Architect

Visiting Artist

Tracey Eve Winton

Tracey Eve Winton is an architect and iconographer who holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Architecture from Cambridge University, and an M. Arch. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill. 

She is the winner of two international teaching awards: in 2018 the NCBDS (National Council on the Beginning Design Student) presented her with their annual Faculty award, and in 2014 the ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) gave her their Creative Achievement Award. She is a Research-Creation Scholar with SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). 

Tracey has taught Design Studio and Italian Urban in the Waterloo Rome Program since 2002, as well as leading an annual 10 day North Field Trip to multiple Italian cities and monuments, and she has published and lectured extensively on Rome and Italian topics. Recent graduate seminars include Modern Vernacular: Resources of Architectural Language. She also teaches elective topics and Cultural History courses, whose projects have included full theatrical productions and an Alternate Reality Game. These projects utilize contemporary media, diversity, and collective intelligence, to explore ideas about architecture, spatial design, the body, and landscape. Tracey has worked in offices in Toronto, Montreal, and London, and her laneway house in Toronto was selected for The Conference on Innovative Housing at Yale University in 1993, and featured on the cover of Canadian Architect. 

Tracey has lectured on architecture in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, been an editor of The Fifth ColumnAlphabet City, and Journal of Research and Application in Architecture and Urbanism, and is editing a translation of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499) and a critical commentary. Her upcoming publications (2018) include an architectural reading of the famous Renaissance library in the ducal palace at Urbino, and an essay on Peter Greenaway's film, The Belly of An Architect, in relation to the architecture of Rome. 

Her other research interests include the creative imagination and its relation to history; architectural language in the work of Carlo Scarpa; Roman urbanism, landscape morphology in Renaissance painting; the role of materials in natural magic and alchemy; history and iconography of the museum; ruins, architectural spoils, and adaptive reuse; and self-built housing. 

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Fellow

Jennifer Park

Jennifer Park is an artist engaging architecture and humanity based in Brooklyn. With a dual background, US and Republic of Korea, JP has pursued the ways to support people’s lives through drawing, writing, and making. Beyond the boundary of conventional architecture, JP's works open up from trivial observations in everyday life, branching out in a various medium; drawing, painting, poetry, precise, photography, installation, and architecture. 

Jennifer has been educated and practiced architecture since 2007. Graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2016, earning M. Arch. JP had worked for Face Design and Fabrication in Brooklyn and Verona Carpenter Architects in lower Manhattan. She recently joined Arts Letters & Numbers, a non-profit organization for artists, as a resident fellow contributing construction and marketing.

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Fellow

Hyunbae Chang

Hyunbae was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, but moved to South Korea at the age of 4. He spent the youth in Seoul and moved back to the US in his sophomore year at high school in Marietta, Georgia. One year after entering Rhode Island School of Design, he served 21 months at the Army of South Korea as a field artillery unit. After he received the B.Arch at RISD, he participated in two summer workshops at Arts Letters and Numbers and decided to stay at the organization to support any construction related issues. 

Prior to joining ALN, Hyunbae has been drawing a story of a refugee at the border between South and North Korea. Regarding architecture as a social apparatus, he is examining and imagining a story of the doubt and empathy in a culture by drafting the architectural plans and sections, and sometimes projections. 

“The hallucinatory effect derives from the extraordinary clarity and not from mystery or mist. Nothing is more fantastic ultimately than precision” (Robbe-Grillet on Kafka).

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Fellow

Nick Meehan

Nick Meehan is from Wilmington, Delaware where he grew up working in his Dad's vintage car parts shop. A multimedia artist, architect, and eternal lover of drawing whose studies have taken him from Rhode Island to Tokyo to Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro, Nick graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelors of Architecture in 2018. Working in and around themes of sublime ennui, camouflaged forces, and queer darkness, his projects narrate a post-capitalistic metamodern landscape where banal components are aggregated into sensual space and even love stories. Nick received the Thesis Award for his senior thesis Come and Go, an exhibition/performance/urban model that proposed a virtual architecture of gay cruising culture. 

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Fellow

Keren Christina Mendjul

Keren hails from a multicultural background—she has lived and worked in Donetzk, Jerusalem, Berlin, Venice and NYC. Immersion in these diverse landscapes has taught her to believe in a simultaneous way of being where the knowledge of the past and imagination of the future are synced in the present, allowing for timeless, perpetual creation.

