“Immersive Cloud” sculpture opens downtown

A new sculpture by SU Architecture Professor Daekwan Park was unveiled today along the Connective Corridor in Syracuse. The American Institute of Architects CNY Chapter brought the idea to fruition in conjunction with 40 Below and the City of Syracuse, to showcase collaborative spirit and to “reimagine place” at a gateway to the city’s downtown. A collection of 185 of stainless steel disks, perched on steel trunks, creates a small forest of reflected light to animate a formerly nondescript corner, while also providing seating and opportunities for play. The light rain that fell during the opening of the sculpture revealed, even to the designer, that the sculpture also has a musical component, as the raindrops made rhythmic sounds all around the visitors.

Science and Art: Water photography event

Earth Science professor Jeffrey Karson and Transmedia professors Susannah Sayler and Ed Morris came together in Watson Theater on Nov. 2 for a discussion of Water and Photography. The event was moderated by art history professor Romita Ray, who steered the conversation toward questions of why water is an inspiring subject for scientists and artists, how the technology influences their perspective on water, and what kinds of messages they are trying to convey with their photographs.

Dr. Karson has photographed the deep ocean floor and is the author of Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust (Cambridge UP, 2015). Sayler and Morris run the Canary Project and The Canary Lab at Syracuse University, which “develops research-based art and media focused on ecology.”

The event was sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the SU Humanities Center, Renee Crown University Honors Program, Art and Music Histories, Light Work, Multimedia Photography and Design, Art Education, The Canary Lab, Communications and Rhetorical Studies, Earth Sciences, Geography, Science Communications, and Science Teaching.

Ten Tons of Love Donation Reaches 14 Tons

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, By Shannon Andre

From April 27 through May 11, campus community members participated in the annual Ten Tons of Love collection drive sponsored by the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. This year’s collection resulted in 14 tons of donated goods. The total for clothing, household items and electronics came to 12 tons, all of which benefited the Rescue Mission and its programming. The total food donations came to two tons. Due to an outpouring of food donations, Off-Campus and Commuter Services was able to stock the Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry and provide additional donations to the Food Bank of Central New York and the Interreligious Food Consortium. “This year’s Tens Ton of Love effort was remarkable,” says Elin Riggs, director of the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. “Through our added partnerships and the great generosity of our campus community members, we were able to contribute even more to benefit the community.” For more information, contact the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services at 315.443.5489.

Five Projects Receive Campus as Lab for Sustainability Grants

Thursday, June 1, 2017, By Rachel May

Syracuse University’s Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) funding program has completed its second round of applications and awarded nearly $75,000 in funding to faculty and students.

The call for proposals sought projects that address climate disruption and offer opportunities for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community.

The following projects were selected:

  • College of Engineering and Computer Science students Alex Johnson, Yige Yang and David Zheng, under the supervision of Cliff Davidson, Thomas C. and Colleen L. Wilmot Professor of Engineering, and Assistant Professor Ben Akih-Kumgeh, will work on evaluating the water and energy performance of the large green roof at the Syracuse Center of Excellence building. Other advisors on the project include Assistant Professor Tarek Rakha (School of Architecture); Deanna McCay, EMPOWER program manager; Associate Professor Don Torrance (Newhouse School); Associate Professor Sharon Dotger (School of Education); and Assistant Professor Todd Moss, Whitman School.
  • Assistant Professor Bess Krietemeyer (School of Architecture), in collaboration with Professor Jason Dedrick (School of Information Studies) and Associate Professor Peng Gao (Maxwell School), proposed a project titled, “Campus Light Mapping: Analysis and Visualization of Sustainable Smart Lighting for Reducing GHG Emissions and Improving Campus Safety.” They will use GIS and energy simulation tools to map the nighttime illumination on campus, to identify opportunities for solar lighting and other efficient solutions, and to create a mobile map of safely lit walking routes around campus.
  • Assistant Professor Rakha and Associate Professor Senem Velipasalar (College of Engineering and Computer Science) will pursue a project to test unmanned aerial systems they have previously developed for measuring heat leakages from buildings. They will test the system on South Campus and use the results to inform the campus about energy efficiency issues and to offer suggestions for retrofitting the buildings.
  • Professor of Practice Svetoslava Todorova (College of Engineering and Computer Science) will collaborate with graduate students Katie Duggan, Elliot Twilley and Sounak Das on a mobile application to track the water and energy consumption of dormitory residents and to encourage behaviors that promote conservation of resources.
  • Emily Brown, legal writing professor in the College of Law, will supervise two law student research assistants, who will review climate change rules proposed by the federal government and distill the proposed rules into accessible summaries that can be quickly understood and shared via social media.

