Kaplan Advocates "Urban Alchemy" in the Annual Goldsmith Lecture

a man standing at a podium speaking to an audience with a large lighted screen behind him
FXCollaborative’s Dan Kaplan (B.Arch. '84) speaking at the L. Michael Goldsmith Lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
Nine men and women in a row wearing nametags and business attire
Kaplan, center, poses with some of the AAP alumni and others employed by FXCollaborative. William Staffeld / AAP
Two women looking at architecture drawings on a wall in a gallery as one points at a drawing
Among the AAP alumni in attendance was FXCollaborative’s Alfreda Radzicki (B.Arch. '72), right. William Staffeld / AAP
Two men and a woman looking at a scale model of a high-rise building
Dan Kaplan and guests discuss one of the models in the exhibition that accompanied the lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
FXCollaborative’s Dan Kaplan (B.Arch. '84) speaking at the L. Michael Goldsmith Lecture. William Staffeld / AAP Kaplan, center, poses with some of the AAP alumni and others employed by FXCollaborative. William Staffeld / AAP Among the AAP alumni in attendance was FXCollaborative’s Alfreda Radzicki (B.Arch. '72), right. William Staffeld / AAP Dan Kaplan and guests discuss one of the models in the exhibition that accompanied the lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
News
May 24, 2018

"How to build in the city? That's what this talk is about," said Dan Kaplan (B.Arch. '84), who gave the annual L. Michael Goldsmith lecture at AAP NYC in April. Kaplan is a senior partner at FXCollaborative, a leading green building design firm with offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

"This year's L. Michael Goldsmith lecture featuring Dan Kaplan was the largest and most successful to date," said Robert (Bob) W. Balder (B.S. URS '89), Gensler Family Sesquicentennial Executive Director of AAP NYC. The event was complemented by a gallery installation showcasing FXCollaborative's award-winning projects.

In his talk titled "Urban Alchemies: Repair and Transformation," Kaplan used the examples in the gallery installation to set out three concepts to approaching urban design. First, the centuries-old method of fixing broken pottery known as Kintsugi, in which lacquer dusted with gold is applied to aged or broken ceramic to accentuate surface cracks, was used to provide a visual metaphor for the city. Next, Kaplan discussed contextual urbanism, where building design should relate to the adjacent context and extend into the future by incorporating sustainability, solar, temperature, humidity, and landscape. Collaboration, the third concept, is rooted in FXCollaborative's philosophy. Formerly FXFowle, the firm rebranded itself in early 2018 to represent a design culture and philosophy reflected in the way its projects are achieved for their clients and the broader community.

The annual Goldsmith lecture was established in memory of L. Michael Goldsmith by his family and friends in recognition of his passion for his education at Cornell, his career, and love of the profession of architecture.