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May 13, 2013 : What is SITREP.at [ New York ] 2013?


March 01, 2013 : SITREP.at [ 1 WTC ]

Photos by Michael Su.

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March 02, 2013 : SITREP.at [ Launch Party ]

Photos by Tristan Bel.

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SITREP.at [ Times Square ]

The immediate neighborhood of SITREP.at New York 2013, at 20 West 44th Street. Photos by Jonida Turani.

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SITREP.at [ ACADIA 2010 ]

Designed by ACADIA 2010 Exhibition Co-Chairs: Axel Schmitzberger, Chandler Ahrens, & Michael Su. Installed in the Siegel Gallery, Pratt Institute School of Architecture for the ACADIA 2010 Conference. Photos by Michael Su, Chandler Ahrens, & Michael Parker.

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The theme of SITREP.at [New York] 2013 is Pervious, NYC

“Pervious” refers to the intrinsic porosity, susceptibility, or vulnerability of even a major, thoroughly-developed city like New York City.

The SITREP.at [New York] 2013 study program is intended for advanced students and recent graduates of programs in Architecture and Urban Planning worldwide. In particular, prospective Participants may already be intending to study or work in the United States or New York City, but do not yet have the benefit of a supporting network. Additionally, motivated candidates with more diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Participation in SITREP.at [New York] 2013 will provide you with:

  • Expert training in the study of Urbanity through the on-site study of New York City, the densest, most populous and diverse metropolis in the United States, with a population of over 8 million who speak up to 800 different languages.
  • First-hand association with renowned experts in Urbanity through our guest lectures and discussion panels. (See our Program Schedule for the full list of lecturers and panelists.)
  • Access to an extended network of educators at Architecture and Urban Planning programs based in universities and institutions throughout the United States.
  • Personal recommendations for school applications and employment.
  • Direct connections to a wide range of architecture and planning firms in the United States.
  • Intensive exposure to work and life in New York City.


You will also receive:


  • Co-authorship of the resulting SITUATION REPORT.
  • Membership in the ever-expanding SITREP.at alumni network worldwide.

For more information, please see our FAQs.


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July 01 – 27, 2013

20 West 44th Street, New York City

(See Program Schedule for daily schedule.)

Program events will be held in the building of The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, located at 20 West 44th Street in New York City. The building is a historic, landmarked building dating to 1890, originally designed by the famed architectural firm Lamb & Rich, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its location is central to New York City, with Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, Times Square, and the New York Public Library all less than two blocks away.

All studio sessions, seminars, workshops, discussion panels, and lectures will take place in the classrooms and lecture hall of The Mechanics Institute, the educational department of The General Society. The Opening Reception and Final Review will take place in the Apprentice’s Library of The General Society, a unique setting and the second oldest library in New York City.

(This building is also home to illustrious organizations, including The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, the Grand Central Academy of Art, and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.)

More information on the building may be found here.

20 West 44th Street, New York City

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The SITREP.at [New York] 2013 Team : Chris, Philippe, Carla, Ed, Michael, & Tristan


Philippe Baumann, RA


Prototypes for a Pervious Paradigm: the Dissolute Ground Plane

On October 29, 2012, the most severe storm in recorded meteorological history hit the New York City metropolitan area. The resulting 13’ storm surge broke all previous records and wreaked havoc on low-lying areas of the city. This widespread destruction demands an immediate architectural response. Like San Francisco, where seismic code has radically altered building design, both the prevalence of low-lying buildings in NYC and the growing realization that weather patterns will only become more severe call for substantive architectural solutions. Although storms of this magnitude had been expected to hit the city only once every 100 years, recent global warming trends make clear that densely populated urban coastline are increasingly at risk. To study this alarming situation, we will consider the following questions:
What will New York City look like in 100 years, when average water level is anticipated to be as much as 4’ above current levels? What about the concomitantly intense storm surges?
Will building tectonics, long predicated on the firm foundation of NYC bedrock, be reconceptualized to allow for a more flexible periphery as the waters rise?
Is the current city grid, initially imposed as a means of choreographing the development of low-density farmland, still a viable model given the radical climate change?
For the exploration of this timely theme, we will test various scales of intervention, from urban scale planning gestures to local structural conditions to derive comprehensive solutions and an urban prototype for New York City, where the stability of the modernist “datum” is no longer a given.


