This discussion, Affordable Housing and Beyond: Addressing the Needs of All Populations, explores how architecture and design are being transformed and informed by new material health practices. We discuss how the particular needs of vulnerable populations are being acknowledged and how this is impacting the work of architects and designers.
Panelists speak from their own experience to some of the common issues that arise in introducing material health into design practice. They describe the funding challenges, changes in design practice and the environmental and social benefits for occupants. The discussion provides case studies that can inform other architectural projects.
Parsons Healthy Materials Lab and Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) hosted this as one of a Four-Part Series: Transparency and Material Health In Practice. This live audience Discussion Series provides Architecture and Design Professionals with guidance to take the next steps to integrate healthy materials practices into product selection and specification in architectural projects.
Assistant Professor of Architecture, Parsons School of Design
Andrew Bernheimer is a Brooklyn-based architect and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Parsons School of Design. Bernheimer leads an eponymous firm responsible for a wide variety of residential, civic, and cultural projects, including new multi-unit affordable housing developments across the five boroughs as well as award-winning private residences in the northeast region. He recently edited “Timber in the City”, a book featuring innovative practices in wood construction published by ORO Editions. Bernheimer sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Public Architecture, is the Co-Chair of the Van Alen Institute’s Program Council, is a fellow in the Forum for Urban Design, and is a member of the Architectural League of New York.
Associate Professor of Architecture, Parsons School of Design
David Leven is a partner at LEVENBETTS, an award winning New York City based architecture practice, and an Associate Professor at Parsons School of Constructed Environments. David holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University, a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University and attended the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. LEVENBETTS was founded by David with Stella Betts in 1997 and focuses on projects at all scales of urban design, public buildings, houses and housing, workspaces, exhibitions and furniture. The office employs a variety of methods to arrive at innovative solutions that involve incisive observation, interrogate programmatic and site givens and approach building systems as creative opportunities. LEVENBETTS has won several NYC AIA awards (2011, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003), the Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum and Emerging Voices Awards (2009), Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard (2007) award, I.D. Annual Design Review Award (2004) and been exhibited widely. The work of LEVENBETTS has been published in various design magazines and books, and Princeton Architectural Press published a monograph on the firm’s work in 2008, called Pattern Recognition. David has lectured widely and has an been invited jurors at Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania.
David has served on advisory panels at the Architectural League of New York, committees at the New School, and holds architectural registration in New York and New Jersey.
Principal, LTL Architects
David Lewis is a founding principal of LTL Architects, a design-intensive architecture firm realizing inventive solutions that turn the very constraints of each project into the design trajectory, exploring opportunistic overlaps between space, program, form, budget, and materials. The principals are co-authors of the monographs Intensities, Opportunistic Architecture, and Situation Normal....Pamphlet Architecture #21, as well as the only book on the architectural section, Manual of Section. LTL Architects’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. David Lewis holds academic positions as Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. He received his Master of Architecture from Princeton University, a Master of Arts in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College.
Senior Architect & Head of Materials, Henning Larsen Architects A/S
Martha Lewis is a senior architect and Head of Materials at Henning Larsen Architects, where she established an office-wide material database with the firm’s sustainability department and implemented material strategies for projects with a focus on healthy, ethically viable, and environmentally tenable materials. With two decades of professional experience in Copenhagen and Berlin, Martha is currently involved in establishing a Danish/Nordic material declaration, and was a member of the Buildings as Material Banks shareholders network, which has worked to establish an EU material passport. In 2016, she participated in the advisory group for the Danish Environmental protection Agency’s“Undesirable Substances in Sustainable Buildings”, and she has been involved in the Danish Green Building Council’s adoption of the German building certification system since 2011. Martha holds a MArch from Washington University and a BA from Vassar College.
Director and Co-Founder, Healthy Materials Lab
AIA, LEED AP
Alison Mears, AIA, LEED AP is an architect, Associate Professor of Architecture, and Director and Co-Founder of Healthy Materials Lab (2015). She is co-Principal Investigator of the Healthy Affordable Materials Project (HAMP). HAMP is funded by The JPB Foundation to 2024. The Project is a coalition of four organizations who work together to detoxify the interior environments of Affordable Housing.
Mears focuses her research on design strategies that disrupt the building supply chain to incorporate human health as criteria for evaluating building products. Previously, Mears served as the Parsons Dean of the School of Design Strategies and Director of the BFA Architectural Design and Interior Design programs. Mears teaches architectural design studios at Parsons focused on building, urban and community issues. She is currently a partner in the architectural practice, Paci + Mears Architects PC.
Executive Director, Health Product Declaration Collaborative
Wendy Vittori joined the Health Product Declaration Collaborative as Executive Director in May 2015. An accomplished business executive, Ms. Vittori was most recently founder and principal consultant of Vittori Consulting LLC, which provides executive counsel on innovative approaches for strategic management and organization performance to organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. In this capacity she was engaged with the HPDC as a strategic advisor from its inception. Previously, she was a senior executive with both Intel and Motorola, where she was a leader of open industry standards. She serves on several non-profit boards focused on the economic development of the Arizona-Sonora region, and is an associate faculty member at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation Non-Profit Management Institute. Having begun her career as a software engineer, Ms. Vittori is a graduate of Harvard College, received her MBA from Northeastern University, and was a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Business School.