BARAN | Who’s My Advisor?

One of the benefits that is supposed to come from attending an Ivy League university is a vast network of resources. Cornell students are ostensibly privileged with all the guidance and mentorship they can ask for, all at the tip of their fingertips. For the most part, this is true. If we truly need help with a particular problem, we can almost always seek it out. And at the core of this support network is the advising system.

A Gag Order on Race in Architecture

Race is a painfully awkward topic in architecture, while culture remains the go-to book for, uh, copying. David Adjaye, the Ghanian architect born in Tanzania, said in an interview with New York Magazine in 2007, “If a Japanese architect talks about Shintoism, everyone goes, ‘Wow.’ If an African architect talks about an African village, it is somehow weird in the Western context. I find that hilarious. What’s the difference?” Adjaye, a prodigiously talented architect who last week won the Smithsonian commission to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture, is unfortunately a good example of how uncomfortable the architectural discourse is with race.

Architects Have a "Field" Day

There is a question that plagues architects: “Is the building in the drawing or the built work?” Since much of architecture happens on paper and in scale models, architects have had to confront the issue of scale again and again. Architecture students rarely build their assignments in life-scale, rather opting for more wieldy sizes. A handful of professional architects are as famous for their works on paper as they are for their built works — Lebbeus Woods, notably, as well as L.A.-based firm Morphosis.

Beast Escapes the Fire in Annual Dragon Day Festivities

This story was originally published on March 18.

The dragon lives on, as this year’s annual celebration of Dragon Day culminated in the burning of a symbolic nest, instead of the usual destruction of the first-year architects’ creation. Endowed with moving wings, claws and heads, this year’s dragon was instead able to escape the fire, finding refuge in Rand Hall instead.

In honor of the 108-year old tradition, the dragon journeyed across Central Campus on Friday, just as Spring Break began. Starting at Rand Hall, the dragon traveled up University Ave, down East Ave, and then made a right onto Campus Rd. As the fiery red dragon passed the Engineering Quad, the engineers unveiled their creation, a bright yellow phoenix. Finally, the dragon made its way to the Arts Quad.

Budget Cuts Force AAP to Close Facility

Dean Kent Kleinman of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning announced the closing of the Knight Visual Resources Facility yesterday, due to budget cuts within the college.
The facility, containing 35 mm and lantern slides, as well as recently digitized images, is one of the University’s oldest resources. Founded in 1880 to support the AAP, the facility is home to one of the largest image collections on campus. Located in Sibley Hall, the KVRF allows individuals to check out its extensive collection of videos and digital slides, which feature images ranging from classical art to architectural design plans.

AAP Earns First Rank in Survey

C.U.’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning received high marks in a new survey by DesignIntelligence. The magazine ranked the University’s architecture, interior design and landscape architecture programs at the top of their list of best architecture program.
Cornell’s Bachelor of Architecture program was ranked first of the top 20 in the United States, up two spots from last year’s ranking of number three. The Masters of Architecture program also placed sixth out of the top architecture graduate programs. In the past five years, Cornell’s B. Arch program has been ranked number one four times and the M. Arch program, established in 2004, has placed in the top 20 for the past three years as well.

Kent Kleinman to Lead AAP as Dean

The year-long search to find a replacement for Mohsen Mostafavi as dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning came to a close this morning with the University’s announcement that Kent Kleinman will take the reins from interim Dean W. Stanley Taft. Taft has been serving as interim dean since Mostafavi resigned last fall.

Kleinman currently serves as the chair of the Department of Architecture, Interior Design and Lighting at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. His five-year term will commence on Sept. 1.

Provost Biddy Martin offered praise for Kleinman, noting a distinct point of view that he brings with him.