Tag: published

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Originally published: Chicago YIMBY Studio ST Architects’ new design for the renovation of Skokie Valley Agudath Synagogue, in Skokie, IL, will update and revitalize the original 1960 synagogue in order to better reflect the congregation’s values of accessibility and inclusivity. Aesthetic and practical changes address the congregation’s diverse needs, create a comfortable space for individual prayer and group services, and bring in more natural light to create an airy, ethereal atmosphere.  Read More

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"For this reason, I am making a pledge, and I hope others will join. If I receive funding from the CARES Act PPP that allows me to keep my staff on payroll for the next two months, my firm will dedicate a significant portion of the additional work time toward architectural work that does good for the world.” Read More

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"Here is my provocative proposal. Instead of removing the upper floors of 200 Amsterdam, we should convert part of the building into affordable housing. Let the developer keep the top floors, which include two large duplex penthouses priced at over $40 million dollars apiece. In return, let the city or a nonprofit reclaim the bottom 20 floors for low- and middle-income families." Read More

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Published: Architect Magazine The dream of every New Yorker came true for these clients when they were able to buy the one bedroom apartment next to their existing two bedroom. This clean and contemporary combination created a large, four bedroom home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The large open space includes a generous foyer, living room, dinning room and kitchen, perfect for entertaining and relaxing. With the additional space we were able to expand the original bathroom to create a larger master bathroom, “his and her” walk in closets, a comfortable home office for two working parents, a […] Read More

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Published: Dwell This upper west side project was a 6700 square foot, full-floor gut renovation. This family home merges the best of a comfortable suburban house with the sophistication and location of a city apartment. The design conveys a soft opulence that is rich yet comfortable, beautiful yet functional. The space was designed to be used flexibly, both for hosting large groups and for intimate family use.     Read More

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Originally published: Lilith Magazine Esther Sperber reviews Daphne Merkin’s memoir, This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression. ‘The Melancholic displays something else besides which is lacking in mourning—an extraordinary diminution in his self-regard, and impoverishment of his ego on a grand scale. … a delusion of (mainly moral) inferiority is completed by sleeplessness and a refusal to take nourishment, and – what is psychologically very remarkable – by an overcoming of the instinct which compels every living thing to cling to life … the self reproaches are reproaches against a loved object which have been shifted away from it […] Read More

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Originally published in Ms. Magazine “I am sitting on the carpeted floor in our local Barnes & Noble and looking through Ivanka Trump’s new book, Women Who Work. (I can’t bring myself to buy it.) Trump tells us that her book is a “manual for architecting the life you want to live,” and she uses architectural metaphors throughout the book—urging women to “plot a plan for success” so that “your life’s blueprint reflects your foundational values.” “As an architect, I love the way architectural terms quietly sneak into everyday language. Perhaps because dwelling and shelter are among the most primal of human […] Read More

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Originally published on Huffington Post “I alone can fix this” Trump promised during the 2016 Republican convention, but his first 100 days may have taught him that governing is a collaborative project and even a president cannot fix things alone. “Trump joins a long western tradition that idealizes the genius who works alone in business, science and art. Architects have embraced this Romantic archetype of the lone, most likely male, creator. But on May 20th the Pritzker Prize, which is considered the highest award in architecture, will be given for the first time to a team of three architects, Rafael […] Read More

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Psychoanalysis has long been interested in the creative process, and yet architecture has rarely been studied from a psychoanalytic perspective. This paper examines the creative process of architecture in which the space between an existing problem and a physical, occupiable building is bridged. I follow the story of Daedalus, the mythic first architect, and suggest that the architect's creativity depends on the ability to utilize multiple modalities of the human mind and body and to allow them to converse with one another in what Philip Bromberg called a moment of “standing in the spaces.” Read More

