Displacement: Designing for Diplomacy
Sep
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Displacement: Designing for Diplomacy

Embassies have represented a reciprocal exchange of sovereign territory between countries since the establishment of the United States. They serve not just as administrative platforms, but also as symbols of the ongoing exchange between host and guest nations. As the United States expanded its global reach during the 20th century, the embassies it built became optimistic, architectural expressions of our nation’s democratic values. 

With deadly attacks on US embassies in Beirut, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, American diplomatic missions moved away from the hearts of major cities toward greenfield sites in suburban or rural settings. Individually tailored buildings gave way to standard designs, under the belief that they best addressed the security shortcomings of the earlier structures. Starting in 2010, the State Department returned to design as a tool for the expression of American values. Under the leadership of Lydia Muniz, former director of the Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, the US government initiated a program of excellence, enlisting architects to take up the challenge of combining security and transparency through innovation. Projects have included embassies in Beirut by Morphosis, in Ankara by Ennead Architects, in New Delhi by WEISS/MANFREDI, and in Seoul by SHoP Architects. During this conversation, these architects will reflect on their efforts to ensure excellence in diplomatic facilities and provide their views on the future of diplomatic design.

View Event →
_Displacement _Water
Apr
27
6:30pm 6:30pm

_Displacement _Water

Water in its scarcity, abundance, and quality is becoming an increasingly powerful force in determining the health and viability of global cities, challenging their infrastructure and influencing the future shape of social life and built form. While in New York centralized infrastructural adaptations have begun to address storm surge and reliable sources of drinking water, other cities internationally face hydrological extremes with comparatively fewer resources and a need for bottom-up and localized solutions. For example, Kolkata in eastern India faces flooding during monsoon seasons and sea level rise, while Amman, Jordan is confronted by drought and dependency. These two cities, the sites of the Columbia GSAPP Urban Design program's current studio investigations, are discussed alongside other global cities to reveal potential of a socially and ecologically driven approach to climate adaptation.

View Event →
Viral Voices VI | Virtual Displacement
Mar
30
6:30pm 6:30pm

Viral Voices VI | Virtual Displacement

As the digital revolution continues to affect our everyday lives, counterintuitively, many new processes born in the digital realm are now finding the need to become physical and geofixed. Once ephemeral, only existing online, new media companies have begun to invest in the design and production of physical retail environments, vehicles, kiosks, and other public interfaces, adding new variables to the built environment and forcing an evolution in long-standing conceptions of urban placemaking. What had once been described as the accelerating process by which “all that was solid will melt into air” may also set into motion countervailing effects by which what “was air now turns back into solid” – as digital practices and firms that once existed bring their data, media, and products back into the physical world.

View Event →
Displacements_People
Feb
23
6:30pm 6:30pm

Displacements_People

Displacements_People: Designing for the Global Refugee Crisis
This current moment of unprecedented migration--the flows of people displaced by conflict, economic need, and environmental degradation--urgently demands a response from architects, planners, artists, and policy makers.  At a time when many institutions are confronting how to, or sadly, whether to confront the issues of global population displacement, the design community continues to engage with this issue through analysis, advocacy, documentation and design.

View Event →