Who is Behind It

Joshua Foer is a journalist who has written for National Geographic, Esquire, the New York Times, Slate, and other publications. He is the founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online compendium of the world’s curiosities. His first book, Moonwalking with Einstein, about the art and science of memory, will be published by Penguin Press this winter.

Roger Bennett is the co-founder of Reboot and co-founder of the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation.

Reboot is a fast-growing network of thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to "reboot" the culture, rituals, and traditions we've inherited and make them vital and resonant in our own lives. The network has created an array of books, films, music, organizations and digital projects that encourage others to think about who they are, what they are inheriting and what it means to them.

We are indebted to Jennifer Falk and the Union Square Partnership for their support; to Dani Passow of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah for his rabbinic input; and to Thomas de Monchaux for his many insights, renderings, and devotion to this project.

Inquiries should be addressed to sukkahcity@gmail.com


Michael Arad is the designer of the National September 11 Memorial.  His design, titled ‘Reflecting Absence’, was selected in 2004 by a jury assembled by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) in the largest architectural competition ever held, drawing over 5000 entries.  Prior to joining Handel Architects as a partner in 2004, Michael worked at Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, where he worked on several major projects, including Union Station Tower, a mixed-use 108-story skyscraper in Hong Kong, and Espirito Santo Plaza, a 37-story tower in Miami that won the AIA New York Chapter Design Award Citation in 2001.  Subsequently, he worked at the New York City Housing Authority, where he worked on the design of police stations and community centers. He is a founding member of the Fifth Street Farm Project and in 2006, was one of six recipients of the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architects Award. Michael received his Master of Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College in 1994.

Ron Arad was born in Tel Aviv in 1951, educated at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and later at the Architectural Association in London. He co-founded with Caroline Thorman both the design and production studio One Off in 1981 and later, in 1989, Ron Arad Associates architecture and design practice.  In 2008 Ron Arad Architects was established alongside Ron Arad Associates. From 1994 to 1999 he set up the Ron Arad Studio, design and production unit in Como, Italy. He was Professor of Design Product at the Royal College of Art in London up until 2009.  He designs for many leading international and has exhibited at many major museums and galleries throughout the world: recent and upcoming major retrospective solo shows include Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2008), MoMA New York (2009), the Barbican Centre, London (2010), the Stedelijk, Amsterdam (2011).  His work is in many public collections including, among others, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London and The Vitra Design Museum, Germany.

Rick Bell serves as Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, which is committed to design excellence, professional development and public policy advocacy.  At the AIA, Rick has helped create and animate the new storefront Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place, which has hosted over 1,000 public events each year since it opened in 2003, along with more than 120 exhibitions. Prior to starting work with the AIA, Rick served as Assistant Commissioner for Architecture & Engineering at the NYC Department of Design and Construction, where he had oversight responsibility for design excellence initiatives, project review and the office of sustainable design. A graduate of Yale College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Rick has been a design partner in the educational facilities studio of Warner Burns Toan Lunde, designing university structures and libraries nationwide.  A frequent speaker and visiting critic, Rick has received numerous design and services awards, and was named a “Newsmaker of the Year” by Engineering News Record for involvement in the WTC rebuilding effort.  An AIA Fellow since 2000, Rick is a registered architect in New York, New Jersey and California. 

Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts. He is the editor-in-chief of Core77.com, the widely read design website, Coroflot.com design job and portfolio site, and DesignDirectory.com design firm database. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents, and has received awards from Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, and The One Club. He teaches in the graduate departments of Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and writes and lectures widely on the impact of design on contemporary culture.

Matias Corea is a designer currently based in New York City. He is chief designer at Behance, an innovative company dedicated to organizing the creative world to make ideas happen. As the company’s founding designer, he has led the brand identity and design of all Behance products, including the Behance Creative Network, he 99%, and Action Method, amongst other products.

Paul Goldberger is the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker, where since 1997 he has written the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons school of design, a division of The New School. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. He is the author of several books, including Why Architecture Matters, published in 2009 by Yale University Press, and Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, a collection of his architecture essays published in 2009 by Monacelli Press. He lectures widely around the country on the subject of architecture, design, historic preservation and cities, and he has taught at both the Yale School of Architecture and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley in addition to The New School. His writing has received numerous awards in addition to the Pulitzer, including the President’s Medal of the Municipal Art Society of New York, the medal of the American Institute of Architects and the Medal of Honor of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation. In 1993, he was named a Literary Lion, the New York Public Library’s tribute to distinguished writers. In 2007, he was presented with the Ed Bacon Foundation’s Award for Professional Excellence, named in honor of Philadelphia’s legendary planner, and in 2009 he received the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award from the Urban Communication Foundation.

Paul has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Pratt Institute, the University of Miami, Kenyon College, the College of Creative Studies and the New York School of Interior Design for his work as a critic and cultural commentator on design. He appears frequently on film and television to discuss art, architecture, and cities, and is now at work on a program on the architect Benjamin Latrobe for PBS. He has also served as a special consultant and advisor on architecture and planning matters to several major cultural and educational institutions, including the Morgan Library in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, the New York Public Library and Cornell and Harvard universities. He is a graduate of Yale University, and is a trustee of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio; the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.; the Forum for Urban Design, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation. He resides in New York City.

