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Michelle Young and Mitch Glass: Urbanophilia in the Living Room: On Urban Exploration and Entrepreneurism 

Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 5:30pm

Wood floor, L. P. Kwee Studios, Milstein Hall

Can alternative careers be forged out of an architecture or design degree? In 2009, Untapped Cities was born initially as a platform to bridge the gap between the academic inquiry into architecture and urbanism, and the popular consumption of it. Ten years later, we reflect on our role within the great architecture discourse. Today, more than four million people read the website each year and more than 10,000 New York City residents attend our tours each year. At the root, we aim to help people rediscover their own cities; to see the past, present, and future that surrounds them; and hopefully, through this knowledge, to empower and engage them to become a larger part of the civic process of how the city evolves. This talk will cover a wide range of topics, including the role of urban exploration in cities; how Untapped Cities helps connect government agencies, architecture firms, nonprofits, and real estate developers to the common resident; the evolution of architecture practice from the media perspective in the last decade; and how to get started founding your own company.

Michelle Young is the founder of Untapped Cities, a website and tour company about urban exploration, architecture, and urbanism. She is a graduate of Harvard University in the history of art and architecture and holds a master's degree in urban planning from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, where she is an adjunct professor of architecture. She is the author of Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide, New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants, and Broadway. Young appears regularly as a guest speaker in documentaries, on television, and at conferences on urban issues. She was featured on Netflix's Stay Here, PBS' 10 That Changed America, Tell Me Something I Don't Know with Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics Radio, Huffington Post Live with Paul Goldberger, and the documentary DINER EN BLANC, The World’s Largest Secret Dinner Party. She was also a speaker at the United Nations conference, Gateways Portals to the City: Infrastructure for Sustainable Urbanization, and was an organizer of the Rockefeller Foundation conference, "Jane Jacobs Revisited: A Bellagio Conference."

Mitch Glass is a visiting critic at Cornell University in the departments of City and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture. Glass is an urban designer and landscape architect with 25 years of experience in diverse master planning, urban design, and landscape architecture projects in urban environments across the globe. Before his appointments at Cornell, Glass worked at the 70-person architecture, planning, and preservation firm Goody Clancy in Boston, focusing on action-oriented urban design plans in Washington, DC; Detroit; Buffalo and Jamestown, New York; and Hartford, Stamford, and New Haven, Connecticut. Previous to Goody Clancy, Glass worked at Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts, on mixed-use and multidisciplinary projects in Africa, China, Vietnam, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Russia, and the U.S. with a variety of multinational teams and national/international clients. Glass's experience also includes working for Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago as an urban designer/landscape architect on mixed-use real estate development and public space projects throughout Chicago.

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