Prefabrication in the Public Realm

A Virtual Discussion

Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 1 pm

Registration is free and open to the public. Please register in advance through the Columbia University GSAPP event page, here.

Join us in discussion to celebrate the launch of Designing New York: Prefabrication in the Public Realm, which launched in 2020 as a collaboration between Columbia University’s GSAPP and the NYC Public Design Commission.

Through a selection of 22 case studies, six of which are located in NYC and two of which respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Designing New York: Prefabrication in the Public Realm examines how prefabrication practices can be applied to small-scale urban infrastructure projects to have a large public-realm impact. It also highlights current best practices for prefabrication and analyzes both technical and logistical nuances of these systems in order to further understand their viability in New York City.

This launch discussion gathers a selection of designers from around the world whose work is highlighted in the publication. Designers will present projects and aim to further unpack the future of prefabrication practices in densely populated and expanding urban metropolises like New York City, with a focus on how to meet growing needs for public infrastructure while also addressing pressures to expedite timelines and reduce costs.

Please find video footage from the event here.


Ada Tolla, Co-founder, LO-TEK; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP

Ben Busche, Founder, Brut Deluxe

Carlo Ratti, Founder, Carlo Ratti Associati

Ronnie Markussen, Co-founder, Human Habitat

With opening comments and moderation by Rebecca Macklis, Senior Urban Design Manager, NYC Public Design Commission and Laurie Hawkinson, Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP; Partner, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects; Commissioner, NYC Public Design Commission.

Find out more about the Designing New York series.