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Cool Spaces! Premieres at BSA Space

Thursday, April 10, 2014
6:00–8:00 pm

Enjoy a sneak peek at TV’s newest series about design!

To reserve your place at this exclusive screening, RSVP to with “Cool Spaces 4/10” in the subject line.

On Thursday, April 10, at 6:00 pm, BSA Space will host an exclusive screening of the first episode of PBS’ new series, Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture. Hosted by Boston architect Stephen Chung AIA, this American Institute of Architects–sponsored show goes behind the scenes in some of American’s most interesting public buildings.

About the show, Chung says: “My hope is that if we, as architects, can better explain what we do and why it’s important, it will increase interest in architecture and lead to a better designed, more sustainable, and more beautiful environment where everyone benefits.”

Viewers will also discover how innovative and artistic concepts are translated into completed buildings. For more details on the series, visit

The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Chung.

Free and open to the public. Limited availability.

Traffic Advisory Speaker Series

The Traffic Advisory speaker series is part of Overhaul: The 2013-2014 Transportation Series organized by the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and the Barr Foundation.

» Click here to register for Overhaul: The 2013-2014 Transportation Series.

Overhaul, an expansive series of design exhibitions, lectures, and other programs, offers the region’s most comprehensive look at urban-transportation visioning, with a speaker series focused on opportunities and challenges for Greater Boston. Speakers include regional, national, and international transportation policy makers and visionaries. 

Beyond Smart Cities: Design of new urban systems
Thursday, February 20, 6:00 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Ryan Chin, managing director for the City Science Initiative at MIT Media Lab, who has developed numerous technologies, strategies, and designs to address congestion, energy inefficiency, and pollution, outlines new urban vehicle systems while highlighting possibilities for Greater Boston’s space-constrained streets. The talk will also explore innovations in the areas of energy, housing, and food-production systems that may close the gap between what we have and what we need. For example, what if we lived in high-density live/work neighborhoods where 80% of what most people need are within a 20-minute walk?



Transit equity
Friday, March 21, 2014 6:00 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

This event, previously scheduled for December 17, has been rescheduled to Friday, March 21st at 6:00 pm at BSA Space (290 Congress St, Boston).

John A. Powell, professor of law, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, and executive director of the Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, will speak about transit equity’s key role in Boston’s upcoming transportation visioning. In his recent book, Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society, Powell argues that the United States has not achieved a post-racial society, but through stronger collaboration that transcends race, Boston and other American cities will move closer to developing an inclusive urban society.   

To attend, email with "Traffic 3/21" in the subject line.

Past events:

Still Standing: Conversations With Three Founding Partners of The Architects Collaborative

Tuesday, March 25, 6:00 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress St Boston 

The Architects Collaborative (TAC) opened in 1945, when seven young architects invited Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius to join them in what would become an experiment in a collaborative process and pioneering methodologies. The young professionals and their elder partner were bound together by shared humanitarian goals about changing the world through great design and a Modernist aesthetic. The firm led the profession in many ways, even by including two women among its founders and thereby flouting gender conventions of the day. During its 50-year existence, TAC—sometimes called The Cambridge School—became a flagship for the architectural community and was at one time the largest dedicated architectural practice in the United States. Many award-winning firms were spawned by the professionals who founded and worked at TAC.

In the summer of 2006, three members of the original founding group were “still standing.” Film producer and onetime TAC principal Perry Neubauer FAIA filmed a series of conversations with Norman Fletcher FAIA, Sarah (Sally) Harkness FAIA, and John (Chip) Harkness FAIA. Still Standing presents us with highlights that explore the genesis of TAC, the buildings designed by its principals, and how TAC’s work at the forefront of the Modern architectural movement still influences our everyday design assumptions.

With thanks to Perry Neubauer FAIA, former TAC principal and filmmaker.

Images courtesy of Perry King Neubauer.

Cities for people: Pedestrian and bike systems
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:00 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Helle Søholt, founding partner and CEO of Gehl Architects, the designer who introduced pedestrian plazas and biking opportunities to New York City’s Times Square and throughout Manhattan, suggests a new transportation balance between biking, transit, and cars.

To attend, email with "Traffic 1/23" in the subject line.

Somervision: What makes a city hip?

Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6:30 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

This event is organized by the Urban Design Committee

To attend, email with "1/16 Somervision" in the subject line.

While the Boston and Cambridge real estate markets continue to garner traction, no local community has done more in the last decade to change its image than Somerville, MA. Through effective governance, creative participatory approaches, business acumen and an effort to reinforce place-making, Somerville has become an attractive destination. Further change in the community is imminent with the T's Green Line expansion. Come hear the honorable Mayor Joseph A. Curatone talk about what the City is doing to implement the community's 2010 "Somervision".

Cities Without Ground
Friday, January 24, 5:30 pm 
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Reception to follow; RSVP to with “Cities 1-24” in the subject line.

Cities Without Ground will examine the three-dimensional pedestrian circulation networks of Hong Kong and illustrate the unique systems and cultures that make up the city’s nontraditional public space. 

