1 million grant Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:07:59 +0000 Student News:

RPI Students Help “Breathing Lights” win $1,000,000 Grant.

The Lighting Research Center‘s collaborative installation project Breathing Lights proposes to illuminate nearly 350 vacant homes in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy nightly over two months in fall 2016 to regenerate interest in once-vibrant neighborhoods that currently have high vacancy rates. It is one of four projects nationwide to receive a $1 million grant from the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge.

Researchers and students at RPI’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) assisted artist Adam Frelin, Assistant Professor of Art at SUNY Albany, and Barbara Nelson, an architect at RPI’s Campus Planning and Facilities Design Department, in the development of this installation. The project will culminate in a regional summit on vacant homes and neighborhood revitalization that will engage local residents, prospective buyers and investors, and policy makers.

Frelin and Nelson sought to enliven 350 abandoned buildings in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady by making them “breathe” using interior lights of shifting, dynamic brightness. They approached the Lighting Research Center to solve the technical challenges of making their concept a reality. Professor and Associate LRC Director Russ Leslie assigned this task to the students of his Lighting Workshop. School of Architecture students Zachary Pearson, Charles Jarboe, Kassandra Gonzales, Dinusha Thotagamuwa, and Elise Benedict collaborated in the development of Arduino light controllers, tested diffusing light materials, experimented with different color temperatures of light, evaluated and proposed power sources, procured materials, and worked on a full-scale mock-up within a campus building.

The windows of the mock-up building were framed with LEDs that were linked back to a single controller so that all of the windows would breathe in unison. Once the tri-city installation occurs, each controller will be adjusted to a speed and intensity that is proportional to the building in which it is located. When installed in multiple houses in a neighborhood, large houses will breathe slowly and small houses will breathe rapidly.

“Breathing Lights” was selected as one of four winners from 237 applications. Each winning team will receive up to $1,000,000 to finalize and install their projects. The LRC design will be reproduced and installed in 350 buildings in the Capital District in the fall of 2016. The lights are expected to run for several hours each evening for two to three months. WMHT recently aired a 10 minute PBS documentary on the project and several press events were held to announce the winning collaboration of the artists, students and local governments.



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L. Combs & C. Perry: ACADIA 2015 Chairs Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:06:55 +0000 Faculty News:


Assistant Professors Lonn Combs and Chris Perry will serve as Technical Chairs of the 2015 ACADIA conference: “Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene.” ACADIA, as the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals. ACADIA’s aim is to facilitate critical investigations into the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education.

Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene” will take place October 22nd-24th at the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design. Workshops are scheduled for October 19th-21st, and a hackathon is scheduled for October 25th. This conference seeks to engage the new period of the Anthropocene, a period characterized by the “anthropic” effects of human activity as a new geophysical force on Earth, by raising the question as to whether architecture should embark on establishing new affiliations beyond the human; a fundamental redefinition of the discipline as something no longer significant for “us” alone. The conference poses the critical question: If the Anthropocene has ushered in a new era of existential threat for human civilization, how does architecture not only rethink conventional forms of “program,” and by extension “performance,” privileging nonhuman alongside human forms of “use,” but a new material, formal, and spatial aesthetics as well?

Professors Combs and Perry are joined by Director William Williams, Professor Mara Marcu, Professor Stephen Slaughter, and Professor Ming Tang of the University of Cincinnati, and Brian Ringley, of Pratt Institute in chairing this annual conference. Combs and Perry currently teach at the Rensselaer School of Architecture and cultivate their own practices, EASTON+COMBS, and pneumastudio, respectively. For more information on Lonn Combs, Chris Perry, the conference, and ACADIA, please see the links below.

2015 Conference : here

ACADIA : here

Lonn Combs : here

Chris Perry : here



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Nancy Diniz awarded prize at Milano Expo’15 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:33:27 +0000 Faculty News:

Assistant Professor Nancy Diniz, faculty at CASE/RPI and the Geofutures graduate program, was awarded an ‘Honorary Mention’ Prize at the the ‘Solutions’ competitions for her ‘MUSHRICE Series’ project, and will be exhibited at the Milano Expo 2015.  The ‘MUSHRICE Series’ is an on-going research project developed by Prof. Diniz at CASE/ RPI on the topic of bio-materials that are multi-scalar and functional. The undergraduate summer research students Boqun Huai, Anqi Huo and Alexandria Frisbie participated in the development of the competition proposal. All prize winners are candidates for internships at Shigeru Ban Office in Tokyo.

Other finalist projects are listed here.

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Prof. Lonn Combs finalist at FIU competition Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:34:29 +0000 Faculty News:

Lonn Combs finalist for “Emerging Architects Initiative” competition.

Assistant Professor and Director of the M.Arch I Program Lonn Combs, Principal of Easton + Combs, is among five finalist for Florida International University’s “Emerging Architects Initiative” installation at the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus in Miami. The installation is to be housed at the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture building by renowned French-Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi.

