Interview with Architect Deborah Berke, New York
What are the most important lessons to teach architecture students?
Having a sense of responsibility but also remembering that architecture is not just problem solving. One solves many problems of many different kinds but architecture cannot be viewed as only problem solving. It is design and creation.
What is one New York City project you have worked on recently that excites you the most?
I’m excited about 122 CC, the former PS 122 in the East Village. It is a DDC design excellence project. It is a renovation of and addition to an old New York City public school that will house Performance Space, Mabou Mines, Painting Space 122, and AIDS Service Center NYC. We hope it will open by the end of the year. When you walk by it on First Avenue you will see a bit of construction and scaffolding but it’s already looking pretty good.
Which of the rules are the most important for creating a livable tiny urban spaces?
The rules are even more important in tiny spaces. I think, in many instances and locations outside New York City, houses have almost gotten too big. I am a great believer of livable tiny spaces. I would say the rule that is the most important is #8: Honor daily life. No matter how small your space is, you need to sleep, you need to eat, you need to maintain your personal hygiene, and you need to be able to have a friend over for a glass of wine. Even if you’re living in one small room, acknowledging that all of those things need to happen will make a livable urban environment and a livable home.