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1.5 LU

*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program.*

Recipe for a Room is a model-making contest about building spatial, sculptural, miniature rooms while fostering fun, creativity and professional mentorship. For the 2021 edition, two-person teams, each comprised of a student and architect mentor, will design small-scale rooms for an educational setting to benefit an NYC-area nonprofit.

For over a year, students of all ages have had their educations interrupted and their classroom environments altered. Learning now happens, at least partially, through the window of a computer screen. Even as COVID-19 cases continue to go down, the next generation of classrooms will be a universal focus of 2021 and beyond.

Recipe for a Room asks student competitors to create a space for learning for children, ages preschool to high school. These spaces can be located anywhere: outdoors, indoors, on the roof of a Manhattan high-rise, in a park, or on the basketball court of a NYCHA property. The location and design of the learning space should serve its community well. Room models should be made entirely out of school supplies.

The competition is hosted by the AIANY Interiors Committee and will benefit Volunteers of America-Greater New York, one of the oldest and largest human services nonprofits in the metropolitan New York area, with programs including:

  • Operation Backpack®, which strives to ensure all students in shelters throughout the city have a full set of school supplies in time for the first day of school
  • Bronx Early Learning Center, a vibrant, 22-classroom preschool for children between the ages of 2.9 and 5 years who have developmental delays or disabilities

Recipe for a Room winners will be determined during a real-time virtual event at 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 19. Each team will have the opportunity to present their completed room to a live audience. Two winners will be selected during the event: an audience favorite and a judges’ favorite.

Student and Mentor Teams:

Cristina Stivala, City University of New York
Kate Bedford, Architectural Designer, Leroy Street Studio

Olivia Haley-Schmitt, Parsons
Alexandra Barker, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal, Barker Associates Architecture Office

Aashna Bajaj, Pratt
Austin Sakong, AIA, LEED GA, Senior Associate, FXCollaborative

Sheng Wei (Wilson) Yang, New York School of Interior Design
Yutaka Takiura, AIA, The Design + Architecture

Eesha Jain, Pratt
Nathaniel Broughton, AIA, Associate Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Chenyi Jhon, Parsons
Abigail Coover, Founder and Director, Overlay Office

Colin DeLeo, Parsons
Elizabeth Stoel, AIA, Associate Partner, Rogers Partners



Kai-Uwe Bergmann, FAIA, Partner, BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group
Kenneth Lewis, AIA, RA, NCARB, Managing Partner, SOM; 2021 President, AIA New York
Gabrielle Shelton, Owner of Shelton Studios, Architectural Metalwork
Rosalind Tsang, AIA, LEED GA, New York City Representative, BDP (Building Design Partnership); Co-Chair, AIANY Women in Architecture Committee

Jury Bio:

Kai-Uwe Bergmann is a partner at BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group and has completed projects in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Kai-Uwe’s New York City work includes the resiliency plan BIG U to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline and Revisioning Brooklyn Bridge.  He frequently serves as a juror for prominent national and international prizes and design awards.

Ken Lewis is Managing Partner of SOM, located in the New York office, and the 2021 President of the AIA New York Chapter.  Ken has completed large and significant projects in New York City including:  7 World Trade Center, One World Trade Center, Brookfield’s Manhattan West and adaptive reuse of the Waldorf Astoria. Many of Ken’s projects have received, or are slated to receive, LEED Gold certification.

Gabrielle Shelton is owner of Shelton Studios, an architectural metal fabrication shop in Brooklyn, NY.  Her shop focuses on providing detailed metal craft to New York architects and designers.

Rosalind Tsang was formerly a Senior Associate at RAMSA, and currently the New York City Representative at BDP, a global, interdisciplinary design practice, Rosalind has led teams in the design of complex Mixed-use, Multi-family Residential, Hospitality and Commercial developments across the US, China, Taiwan, and India. As Co-Chair of the AIA New York Women in Architecture committee, Rosalind promotes women in leadership, mentorship, and diversity and inclusion within the architecture and design community.

Organized by
AIANY Interiors Committee
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