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Climate


Climate change is a global reality. Increasingly volatile environmental conditions—from rising sea levels and ocean acidification, to extreme temperatures, droughts, and storms—are affecting populations worldwide, with devastating impacts on the livelihoods and welfare of vulnerable communities. Cumulative resource extraction and exploitation have led to an intertwined social and ecological crisis that has depleted local economies, imperiled coastal settlements, and forced migration as a means of survival. GSAPP recognizes climate change as one of the most profound and urgent challenges facing the wellbeing of our societies and planet, and is committed to mobilizing the disciplines of the built environment to respond with expanded knowledge, sustainable methods, and moral responsibility.


This webpage features a collection of resources on GSAPP’s ongoing investigation of Climate. This list will continue to be updated. If you have suggestions or comments, please contact communications@arch.columbia.edu.

Events

Listed below are selected GSAPP events presented by
the Office of the Dean since Fall 2014.
CONVERSATIONS

The Green New Deal: Shaping a Public Imagination

February 18, 2020
Kim Stanley Robinson discusses how we might shape public imaginations toward an embrace of the Green New Deal. Followed by a conversation with Kate Wagner, Maureen Raymo, and Andrew Revkin. Organized by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, the Earth Institute, and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University.

Public Works for a Green New Deal

September 27, 2019
Faculty participants in the Fall 2019 Public Works curricular initiative deliver course presentations. Daniel Aldana Cohen, Hayley Richardson, and Abby Spinak give presentations on public housing, public transportation, and public electricity, respectively. Followed by a conversation moderated by Alyssa Battistoni. Co-organized with the Buell Center.

Offsetted: On the Rights of Trees

February 22, 2019
The exhibition Offsetted, conceived and designed by Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe), launches a critical debate on the financialization of the environment—from the scale of a city tree to an ecological reserve—and on current forms of environmental justice. Fernández Pascual and Schwabe present their project, followed by a conversation with Mari Margil on environmental rights. Moderated by Felicity Scott. Offsetted: On the Rights of Trees was held in conjunction with the exhibition Offsetted at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery.

Listen to Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabes in Podcast episode #66

Unnatural Disaster: Infrastructure in Puerto Rico before, during, and after Hurricane Maria

November 9, 2018
While many fields are addressing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, this event argues that a more focused, historically informed conversation on the roles of architecture, planning, and preservation in both the production and management of these ever-more-frequent emergencies—especially as they pertain to infrastructure—is urgently needed. Presentations by Ivis Garcia Zambrana, Marcelo López-Dinardi, Mark Martin Bras, Andrés Mignucci, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, and Ingrid Olivo, followed by a conversation with Hiba Bou Akar and Monxo López. Co-organized by the Buell Center.

A Year Without a Winter

September 22, 2017
This discussion centers on the GSAPP publication A Year without a Winter, which brings together science fiction, history, visual art, and exploration to reframe the relationship between climate, crisis, and creation. Contributors Dehlia Hannah, Gillen D’Arcy Wood, and Vandana Singh join the book’s editor James Graham in conversation. Organized by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

Cooking Sections: The Empire Remains Shop

April 14, 2017
The Empire Remains Shop, a public installation that opened in 2016, speculates on the possibility and implications of selling back the remains of the British Empire in London today. This event features a conversation among Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe), James Graham, and Jesse Connuck.

Cities and Climate Action: New Orleans

April 7, 2017
This event features a discussion on the critical role that cities play in driving the agenda on climate change, and the steps federal governments must take to assist cities in their efforts to respond to the vast environmental, economic, and cultural impacts. Participants include Adam Freed, Jeffrey Hebert, Kate Orff, Rodrigo Rosa, Weiping Wu, and Michael Kimmelman.

New York 2140: Kim Stanley Robinson

April 6, 2017
New York 2140: Kim Stanley Robinson, April 6, 2017 Presentation by Kim Stanley Robinson on the release of his latest novel, New York 2140 (Orbit, 2017) followed by a conversation with Reinhold Martin. Co-Organized by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia GSAPP, and Orbit Books.

Air Drifts

November 29, 2016
The research project Air Drifts revisits trans-boundary air pollution to analyze how localized toxic particulates drift into new territories of global responsibility. Participants include Kadambari Baxi, Janette Kim, Meg McLagan, David Schiminovich, and Mark Wasiuta. Organized by the Buell Center.

Planning for Climate Change

September 24, 2014
Naomi Klein and Kate Orff are joined by Laura Kurgan for a conversation on the practical and political challenges of planning for climate change, and how to build a more equitable world in the process.

