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The 10th Archtober Festival Celebrates Design and New York City, Both Online and In-Person

Archtober, New York City’s month-long celebration of architecture and design, returns this year as a hybrid virtual and in-person festival to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Organized by the Center for Architecture in collaboration with 70 partners and sponsors, the 2020 installment of the festival gathers events, exhibitions, resources, and activities that highlight the importance of architecture and design, even during the most challenging of times.

“New York City and New Yorkers have shown their resiliency through the pandemic and resulting financial crisis, said Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director of AIA New York and the Center for Architecture. “We are proud to have an opportunity to celebrate the incredible strength of our city and its built environment, and the institutions large and small that contribute to its rich and vibrant cultural landscape.”

As Archtober’s partners respond to the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 New York City, they have deftly adapted their programming to continue to provide cultural and educational enrichment while ensuring the health and safety of all. As such, this year’s festival will feature online-only talks and tours, DIY-style resources and self-led activities, and safe and socially distanced in-person programs.

Talks by partners including Columbia GSAPP, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY, the Van Alen Institute, and more will shift to virtual formats to accommodate even larger and more international audiences. Exhibitions will be both online and in-person, as the city continues to open, giving institutions like the MoMA and the Museum of the City of New York the opportunity to safely welcome visitors into their spaces.

Timed admissions tickets are also available for outdoor gardens like Wave Hill, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden. Open House New York, from October 17-18, has been reimagined as a hybrid of virtual experiences and outdoor self-guided explorations.

A rendering of Little Island by Heatherwick Studio, currently under construction on the Hudson River, New York

The festival’s popular “Building of the Day” series of architect-led tours will return for 2020, but in a virtual format. “Building of the Day” tours will be held Mondays through Fridays at midday, as either immersive presentations or virtual tours of new and iconic architecture.

These virtual tours will include Little Island by Heatherwick Studio, the Marcel Breuer Buildings at the Bronx Community College (in collaboration with DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State), The High Line by James Corner Field Operations, and the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, renovated by Gluckman Tang. To take advantage of our new digital reality, Archtober will also be folding in its new “Travel To” series as part of the festival’s “Building of the Day” tours. Once a week, attendees will be transported to site across the country, providing an opportunity for architectural tourism from the comfort of our homes.

Marcel Breuer Buildings at the Bronx Community College; image courtesy Matthew Carbone

Beyond timed and ticketed activities, this year’s Archtober site also includes a section of evergreen resources for architecture lovers of all ages. The Center for Architecture’s “Architecture at Home” resources, for example, provide families with simple architecture and design activities that only require items that are easily found around the home. Families can also tune into the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s “Sketch with Jeff” video series, where museum educator Jeff Hopkins shares stories about the Frank Lloyd Wright museum while teaching students the basics of sketching.

Visit www.archtober.org to see the full lineup of events.

Archtober is hosted by the Center for Architecture in collaboration with AIANY.

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