News/Events

Bard Architecture

OTHER METHODS

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES
2023-2024

This year’s public program invites designers, curators and practitioners whose work takes methods of design as a starting point from which to shape architectural practice and pedagogy otherwise. If conventional methods in architecture have served as a relay between the practices of architecture and the institutions and structures of its materialization, then methods inherited are a means to ensure the reproduction of a certain world—a certain way of being that we've long known to be untenable. 'Other methods’ is an invitation to see how methods might offer a point from which to upend this. How can methods of design become articulations of other worlds, propositions for other ways of being that undo environmental racism and the enclosure and destruction of the natural world; that break the ongoing coloniality of human inhabitation; that thwart the organized production of surplus populations needed to fuel capital’s limitless growth? How might other methods, thought from the ground up, offer tools for insurgent practices to begin building different worlds?

Bard College Campus

digital image of radio tower with cloud of smoke from explosion

Maksym Rokmaniko/Center for Spatial Technologies

A CITY WITHIN A BUILDING

public lecture

Maksym Rokmaniko is the founding director of the Center for Spatial Technologies (CST), a multidisciplinary practice based in Kyiv and Berlin – working at the intersection of architectural, investigative, anthropological, and artistic practices. With the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, CST has focused on war crimes and human rights violations. The Center collaborates with artistic and research institutions, grassroots initiatives, and human rights and forensic organizations.

image: 3D reconstruction of a site in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion

In support of the Human Rights Project

photograph of an architecural model of table and chairs in front of a silhouette of rooftops

Paula Vilaplana de Miguel

Ways of Haunting

lecture

Paula Vilaplana de Miguel is a curator, designer, and scholar based in New York. Her work focuses on exhibition spaces and cultural initiatives, with an emphasis on media, technology, and bodily practices.
She has been Assistant Director of Exhibitions at Columbia University GSAPP and The Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, a research assistant at Performa and a lecturer at The New School Parsons. She currently works as a Curatorial Assistant for contemporary architecture at The Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMA).
Paula Vilaplana has curated and developed projects for institutions such as the Shanghai Art Biennial, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Venice Architecture Biennial, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Princeton University, Triennale Milano, and Ca2M among others. Her work has been published in The New York Review of Architecture, the Invisible Culture Magazine at Rochester University, Arquine, and the Het Nieuwe Instituut and her projects have been featured in the press internationally.

image: model detail of 'HAUNTED REAL ESTATE: DOLLHOUSE OF DEATH', 2019

supported by Experimental Humanities

photograph of an array color photo slides against a lightbox

Paulo Tavares

Earth Works

Public Lecture

Paulo Tavares is an architect, author, and educator. His practice dwells at the frontiers between architecture, visual cultures, and advocacy. Operating through multiple media, Tavares’s projects have been featured in various exhibitions and publications worldwide, including Oslo Architecture Triennale, Istanbul Design Biennale, São Paulo Art Biennial, and most recently the Venice Biennale 2023. He is the author of several books questioning the colonial legacies of modernity, including Des-Habitat (2019), Lucio Costa era Racista? (2022), and Derechos No-Humanos (2022). The curatorial project Terra, in collaboration with Gabriela de Matos, was awarded the Golden Lion for best national participation at La Biennale di Venezia 2023. He was co-curator of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and was part of the advisory curatorial board of Sharjah Biennial 2023. Tavares teaches at Columbia GSAPP and at the University of Brasília, and leads the spatial advocacy agency autonoma.

image: from An Architectural Botany, KoozArch, 23 May 2023

Supported by Center for Human Rights and the Arts and HRP

axonometric drawing of a coastal city with agricultural fields, yellow clouds and blue-green water

Feifei Zhou

How Did We Get to Where We Are Now

Public Lecture

Feifei Zhou is a Chinese-born spatial and visual designer. She was a guest researcher at Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA), during which she co-edited the digital publication Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene (Stanford University Press, 2020). Her work explores spatial, cultural, and ecological impacts of the industrialised built and natural environment. Using narrative-based spatial analysis, she collaborates intensively with social scientists to translate empirical observations and scientific research into visual representations that aim to both clarify intricate more-than-human relations and open new questions. She previously taught at Cornell AAP, Central Saint Martins, and Columbia GSAPP.

image: Drawing by Feifei Zhou

SUPPORTED BY EH, EUS AND ANTHROPOLOGY

photo of a wooden structure lit internally by rows of pink lights. plants rest on an elevated plane.

mireia luzárraga / TAKK

Against Nature

Public Lecture

Mireia Luzárraga is an architect and Studio Critic at Columbia GSAPP. She is also professor at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, and La Salle. Together with Alejandro Muiño, Luzárraga founded TAKK in 2010, an award-winning architecture and design studio based in Barcelona. Taking place in both the public and private spheres, their projects investigate how architecture can catalyze the development of more democratic lives through the incorporation of feminist thought, ecology, and politics into its practice.

