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Buffalo Niagara by Design

BY ROBERT G. SHIBLEY
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"What was I thinking when I came to Buffalo? ... I was coming to join a social movement in our city and region, and I dove in head first."

In Buffalo Niagara Design from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Dean and Professor of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Robert Shibley, recounts his recruitment to Buffalo as Department Chair, 35 years ago. Upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the department, Shibley discusses his work with architecture and planning students, faculty and community members on various urban planning projects in the region. Across an arc of a quarter century, the UB Urban Design Project and the UB Regional Institute have been key players in the evolution of a broad regional planning framework.

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Architecture + Education

BY BETH TAUKE
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"These kids have big ideas and only through making do those ideas come alive."

In Architecture + Education from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Beth Tauke, joined by graduate student Randy Fernando, we learn about the Architecture + Education program. This initiative of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation and the University at Buffalo earned the 2013 AIA Diversity Recognition Program award for introducing thousands of grade-schoolers to architecture over the past 13 years. Faculty and students work with practitioners in the Buffalo Public School system to introduce students to the idea of architecture, concepts in the practice, and career possibilities. The program's motto, adapted from Dr. Seuss, is true to its mission: "Think LEFT & think RIGHT & think LOW & think HIGH. Oh, the things you can come up with if only you try!"

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The Seneca-Salamanca Leasehold Study

BY BRADSHAW HOVEY, PH.D.
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"They wanted to infuse architecture with research and they proposed to build a pedagogical process around project work."

In The Seneca-Salamanca Leasehold Study from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Research Associate Professor 
at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Bradshaw Hovey, Ph.D., recounts how one of the great student research projects from the school's 50-year history was devised by the school's founding leadership. One of the very first projects to engage UB students was a paid commission for the Seneca Nation of Indians to advise them on negotiations for a new lease between the nation and the residents of the City of Salamanca, NY whose homes sat on Seneca land. That such a project would be undertaken by architecture students was a signal about how expansively the founders of the school conceived of its professional domain.

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Universal Design

BY EDWARD STEINFELD, ARCH. D., AIA
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation."

In Universal Design from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Director of the IDeA Center in Buffalo, NY, Edward Steinfeld, ArchD, AIA, provides an overview of how the built environment affects access. The University at Buffalo's Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) is dedicated to making environments and products more usable, safer and healthier in response to the needs of an increasingly diverse population. The IDeA Center’s activities are based on the philosophy of Inclusive Design, often called “Universal Design” or “Design for All.” It is a way of thinking that can be applied in any design activity, business practice, program or service involving interaction of people with the physical, social or virtual worlds.

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Rethinking Resettlement

BY ERKIN ÖZAY
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"How can we make our endeavors clear and approachable enough that we can actually contribute to the public debate at a very high level?"

In Rethinking Resettlement from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, Erkin Özay, reviews some of the social and design issues involved in rehousing and supporting Buffalo, New York's new Americans. Özay's Spring 2016 UB graduate studio explored the potential for temporary and long-term housing for newly arrived refugees and immigrants, as well as the role of supporting institutions, community assets, and reimagining the existing housing stock. Özay's project investigates "compassionate urbanism." He is interested in how groups of limited means--new and existing residents--support each other through careful intersections. 

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Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78

BY FRANK PALEN, ESQ., AICP
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

“Think of me as a time traveler. I’m going to take you back to a place called Buffalo in the 1970s.”

In Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78 from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, attorney and urban renewal advocate, Frank Palen, recalls the creation of a historic district for theatre and culture from a once abandoned rust belt urban core. From 1977 to 1979, Palen was Research Associate in the Center for Community Research and Development at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Environmental Design, serving as Coordinator of the Buffalo Entertainment District Project. The University at Buffalo’s graduate studio investigated the potential of promoting a theater district in what was then an increasingly abandoned section of Downtown, despite various setbacks and a challenging political climate. The result was a very high-profile effort that set an agenda for the redevelopment of Buffalo that continues today.

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Complicating Things: Experimenting with Authority

BY PAUL VANOUSE
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

“I’m a bio media artist. And what that means is I work self-reflexively, with the tools and technologies of the life sciences.” 