The winner will be awarded a commission to design and build a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade for events and student use on the third-floor terrace of the FIU’s School of Architecture building.

The four accompanying finalist are, Austin-based Kory Beig/ Clay Odom, James Coleman of Parapractice, David Freeland/ Brennan Buck of the Los Angeles firm FreelandBuck, and Greg Corso/Molly Hunker, SPORTS, Syracuse.

The jury for the initial round consisted of: Eric Goldemberg, Alastair Gordon, Roberto Rovira, and Phillip Abbott. The second phase for finalist proposals are due June 20, 2015, and a winner will be announced on July 20, 2015

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2015 Award Winners Sun, 07 Jun 2015 04:52:19 +0000 05/28/15:


On Thursday, May 28th, 2015, the School of Architecture hosted it’s end of year Commencement Dinner and Award ceremony for the Class of 2015. The following is a list of this year’s award recipients. Congratulations!

Harriet R. Peck Prize – Winners

Medal for the Best solution in a Thesis Project in Architecture Design.

The Selection committee, comprised of our three guest jurors (Ferda Kolatan, Julie Larsen, and Michael Young) unanimously decided to select two award winners from our undergraduate program.

Octavie Berendschot (B.Arch)
Shane Gavitt (B.Arch)

Harriet R. Peck Prize – Nominees

Certificate for the Best solution in a Thesis Project in Architecture Design.

Octavie Berendschot (B.Arch)
Difei Chen (B.Arch)
Georgeanna Foley (B.Arch)
Shane Gavitt (B.Arch)
Katelyn Rauth (B.Arch)
Yifeng Zhao (B.Arch)
Elias Jackson Darham (M.Arch)
Michael Everett (M.Arch)

Henry Adams AIA Medal

The American Institute of Architects awards an engraved medal and certificate of merit to the top-ranking graduating student in each architecture program accredited by the NAAB. A certificate of merit is awarded to the second-ranking graduating student.

Formerly called ‘The School Medal’ the program began in 1914 and was awarded for “general excellence in architecture throughout the four-year course to graduating students of architecture schools recognized by the Institute.” For scholastic attainment, character and promise of successful professional practice.

Alec DuMond (B.Arch)
Emily McGuire (M.Arch)

Henry Adams AIA Certificate

Scholastic attainment, character and promise of successful professional practice.

Yifeng Zhao (B.Arch)
Elias Jackson Darham (M.Arch)

Alpha Rho Chi (Ki) Medal

Professional merit beyond the design studio and beyond their academic career.

“The members of Alpha Rho Chi (Ki) believe the profession of architecture needs strong leaders as much as it needs strong designers. We need people committed to public service. We need people to help maintain Architecture as a noble profession. We also maintain that high scholastic attainment is not necessarily an accurate measure of leadership or service.”

To a graduating student for service to her school and community, leadership, and who shows promise of professional merit through attitude and personality.

Paul Chan (B.Arch)
Yifeng Zhao (B.Arch)

The Matthew W. Del Gaudio Award of the NY Society of Architects

Graduating student who has shown excellence in total design.

Erica Barrows (B.Arch)
Joseph Fala (B.Arch)
Georgeanna Foley (B.Arch)

Faculty Award

High Scholastic Attainment in the Study of Architecture

Yuan Feng (B.Arch)
Ryan Hao (B.Arch)
Yixuan Hu (B.Arch)
Helen Ko (B.Arch)
Schuyler Pratt (B.Arch)
Allison Clark (M. Arch 1)
Michael Everett (M.Arch 1)
David George (M. Arch 1)

Ricketts Prize

Outstanding academic ability and promise of a successful professional career.

Difei Chen (B.Arch)
Katelyn Rauth (B.Arch)
Brooke Van Baush (B.Arch)

The Pella Scholarship

Most compelling integration of systems, materials, and technology in the upper year comprehensive design studio.

Erica Barrows (B.Arch)
Kathryn Schaubhut (B.Arch)

The Val Carlson ’52, Architect, AIA, Award (1999)

Most improved student graduating from the School of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Erin Butler (B.Arch)

Faculty Award for Service

Outstanding Service to the School of Architecture.

Mallory Buckner (B.Arch)
Difei Chen (B.Arch)
Joseph Fala (B.Arch)
Allison Clark (M Arch 1)
Elias Jackson Darham (M Arch 1)
Michael Everett (M Arch 1)
David George (M Arch 1)
Emily McGuire (M Arch 1)

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Prof. Duman “transforming midtown” Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:42:45 +0000 In the news:

Koray Duman featured in the NY Post.

Adjunct Professor Koray Duman, Principal of Buro Koray Duman, was featured in the New York Post article (2/5/15) titled “The 5 design minds transforming Midtown — and how to make their unique style yours.” In particular, his project for Design Within Reach’s new multistory 57th Street flagship.

