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Equity


In different ways, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have recently brought into sharp focus the direct relationship between the built environment—its disciplines, practices, pedagogies, and entanglements—and the inequities that it constructs. Now is a crucial moment of reckoning when individuals and institutions must seek to understand the visible, invisible, and multidimensional manifestations and origins of these injustices, from the scarcity of affordable housing to lack of access to clean water, from exclusionary historiography to the systemic racism that has coursed through the design professions. How we as architects, developers, preservationists, scholars, students, teachers, and urbanists critically question and dismantle those inequities must be a determined focus of our collaborative efforts moving forward.


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

EVENTS

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

Stone Men

February 14, 2020
The book Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel by Andrew Ross focuses largely on the stone and marble industry of the West Bank its relationship to Palestinian labor. It asks: What kinds of rights should accrue from that labor and how do their contributions feed into the debate about civil and political rights in the “one-state” scenario now being debated for the region? This discussion unpacks arguments from the book through a conversation among Andrew Ross, Kadambari Baxi, Jordan Carver, Laura Diamond Dixit, Lindsey Wikstrom, and Mabel O. Wilson. Organized by Who Builds Your Architecture? and co-presented by Columbia’s Center for Palestine Studies.

Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Site Preservation
April 6, 2019
This symposium examines the progress and challenges of preserving sites of significance to LGBTQ communities and, by extension, to the heritage of cities and nations around the world. Participants include Andrew Dolkart, Amanda Davis, Cate Fosl, Nick Large, Shayne Watson, Ken Lustbader, Ankit Bhuptani, Matt Cook, Michael Ighodaro, Jay Shockley, Susan Ferentinos, Barbara Lau, and Ken Turino. Co-organized by NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, QSAPP and the Office of the University Chaplain as part of the Stonewall 50 Consortium.

Health Equity: Shaping Just Societies

March 23, 2018
This event presents efforts from the global to the local focused on addressing health inequities. Keynote lecture by Jason Corburn followed by a conversation among Nupur Chaudhury, Malo Hutson, and Mandu Sen moderated by Justin Garrett Moore.

Listen to Malo Huston in Podcast episode #33

The Decolonization of Design

April 13, 2018
Critically questioning the colonial practices of planning, architecture, and engineering, the presentation by Pierre Bélanger seeks to contribute a basis for undermining the industrial underpinnings and imperialist hegemonies that lie on, above, and below the surface of contemporary settler-state space whose foundations rely and rest on the perpetuation of spatial inequities, environmental injustices, and cultural inhumanities. The event includes an introduction by Reinhold Martin and is followed by a conversation with Kate Orff. Organized by the Buell Center.

Constructing Practice

November 17, 2017
Organized by Juan Herreros with Enrique Walker, the symposium hosts 15 international firms to discuss their respective contexts, ambitions, and influences relevant to their founding and early years, followed by joint discussions on their experiences and strategies.

Another 100 Days: Writing And Dissent

October 6, 2017
Architecture participates, centrally, in defining modes of life, whether for the privileged or the dispossessed—designing and building the boundaries between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” This fundamental reality of architectural practice need not inspire either nihilism or defensiveness but should rather be understood, quite simply, as the terrain we navigate. Naming these complicities and the injustices they perpetuate is a first step toward addressing them. Participants include Karen Abrams, Kadambari Baxi, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Caitlin Blanchfield, James Graham, and Jacob Moore. Organized by the Avery Review at Columbia GSAPP.

The First 100 Days: Day 27 - Design and Social Justice

February 15, 2017
The GSAPP community and invited guests discuss the role of architecture as a tool for grassroots mobilization and critical resistance. How are architects and designers engaging and empowering local communities to have a voice in urban design and policy? Participants include Ifeoma Ebo, Ingrid Haftel, Quardean Lewis-Allen, Betsy MacLean, Quilian Riano, and David Smiley.

Power and the Space of the Planet

April 15, 2016
This event inaugurates the Buell Center’s research project “Power,” which extends the Center’s recent work on housing, inequality, and real estate into another dimension of the planetary commons. Participants include Phillip Wegner, Edward Eigen, Jeanne Haffner, Paige West, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Reinhold Martin. Presented by the Buell Center.

The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate—A Provisional Report

January 22, 2016
Book launch for The Art of Inequality. A discussion among Jesse Keenan​, Peter Marcuse, Reinhold Martin, Jacob Moore, Susanne Schindler, and Galia Solomonoff. Organized by the Buell Center and co-sponsored by 6on6.