Funding for CALS grants comes from the Syracuse University Climate Action Plan. As energy efficiency efforts have been implemented in recent years, some of the savings have gone into a fund for this purpose. The initial round of funding, totaling $50,000, was awarded in January.

For the second round of funding, 15 applications were received, with requests for funding totaling nearly $200,000. The call for proposals encouraged multidisciplinary projects and projects from a broad range of disciplines; applicants and collaborators represented the School of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Information Studies, College of Law, Maxwell School, Newhouse School, College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Whitman School. The selection committee was drawn from an advisory group of faculty from all the schools and colleges.

Prof. Sanin speaks at UN on Medellin as a model for sustainable urban design

Architecture’s Francisco Sanin to Join International Panel at Upcoming United Nations Event

Friday, May 5, 2017, By Elaine Wackerow

Francisco Sanin

On May 19, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, School of Architecture Professor Francisco Sanin will join a highly respected gathering of leading thinkers from around the globe as a panelist at the “Gateway Portals to the City” conference.

The high profile event is organized by the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, in partnership with UN-Habitat NY and AIA NY. Stakeholders from government and private sectors, the United Nations network, and other international organizations will engage in dialogue regarding the critical role of sustainable infrastructure and city portals in urban transformation.

Among the many notables participating in this event will be H.E. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General; H.E. Peter Thomson, president, United Nations General Assembly; and Dr. Joan Clos, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat).

Professor Sanin will participate in a special case study session and provide expertise on the recent transformation of Medellin, Colombia. “It’s an honor to participate in this forum,” says Sanin. “The conference will explore case studies from around the world that go beyond the more traditional view of infrastructure, i.e. bridges and roads. The case of Medellin represents a more comprehensive understanding, one that includes social and political elements—schools, hospitals, markets, public spaces, etc.”

https _cdn.evbuc.com_images_30667656_111749137317_1_originalThe City of Medellin recommended Sanin’s selection as a panelist to represent “their story” at this event. Sanin was born and educated in Medellin, receiving his architectural diploma from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Of much greater significance, however, is the impact Sanin has had on Medellin’s dramatic transformation over the last few decades. Sanin has visited the city regularly to conduct workshops and seminars on urban design, led research on the city’s urban strategies—many resulting in development and becoming a road map for future transformative efforts. He has worked closely with Sergio Fajardo—currently governor of the state of Antioquia in Colombia, and former mayor of Medellin—in developing projects at the city and state level.

It is worth remembering that, in the late 1980s and 90s, Medellin was considered one of the most, if not the most, dangerous cities in the world. In recent years, Medellin has become recognized internationally for its urban and social transformation. It has won several international urban design prizes. In 2016, Medellin won the coveted Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in Singapore as the most innovative urban transformation in the world. In December 2016, “60 Minutes ”on CBS aired a special feature, “How Unconventional Thinking Transformed a War-Torn Colombia,” including an interview with Fajardo and examples of how strategic, comprehensive changes to infrastructure brought the city back to life.

Says Sanin, “Infrastructure can become a crucial tool of urban transformation. This conference represents a recognition of that and will be a forum to exchange the experience of Medellin with others from around the world.”

