We gather designers, planners, developers and civic leaders to debate the defining issues facing our cities.
The Urban Design Forum is an independent membership organization that advances bold solutions to urban challenges. Our Fellows are architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, public officials, scholars, activists, lawyers and journalists committed to building dynamic, equitable, and resilient cities around the world.
Based in New York City, we produce programs and publications that showcase creative approaches to:
For nearly 40 years, the Urban Design Forum has shaped the conversation around the future of New York City and cities around the world. Through conferences, publications, and its network of Fellows, the Forum brings together leaders in the field of urban planning and design and energizes creative approaches to urban issues.
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Daniel Rose is Chairman of Rose Associates, a real estate organization based in New York City. He has developed such properties as the award-winning Pentagon City complex in Arlington, One Financial Center in Boston, and numerous projects in New York City. As an institutional consultant, his credits include the creation and implementation of the “housing for the performing arts” concept for New York’s Manhattan Library. Dan has served as “Expert Advisor” to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as “Expert/Consultant” to the Commissioner of Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He also teaches, lectures and writes on a variety of real estate and planning subjects. He is the author of Making a Living, Making a Life.
Jamie is President and Design Principal of international architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, where he leads a staff of 570 people in 6 offices around the world. A major focus of Jamie’s work has been to heighten the role that large buildings play in making urban space with projects like Shanghai’s Jing An Kerry Centre, Seoul’s Lotte World Tower, and New York’s One Vanderbilt. During his tenure as president, KPF has completed large-scale projects such as South Korea’s New Songdo City, and is currently at work on New York’s Hudson Yards. His current projects also include master plans for Earl’s Court in London and Victoria Dockside in Hong Kong.
Jamie has lectured at Harvard, Columbia, Tsinghua, Tongji, Seoul National, and Yonsei Universities, the ESA in Paris, AMO in Lyon, and at Yale, where he taught as a Saarinen Visiting Professor. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University.
Alexander Garvin is president of AGA Public Realm Strategists, a planning and design firm based in New York City. He is also Professor (Adjunct) of Yale University. From 1996 to 2005, he was managing director for NYC2012, New York City’s committee for the 2012 Olympic Bid. During 2002-3 Mr. Garvin was the vice president for planning, design and development of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency charged witht the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site following 9/11. He has also held prominent positions in New York City government, including deputy commissioner of housing and city planning commissioner. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t; The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities; and Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities.
Michael Sorkin is founding principal of Michael Sorkin Studio, a design practice in New York City devoted to practical and theoretical projects. Recent projects include planning for a 5000-unit community in Penang, Malaysia, master planning for Hamburg, Visselhoevede, Leipzig, and Schwerin, Germany, and studies of the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts. In 2006, he founded Terreform, a non-profit devoted to research and intervention in urban planning and sustainability issues. He is also the Director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York since 2000. He is also a contributing editor at Architectural Record, and was for ten years the architecture critic of the Village Voice. His books include Variations on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Local Code, Giving Ground, Wiggle, Some Assembly Required, Other Plans, The Next Jerusalem, After The World Trade Center, and Starting from Zero, Analyzing Ambasz, and Against the Wall.
Timur Galen is executive vice president of Hudson Yards, where he helps oversee the company’s development of Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States. Previously, he served as global co-head of corporate services and real estate at Goldman Sachs, where he led the development of the company’s global headquarters at 200 West Street in Manhattan’s Financial District. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked as an executive with the Walt Disney Company and Reichmann International.
Byron Stigge is the founding director of Level Infrastructure, a consulting firm based in New York City providing technical and planning advice for infrastructure and development projects worldwide. He practices innovative methods of delivering energy and climate change planning, water and wastewater management, transportation planning, and solid waste management through an integrated design process. He has engaged sustainability and resilience issues in some of the world’s neediest cities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and South America as well as in Detroit and St. Louis in the United States. Previously, he led the Infrastructure and Environment Group in the New York office of Buro Happold Engineers.
J. Devereaux Hawley manages real estate at Yale University. He leads the strategy behind campus planning and pre-development along with Yale’s commercial property in New Haven, a total portfolio of over 17 million sf. He also manages all operations for the campus, an organization of over 900 staff. Previously, Dev was the Global Head of Capital Projects at Goldman Sachs, where he managed over 12 million sf and the interior development of Goldman Sachs Worldwide Headquarters in New York and new campuses in London and Bangaluru. He served as Director of Real Estate Development at The Walt Disney Company, where he helped develop the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. Dev holds Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture II degrees. He currently also serves as Vice Chair of the Salvadori Center.
