RIP Marshall Berman, 1940 – 2013

Monday, September 16th, 2013

MArshallBerman2LrgeShrp3-001“A lot of the creativity that New York has always had has come from the cellars, from the ruins, from how the other half lives, so an important part of sharing space and living city life is being able to live through the ways in which the city itself is torn down and is consumed and destroyed and also consumes itself. You know, if you can do that, you can become more human and more alive than you’ve been before.”

- Marshall Berman on graffiti in the 1970s and the rise of rap, transcribed from a clip from “New York: A Documentary Film” by Ric Burns.

Make sure to watch the video of Berman’s wonderful lecture at City College in May 2013, “Emerging from the Ruins” 

Congratulations to Board President Michael Sorkin, winner of a 2013 National Design Award!

Friday, May 10th, 2013

michael-sorkinMichael Sorkin was announced as the winner of a 2013 National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The category he won is Design Mind, which is “given in recognition of a visionary, such as an educator, author, critic, curator, or designer, who has had a profound impact on design theory, practice, or public awareness.”

For more on Michael’s work—at Michael Sorkin Studio, Terreform, The Nation, Architectural Record, City College of New York, and of course the Institute for urban Design, click here.





Marshall Berman will deliver the Mumford Lecture at CCNY, May 2

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

The legendary Marshall Berman is delivering the Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism at City College on May 2, 6:30.  p.m. It will be held in the Great Hall of Shepard Hall, Convent Avenue at 168th Street. Attendance is free and open to the public. 

Waterproofing New York has been POSTPONED due to bad weather! Stay tuned for a new date…

Friday, February 8th, 2013


Remembering Ada Louise Huxtable

Thursday, January 17th, 2013


“I think my approach works for a changing field. I’m not dogmatic or doctrinaire. I stay open-minded. If you’re rigid, you can’t be a good critic. I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t feel optimistic. I’m still full of wonder, I still love it. I like seeing what’s going on with vernacular architecture now, for example. And the arguments over 2 Columbus Circle show that the preservation movement is upside down right now. When they compare its loss to that of Penn Station—I’ve got smoke coming out of my ears! It’s not being lost, it’s being transformed. I live and believe in the present. I don’t live in the past and you can’t live in the future. That’s why I’m basically a modernist.”

In 2005, Board member Cathy Lang Ho interviewed Ada Louise Huxtable for an issue of The Architect’s Newspaper devoted to criticism. Read the full interview here.

Fellows’ Honors, Awards, and Competitions

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Thomas Balsley and Lyn Rice’s firms both won New York City’s Awards for Design Excellence for their respective projects, Phase 5 of Riverside South Park and Three Carriage Houses at the Staten Island Historical Society (pictured above); David Briggs’ Gowanus By Design announced their second Water_Works design competition, with Robert Rogers on the jury, to “explore water’s role in recreation, quotidian uses, and in contaminated urban environments.

Help support Commonplace, Interboro’s installation for the courtyard of the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale!

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Brooklyn-based studio Interboro, winner of last year’s MoMA PS1‘s Young Architects Program, has designed an “outdoor living room” that will serve as the pavilion’s hangout and workshop space. Built with simple, everyday materials found around Venice, Commonplace is conceived to serve as a quiet background to the colorful installations and programs of Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Once Commonplace is deinstalled in the fall, its components will be donated to Venice, where they will become part of the everyday life of the city.
We need your support! Help us get this great installation to Venice by sponsoring Commonplace’s components: Passerelle and sgabelli. The Institute for Urban Design is a 501c-3 not-for-profit organization, and your donations are fully tax-deductible.

Your Input Is Requested

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Your input is requested! As part of last year’s Urban Design Week, Fellow Mary Miss constructed an installation in West Harlem’s Montefiore Park with funding from the National Science Foundation. The installation asked passers-by to consider sustainability issues in the city. Architect and psychologist Dr. John Fraser, and his colleagues from, have been studying the impact of the installation by assessing responses from the urban design community, passers-by, and Mary Miss herself.  Fraser is now asking the community to comment on his preliminary reports over the next two weeks.  He and his colleagues would love to have your feedback so they can fully gauge how Miss’ work impacted community thinking about sustainability. You can download their draft report and submit comments here.

Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism this Thursday (4/5)

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This Thursday, April 5, NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn will give the 8th Annual Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism at City College’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. This event is free and open to the public. More details below.

New Fellows: Audrey Matlock, Justin Garrett Moore, & Ted Shelton

Monday, February 20th, 2012

We’re excited to introduce three new Fellows to the IfUD community: New York-based architect Audrey Matlock; NYC Dept. of City Planning senior urban designer Justin Garrett Moore; & Ted Shelton, an Assistant Professor at UT Knoxville and Partner at curb. It’s great to have them on-board!