TAKK’s work belongs to the permanent collection of the FRAC-Centre Val de Loire and has been exhibited at the Oslo Triennale, and the Venice, San Sebastián, Tallinn, Maia, and Rabat Biennales, among others. Likewise, TAKK's work has been exhibited at Matadero-Madrid, Center d'Arts Santa Mónica, Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, MAK Vienna, TCDC Bangkok, or Alcova Milano.

Previously, Luzárraga has taught and lectured in institutions such as the University of Alicante, ETSAM, IED, ELISAVA, RMIT, Floating University Berlin, or ILEK Stuttgart.

image: 'In Transit', migrant-plant shelter Barcelona, 2023, courtesy of TAKK

SUPPORTED BY EH AND EUS

Wolff Architects

Tectonic Shifts: Reflections on Recent Work

Public Lecture

Founded by Ilze Wolff and Heinrich Wolff in 2012, Wolff Architects has aimed to cultivate, in its own words, "an enduring public culture around the city, space, and personhood." Informed by the colonial history of its surroundings, the Cape Town-based firm excavates sites of historic inequity and erasure, using design, research, and advocacy tools to construct what it calls an "architecture of consequence." From urban-scale infrastructure to handmade zines, its work embraces "a multiplicity of means of representation and expression, rather than accepting the constraint of speaking through buildings," as described by The Architectural Review.

image: African Mobilities: This is not a refugee camp exhibition, 2018

SUPPORTED BY EH

Bard Architecture

SYSTEMS, STRUCTURES, ARCHITECTURE

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES 2022-2023

Bard College Campus

Building section with 5 colorful and populated floors and, an empty basement. NYC in the background

Nandini Bagchee

In Land We Trust

Public Lecture

Nandini Bagchee is the principal of Bagchee Architects and an Associate Professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture (CCNY, CUNY). Her research highlights ground-up collaborative building practices as an alternative medium for the creation of public space. Nandini is the author of a book on the history and impact of activist-run spaces in New York City entitled Counter Institution: Activist Estates of the Lower East Side. Nandini’s design work and writing have been published in the New York Times, Interiors Now, Urban Omnibus, and the Journal of Architectural Education. Her research-based architectural work involves engaging with grassroots organizations such as South Bronx Unite, Interference Archive, the Loisaida Center, and the Laundromat Project in New York City. In her capacity as architect and educator, Nandini Bagchee also collaborates with several Community Land Trusts in New York City to advance the project of building a solidarity economy anchored in community land ownership.

image: Image by Bagchee Architects, 2022. Community Land Trust

Elias & Yousef Anastas

Global Provincialism

LECTURE

Founded in 1979, AAU Anastas is a wholly-owned Palestinian architectural and engineering practice with offices in Bethlehem and Paris. Thinking of a project as a process is the only common thread running through their work. Beginning the thinking of a project at the opposite end of the planning spectrum, from the bottom up, helps AAU Anastas merge into the deep understanding of local knowledge, and capacities of widening or subverting the initial end result to new uses. They consider the process as a means of minimizing energy consumption between design and realization. Working directly with factories and artisans enables the designers to optimize the energy consumption in function of the resources available and the ambitions. AAU Anastas believes that sustainability is no excuse for sacrifices. Instead, research is a synonym of ambition for a more sustainable, more comfortable, and more interactive design.

image: All Purpose, Venice Biennale. Photo by Francesco Galli

El Hadi Jazairy. Design Earth

Three Geostories

LECTURE. ZOOM

How do we make sense of the Earth at a moment in which it is presented in crisis? In this talk, I engage the speculative project—as expounded through drawings, models, and material artifacts—as one possible medium to reassemble publics around representations of the Earth. The project here becomes a medium that critically synthesizes spatial knowledge across scales to speculate on how to live with the many forms of environmental externalities, including oil extraction, deep-sea mining, ocean acidification, air pollution, space debris, and a host of other social-ecological issues. The talk is an exploration of media devices to exhibit the Earth — terrarium, aquarium, planetarium through three projects from Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment.

SPONSORED BY: EH, EUS

Léopold Lambert

From bringing politics to architecture to bringing architecture to politics

LECTURE: RKC 103

In this intervention, Léopold will present some aspects of the politics of contents and production of The Funambulist, a print and online magazine published every two months since September 2015. Dedicated to "the politics of space and bodies" as well as the cultivation of internationalist solidarity between political struggles of the world, the magazine is organized in such a way that the ethics of what happens "behind the scenes" is as important as the ethics of the magazine's contents themselves. Léopold will also talk of his writing practice as complementary with this editorial daily endeavor. 