Meredith Kane is a partner and co-chair in the Real Estate Department of Paul, Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, a law practice based in New York City. Ms. Kane’s experience includes all aspects of the finance and development of complex public/private joint venture projects. She was instrumental in the long-term lease acquisition of New York’s World Trade Center complex; the development of Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s far west side and of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn; and the development of a world-class engineering and applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island; among many other projects. She was honored as the 2009 Woman of the Year by WX – New York Women Executives in Real Estate, and was named one of the Top 50 Women in Real Estate and one of 25 Current Leaders in the Industry by Real Estate Weekly and The Association of Real Estate Women. She served as a commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1995 to 2004.
Vincent is the Group Managing Partner with Grimshaw, an international architecture practice. He has been with Grimshaw since 1996 and has played an instrumental role in the expansion of the practice while maintaining a commitment to the quality, rigor and reputation for excellence that Grimshaw is known for. He established the firm’s New York office in 2001 and was instrumental in securing the AIA New York Chapter’s Medal of Honor Award in 2015. Vincent has led many of the practice’s most notable commissions in North America including Via Verde – the Green Way in the Bronx, Horno3: Museo del Acero in Monterrey, Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan, and the new master plan for Los Angeles Union Station. Vincent is a graduate of Cambridge University and is a registered member of both the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects.
James Corner is the founder and director of James Corner Field Operations. His work is renowned for a strong contemporary design across a variety of projects types and scales, from large urban districts and complex post-industrial sites, to small design projects. Major projects include the High Line in New York, Seattle’s Central Waterfront, City Center in Las Vegas, Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront in Hong Kong, Chicago’s Navy Pier, the Civic Center Parks in Santa Monica and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. He is also Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been recognized with the National Design Award (2010) and the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Architecture (2004). He is the author of The Landscape Imagination (2014) and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (1996).
Michelle Delk is Partner and Discipline Director of Landscape Architecture for Snøhetta’s New York office. Michelle has led diverse projects with extensive engagement of community and client groups, including master plans for campuses, urban infill areas and brownfield developments, as well as downtown places, urban parks, and streetscapes. Currently, Michelle is leading the design of Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon, the New Central Library Plaza & Gardens in Calgary, and Oak Plaza, part of a development project in downtown San Francisco. She is also leading several other design efforts, including the French Laundry Garden Renovation, the Penn District Master Plan, and the Temple Library Landscape.
Patrice Derrington is the Holliday Associate Professor and Director of the Real Estate Development Program at Columbia GSAPP. Prior, she taught for three years NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. Derrington bridges the fields of education and real estate, and brings significant global experience as an executive and board director of numerous property companies to the critical tasks of educating students, integrating academe and industry, and building an innovative knowledge base for the real estate profession.
A recipient of the prestigious Harkness Fellowship, Derrington studied for her Ph.D. in architecture/civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, adding to her Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree with First Class Honours and University Medal from the University of Queensland.
Her teaching career began at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, and has been supplemented with over 12 years of real estate industry experience on Wall Street where she worked as an investment banker and advisor to major individual and institutional clients such as David Rockefeller, Keybank, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Paul Goldberger, who the Huffington Post has called “the leading figure in architecture criticism,” is now a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair. From 1997 through 2011 he was the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where he wrote the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons school of design, a division of The New School. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. He is the author of several books including Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, Why Architecture Matters, Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, and Up From Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York.
Tami Hausman is founder and president of Hausman, LLC, a marketing and public relations firm based in New York City focusing on the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. For over 20 years, she has been an expert advisor to top firms who seek out her experience and insights. Her roster of clients includes international architects, engineers, construction firms, law firms, expeditors, furniture distributors, insurance companies, artists, and non-profit organizations. In addition to her experience in marketing and public relations, Tami is an architectural historian who frequently writes and lectures about trends and topics in architecture and urban planning.
