Governors Island Walking Tour

On September 3rd, 2016, we went on a walking trip to Governors Island. Governors Island is one of the key sites for the AAP NYC City and Regional Planning workshop course (CRP 5172). It is a 172-acre island, a 10-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City. Governors Island National Monument manages 22 acres, containing Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The City of New York through the Trust for Governors Island manages the rest of the 150 acres. Our workshop team will be assessing the near term application of Connected and/or Automated Vehicles in this area with NYCEDC’s Ports and Transportation Division and the Trust for Governors Island as their clients.

Bob Balder talking to students about the history of Governor’s Island
Bob Balder talking to students about the history of Governor’s Island

We boarded a ferry from Battery Maritime Building to reach the Island. We first visited the exhibition at Soissons Landing where our very own director,  Bob Balder introduced us to the history and present developments in the Island. Then we took a walk to Nolan Park where we witnessed the 7th Annual Unicycle Festival. There were kids and adults riding unicycles everywhere. It was a fun scene to watch!

Going through the exquisite Colonel’s row housed with old abandoned U.S. Coast Guard housing, we moved towards the Hammock grove and the Hills. Hammock grove is a beautiful parkland with seating places for the visitors and bike paths. The Hills are man-made structures created out of recycled materials and provide unique panoramic views of the statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.

Yichen Jia (B.Arch 2018) and Hanxi Wang (B.Arch 2018) on Governor’s Island
Yichen Jia (B.Arch 2018) and Hanxi Wang (B.Arch 2018) at Nolan Park

The Governor’s Island art fair takes place annually on every weekends in September and we were lucky enough to witness that. It was originally located in the buildings of colonial row but now has extended to Fort Jay and Castle Williams as artist venues. However, the southwestern part of the island is still in the phase of redevelopment.

With this very interesting field trip, we hope our workshop team comes up with pretty good proposals for the island.

Students on The Hills with Bob Balder
Students on The Hills with Bob Balder

Photos by Stephanie Cheung.

Final Reviews & End of Semester

Although our semester went by so quickly, each and every day in this city has been immensely fulfilling. I think we all knew that the time would fly by, but there was simply no way for us to predict the unbelievable amount of academic, professional, and personal growth that would happen in just one semester.

Whether it was meeting new people in the industry, studying an urban environment with a studio project that was extremely relevant to the city of New York, or simply having fun nights out during the weekends, the semester provided a plethora of valuable experiences that have an have greatly shaped our education and personas. (Some people think that the NYC Semester is very intense as you’ll balance internships, studio, & classes- and it is! However, you become so great with time management that you will absolutely manage to schedule fun in! It’s fantastic, and essential.)

Both AAP NYC architecture studios just completed their final reviews last week! Critics on both reviews included talented and diverse professionals in the city. My studio, “The Public’s Private Apartment,” led by Michael Bell and Eunjeong Song of Visible Weather, received valuable critiques from directors from within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) as well as professors from Columbia University with many years of experience with public housing.

All photos by Erin Soygenis





Slowly but surely, the studio is getting cleaner as students clear their desks and get ready to head home. The remarkable views from the AAP NYC Studio will definitely be missed as we head back Ithaca next semester.

Thank you Cornell, for such a wonderful program and amazing opportunity.

For many of us, the AAP NYC Program was our first experience living & working in NYC, and it provided a platform for us to start a career in the city while simultaneously studying and being immersed in an urban environment. So even though it is the end of the semester, perhaps it’s a bit comforting to realize that it’s really just the end of “Chapter 1.”


Thumbnail is an open forum for the exchange of ideas, based on the model of Pecha Kucha. The format is explicit: 20 slides at 20 seconds each.

On Friday night, November 6, for the first time ever, the semesterly Thumbnail lecture was held simultaneously in the Milstein Auditorium and the AAP NYC Lecture Space. Speakers in both Ithaca and NYC presented a variety of ideas all pertaining to their “ordinary and extraordinary” interpretations on the theme of the event, LOOP. With the theme, the event managed to literally loop between the NYC and Ithaca studios during the presentations.

Topics ranged from architectural doughnuts to high-speed Hyperloop transportation and from knot techniques to comically philosophical analysis of déjà vu.

Ana Penalba presents her work with looping GIF animations and their role in the perception and production of Architecture.
AAP NYC visiting critic Ana Penalba presents her work with looping GIF animations and their role in the perception and production of Architecture.

Ashley Mendelsohn speaks about the Guggenheim Museum’s first online exhibition and the public’s engagement.