Landon Newton

Plants! Plants! Plants!

LECTURE: GR STUDIO

Artist and gardener Landon Newton shares her project, The Abortion Herb Garden, a collaborative and ongoing garden installation, planted exclusively with abortifacient, emmenagogue, and contraceptive plants. Using The Abortion Herb Garden as a way of thinking about alternative pathways to care, history, space, disenfranchised systems of knowledge, and plants vs. capitalism, this project investigates the pluralist identities of plants and highlights the intimate and historical ways people have used and connected with plants. An abortifacient plant ID walk will follow the talk.

SPONSORED BY: EUS, EH

Eyal Weizman

Five or Six Doors

Lecture

During the pandemic, Forensic Architecture undertook a process of transformation. Rather than growing to meet the intensity of the challenges they faced, the agency instead decided to morph into an interlinking structure of smaller, situated, activist groups located in different parts of the world and working in solidarity with local political actors. This lecture will present some recent cases undertaken by these groups. Coincidentally, they had all to deal with doors: open when they needed to be closed, locked when they needed to be unlocked. These doors stand for the collapse of the social order which they promised to maintain.

Eyal Weizman is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures and founding director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2010 he founded Forensic Architecture (FA) and has directed it ever since. FA is an interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in spatial and visual investigation.

Supported by CHRA, HRP, CCS, EH, MES

PRODUCTORA & LIGA DF

Architecture belongs to everything

Lecture

PRODUCTORA is a Mexico City based architectural studio founded by Abel Perles (1972, Argentina), Carlos Bedoya (1973, Mexico), Victor Jaime (1978, Mexico) and Wonne Ickx (1974, Belgium). In 2011 PRODUCTORA founded, alongside curator and art critic Ruth Estevez, LIGA - Space for Architecture - Mexico City, a platform that promotes emerging Latin-American architecture through exhibitions, conferences and workshops.

image: Photograph by Rory Gardiner, 2017

Future Commons

Photograph of a mountainous desert landscape cut by a border fence with new settlements on the left

Nora Akawi

The So-Called Border

Lecture

Nora Akawi is a Palestinian architect, and an assistant professor at The Cooper Union, New York. She focuses on erasure and bordering in settler colonialism and works at the intersection of architecture with border studies, cartography, and archive theory. Prior to joining The Cooper Union, Nora taught at Columbia University’s GSAPP, where she was the director of Studio-X Amman between 2012 and 2020, and the founding director of the Janet Abu-Lughod Library and Seminar since 2015. She curated Al Majhoola Min Al-Ard (this earth’s unknown) at the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans (2019), and co-curated Sarāb, a festival of experimental electronic music and performance from the Arab worlds (2019), and Friday Sermon at the Biennale Architettura in Venice (2018). She co-edited the books Friday Sermon (2018) and Architecture and Representation: The Arab City (2016). Together with Eduardo Rega Calvo, in 2019 she co-founded the interdisciplinary research and design studio Interim Projects.
Nora will present this work in dialogue with Pedro Ceñal Murga.

image: Photo by Daniel Ruiz, 2018

Future Commons

Pedro Ceñal Murga

The Distributed Vertical Border

Lecture

Pedro Ceñal Murga (born October 17, 1988) is an independent curator, architect and researcher based in Mexico City. He holds a degree in Architecture by the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a masters degree in Critical, Conceptual, and Curatorial Practices in Architecture by Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. His work has been published in Domus Magazine (IT), Arquine (MX), Harper’s Bazaar (MX) and Bitácora (MX), and exhibited un MUCA Campus (Mexico City), Instituto Helénico (Mexico City), Gopher Hole Gallery (London), ZOMA Art Center (Addis Abeba), Espacio CDMX, Royal Institute of British Architects (London), Kunstraum Kreuzberg (Berlin), laNao (Mexico City), and Museo de la Filatelia (Oaxaca, Mexico).

Pedro will present this work in dialogue with Nora Akawi.

image: The Distributed Vertical Border, Pedro Ceñal Murga

future commons

Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb

Where Was 9/11?

Lecture

Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto, where she teaches postcolonial literature and theory and poetry. She holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and has taught at Bard, Williams College, City College New York, and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.
​Her academic research explores how science, medicine, natural history, and other kinds of colonial knowing reshaped literature, culture, economy, and politics. Her first book, Epidemic Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2021, Deutscher Prize nominee) uncovers the history behind the dead metaphor of the "terrorism epidemic," by looking at documents of public health, policy, immigration law, novels, poems, films, and more.

Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in various venues and are in conversation with the traditions of Urdu poetry, contemporary queer poetics, and lyric memoir. Her poetry collection Janaab-e Shikva [Watchqueen] was a finalist for the national poetry series in 2021.

image: Landsat 7 - NASA Goddard Office of Public Affairs

Contagious- ness: SUPPORTED BY CHRA, EH & EUS.

