It's October 1st, and that means also the first day of Archtober, New York City's Architecture and Design Month. With so many events coming up in the next 31 days across the five boroughs, it's easy to be overwhelmed – but worry not, we've got you covered with Bustler's weekly selection of recommended events and our handy guide of must-see Archtober exhibitions.
Today we have the pleasure of chatting with Camila Schaulsohn, Communications Director for AIANY and the Center for Architecture, Archtober's main organizing institution. Camila's got the inside scoop and reveals her soft spot for waste management systems...
How did Archtober come about, and when did it get started? Are
there historical precedents of other city-wide architecture and
design festivals in New York?
Archtober is now in its seventh year. NYC’s Architecture and Design Month began in 2011, under the leadership of then-AIA New York managing director Cynthia Kracauer. Archtober actually grew from the Center for Architecture’s “Architecture Week,” which included the opening of the Center’s fall exhibition, a number of curated lectures, Open House New York weekend, and AIANY’s annual Heritage Ball. From its inception, we hoped to expand the week by collaborating with our peer institutions to create a lasting festival bringing global attention to NYC’s vast creative talent and the built environment they have helped create.
As Cynthia Kracauer was fond of saying, “After all, almost fifty million people don’t come to New York every year to gaze at purple mountain’s majesty, they come to the city to see its institutions, its buildings, and arts and entertainment.”
What are some exciting new partner institutions that have joined
Archtober 2017 is bigger than ever! We are honored to be joined this year by new cultural partners like DOCOMOMO US, rise International, the Noguchi Museum, the Met Breuer, Syracuse University School of Architecture, the Historic House Trust of NYC, Design and Architecture Norway, Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, and the 2017 Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale. This year, in response to demand, we have also added a Professional Partner category for manufacturers and design-adjacent companies interested in being involved in our month of events.
Do you have a Building of the Day tour you look most forward to?
We have a great line-up this year so it’s hard to pick just one, but I’m a real sucker for waste management systems and love reading about garbage, so I’ll have to go with Freshkills Park (October 22), formerly the city’s largest landfill.
Some goals for the future of Archtober?
We are constantly trying to expand Archtober’s reach into the outer boroughs and shine a light on institutions, buildings, and parks that people may not be familiar with. We love visiting a building and exploring the surrounding neighborhood (we do some serious Yelping of nearby lunch spots whenever we’re out for Building of the Day tours).
This year, we launched a pilot program series called Workplace Wednesdays, which invites the public into the office of one architecture firm each week. It would be great to expand this to allow more firms to participate.
How can our readers learn more about Archtober events and locations?
We know that our extensive calendar of events can overwhelm. Luckily, the folks at Archinect offer a weekly roundup of not-to-miss events! Our website is newly redesigned this year by the talented folks at With Projects – please check it out! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @Archtober!
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