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November 16, 2009

CCNY Student Architecture Journal Wins Award

“Informality,” the new student journal of The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, won the Center for Architecture Foundation 2009 Douglas Haskell Award for student journals. The award is meant to encourage student journalism in the areas of architecture, planning and related topics. Its $5,000 grant provides supplemental funding for ongoing publication of student-edited architecture journals.

The journal promotes open discussion and intelligent criticism among architecture students on ideas, theories and experiences.  With minimal interference by the administration and faculty advisors, “Informality” is taking a new creative stance and discarding conformity.  It features light-natured optimistic stories with a critical undertone.Informality student architecture journal.

Former editor and graduate Marina Ovtchinnikova applied for the Haskell Award last year in hope of getting additional financial backing for the publication.  Much to the staff’s surprise, they received the full $5,000 award, which is typically shared with other publications.  The proceeds of the grant will enable future issues to be printed in color and increase the print run.

The journal has a unique look.  Production Director Shengyi Pu says he strived to give “Informality” a “purposely rough look…opposed to similar publications by other universities that tend to have a glossy, more commercial look.”

Editor-in-chief Helen Levin added, “Writing is a kind of construction that is essential to architecture.” The publication is meant to have an equal balance of photography, graphics, and text.
Professor Marta Gutman, who advises the editors of “Informality,” believes that “encouraging students to publish their current work will open conversations between communities in the CCNY School of Architecture.”

The next issue of “Informality” is set to come out in late November.  The creators are taking a different approach this time.  The content will be about the experience and inspiration that architecture students acquire in New York City. It will include an interview with a graduate, poetry and an essay on the new Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture building.

Besides The Spitzer School of Architecture, The Grove School of Engineering, Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education sponsor student journals.

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