Calendar of Events

Wed 10.02.2013

Practical Utopias at All Scales: The Diversity of International Work in Asia

AIA CES Credits: 5 LU

When: 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM WEDNESDAY, ARCHTOBER 2

Where: At The Center   

Held in conjunction with the exhibition Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, “Practical Utopias at All Scales: The Diversity of International Work in Asia” explores the impact of recent architecture in the development of these five cities.

Speakers, including architects Thom Mayne, FAIA, and Daniel Libeskind, AIA; Columbia Special Advisor for Global Affairs and Asia Society President Emeritus Vishakha Desai; and Dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning Kent Kleinman, AIA, will examine recent physical transformations and developments in East Asian cities.

Symposium schedule 

Previous Lunch Session Cancelled

4:20-4:30 pm
Opening Remarks
Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director
Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, AIANY 2013  President, and Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Jonathan D. Solomon, AIA, Associate Dean, School of Architecture, Syracuse University, and Exhibition Curator

4:30-5:30 pm
Thoughts About the City
Daniel Libeskind, AIA, Founder, Studio Daniel Libeskind in conversation with Cliff Pearson, Deputy Editor, Architectural Record

5:30-7:00 pm
Urbanism, Culture, and Quality of Life in Asian Cities
Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs, Professor of Professional Practice in the Faculty of International, and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and President Emeritus, Asia Society, in conversation with 
Jing Liu, Principal, SO-IL
Tom Looser, Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, New York University
Chris Sharples, AIA, Principal, SHoP
Calvin Tsao, FAIA, Principal, Tsao&McKown Architects

7:00-7:30 pm
Reception and Exhibition Tour by Curator Jonathan D. Solomon, AIA

7:30-8:30 pm
Architecture as a Vital Agent in the Construction of Culture
Thom Mayne, FAIA, Principal, Morphosis Architects in conversation with Kent Kleinman, AIA, Dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)

8:30-9:00 pm
Closing Remarks
James von Klemperer, FAIA, Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

$25 for AIA member; $35 for non-member; and free for students with valid student ID
Click here to register.

View the livestream here.

There will be no refunds available for this event.

Speaker Profiles
Rick Bell, FAIA, serves as Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter where he was instrumental in the creation of the storefront Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place. At the AIA, Bell has helped animate the Center, which has hosted 1,000 public events and 20 exhibitions each year since opening its doors in October of 2003. Exhibitions on local and global architectural and planning projects have been tools to explain the importance of design and construction excellence to a variety of audiences. Current work includes leading the FitCity and FitNation efforts, which bring designers and public health professionals together to develop ways of preventing chronic diseases such as obesity. He has been a frequent speaker at conferences around the world, including the last three triennial sessions of the International Union of Architects. Previously, Bell worked in the public sector as Chief Architect and Assistant Commissioner of Architecture & Engineering at the NYC Department of Design + Construction. Bell spent over fifteen years in the private sector in New York, California, France, and Switzerland, and was a design partner at WBTL Architects & Planners, designing libraries, schools and university structures and hotels worldwide. For his public facility design, he was elected a Fellow of the AIA in 2000. He holds degrees from Yale and Columbia, and has received numerous awards for civic activities and design, including a “Newsmaker of the Year” award from Engineering News Record and the “Barrier Free America Award” from the Paralyzed Veterans of America for his advocacy for accessibility. Most recently he was honored by the French Ministry of Culture with the medallion of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Dr. Vishakha Desai is Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Professor of Professional Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs. She also serves as Senior Advisor for Global Programs to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. From 2004 through 2012, Dr. Desai served as President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships between Asia and the U.S. Prior to becoming President, Dr. Desai held numerous senior positions within the Asia Society, initiating presentations of several major exhibitions of Contemporary Asian and Asian American art in the 1990’s, among the earliest efforts of its kind. Dr. Desai holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan. 

