Planning for the 2015 Series is underway…

The Policy & The City Panel Discussion video is now available on our vimeo page. Flashback to April 2014. 

The LS 2014 video of the Tom Leader Lecture is now available for your viewing pleasure.

*Visit our Vimeo Page to see both videos from this year and years prior. 

https://vimeo.com/aiabaltimorelectures

The Video of Winy Maas’s March 26th lecture is now available! Enjoy!

On March 26, the AIA Baltimore Lecture Series committee is honored to welcome Professor Winy Maas Ir. Ing. FRIBA HFAIA, as a speaker on the topic Resilient City. Maas co-founded the globally renowned architecture and urban planning firm, MVDRV with, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries in 1993.

The firm located in Rotterdam, quickly gained acclaim as an international design powerhouse not only for the visual intrigue of their work, but also for the thoughtfulness of each project. Many of their projects meet urban complexities of all scales, and strive to “produce instead of consume space.”

Developing original solutions often responding to rigid constraints and specific needs, MVRDV’s volume of work demonstrates the firm’s ability to find unique solutions to architectural problems. The principles of MVRDV are centered around concepts of efficient density and multifunctional design and result in projects of all scales.  For example their Market Hall project was recently listed by CNN as one of the top ten architectural structures to be completed in 2014. MVRDV describes the project as “a fully integrated, sustainable combination of food, leisure, living and parking to celebrate and enhance the synergetic possibilities of the different functions.”

MVRDV’s values are a reflection of Winy Maas’ dynamic education and his career experiences. He initially graduated with a Landscape Architecture degree from RHSTL in Boskoop. Subsequently, Maas completed two concurrent Master’s degrees in Architecture and Urban Design and Planning at the Technical University of Delft.  He is now a professor and Founding Director of The Why Factory, a research institute for the future city, at the Technical University of Delft.

As a highly regarded academic researcher and practitioner, Winy Maas is heavily involved in numerous planning and development initiatives. He sits on many boards and juries, including the Economic Development Board of Rotterdam, the Spatial Quality Boards of both Rotterdam and Barcelona, and the boards of the Netherlands National Planning Office and Netherlands National Design Group.  

Winy Maas could certainly be described as a renaissance man: He is an architect, researcher, professor, author, theorist, activist, lecturer, critic and juror. His research focuses predominantly on the advancement of cities and urban occupations of the future.

Maas’ persistent effort to marry all realms of architecture, practice, research, academia,

public discourse, and critical analysis ideally suits him as a speaker in our series. Join us March 26th in the Brown Center at MICA as we host Winy Maas and learn more about his life and career. Find more information atwww.mvrdv.com and www.thewhyfactory.com

For all those attended and avoided our cameras during receptions like the plague! This is what we were up to…Audience Reactions to the Mindy Fullilove Lecture. 

The Video of Mindy Fullilove’s March 12th lecture is now available! Enjoy! 

Kicking off this year’s lecture series on March 12 is Dr. Mindy Fullilove, a board-certified psychiatrist in New York City. The root of Fullilove’s work is derived from her interests in the correlation between mental health and the environment, particularly in cities. Having studied a range of negative and positive processes occurring in various societies around the country, Fullilove’s extensive research and knowledge will likely shed light on familiar, yet often swept-under-the-rug, situations in our own city of Baltimore. Fullilove is a professor at Columbia University, and an author of numerous articles and books, such as “Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities.” Her use of the phrase “sorted-out cities” refers to the unintentional, yet shockingly perpetual, separation of different cultures and economic statuses that continues to occur in most cities. It is an active, destructive process that tears apart our society, according to Fullilove. Her discourse suggests that a comprehensive effort is required by every neighborhood, not just the distressed ones, to create a healthy and vibrant city.

Lectures abound in this city - June 5th, 7pm @5603 N. Charles St. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr’s Role in Planning Baltimore over 40 Years. An Illustrated Lecture by David. R. Holden, the Urban Planner and Historian. Event presented by Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes Inc.
[map via OlmstedMaryland.org]


David R. Holden, retired urban planner and landscape architect now living in Northampton, MA, was a resident of the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore for 28 years. A co-founder in 1983 of the Friends of Wyman Park Dell— the Dell remains one of the finest examples of Olmsted park design principles in Baltimore. He was also co-founder of the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks and Landscapes. Currently, David is writing a full length, comprehensive overview of the professional life of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and his role in reshaping much of early 20th century America (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Lectures abound in this city - June 5th, 7pm @5603 N. Charles St. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr’s Role in Planning Baltimore over 40 Years. An Illustrated Lecture by David. R. Holden, the Urban Planner and Historian. Event presented by Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes Inc.