Public Works For A Green New Deal
September 27, 2019

Participants include GSAPP Faculty, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Hayley Richardson, Abby Spinak, and Alyssa Battistoni.

Learn more here.
LECTURES

Richard Sennett

November 6, 2019
Sennett’s talk examines how society grapples with issues related to climate change, including states of denial, climate refugees, democratic actions in response to climate change, and the balance between adaptation and mitigation. Response by Weiping Wu.

Eleena Jamil

October 14, 2019
Jamil speaks about how her Kuala Lumpur-based firm creates opportunities for structural and material experimentation. Highlighted projects include Shadow Garden Pavilion in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Bamboo Terrace Homes; and an Engineering Laboratory. Response by Hilary Sample.

Listen to Eleena Jamil in Podcast episode #82

Marina Tabassum

The Kenneth Frampton Endowed Lecture
September 23, 2019
Tabassum states that the most important elements for her Dhaka-based practice in creating architecture are place, time, and context. The lecture discusses the Independence Monument and Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Bangladesh, and research on processes for designing and building in rural Bangladesh. Response by Kenneth Frampton.

Listen to Marina Tabassum in Podcast episode #77

Lola Sheppard

February 18, 2019
Sheppard, co-founder of Lateral Office, discusses the firm’s commitment to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the climate and wider context of a project—including its social, ecological, or political dimensions. Response by Andrés Jaque.

Listen to Lola Sheppard in Podcast episode #65

Kongjian Yu

The Kenneth Frampton Endowed Lecture
October 29, 2018
Kongjian Yu delivers the lecture “Creating Deep Connections and Deep Forms,” which presents his pioneering research on “ecological security patterns” and “sponge cities.” This research has been adopted by the Chinese government as the guiding theory for national land use planning, eco-city campaigns, and urban ecological restoration. Response by Kenneth Frampton.

Listen to Kongjian Yu in Podcast episode #59

David Benjamin

October 22, 2018
David Benjamin introduces the work of his firm The Living. Situated at the intersection of biology, computation, and design, The Living strives for “living, breathing architecture.” Recent work includes research on mycelium and agricultural waste-based structures; embodied energy; and an “Open Source Building” at Princeton. Response by Amale Andraos.

Listen to David Benjamin in Podcast episode #37

James Wines

October 9, 2017
James Wines’ lecture “Arch-Art: A Conduit to Context: The Role of Buildings in Social Change” introduces a body of work that fuses art, architecture, landscape, and surrounding environmental context. Highlighted projects include Avenue Number Five Park in Seville, Spain; Ross’s Landing Park and Plaza in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Antilia Tower in Mumbai, India. Response by Dan Wood, Andrés Jaque, and Prem Krishnamurthy.

Listen to James Wines in Podcast episode #30.

Anupama Kundoo

November 21, 2016
Anupama Kundoo’s lecture “Building Knowledge: An Inventory of Strategies” discusses her installation at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, which presented a low-cost modular home and a prefabricated toilet. Kundoo elucidates how her material research and experimentation produce an architecture with low environmental impact and sensitivity to socio-economic contexts. Response by Lise Anne Couture.

Listen to Anupama Kundoo in Podcast episode #22.

Fulong Wu

November 14, 2016
Fulong Wu introduces his book “Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China,” which provides an overview of the changes in China’s planning system, policy, and practices. Response by Weiping Wu

Emilio Ambasz

October 24, 2016
Emilio Ambasz presents several projects including Casa de Retiro Espiritual in Seville, Spain; Fukuoka Prefectural Hall in Japan; and Glory Art Museum in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. Ambasz unpacks how his work reconciles man-made and natural structures. Response by Amale Andraos.

Richard Sennett
November 6, 2019

Learn more here.

Pedagogy

Below is a selection of recent GSAPP courses and curricular initiatives that investigate how the built environment can respond to the ongoing effects of climate change.