In Complicating Things: Experimenting with Authority from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo, Paul Vanouse, provides an overview of his work as a bio media artist. As Director of the newly created Coalesce Center for Biological Art at the University at Buffalo, Vanouse works with artists and philosophers and people who wouldn’t normally have a direct connection to do create work in a life sciences laboratory, and is actively engaged with Coalesce’s artist residency program. Vanouse’s own work has recently focused on DNA fingerprinting, removing the inherent layers of authority from DNA with an interest in the very visual representation of DNA. His recent projects, Latent Figure Protocol and Ocular Revision use molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to confront issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting. 

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Site-Based Performance: Development of a Process

BY DAN SHANAHAN
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

“We devised a few rules: Start with the architecture. Consider its history. Draw from its mythology.”

In "Site-Based Performance: Development of a Process" from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 17, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Torn Space Theatre in Buffalo, NY, Dan Shanahan, reveals Torn Space's process of developing site-based performance. Drawing from over 10 years of experience and eight original pieces for non-traditional performance venues, Shanahan addresses the influences, aesthetics, and rules for Torn Space's site-based performances.

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Collage City

BY JEAN-MICHEL REED
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"An architect, it seems, has to be an optimist and idealist. That by building we're somehow making the world a better place. But before you need buildings, you need people."

In Collage City from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 17, artist, designer, realtor and retired paramedic, Jean-Michel Reed, shares stories and perceptions of Buffalo, New York as an intimate outsider. Reed moved to Buffalo in 1992, working first as a paramedic, and later transitioning to both a designer and a realtor as the city attempted an about face. Cites are made first of people, and then within those individual people, of experiences. It is this combination of convergent and divergent experiences that construct the sociological makeup of place and city, which, in turn manufactures the physical landscape. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016.

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The Story of Buffalo BookBike

BY AMY OZAY
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

“We need to bring the fun back to reading, and rolling up with a book bike might be a way to do that.” 

In The Story of Buffalo BookBike from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Founder of Buffalo BookBike in Buffalo, NY, Amy Ozay, talks about her love of Buffalo, books, and bikes. Taking inspiration from similar programs in other cities, she launched Buffalo BookBike in 2015, which gives free books to the children of Buffalo in parks and playgrounds throughout the summer months. The BookBike has given away over 1,000 books to date, with the hopes of slowing down the summer slide. Her dream is to increase the reach of the BookBike, foster more collaboration between local literacy organizations, and help convert Buffalo parks to open air libraries in the future. As Cicero wrote, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” 

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The De-Institution: Or. How to Make A Contemporary Arts Space with no Capital, Networks or Cred

BY DANA MCKNIGHT
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"Number 1. Be an ornery artist. You're mad. You went to art school. You go to shows in basements and living rooms. You are the poster child of the scurvy-laced bohemia. Your parents can't pay your rent."

In The De-Institution: Or. How to Make A Contemporary Arts Space with no Capital, Networks or Cred from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, artist and founder of Dreamland Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, Dana Mcknight, illustrates twenty steps to carving out a cutting-edge, artist-run space outside of the dominant, institutional realm. Mcknight cautions, "To be an institution is to own-- ­­­to place value on possession rather than action. To fixate on conservative contentment rather than Hope and Possibility. Artist-led spaces fizzle out all the time. Let us not leave behind the phoenix eggs to merely touch a tusk in the Elephant graveyard." 

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Ceramic Assemblies

BY LIMINAL PROJECTS (OMAR KAHN AND LAURA GARÓFALO)
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"Ask a ceramicist and they will insist that the material lives."

In Ceramic Assemblies from PechaKucha Buffalo vol. 17, Laura Garófalo and Omar Kahn of Liminal Projects discuss their prototypes for ceramic building systems that were developed at the European Ceramics Workcentre (ekwc), in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands. They are designs that explore ways that architecture can mediate heat, water and nature. Ceramics, which are fired clay, are one of the oldest building materials. But they defy easy categorization because their behavior and properties are so diverse. Ceramics were used to build the Roman aqueducts and also used for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. Ask a ceramicist and they will insist that the material lives. It is this quality that Garófalo and Kahn want to capture and perpetuate in their work.

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