Another Language of Diplomacy: Design Excellence and the U.S. Department of State

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 7 - 8:30pm

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Rendering of New U.S. Embassy in London, view from east | courtesy of KieranTimberlake

Rendering of New U.S. Embassy in London, view from east | courtesy of KieranTimberlake

Lydia Muniz, Director of the Bureau of Overseas Building, and Casey Jones, Director of Design Excellence, will outline the U.S. State Department’s new Design Excellence program. The product of an extensive two-year interdepartmental and interdisciplinary study, the Design Excellence program emphasizes an integrative approach to site selection, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and engineering.

A major project in design during this transitional time at the OBO is the new U.S. Embassy in London. Architects James Timberlake and Stephen Kieran will discuss their initial competition-winning scheme and subsequent design development for the new embassy, including the goal for the new complex, responsive both to environmental and programmatic concerns, to “provide a street-level experience while respecting the urban texture of the existing landscape.”

Casey Jones, Director of Design Excellence, U.S. State Department
Lydia Muniz, Director, Bureau of Overseas Building, U.S. State Department
Stephen Kieran, KieranTimberlake
Moderated by James S. Russell, architecture critic at Bloomberg News

Co-sponsored by the Architectural League of New York and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

Following the presentations will be a question and answer session both about the Design Excellence program, new building initiatives at the State Department, and the design of the embassy.

Admission is free for current Student/Faculty/Staff of The Cooper Union and members of the Architectural League of New York; $10 for non-members. For further ticketing info please go here.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.