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UPSTATE director named at the SU School of Architecture
UPSTATE director named at the SU School of ArchitectureApril 26, 2007Mary Kate O’Brienmcobrien@syr.edu
Julia Czerniak, associate professor in the Syracuse University School of Architecture and co-founder of the design firm CLEAR, has been named the director of UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research and Real Estate.
Founded in 2005, UPSTATE is a design research and advocacy organization housed within the School of Architecture that engages innovative design and development practices to address critical issues of urban revitalization in the city of Syracuse and the upstate region.
Czerniak is a registered landscape architect and founder and principal of CLEAR; the firm is part of the winning design team for the Syracuse Connective Corridor competition, in collaboration with Field Operations. Czerniak teaches architectural studios as well as seminars on landscape theory and criticism.
Educated as an architect (Princeton University, M. Arch., 1992) and landscape architect (Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1984), Czerniak focuses her research and practice on the intersection of these disciplines. She is the editor of two books, “Large Parks” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) and “Case: Downsview Park Toronto” (Prestel and Harvard Design School, 2001), that focus on contemporary design approaches to public parks. Her essays include “Fertilizer: Eisenman Olin” (Institute for Contemporary Art, 2006) and “Landscape Urbanism,” Charles Waldheim, ed. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006).
“Julia Czerniak brings together an acute eye and sensitivity to urban design architecture and landscape architecture,” says Mark Robbins, dean of the School of Architecture. “Her work as a designer and theoretician of the environment epitomizes the potential impact of architecture and design in our culture. Under her leadership, UPSTATE promises to become an active center for innovative strategies for our campus, city and the region.”
“I am delighted, both as a faculty member at the School of Architecture and a resident of Syracuse, to be part of the center and its important work,” says Czerniak. “I look forward to working with a wide range of partners from the public and private sectors in achieving UPSTATE’s mission and providing opportunities for the revitalization of upstate New York.”
The Community Design Center, which has worked on a variety of projects that engage the community with the School of Architecture and SU, will continue its work under the auspices of UPSTATE. Notable past projects, under the direction of associate professor Elizabeth Kamell, include proposals for housing on the city’s South Side and design studies envisioning the removal of Interstate 81 from the center of Syracuse.
Recent initiatives at the School of Architecture under the umbrella of UPSTATE have focused on the redevelopment of downtown Syracuse. The Pioneer Studio, taught by visiting architect Lindy Roy with associate professor Ted Brown and sponsored by Michael P. Falcone and the Pioneer Cos., developed design ideas for two sites adjacent to The Warehouse in Armory Square. The Seinfeld Studio, sponsored by University trustee Judy Seinfeld, is developing ideas for artists’ relocation housing and retail on the Near West Side of Syracuse under the guidance of visiting critic Julie Eizenberg and Czerniak. Future projects at the center will focus on the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown, as well as suburban commercial and residential development, in the effort to create sustainable, economically viable models for growth.
An important goal for the center is to bring intellectual and marketing capital to the city and region. As part of this effort, UPSTATE has hosted two symposia — UPSTATE: downtown, held in April 2005, highlighting strategies employed by other cities around the country that have grappled with the seemingly intractable issue of reviving their downtown core, and UPSTATE: Public-Private in November 2006, which brought together leading design professionals, real estate developers, civic leaders and scholars to show how market forces and government policies can collaborate to catalyze economic growth, build social capital and generate innovative design for America’s cities.
Czerniak will assume the director position in the Spring 2008 semester, following a research leave during the Fall 2007 semester, during which she will work on projects as part of CLEAR, including the artNET Public Art Landscape Design Competition in Toledo and the Charm Bracelet Competition in Pittsburgh, as well as the Connective Corridor project in Syracuse.
For more information, contact Mary Kate O’Brien, communications manager of the School of Architecture, at (315) 443-2388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.