Mar/31 Lecture
Julia Czerniak


Formerly Urban

Formerly Urban is an interdisciplinary exploration of strategies for shrinking cities – more specifically strategies for producing urbanity in places losing resident populations. Regardless of any disciplinary bias, it is clear that a shrinking city is not necessarily a dying city yet new strategies are needed to activate urban life. It is also clear that projective work in these contexts rely on the intersection of design, policy and finance…design to envision, policy to enable, and finance to pay.

Julia Czerniak

Professor of Architecture, Syracuse University School of Architecture

JULIA CZERNIAK is a Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University where she teaches architectural studios as well as seminars on landscape theory and criticism. Czerniak is educated both as an architect (Princeton University, M. Arch 1992) and landscape architect (Pennsylvania State University, BA 1984). Through her design practice, CLEAR, and most recently as the former inaugural Director of UPSTATE: the SOA’s Center for Design, Research and Real-Estate, her research and practice draw on the intersection of these disciplines.

Although the techniques, scales and products of her research vary, Czerniak’s work focuses on the physical and cultural potentials of urban landscapes. Recent projects advance landscape as a protagonist in the remaking of formerly urban cities, from a series of public space interventions along a derelict creek to ecologically and spatially rich streetscapes for a newly planned campus of Syracuse University, including a new campus entrance along the Dineen College of Law. Her collaborations on complex urban projects include the winning competition schemes for the Syracuse Connective Corridor, artNET Public Art in Toledo, Ohio; and the Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet. As Professional Advisor for Movement on Main: Designing a Healthy Main Street, Czerniak foregrounded the potential alignment of public health and new forms of public space.

Czerniak’s work as a designer is complemented by her work as educator and writer, which in all cases advances design as a way to enable new ways of seeing and being. Large Parks (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) and Case: Downsview Park Toronto (Prestel and Harvard Design School, 2001) focus on contemporary design approaches to public parks and the relationship between landscape and cities. Formerly Urban: Projecting Rust Belt Futures (Princeton Architectural Press, 2013) examines potential futures for shrinking cities. Other writings include essays in Landscape Infrastructure (Birkhauser); Landscape Alchemy: The Work of Hargreaves Associates (ORO Editions); Fertilizers: Olin Eisenman (Institute for Contemporary Art); Landscape Urbanism (Princeton Architectural Press); Assemblage 34 (MIT Press,) and Harvard Design Magazine 36. Czerniak teaches and lectures internationally at leading institutions including Penn, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, UCLA, USC, IIT, UVA, UIC, Tulane, University of Michigan, University of Toronto, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Sharjah, & Seoul National University.