Professor Francisco Sanin is internationally known as an urban designer, noted for his extensive research in the history and theory of urban form. He is a practicing architect with work in several countries. He has received numerous awards in architectural competitions and has lectured, curated exhibitions, and published internationally. He was director of the Syracuse University Architecture program in London from 2014-2016, chair of the school’s graduate program from 2010-2013, and director of the Syracuse Architecture Florence program from 2005-2008. He has previously taught at Princeton, the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Kingston and Greenwich Universities in the UK, and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. He has been a visiting professor in schools around the world, including the Korean National University of Arts, Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, UPB in Medellin, Colombia, and Miami University.


Biologists look at Climate Change effects on grasses

A team of biologists in the College of Art and Sciences is taking a long look at how climate change may shift the way the green grasses grow. Jason Fridley, associate professor of biology and co-founder of the Climate Change Garden at the University, is part of an international research project that has been examining the effects of warming climate on plant life in Northern England for more than 20 years. Read article.

WILDER Compound Workshop Series Promotes Sustainability

For two weeks now, groups of a dozen or more students have gathered in 601 Tully, a center for engaged art and research in Syracuse’s Westside neighborhood.  Ranging anywhere from freshmen in high school to graduating seniors enrolled at Syracuse University, the students are part of a workshop hosted by SU Showcase called the WILDER Compound.

The WILDER Compound, which stands for Wildly Interdependent Living + Design Education for Resilience, was dreamed up by Brooklyn-based Designer Jill Allyn Peterson in conjunction with Modern Primitive Exchange Project Director Ethany Uttech and Canary Project co-founders Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris.

Wilder42 The project consists of 6 Saturday afternoon workshops that are meant to encourage students to cultivate self-reliance and sustainable living. Through the workshops students are learning community organizing and web design, repair old bikes, create bike-powered phone chargers, build an earth oven, construct a geodesic dome, and grow their own food.

In their first meeting on February 8th, students learned about community organizing and web design by creating their own collaborative website to document the workshop series. Check it out here. This way, students can not only document the work that they’re doing, but they can also show the world what they’re up to. Special-guest and community organizer Molly Rose Kaufman of Orange, NJ also joined the workshop for the day to lead a few activities and a discussion about how to be successful community organizers.

In their second meeting on February 22nd, students were joined by local Mello Velo Bicycle Shop owners Steve and Sara Morris for a tutorial on bike repair and maintenance. From tuning up the brakes to changing a flat tire, the WILDER Compound-goers got their hands dirty and learned a few tricks of the trade. The group celebrated their new skills by taking their new-and-improved bikes for a spin around the block.

Next on the agenda is the construction of bike-powered phone chargers on March 1, followed by the construction of an earth oven on March 22, the construction of a geodesic dome on April 5 and a tutorial on growing your own food on April 19.

One of the coolest parts about the series is that it draws students from 15 different majors—Philosophy, Photography, Chemical Engineering, Architecture, Writing, Geography, Sociology, Advertising, Information Studies, Biology/Public Health, Environmental Engineering, International Relations, Film, Industrial Design and Policy Studies.

Alexander Vélez, a sophomore studying Philosophy and International Relations at SU, highlighted how much appreciates the diversity of student majors and interests in the class: “I have learned a lot of different ways of doing things from the other students.” He also went on to discuss how the project has helped him gain skills that he hopes to use in Bolivia this summer where he will be an intern at a legal think tank.

The workshop series will culminate its work on May 3rd with a party at Southwest Community Farm where they will cut the ribbon on the greenhouse dome, cook locally grown food in the earth oven they constructed, decorate bicycles and host live music and entertainment.

Moving forward, there have been lots of ideas thrown around about how the students can carry on the legacy of this workshop after the series comes to a close. One idea is to install a stationary bike in the Schine Student Center that would allow students to charge their phones with one of the bike-powered phone chargers constructed through the workshop. Another option is getting a “bike-share” program up and running on campus using the bikes they repaired.

Regardless, it’s clear that these students are just getting started and with 4 more workshops in the works, who knows what they’ll come up with next.

For more information on the WILDER Compound series, contact Ethany Uttech at eauttech@gmail.com.