Events + Exhibitions

The Weitzman School: A Celebration of Design

Thursday, October 3, 2019 1:00pm6:30pm
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University of Pennsylvania, Meyerson Hall, Irvine Auditorium, Stuart Weitzman Plaza

Watch the webcast and video:

Join us for an historic afternoon commemorating the naming of the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the significance of investing in people and education to make a lasting impact on the world.


·  Two fascinating panel discussions by world-renowned designers
·  Keynote program featuring Paul Goldberger, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic
·  Naming Ceremony with President Amy Gutmann, Dean Frederick Steiner, and Stuart Weitzman, W’63

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Events are free of charge, but we kindly ask you to register in advance.

Panel I: Balancing Acts – The Interplay of Design, Technology and the Natural World

1:00 - 2:00pm

A dramatically cantilevered building for nanoscience. A green ribbon of park on an abandoned rail line.  Iconic product design.  When beauty meets efficiency, everyone wins.  Learn from experts how the intentionality of our built environment influences – and sometimes determines – the way we live.

Inga Saffron, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, The Philadelphia Inquirer

James Corner, Founder and CEO, James Corner Field Operations (High Line, New York)
Doreen Lorenzo, Assistant Dean, School of Design and Creative Technologies, University of Texas (former president, frog)
Marion Weiss, cofounder, WEISS/MANFREDI, and Graham Chair Professor of Architecture, Weitzman School of Design (Singh Center for Nanotechnology)

Lower Gallery, Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia PA, 19104

Panel I: Moderator and Speakers
Inga Saffron

Inga Saffron is the architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and writes a weekly, Philadelphia-focused column on architecture, urban design and planning. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, the Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum and a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Metropolis, Dwell, and the Architects Newspaper. Before becoming the paper’s architecture critic in 1999, she spent the 1990s as a foreign correspondent for the Inquirer in Russia and the former Yugoslavia, covering the wars in Bosnia and Chechnya, and witnessing the destruction of Sarajevo and Grozny.  Although she was born in New York, and has lived in Paris, Dublin, Belgrade, Moscow and, at one time, even New Jersey, she identifies as a Philadelphian.

James Corner

James Corner is the Founding Partner and CEO of James Corner Field Operations. Important public realm design projects include New York’s highly-acclaimed High Line; London’s South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Santa Monica’s Tongva Park; Chicago’s Navy Pier; Cleveland’s Public Square; Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier; Hong Kong’s Salisbury Gardens and Tsim Tsa Tsui Waterfront; and Shenzhen’s new city of Qianhai, a new coastal city for 3-million people. He is currently leading the design for San Francisco’s Presidio Parklands Project, a 14-acre new park connecting the Main Post of the Presidio to Crissy Field and the Bay. 

James’ work has been recognized with the National Design Award; the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture; and the AA&D Black Pencil Award. His work has been published broadly and exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art; the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum; the National Building Museum; the Royal Academy of Art in London; and the Venice Biennale. His books include The High Line (Phaidon, 2015); The Landscape Imagination (Princeton, 2014), and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (Yale, 1996). He was named by TIME as one of “Ten Most Influential Designers;” by Fast Company as one of the “Top 50 Innovators;” and has been featured in Monocle, the Atlantic, Wallpaper, CultureD, National Geographic, Bloomberg Business week, and the New York Times among other publications. James earned his Master in Landscape Architecture from the Weitzman School of Design, and is the former chair of the School's Department of Landscape Architecture. 

Doreen Lorenzo

Doreen Lorenzo is a successful leader of global creative firms who advised Fortune 100 companies on design and innovation issues for decades. In September of 2017 she was appointed Assistant Dean in the new school of Design and Creative Technologies at the University of Texas, Austin. She was previously the Director of the Center for Integrated Design at UT. She is a co-founder of mobile video insights firm Vidlet, as well as a board member and advisor of several other startups, and a columnist for Fast Company Co.Design and Medium. A recognized thought leader on business and design issues, she speaks publicly about her signature leadership style and the power of empathy to drive business results.

From 2013 to 2015 Doreen was president of Quirky, where she oversaw product development and operations for this fast-growing company. Prior to Quirky she worked at frog design for 16 years, including seven years as president. While president of frog she drove company strategy, oversaw worldwide operations and delivery, and led the iconic design firm to record growth.

Marion Weiss

Marion Weiss is cofounder of WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism based in New York City and the Graham Chair Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017, Marion was honored by Architectural Record with the Women in Architecture Design Leader Award. Her multidisciplinary firm operates at the nexus of architecture, art, landscape, and urban design. Her firm's Olympic Sculpture Park exemplifies this cross disciplinary design approach and the project has been recognized internationally through museum exhibitions and design awards.

WEISS/MANFREDI is a recipient of the Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture, and has been named one of North America's "Emerging Voices" by the Architectural League of New York. The firm has also been honored with the New York AIA Gold Medal and the Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal, awarded to one individual or firm in the world each year.

Marion Weiss received her Master of Architecture at Yale University and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Marion is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a National Academy of Design inductee.

Panel II: Whom Do We Honor…and How? Exploring the Meaning of Memorials

2:00 – 3:00pm       

From statues of generals…to portraits of presidents…to vivid murals on the walls of urban row houses.  Who decides who “rates” a permanent public likeness—and who remains overlooked and underappreciated?  Join the conversation on this nuanced and emotional topic with a panel of experts.