The Other Global University: Against Educational Apartheids

November 6, 2015
Rather than reject outright a concept of global education, this forum instead asks participants to consider what it would mean to truly make higher education globally accessible and what aims such an education would need to address. What hypothetical curricula, exchanges, funding structures, and institutional relations would respect societies’ and individuals’ rights to intellectual self-determination without, however, positing a priori assumptions of differing educational needs based on cultural or class distinctions? Participants include Davarian Baldwin, Jamyung Choi, Saskia Cornes, Susan Gillespie, Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Ruth Hayhoe, Hidetaka Hirota, Laura Kurgan, Jacques Lezra, Lydia Liu, Reinhold Martin, Noëleen Murray, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Bruce Robbins, Noliwe Rooks, Felicity Scott, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Mark C. Taylor, Mark Wigley, Grant Wythoff, and Stephen Zacks. Organized by Ginger Nolan and Jamyung Choi. Co-sponsored by the Heyman Center, Institute of Comparative Literature & Society, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and GSAPP.

Extrastatecraft and Expulsions

April 3, 2015
Grounded in their books Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space and Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Landscape, scholars Keller Easterling and Saskia Sassen, respectively, present recent writings on equity, built and representational space, and the global economy.

Listen to Keller Easterling in Podcast episode #48

We Can’t Breathe

February 6, 2015
Organized in response to the failure to indict the murderers of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other innocent and unarmed citizens—and the massive swelling of anger, grief, and public protest that followed—this urgent and interdisciplinary conversation explores race, justice, and urban space today. Participants include Kathy Boudin, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Suzanne Goldberg, Mario Gooden, Kimberley Johnson, Laura Kurgan, Reinhold Martin, V. Mitch McEwen, Dread Scott, Stacey Sutton, Kendall Thomas, and Mabel Wilson. Organized by GSAPP, Columbia’s Center for Justice, CURE, and the Buell Center.

Architecture and Representation: Arab City Conference

December 11, 2014
Taking the “Arab City” and “Islamic Architecture” as sites of investigation, this symposium critically engages contemporary architectural and urban production in the Middle East in an effort to move beyond reductive notions of identity, myths of authenticity, the fetishizing of tradition, or the resilience of constructed oppositions between tradition and modernity. Participants include Ashraf Abdallah, Senan Abdelqader, Nadia Abu-El-Haj, Mohammad al-Asad, Suad Amiry, George Arbid, Mohamed Elshahed, Yasser Elsheshtawy, Rania Ghosn, Saba Innab, Ziad Jamaleddine, Ahmed Kanna, Bernard Khoury, Laura Kurgan, Adrian Lahoud, Ali Mangera, Reinhold Martin, Magda Mostafa, Nicolai Ouroussoff, Nasser Rabbat, Hashim Sarkis, Felicity Scott, Hala Warde, Enrique Walker, Mark Wasiuta, Eyal Weizman, Mabel Wilson, and Gwendolyn Wright. Co-organized with Studio-X Amman.

Stone Men
February 14, 2020

A conversation among Andrew Ross, Kadambari Baxi, Jordan Carver, Laura Diamond Dixit, Lindsey Wikstrom, and Mabel O. Wilson.

Learn more here.
LECTURES

Marc Norman

March 2, 2020
In his talk “Prototyping Better Futures,” Norman discusses his work addressing affordability and equity in housing. Response by Hilary Sample and Bernadette Baird-Zars.

Listen to Marc Norman in Podcast episode #90

Mario Gooden

October 21, 2019
Gooden’s performance “Working on Water” is an exploration of architecture and the black ontology of water—from the ship hulls of the Middle Passage, to the segregated waters of public swimming pools and beaches during the Jim Crow era, to the contemporary conditions of forced migration due to climate change. Response by Amale Andraos.

Listen to Mario Gooden in Podcast Episode #84

Adrian Lahoud

February 27, 2019
Lahoud’s lecture, “Rights of Future Generations,” introduces the curatorial program for the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial. The project aims to radically decolonize architectural and design discourses, as well as their exhibition platforms. Response by Mark Wasiuta and Felicity Scott.

Listen to Adrian Lahoudin Podcast Episode #68

Ananya Roy

February 25, 2019
Roy talks about the city in the age of trumpism, focusing on sanctuary cities and what they tell us about space and sovereignty. In doing so, Roy is interested in interrogating both liberal inclusion and radical hospitality, thereby shifting the discussion of cosmopolitanism to what she calls the “threshold of empire.” Response by Weiping Wu.

