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Design Weekly
News from the Weitzman School of Design
Weitzman Students Team Up with High-School Students for Studio+
A man points to the work of a young person while another person looks on
A new initiative at Weitzman called Studio+ brings together faculty members and students in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, fine arts, and city planning to elevate and reimagine the role of public school buildings in collaboration with several West Philadelphia schools. “What we’re trying to do is propose new interventions to the problem of school facilities in Philadelphia,” Assistant Professor of City Planning Akira Drake Rodriguez says. “One of the limits of a planning studio is that it’s focused on defining a problem. In a design-based studio, they’re proposing projects that they can actually implement.”
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At the Intersection of Preservation and Urban Planning and Renewal
An old photograph showing urban buildings being demolished
Changing the Face of the City, a new collaboration between Weitzman and The Carpenters’ Company, explores the intersections of historic preservation and urban planning and renewal through the lens of social justice with a series of virtual and in-person talks, walking tours, panels, and exhibits curated by Francesca Russello Ammon, associate professor of city planning and historic preservation at Weitzman. The first talk, “Human Toll: Accounting for and Repairing the Damage Wrought by Freeways in Minnesota’s Twin Cities,” given by Greg Donofrio, associate professor of historic preservation and public history at the University of Minnesota, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 on Zoom.
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Daniel Barber
Barber Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship
Daniel Barber, associate professor of architecture and director of the PhD Program in Architecture, has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. A specialist on environmental histories of architecture, Barber will examine how to live in buildings after fossil-fuel energy sources are no longer socially viable. His latest book, Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning, illuminates how leading architects of the 20th century took daily and seasonal climate patterns into account.
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Penn Global Support for Weitzman Faculty Research
Among the 21 new faculty-led research and engagement projects that will be supported by the latest round of grants from Penn Global are two by Weitzman faculty. Domenic Vitiello, associate professor of city and regional planning, and Richard Weller, professor and chair of landscape architecture, Meyerson Chair of Urbanism, and co-executive director of The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, both received grants.
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The facade of Tangen Hall, a modern glass building
A Campus Makerspace
Penn’s new Tangen Hall is now the largest student entrepreneurship hub in the world. The building houses the Venture Lab, a partnership by the Wharton School, Penn Engineering, and Weitzman that supports Penn students looking to establish their own startup. Venture Lab Executive Director Trang Pham says their mission can be summed up with three “I”’s: “Inclusion, innovation, and integration.”
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“Here’s How Slowly New York City Is Moving on Electric Vehicles”
Zhongjie Lin, associate professor of city and regional planning, on the need for a robust network of chargers to power electric vehicles in major cities
The New York Times (April 5, 2022)

“Filene Virtual Research Event Coverage: CUs Must Address ‘New Period of Financial Uncertainty’”
Lisa Servon, the Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and chair of city and regional planning, discusses the role that credit unions can play in bringing financial health to members
Credit Unions Today (April 5, 2022)

“Inside the Plan to Bring New Energy to the PECO Power Station on the Waterfront”
Aaron Wunsch, associate professor, historic preservation, describes the architectural grandeur of a long-dormant power station that is being reborn as luxury apartments
Philadelphia Magazine (April 9, 2022)

