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Aerial Image of Smith Houses
11/22/22, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the critical need for enhanced public spaces for recreation and socializing. In the wake of the pandemic, NYCHA architects partnered with colleagues across all disciplines and agencies to plan, design, execute, and deliver upgrades for over 60 public open spaces on NYCHA properties across the boroughs. This work was completed, planning to ribbon cutting, over the course of just six months. This event will examine how public architects literally "turned on a dime" to perform this work efficiently and effectively.

Bruce Eisenberg, FAIA, LEED AP, Director at A&CM, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
Delma Palma, RA, AICP, Deputy Director of Design Services, Oversight and Expediting Asset and Capital Management Division, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

Michael Plottel, FAIA, Public Architect, HumaneScale Design Corporation
Anna Torriani, AIA, Founding Partner and Design Principal, Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani 

About the Speakers:
Bruce Eisenberg has dedicated his career to improving the civic realm by contributing to the design of public buildings and spaces. For over 30 years, he has collaborated on the design of a wide variety of educational, recreational, commercial and residential projects in New York City and worldwide. He has been involved in all aspects of their design and construction and has advocated a sustainable approach, understanding how urban design, landscape architecture, and architecture support each other. Always pushing for responsibly designed projects, he has elevated them to the highest level of design excellence. As an architect with the New York City Housing Authority, Eisenberg has led the charge of raising the bar on design, taking a comprehensive approach to NYCHA’s aging infrastructure and bringing the agency's properties in-line with best practices and industry standards. He works closely with all engineering disciplines and construction managers at NYCHA, plus coordinates on an inter-agency level across the city with agencies including NYPD, FDNY, DOB, DDC, Parks & Recreation, City Planning, and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Delma Palma is Deputy Director of Design Services, Oversight, and Expediting at the New York City Housing Authority. She is a licensed architect and certified planner who leads several design studios to implement capital projects across NYCHA’s portfolio. Palma also led the Connected Communities program, to better connect the over 400,000 public housing residents to their surround­ing neighborhoods and resources through the design of the public realm. Palma manages strategic cross-sector partnerships to further quality design across the Authority’s 2,400 acres. Her work focuses on design excellence, public health and safety, and community-led design processes. Prior to NYCHA, she worked at Torti Gallas and Partners in Washington, DC, on affordable housing across the country. Prior to that, she worked with the largest social housing organization in Latin America, TECHO, on housing policy and construction of modular emergency housing. Palma is committed to using design as a tool to build equity and livability in urban areas. She currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Michael Plottel has led a highly diverse set of socially relevant projects and building types, ranging from public safety, social housing, transportation, educational facilities to public parks and public art. As former Director of Capital Project Management at Columbia University Facilities, Plottel has sought to balance the needs of citizens first and foremost, with those of policy-makers, designers, project managers and builders. He has dedicated his career to advancing the practice and theory of public architecture by focusing on the design and construction of socially relevant projects with the result of rebuilding cities, strengthening institutions, enhancing public spaces and ultimately serving the everyday needs of the citizen. Plottel’s elevation to AIA Fellowship recognizes his rich contribution to New York City’s successful re-urbanization efforts, as well as his multi-decade dedication to fostering research and dialogue around the scholarship and practice of public architecture.

Anna Torriani is a founding partner and design principal of Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani, a New York-based atelier and international practice. Her expertise lies in the ability to analyze and synthesize each assignment. A strong advocate for design excellence in the public realm, she researches the geography, history, culture, interacts with the community and translates the findings into a concept in dialogue with the specific environment. Torriani pursues her understanding of public space through the studio’s Shaping Public Space (SPS) initiative and public engagement, having been nominated by Ban-Ki-Moon to serve on the Advisory Board for the United Nations Capital Master Plan, and as co-chair of the AIANY Public Architecture Committee.

COVID-19 vaccinations and face masks are strongly encouraged for all visitors. Read our full Health and Safety Protocol here.  

Organized by
AIANY Public Architecture Committee
Aerial Image of Smith Houses
11/22/22, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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