The Labs

Spatial Information Design Lab

Directors: Laura Kurgan

The GSAPP Spatial Information Design Lab is a think- and action-tank for the visual display of spatial information. Its founding and ongoing project has been a university wide one, to develop a meta-data standard for the growing archive of GIS data, and a suitable interface for this kind of spatial data. The lab will take a productive and yet critical approach to the field of GIS, and work with spatial data to design innovative ways in which the resulting images, or maps, might communicate what they picture with clarity, integrity, responsibility, creativity and invention.

Living Architecture Lab

Director: David Benjamin

Political and cultural conditions change: what if the walls and windows morphed in response? Air and water quality fluctuate: what if a cloud of light above the river modulated its color as a public display of contamination? Demands for occupation of space shift across days, seasons, and years: what if traditionally mute and inert building materials appeared and disappeared accordingly?

Urban Landscape Lab

Directors: Janette Kim and Katherine Orff

The Urban Landscape Lab is an interdisciplinary applied research group at Columbia University in the City of New York. We focus on the role of design in the analysis and transformation of the joint built-natural environment, and study ecological processes and urban systems as hybrid phenomenon through targeted pilot projects, practical strategies, and experiments.

Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting (C-LAB)

Director: Jeffrey Inaba

The mission of CLAB is to test experimental forms of architectural communication. Rethinking architecture at a global scale, the lab sets up creative partnerships to broaden the range and increase the intensity of architectural discourse - launching unique events, provisional networks, special issues of magazines, video streams, television, radio and webcasts. The lab acts as a kind of training camp and energy source for incubating new channels for debate about architecture.

Asia Megacities Lab

Director: Jeffrey Johnson

Over the next 25 years, it is projected that China will account for 50% of the world's new construction. The majority of this construction will occur in existing cities, or newly formed urban areas. It is the mission of the China Megacities Lab to become actively engaged with this rapid urbanization and spatial production occurring in China, through both research and design.

Global Africa Lab

Co-Directors: Mario Gooden, AIA and Mabel Wilson, PhD

Through design methods and research aided by new technologies and media, Global Africa Lab (GAL) explores the spatial topologies of the African continent and its diaspora. GAL'S s innovative research and pedagogical agenda examines how the unique political histories and the contemporary forces of globalization shape the architecture, urbanism, culture and ecologies of these places.

The Latin American and Caribbean Laboratory (Latin Lab)

Director: Clara Irazábal, PhD

The Latin American and Caribbean Laboratory (Latin Lab) serves as an intellectual platform for research, educational, and service initiatives related to architecture and urban planning in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Based at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), the Lab aims to become a leading laboratory for the study of the built environment and community development in LAC and its diasporas and a premier resource to assist in the just and sustainable transformations of LAC territories and communities. The Lab's primary lines of work are Migration and Ethno-Urbanism, Urban Resilience and Upgrading, and Transnational and Regional Planning.

Sustainable Urbanism International

Sustainable Urbanism International is a research and design initiative committed to the conservation of cultural heritage, and developing strategies for promoting culturally and environmentally sensitive strategies for urban development. SUI was established as a non-profit NGO in Bangalore in 2003 and is also a research unit at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University in New York.

SUI works with governments, communities, and private investors to develop strategies for urban development that bring about the benefits of modernization while minimizing the cultural dislocations arising from it.

Urban Design Lab

Director: Richard Plunz

The Urban Design Lab (UDL) of the Earth Institute and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) works to find innovative solutions to the sustainable development issues confronting cities. The UDL conducts multidisciplinary applied design research in collaboration with community-based organizations and other public and private interests. The UDL's team works closely with outside experts in architecture, ecology, economics, environmental science, public health, urban design and urban planning.

Death Lab

Director: Karla Maria Rothstein

DeathLab is a trans-disciplinary research and design space focused on reconceiving how we live with death in the metropolis. Engaging both intimate and infrastructural urban concerns, we are designing innovative strategies which can be prototyped, built, and experienced by the public. We are dedicated to reframing how people think about mortality.

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