making cities more livable together with you
making cities more livable together with you

May 15, 2022

Streets For Climate

This past fall I contributed to the Urban Design Forums most recent initiative “Streets Ahead: Five Routes to a Thriving City” Created in collaboration with Working Groups of nearly 50 New Yorkers, these ideas envision New York’s streets through the lenses of Commerce, Culture, Climate, Care and Continuity to inspire our City to think big for the future of our streets

April 30, 2022

Control & Yield: The Hudson Waterfront

We recently returned from another visit to the City of Hudson for Control and Yield, a  panel discussion, hosted by Eco Toolshed to discuss the Hudson Valley Collaborative’s design for the Hudson Waterfront.

October 04, 2021

Hemp + Lime Workshop at Wally Farms

This weekend Kaja led a tour of the construction site of two micro homes using showing hemp + lime insulation in progress.

September 27, 2020

Awesome Newburgh at ADS Warehouse

Awesome Newburgh gives micro-grants to projects that make Newburgh awesome. This past weekend, we launched an exhibit of all the projects awarded so far at the ADS Warehouse in Newburgh. The show will be up for another two months, so stop by to learn more about Awesome Newburgh and the many small & big things we help realize.

August 26, 2020

Live on Warren Street

This Saturday at 1pm, we will join Peter Spears of @futurehudson for a conversation about Design For Six Feet, how and why we started it, our recent work and where we think it will go. We will also discuss our collaboration with Future Hudson, Hudson Hall and the City of Hudson to create a shared experience of Warren Street in Hudson as well as a recent design competition for outdoor play in response to closed libraries, canceled summer camps and the uncertainty of school reopenings.

The event is part of The Hudson Eye Hot Topics Series. We will be live on Warren Street and on zoom. Thank you – as always – to Hudson Hall for hosting us and for championing @designforsixfeet

July 14, 2020

The Climate Action Lab

The Climate Action Lab is a project diary that accompanies the design and construction of two micro homes at Wally Farms in the Hudson Valley. It documents how to build with bio-based materials, how to calculate embodied energy in building materials and why we should build smaller homes. The diary includes research, audio interviews, and drawings. All content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0)

May, 10, 2018

Field Guide to Phytoremediation at Boston Society of Architects

The Fieldguide to Phytoremediation will be featured at NatureStructure, and exhibition curated by Scott Burnham at the Boston Society of Architects. “NatureStructure will present a new model for the relationship design and the built environment can have with nature.”—Scott Burnham, Curator. The exhibition opens on May 17, 2018. Excited to be included.



October 1, 2018

Rising Architecture Aarhus

In September, I was invited to speak at Rising Architecture in Aarhus, Denmark. I don’t like the way I look on video, but I think the editors capture very well some of the most important points I said in this interview after my talk. thank you.

April 22, 2015

Speaking at Conference Place and Displacement

A 1-day summit at NYU in New York, which brings together various diplomats, representatives from the United Nations, eminent architects, and academics from Harvard, Oxford, Columbia, NYU amongst others, to present and discuss displacement issues faced by individuals living in refugee settlements. Framed by a design competition – Place and Displacement, which asked teams to envision a marketplace for refugees in three places, the summit brings together design and policy to encourage refugee agency. See Ideation World for more on speaker and details about the event. I am delighted to be moderating the discussion about Berlin, Germany and Europe.

In May, our article about speculative design for parking on Long Island was published in articulo: Journal for Urban Research:

ParkingPLUS: How Design Produces a Future for Long Island’s Suburban Downtowns design can be a useful tool in building broad-based support among community members and stakeholders for denser, transit-oriented development, and a greater mix of uses in North American suburbs, particularly in suburban regions characterized by both fractured governance and persistent segregation by race and class such as found in the Long Island suburbs of New York City. Urban design and in particular urban design competitions provide opportunity to initiate public conversations about the potential for retrofitting selected suburban sites to new built configurations that are more socially sustainable and resilient over time. Recent efforts by the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, to leverage research through sponsoring design competitions to generate an informed conversation about land use around transit stations in Long Island’s suburban downtowns serves as an example. We present the 2013-14 Build a Better Burb: ParkingPLUS design challenge and its results as well as local and national reactions to them – including debates in the freewheeling discursive space of online comments to articles. We emphasize the role that speculative design can play in advancing local policies and decision-making processes that support a greater densification and diversification of transit-supported suburban downtowns. See the full article here


Snow again in New York City. Here in anticipation of warmer days to come, watch the video about Hike the Heights featuring our map.
next hike is June 6th, 2015

March 10, 2015

Morningside Park Green Gym

Morningside Park Green Gym is launching this spring! Together with Nancy Bruning and the Friends of Morningsidepark, we developed a fitness trail for Morningside Park. 