Michael Wang

Techno Nature

Lecture

Michael Wang is an artist based in New York. His practice uses systems that operate at a global scale as media for art, addressing climate change, species distribution, resource allocation and the global economy. Wang's work was the subject of solo exhibitions at LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island, New York, USA (curated by Swiss Institute, 2019) and the Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2017). His work has also been included in the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2021), Manifesta 12 in Palermo, Italy (2018) and the XX Bienal de Arquitectura y Urbanismo in Valparaíso, Chile (2017). In 2017, he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant.

image: Hypericum Densiflorum, 2019. Process documentation from 'Extinct' in New York. M. Wang

Contagious- ness: SUPPORTED BY CHRA, EH & EUS.

Andrea Bagnato

On (not) Staying at Home

Lecture

Andrea Bagnato has been researching architecture, ecology, and epidemiology since 2013, under the long-term project Terra Infecta. Among the project's outcomes are a book on infected landscapes in Mediterranean Italy (with Anna Positano; forthcoming by Humboldt Books), the book A Moving Border: Alpine Cartographies of Climate Change (with Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual; Columbia/ZKM, 2019), as well as lectures and an essay series. Andrea has been teaching on these subjects at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and at the Architectural Association in London. As a book editor, he worked for the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, Forensic Architecture, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. With Adrian Lahoud, he co-edited the two volumes Rights of Future Generations (Hatje Cantz, 2019–2022). 

image: Man in a mosquito net, 1930, Wellcome Collection

Contagious- ness: SUPPORTED BY CHRA, EH & EUS.

sepia-toned stop-motion image of a white man in a wheelchair being pulled up stairs by a white woman

Bess Williamson

Accessible Commons: Disability, Care, and Design in Public and at Home

Lecture

Bess Williamson is a historian of design and material culture with a particular interest in social and political concerns in design, including environmental, labor, justice, and rights issues as they shape and are shaped by spaces and things. Her book, Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design, traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times. This project shows how the concept of “access” emerged as a value in design in this period, with consequences for the everyday lives of disabled people as well as for discourses around civil rights and design’s role in society. She is co-editor of Making Disability Modern: Design Histories, a collection of case studies of objects, buildings, and systems that reflect changing design approaches to disability from the 18th century to the present. She also contributed to a special section on digital culture in the book with a study of 3-D printed prosthetics in fashion and humanitarian design.

image: Ronald Mace, from Handbook of the Handicapped Section of the NC State Building Code, 1974

Future Commons

WAI Architecture Think Tank

A Great Loudreading is in the Making. But No One has Noticed.

Lecture

WAI Architecture Think Tank is a planetary studio practicing by questioning the political, historical, and material legacy and imperatives of architecture and urbanism through a panoramic and critical approach. Founded in Brussels during the financial crisis of 2008 by Puerto Rican architect, artist, curator, educator, author and theorist Cruz Garcia and French architect, artist, curator, educator, author and poet, Nathalie Frankowski, WAI is one of their several platforms of public engagement that include Beijing-based anti-profit art space Intelligentsia Gallery, and the free and alternative education platform and trade-school Loudreaders. In search of critical forms of architectural pedagogy, Garcia and Frankowski are deeply invested in the development of new curricula and pedagogical experiments searching for diverse forms of public engagement with architecture, as well as a decolonization and anti-racist reconstruction of the role of architecture in the construction of new worlds.

image: WAI Architecture Think Tank, The Floating Stage

Bard Architecture

Struggle
Rupture
Joy

Public Lecture Series

2020–2021

Struggle/Rupture/Joy describes the collisions, unraveling and ungrounding we are living through today. The convergent struggles expose as much the structural violence and injustices that brought us to the present as they open new forms of solidarity, communal care and revolutionary love. Rupture, the tenacious performance of living otherwise amidst the terror of a world collapsing; joy, a collective poetics, a charged glimmer that breaks through the violence of everyday oppression—the realization that nothing has to be the way it is.

These notions are a reminder that the future is not a temporal condition but a social and environmental modality of living otherwise. As the inaugural speaker series of Architecture at Bard, Struggle/Rupture/Joy foregrounds work that points to what architecture can be, as opposed to what it has been. It aims to open a space for both accountability for the historically situated struggles of our present and a set of emancipatory tools needed to live collectively otherwise.