[map via OlmstedMaryland.org]

image

David R. Holden, retired urban planner and landscape architect now living in Northampton, MA, was a resident of the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore for 28 years. A co-founder in 1983 of the Friends of Wyman Park Dell— the Dell remains one of the finest examples of Olmsted park design principles in Baltimore. He was also co-founder of the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks and Landscapes. Currently, David is writing a full length, comprehensive overview of the professional life of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and his role in reshaping much of early 20th century America (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Op-Ed: The Resilient City Part III
By Cedric Al Kazzi


“I am ……………”
“I design …………”
“The best example of resilience in Baltimore is ……………..…..”

I was given a slip of paper to fill out at each AIA lecture this spring. By the end of each lecture I hadsometimes managed to define myself, but was never able to complete the rest. Whatis resiliency? And what do I consider to be resilient?

Is resiliency a natural phenomenon? It is an innate characteristic of all natural elements and creatures. It is usually attributed to reactions rather than actions, maintaining continuity and ensuring survival. Resilient is also a comparative adjective since it could vary in levels from one state to another and from one described element to another. Although cities are not directly natural organisms; they are overlays and agglomerations of micro and macro networks of natural organisms ensuring its functionality. Hence, resiliency is truly inherent within the daily operation of any city.

“We have to change how we operate and be proactive - it’s cliche - but we have enough examples showing the need to do just that…[on being designers in this day and age]”
-Dan Pitera, Lecture 4.2

Why are some cities more resilient than others? Can we enhance or facilitate resilience? No matter what scale the task is, from urban interventions to product design, we should work towards making its default or primary setting favorable for resilience: a framework that is amorphous and can transform by absorbing contextual needs and data into a solution. 

Resiliency as a form is evasive; it’s hard to discern as its actively occurring. The first reactions might even be disregarded for it might be a direct causality and lack the spontaneous character. The French philosopher, Deleuze recommends deep observation as the next step in the design process - A crucial step that may take seconds or even years.  The immediate/direct change we notice in the environment has to be carefully studied and we must be careful not to rush the process by labeling it resilient too quickly.

In a social experiment, the secret ingredient for emergence is people. Resiliency is then a product of instigators/curators and the spontaneity of organic matters. Mindy Fullilove in her talk, stressed the major potential of the community and its role in shaping its environment. And then she questioned the subsequent role of this environment in relation to resiliency. 

”How does a space become a trigger for rebirth you may ask?” A great example of spatial resiliency is Midan al tahrir: A traffic circle in Cairo, Egypt, that transformed overnight into the focal point of the Egyptian Revolution. Lefebvre talks about the power of people and the appropriation of space to shape none-spaces into incubators for resiliency.

“Inequity in society undermines the whole society.”
- Mindy Fullilove, Lecture 3.12

We are witnessing the tip of the power structure being replaced by a wider and more specialized group.As for the base, we now find a more educated and diverse population with an easier vertical jump between classes and ranks. Both ends are interconnected by social media as their common ground.

Accordingly, a bottom-up approach is more likely to get the project accomplished since a crowd-driven design process would ensure continuity and a more transparent structure. This approach brings together a more diversified process that merges with closely extracted data to result in alternative solutions. Through this ‘fostering’ environment, the product, whatever it is, faces at every step of the process a multiplicity of tracks that adds complexity and completeness. Our job as curators or moderators, is to ensure the continuity of the environments that are more favorable for the survival of resiliency and learn from the mistakes of both approaches.  

“Architects have a very particular way of looking at the world. They see opportunity instead of barriers.”
- Mindy Fullilove, Lecture 3.12

Why is resiliency relevant to the AIA? Architecture as a profession should be contextual. It is a built-up manifestation of the society’s social, political and economic conditions. These conditions have shaped strict typologies and rigid models that constitute the urban fabric of today’s cities. And these typologies stay around for 80 to 100 years, whereas society would have been evolving within the period from construction to the aging of the building. Therefore, whenever we are asked to be contextual, we join the movement set in the last century with minor modifications to fit the image of the new era. Andthis image will last another century. The more we create these fixed images, the more the delay between society and built-up space grows. During Winy Maas’s talk, he asked about our role: “As an Architect, should I refuse or should I collaborate?” and “How do we make architecture more ‘us’ and not elite? ”There’s a chance in these contradictions to innovate by defying the sets ofrules and typologies.
­­­­­
“It’s a great design challenge, how do we design for the future when it’s likely going to be very different than the present…”
- David Perkes, Lecture 4.2

It is easy for us to spare ourselves from testing and perhaps failing. But failure is when we learn the most and potentially could advance the process further than any success. We need to free ourselves from form and typologies that have been reigning as solutions for decades. We can learn by observing the “uneducated” design decisions that proved to be innovative solutions for today’s needs. In this case, mistakes are what we are looking for. We study the resilient qualities through trials and errors, we learn from failures and we make sure we don’t fail when it counts. Finally the AIA should moderate negotiations on all types and scales, where we introduce resiliency to society as new solutions rather than abnormalities.

