by Center for Architecture
Archtober, New York City’s month-long celebration of architecture and design, returns this year as a hybrid virtual and in-person festival. Organized by the Center for Architecture in collaboration with 70+ partners and sponsors, the 2021 installment of the festival gathers events, exhibitions, resources, and activities that celebrate the importance of architecture and design in NYC and beyond. New this year: the Archtober Guide to New York map!
Virtual and In-Person Program Offerings
As organizations and audiences alike continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19, Archtober 2021 will feature a combination of in-person and virtual programming, allowing partners to take advantage of broader virtual networks while accommodating diverse audiences.
Many talks by partners including Columbia GSAPP, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY, and more will shift to virtual or hybrid formats to accommodate even larger and more international audiences. Meanwhile, most tours, including after-hours visits to Green-Wood Cemetery, a guided tour of ‘T’ Space | Steven Myron Holl Foundation, and a tour of the Shuls of the Lower East Side by the Museum at Eldridge Street will happen in-person. Exhibitions have also largely returned to in-person formats, giving institutions to safely welcome visitors into their spaces. Don’t miss the New York Botanical Garden’s Kusama: Cosmic Nature, closing at the end of October, or the Museum of Modern Art’s Reuse, Renew, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China, opening in September.
For 2021, the festival’s popular “Building of the Day” series of architect-led tours returns to largely in-person programming, with tour registration launching September 13. This year’s selection of tours includes Little Island by Heatherwick Studio, the Africa Center by Caples Jefferson Architects, the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch Renovation by Toshiko Mori Architects, the Dia Art Foundation by Architecture Research Office, and 11 Hoyt by Studio Gang. Archtober will also continue its “Travel To” series, which digitally transports attendees to sites across the world, providing an opportunity for architectural tourism from the comfort of our homes. This year’s Travel To programming includes a tour of Paul Revere Williams projects in Los Angeles, hosted by the LA Conservancy, and a tour of DL1310, a residential project in Mexico City by Young & Ayata. And if you’re looking to travel locally, be sure to check out this year’s Weekend Getaways partners: Art Omi, ‘T’ Space | Steven Myron Holl Foundation, Grace Farms, the Glass House, and the New Canaan Historical Society.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many partners have also organized talks and panels that will foster important conversations around the built environment implications of the pandemic and massive ecological change. These include:
- On October 5, the Queens Public Library will host “Documenting a Pandemic: What We’ve Learned,” diving into their Queens Memory Projects COVID-19 Project.
- On October 5, exhibiting artists at Wave Hill will gather for a panel discussion, “Global Ecological Issues on a Local Scale.”
- On October 13, the New York Institute of Technology will host “Global Futures: Transitions in Urban Paradigms,” exploring the enduring impact of the pandemic.
- On October 16, Columbia GSAPP will host a book talk for Kate Aronoff’s Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet–And How We Fight Back.
Beyond timed and ticketed activities, this year’s Archtober site will once again include a section of evergreen resources for architecture lovers of all ages. The Center for Architecture’s “Architecture at Home” resources and the Cooper Hewitt’s “Design It Yourself” series provide families with simple, downloadable instructions for DIY activities. Design enthusiasts can also dive into the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s “Dynamic National Archive of Women in American Architecture” or participate in one of Village Preservation’s self-led historic site tours, powered by the Urban Archive app.
New This Year: The Archtober Guide to NYC Map
At its core, the Archtober festival is meant to encourage and inspire audiences to engage with the architecture and design that surrounds them. In order to further expand this mission, this year, the festival has launched the Archtober Guide to NYC, a mobile map designed for use on the go. While in the mobile map, users can experience the city through the eyes of an architect, while being pointed towards nearby architectural sites, cultural institutions, and parks (along with spots to stop for a drink or snack!) that help define New York City as one of the country’s most stimulating design arenas.
And don’t miss out on an opportunity to purchase some exclusive Archtober merch! The festival’s new Archtober Shop features several items—from t-shirts to baseball caps to fanny packs and even socks—for you to explore the city in style.