Bard College Campus

Cohabitation Strategies / Urban Front

How to Begin Again: Urgent Propositions for a New Urban Practice

Lecture

How to Begin Again: Urgent Propositions for a New Urban Practice Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra) is a non-profit cooperative for socio-spatial research, design and development based in New York City, Rotterdam and Ibiza. CohStra was founded in the city of Rotterdam –right after the 2008 financial crash– by Lucia Babina, Emiliano Gandolfi, Gabriela Rendón and Miguel Robles-Durán. Since then, CohStra has initiated operation centers in various cities across Europe, South and North America. Its action research endeavors to facilitate transformative and progressive urban intervention projects. This is undertaken through the active engagement with a range of locally embedded actors from governments, municipalities, cultural institutions, non-profit organizations and civic groups to researchers, artists, designers and independent activists that coalesce around the desire for social, spatial and environmental justice – in short, the Right to the City.

ARCH 321: Housing and Collective Care: Constituencies

An Atlas for Housing Justice

Student Exhibition

An Atlas for Housing Justice aims to compose a structural and historical portrait of the history of public housing in the US. The exhibition represents a collective research project—an ‘atlas’—that gathers together social, political, spatial and architectural knowledge with an eye to read parallel relations and associations across various historical strands—housing-based social movements, architectural precedents, housing and governmental policies, major political uprisings and grassroots organizations, popular cultural depictions of housing and the less visible systemic forms of violence. The aim of this is to open different ways by which architecture can meaningfully engage the larger movement for housing justice.

The exhibition is the culmination of collective research work done by students enrolled in the architecture studio-seminar ARCH 321—Housing and Collective Care: Constituencies. Student participants are: Spencer Checkoway, Aidan Galloway, Matthew Gershovich, Ali Kane, Natalie Montoya, Hana Soule, Blake Sylvester and Raif Wexler.

C. Malterre-Barthes with D. Sekulić & K. De Klerk

Parity Front:
Activism in Design Institutions

Lecture

Parity Front: Activism in Design Institutions
Charlotte Malterre-Barthes is Assistant Professor of Urban Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Principal of the urban design agency OMNIBUS, she holds a PhD from ETHZ on the effects of the political economy of commodities on the built environment. She is a founding member of the Parity Group and of the Parity Front.

Dubravka Sekulić (Royal College of Art) is an architect and educator, interested in unsettling epistemic frameworks of spatial education and how the interplay between politics and economy produces space and subjectivity. With Charlotte Malterre-Barthes she initiated Curriculum Revolution: Bringing Intersectionality to the Architecture School.

Khensani de Klerk is an architectural designer and planner from Johannesburg. Her efforts are centred on gender empowerment in the architectural industry through research and practice. She is the founder and co-director of Matri-Archi(tecture) which is a collective that empowers African women as a network dedicated to African spatial education and development.

Adrian Lahoud

Signs and Transmissions:
Architecture and Intergenerational Rights

Lecture

Signs and Transmissions: Architecture and Intergenerational Rights
Adrian is Dean of the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Prior to his current role at the RCA, he was director of the MA program at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths and a research fellow in the Forensic Architecture ERC-funded project; studio master in the Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the Architectural Association; and director of the MArch Urban Design at the Bartlett, University College London.

This lecture presents Adrian’s recent work curating the first Sharjah Triennale of Architecture, ‘The Rights of Future Generations’, 2019 - 2020. Building on his work to date, the constellation of projects and interventions that the Triennale presented open questions that look to new ways of understanding futurity in relation to the many crises, as well as the many uprisings, that are shaping our present.

image: Talie Eigeland

Taller Comunal

Participation as a Human Right:
The Politics of Housing Production

Lecture

Participation as a Human Right: The Politics of Housing Production
COMUNAL was founded in 2015 in Mexico City by Mariana Ordóñez Grajales and Jesica Amescua Carrera. As a team made up of women, they are committed to facilitating the participation of adult women, young people and girls in all aspects of spatial production while always respecting their cultural contexts.

image: Taller Comunal / Jake Naughton

LAIS|EUS|EH |OSUN

Neyran Turan

Architecture as Measure

Lecture

Architecture as Measure
Neyran Turan is an architect and a partner at NEMESTUDIO. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California-Berkeley. NEMESTUDIO is an award-winning studio recognized by the Architectural League New York, The Architects' Newspaper, Core 77 Design Awards, ACSA and the Graham Foundation. NEMESTUDIO’s work, ranging from installations to buildings and landscapes, has been widely published and exhibited internationally. Neyran's work focuses on alternative forms of environmental imagination and their capacity for new aesthetic and political trajectories within architecture and urbanism. She is the founding chief-editor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) journal New Geographies and was the editor-in-chief of its first two volumes. Her recently published book, Architecture as Measure (ACTAR Publishers, 2020), has been awarded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Turan is the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey in the 2021 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition.

image: ‘Middle Earth’, NEMESTUDIO, 2017

EUS|EH|OSUN

Jennifer Newsom

Basic Process

Lecture

Basic Process
Jennifer Newsom is a licensed architect, artist, and principal of Dream The Combine, based in Minneapolis, MN. Together with partner Tom Carruthers, she has produced numerous site-specific installations in the U.S. and Canada that explore metaphor, perceptual uncertainties, and the boundary between real and illusory space. Dream The Combine are winners of the 2018 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 for their installation Hide & Seek, and were recently named winners of the 2020-2021 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize. Dream The Combine has exhibited internationally and has been published widely, including Metropolis Magazine, Architect Magazine, Log, Architectural Record, The Architects Newspaper, and Dezeen. They are currently at work on upcoming installations in Minneapolis MN, Wilkinsburg PA, and Columbus IN.