Hong Kong’s footbridges, underpasses, interconnected shopping malls, transit interchanges, public parks, and private lobbies connect and convey people throughout the city in innovative ways that go well beyond the stable physical ground on which the public lives of most cities are played out. 

Though built piecemeal, owned by different public and private stakeholders, and adjacent to different programs and uses, these networks provide a fundamental public service in the form of a continuous space that offers an astonishing array of diverse, colorful environments.

Cities Collective is Adam Frampton, Cyrus Penarroyo, Jonathan D. Solomon, and Clara Wong. Their book, Cities Without Ground, was published by ORO Editions in 2012.

This event is part of Rights of Way: Mobility and the city, the current exhibition at BSA Space running through May 2014.

Best Practices: Preparing for climate change
Wednesday January 29, 6:00pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress St, Boston

Join us for a follow-up conversation on resiliency, nearly six months after the BSA-initiated report on “Best Practices” for building resiliency was released. To attend email with "Preparing for climate change 1-29" in the subject line. 

Sarah Slaughter from the Built Environment Coalition and a member of the consultant team which delivered the report will discuss research scope and methodology, recommendations for climate change adaptation and building resilience in Boston and beyond.  

Fiona Cousins, Principal at Arup and an author of Two Degrees: The Built Environment and Our Changing Climate, will discuss the ways in which our built environment should be designed to respond to the challenges of global warming. Both mitigation and adaptation strategies will be discussed with an emphasis on how these build resilience at the community and building scales. 
Moderated by Mike Davis, 2013 BSA President, the discussion will begin at 6pm including plenty of time for Q+A.  Reception follows. 
Read the report here:  Building Resilience in Boston: "Best Practices" for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience for Existing Buildings

Sponsored by:

Transportation today
Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Transportation today on October 29 is the kick-off session, led by Robert Puente (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution), Stephanie Pollack (associate director, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University), Beverly Scott (general manager, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; Rail & Transit). These regional and national transportation policy advisors consider Greater Boston’s current state of mobility, focusing on recent advancements, longstanding challenges, and capacity for expansion.

Sustainable mobility systems
Monday, November 11, 6:00 pm
BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

Sustainable transportation planning leader Jeffrey Tumlin, principal with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, whose work covers urban parking techniques, streamlined transit service, road diets, and overall transportation diversity, identifies transit opportunities for Boston.

Conversations on Architecture (COA)

The Boston Society of Architects’ series on design explorations

Conversations on Architecture (COA) brings together Boston’s leading young architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, and educators to explore the current state of architecture. The format is informal conversation hosted by BSA members. Topics are sparked following brief presentations by each month’s guest provocateur.

COA has emerged multiple times since the mid-1980s to deliver intimate opportunities for dialogue with today’s most cutting-edge designers. Dive into the deep end of design, and make some waves. All are welcome; the $25 fee ($10 for BSA members) includes food and drink. Space is limited! Reserve your seat now! All sessions begin at 6:00 pm at BSA Space.

January 14: “Practical Pedagogies: The State of Architecture Schools” Nader Tehrani, MIT Department of Architecture

By examining three schools of architecture in Atlanta; Melbourne, Australia; and Toronto, this session will look at rapidly changing teaching methods resulting from contemporary economic constraints, the digital revolution, and the depletion of natural resources. With an emphasis on material exploration and engagement with the building industry, Tehrani will discuss approaches to challenging the current protocols of how buildings are conceived and manufactured. In addition, he will explore how practice and pedagogy may come to have more relevance for each other in the near future. 


March 11: “Reinvention of the Harvard Art Museums”
Elisabetta Trezzani, Renzo Piano Building Workshop; and Charles Klee AIA, Payette

Originally constructed in 1927, Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum was designed to break the mold for fine-arts teaching museums. Through successive additions, the collection became increasingly disconnected and difficult to access. The designers were presented with the arduous task of consolidating three museums—the Busch-Reisinger, the Arthur M. Sackler, and the Fogg—into one facility. The challenge is to reconfirm the strong academic mission, make the collection more accessible, and solve the museums’ technical challenges while respecting the land marked original building.


May 13: “Opening Up the Clark” Gary Hilderbrand, Reed Hilderbrand; and Maddy Burke-Vigeland AIA, Gensler

After a 12-year renovation, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, will debut its renewed 140-acre campus in June 2014. The Clark’s estimable treasures—remarkable collections and galleries, library and research facilities, and visitor and community amenities—will now open up to a setting that reinterprets the museum’s pastoral Berkshires heritage as a sustainable working landscape and public commons. Two of the project’s principal designers, Maddy Burke-Vigeland AIA of Gensler and Gary Hilderbrand of Reed Hilderbrand, will reflect on their long collaboration with Pritzker Prize–winner Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf FAIA of Selldorf Architects on the Clark’s renovation.


Please check back periodically, this will be a 6-part series. 

View past programs at