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News from the Weitzman School of Design
Reina Joins White House
Vincent Reina
Vincent Reina, associate professor of city and regional planning and faculty director of the Housing Initiative at Penn, has been named senior policy advisor for housing and urban policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council. In this role, he’ll work with administration officials and executive branch agencies to address the nation’s housing affordability and supply challenges, affirmatively further fair housing, and advance equitable development and community investment. “There are longstanding challenges and inequities in our housing markets that affect the wellbeing of individuals and communities, and the future of America’s cities and regions,” Reina says.
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Leadership in Design Program Is Launched
A man writes on a whiteboard while a woman looks on
Weitzman is accepting applications for a new online Executive Program in Design Leadership (XDL), a six-month certificate for designers looking to advance their leadership skills. The program is led by Rob Fleming, Weitzman’s newly-appointed director of online innovation and faculty director for XDL, and its core faculty is anticipated to include Lucinda Sanders, CEO and partner at OLIN, a landscape architecture firm located in Philadelphia. “We’re not just improving skills incrementally, but helping professionals to create a whole new platform for leadership,” says Fleming. The early application deadline, which carries a discount on tuition, is July 1.
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Corps Collaboration
A man walking across grassy marshland
The Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab), a newly launched research lab within The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology at the Weitzman School, is part of a team that has received a $750,000 grant through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering With Nature program. As part of the project, researchers from the Department of Landscape Architecture, including Senior Lecturer Keith VanDerSys (pictured), will help collect data and monitor landscape changes related to the Army Corps’ dredging and sediment placement work at sites in the Maurice River in New Jersey.
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Culture and Belonging in South Philadelphia
A colorful mural fills the wall of a building
A vibrant mural depicting neighborhood scenes of South Philadelphia is the result of a collaboration between alum Shira Walinsky (MFA’99), who is a lecturer of fine arts, and an elementary school teacher and her school community. Commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia, the mural transforms a wall across from the Francis Scott Key School with scenes based on students’ accounts of what they see on their way to school including local landmarks; greetings in languages including Malaysian and Chinese; food and drink, such as bowls of pho and pots of tea; and local sports teams including the Eagles.
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A mine site with large trucks carrying earth
Cobalt, Congo, and the Future of Electric Vehicles (Audio)
On the latest episode of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s podcast, two experts on mining industry governance explore the environmental and social challenges of mining cobalt, a critical material in electric vehicle batteries, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The episode is the third in a three-part series that explores governance challenges surrounding the transition to clean energy.
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Instruments of Change (Video)
In February, the Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab) at The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology organized a multi-day symposium focusing on how the speakers’ work engages landscape processes and environmental change and the tools that enable them to do so. Recordings of the three sessions include a presentation by Sean Burkholder, the Andrew Gordon Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, on his use of mapping and modeling to simplify complex phenomena for the purposes of comprehension, communication, and prediction.
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“The Park at Penn’s Landing and the Future of Public Space”
Julie Donofrio, managing director of PennPraxis, describes the major changes coming to Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing.
Context (Spring 2022)

“Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery will kill off its green Kelly Drive hillside—in order to save it”
Alum Nancy Goldenberg (MCP’80), president and CEO of Laurel Hill Cemetery, describes the historic cemetery’s plan to clear a hillside of weeds and invasive plants and then replant it with native species.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (May 19, 2022)

“Ken Lum - Live in Conversation with Michelle Jacques and Johan Lundh” (Video)
Lum, the Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and chair of fine arts, discusses his art practice and his work as cofounder of Monument Lab, the public art and history studio in Philadelphia.
Remai Modern’s YouTube channel (May 26, 2022)

“The protection of our heritage has become a ghastly global version of Eurovision”
Lynn Meskell, the Richard D. Green University Professor, warns that politics are undermining UNESCO’s vital role in protecting important historic sites around the world.
The Telegraph (May 27, 2022, subscription required)

“Monuments: Many communities considering how the West was won”
Paul Farber, a senior research scholar at Weitzman’s Center for Public Art and Space, discusses Monument Lab’s National Monument Audit, which assesses the current monument landscape across the United States.
Hays Post (May 31, 2022)
Imperative of Struggle
A group of people performing in the gallery space
An online gallery documents work from the 2022 Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition. Curated by Jamal Batts, the exhibition brought together the work of nine artists, including The Ends, a performance directed by Julia Gladstone.
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Year End Show
Rendering of a complex building
An online gallery brings together work from Weitzman’s Year End Show, including renderings created by Danny Ortega (MArch’22) as part of his thesis project.
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Modern Matters: Conserving the Recent Past
Curtain wall of a modern building seen at night
The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation presents the research of 14 students in an online exhibition. Projects include an exploration of the energy-efficiency issues with historic glass curtain wall systems by Drew McMillan, a student in the Master of Science in Design: Historic Preservation program.
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Installation of the Hometowns Project
Hometowns Project 2022
A collaborative installation of text and images from the Weitzman community
Ongoing | In person; Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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The skyline of Chicago
Weitzman at the 2022 AIA Conference
An alumni reception with remarks by Rob Fleming, Director of Online Innovation
Thursday, June 23, 6:00pm | HDR, Inc. (Inland Steel Building), 30 West Monroe Street, Suite 700, Chicago, Illinois
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Ken Lum: Death and Furniture
A solo exhibition of work by Lum, the Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and chair of fine arts
Opens Saturday, June 25 | Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario
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The Art of Protest
A hands-on workshop led by Heather Raquel Phillips (MFA’16), lecturer in fine arts. Organized by The Carpenters’ Company.
Saturday, June 25, 10:00am | Art in the Age, 116 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Weitzman School of Design · 210 South 34th Street · 102 Meyerson Hall · Philadelphia, PA 19104 · USA