Collected Transitions printed in DesignIntelligence Vol. 8, No. 9

Joe Riddle and Randy Kirschner, AIA, have both been appointed to vice president at URS’s Columbus Office. Riddle has more than 20 years experience as a mechanical engineer and will remain the manager of the mechanical engineering department; he joined the firm in 1990.
Kirschner had been an architect for nearly 30 years; his clients include higher education, commercial and institutional markets and continues to lead project teams on large laboratory and health care projects. He joined URS in 1984.

Susan Henshaw Jones will start in February as new director of the Museum of the City of New York. The announcement follows the resignation of former Robert R. Macdonald, who announced he was leaving following a reversal on the city’s part to move the museum into the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan. Former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani’s administation OK’ed the move, but new mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to give the landmark building to the Board of Education instead. Jones is former president of the National Building Museum in Washington (since 1994). Under her direction, that museum increased attendance to 300,000 in 2001, up from 74,000 in 1993. Its budget rose $5 million, to $8 million annually.

Architect Chad Dasnanjali has joined the The Jerde Partnership as vice president and senior technical manager. Prior to joining Jerde, Dasnanjali was a principal at C. T. Hsu + Associates in Florida.

Richard T. Foster, a modernist architect who was a partner of Philip Johnson, died Sept. 13, at 83. Foster was of the generation of architects who brought American perspective to modernism. Some of his more famous projects include: the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair(the observation decks still stand); New York State Theater by Lincoln Center in New York City; and the Bobst Library at New York University. He was also known for his own residence, a glass-walled circular house that rotates.
Foster served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Force during the invasions of Italy and Northern Africa during World War II. He was valedictorian of the architecture program when he graduated in 1950 from the Pratt Institute. Johnson was one of his teachers there. Foster worked with Johnson on some of his most famous projects, including Kline Biology Tower at Yale. After working as Johnson’s partner, Foster founded his own firm, Richard Foster Associates in New York City and Greenwich, Conn.

SmithGroup has elected Bob Colletta to its national board of directors. Colletta has more than 20 years of architectural experience and is currently senior vice president with primary involvement in Operations and the Office Workplace Studio in SmithGroup’s Phoenix office. He has worked most recently on the Phelps Dodge Tower, Safeway Office Complex and America West Airlines Headquarters.

Philip J. Meathe, former Chairman and CEO of SmithGroup, Inc., died on Sept. 19; he was 76. For 23 years, Meathe guided Detroit-headquartered SmithGroup (then called Smith, Hinchman & Grylls) to become one of the top architecture and engineering firms in the country. He joined the firm as executive vice president in 1969 and became president in 1971 prior to being appointed Chairman and CEO in 1974. He continued to lead the firm until his retirement in 1992 at the age of 66.

Of the 24 “genius” MacArthur Foundation grants awarded in September, four recipients were leaders in business theory or the built and natural environments. The awards include a $500,000 “no strings attached” prize to fund research, and annually go to artists, educators, musicians, writers and researchers. They are:

David B. Goldstein, 51, San Francisco; energy program co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. His work includes applying his scientific expertise to improve global energy efficiency.

Sendhil Mullainathan, 29, Newton, Mass.; associate professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose work shows how limits on knowledge, willpower and self-interest affect economic behavior.

Brian Tucker, 56, Palo Alto, Calif.; founder and president of GeoHazards International and a seismologist who works to prevent natural disasters in developing countries.

Camilo Jose Vergara, 58, New York; urban archivist and photographer who uses time-lapse images to chronicle the transformation of urban landscapes across America.

James Stelter will leave his position as senior vice president of sales, marketing and dealer alliances for Steelcase Inc., effective mid-November. Stelter will be pursuing other interests outside the company after 25 years of service. He held a variety of sales positions before serving as president of Brayton International, a Steelcase Design Partnership company, 1989 to 1993.