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New Lecture Series Highlights Urban Design in Harlem

By Elizabeth Barber | May 1, 2013 9:31am
 Among the lectures in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center's lineup is one on rooftop farming.
Among the lectures in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center's lineup is one on rooftop farming.
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MANHATTAN — A new lecture series puts the spotlight on design in Harlem.

The five-part Harlem Focus series at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center, organized with neighborhood historian John Reddick, will cover a wide range of topics, including rooftop farming, public art and urban park conservation.

“We want to encourage people to think about how design decisions affect Harlem,” said Caroline Payson, education director at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. “If you understand design, you can be an advocate for not only yourself but for your community.”

The series will open with a May 8 talk by Algernon Miller and Mark Bunnell, the artist and landscape architect behind the monument to African-American abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass at 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The talk will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Cooper-Hewitt Design Center is a newcomer to Harlem, having moved to the neighborhood from its previous space in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum on the Upper East Side in May 2012. The museum is currently closed for renovations.

“We wanted the opportunity to connect with new audiences,” Payson said of last year’s move to Harlem. “And this event is a chance to really spend some time in the community.”

The Harlem Focus Series runs from May 8 to July 10 at the Cooper Hewitt Design Center at 111 Central Park North. General admission to each event is $10, with discounts for seniors and free admission for students. For tickets and information visit www.cooperhewitt.org.