1. Barbara Bestor, Bestor Architecture


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    Bestor Architecture is a Los Angeles based modern architecture firm, founded in 1995 by architect Barbara Bestor. The office is collaborative and produces design that navigates between popular culture, art, and architecture. Recent projects include custom houses, art environments, collaborative installations and graphics, and commercial spaces as well as the book, “Bohemian Modern; Living in Silverlake” (Harper Collins 2006). Built work has been published in a wide range of media including national and international print journalism and video. The office engages Southern California as both the site and subject of architectural and cultural production to create contemporary environments. The office’s manifesto, which is embedded in the work, is “Everyone should experience strange beauty every day.”

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    • Lecture: Amale Andros


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      Context February 6, 2015 Amale Andraos is a co-founder of WORKac, a 35-person architectural firm based in New York that focuses on architectural projects that re-invent the relationship between urban and natural environments. Andraos also serves as Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Andraos has taught at numerous universities including the Princeton University School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania Design School and the American University in Beirut. Her recent design studios and seminars have focused on the Arab City, which has become the subject of a series of symposia entitled “Architecture and Representation” held at Studio-X Amman in 2013 and on campus in New York in the fall of 2014. Her publications include the recent 49 Cities, a re-reading of 49 visionary plans through an ecological lens, Above the Pavement, the Farm!, and the forthcoming Architecture and Representation: the Arab City. She received her Master’s Degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and her B.Arch from McGill University in Montreal. Anraos was born in Beirut, Lebanon and lived in Saudi Arabia, France, Canada and the Netherlands where she worked for OMA/Rem Koolhaas until she moved to New York in 2002. She serves on the board of the Architectural League of New York and is a member of the faculty steering committees for the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East and Columbia Global Centers | Turkey.

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      • 2012 Wallenberg Competition and Awards Symposium


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        The Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning awards the Wallenberg Scholarships each year in honor of Raoul Wallenberg, B.S.Arch.'35. Wallenberg is credited with single-handedly rescuing over 100,000 Jews from Nazi persecution in Budapest, Hungary, during World War II. The traveling scholarship, established by the Bernard L. Maas Foundation in 1986, acts as a reminder of Wallenberg's courage and humanitarianism and is aimed at reflecting his ideals. The award gives undergraduate students the opportunity to broaden their study of architecture to include work in distant locations. 2012 Competition Jurors: Hansy Better, Associate Professor, Rhode Island School of Design Edward Eigen, Associate Professor, Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York Troy Schaum; Assistant Professor, Rice School of Architecture More about the Wallenberg Studios: Raoul Wallenberg is one of the great humanitarians in history. During the culminating term at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College all undergraduates in the architecture program participate in the Raoul Wallenberg Studios. Inspired by a selfless hero, the collective studio efforts aim to bring humanitarian values together through active engagement with diverse values that are social, cultural, political and material in nature, toward a synthetic whole- the design of architecture. The individual and collective studios are meant to serve as platforms for critical debate, rigorous exchange and unparalleled growth, through broadening the varied ‘constituencies’ that occupy architecture ‘seen’ through the values initiated by Raoul Wallenberg. The 2012 Wallenberg studios explored the theme of “Occupation(s)” and were coordinated by Associate Professor Perry Kulper. Occupations often challenging ownership of the space involved are sometimes an effort to gain public attention, and may be the practical use of the facilities occupied. Occasionally they establish a redefinition of the occupied space. They may be brief or may extend for weeks, months or years. They can move between the habits of behavior in spatial settings that differentiate architecture from other creative disciplines, to military conquest, or political protest to taking up a position in the discipline. Occupation may have to do with a form of employment, or career, to the profession to which we belong to a political demonstration. And something that is occupiable, makes something possible- habits, events and enactments. As such the term “occupations” offers a wide historical range of inherently spatial strategies and tactics. Strategic examples include colonizing military maneuvers, such as the Nazi-German occupation of Hungary—the context of Raoul Wallenberg’s memorable actions, or the Israeli occupation of territories such as the Gaza strip or the West Bank, or, for that matter, any appropriation of space by unlawful settlement. On the other hand, tactical examples generally refer to occupations as a mode of resistance to hegemonic powers, a protest that takes the form of the physical occupancy of symbolic spaces, such as the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936—the forty-four day occupation of the General Motors factory by the workers which led to the birth of the middle-class, or the more current Occupy Wall Street movement that has emerged amidst a year of global political turbulence. That a single term could embody such contradictory significations is indicative of the complex nature of spatial occupancy: whether a manifestation of power or an act of resistance, inhabiting space is never a neutral act. And as the physical setting for social relations, architecture chooses its alliances, be they complicit or resistant. For example, the Fleming administration building on our campus was designed in the 1960’s specifically to resist student protests. Alternatively, the thirty-two buildings mobilized by Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest in 1944 were critical actors in ensuring the safety of the 20,000 Jews they housed, by their capacity to pass for Swedish institutional buildings. To relieve architecture from the demand to position itself is to surrender its potential for agency. As such, it inevitably and unconsciously becomes a collaborating mechanism for those in power. 2012 Wallenberg Studio Teaching Faculty: Ellie Abrons, STUFF [Occupying, Engaging, Expanding the Interior] Adam Fure, OCCUPIABLE GROUNDS Irene Hwang, No Occupancy Nahyun Hwang, LINES X CITIES2 Perry Kulper (Coordinator), Occupying Form James Macgillivray, LOT FULL Kyle Reynolds, WALKING WHALES (Architecture’s Forms of Transition) Neal Robinson, MOUNTAINS & MOLE-HILLS (the Inns and Outposts of Occupational Therapy) Mireille Roddier, Institutional Occupations 2012 Expert in Studio: Liza Fior and Caitlin Elster of London based muf architecture + art led a week-long studio-wide workshop (March 12 to March 15, 2012) and Liza gave a college-wide lecture (March 14, 2012). Final Review Critics (Friday, April 20, 2012, 10AM–1PM and 2PM–6PM): Beth Blostein, Director, Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University Brennan Buck, Principal, FreelandBuck; Critic, Yale School of Architecture Michael Cadwell, Architecture Section Head, Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University Andrew Holder, Principal, The LADG; Lecturer, Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Los Angeles Luis Ortega, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago Jason Payne, Hirsuta; Assistant Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Los Angeles Yehre Suh, Lecturer, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University Amanda Williams, AW Gallery; Adjunct Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology The year marks the 100th anniversary of Swedish-diplomat Wallenberg’s life, as commemorated by U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton, and foreign minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt:

