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2009 Placemaking Seminar Archive / back to Placemaking Network Committee page »

Integrated Design For A More Sustainable Future

January 26, 2009 

Speaker: Matt Noblett AIA, Behnisch Architekten, Studio East

As we continue to question our society’s ever-increasing reliance on automated systems we also endeavor to make the appropriate use of advances in technology. Behnisch buildings are evidence of an architecture, which is not only of high quality, but also environmentally responsible. The presentation and subsequent discussion explored integrated design process, and particularly the humanistic component of the integration of technology.


Constellation Center: A World-Class Performing Arts Complex in Cambridge, MA

February 23, 2009

Speakers: Alexandra Lee, Development Officer, ConstellationCenter and David Silverman, Project Manager, President of map-lab inc.

Constellation Center, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be one of the world’s finest performing arts centers. With four halls under one roof, superior acoustics, and near-infinite usage combinations for film, music, opera, dance and drama, Constellation Center will become home to scores of cultural organizations, creating an arts center rich with creative possibilities. In addition, the Center will provide spaces for conferences, lectures, and other community driven needs. Project history, current status, and its context in Cambridge and beyond were explored.


Public Art in Integrated Design 

March 23, 2009  

Speaker: Patricia Fuller, Public Art Curator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Overview of the public art collection at MIT, including permanently sited works on campus, which have been given by various donors, and commissions through MIT's ongoing Percent-for- Art program, in connection with new campus capital projects. Discussion of the integrated design process and interface between planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and public art.


Revitalizing Cleveland  

April 27, 2009

Speaker: India Pierce Lee, Loeb Fellow, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

In 2006, The Cleveland Foundation, in partnership with Cleveland’s leading “anchor institutions” and local philanthropies and community groups, launched the Greater University Circle Initiative. The Initiative is designed to stimulate new investment in the neighborhoods of Greater University Circle to “create a 21st century community.” The Greater University Circle Initiative is a path-breaking attempt to transform the quality of life for the area’s low- and moderate-income residents.  If successful, this Initiative promises to forge a new model of comprehensive community development that could become a national model for how cities can leverage their existing assets to create jobs, address poverty, build community wealth and family assets, and integrate into the development process a core commitment to environmental sustainability.


Collaborative Design: Integrating Architecture with Public Art

May 18, 2009

Speaker: John Stebbins, Principal, Cambridge Seven Associates. Respondent: Peter Smith, Principal, Global Urban Solutions.  

Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) is a multidisciplinary design firm with a history of high quality design that integrates art features into projects. Prominent examples are the Skywalks at Logan International Airport featuring marine imagery by artist Jane Goldman in its terrazzo floors and the Shingu Kinetic Sculpture at Porter Square to mention Boston and Cambridge locations. Respondent Peter Smith provided feedback on collaborative approach and design.


Urban Design in the Information Age

September 28, 2009

Speaker: Thomas Piper, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning

This presentation examined "Urban Design in the Information Age." Can city design processes supported by novel configurations of information technology shape acceptance of new urban form and patterns of living and working?  The presentation suggested directions for the future. Thomas Piper is a principal research scientist in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With a background in urban design and film, Piper has pioneered the use of media in city design and economic development. Piper also directs “FutureBoston,” an outgrowth of The Boston Conference, concerned with ways that networked collaboration might support new patterns of work and living in cities, focused on urban design, energy independence and environmental security.


The Lowell Plan: Creative Economic Development

October 26, 2009

Speaker: Rosemary Noon, Creative Economy Consultant

In 2009, The Lowell Plan, Inc. celebrated its 30th anniversary as a private non-profit economic development organization that provides a forum for private and public sector leaders to discuss Lowell’s economic, educational, and cultural development; and supports partnership programs that advance Lowell’s strategic goals. The discussion focussed on Lowell Plan’s sense of common enterprise and its track record of implementing ambitious projects in civic engagement.


Renewable Energy Design and the Question of Placemaking in Cities

November 23, 2009

Speaker: Michael Pelken, Assistant Professor of Architecture / Fellow at the Center of Excellence, Syracuse University

The creation of public space is strongly influenced by historical context, sociopolitical conditions and cultural desires. As environmental issues press us to rethink our cities, the question emerges to what degree energy conservation and generation will affect urban strategies for placemaking.

Pelken's current teaching and collaborative research at Syracuse University focuses on integrating wind technologies in the built environment. He was a team design architect for Foster and Partners on Boston's Museum of Fine Arts project from 2002-2007 and also has worked with Energy Design Lab, an international, collaborative research and design group that won first prize in the BSA-sponsored Windscape ideas competition in 2006.


The Public(s) as Sculpture: Jackie Ferrara and M. Paul Friedberg's Anti-Memorial "Place" at Tufts University 

December 21, 2009

Speaker: Dr. Amy Schlegel, Director, Tufts University Art Gallery

Alex's Place represents a collaborative vision and a stylized blending of modern landscape design and fine art by New York-based artist Jackie Ferrara and landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg. The team crafted a design that accommodates sitting, studying and socializing, as well as performances and exhibitions, on a 11,000-square-foot L-shaped plaza. Alex's Place fuses Ferrara's love of complex mosaic patterning and dramatic play of light and shadow with Friedberg's acute sensitivity to the balance of the built and natural environments.