Listen to Ananya Roy in Podcast Episode #67

Helen Leung and Elizabeth Timme

November 8, 2018
LA-Más co-founders Leung and Timme introduce the work of their Los Angeles-based non-profit urban design organization, which helps lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture. La Mas envisions a world where city growth is equitable and self-directed—where the best local solutions are brought to a city-wide scale. Response by Kate Orff.

Listen to Helen Leung and Elizabeth Timme in Podcast Episode #60

Rozana Montiel

January 22, 2018
Montiel discusses how her research-based practice is informed by everyday life in Mexico City. Her lecture addresses her efforts to “transform public space into place” and to approach design as a process. Response by Amale Andraos.

Listen to Rozana Montiel in Podcast Episode #42

Jo Noero

October 16, 2017
Noero’s lecture “Architecture in a Noisy Democracy” discusses how his work maintains local expertise and seeks to empower individuals in their environment. Highlighted projects include a chapel and house for Desmond Tutu and The Red Location Museum in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, which is designed as a tribute to the struggle against Apartheid. Response by Hilary Sample.

Listen to Rozana Montiel in Podcast Episode #31

Rosanne Haggerty

October 2, 2017
Haggerty’s lecture, “Housing Is a Verb,” is organized around a statement and two questions: (1) the process of designing housing matters; (2) who gets to design housing and the housing process?; and (3) how do we think in terms of designing community housing systems? Response by Kate Orff.

Listen to Rosanne Haggerty in Podcast Episode #29

Walter Hood

October 10, 2016
Hood presents recent projects including a landscape for Cooper Hewitt’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden in NYC, NY; Nauck Town Square in Arlington, VA—a project that honors the history of a community founded by freed African Americans prior to Emancipation; and a landscape for the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC which takes cues from the tradition of ‘hush harbors’. Response by Kate Orff.

Malo Hutson

September 20, 2016
Malo Huston discusses the inextricable link between community development and health equity. The lecture addresses the challenges and opportunities that face urban planners, designers, architects, and health professionals in their efforts to transform the built environment and support urban communities. Response by Weiping Wu.

Listen to Malo Hutson in Podcast episode #33

Joshua Bolchover and John Lin

January 25, 2016
Rural Urban Framework co-founders Bolchover and Lin introduce the work of their research and design collaborative Rural Urban Framework, which focuses on the intersection of two scales: the physical reality of architecture versus the social, political, and economic reality of urban forces. Presented projects include schools, community centers, villages, and infrastructure. Response by Amale Andraos.

Michael Maltzan

May 13, 2015
Maltzan states that, in the face of complex social, political, physical contexts such as Los Angeles, he’s come to “believe in architecture’s ability to possess a broader range of capacities and abilities that allow it to be impactful at a level of a building but also at the level of the discipline.” This lecture introduces several housing projects including New Carver Apartments, Star Apartments, and One Santa Fe housing); Playa Vista Park; and Sixth Street Viaduct. Response by Hilary Sample.

Angela Davis

November 20, 2014
In this conversation, iconic activist and scholar Angela Davis is joined by Dean Amale Andraos and Gwendolyn Wright to discuss the physical structures of incarceration, and the myriad connections between militarized policing of everyday life in the US—disproportionately affecting low-income African Americans, women, and trans populations—and Occupied Palestine today.

Marc Norman
March 2, 2020

Learn more here.

Pedagogy

Below is a selection of recent GSAPP courses and curricular initiatives that critically examine the relationship between our built environments and the in/equities they construct.

Affordable Housing Development and Policy

Ed Poteat, Spring 2020, Real Estate Development

Advanced VI Studio: Amazonia after Fitzcarraldo

Pedro Rivera, Spring 2020, Architecture

Architecture and Ethics in the Post-Truth Neoliberal Era

Nicolai Ouroussoff, Spring 2020, History/Theory

Architecture and Settler Colonialism: Territories, Infrastructures, & Institutions

Caitlin Blanchfield, Spring 2020, History/Theory

Archives of Toxicity

Mark Wasiuta, Spring 2020, History/Theory

Caribbean Reconnections: A Sustainable Future for Puerto Rico

Richard Plunz & Douglas Woodward, Spring 2020, Architecture and Urban Planning

Community Development Planning

Moira O’Neill, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Cotton Kingdom, Now