She is the principal of KCM Arkitekt Studio based in the Middle East and NYC. In 2015, Keren founded MASSA Journal of Architecture based in Israel/Palestine, a collaborative initiative that believes reimagining alternative futures belongs to everyone rooted in these places. Keren received a M.ARCH II from The Cooper Union where she drew and casted flowers in bronze, and a B.ARCH I from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem where she investigated the elimination of ground.

In 2013, in an exchange at Universita IUAV di Venezia,Venice, Italy Keren participated in an installation of Vadim Zakharov, 55th Venice Biennale at the Russian Pavilion. In 2011, she formed part of a practical and theoretical study at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India in collaboration with Professor and Architect Sharon Rotbard, where she and 15 other participants won First Prize Arie and the Eldar Sharon Award, for their design and construction of a local children’s school.

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Fellow

Jenny 如 Hsiao

lately I have been working on spatial & temporal sites for civic practice, including — study groups, translations, entanglement, the para-cinematic, cæsurae, time travel, fugitivity  

when I was five years old in 1995, my family moved to Taiwan from Brooklyn after I scored a 44 on a test in Chinese School — in Taipei I thrived in the tropics and chaos, and learned to say 喂 on the phone for "hello / are you there?" to my first friends who did not live on the block — back to the US, I took NYC public school French from 2001-2008 which I still only now am beginning to grasp on a level somewhere below consciousness — in 1881 telephone lines were laid in French-conceded Shanghai — a classmate returned from his travels of summer '07 to inform the rest of us that in fact, the kids do not say "oui" in France — they say "ouais" ::

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Visiting Artist

Hans-Petter Bjørnådal

Hans-Petter Bjørnådal (1977) is a Norwegian architect, graduated from the Bergen School of Architecture (BAS) in 2003. Besides architecture and scenography he is focused on the research of nomadic cultures and the connection between the modern humans and nature. The works have been internationally published in Topos, Architectural Review, Architectural Worlds, Architizer, Designboom and Arch Daily among others. The environmental theatre Klemet was a finalist in the Architizer 2015 + awards and the WAN-Awards 2016 and winner of American Architecture Award 2016 and German Design Award 2018. Nomad City was exhibited at "La Biennale de Venezia 2016”. Gapahuk received honourable mention in the American Architecture Award 2017.

Visiting artist lecturer at Arts Letters & Numbers 2018.

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Fellow

Josephine Nørtoft Saabye

Josephine received her bachelor in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2017. Throughout her education she has served on various committees and boards to advocate for students’ interests and to better understand the structure of educational institutions.  During her degree she also did a internship in 2016 at Rural Urban Framework (RUF), a non-profit design research lab based at Hong Kong University, where she will return as a research assistant in 2018. 

Before entering the field of Architecture Josephine co-founded the organisation ‘One World Musical’ in 2013.  Creating musicals with children in rural communities in developing countries in Africa and South East Asia, the organisation strived to demonstrate creativity as a universal human trait, the importance of the arts and it’s impact on children’s ability to learn. In 2015 Josephine initiated ‘Dreams of a School’, a project in collaboration with students of Education from Aarhus University, to encourage reflection on the connection between the physical space and the learning processes within. Through one-day workshops elementary school kids dreamt of their school in drawings and models as a space for learning, imagination, creation and inspiration.

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Tine Bernstorff Aagaard

Tine Bernstorff Aagaard Studied architecture at Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, and graduated in 2010 with distinction on her thesis project. During her education she has assisted Berlin-based artist Michel de Broin and worked for architecture company R&Sie(n) in Paris.

Throughout her education she has been involved in EASA (European Architecture Students Assembly) in which she together with companion Emilie Bergrem taught a workshop exploring basic relation between body and space by ‘modifying’ the body with prosthetics to challenge our conventional beliefs of how the surroundings adapt to the body and vice versa.

The same theme was explored in their installation "1:14" a suspended labyrinth in the Spring Exhibition in Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark.
 
Since graduating, she has taught first year at the Aarhus School of Architecture in architecture, drawing, and representation. Now she lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Amara Abdal Figueroa

Amara Abdal Figueroa (b. 1990, Puerto Rico) graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, earning both a BFA and B.Arch. In 2012 and 2013, Amara contributed in the restoration of a 19th Century coffee plantation in Medellin, Colombia, which became Campos de Gutierrez- an international residency program. There, she worked on studio development for residing artists. In upstate New York, Amara is working on Arts Letters and Numbers to transform the cotton mill and house into an interdisciplinary space. She is interested in spaces that foment creation.

"How are both of these, once axes of development in their respective areas, the perfect architectural types for the production of coffee, cotton, or visionary works?"

