Launched in 2015, the GSAPP Incubator supports GSAPP alumni in their development of new ideas and projects about architecture, contemporary culture, and the future of the city. With the upcoming closing of the New Museum’s NEW INC space at 231 Bowery, where the GSAPP Incubator was an anchor tenant for the past four years, the initiative will be redeveloped during the coming years. During this transitional period, Columbia GSAPP will maintain its commitment to supporting innovative alumni-led projects by offering direct financial support to selected recipients. During the 2019–2020 cycle, this GSAPP Incubator Prize (the “Prize”) awarded six alumni prizes of $10,000 to advance their projects and support new forms of engaged practice.
The Prize encourages a wide range of experiments initiated by Columbia GSAPP graduates, while focusing on a specific topic of inquiry each year. The 2019-2020 cycle is dedicated to Climate Change at the Building Scale and seeks projects that advance environmental concerns in architecture and its related fields. As a platform for entrepreneurship and expanded modes of practice, the Prize supports projects that bridge critical discourse and active practice and engagement. The recipients are Greta Hansen, ’09 MARCH; Dan Luo, ’14 MARCH; Eugenia Manwelyan, ’11 MSUP; Adam Marcus, ’05 MARCH; Stephen Mueller, ’06 MSAAD; and Anahid Simitian, ’15 MSAAD. Collectively, their projects reflect the breadth of approaches bridging critical discourse and active practice, with which Columbia GSAPP’s alumni community engages this pressing issue.
Operating within the broader ecosystem of Columbia GSAPP’s commitment to new forms of design research and practice, GSAPP Incubator Prize recipients will convene at the School for discussions and exchanges throughout their one-year award period, and will present their work at the School at the end of the academic year.
The GSAPP Incubator was founded by Dean Amale Andraos to provide recent graduates with a collaborative environment to explore new ideas and projects at the intersection of culture, technology and the city. Located in the heart of the downtown creative scene at 231 Bowery from 2014 until 2019, the GSAPP Incubator was an anchor tenant of NEW INC., the first museum-led cultural incubator for art, technology, and design founded by the New Museum.
It blends a professional setting and a culture of entrepreneurship with the communal creative energy and rigorous discourse experienced by students during their time at GSAPP. The program expands the territory between academia and the profession, and it allows members to share experiences and skills while building their professional networks and connecting to critical issues in New York and beyond. A unique university-led initiative, the GSAPP Incubator spans multiple disciplines and draws on the strengths of the school, its faculty, the resources of the New Museum and NEW INC, and the proximity to Lower Manhattan’s technology industry.
Directed by Assistant Professor David Benjamin, the co-working space encourages discovery and open exchange among a diverse group of participants who are engaging in topics and interdisciplinary methods that expand the possibilities of architecture. It supports experimental and alternative modes of practice that encompass both research and production. During the first four years, member groups have developed a variety of cutting-edge projects involving virtual reality and digital technology, critical discourse and publishing, civic issues and public spaces, urban regeneration, emergency response, and more.
Michelle Young (‘12 MSUP) of Untapped Cities speaks with four recent members of the GSAPP Incubator: Mustafa Faruki (‘10 M.Arch), Nile Greenberg ('16 M.Arch), Marcelo López-Dinardi ('13 MSCCCP), and Jieun Yang ('08 M.Arch). They discuss their experiences working at the Incubator over the past year, and the challenges and opportunities facing architecture students and practitioners within the current cultural and economic landscape.