Strategy as Brand
From left to right: Bernard Tschumi, Winka Dubbeldam (Archi-tectonics), Steve Liska (Liska & Associates), Anna Klingmann , Angelo Cosentini (On the Level Enterprises) and Charles Renfro (Diller Scofidio + Renfro).
Great architecture demands that design, finance, and technology work together. Strategy as brand debates how these forces can be combined in innovative ways to create new models for the profession. Restrictions such as zoning laws, building codes, and market demand are no longer viewed as impediments to artistic invention but, to the contrary, become vital information for the design of a unique architectural project.

The diverging interests of the developer, the real estate broker, the marketer, and the end user—are translated into a creative synthesis that, in turn, inform the building's unique layout, program, and aesthetics. How can architects become proactive strategists in today's competitive real estate market? How can designers bridge the gap between commercial and cultural ambitions, translating innovative architectural ideas into profitability? How can computer-aided design technologies be used, not only for architectural formmaking, but to streamline the design and construction process? Finally, how can practitioners transform reality into opportunity?
Angelo Cosentini is the cofounder and principal of On the Level Enterprises, Inc. OTL is developing Blue, a blue-glass pixilated, multi-angled condominium at 124 Norfolk, designed by fellow panelist Bernard Tschumi and slated for completion this fall. OTL has planning and construction management units, specializing in mid-rise residential work, such as Horatio House in Manhattan and Rose Hall in Brooklyn.

Winka Dubbeldam is founding principal of Archi-tectonics, a New York based practice doing commercial, residential, as well as institutional projects, in New York as well as around the world. Among their many projects is the recently completed high-rise at 497 Greenwich Street. Archi-tectonics has been the subject of much buzz and recognition, winning the “Emerging Voice” award from the Architectural League in New York (2001) and named among the “Best and Brightest” by Esquire Magazine (2004), as well as other recent awards.

Steve Liska founded Liska + Associates in 1980, quickly establishing himself and his company as a leader in communication design. Recognized internationally for design excellence, work from Liska + Associates has been widely regarded and published. Their clients include figureheads in architecture, culture, finance, industry, fashion, and health.

Charles Renfro joined Diller + Scofidio in 1997 where he became a partner in 2004. With Diller Scofidio + Renfro, he has served as project leader on Brasserie, Eyebeam Atelier, the BAM master plan (with Rem Koolhaas/OMA), Blur, the recently completed Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and the redesign and expansion of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, among other projects. Renfro is a graduate of Rice University and Columbia University. He has been on the faculty at Columbia since 2000.

Bernard Tschumi has won international recognition as an architect, writer, and educator. Bernard Tschumi Architects, based in both New York and Paris, is dedicated to the interface between 21st century conditions and architecture. They have recently completed numerous major, award-winning projects around the globe , totalling over $200,000,000 in construction. Among their projects in progress are the New Acropolis Museum in Athens and the Concert Hall in Limoges, France.

Michael Sorkin is the Director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York. Widely published in numerous publications, his books include Some Assembly Required, After the World Trade Center (with Sharon Zukin), and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, All Over the Map, and Indefensible Space (forthcoming 2006). His New York based practice, Michael Sorkin Studio, is devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales, with a special interest in the city and in green architecture.