Footprint: Carbon and Design

David Benjamin, Fall 2020, All programs

Man, Machine and the Industrial Landscape: Re-Imaging the Relationship Between Industrial and Public Territories

Sean Gallagher, Fall 2020, Architecture

Sustainable Design

Davidson Norris, Fall 2020, Architecture

Transformational Planning Frameworks for Equitable Climate Action

Ariella Maron, Fall 2020, Urban Planning

Transscalarities: The Intersectional Design of Climate

Andrés Jaque, Fall 2020, Architecture

Resilient Urban Systems

Thaddeus Pawlowski, Fall 2020, Urban Planning

Advanced V Studio: A[x]*2

Kate Ascher, Christoph Kumpusch, Spring 2020, Architecture and Real Estate Development

Advanced IV Studio: Forest-to-city: Architecture as Open System

David Benjamin, Spring 2020, Architecture

Advanced IV Studio: Fringe Timber

Lindsey Wikstrom, Spring 2020, Architecture

Circular Cities: A New Urban Future

Malo Hutson, Spring 2020, Interdisciplinary

Environmental Impact Assessment

Graham Trelstad, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

NYC Grey to Green Energy Transition Studio

Anthony Borelli and Graham Trelstad, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Planning for Urban Energy Systems

Peter Marcotullio, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Studio III: The Great Rift Valley

Kate Orff (Coordinator), Lee Altman, Adriana Chavez, Dilip da Cunha, Geeta Mehta, Thaddeus Pawlowski, Julia Watson, and Fitsum Gelaye
Spring 2020, Urban Design

Sustainability and Preservation

Erica Avrami, Spring 2020, Historic Preservation

Waterfront Development in Long Island City Studio

Sybil Wa and Jason Brody, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Footprint: Carbon and Design

David Benjamin, Fall 2019, Building Science Technology

Global Practices & Policy in Urban Risk, Resilience & Crises

Ebru Gencer, Fall 2019, Urban Planning

Public Works: A Green New Deal for Appalachia

Kate Orff, Fall 2019, Urban Design

Public Works: A Green New Deal for Appalachia

Thaddeus Pawlowski, Fall 2019, Urban Planning

Public Works: Advanced V Studio Being-With: Coexistence at a Planetary Scale

Phu Hoang, Fall 2019, Architecture

Public Works: Advanced V Studio Climate Design Corps

David Benjamin, Fall 2019, Architecture

Public Works: Advanced V Studio Imaginative Realism: Cli-Fi, the Sublime, and the Public Imaginary

Marc Tsurumaki, Fall 2019, Architecture

Public Works: Advanced V Studio Structures of Care

Bryony Roberts, Fall 2019, Architecture

Public Works: Advanced V Studio Transscalar Towers, The Ultra Clear-Glass Plan

Andrés Jaque, Fall 2019, Architecture

Public Works: Planning and the Green New Deal

Ariella Maron & Douglas Woodward, Fall 2019, Urban Planning

Public Works: Studio II The Climate Crisis

Kaja Kühl, Fall 2019, Urban Design

Sustainable Design

Davidson Norris, Fall 2019, Architecture

Sustainable Retrofits

Michael Adlerstein, Fall 2019, Real Estate Development

Toward Resilient Cities & Landscapes

Kate Orff, Fall 2019, Urban Design

Environmental Sustainability

Stuart Brodsky, Summer 2019, Real Estate Development

Research

Recent and ongoing research initiatives at GSAPP are highlighted below.
Learn more here.
Power
Buell Center
Power is a project at Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture connecting infrastructure, politics, and life. It challenges participants to think about how infrastructure relates to life across a series of intersecting concerns, including democratic governance and climate justice.
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In pursuit of the implementation of Resilient Tel AvivYafo, a long-term and city-wide resilience strategy, the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo partnered with CRCL’s Resilience Accelerator team to advance research and project concepts that help the city adapt to climate risk from heat.
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45 West 53 Street
Embodied Energy Initiative
The Museum of Modern Art commissioned The Embodied Energy Pilot Project at GSAPP to create a series of visualizations about embodied energy—what it is and how it relates to the Museum’s new building.
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Publications and Exhibitions

GSAPP Publications and Exhibitions offer platforms for investigating the relationship between climate and the built environment. A selection of scholarship, new commissions, and curatorial projects is featured below.
A Selection of Articles from the Avery Review

Discover more highlights in the “Climates of Extraction” by the Avery Review.



Also see the related thematic pages for GSAPP’s work on Equity and Data & Design.
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Homepage Image Credit:

Studio travel to Pune, India by MSAUD students and faculty as part of the Spring 2019 Urban Design Studio III

“Alliance for a Constructive Beira” by Stuti Ganatra, Yile Xu, Nina Lish, and Wei Zhang completed during the Spring 2020 Urban Design Studio III

Section drawing by Kate McNamara and Joud Al Shdaifat completed during the Fall 2019 Architecture Advanced Studio V Studio.