Lisa Servon, Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and Chair of the City and Regional Planning Department, Weitzman School of Design
Christian Benimana, Senior Principal and Managing Director, MASS Design (Rwinkwavu NICU/OR, Rwanda)
Sharon Hayes, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Weitzman School of Design (Monument Lab)
Randall Mason, Associate Professor, Historic Preservation, Weitzman School of Design (Rwanda Genocide Memorial Conservation and Training)

Lower Gallery, Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia PA, 19104

Panel II: Moderator and Speakers
Lisa Servon

Lisa Servon is Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and Chair of the City and Regional Planning Department at the Weitzman School of Design.  She was previously Professor of Urban Policy at The New School, where she also served as Dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. She conducts research in the areas of urban poverty, community development, economic development, and issues of gender and race. She has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker. Her most recent book is The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives. Servon holds a BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Urban Planning from UC Berkeley. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two children, and a dog named Friday.

Christian Benimana

Christian Benimana joined MASS Design Group as a Global Health Corps Design Fellow in 2010. Today, he works as one of the firm's Senior Principals and Managing Directors, and is the Director of the African Design Centre, a field-based apprenticeship that is set to empower leaders who will design a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.  

At MASS, Christian has been involved with design/build projects, development initiatives, and operational and administration leadership. He has taught at the Architecture School of the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and currently serves as the Secretary General of the East Africa Institute of Architects. Christian has been listed among 10 architects and designers that are championing Afrofuturism and 2017 Quartz Africa Innovators. He has authored articles and book chapters including Re-Thinking the Future of African Cities in The African Perspective Magazine and Creating Design Leaders: The African Design Centre in Public Interest Design Education Guidebook. 

Prior to joining MASS, Christian worked with LongiLat Architecture and Research in Shanghai assisting with the Porsche Center in Shanghai and the Netherlands Pavilion in the 2010 International Expo. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University in Shanghai, China (2008) and his goal is to develop the next generation of African designers with socially focused design principles.

Sharon Hayes

Sharon Hayes is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the Weitzman School of Design. Hayes engages multiple mediums–video, performance, and installation–in ongoing investigation into specific intersections between history, politics and speech. These relationships are central to all of her work from the 2003 performance and video installation: Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Screeds #13, 16, 20 & 29, a re-speaking of each of the four audio tapes made by Patty Hearst and the SLA during the period of Hearst’s kidnapping to her current series Ricerche, a large-scale video investigation that step off of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s brilliant film, Comizi d’Amore.

Hayes has had solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York), Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid). Her work been shown at the Venice Biennale (2013), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York) and numerous museums and venues in Europe and the Americas. Hayes is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2013), an Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2013), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship (2007) among other awards.

Randall Mason

Randall Mason plays multiple roles at the Weitzman School of Design: Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning; Senior Fellow at PennPraxis; and faculty in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation (chair from 2009-2017). Before arriving at Penn in 2004, he taught at University of Maryland and RISD, and worked at the Getty Conservation Institute and in private practice. 

Educated in geography, history and urban planning (PhD, Columbia, 1999), his published work includes The Once and Future New York (winner of the SAH Antoinette Forrester Downing Award) and several other books on urban history and preservation theory.  Mason’s professional work includes projects at many scales, addressing preservation, planning, and public space issues, commissioned by the Getty Conservation Institute, William Penn Foundation, Brookings Institution, National Park Service, City of Philadelphia, and the Government of Rwanda.  
Mason was a Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy in Rome (2012-13) and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg. 

The Critic Weighs In: A Conversation About Design, Architecture, Landscape and Planning

3:30 – 4:45pm

Hosted by President Amy Gutmann and Dean Frederick Steiner, this Keynote program will feature Paul Goldberger, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic (The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair). Please join us as Dr. Gutmann and Paul Goldberger have a lively conversation about a wide array of fascinating design topics.

Irvine Auditorium
3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia PA, 19104

Keynote Speaker: Paul Goldberger
Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger, who The Huffington Post has called “the leading figure in architecture criticism,” is now a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair. From 1997 through 2011 he served as the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where he wrote the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He is the author numerous books, including the new BALLPARK: Baseball in the American City, an architectural history of baseball parks as a form of civic space, published in May 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf. He is also the author of Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, published in 2015 by Alfred A. Knopf, as well as Building with History, published by Prestel; Why Architecture Matters, published by Yale University Press; Building Up and Tearing Down, a collection of his articles from The New Yorker published by Monacelli; Christo and Jeanne-Claude, published by Taschen, among other books. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City, and was formerly Dean of the Parsons School of Design at The New School.

He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism. In 2012 he received the Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in recognition of the influence his writing has had on the public’s understanding of architecture. In 2017, he received the Award in Architecture of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which called him “the doyen of American architectural critics.” He lectures widely around the country on architecture, design, historic preservation and cities, and has served as an advisor on architect selection and project design for numerous institutions including The Obama Presidential Center, The New York Public Library, The Morgan Library, Harvard University, Cornell University, the Carnegie Science Center, The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Glenstone Museum, as well as for corporate clients such as Tiffany, the Howard Hughes Corporation and the Georgetown Company.

He is a graduate of Yale University, and is a trustee of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, the Forum for Urban Design, and The New York Stem Cell Foundation, and an Emeritus Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he also serves as chairman of the Advisory Council for The Glass House, a historic property of the National Trust. He resides in New York City. He and his wife, Susan Solomon, are the parents of three sons.

Naming Ceremony on Stuart Weitzman Plaza

5:00 - 6:30pm

Join President Amy GutmannDean Frederick Steiner, and Stuart Weitzman, W’63 for a naming ceremony on Weitzman Plaza, outside of Meyerson Hall.  Please also visit the curated student exhibition in Upper and Lower Galleries of Meyerson Hall in honor of The Weitzman School: A Celebration of Design.

Stuart Weitzman Plaza, Outside Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia PA, 19104