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New York_Global Book Launch with Professor Emeritus Richard Plunz

Tue, Mar 19    6pm

Join us for an evening panel discussion with Prof. Emeritus Richard Plunz about his new book, New York_Global: Critical Writings and Proposals 1970-2020. The discussion will be moderated by Dean Andrés Jaque, with GSAPP faculty Kate Ascher, Michael Bell, Adam Lubinsky, Reinhold Martin and Mary McLeod.

The event will be followed by a reception and the opportunity to purchase New York_Global.

On the eve of Plunz’s status as Emeritus at Columbia University, New York_Global bridges five decades of his pedagogical commitment to question the canons of the design and urbanism fields and their relationship to the contemporary built environment. Global urbanization serves as a backdrop for a heightened consideration of the intermingling of housing, infrastructure, and pedagogy, as he negotiates the evolution of mainstream theory and praxis in architecture and planning.

Through interviews, syllabi excerpts, essays, discussions, and projects, New York City is projected as a lens for understanding the potential for metropolises everywhere to serve as firewalls against dystopic social inequities and ecological adversity. In questioning the discourse surrounding urban research and action, Plunz engages with the primordial question of “urban” itself. This book is not a cautionary tale, but rather an assemblage of timestamped evidence toward understanding our current condition. Closely studying the very tools that have fostered today’s environmental and societal consequences, each segment contributes to understanding engagement with a post-accelerated future.

Much of the material found in New York_Global originates at Richard’s long association with Columbia University and engages New York City as the primary test bed for ideas and projects.


Richard Plunz is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where he has served as Chair of the Division of Architecture and Director of the post-professional Urban Design Program. He was also an Earth Institute Professor and Founding Director of the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab. He has been a frequent guest professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. He is known for a wide range of urban research, development and design projects both nationally and internationally, with a particular expertise in urban infrastructure and housing fabric. He is the author of many articles, studies, and reports on urban development and ecology, including a revised edition of his pioneering study, A History of Housing in New York City (Columbia 1990) republished in 2016.

Kate Ascher is a Professor of Professional Practice and holds the Paul Milstein Professorship of Urban Development at Columbia GSAPP, where she teaches real estate development, infrastructure, urban history and planning courses. Her academic interests range widely, from waterfront planning and transit-oriented development to public infrastructure and building sustainability. She founded Buro Happold’s Cities group in the US, and served as partner with the firm for a decade; earlier, she oversaw major infrastructure and master planning projects for the City of New York (EDC) and Port Authority and worked in the private sector managing the structuring and entitlement of large public-private developments. Kate is the author of several books on urban infrastructure and development, including The Works: Anatomy of a City, The Politics of Privatisation and The Way to Go: Moving by Sea, Land and Air, The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper, and New York Rising.

Michael Bell Professor of Architecture at Columbia GSAPP. Bell’s architectural design has been commissioned by MoMA and is included in the permanent collection of SFMoMA. His Binocular House is included in American Masterwork Houses of the 20th and 21st Century by Kenneth Frampton. His books include Engineered Transparency; 16 Houses; Space Replaces Us; Slow Space; and 8 Minutes, 20 Seconds: Housing After Banking, Encrypting the Sun (Actar, Spring 2024) with Eunjeong Seong. Bell has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Rice University and held visiting professorships at Harvard University, the University of Michigan as the Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architecture, and at Berkeley as the Howard A. Friedman Professor of Practice in Architecture. Bell is a former Fellow of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. During 2016 Bell was Visiting Professor at the Stanford University, School of Engineering / Center for Design Research. Bell received a Master of Architecture degree from Berkeley.

Adam Lubinsky, AICP, PhD, is a partner and principal at WXY Studio and a an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University. Adam develops strategic visions and framework plans for public, private developer, not-for-profit and institutional clients, and he has created new practice areas that address mobility, education and economic development using data analysis, design and new forms of community engagement. Adam holds a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University and a PhD in planning from the University College London. Adam is a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum and is a frequent speaker on urban issues. Adam has been a visiting faculty member at Cornell University, the New School and the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Reinhold Martin is a historian of architecture and media. From early work on the history of corporate architecture in the United States to recent work on universities as media complexes, Martin has studied the material and cognitive infrastructures of cultural, technological, and political-economic modernity. His first book, The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (2003), showed how architecture, the visual arts, cybernetics, and the social sciences formed an organizing nexus within the post-World War II military-industrial complex. His second book, Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (2010), showed how the postmodern injunction against structural change, derived from this corporate complex, failed fully to exorcise the architectural “ghosts” of utopian thought and praxis. Shifting scales, The Urban Apparatus: Mediapolitics and the City (2016) charts a mediapolitics of the contemporary city in a series of essays on the infrastructures of global urbanization. Most recently, Knowledge Worlds: Media, Materiality, and the Making of the Modern University (2021) reconstructs the uneven transition from liberal to neoliberal reason across two centuries in colleges and universities in the United States, as a history of boundaries and figures of thought drawn and redrawn by media complexes.

Mary McLeod is a Professor of Architecture at Columbia GSAPP, where she teaches architecture history and theory, and occasionally studio. She has also taught at Harvard University, University of Kentucky, University of Miami and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. Her research and publications have focused on the history of the modern movement and on contemporary architecture theory, examining issues concerning the connections between architecture and ideology.