Richard Plunz is a leading figure in all aspects of urban design and is considered one of the world’s leading authorities in urban housing. The Housing Studio, which he developed at Columbia, has now become an integral part of architectural curricula everywhere.
Prof. Plunz moved to Columbia University in 1974 and in 1977 became chairperson of the Division of Architecture, with oversight on the renewal of the professional Masters Curriculum. Since 1992, Plunz has been director of the Urban Design Program, one of the most substantative curricula in the field.
His research into the evolution of housing in New York City has led to a number of projects including his landmark study, A History of Housing in New York City, (1990).In his long term research interests, he completed a fourteen-year project on the urban expropriation of the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Park in New York State, with the help of J. M. Kaplan Fund and others; a three-decade study of physical and social transformation at Turgutreis, (Bodrum), on the Turkish Aegean Coast. The study was in part supported by The Aga Khan Award. In 2005, Plunz was appointed director of the Urban Design Lab at Columbia’s Earth Institute.
After receiving professional degrees in engineering and in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Plunz specialized in urbanism related to both urban history and application of cybernetic and information theory to urban development. Plunz has held professorships at Rensselaer, Pennsylvania State University, Columbia University, and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). He has taught and lectured extensively and internationally.
At Rensselaer and Penn State, Plunz developed pioneer research related to hospital design and public secondary education related to inner city contexts. With the support of the United States Public Health Service, Plunz conducted pioneering research in digitized environmental modeling for a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia (Mantua). He developed anthropological field techniques toward built form considerations. Here he initiated his long-term research interests related to housing design and development of sustainable higher-density alternatives to the suburban single-family house. He continued his involvement with the anthropology of building with an extensive study on the two-century transformation of a utopian industrial community in San Leucio, Caserta, (Italy).
Plunz’s work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the J. M. Kaplan Fund, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Aga Kahn Award, the United States Public Health Service and the Ford Foundation. In 1991, he received the Andrew J. Thomas Award from the American Institute of Architects for his pioneering work in housing.
Plunz is the author of many articles, studies, and reports. Among his publications are many books, including A History of Housing in New York City, (1990), translated in French and Japanese, The Urban Lifeworld. Formation, Perception, Representation (2002); After Shopping (2003), Eco-Gowanus: Urban Remediation by Design (2007). His last co-edited book is Urban Climate Change Crossroads (2010).
B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1965; B.Arch., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1966; M.Arch., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1967.
A leader in the field of water resources and urban sustainability, Culligan has worked extensively with The Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab at Columbia University to explore novel, interdisciplinary solutions to the modern day challenges of urbanization, with a particular emphasis on the City of New York. Culligan is the director of a joint interdisciplinary Ph.D. program between Columbia Engineering and the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation that focuses on designs for future cities, including digital city scenarios. Her research group is active in investigating the opportunities for green infrastructure, social networks and advanced measurement and sensing technologies to improve urban water, energy, and environmental management.
Culligan received her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England and was on the faculty at M.I.T before joining Columbia in 2003. She has received numerous awards for her contributions in engineering research and education, including the Egerton Career Development Chair (1996), the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award (1999), M.I.T’s Arthur C. Smith Award for contributions to undergraduate life (1999), Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award (2006), and Columbia’s Presidential Teaching Award (2007). Culligan has supervised over 40 Doctoral student theses either as a reader or a sponsor.
Culligan serves on the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board and the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. In 2011, she was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Geo-Institute. She is the author or co-author of six books, four book chapters, and over 120 technical articles.
Culligan served as the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs for Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Applied Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2012. In 2012, Columbia University named Culligan the founding Associated Director of its newly established Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering.
B.Sc. Hons. (Civil Engineering) 1982, University of Leeds, M.Phil. 1985; Ph.D. 1989, Cambridge University
Michael Conard is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. He holds an NCARB certificate, is a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design and is a Past Fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space.
He has directed applied and academic urban design research in both the public and private sectors. His work has bridged urban and architectural design and environmental sustainability with public health, local economic development and equal access. Most recently he edited The Carbon Studio: Bankok (2008), which addressed urban sustainable redevelopment along the Padung Lungkasem Canal Site in the historic core of Bankok.
Michael has directed numerous studios and studies at the GSAPP and Urban Design Lab. Some of his recent projects include Curbing Childhood Obesity (2008), a design and systems recommendations to address the current epidemic, and Creating a Cultural Corridor: 125th Street (2007), a local cultural sustainability plan. He co-directed Hell's Kitchen South: Developing Strategies (2002), a set of design and planning recommendations to the Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood Association and the Design Trust for Public Space. His work has also been published and exhibited internationally.
B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1980; B.Arch., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1981; M.S. in Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University, 1993.
Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Catholic University of America (1980) and Master of Architecture from Columbia University (1984). Victor is a licensed architect in New York and New Jersey and a founder of Body-Lawson Associates Architects and Planners (1993). The firm focuses on master planning, institutional, commercial and residential design. He has directed the production of several flagship projects including the Master Plan for the Riverside Church in New York City and the design of a new 2,500 person sanctuary for the Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica, New York. He was a partner at Brownstone Partners Real Estate Development Consortium where he designed and developed projects in Harlem (2000). He is the recipient of the 2011 HUD Door Knocker Award for outstanding work in Affordable Housing, based on his work for Grace Towers Housing Project in Mount Vernon, NY. He was also a 1997 Design Fellow at the Design Trust of Public Space. He has taught at the School of Architecture at Yale University, City College of New York, and at the School of Architecture at the City of Havana, Cuba. He is a professional member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the New York Coalition of Black Architects.
Scott Archer is a LEED-accredited architectural and urban designer who has studied at Columbia University (Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design), Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center and Mississippi State University (Bachelor of Architecture). He has taught in the New York/Paris Urban Studies Studio at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and in the Sustainable Urbanization course for high school students in the School of Continuing Education. He has worked professionally with TLM Associates, Inc. in Jackson, Tennessee, on architectural projects ranging from large-scale university masterplanning to small-scale public facilities. He is currently employed as a Assistant Researcher at the Urban Design Lab, developing health design initiatives and publications for urban design projects in Kumasi, Ghana.
B.Arch., Mississippi State University, 2012; M.Sc. Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University, 2013.
Priscila Coli is an architect and urban designer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urbanism from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and completed one year of her studies in the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture of Belleville in Paris. She recently earned an M.Sc. in architecture and urban design from Columbia University, where she collaborates in research and as an editor at the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab. She has worked in Rio de Janeiro in housing, infrastructural, institutional and public space projects. During the spring of 2014, she served as a teaching assistant for the Advanced Studio III at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Samarth Das is an Urban Designer and Architect from Mumbai. He has completed his Masters in Urban Design and Architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from KRVIA in Mumbai. Having practiced professionally in Ahmedabad and Mumbai and subsequently in New York City, Samarth’s work focuses on the design of articulate spaces within cities that promote active participation and interaction amongst people.At the Urban Design Lab, his primary role was designing, copy editing and producing two publications under his role of Managing Editor with his fellow colleagues.
Sagi Golan is an Architect and Urban Designer. Sagi holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tel-Aviv University of which he graduated with honors and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University. He has participated in collaborative workshops in the field of architecture and urban design in Tokyo, Berlin and Jerusalem. Working for Ranni Ziss Architects Ltd., Sagi gained experience designing large-scale housing complex and Hotels in Israel. At Columbia, Sagi gained teaching and researching experience working as a Teaching Assistant for the Urban Design studio. He recently held a research position at the Urban Design Lab and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
B.Arch. Tel-Aviv University, 2011(Magna Cum Laude); MSc Architecture and Urban Design. GSAPP, Columbia University, 2013.
Katia Perini is an architect and Postdoctoral researcher. She has been selected as a Fulbright grantee, under the Fulbright-Schuman Program, with a research project regarding the sustainability of urban areas with New York City as case study. Katia joined the Urban Design Lab to conduct this research as visiting Scholar at Columbia University. Katia completed her PhD in Architecture at the Università degli Studi di Genova (Italy) focusing on environmental sustainability and on the integration of innovative systems and technologies in architecture. In particular, her doctoral research – entitled “The integration of vegetation in architecture. Innovative methods and tools” – regarded the evaluation of architectural and functional aspects of the integration of vegetation in built spaces as means to restore the environmental quality of urban areas. Recently, Katia has been invited as a guest researcher at the Delft University of Technology.
M.Sc. University of Genova, 2008; Ph.D. University of Genova, 2012.
Prior to this, he served as a community development agent in the United States Peace Corps in Morocco where he engaged in rural health education and infrastructure projects. He has also worked in
international development, serving as a project manager in Washington D.C. and as an operations manager on USAID-funded projects in Egypt and Indonesia.
B.A. University of Chicago, 2005; M.S. Columbia University, 2015 (expected).
Leigh is an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow working with the Urban Design Lab and Columbia Green Roof Consortium on green roof research. She is currently working on several projects: the stormwater monitoring of a rooftop farm, a survey to develop a characterization of green roof farms and their production practices, and a GIS analysis of the rooftops of New York City to determine their potential for rooftop agriculture. Leigh’s primary research interest is the use of green roof technology for vegetable production, including the impacts on the benefits of green roofs and the development of best management practices. While at Michigan State University, she performed research on vegetable production in extensive green roof systems, the salt tolerance of common green roof plants, and carbon sequestration on ornamental landscapes and green roofs.
B.A. Biology, Middlebury College 2006; PhD Horticulture with a specialization in Environmental Science and Policy, Michigan State University 2012.