Margaret Newman has over 25 years of experience as an architect and urban planner, and she recently joined ARUP as a Principal with the Integrated Planning team in New York. Working across the many disciplines of engineering and design, Margaret is designing public realm projects that are not only strategic and economical, but also projects that prioritize people to better integrate planning and transportation into the fabric and context of cities. Prior to joining ARUP, Margaret headed up her own consulting firm More Urban, advising on design, urban planning, and development projects and served as Executive Director of the Municipal Art Society of New York, advocating for excellence in all aspects of the built environment. Under Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Sadik-Khan, Margaret served as Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Transportation where she directed major agency projects including the capital construction plan for Times Square. She received a Master’s degree in Architecture from Princeton University, is a certified LEED AP, BD+C professional and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
AJ has been practicing real estate development in New York City since 2004. He started his career as a project manager for Peter Walker & Partners on the World Trade Center Memorial in downtown Manhattan. In 2007, AJ became a founding member of Alloy Development, a boutique real estate development company based in Brooklyn, NY. At Alloy, AJ manages the acquisition, capitalization, design, construction and disposition of projects that seek to promote thoughtful design and add value to the built environment of New York City.
AJ received a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst Collect and a Masters of Architecture and Certificate in Real Estate from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught and lectured in the fields of real estate development and design at Syracuse University, Columbia University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania and Parsons. AJ servers on the board of Community Bank Delaware, is a member of ULI and a supporter of the Architecture League of New York. He is a Licensed Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional and a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. AJ lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York.
Beatrice Sibblies is the managing partner of BOS Development, a community-focused real estate development firm based in Harlem, New York. Founded in 2005, BOS Development develops the spectrum of projects necessary for a vibrant community, including residential, religious, cultural, educational, hospitality, and commercial developments. She is actively developing church-anchored development projects in the Central Harlem core and Sugar Hill. Previously, she had a successful career in finance at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley and served as Assistant Vice President for Economics for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Marilyn Jordan Taylor is now Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania where she was recruited as Dean of the School of Design from 2008 – 2016. During her prior 35 years of practice at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, she led many of the firm’s largest and most complex transportation, urban design and master planning projects including JFK Terminal 4, Singapore Changi Terminal 3, the Columbia University Manhattanville campus, master plans for Downtown Newark, and the highly-acclaimed Denver Union Station neighborhood and transit hub. She became Partner and then Chairman of SOM while also earning a reputation for civic leadership at the AIA, RPA, NY Building Congress, Rebuild by Design and the Urban Land Institute. Her research and continuing work place emphasis on the importance of design excellence, place-making and innovative project delivery strategies that build community, enhance vitality, and create inclusive and long-term value.
Nader Tehrani became Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in July 2015. He is principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with construction practices. The firm has offices in Boston and New York City.
Dean Tehrani joins Cooper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was professor of architecture and served as head of the Department of Architecture from 2010 to 2014. For over 25 years, he worked to motivate academic research to change practice and to test new protocols of practice in the context of academia. His own research targeted material culture as the basis for speculation—exploring material properties, negotiating materials and their geometric predispositions and challenging the means and methods of building processes. Working between the digital realm and the medium of full-scale mock-ups, he seeks to simulate and test alternative approaches towards tectonic studies. The work developed through a series of installations including “Fabricating Coincidences,” Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, 1998): “Immaterial/Ultramaterial,” Harvard University (2001); “Change of State,” Georgia Institute of Technology (2006), and “Catenary Compression,” Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Space (2015).
Weston Walker is Design Principal in Charge of Studio Gang’s New York office, where he leads a talented team of architects and a diverse portfolio of projects. Weston’s work spans many different types and scales, including cultural institutions, universities, civic buildings, and towers. His current projects include a major expansion of the American Museum of Natural History, a new firehouse for FDNY Rescue Company 2, and 40 Tenth Avenue in New York’s Meatpacking District. Weston is a graduate of Yale University, where he received his Master of Architecture and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude for his thesis work exploring systems of perception and meaning in both musical and architectural spaces. He is a licensed architect in New York and Illinois and a member of the American Institute of Architects.
Thomas Wright is president of Regional Plan Association, an urban research and advocacy organization focused on the New York metropolitan region. He has steered many of the organization’s key initiatives, including the Draft Vision Plan for the City of Newark (2006) and A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area (1996). He is a visiting lecturer in public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Previously, he was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning and coordinator of the Mayor’s Institute on City Design.
The support of our Director’s Circle and corporate partners enables us to advance creative solutions to urban challenges in programs and publications throughout the year. We thank them for their continuing support.
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