in the Public Realm
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Previous Newsletters Vol. 1 Issue 2 - May, 2011


Symposium conducted by cultureNOW in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter
(From left to right):
John Tauranac, Author & Cartographer
the NY Subway Map, Manhattan Block by Block

Laura Kurgan,
Director, Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University
Zach Seward, Outreach Editor, Wall Street Journal
Jesse Friedman, Marketing Manager, Google Maps
Matt Knutzen, Geospatial Librarian, The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, NYPL
Abby Suckle, President, cultureNOW

Steven Romalewski, (not shown) Director, CUNY Mapping Service, Center for Urban Research, CUNY

Mapping has undergone a profound transformation over the last decade changing our perception of 'place'. The advent of new technologies such as GIS, Google Maps and smartphones have enabled maps to move from traditional notions of representation to an interactive multidimensional user-generated experience. Last Thursday, we hosted a symposium at the Center for Architecture to explore some of these issues.

Four cartographers presented their work which covered the gamut from paper maps to web based data mash-ups. John Tauranac set the stage by describing his foray into mapping including his creation of the NYC MTA subway maps. Steve Romalewski shared the richness of the Oasis (Open Accessible Space Information System) community interactive maps that overlay many data sets including waterfront access, zoning, parks and open space. Matt Knutsen described NYPL's effort at digitizing their vast collection of over 400,000 maps. Laura Kurgan showcased the work being done at Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab which explores conceptual, ethical and political dimensions of digital location technologies, new structures of participation in design, and the visualization of urban and global data. The evening concluded with a discussion led by Zach Seward and Jesse Friedman.

What we found most amazing was the range of publicly accessible mapping tools available and how data can be combined in ways to provide new juxtapositions of information. We were not alone. For on Friday, cultureNOW was invited to reformulate the presentations as an exhibition, which will open at the Center for Architecture in July and travel around New York as their first 'pop-up' show. Stay tuned.

Abby Suckle, President, cultureNOW

Featured Public Art Collection: ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

cultureNOW partnered with The City of Albuquerque's Public Art Program to present Albuquerque's permanent public art collection. This collection began in 1978 with the adoption of the Art in Municipal Places Ordinance, and is one of the oldest in the country. The ordinance sets aside 1% of City construction funds derived from general obligation bonds and certain revenue bonds for the purchase or commission of works of art. The public art staff in Albuquerque tirelessly added 544 pieces of art and one tour. For more information visit:

Aluminum Yucca by Gordon Heuther

Fish Globe by Colette Hosmer

Interesting Finds
Click here


A walking tour of New York Jewish history

When: Sunday May 15, 2011

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Meet at: Arrival Day Flagpole in Peter Minuit Park (Near the Staten Island Ferry)

About: Congregation Da'at Elohim is partnering with cultureNOW to organize this walking tour which will be lead by James Kaplan, walking tour historian, expert on history of the Jews in New York, and Israeli Independence.


When:Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Time: 6pm - 9pm

Location: Pings Seafood Restaurant, 22 Mott Street,NYC

About: Proceeds from the Peking Duck Dinner will support cultureNOW's summer internship program

Featured Artist: RICHARD HAAS

Artist Richard Haas, began creating trompe l'oeil murals in Soho in the seventies. Since then he has painted many murals around New York and throughout the country. cultureNOW is delighted to showcase his work and share his insights as podcasts.

Immigration on the Lower East Side by Richard Haas

Sky Lobby by Richard Haas

Featured Architect: HUGH HARDY

Architect Hugh Hardy has been instrumental in the transformation of many of the cultural landmarks in New York. Among them are Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room, Radio City and BAM. Find some highlights and podcasts on cultureNOW's website.
Radio City Music Hall renovated by Hugh Hardy, H3 Architects
Packer Collegiate Institute (Packer Collegiate Institute for Girls) renovated by Hugh Hardy, H3 Architects

Featured Tour:

The Creative Arts Workshop for Children held a walking tour in Harlem to experience 13 of the murals on 135th Street led by Artist Janet Braun-Reinitz. Check it out on our website at