Festival of Ideas for the New City

Next month, the Festival of Ideas for the New City will transform downtown Manhattan through a conference, workshops, a street fair and the openings of over 100 independent cultural projects. As one of 11 organizing partners, the Architectural League has been working alongside the New MuseumBowery Poetry ClubC-Lab/Columbia UniversityCenter for ArchitectureThe Cooper UnionThe Drawing CenterNYU WagnerPARC FoundationStorefront for Art and Architecture and the Swiss Institute to organize an event that will showcase the creativity and dynamism of the individuals, institutions and projects currently exploring or improving urban life. Obviously, that’s right up our alley, and we’ve been involved in a number of ways, from helping to coordinate StreetFest to mounting a major poster campaign that shares some of the great ideas featured on Urban Omnibus.

But before we delve headlong into the happenings, conversations, performances and talks of early May, we wanted to hear directly from some of the institutions behind this ambitious undertaking. In the video below, Lisa Phillips, the Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum, Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director of the Architectural League, Eva Franch, Director of Storefront, and Brett Littmann, Executive Director of the Drawing Center, explain in their own words what the Festival is, how it came about, and what they hope its legacy will be.

And don’t forget to join us for the Festival itself, May 4-8, 2011. It kicks off with a keynote address by Rem Koolhaas, and includes presentations by a number of people whose ideas you’ve seen on Urban Omnibus: Robin Chase, Frank Duffy, Suketu Mehta, Adam Greenfield and others. Stay tuned Click here to learn more about our poster campaign, which is up on a wall or a fence near you from Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica to Brooklyn Flea in Clinton Hill to Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. And come visit us in our booth at StreetFest on May 7th, on Rivington near the corner of Bowery.


Keynote Address:
Rem Koolhaas (7pm)

The Heterogeneous City: Vito Acconci, Jonathan Bowles, Rosanne Haggerty, Suketu Mehta. Moderated by Jonathan F.P. Rose (1–3pm)
The Networked City:
Adam Greenfield, Natalie Jeremijenko, Anthony Townsend, McKenzie Wark. Moderated by Joseph Grima
Keynote Address:
Jaron Lanier, The Networked City (7pm)

The Reconfigured City:
Robin Chase, Elizabeth Diller, Frank Duffy, Pedro Reyes
Keynote Address:
Antanas Mockus, The Sustainable City (5pm)
Mayoral Panel,
The Sustainable City: Sergio Fajardo, John Fetterman, Greg Nickels, Michael Nutter. Introduction by David Byrne. Moderated by Kurt Andersen (7–8:30pm)

Workshop Session 1
: World Café: Downtown NYC, Policy Issues (10am–noon)
Workshop Session 2: World Café: Built Environment
Session leaders include David Benjamin, Andrea Blum, Anna Dyson, Mitchell Joachim, Lydia Kallipoliti, Mitch McEwen, Jorge Otero-Pailos and Roo Rogers.

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


Inger Yancey April 18, 2011

Are there still spaces available for the street fair of Festival of Ideas for the New City? I don’t know how I managed to miss an invitation to sign on board. This is right up my alley, so to speak!

I would love to present a DIY green roof experience, similar to the one we did at The New New York street fair, last fall in Brooklyn.

Athena Azevedo April 19, 2011

Also wondering if there are more spaces available at the street fair? Earth Rights Institute (http://www.earthrightsinstitute.org/) provides an economic and taxation model for more sustainable cities and villages.

Thank you!