(The event follows the final review of the Fall semester studio in the urban design program with a focus on the Hudson Valley)
From drinking water, to fresh agricultural produce, to stone, cement, and other construction materials, the Hudson Valley provides much of the resources feeding the dense metropolitan areas of New York City and Albany. The valley is also a popular destination for city-dwellers, with myriad weekend activities, hiking trails, and art venues and increasingly a refuge for artists and other professionals priced out of New York City. This entangled relationship establishes a mutual, if sometimes uneven dependency consisting of a range of activities, where resources and goods are extracted and utilized as part of the ever-present circulation of physical and non-physical capital.
Framed by the work of several years of urban design studios at Columbia GSAPP in the Hudson Valley, the event will provide an opportunity to discuss logics of extraction, dependency and action. The panel will focus on material and non-material systems of water, transportation, agriculture, waste, of goods and artifacts, that are not merely built, but are active agents of social and economic impact – directing opportunities, shaping perceptions of communities, shaping social mobility.
Lee Altman ‘08 MSAUD, AIA, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Co-Coordinator of the Regional Urban Design Studio at Columbia GSAPP and Associate at SCAPE Landscape Architecture
Justin G. Moore '04 M.Arch/MSAUD, AICP, Adjunct Associate Professor, Co-Coordinator of the Regional Urban Design Studio at Columbia GSAPP and Executive Director of the Public Design Commission
Lize Mogel, Interdisciplinary Artist and Counter-cartographer
Naomi Herrson-Ringskog '09 MSUP, AICP, Founder, Department of Small Interventions
Caitlin Taylor, RA, Design Director, MASS Design Group
Alexander J. Felson, MLA, PhD , Director, Urban Ecology & Design Lab, Yale School of Architecture
Moderated by Kaja Kühl '02 MSUP, Director, Hudson Valley Initiative at Columbia GSAPP
Lee Altman is an architect and urban designer, and an associate at SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design practice. She draws on her experience in city government as well as her past work with designers, artists, scientists, and public health professionals to form a multifaceted perspective in managing urban design and infrastructure projects. Prior to joining SCAPE, Lee worked for New York City’s Department of Design and Construction, where she coordinated the efforts of over 20 city agencies improving health through the design of public buildings and infrastructure, and promoted high-quality public design through the Design and Construction Excellence program. She is co-chair of the Design Trust for Public Space Fellows Forum, and a member of the Advisory Committee of Transportation Alternatives. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia GSAPP, where she coordinates the regional urban design studio.
Justin Garrett Moore is an urban designer and the executive director of the NYC Public Design Commission. He has extensive experience in urban planning and design—from large-scale urban systems, policies, and projects to grassroots and community-based planning, design, and arts initiatives. At the Public Design Commission his work is focused on prioritizing quality and excellence for the public realm, and fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in public buildings, spaces, and art. He is a member of the American Planning Association’s AICP Commission, the Urban Design Forum, Next City’s Vanguard, Columbia University GSAPP’s adjunct faculty, and a co-founder of Urban Patch.
Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist and counter-cartographer, using maps and mappings to bring spatial justice issues to the surface. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles, future territorial disputes in the Arctic, and water infrastructure in and around New York City. Lize has presented her work nationally and internationally, in exhibitions including the Sharjah (U.A.E.), Gwangju (South Korea) and Pittsburgh Biennials, “Greater New York” (PS1, New York City), “Experimental Geography,” and “Diagrams of Power” (OCAD, Toronto). She is co-editor of "An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism.
Naomi Hersson-Ringskog specializes in arts-based projects that foster community engagement and urban revitalization. In 2016, she launched Dept of Small Interventions (DoSI) that amplifies cultural assets, galvanizes collaborations, and builds social infrastructure in cities. The organic approach integrates small interventions into community development and planning goals. Current projects include Frederick Douglass in Newburgh and Building Shells project. Prior to that Naomi co-founded and was executive director of No Longer Empty, an award winning non-profit that repurposed vacant properties with site-responsive art exhibitions, teen educational programs, and community engagement in New York City. Naomi earned her Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University with a focus on urban sustainability. She is founding trustee of Awesome Newburgh Foundation, board member of No Longer Empty, advisory member to Institute for Public Architecture, and a fellow at the Urban Design Forum. She co-chairs the American Planning Association’s Arts & Culture committee. Other affiliations include Coro New York and Storm King Art Center’s Council.
Caitlin Taylor joined MASS Design Group in early 2018. As an architect with a background in organic agriculture, she brings to the firm an interdisciplinary focus on food justice, agriculture, and food systems. She is currently working on projects based in Boston, Hartford, and the Hudson Valley Design Lab. Prior to joining MASS, Caitlin directed an independent practice focused on water infrastructure. In this capacity, she was recipient of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction Gold Prize for her work on urban flood control in Las Vegas.
Caitlin lives with her family in East Haddam, Connecticut, where they own and operate an organic vegetable and cut flower farm. She has taught advanced architecture studios at the Yale School of Architecture and Columbia Graduate School for Architecture, Planning & Preservation, and previously worked at firms in New York City and Connecticut. Caitlin studied biochemistry at Wesleyan University and received her Masters of Architecture from Yale School of Architecture. She is a registered architect with licenses in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Alexander J. Felson is an associate Professor at Yale University, a senior certified ecologist and a registered landscape architect. He founded the Urban Ecology and Design Lab (www.uedlab.org) and runs Ecopolitan Design. The firm and lab integrate applied ecology with landscape architecture and urban design focusing on climate adaptation, green infrastructure and resilient ecosystems. Felson pioneers coastal green infrastructure in Connecticut and around the country, including, Florida and California. Felson was the lead designer for Connecticut’s HUD National Resilience Disaster Competition (awarded 54 million) and served as a core member on the Hurricane Sandy initiative, Rebuild by Design in Bridgeport, CT (awarded 10 million). He recently completed a role as a core member of the San Francisco’s Permaculture + Social Equity team working on Resilient by Design. Felson works on coastal resilience planning extensively for the State of Connecticut and serves as a State Advisor through the “State Agencies for Resilience” executive order (SAFR). He recently completed the Regional Resilience Framework Plan with the Nature Conservancy and is currently collaborating on a municipal economic planning tool to evaluate and prioritize alternative scenarios for coastal adaptation. Prior to these efforts, Felson built bioretention gardens in Bridgeport, CT through a community process. Designed as experiments for research as well as public gardens for an underserved neighborhood, the site serves as a test bed for public involvement and adaptive management. Felson integrates ecological research using designed experiments to study, adapt and reshape human settlements in response to pressing sustainability challenges.
Kaja Kühl is the director of the Hudson Valley Initiative at Columbia University GSAPP, an effort to pursue research and design projects that enhance the built and natural environment in the region by expanding social impact design, research and scholarship beyond the classroom. In this capacity, she manages outreach and engagement with communities and organizations in the Hudson Valley. She is the founder of youarethecity, a research, design and planning practice focused on creating dialogue about the urban environment. Informed by the belief that everyone has agency in shaping their own environment, youarethecity collaborates with institutions, individuals and non-profit organizations to produce maps, diagrams, writings, designs, websites, events and exhibitions about urban spaces. Kaja received her Diploma in Architecture from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia GSAPP.