Lecture to be Held in Memory of Architecture Student Sydney Gross

Release Date: February 23, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The cofounders of New York City-based design firm Weiss/Manfredi will speak at the University at Buffalo today (Wednesday, Feb. 23) in a lecture honoring Sydney Gross, a School of Architecture and Planning student who died following a car accident on July 24, 2009.

The Sydney Gross Memorial Lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in 301 Crosby Hall on UB's South Campus. The Sydney Gross Memorial Fund, which friends and family established in Gross's memory to support scholarships and student programs, is cosponsoring the event.

The speakers will be Marion Weiss, Graham Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and Michael Manfredi, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Weiss/Manfredi is known for integrating architecture, art, infrastructure and landscape design in projects. The firm's award-winning projects include Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park, Barnard College's Diana Center and Toronto's Lower Don Lands. Publications including Architect magazine, Metropolis, Dwell and The New York Times have featured Weiss/Manfredi's work.

Gross had completed her freshman year in UB's architecture program when she lost her life unexpectedly in 2009. Her teachers remember her as a dedicated student who thrived in a creative atmosphere.

"There were a number of days when I would enter the studio in a bad mood. Seeing Sydney's smile would brighten my day and lift my spirits for the afternoon studio session," said Assistant Professor Joyce Hwang. "It was clear that she had a natural 'eye' for design. In addition to her giftedness, she had a great attitude in the studio: She wasn't afraid to take risks with her projects, she worked hard and, most importantly, she always seemed to be having fun with her work and her classmates.

"Even today," Hwang said, "more than two years after her semester with me in the freshman studio, I still have very vivid memories of her."

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