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There is a prevailing reaction in the profession that social practice is often lacking in aesthetic quality. Caples Jefferson Architects, recipient of this year’s AIANY President’s Award, confronts this notion, conceptualizing social practice as a way of broadening and deepening the language of contemporary architecture.

Caples Jefferson believes that by listening and responding to the aspirations of the communities they serve, they can create formally coherent works of architecture that provide lasting value. Critic Vladimir Belogolovsky will engage in a discussion with CJA principals Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson to explore this question. The dialogue will begin with a series of directed questions and answers illustrated by slides of their work. It will continue with questions offered by the audience.

Sara Caples, AIA is Principal and Co-founder of Caples Jefferson Architects. Sara’s early experience was focused on the design and direction of large projects, especially in the public realm. Since founding CJA in 1987 with Everardo, she has remained committed to designing cultural, educational, and community centers for neighborhoods underserved by the design professions. Sara is a frequent lecturer at schools, community, and professional organizations. She often serves as visiting faculty; she has been a visiting professor at Syracuse, CCNY, University of Miami, and Yale.

Everardo Jefferson, AIA is Principal and Co-founder of Caples Jefferson Architects. An architect and industrial designer, Everardo’s experience encompasses a broad range of architectural skills including construction, project management, detailing, and the incorporation of design thinking at every level of development. Everardo’s community service has included serving on the boards of social justice and educational institutions and teaching at several architectural schools, most recently as the Louis I Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale School of Architecture.

Vladimir Belogolovsky (b. Odessa, Ukraine, 1970) graduated from The Cooper Union School of Architecture in 1996. He is the founder of the New York-based Curatorial Project, which focuses on curating and designing architectural exhibitions worldwide. Belogolovsky writes for Arquitectura Viva (Madrid), SPEECH (Berlin), and ArchDaily. His books include Conversations with Peter Eisenman: The Evolution of Architectural Style (DOM, 2016); Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity (DOM, 2015); Harry Seidler: LIFEWORK (Rizzoli, 2014); and Soviet Modernism: 1955-1985 (TATLIN, 2010). Since 2002, Belogolovsky has interviewed over 250 leading international architects and artists. He has lectured at Columbia University, University of Virginia, Hong Kong University, Moscow Architectural Institute, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM, the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Tongji University in Shanghai, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and other universities and museums in more than 30 countries.


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