Most recently, Amara took part of the research team of Kuwait's National Pavilion in La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura titled Acquiring Modernity with the objective of investigating the repercussions of commissioning architectural works towards the formation of the State. To help articulate the nation’s history of modernization, the team has chosen to focus it’s participation on the establishment of the Kuwait National Museum specifically through the envisaged program of its second more modern yet defunct iteration. It is an effort to generate meaning and restore a sense of ownership and responsibility over Kuwait's built environment. 

The project is obsessively local and utterly informal despite its appearance at la Biennale; its highest aspiration is to influence authorities so that when the project returns to Kuwait from Venice, it will have found a place inside of the Kuwait National Museum as a sort of ‘Special Projects’ program, or research and documentation center.

Commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters.

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Advisory Council

John Conaty

 

John Conaty is currently the sole proprietor of J. Conaty Architects and was the Owner’s Representative on site for the construction, opening and Park Manager for Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City. He was previously a partner in the Firm Standard Architects in Brooklyn, NY for 14 years. As a partner at Standard Architects, John converted several manufacturing Buildings to residential condo properties, and constructed new buildings throughout Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prior to establishing Standard Architects, John work for the firm of Smith Miller and Hawkinson Architects in Manhattan. While at the firm, he was the project architect on The North Carolina Museum of Art Outdoor Amphitheater and the Corning Glass Museum.

John received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental Design from Parsons School of Design in 1986 and Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union in 1990. John Conaty has been a registered Architect in the State of New York since 1994. 

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Laura Genes

Laura Genes is a recent graduate of The Cooper Union in New York City. She received the 2011 Benjamin Menschel Fellowship with Mauricio Cortes. Along with her brother, Hugo Genes, they traveled to Mato Grosso, Brazil to visit the Pimental Barbosa aldeia of the Xavante Tribe as part of The Nancy Flowers Project; a visual investigation exploring the relationship of photography and it's subject. The Nancy Flowers Project is a collaboration between photojournalist/anthropologist Nancy Flowers (b. 1920) and three young artists, Laura Genes, Hugo Genes and Mauricio Cortes.  Laura has also received the Mark L. Moehlman Prize for Excellence in Writing. Her short essay about Francisco Goya's painting The Forge was published by The Frick Collection.  She is currently developing a student-run literary publication, "The Alphabet" with her classmates Arta Perezic and Kiwi Ngyn. She has interned at Andrew Bartle Architects and more recently at dbox, a branding and creative agency. She visits her homeland of Brazil, as often as she can and when she can't make it to the beach she practices synchronized swimming with her mother Katia on Roosevelt Island.

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Founding Director, Board of Directors

David Gersten

David Gersten is an internationally recognized artist, architect, writer and educator based in New York City. He is the Director of Interdisciplinary Learning at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where he has been a Professor, since 1991. At The Cooper Union, he has served as the Associate Dean of the School of Architecture, under Founding Dean John Hejduk, as well as, Acting Dean of the school. Gersten is the founding Director and President of: Arts Letters & Numbers, a non-profit arts and education organization dedicated to expanding the experiences  understood as education through creating new structures and spaces for creative exchange across a wide range of disciplines including: Architecture, Visual Arts, Theater Arts, Film, Music, the Humanities, the Sciences and Social Sciences. Arts, Letters & Numbers conducts workshops in educational and cultural institutions worldwide, while operating an ongoing series of programs: workshops, sessions, residencies, thesis programs, lectures, theater performances, exhibitions, events, music performances and films productions at its campus located in Averill Park, NY.

Gersten regularly collaborates with and advises international organizations, educational and cultural institutions, as well as, education policy groups on a wide range of subjects, including: art / science / humanities collaborations and the future of education. He recently: presented a keynote address entitled ‘Unlocking the Creativity of Youth’ at the UNICEF – EXPO, as well as, at the Chancellors Summit held at CAFA in Beijing.

Gersten’s works include: buildings, drawings, stories, essays, films, performances and constructions. His works have appeared in numerous international exhibitions and performance spaces and are held in the collection of the Canadian Center for Architecture, the New York City Public Library’s print collection and many private collections. He has published extensively in national and international publications on diverse areas of research including: The spaces and structures of education, emergent disciplinary geographies, spatial literacy, ethics and technology, market functionality and collective judgment, global resource distribution and the poetic / material / spatial imagination, the city and its transformations, and the linkages between: embodied experience, embodied cognition, memory, perception, language, space and education.

