At Van Alen Institute, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. Learn more.

Save the Date! The Van Alen Institute Spring Party is 5.13.15

Mark your calendar for a dinner, party and concert, and an auction of art and design experiences to benefit Van Alen Institute. The Spring Party will be held at the Surrogate's Courthouse, 31 Chambers Street, NYC. Co-Chairs: Rafael de Cárdenas (Architecture At Large); Priscilla Fraser (LACMA); Andre Kikoski (Andre Kikoski Architect); Jonathan Marvel (Marvel Architects); Tom Scerbo (AECOM); Hunter Tura (Bruce Mau Design); Maria Wilpon (Stantec) List in formation

Questions? Contact Rachel Infeld: rinfeld@vanalen.org | 212.924.7000 x 18

Join us for Thinking Big: Competitions at the Scale of the City

 In 1913, the engineer Dr. Kennard Thomson proposed filling in the East River and adding 50 square miles of land to New York City. This dramatic plan formed the challenge for young architects competing for the Paris Prize that year: A reshaped Manhattan would need a fittingly monumental new entrance at its southern end. Fast forward 100 years to 2013’s Rebuild By Design competition, which challenged progressive architects to restore urban estuaries—not pave them over. As part of a series celebrating our 120th year, this discussion looks critically at large-scale competitions, which have been a central part of Van Alen’s history, and how they must evolve to address today's pressing social and ecological challenges.

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Introducing the Van Alen Book Club

Van Alen is hitting the books again with our new Book Club, which will meet monthly in our street-level space and be hosted by some of our favorite young urbanists. These lively, after-work gatherings, including beer and light food, will examine aspects of the urban experience in fiction and non-fiction. We’ll tackle books about timely issues, explore subjects that are entirely new to us, and revisit some urbanist classics that deserve a fresh take.

Contact Anne Guiney, Director of Research, to join the club: aguiney@vanalen.org.

Take The Architectural Record / Van Alen Institute Design Competition Survey

Designers: Why do you enter competitions? What do you love and hate about them? How can competitions be more effective?

By taking The Architectural Record / Van Alen Institute Design Competition Survey, you can help develop new models and innovative approaches to the design competition and be entered to win prizes from Apple, Bose, Nespresso, and MoMA! The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and will be open until March 2.

Take the survey here for a chance to win!

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Van Alen Seeks Winter/Spring Interns
01/08/15

Van Alen Institute internships are an opportunity to get involved in a diverse range of activities across our design competitions, public programs, and research. Positions are part-time and based at the Institute’s office in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood.

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National Parks Now Finalists Announced

Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) today announced four teams have advanced as finalists in National Parks Now, a competition inviting multidisciplinary teams of young professionals to reshape the national parks visitor experience.

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Van Alen Launches Ecologies of Addiction

Designers know that people are shaped by their environments, but how far does it really go? For our new international research initiative Ecologies of Addiction, Van Alen is collaborating with Imperial College London’s Sustainable Society Network to investigate how a person’s vulnerability to addiction may be impacted by the environment. Register here for the launch event at Van Alen, January 29, 7pm. A press release with more information is available below:

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Upcoming Events: Celebrating 120 Years of Design at Van Alen

To celebrate our 120th year, we’re presenting a series of public events based on the people, movements, and ideas that make up our rich and varied history. Join us on Tuesday, October 28 for the "How's the Revolution Going?" Rethinking Architectural Education from '68 to Today.

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Van Alen Institute launches National Parks Now Competition with the National Park Service

Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) have launched National Parks Now, a competition inviting multidisciplinary teams of young professionals to develop strategies for reshaping the national parks visitor experience.

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Van Alen Institute and Flatiron Partnership Announce Winner of Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

New York Light by INABA has been selected as the winner of the first-ever Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition, in which top designers and architects proposed dynamic structures to be installed in front of the famed Flatiron Building during the 2014 winter holiday season.

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Three Teams Selected as Finalists for Mississippi River Delta Design Competition

Van Alen Institute is proud to be providing leadership support to Changing Course, a competition to develop innovative designs for a self-sustaining Lower Mississippi River Delta. The Changing Course Leadership Team has selected three teams to participate—read the press release here.

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Van Alen and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Announce Future Ground Finalist Teams

Van Alen Institute and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) are pleased to announce the selection of three multidisciplinary teams as finalists for Future Ground, a competition that is bringing together leading experts in design, policy, and community development from around the country with local stakeholders to tackle the challenges of reusing vacant land in New Orleans.

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Members Event: Lessons from Brazil - A Conversation with Architect and Urbanist Jaime Lerner

Van Alen members are invited to join us on October 15 for a book talk and conversation on Urban Acupuncture by Jaime Lerner, a new book celebrating transformational and innovative urban projects that have uplifted city life around the globe.

Van Alen Institute Announces Future Ground Competition in New Orleans

Van Alen Institute is pleased to introduce the international competition Future Ground, and is now accepting submissions from professionals in landscape design, architecture, planning, public policy, and other related fields to develop innovative strategies for vacant land reuse in New Orleans.

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Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape

Visit the Elsewhere website to learn more about events, competitions, articles, and more from Van Alen's multi-year initiative Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape.