Op-Ed: The Resilient City Part III

By Cedric Al Kazzi

“I am ……………”

“I design …………”

“The best example of resilience in Baltimore is ……………..…..”

I was given a slip of paper to fill out at each AIA lecture this spring. By the end of each lecture I had
sometimes managed to define myself, but was never able to complete the rest. What
is resiliency? And what do I consider to be resilient?

Is resiliency a natural phenomenon? It is an innate characteristic of all natural elements and creatures. It is usually attributed to reactions rather than actions, maintaining continuity and ensuring survival. Resilient is also a comparative adjective since it could vary in levels from one state to another and from one described element to another. Although cities are not directly natural organisms; they are overlays and agglomerations of micro and macro networks of natural organisms ensuring its functionality. Hence, resiliency is truly inherent within the daily operation of any city.

“We have to change how we operate and be proactive - it’s cliche - but we have enough examples showing the need to do just that…[on being designers in this day and age]”

-Dan Pitera, Lecture 4.2

Why are some cities more resilient than others? Can we enhance or facilitate resilience? No matter what scale the task is, from urban interventions to product design, we should work towards making its default or primary setting favorable for resilience: a framework that is amorphous and can transform by absorbing contextual needs and data into a solution.

Resiliency as a form is evasive; it’s hard to discern as its actively occurring. The first reactions might even be disregarded for it might be a direct causality and lack the spontaneous character. The French philosopher, Deleuze recommends deep observation as the next step in the design process - A crucial step that may take seconds or even years.  The immediate/direct change we notice in the environment has to be carefully studied and we must be careful not to rush the process by labeling it resilient too quickly.

In a social experiment, the secret ingredient for emergence is people. Resiliency is then a product of instigators/curators and the spontaneity of organic matters. Mindy Fullilove in her talk, stressed the major potential of the community and its role in shaping its environment. And then she questioned the subsequent role of this environment in relation to resiliency.

How does a space become a trigger for rebirth you may ask?” A great example of spatial resiliency is Midan al tahrir: A traffic circle in Cairo, Egypt, that transformed overnight into the focal point of the Egyptian Revolution. Lefebvre talks about the power of people and the appropriation of space to shape none-spaces into incubators for resiliency.

“Inequity in society undermines the whole society.”

- Mindy Fullilove, Lecture 3.12

We are witnessing the tip of the power structure being replaced by a wider and more specialized group.
As for the base, we now find a more educated and diverse population with an easier vertical jump between classes and ranks. Both ends are interconnected by social media as their common ground.

Accordingly, a bottom-up approach is more likely to get the project accomplished since a crowd-driven design process would ensure continuity and a more transparent structure. This approach brings together a more diversified process that merges with closely extracted data to result in alternative solutions. Through this ‘fostering’ environment, the product, whatever it is, faces at every step of the process a multiplicity of tracks that adds complexity and completeness. Our job as curators or moderators, is to ensure the continuity of the environments that are more favorable for the survival of resiliency and learn from the mistakes of both approaches.  

“Architects have a very particular way of looking at the world. They see opportunity instead of barriers.”

- Mindy Fullilove, Lecture 3.12

Why is resiliency relevant to the AIA? Architecture as a profession should be contextual. It is a built-up manifestation of the society’s social, political and economic conditions. These conditions have shaped strict typologies and rigid models that constitute the urban fabric of today’s cities. And these typologies stay around for 80 to 100 years, whereas society would have been evolving within the period from construction to the aging of the building. Therefore, whenever we are asked to be contextual, we join the movement set in the last century with minor modifications to fit the image of the new era. And
this image will last another century. The more we create these fixed images, the more the delay between society and built-up space grows. During Winy Maas’s talk, he asked about our role: “As an Architect, should I refuse or should I collaborate?” and “How do we make architecture more ‘us’ and not elite? ”There’s a chance in these contradictions to innovate by defying the sets of
rules and typologies.

­­­­­

“It’s a great design challenge, how do we design for the future when it’s likely going to be very different than the present…”

- David Perkes, Lecture 4.2

It is easy for us to spare ourselves from testing and perhaps failing. But failure is when we learn the most and potentially could advance the process further than any success. We need to free ourselves from form and typologies that have been reigning as solutions for decades. We can learn by observing the “uneducated” design decisions that proved to be innovative solutions for today’s needs. In this case, mistakes are what we are looking for. We study the resilient qualities through trials and errors, we learn from failures and we make sure we don’t fail when it counts. Finally the AIA should moderate negotiations on all types and scales, where we introduce resiliency to society as new solutions rather than abnormalities.