He has exhibited, lectured and served as a visiting professor at numerous universities throughout the world. In addition to serving as President / Director of Arts Letters & Numbers, he is currently: the Director of Interdisciplinary learning and professor at the Cooper Union, a visiting professor at Rhode Island School of Design, an International Visiting Professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in Beijing, China, a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in the UK and a member of the Board of Directors of Big Picture Learning.

Gersten is a graduate of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. He has also pursued studies in phenomenology at the New School for Social Research as well as Islamic Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.


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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Desirée González Garcés

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Fellow

Troels Steenholdt Heiredal

Troels Steenholdt Heiredal addresses issues of time, geographies, spatial production, and representation. Working in various mediums and locations, he explores aspects of serendipity and emblematic effects of place.

Troels makes us question the relationship we build to our daily surroundings by drawing out the inner geographies that our spatial experiences build in us. Superimposing collections of places, spaces, and colors on film evokes unexpected connections between distinct geographies and shows that conventionally defined 2D mediums, such as drawing and photography, can be a practice of sculpting in time and space.

Looking beyond the immediate becomes a way of re-stitching the constellations of the matter that make up our environment.

Mixing media and form, the hand is always a key focal point of the work, not only in drawing and building, but also in seeing, writing, experiencing. The hands-on approach of submerging into the matter and absorbing it with the skin allows for Troels’ aesthetic idiosyncrasies to be exposed and observed in the work.

Troels holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from The Technical University of Denmark and a Master of Arts in Architecture from The Aarhus School of Architecture. Troels has exhibited, been published, and has lectured on his work domestically and internationally. He is a founding fellow at Arts Letters & Numbers and an invited guest critic at Cornell University, RISD, and The Cooper Union.

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Fellow

Loren Howard

Loren Howard studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and prior to that, mechanical engineering at Boston University.   He grew up in a family of woodworkers and mechanics, with access to an open toolbox and the freedom to make his own mistakes and discoveries.  This led to an appreciation of the dialogue between body, tool and material, and what it means to listen.  He has a shop, Hazard Built, where he works wood and metal into a variety of tools, jewelry, furniture and architectural spaces.  Loren has taught and contributed to the technology curriculum in the architecture department at RISD.

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Fellow

Rikke Jørgenson

Rikke Jørgensen received her Master in the Arts of Architecture from the Aarhus School of Architecture in 2011, where she became an Assistant professor and held a position as full time Adjunct Professor from 2012.


Through her work Jorgensen explores the narrative potential of architecture, specifically the significance of the tools and the relation between the realm of the representative field and the full scale. She cuts houses, draw with swings and dances with machines. She is an Instructor Adjunct at the Cooper Union, has been a Fellow at Arts Letters & Numbers since 2013 and collaborates/consults on various projects in DK and in the US.

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Visiting Artist

Lisa Landrum

In between her undergraduate and graduate studies, Lisa performed seven years of diverse architectural work in New York City and earned her professional license in New York State. She is a registered member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA), and Architecture for Humanity (AfH).

Lisa has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Manitoba since 2008, having previously taught at McGill University in Montreal, Carleton University in Ottawa, Norwich University in Vermont, and at international summer workshops in Rotterdam and Helsinki. She teaches vertical design studios, graduate seminars and undergraduate lectures in the History and Theory of Modern and Pre-modern Architecture.

Dr. Lisa Landrum completed her PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture at McGill University in 2010. Her dissertation explores the mythic bases and poetic origins of architectural acts by interpreting two ancient Greek plays in which the protagonist is called “architect” while directing a scheme of transformation for the common good. These architect-protagonists and the plots they lead not only provide insight into the emergent role of architects in the fifth century BCE, but also vividly dramatize certain representative deeds and ethical dilemmas that remain (to this day) integral to an architect's performance.

Lisa’s research, more generally, encompasses topics in history, theory and design, including: architectural representation, especially dramatic modes of representation implicit in architectural work; representations of architects in drama (from Aristophanes to Ionesco); stories and myths about architectural beginnings; the reciprocity of theatre and architecture, as well as literature and architecture; the creative role of metaphor for architects; and phenomenological, hermeneutic and humanities-based approaches to interpreting contemporary architecture. Lisa has presented aspects of her research at various international conferences. Her publications include two book chapters: “Performing Theoria: Architectural Acts in Aristophanes’ Peace” in Architecture as a Performing Art; and “Ensemble Performances: Architects and Justice in Athenian Drama” in Architecture and Justice: Judicial Meanings in the Public Realm. Other publications include “History and Histrionics: Dramatizing Architectural Inquiry” in Made: Design Education & the Art of Making (University of North Carolina, 2010). Lisa is a member of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), and the International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture (ISPA).