Sara Zewde, Spring 2020, Urban Design

Dark Space: Architecture Representation & Black Identity

Mario Gooden, Spring 2020, History/Theory

Designing for Zero: Housing, Mobility, Energy

Michael Bell Spring 2020, History/Theory

Gender and Architecture

Bryony Roberts, Spring 2020, History/Theory

Global Africa Lab: The Space of Water

Mario Gooden, Spring 2020, Architecture

In the Name of God: An Investigations in to a Rural Religious Settlement, NY

Ziad Jamaleddine, Spring 2020, Architecture

Introduction of Housing

Lance Freeman, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Kitchenless Stories

Anna Puigjaner, Spring 2020, Architecture

On Spatial Exclusion and Planning

Hiba Bou Akar, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Public Space: Rhetorics of the Pedestrian

David Smiley, Spring 2020, Urban Design

Red Hook, Brooklyn: Equitable Resilience through Preservation

Erica Avrami, Spring 2020, Historic Preservation

Reimagining Porta Genova Station Area in Milan/Meatpacking Bid for COVID Recovery

Weiping Wu and Francesco Rossini, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Spatial Inequity: Subaltern Urbanism

Anupama Rao & Ana P Lee, Spring 2020, Interdisciplinary

Sustaining Access and Mobility in Cities

Jitendra Bajpai, Spring 2020, Urban Planning

Affordable Housing Finance Techniques

Richard Froehlich, Fall 2019, Real Estate Development

Affordable Housing in High Demand Cities

Purnima Kapur, Adam Weinstein, Fall 2019, Urban Planning

A Building of one’s own: Feminist Perspectives of Architectural Practice, History, and Criticism

Eva Hagberg, Fall 2019, History/Theory

Advanced V Studio: Urban Futures/Future Architectures USA 3.0

Mabel Wilson, Fall 2019, Architecture

Advanced V Studio: Pedagogy in the Postcolony, A Women’s College in Urban Rwanda

Sharon Davis & Tyler Survant, Fall 2019, Architecture

Advanced V Studio: De-fencing the Mosque: Investigation into Rural Religious Edifices and Settlements of Djerba Island

Ziad Jamaleddine, Fall 2019, Architecture

Architecture and Human Rights

Felicity Scott, Fall 2019, Fall 2018, History/Theory

Community Outreach and Engagement: A Harlem Practicum

Maxine Griffith, Victoria Mason-Ailey, Flores Forbes, Fall 2019, Urban Planning

Core III Housing Studio

Hilary Sample (Coordinator), Daisy Ames, Eric Bunge, Benjamin Cadena, Gabriela Etchegaray, Adam Frampton, Mario Gooden, Galia Solomonoff, Fall 2019, Architecture

Difference and Design

Justin Moore, Fall 2019, Urban Design

Heritage and Sustainable Urbanization: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Erica Avrami and Will Raynolds, Fall 2019, Historic Preservation and Urban Planning

Preservation Planning and Policy

Erica Avrami, Fall 2019, Historic Preservation

Theory of City Form

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Fall 2019, Urban Design

RESEARCH

Recent and ongoing research initiatives at GSAPP are highlighted below. Learn more here.
The Circular City
Urban Community & Health Equity Lab
This project is an exploratory project building off the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s research on examining how cities can embed circular economy practices into their urban operations. Specifically, this project attempts to better understand the positive impacts of technological investments, policies, and practices around the built environment; urban mobility; and food systems.
Global_Hutson_3.jpg
The Lab team, in conversations with partners, developed the spring 2020 research into a multi-part business plan: “(Re) coding Walkups.” The business plan lays out an integrated case for innovative and feasible interventions in the existing stock of New York City, with a focus on existing walkups that do not receive subsidies but that house low-income households.
Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 7.28.56 PM.png
With the research project and installation “Im/mobility and the Afro Imaginary” the lab continues to examine the intersections of mobility, race, and liberation in cities across the diaspora.
GAL_Immobility_Munich_16.jpg

PUBLICATIONS and EXHIBITIONS

GSAPP Publications and Exhibitions amplify the school’s discourse on equity through criticism, scholarship, new commissions, and curatorial projects. A selection is featured below.
A Selection of Articles from the Avery Review


Also see the related thematic pages for GSAPP’s work on Climate and Data & Design.
ARCH_Sample_AlexandrosPrince-Wright_YoonwonKang_FA18_04_Zoomed-InAxonometric.jpg
Homepage Image Credit: Alexandros Prince-Wright and Yoonwon Kang ‘20 MArch