Conversations: Equity Agendas on Monday October 27th

Join the AIANY Diversity & Inclusion Committee in partnership with the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycobaNOMA) and The Institute For Public Architecture (IPA) for “Conversations: Equity Agendas” at the Center For Architecture.  Presented as part of the annual Max Bond Lecture, an annual series of design talks in memory of J. Max Bond, Jr., FAIA, “Conversations: Equity Agendas” will the agendas of affordability, housing, and community. Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised 200,000 units of affordable housing. NYCHA is facing a ballooning deficit and a waiting list of 250,000. How does New York City embark upon a construction boom of affordable housing? The Institute for Public Architecture’s Total Reset program series explores ambitious, achievable ideas for public and below-market housing in New York. The series, featuring the inaugural IPA Fellowship, responds to Mayor de Blasio’s “total reset” for housing. What material forms, spatial politics, health issues and cost structures shape affordable housing in the New York City?

When: Monday, October 27, 6-8pm
Where: Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place

Nadine Maleh, Director, Inspiring Places for Community Solutions, IPA Fellow
Kaja Kühl, Columbia University GSAPP 5 Borough Studio, IPA Fellow
Quillian Riano, Principal, DSGNAGNC, Director of Strategy & Research, NYDesigns, IPA Fellow
Sagi Golan, Urban Designer NYC Dept. of City Planning, Columbia Univ. GSAPP, IPA Fellow
Miriam Peterson, Principal & Founder, Peterson Rich Office, IPA Fellow
Nathan Rich, Principal & Founder, Peterson Rich Office, IPA Fellow

For the past year youarethecity has been working with CLIMB (City Live is Moving Bodies) to enhance access and visibility of the beautiful parks in Upper Manhattan and the trail that connects them all -a path that leads you through some of the most beautiful moments where infrastructure meets nature, amazing views and lots of history from Central Park to the Cloisters. To make this all more visible and accessible, we created a map that is now printed and will be available at Hike the Heights – an annual hike along the path this Saturday June 7th -see below for start times. (I recommend the Northern half, so start at the RING Garden at Dyckman and Broadway, the A train takes you right there)
Download a pdf version of the map here

Hike Starting Locations and Times:
RING Garden (Dyckman & Broadway): Meet at 9:45 am; Depart at 10 am
Swindler Cove (Dyckman & 10th Ave): Meet at 10:30 am; Depart at 11 am 
Central Park (110th St & Central Park West): Meet at 9:45 am; Depart at 10 am
Morningside Park (118th St & Morningside Ave): Meet at 10:20 am; Depart at 10:30 am
St. Nicholas Park (135th St & St. Nicholas Ave): Meet at 10:50 am; Depart at 11 am
Jackie Robinson Park (148th St & Bradhurst Ave): Meet at 11:20 am; Depart at 11:30 am
All Hikes End at a Community Celebration: 
Art, Dancing, Music, Food, and Fun!
Highbridge Park (Sunken Playground at 167th St & Edgecombe Ave): 11:30 am – 3 pm

There are more than 4,000 acres of surface parking lots in and around Long Island’s downtowns—that’s about 6.5 square miles solely dedicated to parking. In September 2013, the Long Island Index announced the ParkingPLUS Design Challenge to solicit innovative designs for parking structures, freeing up this valuable land for better uses. The design challenge paired four leading architectural firms with four Long Island communities: Utile, Inc. worked with Rockville Centre, LTL Architects worked with Westbury, Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design worked with Ronkonkoma, and dub Studios worked with Patchogue. Although each firm developed their design for a specific community, their ideas can be readily applied to downtowns across the Long Island region and around the nation. The challenge also included analyses of costs to build and maintain each of the parking structures, how to finance them, and economic benefits.The designs were released to the public January 16, 2014.

Image: Utile, Inc for Rockville Centre.

Together with  June Williamson, Associate Professor of Architecture at The City College of New York/CUNY, author of Designing Suburban Futures and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, I had the great pleasure of coordinating this effort for the Long Island Index.

See some press coverage of the Design Challenge in Newsday, Long Island Advance ,CBS News, NBC News. All designs can be viewed in detail at Build ab Better Burb

Finally! Designing Services for Housing is the culmination of 18 months of research, design and discovery with the Public Policy Lab, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Parsons DESIS Lab. The publication illustrates how our team of fellows developed proposals that support the way in which New Yorkers understand and apply for affordable housing. Among collaborators referred to as the “How-to-guide”, this report will now sit on agency staff’s desk as vital instruction for implementing these ideas as pilots. We will continue to work with HPD throughout 2014 to see, how that worked.

publication cover



Some images from the Venice Architecture Biennale, where the Field Guide to Phytoremediation is featured in the US Pavilion’s Spontaneous Intervention exhibit.