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University at Buffalo

April 16, 2013
Korydon Smith reports that "Building Neighborhoods that Build Social and Economic Prosperity: Manual for a Complete Neighborhood" received a Congress for New Urbanism 2013 Global Award for Excellence in Urban Design as well as a 2013 Residential Architect Design Award in the "On the Boards" category. The collaborative project focused on housing design for a hillside settlement in Kigali, Rwanda, and involved the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (Stephen Luoni, Director, and  Jeffrey Huber), Korydon Smith (Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at UB), Peter Rich (South African architect and recipient of the WAF 2009 World Building of the Year), and Tomà Berlanda (Senior Lecturer at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology). Smith, along with Rich, led a group of nine architecture students from the University of Arkansas to Rwanda in September 2011. These students and faculty, in partnership with architecture students and faculty from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, conducted first-hand research of domestic architecture and life in rural and urban Rwanda, contributing to a semester-long design studio on urban housing in Kigali. Luoni and Huber, along with students and staff at the UACDC, furthered the work with the publishing of the aforementioned manual. The work is ongoing and involves partnerships with planning and government officials in Kigali, as Rich leads the implementation of the proposals. Likewise, Smith is currently completing a book on the work tentatively titled Translating Kigali, Rwanda: Cultural Inquires and Architectural Prospects for a Developing African City. The aforementioned awards are the second and third awards the work has garnered, adding to the 2012-2013 ACSA Collaborative Practice Award received last month.

Joyce Hwang's article "Living Among Pests" is published in Volume #35: Everything Under Control.  Volume is published by Archis (Netherlands), with Editor-in-Chief Arjen Oosterman, Managing Editor Brendan Cormier, and Contributing Editors Ole Bouman, Rem Koolhaas, and Mark Wigley. For more info, see: http://archis.org/publications/volume-35-everything-under-control/

 "Jordan Geiger: Very Large Organizations," a solo exhibition, opened at WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles from April 6-28, 2013. The show tracks a contemporary phenomenon: the convergence of multiple infrastructures and global networks in the built environment. Geiger ascribes the term Very Large Organizations (VLOs) to this confluence of technological, legal, economic, material, and cultural forces. It is through this identification that Geiger makes visible the impact of large-scale systems such as global communications and supranational legal and financial constructs on the construction and inhabitation of space. By identifying these systems, Geiger also finds an embedded field of inquiry rich with opportunities for architectural engagement and action.

Geiger is also conference co-chair, together with professors Mark Shepard and Omar Khan, of the international event, "MediaCity 4: MediaCities." The conference, exhibition and workshops are hosted for the first time in the United States, and are hosted at the University at Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning May 3-5, 2013. Reflecting on pluralities and globalities, on MediaCities everywhere, the event features keynotes and speakers from varied fields and countries all over the world. It opens new lines of inquiry and emergent relations between urbanity and digital media that are found in non-Western cities, in post-Capitalist cities, in cities hosting civic turbulence or crossing international boundaries. The gathering focuses on what urban-medial relations are taking shape differently in urban milieux that may have been heretofore overlooked.

Geiger's essay, "Maximal Surface Tension: Very Large Organizations and Their Apotheosis in Songdo," has been published in the journal SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy, issue 4: Currency. His project, "Emission," has been selected for publication in the June 2013 issue of the journal MAS Context.
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