“Designing Motherhood: From the Dalkon Shield to the BabyBjörn”
Orkan Telhan, associate professor of fine arts, discusses his course at Penn that focused on the inequalities and injustices that happened in the history of motherhood and its relationship to design
Architect (April 12, 2022)
The Hometowns Project: Call for Contributions (Deadline Extended)
A group of people playing a game under a pavilion
To celebrate the cultural diversity of our community, Weitzman students, faculty, and staff are invited to share one or two images from their hometown. The pictures will be printed and displayed on the walls throughout the Weitzman buildings by end of this Spring term, to coincide with the Year End Show and throughout the summer. For any questions, email: Ariel Genadt at arge@upenn.eduUpload your images and captions by April 23 (extended deadline).
A green wall with plants
Creating Climate Solutions
The latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers both a harsh reality check and a path forward. William Braham, professor of architecture and director of the Center for Environmental Building and Design, joins other Penn faculty in responding to the report and offering their solutions to mitigating climate change. “Climate solutions exist now,” Braham says.
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An indigenous tent on Alcatraz Island
NoiseCat on Resistance and Ecocide
In an op-ed for Emergence Magazine, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Weitzman’s 2022 Commencement speaker, reflects on the convergence of two apocalypses—the genocide of colonization and the ecocide of climate change—as he traces a long history of Indigenous collective identity. “If we don’t stop to remember and honor the places we come from and rely upon, how can we possibly defend them?,” Noisecat says.
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People walk towards a greenhouse set next to an elevated train track
Penn Sustainability: In the Air and on the Ground
Did you know that each time the average commuter chooses a bike over a car, the emissions savings are equivalent to planting six trees? A new series of videos from Penn Sustainability—featuring Weitzman faculty Bill Braham and Akira Drake Rodriguez—captures some of the ways the University is working to reduce its carbon footprint, and how students, faculty, and staff can play a part, from biking to work to minimizing air travel.
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Building with Nature (Video)
In December, The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology organized a series of presentations and conversations related to Building with Nature, a consortium of dredging companies, engineers, scientists, and NGOs, which have completed a series of projects globally. The series was moderated by Professor of Practice Matthijs Bouw. “With the climate crisis, one of the main drivers is uncertainty, but we have learned that building with nature, or natured-based solutions, are often very good at handling or managing uncertainty,” Bouw says.
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A flock of birds in flight
Penn is located along the Atlantic Flyway, making it a stopover during spring migration when as many as 3.5 billion birds travel through. The campus provides important habitat, but it is not without peril because birds do not realize that glass surfaces and windows are solid. Bird Friendly Penn, an initiative led by Facilities & Real Estate Services, Penn Sustainability and Weitzman, is working to make the University friendlier for the traveling creatures.
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Ángel David Nieves
A Dialogue with Ángel David Nieves
Monday, April 18, 12:00pm | Online
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Hitoshi Abe
March 11th, 2011 . . . Community and Architecture
Hitoshi Abe
Co-sponsored by Penn’s Center for East Asian Studies
Monday, April 18, 6:30pm | Meyerson Hall, B01, 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Lord Nicholas Stern
2022 Carnot Prize Policy Lecture and Award Ceremony Honoring Lord Nicholas Stern
Tuesday, April 19, 4:30pm | Fisher Fine Arts Library, 220 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Human Toll: Accounting for Damage Wrought by Freeways in the Twin Cities
Greg Donofrio
Co-organized by The Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia
Wednesday, April 20, 5:30pm | Online
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A photo filtered to be red of people standing
Precarity: PhD Conference on Architectural Research
A two-day conference organized by Weitzman’s PhD Program in Architecture
Friday, April 22–Saturday, April 23 | Online
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The roof of a complex building with a walkway
Building in China: A Century of Dialogues on Modern Architecture
A two-part exhibition tracing the country’s shifting design practices over a century
Through Friday, April 22 | In person; Fisher Fine Arts Library and Architectural Archives, 220 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Sharon Hayes and Marisa Williamson, Embodied Interviews and Performances
A screening and talk organized by Haverford College that includes the work of Professor of Fine Arts Sharon Hayes
Tuesday, April 19, 4:30pm | Whitehead Campus Center, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pennsylvania
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The State of Public Memory
A virtual conversation organized by Monument Lab, which is directed by Paul Farber, a senior research scholar at Weitzman’s Center for Public Art and Space
Tuesday, April 19, 6:00pm | Online
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Venice Biennale: The Milk of Dreams
An international art exhibition that includes the work of alum Carolyn Lazard (MFA’19)
Opening Saturday, April 23 | Arsenale, Campo Dell Tana, Venice, Italy
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Alumni Reception at the American Planning Association Conference
Sunday, May 1, 6:00pm | In person; Half Door Brewing Company, 903 Island Avenue, San Diego, California
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Weitzman School of Design · 210 South 34th Street · 102 Meyerson Hall · Philadelphia, PA 19104 · USA