In addition to Dream The Combine, Jennifer is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture.

image: Hide & Seek. Photo by Pablo Enriquez

Curriculum

Architecture at Bard builds its pedagogy around a concern for the present, an acute attention to structural inequalities and an urgency for other futures. The curriculum frames architecture as both an art form and an argument—a situated aesthetic spatial practice whose propositions aim to reconfigure our collective present toward more just worlds. The program builds across architectural cultures, design techniques, histories and propositions to equip students with an expansive and experimental approach toward the field that simultaneously opens paths for engaging other disciplines spatially. The program teaches students that architecture is a site for transformative, insurgent spatial and material possibilities with which to imagine worlds otherwise.

Course Types

The curriculum presents architecture as a historically situated and intellectually rigorous field in which the practice of design naturally intersects with and draws from discourses outside its traditionally conceived boundaries. Structurally, the curriculum is composed of four families of courses that build upon this conception:

DSS

Design
Studio
Seminars

are conceived as a hybrid studio model that situates the practice of creative design work within a broader, transdiscursive series of lectures, readings and discussions around a given question.

OPW

Open
Practices
Workshops

are intensive, 2-credit, one-month-long studio courses that invite emerging and renowned external practitioners and thinkers to expose students to a variety of contemporary practices and modes of architectural design.

ASP

Analytical
Spatial
Practices

introduce architectural practices and techniques within a socio-political field. They harness methods of design and representations of space as analytical tools to pose challenging environmental, social, and political questions.

DS

Discourses
on Space

position architecture as a way of understanding the world beyond and below the single building. These elective seminars and lecture courses share a scope that interrogates the production of space and questions the social, material, and historical structures that animate the ways in which we inhabit the world.

Sequence

The curriculum builds a pedagogical sequence that cuts across the four groups of courses aiming, on the one hand, to encourage common points of inquiry to develop across the curriculum and, on the other, to give disciplinary and methodological progression over the duration of the program.

Planetary
Practice

Recognizing issues like climate change brings to the fore the trans-scalar relations that directly tie buildings, bodies, cities and ecosystems together. In this context, the planetary lens shifts our view of architecture from the isolated object to the structurally situated and historically entangled design practice—an art form that necessarily cuts across and interrelates multiple scales, disciplines, bodies and actors.

Constituencies

Building on an inter-scalar understanding of architecture, the second phase in the sequence grounds architectural design and discourse in the spatial concerns of specific social groups, movements and struggles. It opens a critical framework by which to develop projects alongside various groups, organizations or actors that directly address issues such as spatial justice, housing rights, gentrification, spatial inequalities of gender and race.

Collective
Futures

The final phase of the sequence mobilizes the intellectual maturity, design skills and technical agility of the students to approach architecture as a site of open experimentation in building collective futures. This phase is the most methodologically open and intellectually challenging of the three. It aims to empower students to explore the capacity of design as a means to imagine realities of collective spatial life otherwise.

Requirements

The curriculum consists of 9 courses (30 credits total) and two terms of Senior Project. In Upper College students will be able to select between a focus on Critical Cultures of Architecture or Design Studio-Seminar. Example:

Amount of required courses Required course type's shortname Required course type's name
2x/3x ASP courses in Analytical Spatial Practices
3×/2× DSS courses in Design Studio-Seminars
DS courses in Discourses on Space
1x OPW Open Practices Workshop
Terms of Senior Project

Moderation Requirements

16 credits
The Architecture Program treats moderation as an opportunity for in-depth discussion with key faculty at a crucial point in students’ development; it is a moment of shared reflection and constructive speculation aimed at building toward a Senior Project. To moderate, students will be required to complete the courses listed below. In addition to these course requirements, in order to moderate, students must present the following:

  • the two essays required by the college reflecting on their trajectory and future intellectual development within architecture
  • a portfolio of work to date including at least one featured project.

*Note: Students may take both ARTH 125 and ARTH 126, but are ONLY REQUIRED TO TAKE ONE FOR MODERATION.

