• The Architecture Publishing Summit
    Van Alen Institute

Van Alen Books, New York, 2011. Courtesy: the Van Alen Institute.

The Architecture Publishing Summit is a conference at Van Alen Institute in New York gathering a group of critically engaged publishers, authors, architects, media innovators, and nonprofit partners for brainstorming and debate about the future of architecture and design publishing. Themes include what forms content will take in the twenty–first century, how publishers can reach new readers, and what type of philanthropic models can best support scholarship today. Following these panel discussions, the Summit offers participants an opportunity to discuss the impact of architectural books on the public realm. Ultimately, the Summit seeks proposals for publishing and bookselling models that can be experimental cultural projects in their own right.

Olympia Kazi, a critic and curator of architecture, is the executive director of the Van Alen Institute (VAI) in New York. A graduate of the Architecture Department at the University of Florence  (Italy), Kazi served as curator at the Milan Triennale before becoming a fellow in  architecture and urban studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program. Kazi came to VAI from the Institute for Urban Design, a New York–based nonprofit that she had directed since 2007. Under Kazi's leadership, the Van Alen Institute has re–energized its historic mission to foster dialogue about the role of architecture in the public realm, and has launched an ambitious series of public programs, competitions, and initiatives, including Van Alen Books, a new center for architecture and design publications.

Jeff Byles is the Interim Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. Currently leading the Institute's diverse program of design competitions, exhibitions, fellowships, and publications, he draws on fifteen years of experience as an author, editor, architecture journalist, and urban thinker. Deeply engaged in public design and its role as a catalyst for cultural innovation, he has guided Van Alen's projects in public architecture for more than two years, helping launch national design competitions including Life at the Speed of Rail and Parks for the People. His writings on architecture, urbanism, and culture have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Metropolis, and he is the author and editor of several books on architecture and design, including the critically acclaimed Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition (Harmony Books, 2005), and A History of Design from the Victorian Era to the Present (Norton, 2011), coauthored with Ann Ferebee. Byles studied English literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He previously served as Van Alen Institute's Director of Research, and, before joining Van Alen, was managing editor at The Architect's Newspaper. He has lectured internationally on architecture, landscape, and the future of the city at venues including the National Building Museum, 92nd Street Y, New York Public Library, Skyscraper Museum, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Institute for Esthetic Research in Mexico City.

The Van Alen Institute is an independent, nonprofit architectural organization whose mission is to promote inquiry into the processes that shape the design of the public realm. Since its founding in 1894, the Institute has cultivated a community of designers and scholars, awarded excellence in design, and fostered dialogue about architecture as a creative practice with great public consequence. Through more than 2,400 design competitions, hundreds of fellowships and awards, and countless public programs, the VAI has nurtured generations of architects and urban thinkers. Recent initiatives include Parks for the People, a student design competition for the National Park Service; the Lower Mississippi River Delta Design Initiative, a collaboration to create a sustainable future for coastal Louisiana; and the launch of the Institute's Design Archive, which chronicles more than a century of projects in public architecture.