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        • Rackham Centennial Lecture: Kristina Ford, Columbia University


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          Kristina's thoughtful, well-informed, and articulate assessments – heard on CNN, BBC and National Public Radio – in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, became the first public voice of reason to mediate the great storm's human and civic consequences to America and beyond. Starting in 1992 Ford was Director of City Planning in New Orleans; in 2000 she won the Award for Distinguished Leadership from Louisiana's Chapter of the American Planning Association. Ms. Ford is a frequent speaker on urban affairs, and has appeared on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and in Planning magazine. Prior to publishing The Trouble with City Planning, she wrote Planning Small Town America. Kristina holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Michigan, and was, until her full-time entry into public service in 1983, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public Administration at NYU. From 2010 to 2011, Ms. Ford was Chief of Staff for New Orleans' deputy mayor in charge of public facilities, infrastructure and community development.

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          • George Galster: The Detroit School Series


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            Detroit, and cities like it, face a distinctive set of social, spatial, economic, and political conditions that are far-removed from the focused density of 1940s Chicago, or the multi-nodal, multi-cultural sprawl of present-day L.A. Is it time to recognize a "Detroit School of Urban Studies?" If so, what defines it? Moreover, how do the conditions in Detroit-like places influence the questions we ask and the research we do in the many disciplines that contribute to urban studies, including sociology, economics, social work, anthropology, political science, public health, public policy, natural resources, architecture and urban planning? "The Detroit School Series" of colloquia will explore these issues throughout the 2012-13 academic year, thanks to a grant from Rackham's Distinguished Faculty and Graduate Student Seminars program and additional financial support from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Residential College, and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Wayne State University urban economist George Galster will discuss his new book Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in the Motor City, with a book signing to follow; he will lead a discussion the following day. George Galster is Clarence Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Wayne State University in Detroit. Trained as an economist with his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Galster is well known for his research on housing markets and neighborhood dynamics.