Required course's type Required course's name Credits Area
ARCH 111 Architecture as Media 4 ASP
ARTH 125* Modern Architecture in the Age of Colonialism 4* DS
ARTH 126* Situating Architecture 4* DS
ARCH 1-2XX Elective course on space 4 DS
ARCH 211 Architecture as Translation 4 ASP

Graduation Requirements

14 credits
After moderation, students will be required to complete 14 additional credits, for a total of 30 credits, as well as two terms of Senior Project. In their advanced courses, students will be able to focus their work on either design-based study or research-based projects, with a choice of taking either ARCH 322 or ARCH 311. Senior Projects will typically be done on an individual basis, but the program will host periodic student colloquia across each term to build shared knowledge and a collaborative ethos across the entire Program. The Senior Projects will be expected to exhibit their work in a collective annual Senior Show at the end of the academic year.

Required course's type Required course's name Credits Area
ARCH 221 Design Studio Seminar: Planetary 4 DSS
ARCH 321 Design Studio-Seminar: Constituencies 4 DSS
ARCH 311* Architecture as Research 4* ASP
ARCH 322* Design Studio-Seminar: Futures 4* DSS
ARCH 330 Open Practices Workshop 2 OPW
ARCH 405 Senior Project Colloquium 1 -
ARCH 405 Senior Project Colloquium 2 -

Courses

SPRING
2024
COURSES

an array of six white rooms each with different furniture and inhabited by a thin white man

Michael Robinson Cohen

Architecture as Media: Spatial Subjects

This studio-based course introduces students to architectural tools of communication while presenting architecture as a field that is expansive—a field that engages not only with technical knowledge, but also with the making of public imaginaries, personal environments, cultural spatial aesthetics, and even the contested ground of the political, economic and social. The course is simultaneously an introduction to the techniques of representation that define the discipline of architecture and an opportunity to explore and question how architecture mediates the world. Students will learn and practice techniques of contemporary digital drafting, diagramming, mapping, 3D modeling and compositional image-making. While the focus will be on an array of forms of architectural drawing, these techniques will be carefully positioned against a survey of paradigmatic moments and themes in the history of architecture that will help situate the practice today. Throughout the term, our design work will be supplemented by readings and periodic research work, and we will situate this against regular lectures that will introduce you to the broader culture of architecture. The course will provide a foundation of concepts and skills necessary to make architecture legible and to convey a spatial argument through design. No prerequisites.

image: Video stills from Solutions, by Absalon, 1992

Spring
2024

ARCH 111 MC
ASP (PA)

Jesse McCormick

Architecture as Media: Re-Tooling the Trade

In this introductory course, the ‘tools of the trade’ (plans, sections, digital drafting, perspectives, collages, physical and digital modeling and montage) will be entry points into deciphering the politics, practices and protocols that govern our built environment.

Seeking to proactively challenge certain assumptions of the field—that architecture is a practice based on production (of buildings, of assets, of products, of space, of culture, of drawings of images, of ideas…)—the aim of the course will be to reposition architecture as a method of seeing and reading space; a production of legibility. Through a series of explorations, students will learn the tools, techniques and media of spatial-visual communication used in the field of architecture while attempting to make new claims about its production and productivity, opening up new roles for architects in evolving social paradigms. Students will be asked to interrogate both lived space, representations of it, and existing precedents, as well as to engage with texts that will inform an evolving and consistent discussion throughout. No Pre-requisites.

image: Rachel Whiteread, House, at 193 Grove Road, London E3, 1993

Spring
2024

ARCH 111 JM
ASP (PA)

Olga Touloumi

Modern Architecture in the Age of Colonialism

This course examines the history of modern architecture, examining the debates, theories, and practices that informed its many facets from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. We will be discussing the production of the built environment within the context of colonialism, focusing on the infrastructures, institutions, and building types that emerged in response to industrialization, social revolutions, and epistemic shifts. The industrialization of production, new technologies, material, and institutions, as well as growing urban cultures and changing social structures called for architects and designers to partake in the process of modernization. The course will pay particular attention to the ways in which architects responded to and participated in formal and aesthetic developments, as well as epistemic and cultural shifts that marked modernity, such as the enlightenment, Darwinism, positivism, and the rise of psychology. Covering many aspects of architecture, from buildings, drawings, exhibitions, and schools, to historical and theoretical writings and manifestos, we will investigate the wide range of modernist practices, polemics and institutions. The aim of the course is to provide a solid historical framework of the debates and practices that made architecture modern, while engaging the students in a critical discussion of the role of architecture in the production of the built environment and the forces that shape it. The course includes field trips, readings, and short assignments. AHVC distribution: Modern.

