About the Speakers
Tobias Armborst is Assistant Professor of Art and Urban Studies at Vassar College and Principal and co-founder (with Georgeen Theodore and Daniel D’Oca) of Interboro Partners. The Brooklyn-based architecture, planning, and research firm has won many awards for its innovative projects, including the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices and Young Architects Awards, and the New Practices Award from the AIA. Interboro’s recent projects include a neighborhood plan for Newark, NJ, a public park and street tree nursery in Lower Manhattan, and the courtyard of the American pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale. In 2013 Interboro was selected by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to lead one of ten international design teams in the “Rebuild by Design” project. Tobias received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Diplom-Ingenieur from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany.
As Founding Director of Green Map System, Wendy Brawer has supported the mapping of sustainable community development in 65 countries. In addition to co-creating icons, technology and engagement tools for this award-winning locally-led global movement, Wendy has published more than a dozen different NYC Green Maps. With more than twenty years of ecodesign experience, she consults on engaged communications and resilient cities. Wendy has been appointed Designer in Residence at Smithsonian National Design Museum and an Utne Visionary.
Candy Chang is an artist who is passionate about the way we shape our places and our places shape us. Combining public art, civic engagement, and introspection, she explores the power of our public spaces to help us make sense of our communities and ourselves. Author of the just published Before I Die, Candy has created public art projects in New Orleans, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and New York City, and her work has been exhibited in the Venice Biennale, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Centre for the Living Arts. She is a TED Senior Fellow, a Tulane Urban Innovation Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She was named a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design, and one of Ad Age’s 50 most influential creative thinkers and doers. Candy attended Global Studio Vancouver (06) and Johannesburg (07).
Miodrag Mitrasinovic is an architect, urbanist and author. Miodrag is an associate professor of Urbanism and Architecture at Parsons The New School for Design. He previously served as Dean of The School of Design Strategies (2009-12), and Chair of Urban and Transdisciplinary Design (2007-09). Miodrag’s research focuses on both generative capacity and infrastructural dimensions of public space, specifically at the intersections of public policy, urban and public design, and processes of privatization of public resources. He is the author of Total Landscape, Theme Parks, Public Space ( 2006), and co-editor of Travel, Space, Architecture ( 2009). Both books received Graham Foundation Grants in 2004 and 2006 respectively. His professional and scholarly work has been published internationally.
Shin-pei Tsay’s experience in policy and practice converges on transforming the built environment so that it is more accessible, equitable, and sustainable. She is the research and development director for TransitCenter, a non-profit start-up focused on innovations that improve cities and transportation. Most recently, she was the director of cities and transportation in the energy and climate program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has held leadership positions at Transportation Alternatives, ZGF Architects, and Project for Public Spaces. She is also a co-founder of Planning Corps, an organization that matches urban planners with community-based projects, whose work was part of the 2012 Venice Biennale for Architecture. Shin-pei also is a part-time adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and serves on the boards of Transportation Alternatives and the Brooklyn Public Library.
Christine Gaspar is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) where she partners with designers and community organizations to create visually-based educational tools that help demystify complex issues from zoning law to sewage infrastructure. Christine has over ten years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, and teaches in the Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons The New School for Design. The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement.
Nabeel Hamdi, Emeritus Professor of Housing and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes University, is an architect who has taught generations of community development practitioners. Recipient of the 1997 UN Habitat Scroll of Honour for his work on Community Action Planning, Nabeel has consulted on participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities to all major international development agencies, and to charities and NGOs worldwide. He is the author of The Placemakers Guide to Community Building (2010), Small Change (2004), Housing Without Houses (1995), co-author of Making Micro Plans (1988) and Action Planning for Cities (1997), and editor of the collected volumes Educating for Real (1996) and Urban Futures (2005).
Geeta Mehta is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She is the co-founder of Mumbai based activist organization “URBZ: User Generated Cities”. Geeta has pioneered the concept of Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) that empowers communities to take charge of their own development, and is author of several books. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and Columbia University, and received her Ph.D. in from the University of Tokyo. She has also served as the president of the American Institute of Architects’ Japan Chapter.
Anna Rubbo, B.Arch (Melbourne), D. Arch (Michigan) joined CSUD at Columbia University in 2012. A member of the Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers (2002-04) she went on to found the Global Studio, an action research project to help urban professionals work more effectively with the urban poor. Working with academic partners, local government and NGOs since 2005 in Istanbul, Vancouver, Johannesburg, and Bhopal, the work of Global Studio has been shown in the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (2009), and the Cooper Hewitt exhibition ‘Design with the other 90%’ . (2010). Rubbo is project director for the traveling exhibition, People Building Better Cities shown in eight countries and 12 cities in 2013. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney.
Tony Schuman is associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Design at NJIT. He is former president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), past chair of the New York Chapter of Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and a founding member of a series of advocacy and activist organizations in the architecture and planning professions, including Urban Deadline, The Architects’ Resistance (TAR), Homefront, and the Planners Network. He has written extensively on housing design and community development. His essay “Community Engagement: Architecture’s Evolving Social Vocation” is published in ACSA’s centennial compendium, Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America (2012).