Michelle Young

MICHELLE YOUNG is the founder of Untapped Cities, a web magazine and tour company about urban discovery. She is a graduate of Harvard College 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 also a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. She is the author of Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants, and Broadway. Michelle appears regularly as a guest speaker in documentaries, on television, and at conferences on urban issues. Originally from New York, she has traveled to over forty countries and is always looking for the next adventure.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Calm. Colorful. Casualty

3 things Nature taught you? 

No matter how wide your imagination, nature is often the most creative and stunning. As a result, once it's gone, it is easy to forget what was once there. At the same time, nature has an incredible way of adapting around human behavior, taking over in the cracks and crevices when we're still around, and completely taking over when we're not.

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

L'île Marquer (in Brittany, France);

Shelter Island;

Prospect Park (Brooklyn)

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

At peace

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Surrounded

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

In awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

In the city. New York City has some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets!

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Cozy

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Wintry

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

9, although as a city person I only realized in the last few years the importance of it for my own sanity!

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Walking up through a river in Vermont with camp friends, none of us having a map but perfectly content at having no particular destination. At the end, it turned out to be a gorgeous waterfall and big swimming hole.


Christiana Moss

CHRISTIANA MOSS is managing principal and a founding partner of Studio Ma, the current AIA Arizona Firm of the Year and a recent Architectural Record Design Vanguard Firm. Her interests in advanced environmental design and the relationship between natural and cultural systems inform her design philosophy. She is one of fiveStudio Ma principals and practices collaboratively with Christopher Alt, Dan Hoffman, Jason Boyer and Tim Keil. The hallmark of studio is a commitment to sustainability and research, seen most recently in Princeton University’s net-zero ready 715-bed Lakeside Graduate Student Community.

As part of the firm’s mission of advancing the practice of sustainable design, Studio Ma has recently developed a “triple net-zero” concept for higher education research buildings and practices using an integrated design process, for its campus, cultural and urban infill projects. Their work on university campuses focuses on student residential life, academic and research projects. Other notable recent projects include Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, a Smithsonian affiliate, Arizona State University’s Manzanita Hall, Northern Arizona University’s Native American Cultural Center, the Cranbrook Institute of Science addition, master planning and cabin prototypes for Summit Powder Mountain, PRD845 and artHAUS, an urban infill development. Studio Ma has received significant recognition for their work, including AIA Arizona Honor awards, the Chicago Athenaeum and SCUP/AIA National Honor for Building Design. Their buildings have been featured in Metropolis, Architectural Record and The New York Times.

Christiana received her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art and Planning.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Essential

Integral

Threatened

3 things Nature taught you? 

Humility

Awe

Self-reflection

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Fire Island

Oak Creek Canyon, AZ

My back yard

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

When I’m looking out to the ocean I feel small and infinite at the same time.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

When I’m in a forest I feel sheltered, embraced and connected to the earth.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

I haven’t seen a volcano yet.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Thankful for its rising and anxious for its return when it sets.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Hearing thunder makes me want to seek shelter.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

I enjoy feeling the wind on my face and prefer to be in it instead of hearing it from the indoors.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

This is a difficult question. I love them all and they are all connected, perhaps some at different times. I began as an ocean person. The desert was once an ocean and I now enjoy the expanse of sky of both, the silhouette of mountains and the unique life water’s absence creates in the desert. The forest is a place I go to be immersed in the smells and sounds of the earth and I long for this too, perhaps I will become a forest person.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

1 (being most important)

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

I lived as a child on Fire Island without cars, free to run and swim in the ocean, walking in sand barefoot all summer long, picking blueberries and chasing rabbits. I lost this when I moved to New York when I was 12 and I’ve been longing to return to life without a city ever since.


Kengo Kuma

KENGO KUMA was born in 1954. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. After studying at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar, he established Kengo Kuma & Associates 1990. In 2009, he was installed as Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo.
Among Kuma’s major works are Kirosan Observatory (1995), Water/Glass (1995, received AIA Benedictus Award), Noh Stage in the Forest (received 1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award), Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum (received The Murano Prize). His recent works include Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum (2010), Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center (2012), Nagaoka City Hall Aore (2012) and Ginza Kabukiza (2013). Outside Japan, Besancon Arts and Culture Center, FRAC Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence Conservatoire of Music were completed in 2013. Currently, about 100 projects are going on in Japan, Europe, USA, China and many other Asian countries. Kengo Kuma & Associates are also engaged in the designing of the new national stadium in Japan.

Kuma is also a prolific writer, including Anti-Object, translated into English. Most of his latest titles have been published in English, Chinese and Korean and have won wide readership from around the world.

3 words to describe Nature?

Integration, interaction, softness

3 things Nature taught you?

Kindness, warmth, calmness

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kanda River near my house, cemetery near my workplace, & the blue sky

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Why could it appear so different every day?

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Calm down and relax

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

The axis, the verticality that connects the earth and the sky.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Memory of summer holiday in childhood

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Sound of the glass trembling in my old house I lived as a child.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

There was a bamboo bush behind our house. I often changed into rain boots to explore the nature there.