2017 Graham Foundation Grantees Include Catherine Seavitt Nordenson and Tulay Atak

June 19, 2017

Manfredo Tafuri, Giorgio Piccinato, and Vieri Quilici, page spread of "City Territory: Toward a New Dimension" as published in Casabella 270, December 1962, Italy. Courtesy of Casabella.

The winners of the 2017 round of Graham Foundation grants for individuals include School of Architecture Associate Professor Tulay Atak and alumna Catherine Seavitt Nordenson (AR‘94).

Associate Professor Atak’s project, Architectural Form Faces Urbanization – Jaffa City Center Competition was inspired by Manfredo Tafuri’s essay, “Critical Rationalism and New Utopianism: Competition for Restructuring Tel Aviv–Jaffa City Center." Atak articulates the goals of the project as Focusing on competitions that Tafuri was involved in either as a critic or as part of a design team, In both Italy and Israel. “The project documents how architects imagined the future of the city, especially new city centers and transitional zones, by considering the formal operations of architecture at the scale of the city.”

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson's project, Depositions: Cultura and the Counsel of Roberto Burle Marx, explores the activist role of landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx as a member of Federal Council of Culture, appointed by Brazil's military dictatorship. Her forthcoming book with the University of Texas Press presents new translations of the eighteen environmental position pieces delivered during Burle Marx's tenure as counselor, between 1967 and 1974, while reflecting on his public parks and plazas designed over a forty-year period. "Despite the inherent ethical conflict presented by working with the military regime in power at the time, Burle Marx considered this advisory position to be an important cultural project, one providing an effective platform for environmental advocacy while exhibiting a bold voice of caution against rapid development, resource exploitation, and ecological devastation."

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

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  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.