Lisa’s creative research also involves devising ephemeral events, including a series of group costumes and pageantry devices that have been collaboratively constructed and performed in public parades. Lisa has exhibited this work, which explores the political and ritual dimensions of collective aesthetic experience, in New York, Berlin, Montreal and Winnipeg.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013.

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Visiting Artist

Kyna Leski

Kyna Leski is a founding principal of 3SIXØ Architecture. 3six0 bases its practice upon a redefinition of a given problem, setting in play the direction and momentum of a solution that is tailored to the specific situation of each project. The Rhode Island AIA has bestowed its top honors on 3SIXØ 17 times and the Boston Society of Architects has awarded 3SIXØ four times. In 2002 Architectural Record named 3SIXØ one of ten “vanguard” architecture firms emerging worldwide and in 2008 Architectural Record recognized 3SIXØ for “Record Interiors.” Faith and Form awarded their chapel design in 2009.  Kyna's design for a house of visual shadows, which she calls, “Dream House” was awarded first place out of 480 entries in the Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition in 1998. Architect Shin Takamatsu, the author of the theme of that year’s competition, “A House as a Poetic Space,” and judge of the competition, stated, “. . . the project by Kyna Leski was outstanding. Light undergoes variations and dislocations and becomes architecture. It is an architecture, which resembles the topography of light. The process undergoes both interruptions and leaps forward. Each moment it becomes more complex, and attains a new depth of beauty. The architecture is woven into it. It is true poetry.”This project was published in Modern House 2 by Claire Melhuish (Phaidon Press, 2004). In 1997 the Architectural League of New York selected Kyna Leski as a winner of its annual “Young Architects Competition.” 

Kyna Leski is a Professor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the author of the first semester architecture design curriculum, given for seventeen years to over 1600 students. A book on this pedagogy, The Making of Design Principles, was published in 2007. Professor Leski has taught Architecture, Foundation Studies and Industrial Design and served as the head of the RISD European Honors Program in Rome from 1993 to 1995. The primary focus of her teaching research is the creative process and its workings across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Currently, she is writing a book, called Storm's-eye View: Tracing the Creative Arc.  


Statement by Kyna Leski:

“I explore, witness, and practice the creative process through my work and my teaching. As a child, I was reprimanded for “getting bored easily,” and now I see that weakness, like all “weaknesses,” as a strength. (Getting bored keeps me moving ahead.) I live in a city whose name, (“pro-videre”) signifies what creativity is: a process of “seeing ahead.” We "see ahead" when we make designs that are materialized in the future, when we write problems that anticipate solutions, when we link one step to another in navigating our lives and the way through anything, especially the empty page, writer’s block, confusion, chaos, needs, and questions. The creative process is the story of this passage and speaks for the author, to the user, the reader, inhabitant, audience or viewer. I have listened and observed these workings as a teacher, a student, a maker, a writer and an architect myself. As an educator I am dedicated to embodied learning, to the precision of mind that comes from measured making and to the clarity of abstraction. As a student, an aspiring/practicing actor and witness I seek to learn something, to be surprised by the author’s soul voice and to find coherence where there wasn’t any. As a maker of things, designer, and writer, I dwell in uncertainty, follow poetry as a process, reason with material, construct, deconstruct and reconstruct—conceptual clarity appearing as a guide. I watch the sunrise almost everyday from a rowing shell, am moved to tears by honesty, and take dreams very seriously.”
 

Kyna Leski earned a B.Arch from The Cooper Union School of Architecture in 1985 and M.Arch from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in 1988. She is an avid rower who can be found most mornings before dawn on the Seekonk River and Narragansett Bay in Providence.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013.

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Diana Mangaser

Diana Mangaser received her Masters of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Sheridan Teaching Certificate from Brown University, and has taught in the Foundation Studies, Art History & Architecture Departments at RISD. She currently teaches within the Media Design Faculty at Hostos Community College, City University of New York. Her studio practice is based in Newburgh, NY where she is part of a growing collaborative Architecture Studio, A R C H. She is involved with the local artist/craftsman community at the studios at Atlas Industries, and she works as the architectural project manager with Newburgh Community Land Bank, a non-profit seeking to revitalize Newburgh through the stabilization and inhabitation of its abandoned buildings. Her current interest in architecture is in the practical application of building within a community, and the transformation of a place through the manifestation of a sub-culture that seeks forgotten spaces as new opportunities for emerging creative practices.

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