‘Expanding what it means to be a class’

Allison Lassiter, Randall Mason, Michael Luegering, Joshua Mosley, Richard Farley, and Michael Henry had to work quickly and creatively to shift their classes from a hands-on learning experience to a virtual one.

From the Weitzman School of Design

Sharon Hayes on performance art

Having come of age in New York City during the AIDS crisis, artist Sharon Hayes has always made work connected to political movements. She blends performance with installation and video to create large-scale works that explore the relationship between “the private and the public; the personal and the political.” 

Penn Today Staff

Picturing the future Lehigh Valley

Penn Praxis is a Design Partner with the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, along with a team of Design Fellows, to design a 25-year plan for the region called Future LV for ecological health and quality of life in cities, towns, and undeveloped areas.

Penn Today Staff

Designs for what the future can be

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Designs for Different Futures” exhibition includes contributions and installations from several Penn faculty and alumni who seek to answer questions about what the not-so-distant future may look like.

Vincent Reina on housing, barriers, and what we need from housing policy

New challenges to the housing market and its policies are “unprecedented,” say the Penn Design professor. He outlines potential improvements to the country’s largest affordable rental housing programs and the possibility of retrofitting housing to help reduce utility cost burdens.

Penn Today Staff

Urban planning for biodiversity after bushfires

The Weitzman School’s Richard Weller visited Sydney for a two-week intensive on critical urban challenges and converting a parkland into an incubator for wildlife.

Penn Today Staff

Visualizing future cities with Zhongjie Lin

A new three-year project called called “Spatial Visions Connecting China and the West: A Centennial Review and New Perspectives on Future Urban Environments” will address global issues like climate change and migration will begin at Penn and travel to Beijing.

Penn Today Staff

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In the News

The New York Times

Brooklyn Bridge, star of the city: Here’s a tour

Marion Weiss of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and her partner spoke about the Brooklyn Bridge and the neighborhoods surrounding it.


BBC News

The best trees to reduce air pollution

Stephanie Carlisle of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design spoke about high hopes for the use of urban trees to mitigate air pollution. “Some designers have a tendency to think in terms of objects rather than a complex ecological system,” she said. “But without a holistic understanding of urban ecosystems, the risk is to do more harm than good.”



Giant concrete umbrellas could protect the lucky ones

Daniel Aldana Cohen of the School of Arts and Sciences expressed skepticism about a proposed design for adaptable seawalls on beaches. “A lot of new developments that had a basically a harder infrastructure quality ended up splashing water onto adjacent places and flooding them more,” he said. “So with this project, if you imagine this as a defense of one beach, even if it’s successful, it’s going to probably cause more door.”


WHYY (Philadelphia)

‘If you don’t have to ride, please don’t’: SEPTA, PATCO further reduce service

Meg Ryerson of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design commented on the continued operation of public transit systems during the pandemic. “They’re not private companies out to make money,” she said. “They operate because they’re here to provide mobility in regions. That’s really incredible, to think that their mission is to be there for you during disaster times, and there for you in the best of times, and everything in between.”


WHYY (Philadelphia)

How Philly’s neighborhoods can help us understand pandemics

David Barnes of the School of Arts and Sciences, Eugenie Birch of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and Susan Wachter of the Wharton School weighed in on how Philadelphia has historically handled epidemics, how these approaches have shaped the city over time, and what can be done now to manage COVID-19.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Bright lights, big city: How Philly’s new streetlights could make us safer

Erick Guerra of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design explained why night is the most dangerous time for pedestrians. “A lot of things happen at night,” he said. “People are more likely to be drunk, people are driving faster because there’s less congestion, people are paying less attention. We get worse driving on a variety of dimensions.”