The Omnibus Roundup – Archi-film festival, MAS Summit, BigApps 2.0 and IAC mapping

This weekend the Architecture and Design Film Festival presents an intriguing spectrum of 40 films that “cover an incredible range of design-oriented topics, from architecture and urban design to graphics and product design,” says architect and festival co-director Kyle Bergman. Tickets are on sale for the screenings, discussions and moderated artist talks are open and free of charge. There’s a lot to check out over the festival’s four days at Tribeca Cinemas, with 13 curated thematic programs with such titles as “poetry in motion” and “design/build”. Bergman and co-director Laura Cardello brought together a heavy-hitting advisory board comprised of undisputed industry experts — including Paola Antonelli, Amanda Burden, Paul Goldberger, Thomas Krens, Richard Meier, Joseph Mizzi, William Moggridge, and Robert A.M. Stern — for a robust and potentially spectacular line-up. Watch the teaser for this year’s festival above (thanks to Matt Chaban for the video link); find the complete list of programs here.

The Summit for New York City is the Municipal Art Society’s “first conference devoted to New York’s livability, examining the challenges the city faces in its seemingly contradictory roles as a growing global capital and as a city of unique neighborhoods.” Under that broad rubric of livability, session topics include When Art Builds Community, People Behind the Screens, Reclaiming the Public Realm, and Vibrant Neighborhoods, with a more focused analysis of the the future of the Garment District the Far West Side through the lens of the Moynihan Station project (all this on the heels of the recent would-have-been 100th birthday of McKim, Mead, and White’s original Penn Station). The Summit will take place on October 21st and 22nd at Penn Plaza Pavilion.


The City of New York is hosting its second competition for web and mobile applications, NYC BigApps 2.0, to “increase government transparency and provide greater public access to city data.” Developers are invited to mine 350 data sets from NYC DataMine as the basis for apps that deliver information about various aspects of the city, ranging from education to transport, in a clear and creative manner. The organizers hope that the competition will help to provide “talented entrepreneurs with the tools to create new products. “We encourage the development of applications that can then be commercialized, spurring job growth and economic development in New York City,” says Deputy Mayor Steele in the competition press release. The submission period lasts through January 12 and winners will be announced in March. Get inspired to participate by browsing through the app gallery of last year’s winners — or by the $20,000 in cash prizes to be awarded this time around.

After public uproar about last week’s controversial “killing” of the ARC (Access to the Region’s Core) Tunnel, due to a continual increase in budget expectations, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie agreed to take a second look at proposals for the project. But his promise is to reconsider, not to move forward. The New Jersey Star Ledger describes the re-evaluation process as a standoff between the Governor and the US Federal Government in which “neither…seems to have blinked.”  There is a two-week period in which the proposals will be considered, so stay tuned…


If you happened to be in Chelsea on Saturday night, you may have noticed something different about Frank Gehry’s IAC Building. British arts and technology collective Seeper orchestrated an impressive digital mapping projection for the Vimeo Festival and Awards. Evan Grant, the founder of Seeper, noted the particular challenges of the “flowing curves, different geometries and different depths” of the site in a video a few days before the event, naming the IAC building as “the most challenging” of all past projects. Their stated goal was to “create a sense of wonderment,” and if the sounds of the crowd are any indication, it seems like they succeeded.

After the announcement of a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy to the University of Maine for continuing tidal power research, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show hosted Paul Jacobson, Ocean Energy Leader for EPRI, and Michael Peterson, leader of UM’s Tidal Power Initiative. The interview provides a lot of information about the specifics of tidal power efforts, including optimal site placement, environmental impact, technological issues, and fantasies for the future. Jacobsen states that “global estimates range from 11 GW to 400 GW of annual average power available to be extracted… and it doesn’t pollute.”

The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.