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Originally published in Lilith Magazine “I was sitting at my office desk, Thursday morning, March 31, multitasking as usual; checking my email, drafting plans for my sister’s apartment renovation in Tel Aviv, logging data into my bookkeeping software, and (I confess) checking Facebook once in a while. I scrolled through the feed of vacation photos, op eds and political comedy when I suddenly caught my breath – Zaha Hadid had died of a heart attack, age 65. “I’ve been thinking about Hadid’s death since its startling appearance in my Facebook feed. Had you asked me on Wednesday who my architectural […] Read More

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Originally published: Hillel Office of Innovation “What is a Jewish home? What makes a home Jewish and what makes a Jewish space a home? You might be thinking, “We all know what a home is, so let’s focus on the Jewish aspect,” but as an architect, I think questioning the meaning of a home is central to the topic of this salon. “When I think of my home, I think of a personal space, away from the noise of culture, a place in which I can shape my own surroundings. But a home is also always part of the fabric […] Read More

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Originally published in The New York Jewish Week “We are in the season of the High Holy Days, when many Jews will be spending significant time in the synagogue. As an architect, I have had a number of opportunities to design synagogues, forcing me to think about the spatial and phenomenological aspects of communal prayer. [Jewish Week staff writer Steve Lipman addressed some of these issues in a Sept. 11 article, “The Shape Of Worship To Come.”] “The synagogue’s primary function is what happens in its sanctuary, the space in which the congregation prays together. But there is a basic […] Read More

Published in the journal Psychoanalytic Psychology Abstract: Hans Loewald’s understanding of sublimation differs radically from Freud’s use of this term. Whereas Freud saw sublimation as a change of aim, elevating drive-based desire to a higher level of art, for Loewald, sublimation is a process of linking two experiences of reality. I suggest that Loewald’s sublimation combines ideas from his two teachers—Martin Heidegger and Sigmund Freud. Using Heidegger’s terms building and dwelling, I argue that architecture is always a sublimatory product, combining a rational, functional reality of building with a phenomenological experience of inhabiting space and dwelling. I described how this concept of sublimation […] Read More

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Originally published on Archinect EXCITE “Rem Koolhaas, chief curator of the 2014 Venice Biennale, managed to excite us, again forcing us to rethink the Elements and Fundamentals of architecture. For me, this is the first time I felt a real desire to visit the show, which I have always imagined to be more like an amusement park for new design. INSIGHT “So why am I, along with many others, intrigued by this year’s event?  One may agree with Peter Eisenmanthat architecture is a language, while Koolhaas’s exhibition presents only words, neglecting the grammar of a cultural discourse; or perhaps Libeskind’s words resonate with us, calling for a […] Read More

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Abstract: Coming from the field of architecture, Sperber explores the processes in which buildings expand the range of human experiences. Using the nineteenth century term empathy from philosophy of art as well as current psychoanalytic notions of mentalization and the relational understanding of trauma, she contends that the building can reconnect the inhabitant to affects that have been avoided, split off or dissociated by trauma or non-reflective parenting. She further articulates the difference between architecture and the Winnicottian transitional object. While the transitional object garners its power through the child’s projection of affect to compensate for the unavailable mother, buildings […] Read More

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Published: Lilith Magazine Studio ST Architects’ Kesher Synagogue design project was featured in the article “Jews, Women, Architects. At The Same Time,” published in Lilith Magazine. Much of the design inspiration for Kesher Synagogue came from founding architect Esther Sperber’s Jewish heritage. Sperber used the community’s name, which means connection or knot, as well as the Talmud, to guide her design of the space. The new sanctuary is conceptualized as continuous space accessible by all, with a flexible configuration that can mold to a variety of different layouts in order to accommodate for various programs of different sizes and formats. […] Read More

Originally Published: Lilith Magazine “After months of architectural design, bidding, negotiations and city approvals, we finally entered the site for our first weekly construction meeting. The general contractor had started the demolition, and I was excited to see the bare space, its walls and other distractions removed, and to imagine the place as we’d designed it. Richard and I entered the apartment for the meeting. Raymond, our general contractor, was late, but the new site manager was waiting for us. When he noticed us, he walked over to Richard, a graying man of around 60, shook his hand and introduced […] Read More