New York is a challenging environment for green architects, but its history and construction-happy culture affords some opportunities that exist nowhere else. Urban Studio Brooklyn (USBK) was founded to make the work of students and recent grads a part of New York's landscape. Focused more on physical projects than theory, director Lori Gibbs formed partnerships with established studios like Atelier Ten and threadcollective to work with the participants, tackling architectural problems like rainwater collection.
USBK could not have started at a better time. For many young architects and designers, the bridge between college and actually designing is often a treadmill of unpaid internships or a job that has little to do with their passion. While design blogs, rapid prototyping, and affordable CAD software are all softening the barriers that have traditionally kept students and recent grads from producing their own work, Internships are still structured to have the student help out with an existing project, at best; at worse, to help out with coffee. USBK instead depends on its student participants for ideation.