YSC Presents Dancing about Architecture: A Common Conversation with Deborah Berke and David Rockwell

Maurice L. Harris

For centuries, humanity has made space for the arts, largely because the arts play a pivotal role in connecting disparate people in new ways, helping nurture social cohesion, and encouraging community well-being. The role of the arts in community and placemaking is the central topic of “Dancing about Architecture: A Common Conversation” with Yale School of Architecture Dean Deborah Berke and architect and designer David Rockwell. This event will take place in Commons at Yale Schwarzman Center on January 19 from 7-8pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. Registration is free and open to the public at https://schwarzman.yale.edu/events/upcoming

Built in 1901 to commemorate Yale’s bicentennial, Commons recently reopened following a $150 million, four-year renovation as part of the new Yale Schwarzman Center. The space, which once served as an undergraduate dining hall, today offers a mix of dining and arts experiences to the public at large. As part of an ongoing series, “Dancing About Architecture” is an invitation to experience the evolved Commons as a living backdrop to conversations around the arts, community, and placemaking.

Deborah Berke, FAIA, LEED AP, is Dean and J.M. Hoppin Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. She is the recipient of the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion, the highest honor for architectural education. She serves on the jury for the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor in the field, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Deborah is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and The City University of New York. In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the founder of New York-based architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners which, in 2017, was honored with a National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

David Rockwell, FAIA, is founder and president of the 300-person, cross-disciplinary architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group. Rockwell’s work ranges from restaurants, hotels, airport terminals, and hospitals, to festivals, museum exhibitions, and Broadway sets. Among his extensive list of accolades and awards is the 2016 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for the musical She Loves Me and six Tony Award nominations for Best Scenic Design; the 2008 National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for outstanding achievement in interior design; the 2015 AIANY President’s Award; two Emmy Awards for production design for the Oscars (2021 and 2010); inclusion in Architectural Digest’s AD100; recognition by Fast Company as one of the most innovative design practices in their annual World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies issue; and the Presidential Design Award for his renovation of the Grand Central Terminal.