Spring 2014 Events

Friday, May 9

The Imprint of the City

Read the event report→ How does the physical and sensory richness of the city shape who we are—for worse or for better? To launch Van Alen Institute’s Spring 2014 Events, the Institute and ISSUE Project Room present a fast-paced medley of music, poetry, personal reflections, conversations, and performances by designers, artists, musicians, writers, social scientists, […]

Saturday, May 10

Emerging Public Spaces

Read the event report→ As neglected, underutilized urban sites are reactivated as spaces for public use, how can we retain the playful, experimental, unscripted, and the open-ended? Van Alen and Public Workshop, an organization that creates engaging opportunities for youth and their communities to shape the design of their cities, invite you to join us for […]

Tuesday, May 13

How Does the Brain Respond to the City?

Read the event report→ What grabs our attention in the congested city? The latest research in neuroscience is revealing fascinating things about human perception and the relationship between what we see and what we experience. And with inexpensive but high-powered tools such as electroencephalography-based (EEG) brain-computer interfaces (BCI) now increasingly accessible, it’s getting easier to […]

Wednesday, May 14

What Is Well-Being, Really?

The discussion of well-being is growing stronger across fields such as design, policy, business, and the sciences, but are we all talking about the same thing? With competing definitions, rubrics, and objective and subjective markers to measure well-being, how can we build a shared conversation about what it means to enhance the quality of urban […]

Saturday, May 17

Urban Mindfulness

The technique of “mindfulness” is on the rise via an industry of self-help manuals, mobile apps, and private classes—but is it substance or fluff? Originally rooted in eastern philosophy, mindfulness has been popularized as a remedy for everything from anxiety and stress to overstimulation and lack of focus. Could “urban mindfulness” be a meaningful tool […]

Sunday, May 18

Embodied Architecture

You may be familiar with practices such as yoga and meditation, but have you thought about their potential to expand our thinking about how we design and inhabit space? This guided session led by Richard Allon, yoga and meditation instructor and principal of Richard Allon Architect & Associates, will work with the body, mind, breath, […]

Monday, May 19

Outside In

What qualities of a place shape us, consciously and unconsciously? This film screening, presented with Times Square Arts, draws on a range of cinematic approaches to examine the links between environment, sensory experience, and well-being. The selected films take us on a journey through varied urban landscapes—from the density of Times Square to the sublime […]

Wednesday, May 21

Van Alen Institute Spring Party

To conclude our Spring 2014 Events season, please join us for the Van Alen Institute Spring Party on Wednesday, May 21 at The High Line Hotel. We’ll celebrate our 120-year legacy and the years to come with festive cocktails, light food, and great music. 8:00pm – 9:00pm: Concert by Australian-born and NYC-based artist White Prism “Dreamy, breathy vocals layered over […]

Fall 2013 Events

Tuesday, November 12

Elsewhere: An Evening of Escape

Van Alen Institute is pleased to present an evening of performances, talks, and reflections to celebrate the launch of Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, an exploration of escape in the urban environment. Hosted in collaboration with ISSUE Project Room Artistic Director Lawrence Kumpf, the evening will bring together a diverse lineup featuring Keller Easterling, Professor of […]

Friday, November 15

We Live with Animals

We Live with Animals is an installation developed by Catherine Seavitt and Denise Hoffman-Brandt that uncovers and compiles surprising tales of human and animal interaction in the city. Join us for an evening of storytelling with performers including artist Aki Sasamoto, 18-time MOTH StorySLAM champion Adam Wade, multimedia artist Tamar Ettun, veteran news photographer John […]

Saturday, November 16

Debt, Design, and Displacement in the City

New York City is a place where one in three children live in poverty, and where more than 50,000 citizens sleep in homeless shelters. Increasingly, middle- and low-income citizens find it close to impossible to secure a home, often thwarted by spiraling debt and the encroachment of real-estate speculation. Van Alen Institute, in partnership with Miguel […]

Saturday, November 16

Let There Be Night

For many city-dwellers, connecting with the splendor of the night sky demands an escape from the ever brightly lit landscape of the built environment. This evening event will unpack the complex issues of urban lighting, investigating the impact of light pollution on human well-being and ecological systems, and exploring how light and dark influence our […]

Sunday, November 17

The Footprint of Escape

Join us in an urban field game followed by a discussion of the past, present, and future of escape in the city. Brent D. Ryan, Associate Professor of Urban Design and Public Policy at MIT; Jeffrey Shumaker, Deputy Chief Urban Designer for the City of New York; Elihu Rubin, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism […]

Sunday, November 17

Cities, Not Nations?

