The League’s monthly First Friday events are informal social gatherings that allow members to visit the offices of leading design practices and see work in progress.
The League’s monthly First Friday series shifted to a new online format and other days of the week. Each event explores design practices in New York City and beyond that operate in multiple roles—coupling architecture with initiatives including design advocacy, fabrication research, and community engagement.
Each program consists of brief presentations about the office structure (including some form of virtual tour, when possible), recent projects, and impetus for creating alternative modes of practice, followed by an informal discussion with attendees. Grab a beverage of your choice and join us for a casual conversation.
Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA matx) was founded in 2000 by Juan Frano Violich and Sheila Kennedy. Their work includes architecture, urbanism, and resilient ‘soft’ infrastructure. The Boston-based practice is recognized for innovation in material research and the design of educational buildings for leading research programs in the humanities, natural and social sciences. The firm seeks to transform what seems to be given—program, constituencies, form, material, and spatial typologies—in order to unlock new possibilities for design.
matx, the interdisciplinary research unit at KVA, explores material culture across scales. Working with industry leaders, educational institutions, and public agencies, matx creates designs that advance the sustainable use of existing and renewable materials and explore low carbon fabrication in architecture. Projects range from work with community-based NGOs to global material and manufacturing industries. KVA matx works in an open studio with a networked set of design, rapid prototyping, and workshop spaces in the former Bluebird bottling company.
Current projects include:
- Global Flora Conservatory, a sustainable greenhouse and botany lab at Wellesley College that aims to enhance interdisciplinary science education and deepen a public understanding of nature.
- MIT Hayden Library, an infrastructural, programmatic, and spatial transformation that reflects the library of the future.
- Plant Properties: A Future Urban Development, an installation that demonstrates a post-electric future where people depend upon plants for ambient light.
- Voluntary Village Relocation addresses planning and design for the relocation of villages in areas of extreme risk such as Basid, in the High Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan.
The conversation will be moderated by Rania Ghosn, an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT School of Architecture + Planning and founding partner of the practice DESIGN EARTH with El Hadi Jazairy.