In September 2009, CHPC held a unique symposium at the Japan Society of New York which set the stage for Making Room.
Six housing design and planning experts from Tokyo, Barcelona, Leipzig, Montreal and San Diego came to New York City to share their expertise, experience, and insight into designing and planning compact, shared, and flexible housing that better reflect the real needs of our 21st Century households. Each international guest presented their work to an audience of government officials and housing, architecture, and real estate expert and then were interviewed by a variety of industry leaders from New York. The symposium culminated in a discussion by Alex Garvin and Paul Goldberger. You can watch each part of this symposium here.
Jerilyn Perine’s introduction to the day – Why should we care about this issue in NYC?
Azby Brown (Tokyo) is a professor of Architectural Design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and founder and director of the Future Design Institute. He has written extensively on compact housing design, including books such as Small Spaces, The Very Small Home and The Japanese Dream Home.His most recent book, Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan will be available in early 2010.
Mr. Brown’s talk focused on ways in which good design can promote a high quality of life, despite limited floor area being available for residences. It featured recent examples of residential design in Japan in which careful use of natural light, soft spatial divisions, well-designed storage and fittings, and awareness of essential characteristics of social interaction combine to provide dwelling space which is private, personal, stimulating, and soothing.
Tomoyuki Utsumi (Tokyo) is the founder of Milligram Architectural Studio in Tokyo. He is at the forefront of the movement to revolutionize the way that Tokyoites live, from developing compact homes for single person households to reworking apartments so that generations of a family can easily live together. Mr. Utsumi is also a lecturer at Keio University.
Mr. Utsumi’s presentation covered current Tokyo household trends and the impact of demographic change on the social requirements for housing design. Mr. Utsumi presented examples of his own ground-breaking work from the Milligram Architectural Studio, which includes housing that is specifically designed to respond to new population demand.
Interview of Tokyo Guests by Rosanne Haggerty & Abby Hamlin
Rosanne Haggerty, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, is a national leader in homelessness strategies in the United States. She is the President and Founder of Common Ground Community H.D.F.C., Inc., a New York City based nonprofit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to homelessness. She is the chair of CHPC’s subcommittee on housing and space standards in New York City.
Abby Hamlin is President of Hamlin Ventures, LLC, a real estate development company and creative studio that focuses on select, design driven, projects. Ms. Hamlin serves on the advisory board of the NYU Real Estate Institute, is a trustee of the Van Alen Institute for Public Design, and serves on the board of advisors of Edison Properties.
Vicente Guallart (Barcelona) is the director of the new Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. His work focuses on mixed-use housing projects that are designed for diverse types of households, and which incorporate new technologies into housing units. His ground-breaking housing development Sociopolis in Valencia was featured in a MOMA exhibit on Spanish architecture in 2006.
Mr. Guallart presented his innovative work, which is a confluence of architecture, nature, and new technologies. His presentation discussed how he collaborates with many disciplines to create the sort of housing that is truly required in contemporary society. He believes that it is essential for architects to work with engineers, sociologists, anthropologists, geologists, and computer programmers among others.
Ted Smith (San Diego) is the founder of the architectural firm Smith and Others in San Diego. He is also an innovative developer-builder committed to producing alternative densities, inclusive of diverse economies and types of dwelling. His Go-Homes, developed in the 1980s-1990s, are re-imagined versions of the one family house that tested the boundaries of the San Diego housing regulations in order to respond to real housing need.
Mr. Smith’s Go Homes provide affordability by having unrelated adults sharing houses. Although residents share a kitchen, the suites provide separate entrances and have private baths, lofty space, and private terraces. The homes are fully integrated in existing neighborhoods of one family homes. The presentation reviewed the history from the original house built with cash, and then bank financed versions that are flexible enough to work for multiple programs. The presentation also reviewed other projects derived from the initial idea and will discuss additional advantages of a liberal definition of family.
Vicente Guallart & Ted Smith Inteviewed by Paul Goldberger
Paul Goldberger, the Architectural Critic for The New Yorker, has written its celebrated “Sky Line” column since 1997. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of Parsons The New School for Design. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism.
Avi Friedman (Montreal) is a Professor at McGill School of Architecture and the founder and director of its Affordable Homes Program. He is known for his housing innovation and in particular for the Grow Home, a rowhouse designed to allow the interior to be altered to fit the space needs and budget of the owner. He is the author of seven books on housing, a practicing architect and the recipient of numerous awards. In 2000 he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as 1 of 10 people around the world “most likely to change the way we live.”
Dr. Friedman’s lecture looked at how socio-demographic and economic changes turn housing affordability into a challenge for many first-time homebuyers. Out-of-the-box thinking needs to be pursued in order to lower housing costs significantly. Buying a la carte, designing for growth, leaving space un-partitioned for the occupant to complete at a later stage, and implementing innovative cost-reduction technologies are some of the ideas that will be presented by Dr. Friedman. Principles and applications were outlined and their application in real-world projects illustrated.
Iris Reuther (Leipzig) is an architect and the founder and principal of the Office for Urban Projects in Leipzig. Her firm was one of the first woman-owned technical planning firms to emerge from the former GDR. Her work focuses on developing mixed-use environments in areas of low demand and economic adversity. She is also Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Kassel and has written publications on the transformation processes of cities and regions. Dr Reuther has conducted planning and design workshops in Bushwick, East New York, and Williamsburg to help transform former brownfield sites.
Ms. Reuther’s presentation looked at a wide variety of 21st century trends that are impacting on the concept of a housing unit. Her lecture will focus on the European perspective of these shifts. The media revolution, globalisation, climate change, and far-reaching changes in demographic development are raising new questions. The balance between the private and the public has shifted. The world of work is flowing into the sphere of the home. The presentation reported on examples in Leipzig, Berlin, and Hamburg and the international building fairs that have been taking place in Germany since the beginning of the 20th century. These fairs have set milestones in housing construction and addressed the contemporary questions regarding urban housing.
Avi Friedman and Iris Reuther Interviewed by James Colgate and Mark Strauss
James Colgate is Assistant Commissioner for Technical Affairs and Code Development at the New York City Department of Buildings, where he works on legislative and technical issues. He has extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations governing housing design and construction in New York City.
Mark Strauss, FAIA is Senior Partner in Charge of Planning and Urban Design at FXFOWLE Architects, where he leads the firm’s Planning / Urban Design work. A key aspect of his interest and talent lies in developing planning approaches to assist communities, institutions, and developers redefine properties in response to design, economic, transportation, and political concerns. He has developed a national reputation for the sensitive and viable repositioning of sites and communities.
- Watch the day’s wrap-up by The New Yorker Magazine’s Paul Goldberger and acclaimed urban planner Alex Garvin:
Paul Goldberger, the Architectural Critic for The New Yorker, has written its celebrated “Sky Line” column since 1997. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of Parsons The New School for Design. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. Alex Garvin, President and CEO of Alex Garvin & Associates, Inc. has combined a career in urban planning and real estate with teaching, architecture, and public service. Over the last 39 years, he has held prominent positions in five New York City administrations, including Deputy Commissioner of Housing and City Planning Commissioner. He is currently President and CEO of Alex Garvin & Associates, a planning and design firm in New York City that specializes in the public realm, and Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Management at Yale University.
With great thanks to our generous funders for this event: the Japan Society of New York, the Lavanburg Foundation, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the estate of Marian Naumberg and the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and our partners, the American Institute of Architects and the Architectural League.