October 30, 2023

ASSOCIATION 12 (Re)-Connects AAP Across Disciplines and Time

ASSOCIATION, an annual student-run publication featuring work from across the college, returns from hiatus with a long-awaited twelfth volume, launching at AAP on November 16.

ASSOCIATION 12 Editorial Team

ASSOCIATION 12 (2023), front cover (left) and back cover (right). The two covers are conceptual inverses of each other, with the front cover emphasizing the intersection of the circles, symbolic of each of the connection categories, whereas the back cover emphasizes the individual circles.

The latest volume of ASSOCIATION, unified around the concept of "connections" that link different aspects of life and society, has been in the works since 2020. Following a pandemic-related hiatus, volume 12 is complete and prepared for launch, underscoring the value of the publication to students from across the college who continued to work together through the challenges and transitions of the last few years.  

According to the editors, ASSOCIATION 12: Connections emerges from a reflection on how architects, designers, artists, and planners centered themselves around their work, particularly through the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. To embody the volume's concept, the design is reminiscent of a Venn diagram. Each circular segment of the diagram represents a chapter-category within the book that relates the user or designer at the human scale to an external force: Human to Human, Human to Environment, Human to Health, and Human to Time.

line illustration demonstrating a book's internal circular page cutouts

ASSOCIATION 12 (2023), a diagrammatic progression of spreads showing how circular cutouts penetrate the book's pages, displacing project contents to inspire new perspectives.

This diagram, designed to represent the book's four chapters, weaves its way from the cover to the project pages within the book. Cutout portions of the diagram within the book open windows of opportunity to draw new connections between projects and represent the filtered working environment of the pandemic years. While flipping through the book, the editors encourage readers to form part-whole relationships as each project leaks into the next to imagine a collage of unbounded relationships. This volume features 48 projects surrounded by ample white space for readers to engage with the work through annotation. 

Brightly colored paper collages of urban buildings
Brightly colored paper collages of urban buildings

Torn Visions: Quarantine Collage Series by art alum Jennifer Markovitz (B.F.A. '81).

"2020 was a challenging year, with the following few proving no different. Between the global pandemic, political divide, and racial injustices, our lives have been forever altered," shared art alum Jennifer Markovitz (B.F.A. '81). "As with everything in life, the current crises have not affected everyone equally. I consider myself very fortunate to have my health, my family and friends, my home, and the financial stability that many others do not. These collages began early in March when I started sending them to friends and family to brighten their days of monotony." 

urban street maps and illustrations
urban street maps and illustrations

MidTown Creatives Cooperative by Gianni Valenti (B.S. URS '22), Rewa Phansalkar (M.R.P. '21), Xiaotong Yang (M.R.P. '21), and Alexander Goddard (B.S. Environmental Science '21).

MidTown, located between downtown Cleveland on the west and University Circle on the east, forms an industrial, commercial, and health-tech corridor with the Healthline bus transit system cutting through. Once a thriving, mixed-use neighborhood, the area suffered from redlining and disinvestment during urban renewal, and densities drastically decreased. It remains surrounded by residential neighborhoods even today, but MidTown is now characterized by significant vacancy on either side of the railway corridor, wide vehicular roads, sparsely populated residential areas that are pushed to the periphery, and an absence of tree cover and open public spaces. Though there is significant growth projected, with new residential, commercial, and health-tech developments planned and proposed along Euclid Avenue, the aim is to ensure that this growth is equitable and meaningful to the long-term residents of the place. Our vision is to channel proposed activities and ongoing investments in a way that contributes to the overall neighborhood, such that their effects do not remain limited to their direct users and developers.

building illustrations in pastel colors
building illustrations in pastel colors

Post-Post-Post by Lucy Yu (B.Arch. '19).

Post-Post-Post, a thesis, is not a design project so much as it is an intellectual exercise revealing inconsistencies between physical experience and image. It subverts notions of circulation, experience, or beauty that we might otherwise look for in our buildings.

"Life" is flattened into various rooms that serve as backdrops for Instagram pictures. Because these rooms — or more precisely, stage sets — were meant to be photographed, they were designed through the lens of a smartphone camera. If the "photo moment" consisting of the stage and the actor can be considered the front of house, the farce is revealed to the viewer in the back of house. In a way, the pop-up encourages a certain fakery evident on social media and becomes the tool through which it is revealed to the uninitiated observer.

ASSOCIATION 12: Connections speaks directly to ASSOCIATION's objectives as an organization and publication that connects and represents the work of students, faculty, staff, and alumni at Cornell AAP despite varying production times and mediums. 

The official ASSOCIATION 12 launch on November 16 will be held at the Milstein Bubbles in the Duane and Dalia Stiller Arcade from 5–7 p.m. Food and refreshments will be provided, along with a selection of past volumes and merchandise for sale at significantly discounted prices.

People gathered outside a brick building for a party

An ASSOCIATION 11 (2020) launch event was held at the Milstein Bubbles in the Duane and Dalia Stiller Arcade, bringing together students and faculty of AAP to celebrate the publication.

Volume 12 will be available to purchase at the Cornell Store and through ActarD (international) at the beginning of the Spring 2024 semester. Updates can be found by following us on Instagram @cornellassociation.

ASSOCIATION is a student-designed and edited publication that gathers work from students, faculty, staff, and alumni for an annual volume. Through the careful curation and presentation of yearly submissions since 2005, each book serves as a record of the work produced by the current college community, as well as a source of inspiration for years to come. 

ASSOCIATION 12 head editorial team includes: 

  • Juan Lopez (B.Arch. '23), Editor-in-Chief
  • Sarah Carrillo (M.R.P. '23), Editor-in-Chief
  • Guan Da (Leo) Li (B.Arch. '26), Managing Editor
  • Cirrus Chen (B.Arch. '24), Director of Production
  • Shu Chen Xu (B.Arch. '25), Assistant Director of Production
  • Jingwen Gu (B.Arch. '26), Director of Design
  • Angelique Meza (B.Arch. '26), Director of Marketing and Outreach
  • Nicole Jeon (B.F.A. '24), Director of Marketing and Outreach

To learn more about ASSOCIATION, including how to contribute to our upcoming volumes or join the publishing assistants team, please visit or email

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