• Reset: Towards a New Commons
    Juliana Barton and Barry Bergdoll
    Center for Architecture, New York
    Apr 15, 2022 to Sep 03, 2022
    Center for Architecture

Visual identity for “Reset: Towards a New Commons” by Natasha Jen, Pentagram. Courtesy Center for Architecture

Reset: Towards a New Commons is an exhibition exploring architecture's role in envisioning new dynamics of living and community building with a focus on Universal Design and barrier-free environments. Contemporary American culture is increasingly disconnected, with people divided by needs, generations, and beliefs. The disconnection has been exacerbated by the enduring COVID-19 pandemic and has been illuminated by the growing racial justice movement. The exhibition explores the belief that environments that foster cooperation, interaction, and mutual assistance can be an antidote to the intense divisions in American life. Rather than designing specific spaces for specific needs, the exhibition considers how spaces may be designed for all, addressing the need for barrier-free environments and practices rooted in Universal Design. Reset: Towards a New Commons proposes how architecture can address this while helping to create communities that foster inclusion in the broadest of terms. Several historic and contemporary case studies area presented that demonstrate ways in which designers have helped foster community, many of them focusing on specific target groups—isolated religious communes, parents-to-be, people with disabilities, or seniors with dementia. Ultimately, through a nationwide request for proposals, the Center for Architecture hopes to prompt designers to think beyond these examples and envision radically different environments that promote a broader and more holistic approach to inclusion.

Benjamin Prosky is executive director of the Center for Architecture. He was previously assistant dean for communications at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He started his career at the Institut Français d'Architecture in Paris, producing exhibitions and public programs. He then moved to the Canadian Center for Architecture to oversee public programs. Prior to Harvard, Prosky worked at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation as director of special events and external Affairs. He is a cofounder of Architizer, the first online networking tool created for architects. Prosky holds a bachelor’s in urban studies from Vassar College. Prosky oversees production for Reset: Towards a New Commons.

Katie Mullen is director of exhibitions and programs at the Center for Architecture. She manages the development and production of the CFA’s exhibitions. Since 2016, she has overseen Archtober, NYC's annual architecture and design festival. She received her BA in urban studies from the Vassar College. Mullen will be managing the production of this exhibition and overseeing the call for proposals.

Catherine Teegarden develops and oversees the Center for Architecture (CFA)’s educational programs, which include K–12 school programs, family workshops, youth programs, adult public programs, and exhibition-related events and publications. She created the Center’s signature classroom architect residency program Learning By Design:NY in 1996, serving as the program director from 1996–2001, and has also overseen CFA’s programs held at the Center. Teegarden has been a freelance design educator with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Hudson River Museum, and taught as a full-time architect-in-residence at PS84M from 1989 to 1994. She holds a bachelor’s in philosophy from Yale University, an M.Arch from Columbia University and is licensed for Elementary Education in New York State. Teegarden is developing education programming for Reset: Towards a New Commons.

Barry Bergdoll is president of the Center for Architecture Board of Trustees, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, where from 2007 to 2013 he served as Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design. While at MoMA he curated Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront. His research expertise is in modern architectural history, with an emphasis on France and Germany since 1789. Bergdoll’s interests also include the intersections of architecture and new technologies and cultures representations in the modern period, especially photography and film. His publications include European Architecture 1750–1890 in the Oxford History of Art and studies on Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Mies van der Rohe. Bergdoll holds a doctorate in art history from Columbia University. He is cocurator of Reset: Towards a New Commons.

Juliana Rowen Barton is a historian and curator whose research centers on the intersections of race, gender, and design. Through her work, she strives to make a more equitable museum experience and to reframe perspectives on familiar objects and spaces. Currently, she is a Lecturer in Architecture at the Weitzman School of Design and an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Leading Edge Fellow at the Center for Craft. From 2017–19, she worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she coorganized Design in Revolution (2018) and was part of the curatorial team for Designs for Different Futures (2019–20). She has also worked on exhibitions at the Center for Architecture and The Museum of Modern Art, and she received training from the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Graduate Seminar in Curatorial Practice. She holds a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's with highest distinction from the University of Virginia.

Natasha Jen is a partner at Pentagram, the world’s largest independently-owned design studio. She has worked as a senior designer on fashion and brand identity projects and as an art director leading large-scale branding, exhibition, environmental, and editorial projects. She joined Pentagram’s New York office as partner in April 2012. Jen’s practice has been notable for crossing media genres, drawing on references from a diverse range of cultural, historical, aesthetic, and technological sources. Her work encompasses brand identities, environmental design, multi-scale exhibitions, signage systems, print, motion and interactive graphics, created in collaborations with universities and professional organizations, museums and galleries, and retail and fashion brands. Her clients have included Harvard Art Museums, Guggenheim Museum/Foundation, and Wexner Center for the Arts, among many others. Jen received her bachelor’s in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts in 2002. She is exhibition designer for Reset: Towards a New Commons.

The Advisory Committee Jury includes: Barbara Weinrich, Marc Norman, Rosanne Haggerty, Amy Hurst, Xian Horn, and Peter Robinson.

The American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) established the New York Foundation for Architecture in 1966 to offer grants and scholarships furthering the study and profession of architecture. In 2003, AIANY and the Foundation jointly opened the Center for Architecture (CFA) to meet growing community demand. The mission of the Center for Architecture is to educate a broad audience about the built environment and the value of architectural practice. Through free informative exhibitions, timely public programs, dialogues between building professionals and the general public, and design education experiences for K–12 students and families, the CFA reveals the transformative power of architecture. The organization hosts 70,000 visitors annually to 12 special exhibitions and over 600 public programs and serves around 9,500 K–12 students, teachers and families. The CFA maintains a full schedule of public programming to bring general audiences into contact with current professional thinking and luminaries in the field.