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Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Launch Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

 Van Alen is pleased to announce the first-ever Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition, in which top designers and architects will propose dynamic structures to be installed in front of the famed Flatiron Building for the 2014 winter holiday season.

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Members Event: Head Down to the Waterfront at the New Pier 2 & Pier 4 Beach

On July 23, Van Alen members are invited on a private exploration of Brooklyn Bridge Park's newest additions, Pier 2 and Pier 4 Beach, with Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer.

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MOBIUS Fellow Martti Kalliala to Collaborate with Van Alen Institute

Van Alen Institute is pleased to announce that architect Martti Kalliala will spend two months working with the Institute as part of MOBIUS fellowship program in fall 2014.

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Van Alen Institute Convenes International Council of Design Leaders in Venice

On June 4-5, Van Alen Institute convened its new International Council of leading architects, planners, and designers for the first meeting in Venice, Italy during the preview of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia. Read the full announcement below.

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Members Event: Tour Material ConneXion's Cutting-Edge Library

On June 26, Van Alen members are invited on a private tour of Material ConneXion, the world’s largest resource for innovative and advanced materials. With a library of more than 7,500 materials and processes, Material ConneXion bridges the gap between science and design to serve a wide array of fields.

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NYSCA Independent Project Grants Available through Van Alen

Van Alen Institute is pleased to offer an opportunity for architecture, design, and historic preservation professionals to apply for fiscal sponsorship for New York State Council on the Arts Independent Project grants. Click below for more information.

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Van Alen Institute Spring Party: May 21 at The High Line Hotel

On Wednesday, May 21, Van Alen Institute hosted its inaugural Spring Party at The High Line Hotel, featuring a concert by White Prism. Thanks to the more than 500 old and new friends who joined us!

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Van Alen Institute Launches Auction of Design Experiences

Van Alen is pleased to announce the launch of the Auction of Design Experiences, hosted by Paddle8, featuring more than 30 unique, exclusive activities around the world with notable figures in art, architecture, and design. Open through Friday, May 23.

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May 9-19: Join Us for Van Alen Institute's Spring 2014 Events

With a line-up featuring hands-on construction workshops, films, tours, performances, conversations, tech demonstrations, and more, the Institute's Spring 2014 Events investigate how urban life affects the mind and body, expanding the conversation about how the design of cities can enhance well-being.

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Van Alen Institute Leads Public Programs Throughout the Region for Rebuild by Design

Over the last nine months, Van Alen Institute has partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, Municipal Art Society, and Regional Plan Association to organize Rebuild by Design, a design competition enlisting ten interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative strategies to rebuild resilient communities throughout the Hurricane Sandy-affected region.

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Van Alen Seeks Temporary Development Manager

Van Alen seeks a temporary Development Manager to oversee the Institute’s diverse fundraising initiatives from the beginning of June through mid-October.

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Van Alen Institute Welcomes Kikoski and Richardson to Board of Trustees

Van Alen Institute is pleased to announce that Andre Kikoski of Andre Kikoski Architect and Robert Richardson of Control Group have joined its Board of Trustees. 

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VAI and Times Square Arts Announce the Winner of the 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Competition

Van Alen Institute and Times Square Arts are pleased to announce that Young Projects has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Valentine Heart Design Competition for their project “Match-Maker.”

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Van Alen Institute Welcomes Bergmann, Healy, and Tura to Board of Trustees

Van Alen Institute is pleased to announce that Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Jessica Healy, and Hunter Tura have joined its Board of Trustees at the start of its 120th anniversary year.

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Van Alen Institute Launches Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape

Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape is a multi-year inquiry that will explore the experience of escape in the urban environment. Van Alen Institute kicks off the new initiative this week with a festival-style series of public programs running November 12 - 17, at the Institute and select venues throughout New York City.

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Van Alen Institute Announces Ground/Work Competition Winner

Van Alen Institute is pleased to announced the selection of Collective–LOK as the winner of Ground/Work: A Design Competition for Van Alen Institute’s New Street-Level Space. Their proposal, titled Screen Play, presents a highly flexible space utilizing a subtle interplay of surfaces and screens to allow for the diverse range of uses demanded by the activities of the Institute, from multimedia exhibitions and lectures to workshops and private meetings.

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Changing Course: Navigating the Future of the Lower Mississippi River Delta

Just launched: The Leadership Team of Changing Course released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking multidisciplinary design teams to develop innovative design solutions for the Lower Mississippi River Delta. Changing Course is an ambitious design competition led by local and national leaders, with the support and participation of the State of Louisiana and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Van Alen is pleased to be working with the Environmental Defense Fund to support this competition, along with technical advisors from Happold Consulting. Visit http://changingcourse.us/ to download the RFQ and learn more!

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Volunteer Opportunities at Van Alen Institute

Want to get involved at Van Alen Institute? We're currently seeking enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in helping our small staff to make Van Alen programs and events happen. Roles will be tailored according to volunteer's interest, past experience, and strengths.

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A Street Seat for Van Alen Institute

Van Alen Institute has applied to the New York City Department of Transportation’s Street Seat Program, an initiative that provides seasonal, outdoor public seating in the parking lane.

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Browse VAI's Online Design Archive

Dive into the Van Alen design archive. We've launched the beta version of our century-spanning online archive, so click below and start exploring over 3,000 images from a history of civic architecture.

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