2016 Summer Workshops

Heritage, Tourism, and Urbanization in Lalibela, Ethiopia

July 23 - July 31, 2016

Led by Erica Avrami and William Raynolds

The workshop is conceived as a precursor to a Fall 2016 Advanced Studio (joint HP/UP) that will evaluate the change and urban growth around the Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela (a World Heritage Site) since international efforts to conserve the churches first began in the mid-1960s. The workshop is intended to provide an assessment of current conditions surrounding the site. Specific objectives include: A rapid survey to characterize and assess relationships among the protected heritage site, buffer zone, and growing urban landscape; meetings with stakeholders (government, religious community, tourism industry, university, etc.) to evaluate perspectives and visions for the future of Lalibela; the identification of key issues that may be positively or negatively impacting the heritage values of the site and the long-term quality of life within the Lalibela community. Deliverables of the workshop include an illustrated report of findings as well as the survey data.

Rue Hamra, A Case of Urban Resilience in Beirut, Lebanon

August 5 - 19, 2016

Led by Ziad Jamaleddine and Makram el Kadi

Hamra Street in Beirut (Rue Hamra) was born and grew almost without warning in the late 1950s, in the absence of any municipal plan for development. The point of departure was the construction of a modern office building, the first building with a curtain wall system at the time, and with a famous sidewalk cafe at its base, the Horseshoe. In the heydays of the 1960s and 70s, Hamra Street was a hub for leftist cultural and political intellectuals. In the 1980s, in the middle of the civil war, Hamra Street lost its commercial power, but with its proximity to AUB, it endured as a liberal permissive place for mixed religious communities in a city fractured along its sectarian lines. In the post war decade of the 90s and early 2000, Hamra Street, with its affordable commercial stores and food outlets, continued as a destination for middle class Beiruties. Since the late 2000, Hamra Street has witnessed more than one false prediction of its eventual demise due to the gradual closure of its famous cafes, regional conflicts, market pressure and the rise of competing ‘fashionable’ streets. But the street kept on reincarnating itself in new forms and with new hopeful prospect. The workshop aims to map and document Hamra Street. The objective is to excavate, through drawing representational technique, its birth and evolution, and uncover the physical and spatial backbone that made it survive years of change and conflicts. The final output will be one large continuous oblique drawing of Rue Hamra, produced by the students as a group and exhibited at several venues, including the Arab Center for Architecture, Beirut.

Generously supported by Maha Arakji Kutay '94.

Immediate Shelter - Sustainable Neighborhood in Berlin, Germany

August 10 - August 12, 2016 (in NY) August 14 - August 21, 2016 (in Berlin)

Led by Kaja Kühl

Germany has taken in over 1 million refugees in 2015 primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Every day another 3,000 arrive at the borders. To accommodate them, new models for temporary and permanent shelter are needed. In the city of Berlin, already experiencing a housing shortage, the large tower-in-the-park housing estates built in the second half of the 20th century provide an opportunity to rethink the terms of refugee shelters as a stepping stone to revitalized and denser neighborhoods. Using modular construction methods, city government and the public housing authorities are hoping to provide low-cost and quickly deployable solutions that are more durable than tents and containers and can become integral parts of the neighborhood in the long term. The workshop will investigate how these models could evolve over time, whether they contribute to the future development of tower-in-the park living, how modular construction methods can be used (again) to provide decent contemporary housing opportunities fast for a variety of residents and household sizes, whether additional uses should be incorporated for a successful integration of refugee populations and ultimately an upgrade of the existing tower-in-the-park neighborhood, and if the workshop could serve as a prototype for such uses that bring local residents and refugees together.

Cher: Sharing Economies In Copenhagen, Denmark

June 19 - June 26, 2016

Led by Caitlin Blanchfield, Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Leah Meisterlin

As part of Cher, an In-Residence project for the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale core program, the workshop will contribute to the development of a prototype mobile application through research into home-sharing platforms and public spaces in Copenhagen. Cher is a digital platform—a prototype-as-provocation, allowing visitors and users to reserve or rent objects by the minute—produced through community-driven methods of historical and place-based research, focused on identifying untapped opportunities and existing problems within sharing-economy social platforms for changing urban environments. Students will work with local community groups, such as the Copenhagen chapter of the International Federation on Housing and Planning, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen University’s department of Media, Cognition, and Communication, and residential coalitions to assess the ramifications of the so-called sharing economy, identify ways in which a digital platform might transform domestic habits, and locate public spaces in the city to nominate for “sharing.” Students will help to test an alpha version of the application through workshops with these constituent groups and by using Cher themselves.

Micro-Networks of Istanbul's Streets, Turkey

May 15 - May 30, 2016

Led by Phu Hoang

The “Micro-Networks of Istanbul’s Streets” workshop will research and reveal the urban identity of Tophane, a dynamic neighborhood in Istanbul that includes the GSAPP’s Studio-X facility. The neighborhood—home to Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and Roma and Muslim immigrants—has historically had a multiethnic composition. Embedded within this multicultural mix are street-based micro-scale economic networks essential to Tophane’s everyday life. These networks exist beneath the surface but are integral to the neighborhood’s everyday life and identity, from corner shops (bakkal) that sell goods to residents using buckets lowered from above to semi-clandestine urban recycling networks to the extensive community of food cart hawkers. The workshop will ask students to conduct “live research” of the micro-scale urban networks in Tophane through video interviews, research diagrams, and design drawings. Their research will generate proposals for design interventions in the micro-networks, which will be similarly small-scale and will imagine possible futures as Tophane transforms with the rest of the city. Both the research and design proposals will be exhibited in Studio-X Istanbul and will become part of a workshop publication.

Generously supported by Bilgili Holding.

Envisioning a NYC Tech Corridor

August 1 - August 14, 2016

Led by Patrice Derrington

The workshop will envision a “technology corridor” that connects the existing Columbia University campuses, biotech research and other such facilities in the neighborhood of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Starting with a spatial-economic analysis of the existing nodes of tech research, potential strategies for the urban evolution of the neighborhood are to be proposed, with such strategies utilizing urban planning and policy constructs (such as zoning, funding incentives, employment & housing programs, design directives, etc.) to encourage and orchestrate private development. These proposals will be subjected to design, economic and social evaluations. The workshop will combine planning policy and design solutions with financial analysis and possibly exhibit the final proposals with the engagement of the New York State EDC.

Professor Patrice Derrington's workshop is made possible in part through a prestigious grant from the Columbia University Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion.

Housing the Majority in Baishizhou Village, Shenzhen, China

August 3 - August, 27 2016

Led by Jeffrey Johnson and Adam Frampton

During Summer 2016, Studio-X Beijing will take on the question of Housing the Majority through the intense study and observation of Baishizhou, an urban village in Shenzhen, China. The research will provide an opportunity to redefine the terms of discourse and to expand the discussion around critical challenges confronting the city today. Moreover, the work allows GSAPP students and faculty to come together with Woods Bagot global designers to inspire innovative and emerging forms of housing for the future. This site-specific study will further consider how housing can evolve in order to address emerging criteria, particularly inequality. Other critical questions will also be considered that might more directly affect design and a potential typological reinvention.

Generously supported by Woods Bagot.