The Future Food Deal Open Call

POSTED ON: March 18, 2022


The Future Food Deal Open Call. Image by stuudiostuudio (TAB, 2022).

The 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB), co-curated by Cooper Union Professor Lydia Kallipoliti, has recently announced The Future Food Deal, an open call that invites students and recent graduates to contribute their design proposals to a compendium of cookbooks and manuals for sustainable food futures. 
The open call is one component of the work to be explored in the Tallinn Architecture Biennale at large, whose theme “Edible, Or the Architecture of Metabolism” deals with the relationship between architecture and the metabolic relationships that produce fuel, waste and nutrients. Professor Kallipoliti’s seminar at the Cooper Union during the spring 2020 semester offers a glimpse into the types of issues, work, and research that will correlate with the biennale exhibition that opens on September 7th, 2022, in Estonia. Ranging from the architecture of food systems, to new building materials made of edible materials, to geopolitical questions related to circular economies, TAB offers a range of responses to the spatial and existential connections between architecture and food that surface in different scales: from the stomach to the territory and the ways in which we process mentally the journey of the edible arriving to our table. TAB explores how architecture can use its expressive capacity to investigate and act upon metabolic relationships, digestion, and the generation of resources. 

Synthetic Still-Lifes. Foivos Geralis (Cooper Union, 2021).

The Future Food Deal open call is an opportunity for students to imagine new futures that deal explicitly with how architecture can produce food and also be eaten away. Given that the global food system in its entirety is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and our collective need for food continues to grow significantly in response to urbanization, questions about our food systems demand the attention of spatial practitioners. People become increasingly alienated from their sources of provisions, fostering a paradigm that reinforces carbon dependencies. Architectural thinking is thus positioned with the opportunity to imagine future scenarios that respond to this ever-growing gap between eater and eaten.

Eating and Bathing Co-efficiencies. Lydia Kallipoliti and Youngbin Shin (for the exhibition Climate Imagery, 2021).

With a focus on the urban and architectural implications of food systems (production, distribution, consumption, decomposition) and the urgency for productivity in cities, the Future Food Deal open call aims to present alternative futures that explore the principles of kinship, interspecies alliances, circularity, and localization, and to ask what new rituals, practices and architectures can emerge from the networks of food production, consumption distribution, and decay. The open call’s curatorial team seeks a diverse range of projects developed in the form of cookbooks and manuals that will constitute new guidelines of food-driven and food-oriented projects within design disciplines. Students from the Cooper Union, and spatial practitioners at large, are encouraged to submit their work.

Vegetable Chowder. Sanjana Lahiri (Cooper Union, 2021).

The full submission details for the open call are available on the 2022 TAB website ( Please also visit the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale website ( to explore the full roster of events and exhibitions that are slated to open this fall.
The Future Food Deal open call is organized by the curatorial team of the upcoming Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) “Edible, Or, The Architecture of Metabolism” opening in September 2022. TAB 2022 is curated by Lydia Kallipoliti and Areti Markopoulou in collaboration with assistant curator Sonia Sobrino Ralston.

The Future Food Deal Open Call. Image by Sonia Sobrino Ralston (TAB, 2022).

Tags: Lydia Kallipoliti

JA Architecture Studio named an Emerging Voice by The League

POSTED ON: March 10, 2022

Javidi Header

Bauhaus Museum Dessau, 2014. Dessau, Germany. 4th Prize, Bauhaus Museum Competition. 

JA Architecture Studio—founded by Iranian-Canadian architects Nima Javidi and Behnaz Assadi—has been selected by The Architectural League of New York for its 2022 Emerging Voices competition and lecture series. Javidi is currently The Cooper Union’s Gwathmey Professor in Architecture; Assadi is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Javidi 6
Forno Cultura Bakery, 2019. Toronto.

Being named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Since 1982, the program has identified more than 300 awardees who have since developed influential careers. Paul Lewis, an Emerging Voices jury member and president of The Architectural League, describes the 2022 winners, noting: 

“In our initial review of the applications for this year’s Emerging Voices, the jury was struck by the breadth of the different types of work. But, rather than indicating a fracturing of our discipline, this year’s winners were united in how they each clarified new types of agency, and new notions of value motivated by an optimism about what an architect could and should do.”

JA Architecture Studio is a Toronto-based practice that emphasizes light wood frame construction, geometric experimentation, and vernacular form. From the narrow plots of Toronto’s Queen West neighborhood to large-scale international design competitions, the Studio employs a “one-to-one” process, defined by Assadi and Javidi as a design approach shaped by “the physical register of immigration, of being slightly off from the context that you aspire to fit within, struggle with, and eventually change.” 

Through conversations that range from the role of public art with curators to the wood joinery of a three-legged chair with a local furniture maker, the Studio investigates the core of architecture by operating at numerous points around its periphery, connecting Studio themes and interests to those of the world at large. This approach was not chosen for its assurance of success, but as a way of investigating the merit and relevance of the Studio’s ideas across as wide a variety of scales and contexts as possible.