The SOWEBO Now Project just announced their first 2 workshops! 1 Part Hustle + 1 Part Hack-A-Thon + 1 Part Design Charrettee… If you’ve been looking for a project that will actually yield tangible outcomes look no further. 
We are excited to invite you to a special two-part event in Southwest Baltimore, The SOWEBO Now Project. This event is designed to promote new collaborations, connect resources, and create small projects that can move forward in Southwest the next three months.  
 
The SOWEBO Now Project is organized by Community Design Lab, the Southwest Partnership, gb.tc, Gensler, and the UMB School of Social Work. 
 
Part One | Learn/ Think | June 12 (6-9pm)
An evening event, where project leads will share information on current issues facing the neighborhood and form teams with others who want to take action. 
 
Part Two | Make/Do | June 14 (11-5pm)
A focused Saturday of exactly that, making and doing!  We are merging ideas from hackathons, creative blitz’s and action labs to host a day of taking whatever first steps are needed to turn these projects and ideas into realities. Teams can build apps, websites, logos, stories, art, maps, action plans, or anything they can dream up to move SOWEBO forward
 
Organizers will be awarding small grants at the end of Make/Do to get projects off the ground. 
 
We need your experience, ideas, and energy! The Southwest Partnership unites seven neighborhoods and has been working for a year on a master plan. This event will capitalize on the momentum these dynamic and engaged citizens to support small wins and spark action now. 
 
Food will be provided at each event, and Saturday will be kid-friendly.  See details below for event information and sign up here: 
 
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-sowebo-now-project-tickets-8950191263
LEARN & THINK Thursday, June 12, 6-9pm Urban Business Center 1200 W. Baltimore St.  Baltimore MD 21223  MAKE & DO Saturday, June 14, 11am-5pm Mobtown Ballroom 861 Washington Blvd Baltimore, MD 21230
 
If you are interested in leading a project, helping facilitate or lending your expertise, please let us know and we will send you further details and information. 
 
Guidelines - 
·  Facilitators and hosts will be on hand to guide the process. 
·  Project leaders must participate in both events to be eligible for the grants. 
·  Topics span the following categories: Better Blocks, Open Spaces, Youth and Schools, Building Businesses, Highlighting Assets.  
·  Specific projects and questions will be posted on the Southwest Partnership facebook page.  
 

Any comments, questions or suggestions, please email michellegeiss@gmail.com or elaineasal@gmail.com. 

The SOWEBO Now Project just announced their first 2 workshops! 1 Part Hustle + 1 Part Hack-A-Thon + 1 Part Design Charrettee… If you’ve been looking for a project that will actually yield tangible outcomes look no further. 

We are excited to invite you to a special two-part event in Southwest Baltimore, The SOWEBO Now Project. This event is designed to promote new collaborations, connect resources, and create small projects that can move forward in Southwest the next three months.  

 

The SOWEBO Now Project is organized by Community Design Lab, the Southwest Partnership, gb.tc, Gensler, and the UMB School of Social Work. 

 

Part One | Learn/ Think | June 12 (6-9pm)

An evening event, where project leads will share information on current issues facing the neighborhood and form teams with others who want to take action. 

 

Part Two | Make/Do | June 14 (11-5pm)

A focused Saturday of exactly that, making and doing!  We are merging ideas from hackathons, creative blitz’s and action labs to host a day of taking whatever first steps are needed to turn these projects and ideas into realities. Teams can build apps, websites, logos, stories, art, maps, action plans, or anything they can dream up to move SOWEBO forward

 

Organizers will be awarding small grants at the end of Make/Do to get projects off the ground. 

 

We need your experience, ideas, and energy! The Southwest Partnership unites seven neighborhoods and has been working for a year on a master plan. This event will capitalize on the momentum these dynamic and engaged citizens to support small wins and spark action now. 

 

Food will be provided at each event, and Saturday will be kid-friendly.  See details below for event information and sign up here: 

 

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-sowebo-now-project-tickets-8950191263


LEARN & THINK
Thursday, June 12, 6-9pm
Urban Business Center
1200 W. Baltimore St. 
Baltimore MD 21223
 
MAKE & DO
Saturday, June 14, 11am-5pm
Mobtown Ballroom
861 Washington Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21230

 

If you are interested in leading a project, helping facilitate or lending your expertise, please let us know and we will send you further details and information. 

 

Guidelines - 

·  Facilitators and hosts will be on hand to guide the process. 

·  Project leaders must participate in both events to be eligible for the grants. 

·  Topics span the following categories: Better Blocks, Open Spaces, Youth and Schools, Building Businesses, Highlighting Assets.  

·  Specific projects and questions will be posted on the Southwest Partnership facebook page.  

 

Any comments, questions or suggestions, please email michellegeiss@gmail.com or elaineasal@gmail.com