Cycle 2: Fall 2017 – Winter 2018
December 21, 2017 @ 11.28AM
Opening discussion – Saturday, November 4, 2017, 4:30PM
This discussion will cover ongoing urban transformations in the Lower East Side / Chinatown neighborhood. We will explore current-day urban issues
and plans for the area, including housing, public space, local cultural landmarks and Seward Park’s recently awarded grant for renovations as part
of the ‘Parks Without Borders’ program.
with Kerri Culhane, Tobi Elkin, Cathy Lang Ho & Stefan Jonot
Organized by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong // Moderated by Quilian Riano
+ Kerri Culhane is a planner and architectural historian who has spent the past 15 years considering the past, present and future of the Lower East Side.
At the heart of her professional practice is applied research—using history to inform a community-based approach to preservation and planning. Kerri’s
research uncovered the story of Chinatown’s first native architect, Poy Gum Lee, the subject of a recent exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America
and a forthcoming book.
+ Tobi Elkin is a New York City-based writer, editor, and interviewer. She helps companies, organizations, and individuals tell their stories
and enjoys unearthing the connections between them. Selected as an Amtrak Writer-in-Residence for 2016-2017, she traveled cross-country by rail and
produced an award-winning short film, “Train People,”; it was screened in more than a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and abroad in 2017. Tobi
serves as a Public Member of Manhattan Community Board 3’s Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs, & Waterfront Committee, an advisor and founding member of
Seward Park Conservancy, volunteer with New York Public Library’s Lower East Side Oral History Project, and was a mentor for Girls Write Now.
+ Cathy Lang Ho is an independent architecture and design editor, journalist, and curator. Currently a contributing editor to Architect magazine,
she has published hundreds of articles in publications worldwide, including Abitare, Architecture , Art + Auction, Arquitectura Viva, Blueprint,
Domus, Frame, Metropolis, and the New York Times. She was the founding editor-in-chief of The Architect’s Newspaper, a bimonthly regional tabloid,
launched in New York in 2003. In 2012, Ho was the commissioner and lead curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale:
“Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.” Ho is a LES/Chinatown resident and co-owner of local business “Les Enfants.
+ Stefan Jonot has been a LES/Chinatown resident for decades. Together with his wife Cathy, he owns neighborhood bistrot / “living room for locals”
Les Enfants de Boheme. He was the former owner of bar/restaurant Les Enfants de Boehme from 2003 – 2012. Les Enfants has introduced the
Lower East Side’s first and only Street Seat parklet — a free public space and new program of the Department of Transportation (DOT) that
expands seating and greenery in public spaces by temporarily removing 1-2 parking spaces.
+ Quilian Riano founded DSGN AGNC, a collaborative design/research studio exploring space-making though socio-political
engagement processes in architecture, urbanism and art. Quilian has been the recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise as well as
awards and residencies from Harvard University, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Queens Museum. DSGN AGNC’s work has been featured
at the Venice Biennale, Harvard University, the World Urban Forum, Cornell University, New York’s Center for Architecture, The Van Alen
Institute, Parsons The New School for Design, The Queens Museum, The Boston Society of Architects, among others.