A rising star, Turkish-born, UCLA-educated architect Koray Duman has become a favorite of design magazines, as well as high-flying clients like artist Richard Prince and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The article included a look at five of the architects and interiors masters and their recent projects in New York City midtown. In addition to Professor Duman, the accompanying architects and interior designers include Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio, Will Meyer and Gray Davis of Meyer Davis, Stephen Sills of Stephen Sills Associates, and George Yabu along with Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg.


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FP & Thesis Awards (Peck Prize) Review Sat, 09 May 2015 14:18:53 +0000 Final & Master Project Awards Review:

Saturday May 9th, 12-6pm @ Greene Gallery.

Selected Students:

Professor Chris Perry (coordinator): Octavie Berendschot & Katelyn Rauth

Professor Gustavo Crembil: Michael Everett & Shane Gavitt

Professor Carla Leitao: Elias Jackson Darham & Georgeanna Foley

Professor Ted Ngai: Difei Chen & Yifeng Zhao

Guest Critics:

Lydia Kallipoliti, Ferda Kolatan, Julie Larsen, Michael Young, Lonn Combs, Demetrios Comodromos, Dean Evan Douglis, Ted Krueger, Zbigniew Oksiuta


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David Bell Receives David M. Darrin ’Award Mon, 18 May 2015 19:54:15 +0000 Professor David Bell to receive the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award

From Elise Budd (Class of 2015), President, Phalanx Leadership Honor Society

“We are pleased to announce that Dr. David Bell of the School of Architecture has been selected as the 41st recipient of the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award.

This award was established by David M. Darrin ’40 to recognize a faculty member who has made an unusual contribution in the counseling of undergraduate students. The selection of the award recipient is made by Phalanx Honor Society based on nominations received from an open solicitation to the campus earlier this academic year. The David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award will be presented to Dr. Bell at Commencement on May 30, 2015.

In recognizing Professor Bell, members of the Rensselaer community cited his compassion and care for students, both personally and professionally. Dr. Bell shares his insight by delivering unique feedback to his students—cultivating original practices and thoughtful design methodologies. Dr. Bell has served as chairman of the Robert S. Brown ’52 Fellows Program selection committee, established to support global independent research for students within the Rensselaer architecture program. Through his exhaustive efforts, Professor Bell continues to generously share his time, knowledge, and resources to ensure a strong community within the School of Architecture.

Please join Phalanx in congratulating Dr. Bell on this honor.”

David Bell is an associate professor and faculty member of Rensselaer’s School of Architecture since 1980. He holds an M.Arch. degree from the University of Virginia, where he had also been in the Ph.D. program in physics before taking up the study of architecture. He has taught architectural design studio and a variety of courses in the history and theory of architecture at every level in Rensselaer’s undergraduate and graduate programs. His writings on the history and theory of architecture have been published in a variety of national and international journals. His most recent articles are “The Irritation of Architecture” in the Spring 2011 issue of the Journal of Architectural Education and “The Panoptic Garden”, which will appear in the book EARTH PERFECT? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden to be published by Black Dog Publications in spring 2012. Professor Bell is currently writing a series of books regarding the formative importance of constraints in the architectural creative process. The first three of these books will appear in 2012. Their titles are Bernini and Borromini: Theater & Heresy, Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia: Knowledge & the Middle Landscape, and Adolf Loos: The Irritation of Modernity.

Professor Bell recently returned from the India travel program of this spring.


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Nick Axel (’10): new managing editor at Volume/Archis Fri, 08 May 2015 00:48:35 +0000 Alumni News:

Nick Axel designated new managing editor at Volume / Archis.

After graduating from Architecture Rensselaer in 2010 with a B.Arch and a minor in philosophy, Nick Axel worked for Alejandro Aravena at ELEMENTAL in Chile. Axel then joined Luis Vidal + Architects in Madrid. In 2013 Nick graduated with Distinction from the Centre for Research Architecture in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, during which he started working with Forensic Architecture as a researcher, a position which he continues up until this day. He is additionally a guest lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism at the Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar. He has published theory, articles and independent projects in leading architecture journals and  recently participated as a resident in the 2014-2015 Winter Residency at DAAR.

 [Nick describes himself as] an unlicensed architect, radical theorist, critical journalist and spatial strategist, currently based in London. His architectural approach to the production of space is akin to the approach of an editor to a text. His current research endeavors seek to meditate on the metaphysical instantiation of power through the medium of architecture as both a problem and a solution, both a question and an answer, both impossible and inevitable.

You can find more at his website and Awaking Lucid blog.

In the Spring of 2015, Axel was designated Managing Editor for Volume Magazine/Archis in the Netherlands.

Volume magazine is an independent quarterly magazine that reaches out for global views on designing environments, advocates broader attitudes to social structures, and reclaims the cultural and political significance of architecture. Created as a global idea platform to voice architecture any way, anywhere, anytime, it represents the expansion of architectural territories and the new mandate for design. Please click here to find out more.

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