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Conversations

The Alumni Conversations series invites GSAPP alumni professionals to speak about a current or recent project. This series of informal one hour conversations for the Class of 2020 and current students takes place in a small group format. Thank you to the alumni who have generously shared their time and experience.
SUMMER 2020
Thursday, July 9
Justin Romeo ‘18 MSUP
Director of Special Projects, Regional & Strategic Planning
NYC Department of Transportation, New York, NY
Romeo discussed the impact of the pandemic on a city service that affects every community in New York.
Wednesday, July 15
Dan Luo ‘14 MArch
Lecturer
University of Queensland School of Architecture, Australia
Wednesday, July 15
Luo’s talk focused on robots, AI, materials and crafting, and exploring boundaries with experiments. A 2019 Incubator Prize Recipient, view her presentation Weaving for Nature from the Incubator Prize Spring Presentation (her presentation begins at the 6:23 mark).
Thursday, July 16
Sara Grant, AIA ‘04 MArch
Partner
MBB, New York, NY
Grant shared recent efforts including research to assist schools in safely reopening this fall as well as planning work for the new Eric H Holder Jr Initiative for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia University.
Thursday, July 16

Stephen Mueller ’06 MSAAD
Principal
AGENCY Architecture, El Paso, TX
Mueller shared an update on his Irradiated Shade research—with the support of the 2019 Incubator Prize—and ways AGENCY Architecture has worked to engage and help construct a productive context for their work in the binational El Paso/Ciudad Juárez metroplex.

Conversation facilitated by Frank Mandell ‘20 MArch.

Tuesday, July 21

Nisha Baliga, AICP ‘05 MSUP and Betsy Maclean '05 MIA/'06 MSUP
Co-Executive Directors
Hester Street, New York, NY
Hester Street is an urban planning, design, and development nonprofit that works to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. Over the past four months, Hester Street has drawn from their deep experience engaging with communities to develop tools and tactics that they hope will sharpen the focus on the means by which society can achieve more just ends. Baliga and Maclean shared some of this recent work as fodder for discussion.

Conversation facilitated by Savannah Wu '20 MSUP.

Wednesday, July 29

Jeronimo Aguilar Gutierrez ‘15 MSAUD
VP of Pricing & Procurement
Bolster, New York, NY
Wednesday, July 29
Bolster is a data-driven design-build firm on a mission to create a “smart” renovation experience. Aguilar Gutierrez discussed how developing an early career in the construction industry can prepare entrepreneurial architects with the necessary business skills to launch their own firms in the future.

Conversation facilitated by Kassandra Lee ‘21 MArch/MSRED.

Thursday, July 30

Nicolas Medrano, AIA ‘07 MArch
Associate Architect
SOM, New York, NY
Medrano presents his current biopharma project in Singapore and share insights on designing for a government that prizes sustainability and public space.

Conversation facilitated by Gauri Bahuguna ‘20 MArch.

Monday, August 10

Katie Shima AIA ‘09 MArch and Brandon Cook ‘00 MArch
Director of Design and Senior Project Manager
SITU, New York, NY
This presentation was structured around the idea of Catalytic Influences and Current Studies, using three of SITU’s recent projects to show their process and how they are pivoting what they have learned from the current crisis and for a post-COVID future.

Conversation facilitated by Nika Teper '20 MArch.

Thursday, August 13

Zarith Pineda ‘17 MSAUD
Founder
Territorial Empathy, New York, NY
Territorial Empathy is a research laboratory that specializes in mitigating urban conflict through architectural interventions. Pineda discussed the project Segregation is Killing Us which looks at how systematic racism is contributing to the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color throughout NYC.

Conversation facilitated by Thiago Sang Hyun Lee ‘20 MSUP, '23 MArch.

Thursday, August 13

Rachel Barnard ‘11 MSAAD
Founder and CEO
Young New Yorkers, New York, NY
Young New Yorkers is an arts diversion program for teens being prosecuted as adult in criminal courts. Rachel’s work has been supported by the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures and she was named the 2018 NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) as well as a Fellow for Socially-Engaged Art from A Blade of Grass.

Conversation facilitated by Victoria Vuono ‘20 MSAUD.