Michael Su


Urban Complex vs. Complicated Urbanity

Cities may be complex machines, but they are not intrinsically complicated. Rather, they are built up from discrete elements, such that their behaviors necessarily aggregate linearly. However, when cities are used, i.e. – inhabited, their properties scale geometrically, even exponentially. In other words, the merely complex assemblages of machines comprising our cities only assume non-linear, or complicated, behaviors on account of the irregularities and inconsistencies inherent to humanity. The confluence of humanity with the phenomenon of urban density produces a singularly complicated “situation” we call URBANITY.
In contrast to the “human condition” connoted by the term humanity, Urbanity infers the “urban situation” wherein the physical city and its inhabitants are treated equally. With some 70% of the world’s population projected to be living within urban areas in the next 20 years, the urban situation is merely the new norm, and Urbanity the next form of humanity.
To prepare for this development, We will attempt to bridge the often insuperable gap between the complex – usually addressed through Urban Planning and Infrastructures, and the complicated, normally falling under the purview of Architecture, by studying the specific attributes of Urbanity that render the boundaries between a city and inhabitants porous – and therefore susceptible to intervention by similar means.


Chris Perry


The Future of Future City

In our current age of digital and biological technologies, the “minor” arts might be seen as including those industrial design disciplines developing LED and fiber-optic lighting technologies, motion sensing, solar tracking photovoltaic skins, wind harnessing infrastructure, magnetic levitation, and robotics. Thus, the postwar period and its inherent futurism provides a useful and poignant lens through which to take stock of our present technological climate and the ways in which contemporary architecture is continuing as well as advancing Banham’s notion of an anticipatory or extrapolative design practice. Similar to the generation of architects from the postwar period, this other architecture of the present continues to challenge conventional definitions of architecture as well as the orthodoxy of formal practice, to the extent that much of this work places less emphasis on the design of discrete and static objects, focusing instead on the development of technologically diverse and synthetic environments, which are inherently pervious, in order to respond both to programmatic and environmental forces as they change over time. We will investigate the future development of New York City, and its possible “progammability,” within this very context.


Carla Leitao & Ed Keller


Massive Addressability

Massive Addressability is a defining new characteristic of our rapidly accelerating global network of connections. The idea of the search engine is familiar enough today, as evidenced by the power of a search through the net, or through a genetic database, or through millions of pages of text. But, massive addressability emerges when cities, buildings, materials, objects, creatures, sites, books, words, molecules, all act as agents in a global, reciprocal ontology of things that, facilitated by technology, can now bypass formally impervious barriers to find and interact with each other.
There are key questions about this situation that we need to ask:  What does it mean when increasingly local organisms, objects, and systems communicate with increasingly global partners? What defines optimization in a system with hypercomplex feedback loops? How can we design the GeoScape in the context of a radical ubiquity, when each body is addressable with multiple entry points? We argue that cities and ecosystems (all the parts of the world) have clear political, economical, biological, and ontological/ethical components, and that they will be profoundly inflected by this massive addressability. In response, we will explore the consequences for design, when massive addressability reaches across all terrestrial systems, by using New York City as a case study of this phenomenon.
See Witmore, Michael, ‘Text: A Massively Addressable Object’, Wine Dark Sea



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Our expanding roster of lecturers & panelists for SITREP.at [NYC] 2013.

For public & community events, please visit our public Events Calendar.

For current program participants, please visit our private Program Calendar.


The SITREP.at [New York] 2013 study program features:


  • 60 HOURS of instructor sessions.
  • 4 PUBLIC LECTURES by renowned experts on Urbanity
  • 2 PUBLIC DISCUSSION PANELS with area professionals
  • 3 WORKSHOPS on speciality topics
  • Full time, dedicated STUDIO SPACE

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the roster of panelists, lecturers, and office/site visits may change.

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What is the cost for the program?

The program fee is USD $3,495. Upon acceptance to the program, a registration fee of $1,495 will be due within 3 days of the acceptance notification. The remaining program fee of $2,000 will be due on June 15, 2013.
What is your refund policy?

There is no refund for the program fee.
Will Room and Board be provided?

SITREP.at does not provide Room and Board. However, upon your acceptance into the program, you will have access to a full range of SITREP.at specific resources to help you and your fellow Participants locate suitable accommodations for the duration of the program.

For more information, please see our FAQs.