Steven Heller was an art director at the New York Times for 33 years, originally on the OpEd Page and for almost 30 of those years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair (and co-founder) of the MFA Designer as Author Department, Special Consultant to the President of SVA for New Programs, and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the co-director of Push Pin Editions, a frequent contributor and editor to numerous publications, the editor of AIGA VOICE: Online Journal of Design, the author, co-author or editor of over 100 books on design and popular culture and has produced or been the curator of a number of exhibitions. Steven is also the recipient of the AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 1999, the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame Special Educators Award in 1996, The Pratt Institute Herschel Levitt Award in 2000, and the Society of Illustrators Richard Gangel Award for Art Direction in 2006.

Natalie Jeremijenko is the director of the NYU Environmental Health Clinic, faculty in the NYU Visual Art Department and affiliated with the Computer Science Dept and Environmental Studies program and has been named one of the inaugural top young innovators by MIT Technology Review. She was also a visiting professor at Royal College of Art, in London and an artist not-in-residence at the Institute for the Future. Previously she was on the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD, and Faculty of Engineering at Yale. Her work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial of American Art (also in 1997) and the Cooper Hewit Smithsonian Design Triennial 2006-7. An exhibition of recent work will open at the Nueberger Museum on May 29 2010.

Maira Kalman was born in sunny, sandy Tel Aviv. She moved to NYC at a young age where she drank her first Coca Cola. She is the author/illustrator of a dozen children's books including What Pete Ate and Fireboat. Maira is a contributor to many publications including the New York Times (two year long on line columns) and the New Yorker. Maira created an illustrated edition of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White; created fabrics for Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade, MAHARAM; did set design for Mark Morris, watches for the Museum of Modern Art under M&Co label; worked with Nico Muhly on musical adaptations of books, and is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in NYC. Maira is also co founder of the Rubber Band Society and lives in New York City.

Geoff Manaugh is the author of BLDGBLOG and The BLDGBLOG Book, and a contributing editor at Wired UK. In addition to lecturing on a broad range of architectural topics at design schools and museums around the world, he has taught at Columbia University, the Pratt Institute, and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972. With Morphosis, Mayne has been the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize, 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, 75 American Institute of Architecture Awards and numerous other design recognitions. Under Mayne’s direction, the firm has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including a large solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Other notable exhibitions include those at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Walker Arts Institute in Minneapolis, the Ministerio de Fomento in Madrid in 1998, and a major retrospective at the Netherlands Architectural Institute (NAI) in 1999. In addition to these solo exhibitions, Morphosis has been included in prestigious group exhibitions in Tokyo, London, Vienna, Buenos Aires, at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, as part of the "End of the Century: 100 Years of Architecture" exhibition, and at the 2002, 2004 and 2006, and 2008 Venice Architecture Biennales. Drawings, furniture, and models produced by Morphosis are included in the permanent collections of such institutions as the MOMA in New York, San Francisco MOMA, the MAK in Vienna, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the FRAC Center in France. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively; the firm has been the subject of 25 monographs. In 1972, he helped to found the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Since then, he has held teaching positions at Columbia, Yale (the Eliel Saarinen Chair in 1991), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Eliot Noyes Chair in 1998), the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, and many other institutions around the world. Currently, he holds a tenured faculty position at the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture.

Thomas de Monchaux is a New York-based architect and writer. The inaugural recipient of the Winterhouse Award for Design Writing and Criticism, his work appears in diverse popular and obscure publications from The New York Times to Perspecta. He assists and instructs in studios and special programs at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University . He redesigns the apartments of his indulgent friends. He is working on a history of the building at 2 Columbus Circle, New York and is the author of the forthcoming and boyishly charming book, The Designs of your Heart's Desires: A Man's Guide to Guns, Trucks, Dinosaurs, Rockets, Robots, Forts, and Girls.

Ada Tolla is the co founder (along with Giuseppe Lignano) of LOT-EK, a design studio based in New York and Naples. Founded in 1993, it has been involved in residential, commercial and institutional projects in the US and abroad, as well as exhibition design and site-specific installations for major cultural institutions and museums, including MoMA, the Whitney Museum and the Guggenheim. Ada has a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Universita’ di Napoli, Italy (1989) and completed post-graduate studies at Columbia University, New York (1990-1991). Ada also teaches at Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, in New York and lectures at major universities and cultural institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Adam Yarinsky is principal and co-founder, with Stephen Cassell, of Architecture Research Office. Adam holds an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and received his Master of Architecture from Princeton University. Adam has led ARO’s most distinctive projects for institutional clients such as Princeton University, New York University, and Colorado College. He was the principal-in-charge of SoHo Loft and Qiora Stora & Spa, both winners of AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture. Adam is currently lead designer for the Donald Judd Home+Studio Museum in New York City as well as the Hudson River Education Center and Pavilion at Beacon, NY. He manages the firm’s ongoing Design Excellence Contract for the New York City Department of Design and Construction. He is the co-author of On the Water: Palisade Bay MoMA/Hatje Cantz which is the basis for Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront, anexhibition now on display at The Museum of Modern Art. Adam has served as the Sanders Teaching Fellow at the University of Michigan and the Shure Professor at the University of Virginia. He is presently the Eliel Saarinen Professor at the University of Michigan. He has also taught at Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Syracuse University, the University of Virginia, Parsons/The New School and Washington University in St. Louis. With Stephen Cassell, he is a 2010 recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Architecture Award