nARCHITECTS gained national attention in 2004 with MoMA PS1: Canopy in Queens, NY and soon after, Switch Building and Gallery in Manhattan.  Since these early projects, the work of the office has continued to engage with critical issues that are transforming cultural spaces, civic buildings, and housing.  As New York City’s first micro-unit apartment building and tallest modular building in Manhattan at the time of completion, Carmel Place helped to contribute to changes in the Zoning Resolution, in support of livable spaces for an increasing number of small households.  Meanwhile, the design center A/D/O provided a new public platform for design thinking in a transformed warehouse in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint, becoming a major producer of culture in its four years of existence. With the renovation of Chicago Navy Pier (with James Corner Field Operations) and the completion of the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, the firm established a national profile, going on to win the 2016 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and the 2017 New York State AIA Firm of the Year Award. And with the recent completion of the net-zero Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center, the practice demonstrates their capacity to shape a new generation of environmental stewardship. nARCHITECTS international work includes buildings in Beirut, Calgary, Hong Kong, and installations in France, and the Design Triennial in Milan. Projects currently on the boards include the Made in NY Campus for the garment industry, park pavilions for Gansevoort Peninsula in Manhattan, and Northwest Resiliency Park in Hoboken, NJ.

Speakers and Moderators


Mimi Hoang


Mimi co-founded nARCHITECTS with Eric Bunge with a belief in architecture as an agent of positive change, responding to and connecting people with the environment in unexpected ways. Responding to our world in flux while fostering social engagement guides her work. Born in the tropics of Vietnam and trained in Amsterdam and New York City, she brings a global outlook and an obsession with greenery to the firm’s design culture. Mimi teaches graduate design studios as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and previously taught at Yale University. She received her Master’s in Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and her Bachelor of Science in Art and Design from M.I.T.


Rick Bell

FAIA, President-Elect CSU

Rick is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University, where he also serves as Deputy Director of the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space. Rick is a registered architect in New York and New Jersey and previously served as Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence at the New York City Department of Design and Construction. At DDC, he was also Chief Architect and Assistant Commissioner of Architecture and Engineering. On leave from DDC, Rick served as Executive Director of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where he helped establish and animate the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place. After architectural studies at Yale and Columbia, he worked in offices in New York, France, and Switzerland.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the relation of historical forces, the written word, and climate concerns in shaping building form and siting
  • Discuss the use of off-site fabrication to expedite construction of micro-unit affordable housing in New York City
  • Identify how the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center has become a community resource and gathering place
  • Illustrate how the Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center changes the perception of net-zero building design.

Collaborating Organizations for Green Cities 2022

Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, UN-Habitat, AIA New York, AIANY Planning & Design, the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Habitat Professionals Forum for Sustainable Cities, Creative Exchange Lab, Global Urban Development (GUD) and Columbia Center for Buildings, Infrastructure & Public Space.

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