Projects in Public Architecture March Newsletter
|LAUNCHING MARCH 15: LIFE AT THE SPEED OF RAIL
How will high-speed rail change American life in the coming decades? At this critical moment for American infrastructure, Van Alen Institute is calling on the creative community to envision the cultural, environmental, and economic impacts of new rail networks on our world.
Launching on March 15, Life at the Speed of Rail seeks the visions of architects, planners, graphic designers, artists—anyone with a dream of the rail-rich future and the ways in which high-speed infrastructure can reshape our lives.
At a time when Congress is poised to debate billions worth of spending on federal transportation projects, we’re taking the conversation to the public. Because we need your help. American culture is driven by colorful stories and images, yet the story of high-speed rail has been told in black and white, with facts and figures (or drab maps and speeding bullet trains). It’s clear a broader vision is needed to add complexity and depth to this national discussion, and Life at the Speed of Rail is designed to offer just that.
Entrants will be asked to produce images and videos picturing the wide-ranging impacts that a new transportation network will have on their own community, whether urban or rural, rail-riding or car-centric, heartland or borderland. By collecting these ideas and images of a transformed nation—be they specific, pragmatic, or speculative—we’ll better understand the contours of our current moment and be better equipped to decide whether and how we might create new rail paradigms for the greater good.
The Life at the Speed of Rail website goes live on March 15. Be sure to check www.vanalen.org for full details—and get set to share your high-speed rail visions!
|THANKS FOR SHARING THE LOVE!
Our VanAlentine’s Day Open House Brunch on February 12 was a rousing success, with another high-intensity edition of Design Speed Dating, our portfolio review series. Here’s a big round of applause for the event’s four emerging designers: Thomas Carruthers, Mustafa Faruki, Priyanka Shah, and Ife Vanable. And special thanks to critics James Biber, Susannah Drake, Lars Müller, and Frederieke Taylor for their generous and sharp-witted critiques. If you missed out, see the photos on our Facebook album, and find full-length video of Design Speed Dating on our Vimeo page. Enjoy!
Jim Biber addresses the group at Design Speed Dating.
|WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL KICK-OFF
On February 2, Van Alen was pleased to host the New York launch party for this year’s World Architecture Festival, set to take place on November 2–4 in Barcelona. Sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper , the evening brought together notable New York architects and design personalities, many of whom have been key supporters of the event as awards entrants, judges, and speakers since its debut in 2008. WAF programme director Paul Finch wryly noted that recent years haven’t been the easiest for the startup of a design-focused festival, but 2011 should be the most ambitious yet. (Get your projects ready: WAF entries open April 1.) Thanks to all who attended—see our photo gallery of the evening on Facebook.
|VAI TALKS MEGACITIES AT LONDON’S ECOBUILD
On March 1, VAI Executive Director Olympia Kazi joins a distinguished panel of speakers at Ecobuild , the London conference on sustainability and the built environment. Kazi discusses the future of the world’s aging urban cores on the panel titled, “Megacities and Extreme Urban Environments: Lessons for People First, Place-making Second.” Ecobuild’s sustainable-design seminars run through March 3—see the full schedule here.
|ARTBRIDGE AND EPIC ANNOUNCE BETWEEN THE LINES
The New York–based nonprofit ArtBridge has teamed up with Epic Records to launch Between the Lines, a national call for entries for a large-scale exhibition at the label’s Madison Avenue headquarters. Open to U.S.-based emerging visual artists working in any medium—including painting, photography, collage, and digital art—the competition calls for a 440-foot-long, floor-to-ceiling mural on the theme of “Sound.” Submissions are due Friday, April 1.
|MEMBERS’ DISCOUNT: THE FABRIC OF THE GARMENT DISTRICT
On Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m., the Museum of the City of New York presents “The Fabric of the Garment District,” a discussion of the changing history and geography of the garment industry 100 years after the tragic Triangle factory fire. Historian Andrew Dolkart will survey the district’s history, including New York’s first garment district on the streets flanking Broadway, north and south of 23rd Street. We are pleased to offer VAI members a special discounted admission of $6—just RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Van Alen Institute.
|TAG TEAM PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE WITH VAI!
Van Alen members have a new way to enjoy all the benefits of membership. With our handy VAI Membership Tags, you gain instant access to a whole world of public architecture, including special discounts, invitations to member events and seasonal brunches, updates and publications, and offers from the larger Van Alen community. Not yet a member? Sign up here to get your personalized Membership Tag today—and display it with pride!
And remember, it’s easy to keep in touch with Van Alen: We’re wherever you are! Browse our home page at www.vanalen.org, find us in your in-box via our monthly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
|Van Alen Institute’s ongoing programs are made possible through the generous assistance of our partners, sponsors, and individual contributors. We gratefully appreciate their support.|
|Van Alen Institute promotes innovative thinking about the role of architecture and design in civic life. Among our activities are design competitions, lectures and symposia, exhibitions, publications, research and advocacy. Our programs engage a broad constituency of people in New York City, the nation, and around the world who participate in shaping the designed environment, from architecture students to emerging and established professionals to the interested public. For more information, please visit www.vanalen.org.|
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