Javidi 2
Wardell, 2023 (completion date). Toronto, Canada. 

JA Architecture Studio has pursued a broad repertoire of built works, research projects, and award-winning competition entries, which together have been published widely and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Studio projects include Bore-ing Lightness, a finalist proposal for the Canadian pavilion at the 2020 Venice Biennale; Wardell, a curved, brick-clad addition to an existing string of row houses in Toronto; and Forno Cultura, a cafe and bakery on the site of a former mechanic’s garage in Toronto. The Studio has also received numerous recognitions from Canadian Architect, as well as two Progressive Architecture Awards from Architect Magazine, the most recent a Merit Award for the studio's project One and a Half.

Javidi and Assadi will present their Emerging Voices lecture on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Cooper Union's Great Hall. Advance registration with The Architectural League—available here—is required.

Javidi 7
Underscore Gallery, 2021. Toronto, Canada.

Tags: Nima Javidi

Stella Betts’ Design IV Studio Field Trip to Albany, NY

POSTED ON: February 15, 2022


Empire State Plaza, 2022

A Design IV studio section led by Stella Betts traveled to Albany this past week to visit the Empire State Plaza, the subject of her studio’s brief. 

Albany City Hall
Albany City Hall

Titled Re-Imagining Empire State Plaza, the studio is both an urban and architectural investigation. Conceived and designed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and the architect Wallace Harrison, Empire Plaza was built in New York’s capital city of Albany in the late 1960s and early 70s, and is a paradigm of modernist urban planning. Through a series of choreographed operations, Betts is prompting students to deeply re-adapt the plaza by transforming its relationship to its larger urban context and infrastructural systems, rethinking its program and use, adapting its existing buildings to become carbon neutral, and imaging a new kind of public plaza for the people of Albany and the citizens of New York. 

The field trip featured visits to the plaza’s buildings, including a performing arts venue known as The Egg, Corning Tower and its observation deck overlooking the city, the New York State Museum and Library, the Justice Building, and the concourse below the plaza. In addition, the studio visited two H.H. Richardson buildings—the State Capital, with its famous “million dollar stair” completed in 1899, and Albany City Hall, completed in 1883.

Betts and her Design IV students at the Empire State Plaza. 


Tags: Stella Betts

Diego Salazar AR’16 Completes New York Titans

POSTED ON: February 3, 2022


1985: A Beautiful Day in Lower Manhattan (detail). Rombo (Diego Salazar), 2021.

2016 School of Architecture graduate Diego Salazar recently completed New York Titans, a multimedia project honoring New York City’s built environment. Initiated in response to his 2016 encounter with the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, the work began with his vision for a large drawing to commemorate, twenty years later, those who lost their lives on 9/11. As Salazar developed a visual language that transposes human and architectural form, he began a parallel effort to create a series of drawings featuring iconic New York City buildings. He would create fourteen drawings, all at 36 x 60 inches.

Over the next five years, Salazar expanded New York Titans to include several collaborators, some of them former Cooper Union classmates. He had started a company, Studio Rombo, which represents and collaborates with artists and designers, and began traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico to meet local artists and artisans. Diego quickly realized that he could combine his two endeavors and commissioned Oaxacan artists to create, along with him, work for New York Titans. He also reconnected with his childhood friend Rafael Quijano, a practicing artist, in late 2020. Salazar invited in Quijano to develop artworks based on the Titans concept and in return Quijano agreed to find an exhibition venue for the project as a whole.

1985: A Beautiful Day in Lower Manhattan. Rombo (Diego Salazar), 2021.

Salazar expanded his collaborative effort to include additional artists, reaching out to Vanessa Tai AR’16 and Akash Godbole AR’17, who created digital artwork—available as NFTs—for the Titans theme. The group soon grew to include five fellow Cooper Union Architecture graduates: Connor Holjes, Hui Rong Liu, Jieun (Hannah) Kim, Kelsey Lee, and Joey Parrella, all 2017 alumni. Each of them made work for the Titans project using their own techniques and perspectives.

The New Kid in Town. Rombo (Diego Salazar), 2021.

In the summer of 2021 Diego turned to his former classmate Janine Wang AR’16 commissioning her to fabricate a large frame to house his tribute to 9/11. On September 11th, 2021 Salazar presented his drawing via Instagram, and on November 2nd, the Day of the Dead—inspired by his days in Oaxaca—he installed the drawing inside Janine’s frame, creating an altar and placing it, along with marigold flowers and candles, in Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick to honor those who perished on 9/11.

P.A.N. (The Invisible Titans). Rongnotes (Hui Rong Liu), 2021.

An exhibition of Diego’s New York Titans drawings, as well as the work of his collaborators, was held at Luxuny Atelier in December 2021. Jorge Islas Lopez, the Consul General of Mexico in New York, attended the opening reception. 

In reflecting on his five-year journey, Diego stated “I feel gratified, but with an ever-stronger desire to continue creating and collaborating with other artists. I hope this is the first of many future projects and exhibitions.”

  • 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.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • 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.