Jill Lerner, FAIA, is a Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox where she leads the design of academic, medical and research facilities in an international practice. She has been responsible for numerous new business efforts, and has led award winning projects for public and private sector projects, from initial concept to project completion. A registered architect in several states, Lerner is served as a Cornell University Trustee and Chair of the College of Architecture, Art & Planning Advisory Council; other activities include Board membership (and Building Committee Chair) of the Asian University for Women, the Salvadori Center, and the President’s Advisory Committee of the College of Creative Studies.

Daniel Libeskind, B.Arch. M.A. BDA AIA, is an international architect and designer. His practice extends worldwide from museums and concert halls to convention centers, universities, hotels, shopping centers, and residential projects. Born in Åódź, Poland in 1946, Libeskind has received numerous awards and designed world-renowned projects including: the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Denver Art Museum, Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas, Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore, the Military History Museum in Dresden and the master plan for Ground Zero among others. Daniel Libeskind’s commitment to expanding the scope of architecture reflects his profound interest and involvement in philosophy, art, literature and music. Fundamental to Libeskind’s philosophy is the notion that building are crafted with the perceptible human energy, and that they address the greater cultural context in which they are built. Daniel teaches and lectures at universities across the world. He resides in New York City with his wife and business partner, Nina Libeskind.

A native of China, Jing Liu received her education in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, concluding with a Master of Architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans. In 2008 Liu founded SO – IL with Florian Idenburg, whom she met while working at SANAA on the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art. As a partner of SO – IL, Liu has worked with numerous cultural institutions on their big and small adventures. Liu helped the London-based Frieze Art Fair in designing and realizing its acclaimed structure for the inaugural New York fair; curated the cross-disciplinary event series Stillspotting for the Guggenheim Museum; researched and re-envisioned museum education spaces together with the MoMA Education Department and installed highly experimental and interactive structure Pole Dance at PS1. Liu has also worked with prominent private and public clients on building their work spaces such as headquarter offices for Derek Lam and Ideo, as well as the renovation of the facade of Queen’s Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI), a major landmark in the city of Bristol.

Tom Looser
, (PhD in Anthropology, University of Chicago), is Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at NYU. His areas of research and publication include Japanese studies; art, architecture and urban form; new media studies and animation; and critical theory. A senior editor for the journal Mechademia, forthcoming publications include articles on new eco-cities in Tokyo; on the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, and a chapter on art and politics in Japan and Korea in a volume titled Spaces of Possibility.

Thom Mayne, FAIA, founded Morphosis as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and research in 1972. Mr. Mayne is co-founder of the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Distinguished Professor at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. Mayne's distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005) and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (2013). He was appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009. With Morphosis, Thom Mayne has been the recipient of 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, over 100 American Institute of Architecture Awards and numerous other design recognitions. Morphosis works have been published extensively. The firm has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and 25 monographs.

Clifford Pearson is a deputy editor of Architectural Record. Since joining the magazine in 1989, he has written on a broad range of topics—from individual projects such as the MAXXI museum in Rome by Zaha Hadid and the Hong Kong International Airport by Foster & Partners to essays on school design and housing. From 1993 to 1997, he edited Record's annual section on architecture in the Pacific Rim and today he is in charge of the magazine’s Chinese edition and its annual Design Vanguard issue. He serves as a director of Asia Design Forum, a nonprofit think tank that organizes events and generates dialogue among the design community and the general public. He is the author of Indonesia: Design and Culture, published by the Monacelli Press in 1998, and the editor of Modern American Houses, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in 1996 and reissued in 2005. In 2003, he received a Media Fellowship from the U.S.-Japan Foundation and spent two months in Japan examining “Technology and Tradition in Contemporary Japanese Architecture.” In 2004 and 2006, he was the co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Pearson holds a Master's degree in architectural history from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in urban studies from Cornell University.