In the face of networked societies and economies that defy national borders, some argue that cities are superseding nations in their ability to address our most pressing challenges: the need for environmental sustainability, the provision of key resources and services, and the maintenance of effective governance. Join Dr. Benjamin Barber, political theorist and author of […]

Blog

Wednesday, June 11

Early Neurological Measurements of the Urban Experience

BY MERCEDES KRAUS. Recently, Van Alen Institute and Columbia GSAPP’s Cloud Lab hosted a tech demo and dialogue that asked, “How Does the Brain Respond to the City?” That the event was posed as a question was suggestive of its initial answer: We’re only just beginning to understand. “An era of crowd-sourced science is coming […]

Read More
Tuesday, June 3

Escape from the “Land of No”

BY ANNE GUINEY. Drenching rains may have forced Saturday’s Emerging Public Spaces building workshop indoors, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 60 or so participants who had come prepared to build furniture for a temporary public gathering space amidst the bustle and energy of Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn. Instead, the nearby ISSUE Project […]

Read More
Tuesday, April 15

Spring 2014 Events: How Does the City Impact our Minds and Bodies?

Van Alen Institute invites you to join us for our Spring 2014 Events, running May 9-19 in New York City. With a line-up featuring hands-on construction workshops, films, tours, performances, conversations, tech demonstrations, and more, we’ll investigate how urban life affects the mind and body, expanding the conversation about how the design of cities can […]

Read More
Tuesday, March 18

Q&A: Linnaea Tillett on ecological lighting design and human perception

As part of the Let There Be Night event on November 16, 2013, Linnaea Tillett, Founder and Principal of Tillett Lighting Design and Ph.D. in environmental psychology, spoke on how lighting design affects human perception, sharing some of her own work to create a sense of place with environmental needs in mind. Watch the video, […]

Read More
Monday, March 17

Human and Animal Interaction in the City: We Live with Animals Tours

Last November, as part of We Live with Animals—a project by Denise Hoffman Brandt and Catherine Seavitt Nordenson that collected stories of human and animal interaction in the city—we embarked on a series of tours across New York City to uncover some of these surprising encounters. Denise and Catherine reported back with their reflections on […]

Read More
Tuesday, February 4

Q&A: Elihu Rubin on escape, urban congestion, and well-being

As part of The Footprint of Escape event on November 17, 2013,  Elihu Rubin, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Yale University, presented a historical view of the idea of escape and the city, touching on themes of congestion and transportation, responsibility and civic duty, and entertainment and social life in the city. Watch the […]

Read More
Monday, December 16

Thank you for exploring Elsewhere with us

We want to thank everyone who joined us last month for an inspiring start to Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, a new initiative exploring escape in the urban environment. It was a dense and fast-paced week of festival-style events, and we’ve posted photos and video clips to highlight some of the exciting conversations we […]

Read More
Tuesday, October 22

Registration is now open!

We’re looking forward to a dynamic series of events this November examining how and why we escape across cities and regions. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with an interdisciplinary group of organizations to present these performances, conversations, tours, installations, talks and workshops. Be sure to register in advance for each event as space will be limited!

Read More
Thursday, October 17

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 will kick off this new initiative Tuesday, November 12, with a festival-style week of public programs throughout New York City. Click here to read the press release.

Read More

About

Facebook Meta Image

Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape is a multi-year initiative of Van Alen Institute exploring escape in the urban environment.

Elsewhere is comprised of competitions, public programs, and research that investigate key questions of the contemporary urban experience: How and why do we escape from urban life? What prompts us to escape to the city? What forms of escape can we find within the urban environment? And how might the experience of going “elsewhere” contribute to our well-being?

Elsewhere will examine how both the form and organization of the built environment influence our need for escape. This unique multidisciplinary effort is bringing together innovators in design, public health, policy, and the sciences to change the way we understand cities.

The Institute launched Elsewhere with four days of festival-style programs on November 12–17, 2013, at the Institute and select venues throughout New York City. With offerings including performances, conversations, tours, installations, and workshops, the fall lineup engaged a diverse range of topics to provoke, enlighten, question, and critically examine the ideas of Elsewhere.

This May, Van Alen Institute continues Elsewhere with our Spring 2014 Events running May 9-19 in New York City. Join the Van Alen mailing list to receive updates on upcoming events, competitions, and more.

Spring 2014 Events Media Partners:

The Architect's Newspaper Platform for Pedagogy

Thank you to our Spring 2014 Events Sponsor:

Lagunitas

 

The Institute’s Spring 2014 Events are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

NYSCA and NYCulture