THUMBNAIL host and curator Gosia Pawlowska speaks from NYC to the Ithaca audience over Skype.

Thumbnail has always been a relaxing and fun experience that occurs every semester in the Milstein Auditorium, where anyone can come and listen to the exciting and short (20 slides, 20 seconds each) presentations of professors, alumni, and students from a variety of departments. Although the presentations are fast-paced, the framework encourages the presenter to convey ideas and information succinctly, and the audience is engaged and excited for more.

AAP NYC and Ithaca locations both celebrated a fun Friday evening with another successful Thumbnail event!

AAP ASSOCIATION Volume 7 NYC Launch Party

The AAP NYC Studio was proud to host the AAP ASSOCIATION publication’s 10th Anniversary and Volume 7 Launch Party on Wednesday October, 7. The event brought together Cornell AAP Alumni, students, and faculty to celebrate the history of the ASSOCIATION, while fostering new discussions and connections- the premise of the publication itself.

The gallery space was turned into an exhibition of the seven volumes of ASSOCIATION.
The gallery space was turned into an exhibition of the seven volumes of ASSOCIATION.


Conversations and associations!

 “ASSOCIATION is a collection of work produced by the students, faculty, and alumni of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art & Planning. The publication fosters cross disciplinary dialogue within the College, revealing commonalities and expanding the scope of each discipline by exposing a complex network of relationships, generating new methods for reading each project.”

Rather than name tags, every person was given a colored square to identify their major. The squares became conversation starters and the colors became an icon of the event. The colors also corresponded to the network-thread installation which delineated the relationships between the works, people, and majors present in the Volume 7 publication.

aap nyc association_21
Guests studying the matrix installation.

aap nyc association_22
Guests reviewing current and past ASSOCIATION books.


aap nyc association_54
ASSOCIATION members Ben Hoffman (left) and Pamela Chueh.

The evening started off with a toast from the original ASSOCIATION founders who started the publication ten years ago, followed by the current leaders of the publication.

Both new and familiar faces showed up to the event!

aap nyc association_7
AAP NYC student Madeleine Burns (right) with friends.


aap nyc association_78
AAP alumnus and visiting critic Bradford Perkins (left) with AAP NYC executive director Bob Balder.


It was exciting to see the premise of ASSOCIATION literally take place right before our eyes. Through ten years of development, the publication has grown to be far more than just a book! The night was bustling with exciting and engaging conversation about internship experiences, life after university, and living & working in NYC.

All photographs by Yuriy Chernets.

Institution and The City: Panel Discussion at AAP NYC

Last Saturday afternoon, David Eugin Moon, a Cornell AAP Visiting Critic, architect, and founding partner of N H D M, held the first panel discussion of the semester at the AAP NYC studio Lecture Space. The discussion was titled Institution and The City and included the voices of a variety of talented curators and directors all intimately involved with architecture, art, and planning. Prior to the discussion, short lectures by Moon and the three participating panel members focused on the “changing relationship of cultural institutions and the city, highlighting the expanding role and responsibility of cultural institutions in the urban environment.” The mix of opinions and perspectives of such inspiring people in the panel led to some exciting dialogue and debate.

David Eugin Moon introduces the panel and the focus of his studio

B.Arch, M.Arch, and CRP Students in the audience


Panel Discussion

Beatrice Galilee (seated second from left), who is the Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Co-Founder and Director of The Gopher Hole, and Contributor at DOMUS, spoke about her experience and what she learned as a curator of the 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

Rosalie Genevro (seated second from right), who is the Executive Director of The Architectural League of New York, spoke about what it means to be an institution, and about the history of the Architectural League in New York.

Eva Franch Gilabert (seated far right), who is the Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture and Principal at OOA, spoke about Paris, Barcelona, and Storefront and how their histories have all contributed to what constitutes as an “institution” in today’s cities.

Rosalie Genevro: Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York

Eva Franch Gilabert: Director Storefront for Art and Architecture, Principal at OOAA
Eva Franch Gilabert: Director Storefront for Art and Architecture, Principal at OOAA
Beatrice Galilee and Audience
Beatrice Galilee, Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Co-Founder and Director of The Gopher Hole, and Contributor at DOMUS

After the panel, we were able to catch up with friends from Cornell’s main Ithaca campus as students from Moon’s studio attended- they were all staying in New York City for a day before taking their flight to Shenzhen, China, the site of their studio projects. The AAP NYC and AAP Ithaca students congregated and we were able to share our experiences in New York and Ithaca and, of course, the institutions in both cities.