Baruch College Explores Modernism's Potential to Advance Sustainability Goals and Enhance Our Quality Of Life

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New York, NY, Feb. 15, 2011 — Baruch College's Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute will host a conference on February 17th titled Greening Modernism to explore how the principles of the 20th-century Modernist movement can advance sustainability goals and at the same time contribute to a higher quality of life. The event is being co-hosted by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

Jack S. Nyman, Director of the Newman Institute, stresses that the conference's sustainability theme acquires ever more urgency in light of what is now being termed not climate change but global climate disruption. "Our existing building stock holds immense stores of ‘embodied resources' — notably the energy consumed at every step of a building's creation," he explains. "To capitalize on this, we can adapt buildings now in surplus to meet new demands, and avoid the exorbitant environmental costs of demolition and new construction." Buildings with historic and aesthetic merit can be sustainably preserved, he adds, noting that New York City's large inventory of Modernist buildings "puts this responsibility and opportunity squarely before us."

Another theme the conference will explore is how harnessing the values and discipline of 20th-century Modern thought can help move "our throwaway culture," as Nyman describes it, toward a more authentic, richer quality of life.

Among the speakers at the conference will be architect Carl Stein, from whose new book, Greening Modernism: Preservation, Sustainability, and the Modern Movement, the conference takes its name; Michael Adlerstein, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, who will discuss renovation of the UN's iconic Secretariat Building; Anthony Vidler, Dean of the Cooper Union School of Architecture; and Wilbur L. Woods, Director of the Waterfront & Open Space Planning, NYC Department of City Planning.

WHAT: Greening Modernism

WHEN: Thursday, February 17th

            8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Baruch College, Newman Conference Center

             151 E. 25th Street, Room 750

For more information or to obtain press passes, please contact:
Ed Pachetti, (646) 660-6135, Ed.pachetti@baruch.cuny.edu