Oculus - Spring 2014 - (Page 36)

feature Sustainable Models for a Just City At the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City, faculty and students collaboratively pursue research, ponder possibilities, and integrate ideas into practice B Y MIC H A EL J . C RO S BIE, FA IA rchitect and planner Toni L. Griffin's career made her a natural to head the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City (JMBC) at the City College of New York's Spitzer School of Architecture. After studying architecture at the University of Notre Dame, Griffin worked for SOM in Chicago for a dozen years, then did a stint as a Loeb Fellow in Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Next was a move to New York City to work at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation. Positions in the planning sector in Washington, DC, and Newark, NJ, prepared her to launch her own practice, Urban Planning and Design for the American City, in 2009, which she combined with teaching at the GSD. J. Max Bond, Jr., FAIA, was a mentor for Griffin throughout much of this time. She became aware of his work through the landmark book, African American Architects, by Jack Travis, FAIA. Griffin met Bond in 1991 and was molded by the conduct of his own practice and approach to architecture. "He had a ©June Lee, Bruner Foundation A subtle and light hand, and saw the focus of practice as social uplift," explains Griffin. "Bond was collaborative, he cared about the design of cities" and the power of architecture to achieve social justice in the context of the urban condition. A principal of Davis Brody Bond in New York, Bond received the Whitney Young, Jr. Award from the AIA in 1987 and died in 2009 at age 73. Establishing the JMBC was an opportunity for CCNY to not only honor the memory of Bond (who was dean of CCNY's architecture school from 1985 to 1992), but also a way to propagate his mission of social uplift through architecture. A phone call to Griffin from architecture critic Michael Sorkin, who heads CCNY's Graduate Urban Design program, about her interest in becoming the center's first director resulted in her coming on board in May 2012. Griffin (center) greets Bruner Loeb Forum on Legacy City Design participants who spent the first day of the forum riding The Detroit Bus Company to visit Detroit neighborhoods, including the new blue and green infrastructure installations in Brightmoor. 36 Oculus Spring 2014 Civic Spirit: Civic Visions

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2014

Letter From the President
Letter From the Editor
Center for Architecture
Some Blocks Over
Opener: Open to the Public: Civic Space Now
The Search for the Soul of Cities
A Different Tale of Two Cities
Public Space Reasserts Its Political Role
Gatherings of One
Time to Welcome Woonerfs
Redesigning the Crossroads of the World
A Magical Place on the Water
How to Remember a Plague
Sustainable Models for a Just City
In Print
50-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2014

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