Inside Urban Housing: New Standards for Livability

This Live Event happened on June 7, 2022 (5:30pm - 8:30pm EST)

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Oculus At Large is a new showroom CEU event series brought to you by Architectural Record, AIA New York and Oculus

As cities grow, we hear a lot about urban-scale plans for developing greener, healthier neighborhoods. But how do we think about healthy housing at the scale of individual dwellings, and what are the future possibilities? This panel discussion brings together experts in housing to discuss raising the bar on standards for livability, including the use of sustainable materials, accessibility across generations, and the integration of nature and fresh air as part of the interior landscape for every urban dweller. Small design decisions can yield an enormous benefit to residents. Experts will discuss case studies that address both new construction and retrofitting.

Moderated by Molly Fulghum Heintz
Presented by Karen Kubey, Elizabeth J Kennedy, ASLA, NYCOBA-NOMA, Brian Loughlin, AIA and Nick Savvides

5:30-6:00 - Registration
6:00-7:30 - CEU Panel
7:30-8:30 - Cocktail Reception

Registration and attendance is free.

Molly Heintz

Molly Fulghum Heintz is the editor in chief of Oculus, the quarterly publication of AIA New York, and the chair of the MA program in Design Research, Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual Arts. She is co-founder of the editorial consultancy Superscript and has served as an editor at Fast Company and The Architect’s Newspaper, with bylines in Design Observer, The Art Newspaper, AIGA Voice, and Studies in the Decorative Arts, among other publications.


Karen Kubey, is an urbanist specializing in housing and health. She is the editor of Housing as Intervention: Architecture towards Social Equity (Architectural Design, 2018) and served as the first executive director of the Institute for Public Architecture. Kubey co-founded the New York chapter of Architecture for Humanity (now Open Architecture/New York) and co-founded and led the New Housing New York design competition. Holding degrees in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School for Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Kubey began her career as a designer of below-market housing. She has received support from the New York State Council on the Arts and MacDowell. Currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia GSAPP, she was a 2019-20 Faculty Fellow in Design for Spatial Justice at the University of Oregon.


Elizabeth J Kennedy, ASLA, NYCOBA-NOMA, is the founder of Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, PLLC (EKLA). Black-owned and woman-run, EKLA is the longest-surviving such firm in the country. Its longevity is intrinsically tied to Elizabeth’s tenacity and her belief in the importance of service—to clients, to the community, the emerging professionals she trains, the profession, and the process of design. The work she directs quietly challenges mainstream assumptions about the aspirations and needs of underrepresented voices in the face of systems and biases that have long dispossessed the less powerful of spaces and rendered the people who use them invisible. As Elizabeth is best known for work that counters this invisibility, her projects at the intersection of social justice and design exemplify landscape architecture’s potential to engage a broader critical understanding of place and identity. It’s from this perspective and standpoint that Elizabeth teaches, directs, critiques, frames, collaborates, and edits – whether in her studio or through national debate.


Brian Loughlin, AIA, is Director of Planning and Urban Design at Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), co-chair of the AIANY Housing Committee, APA Housing and Community Development Chair, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture and Real Estate Development at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Before joining MAP, he worked for over fifteen years in public housing.


Nick Savvides, is an experienced designer and construction project management specialist with history working along all sides of the construction and real estate process. Nic began his career after receiving his Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) with concentrations in urban planning and sustainability from Cornell University in 2014. He began his practice of community-based design and construction implementation as a project manager at the ReNew Lots Artist and Market Incubator as well as a teaching artist at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Youth Design Center, and at the New School between 2014 and 2018.

Since 2018 Nic has developed his expertise working as an architectural designer and construction manager within Architecture offices, working with developers and property owners, and as a representative of NY State running infrastructure resiliency projects. Currently, Nic works as a senior project manager of high end residential projects in New York City. Nic also runs We Build US, a mission-based construction and real estate project management consultancy through which he is an advisor to UNIVERSE CITY - an ecological public health laboratory based in East New York’s Industrial Business Zone.

Learning Objectives

  1. List five design considerations beyond code that create a better environment for aging residents and those with different abilities.
  2. Asses new data that demonstrates the health benefits of integrating the natural world into individual urban dwellings.
  3. Identify design strategies that support the integration of plantlife and access to fresh air and daylight.
  4. Determine sustainable products that support inside/outside design at the residential scale.




Event Sponsors:

Glen-Gery Corporation, part of Brickworks Limited of Australia, is a premier brick and stone manufacturer offering the most diverse product portfolio of more than 600 brick and stone products. For more than a century, Glen-Gery has provided high quality building products that meet both innovative design challenges and demanding construction specifications. Through technology advancements and product innovations, Glen-Gery delivers a premium product line that caters to the high-style needs of today’s architects, designers and homeowners. Founded in 1890, Glen-Gery is headquartered in Wyomissing, PA.
Architectural Record is the #1 source for design news, architect continuing education, and info on sustainability, houses, projects, and architectural products.
Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter's members include over 5,000 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. Learn more at
Oculus magazine, AIA New York’s quarterly print publication, is an important means of asserting the identity and advocacy of architects in New York.