Columbia Receives Mellon Foundation Grant for Center for Spatial Research

This data map shows oil shipping routes across the Atlantic. Photo courtesy of the Center for Spatial Research.

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences have announced the creation of the Center for Spatial Research, an interdisciplinary center that will pursue urban research that connects the humanities, architecture, and data science.

Directed by GSAPP associate professor Laura Kurgan ’88GSAPP and funded by a $1,795,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the new center will also sponsor initiatives built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization, and data collection. Sharon Marcus, dean of the humanities and Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, will help lead the effort with Kurgan.

Initial projects at the Center for Spatial Research, which supersedes the Spatial Information Design Lab, will focus on what Kurgan calls “conflict urbanism,” or the way cities “have not only been destroyed but transformed and even created through conflict.”