PLEASE NOTE: This event has been rescheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
Routine discussions on public space typically omit a gamut of possibilities ripe for critical discussion. In a collection of short but intellectually invigorating reads, The Future of Public Space reflects on these possibilities beyond typical contexts, exploring a wide variety of impacts that different types of public space – urban and rural, real and virtual – can have on everyday experiences in an increasingly privatized world. Amplifying voices beyond those within the world of conventional architecture criticism, this book considers how such experiences might change in the future.
The Future of Public Space is the latest volume of SOM Thinkers, a series conceived by the renowned architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Originating from a desire to start a public conversation about the built environment, each installment of SOM Thinkers poses provocative questions and speculations about architecture from perspectives outside its professional culture, bringing together leading voices on a single topic. Please join us in celebrating the release of The Future of Public Space with a live panel that folds this conversation back onto the world of design, featuring innovative practitioners working to implement bold and challenging ideas in the public realm.
This event will take place in our Rare Book Room. This event is free and open to the public!
See below for short biographies of the panelists:
Ben Davis is an art critic living and working in New York City. He is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class and is currently national art critic for artnet News. He was an editor of The Elements of Architecture, the catalogue of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York, Slate.com, The Village Voice, The Brooklyn Rail, e-flux Journal, and others.
Olalekan Jeyifous received a BArch from Cornell University and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited at venues such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. In addition to his extensive exhibition history, he has spent over a decade creating large-scale artwork for a variety of public, private, and institutional spaces, including award-winning installations for Starbucks. Most recently, he has completed commissions for the Chicago Transit Authority and the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, a 50ft-tall sculpture for the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and 4 large sculptures in Cleveland’s Public Square.
Damon Rich PP AICP is a designer, visual artist, and partner at Hector. He previously served as planning director and chief urban designer for the City of Newark and is the founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization. His work has been recognized by the American Planning Association National Planning Award, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University GSD, the MacDowell Colony, and the United States Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.
Oana Stanescu works in architecture, design and education. Prior to establishing her eponymous studio, she was the co-founding partner of Family, a New York based design practice and one of the designers of +Pool, the world's first water-filtering floating pool. Oana lived and worked in Japan, South Africa and Switzerland before settling in New York. She currently teaches at Harvard GSD and Cooper Union and has lectured at SCI-Arc, Cranbrook Art Academy, Neocon, Design Miami and the Bezalel Faculty of Architecture in Jerusalem, amongst others. Oana Stanescu's work has been covered extensively, and she has been profiled by the New York Times and Forbes.
Claire Weisz is a founding partner of WXY, a firm known for community centered approach to architecture, urban design and planning. WXY named New York State Firm of the Year in 2016. Claire was a co-founder and executive director of The Design Trust for Public Space. She is a Fellow of the AIA, has served on the NYSCA Architecture Design Panel and on design juries both nationally and internationally. Lecturing and teaching widely, most recently as the 2017 Portman Visiting Critic at the Georgia Tech School of Architecture. She was named one of Fast Company’s most creative people in business in 2017.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment.