Understanding infrastructure

In the second episode of Penn Today’s “Understand This ...” podcast series, emphasizing interdisciplinary perspectives, a Wharton and Weitzman School discuss the past, present, and future of infrastructure.

Brandon Baker

Media Contact

In the News

PBS NewsHour

Gehry-designed Eisenhower Memorial unveiled after 20 years—during a fraught moment

David Eisenhower of the Annenberg School for Communication spoke about a new memorial to his grandfather, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. “I think memorialization is a process that is renewed,” he said. “So, when you dedicate the memorial, I think that you are investing or gambling, in a sense, on the future, that the message that a memorial conveys will have a kind of timeless quality to it.”


The New Yorker

The new monuments that America needs

Paul Farber and Ken Lum of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and Philadelphia’s Monument Lab spoke about the dismantling of problematic statues and the process of democratically designing new ones. People have been taught to interpret statues “as unitary and their message as unified, rooted in consensus, as opposed to rooted in a subjective decision that is only a reflection of a segment of the community that had power,” said Lum.



How to put up monuments that truly recon with American History

Paul Farber of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and Center for Public Art and Space visiting scholar Sue Mobley spoke about President Trump’s proposed National Garden of American Heroes and proposed a new democratic process for creating monuments. “History doesn’t fit well in statues,” said Mobley. “Movements don’t fit well in summaries; they’re ongoing.”


WHYY (Philadelphia)

‘We don’t see the refinery starting’: PES site’s new owner envisions an ‘environmentally conscious’ commercial hub

Mark Allan Hughes of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and Kleinman Center for Energy Policy spoke about new plans for the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex in Southwest Philadelphia. “Not having a refinery there ends a long environmental justice travesty and puts Philadelphia on the right side of energy history,” he said.


The New York Times

In lockdown, a neighborhood opens up

Francesca Russello Ammon of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design spoke about how communities have become closer during the pandemic. “The scale of life has changed,” she said. “Your world has shrunk. The neighborhood and the block become really important.”


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.