Chris Sharples, AIA, is a Founding Principal of SHoP Architects and SHoP Construction as well as a NCARB-certified and registered architect in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Washington D.C. Sharples holds a Bachelor of History and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Dickinson College, and his Master of Architecture from Columbia University (1990) graduating with honors for excellence in design. Sharples was named the Louis I. Kahn Assistant Visiting Professor for Architectural Design in spring of 2008 at the Yale School of Architecture. He is currently a visiting professor at Cornell University and has taught at Parsons School of Design, The City College, City University of New York, The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Columbia University, and at the University of Virginia as Shure Professor of Architecture. Sharples has also lectured, exhibited, and been published internationally.

Jonathan D. Solomon, AIA, is Associate Dean at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. His work explores public space and the contemporary city, through design projects such as Ooi Botos Gallery, a shophouse in a Hong Kong street market converted into a gallery for contemporary Chinese photographic art; research projects such as his 2004 book 13 Projects for the Sheridan Expressway, the 26th volume in the Pamphlet Architecture series; and curatorial projects such as 2010’s Workshopping in the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. His recent book, Cities Without Ground, is a guide to the complex three-dimensional urbanism of Hong Kong. Solomon has taught design at the City College of New York and, as a Banham Fellow, at the University at Buffalo, as well as the University of Hong Kong, where he led the Department of Architecture as Acting Head from 2009 to 2012. He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois and Member of the American Institute of Architects.

Calvin Tsao, FAIA, is recognized as one of the most original voices in contemporary architecture, drawing from his own experience of diverse cultures and a lively engagement with a variety of art forms. He serves on the Board of The American Academy in Rome, and is an active board member and President Emeritus of The Architectural League of New York. He is also former Vice President for Design Excellence of the AIA New York chapter, and served several years as member of the Visiting Committee to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 2012, Tsao received a Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Legacy Award and in 2009 the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design, along with his partner Zack McKown. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Cooper Union, Syracuse University and at the Parsons School of Design, and has also served as guest critic and lectured at universities internationally.

Organized by: Center for Architecture


Building Brands Going Global organized by the AIANY Interiors Committee
Monday, September 30, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Practical Utopias Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Practical Utopias at All Scales: The Diversity of International Work in Asia
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 4:20 pm – 9:30 pm

World Architecture Day 2013 – Day 2 | Practical Utopias Panel discussion
Monday, October 7, 2013, 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm

Planning Infrastructure and Transportation for Dynamic Cities organized by AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Friday, October 11, 2013, 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Small Firms/Global Reach
Monday, October 21, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Guided Exhibition Tour: Practical Utopias
Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Oculus Book Talk: HOUR 25, University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture - CANCELED
Monday, November 4, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Archinomics - Effects of Predicted Global Economic Growth on the Architecture Profession organized by AIANY Global Dialogues Committee
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, November 23, 2012, 2 sessions: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Preservation in Asian Cities organized by AIANY Historic Buildings Committee
Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

From Singapore to Seoul: Asian Cities in Film
Thursday, December 12, 2013, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

(Re)Orientation: Global Campus
Monday, January 6, 2014, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Guided Exhibition Tour: Practical Utopias
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Asian Cities and the Future of Public Space
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 6:00pm – 8:00 pm 

This exhibition was made by possible by the generous support of the following sponsors:



Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
Duggal Visual Solutions
Ennead Architects, LLP
Hopkins Foodservice Specialists, Inc.
Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Levien & Company
Mancini Duffy | TSC
New York University
Perkins Eastman
Porcelanosa Group
Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLP
Robert Silman Associates
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP
Vanguard Construction & Development Co. Inc.

Art of Vinyl
FXFOWLE Architects, LLP
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office New York
JFK&M Consulting Group
New York Building Congress, Inc.
Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.
TEN Arquitectos
Vanguard Construction & Development Co., Inc.
Vantage Technology Consulting
Weidlinger Associates, Inc.

Models sponsored by

List as of 9/30/2013



The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012
(212) 683-0023

Gallery Hours
Mon-Fri: 9am to 8pm
Sat: 11am to 5pm

Office Hours
Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm