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GSAPP Incubator – Design and Entrepreneurship

Fri, Nov 3, 2017    1pm

GSAPP Incubator – Design and Entrepreneurship

Current and former members of the GSAPP Incubator discuss the work that they have undertaken within the school’s initiative to support recent alumni developing experimental new work. Functioning as a platform for entrepreneurship and expanded modes of practice, the GSAPP Incubator located at NEW INC is a launch pad for new ideas and projects about architecture, culture, and the city.

Liz McEnaney ‘04 MSHP, Executive Director, SS Columbia Project
Alejandra Navarrete Llopis '11 MSAAD, Principal, Nami Studio, and Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute
Lauren Johnson and Ryan Day '16 M.Arch, Co-Founders, QSPACE
Bika Rebek '15 MSCCCP, Principal, Studio SibilaSoon, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, GSAPP

In conversation with
David Benjamin M.Arch '05, Assistant Professor and Director, GSAPP Incubator
Dominic Leong MSAAD '03, Adjunct Assistant Professor, GSAPP
Tei Carpenter, Adjunct Assistant Professor, GSAPP
Karen Wong, Deputy Director, New Museum, and Adjunct Professor, GSAPP


Liz McEnaney is an architectural historian and preservationist who works with not-for-profit organizations, foundations and private corporations to curate exhibitions and spearhead large-scale projects focused on urban issues. Her projects range in location from the Hudson River to the Red Fort in New Delhi, India to Maputo, Mozambique. She has collaborated with institutions and clients including the Kress Foundation, the World Monuments Fund, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Museum of the City of New York, the Hudson River Foundation, Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative, and Pentagram Design. She was a co-founder of BLDG BLOK, a collaborative of artists, historians and programmers focusing on urban history. Prior to this she was the Executive Director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation and worked for artist Maya Lin’s What is Missing? Foundation. McEnaney is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. She earned an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and graduated from Wellesley College.

Alejandra Navarrete Llopis is an architect and was chief curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016 together with After Belonging Agency. Navarrete was trained at ETSAMadrid and IUAVenezia, and graduated from the MSc in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia University GSAPP, where she has been Adjunct Assistant Professor. She is the principal of NaMi, an architecture design and curatorial office working in Europe and in the US in public and private projects, including the exhibition design for the Iberoamerican Art Museum of Alcalá de Henares University. Previously, she co-founded PKMN, a research based architect’s collective, focused on the role of art and architecture to articulate how the citizen transforms the contemporary urban environments. PKMN has been widely awarded, published and exhibited as in Fresh Latino and Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York. She has also collaborated with different design offices as Solid Arquitectura, receiving several prizes and honorable mentions including the first prize for the Performing Arts Center International Competition in Seoul, and for the “Aguila-Alcatel” Apartment Building in Madrid, exhibited in the Spanish Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

QSPACE makes questions of gender and sexuality visible to a field that has traditionally subverted such questions. In the absence of a centralized voice, QSPACE is a hub for students, professionals, and academics to connect and collaborate. QSPACE produces research and outputs on topics such as gender inclusive bathroom design, LGBTQ homelessness and housing, and queer histories in architecture. QSPACE is a platform for research projects by students and professionals working on queerness in the built environment. We push for organized action through exhibitions, publications, digital archiving, design guidelines, and events on queer topics. QSPACE was born out of Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP), an LGBTQ group from Columbia University.

Bika Rebek’s work at the GSAPP Incubator questions the relationship between museums and technology using the Incubator as a testing ground for collaborative models between institutional structures and communities engaged in the research of novel digital technique. Projects range from streamlining exhibition design processes to fostering discourse and publishing on the use and display of computing in museum practice. She is an architect practicing within heterogeneous formats–as an integral part of her work performances, installations and writing act as catalysts for open ended thinking about architectural production. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia GSAPP and a principal at Studio SibilaSoon. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Fast Company and her writing published in The Architect’s Newspaper, Bartlett’s Lobby magazine, and the Estonian architectural newspaper Maja. Rebek has worked at The Met as an Exhibition Designer with special focus on the Met Breuer. Previously she has worked for Asymptote Architecture in New York as well as a number of architecture offices internationally.

Karen Wong is the Deputy Director of the New Museum, where she co-founded the initiatives IDEAS CITY (2010), a residency and conference exploring the future of cities with the belief that art and culture are essential to our metropolises, and NEW INC (2014), the first museum-led incubator for art, technology and design. As managing director of Adjaye Associates from 2000-2006 she helped build the foundation for an international architectural practice. She supports emerging architects in her role as a board member of Plus Pool (a self-cleaning floating public pool proposed for the East River) and a retired board member of Storefront for Art and Architecture. She sits on the boards of Rhizome, a platform for emergent artistic practices that engage technology and Apex for Youth, a mentoring and education program for under-served Asians. She also serves on the advisory council of National Sawdust, a nonprofit performance venue focused on new music. She graduated magna cum laude at Brown University with dual BA in Art History and Art Practice.

Free and open to the public.
Organized by Columbia GSAPP.