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            • Urban Development Now Keynote: Craig Robins


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              March 14, 2015 Craig Robins is Chief Executive Officer and President of Dacra, a global real estate development company that is known for its cultivation of creative communities, integration of art and design, and overall value creation. Based in Miami, Florida, Dacra has spearheaded some of the most successful and transformative commercial, residential and mixed-use projects in the city’s history. The company has distinguished itself in the marketplace by strategically developing and programming vibrant communities of substance that have become international destinations. Robins is currently developing new opportunities that harness Dacra’s expertise and unique approach in international markets. For over ten years, Dacra transformed a once abandoned neighborhood – the Miami Design District – into one of the most important global centers for cutting edge design, fashion, food and art. The neighborhood’s renewal was the inspiration for the creation of the leading international design show Design Miami/ and Design Miami/ Basel. Robins is a Principal of the fair, which he owns in partnership with MCH Swiss Exhibition, the producers of Art Basel. An avid collector and supporter of the arts, Mr. Robins is also the Founder and Chairman of the Anaphiel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts education, exploration and expression in all its forms. Robins is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Miami Art Museum. Robins’ long-term commitment to design earned him the 2006 Design Patron Award from the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The award recognizes an individual’s patronage of design within the business and civic sectors.

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              • Curating Race Curating Space Discussion


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                DISCUSSION / AUDIENCE Q+A Robert Fishman (Professor of Urban Planning, Taubman College) with Session Moderators

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                • La Lleca Colectiva's Fernando Fuentes & Lorena Méndez: Risk Conference at Taubman College


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                  La Lleca Colectiva's Fernando Fuentes & Lorena Méndez present at Taubman College's Risk Conference on March 30, 2012. La Lleca Colectiva is a feminist, abolitionist and anticapitalist collective that intervenes in jails of Mexico City since 2004. La Lleca grew out critiques of the social and political situation in Mexico at that time. The first was a critique of how social relations were being constructed post-NAFTA, that is under a form of neoliberal capitalism, specifically the alienation and utilitarian relations which they saw growing up around money, individualism, competition. The second critique was directed at the political situation of Mexico City and the newfound role of the idea of "insecurity," which, as a discourse, manages to both conceal and erase its social and economic foundations. Meanwhile, as this strange mystification progresses, the discourse of fear destroys the social fabric as it leads chilangos (Mexicos City´s population) to view themselves first and foremost as potential victims. La Lleca Colectiva believes that sentiment is more damaging than viewing everyone else as a potential aggressor. Lorena Méndez is a full time teacher and researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México. Fernando Fuentes is an independent researcher of the relationships between aesthetic and autonomous political practices.

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                  • Ole Bouman: Risk Conference at Taubman College


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                    Ole Bouman: Risk Conference at Taubman College on March 30, 2012 Ole Bouman has been director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) since April 2007. Before taking up that position he was editor-in-chief of the periodical Volume, a cooperative venture of Stichting Archis, AMO (the research bureau of OMA/Rem Koolhaas) and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University. He has curated a series of public events for the reconstruction of the public domain in cities that have been hit by disasters, such as Ramallah, Mexico City, Beirut and Prishtina. Bouman also has lectured in Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bouman is (co-) author of The Invisible in Architecture and Al Manakh. He authored RealSpace in QuickTimes and De Strijd om Tijd. His most recent publication is Architecture of Consequence which constitutes a portrait of a proactive design mentality. He has curated exhibitions for the Milan Triennale, Manifesta 3 and Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. His articles have appeared in such periodicals as De Groene Amsterdammer, The Independent, Artforum, De Gids, Domus, Harvard Design Review, El Croquis, Arquitectura & Viva, and Proiekt Russia.

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                    • Melvin Washington: Risk Conference at Taubman College


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                      Melvin Washington: Risk Conference at Taubman College on March 30, 2012. Born and raised in the City of Detroit, Melvin Washington grew up watching his neighborhood and his city slowly but surely decline before his very eyes. Witnessing the cruel transformation of his neighborhood from a place of pride to an area of despair and deterioration he boldly set out to rebuild the City of Detroit and other urban centers. After graduating from Michigan State University, Washington began his ascent into the arena of community development while working for First Centrum Development Corporation. Washington successfully propelled himself through a 12-year career, from Construction Estimator, Project Superintendent, and Project Engineer to the coveted position of Lead Developer with First Centrum. He later moved to Florida where he worked on a luxury high-rise project. Washington's accomplishments in the field of affordable housing are many. Over the last 15 years he has been directly involved in the development and construction of over twenty-one hundred apartments, townhomes and single family homes representing over fifty projects totaling more than three-hundred million dollars in affordable housing development; most notable the redevelopment of the historical Whittier Hotel in the City of Detroit. Washington is most passionate about his accomplishments in the area of community rebuilding. He has an undying commitment to not just simply build housing units, but rather to rebuild entire communities, one development at a time, hence the corporate name Phoenix Communities. Washington received an M.A. (Urban Planning) from Michigan State University and a B. S. (Construction Management with a minor in Landscape Architecture) also from Michigan State University.

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