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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Six Important Architecture Lectures at NJIT College of Architecture and Design

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne, known for his photography books highlighting forgotten and lost structures, will be among the speakers at NJIT’s free Monday night lecture series running through April.  More topics will include Jersey City’s amazing redevelopment, hyperdensity, plus recent architectural projects by the renowned architect Bernard Tschumi.

The events, sponsored by NJIT College of Architecture and Design, are open to the public.  They will be held in Weston Hall (Summit and Warren streets) at 5:30 p.m.  Parking on the street and in the NJIT Parking Garage, Summit St. will be available.  For more information, call (973) 596-3080.  Support for this series has been provided by the multi-national construction company Skanska  and the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) .

New ways to help cities accommodate more people through better infrastructure—called hyperdensity by architects--will be the topic of Vishay Chakrabarti’s Feb. 8, 2010 talk.  He’ll look at improving mass transit systems, new mixes of residential, commercial and retail programs and better and more viable green and public spaces. Chakrabarti directs the real estate development program at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University (GSAPP).  He was a founder of the architectural firm VCDC in NYC.    

       On Feb. 22, 2010, Scott Marble, AIA, a partner in the architectural firm of Marble Fairbanks, NYC, and director of fabrication research, also at GSAPP, will discuss the process of design, assembly and the industry that manufactures the product.  His talk, entitled “Designing Design,” explains a new way to conceive the architectural process from preliminary designs through what happens after the building is occupied.  Marble will specifically target the new computer technology available to architects, including building information modeling (BIM).  

Practicing architect and celebrated photographer Christopher Payne, author of the newly-released Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals (MIT Press, 2009) will speak March 1, 2010.  Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals visiting 70 institutions in 30 states. Through his lens, viewers see splendid, palatial exteriors and crumbling interiors—chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.  

Recent visitors to Jersey City know how much the skyline has changed in recent years—especially along the waterfront now replete with glittering and glamorous corporate office buildings tied together by a wide brick walkway for strolls along the Hudson River.   Speaking on March 8, 2010 will be the key planners behind those changes.  Robert Cotter, director of Jersey City’s Division of City Planning, and Jeffrey Wenger, a principal planner in the same division, will discuss what’s gone into redeveloping Jersey City and the future.  Cotter has been behind many of the new and ambitious plans to allow for higher densities in the city’s redevelopment.  Wenger has authored many of the redevelopment plans put forth in the last decade.

 On March 29, 2010, two innovative architects from New York City--David Leven and Stella Betts of LEVENBETTS  will discuss their recent work.  The pair has executed a series of projects from the scale of single-family houses to urban interventions.  Among their most notable ones was an addition to the Stockholm Public Library which received a merit award in 2008 from the NYC chapter of AIA. 

This year’s series closes on April 15, 2010, with a lecture by world-renowned architect Bernard Tschumi FAIA .  Tschumi first won international acclaim with his first-place entry for an important French design competition in 1983. In 1988, he was named dean of GSAPP and transformed it into one of the most important architecture graduate schools in the 1990's.  Tschumi stepped down in 2003 to focus on his practice, and recently completed the Acropolis Museum in Athens.  His lecture “Concept-Form” speaks to his design process and approach to architecture.  This has been elaborated in his series of books called "Event-Cities.”

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.