Spring
2024

ARTH 125
DS (AA)

Betsy Clifton

Architecture as Translation: At Scale

Architectural models are a unique medium, a visual language that references the built world through scale and abstraction. As physical objects, they represent futures (proposals), histories (sites and contexts), and current conditions (material resources, shifting societal demands), often slipping between these temporalities. Learning how to make models is as important as learning to read what they tell us about the world. In this elective design studio, students will make an architectural model as a continuous practice, utilizing a spectrum of physical and digital fabrication methods such as woodworking, casting, digital modeling, and laser cutting. In making architectural models, we will question how societal models (such as domestic routines, building regulations, political cycles, and environmental systems) can be represented in physical form. We will ask how this form of architectural translation can complicate latent biases within the built environment, making visible otherwise invisible networks of power. Prerequisites: ARCH111 or permission of professor.

Spring
2024

ARCH 211
ASP (PA)

perspective engraving of Savannah, GA. River in fore, city plots appear amidst cleared forest

Ross Exo Adams

Urbanization and Climate Change: A Counter-History

What is urbanization and how does it relate to climate change? The link between the two locates one of the most pressing issues the world faces. Yet despite the world-historic importance of both climate change and the unprecedented pace of urbanization seen around the planet today, we tend to narrate each as matters of the immediate present, processes without histories. As a result, climate-conscious urban development often appears as a palette of isolated and costly ‘solutions’ for the effects of the climate crisis that tend to exacerbate class, racial and gendered inequalities, while doing little to slow climate change. Treating history as a source for hope in the face of despair, this course will argue that neither climate change nor urbanization is inevitable. Engaging scholarly literature, magazine articles, films and media, we will develop a counter-history that sees urbanization and climate change as historically co-constituted processes, whose roots can be traced to the spaces and experiences of Europe’s colonial ventures and the subsequent rise of world capitalism. This course will be lecture-seminar hybrid and will meet twice a week. Students will have weekly reading assignments and the course will culminate in a project of creative fictional writing.

image: A View of Savannah, engraving, 1734, P. Gordon

Spring
2024

ARCH 213
DS (MBV)

Stephanie Lee

Planetary Studio: Radical Ruralism

How can we approach architecture beyond form-based explorations, but as a mode to re-imagine current sociopolitical, institutional, and territorial entanglements? This design studio seminar explores architecture as a network of situated relationships between built and non-built environments. Focusing on the colonial construction of rural imaginaries, students will pull apart and realign existing agricultural food systems at various scales. We will question the destructive and extractive processes of industrial agriculture, globalization and late capitalism by suggesting a para-fictional alternative: a land practice of resistance, regeneration, and mutual care based on the network of radical farms in the Hudson Valley. For the final project, students will produce a series of speculative projection drawings that read as one collective canvas with multiple scales, perspectives, and realities. This class is part of the Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck Initiative. Prerequisite: ARCH 111.

Spring
2024

ARCH 221
DSS (PA)

Olga Touloumi

The Spatial Politics of Human Rights

During the twentieth century there was an international effort to set in place a global human rights system. International institutions and civic organizations invited architects, planners, illustrators and designers to participate in this new system of human rights in diagnostic operations, surveys, but also in practical ways on the ground. This course will investigate how architecture and human rights intersected during those efforts to establish a larger system of human rights, as well as the spatial politics that these intersections produced and enabled. Students will engage in the study of the discourse on human settlements, the ideologies of development, architectures of humanitarian aid, population exchanges and legal frameworks, border building and peacekeeping operations, but also structures of solidarity, networks of nonalignment, and critiques of the concept of human rights and their implied anthropocentrism vis-à-vis calls for climate commons and care infrastructures. We will be reading Samuel Moyn, Eyal Weisman, David Crowe, Felicity Scott, Nancy Fraser, Hannah Arendt, Andrew Herscher, Chantal Mouffe, Quinn Slobodian, among others. The course requires readings, short forum assignments, and a final research paper. (Human Rights Core Course)

Spring
2024

ARTH 274
DS (AA)

Ivan Lopez Munuera

Architecture as Research: More-than-Human Architecture

In the contemporary world, the concept of the human being has transcended traditional boundaries. In the face of the climate crisis, and with the challenges made by non-normative knowledge structures, our bodies are increasingly understood as intricate ecosystems, composed of bacteria, fungi, viruses, microplastics, prosthetics, chemical regimes, and myriad other components. However, prevailing historical and theoretical narratives in architecture have remained predominantly anthropocentric, placing autonomous and zipped-up human beings at the core of their discourse. This course offers an exploration of the complex interplay between non-human and human designs within contemporary global contexts, delving into historical examples and new imaginations. Emphasis is placed on the incorporation of what is traditionally termed "nature" into design processes, as well as the roles that the evolution of animal, vegetal, and mineral have played in design. Additionally, we will investigate non-human forms of intelligence and healing, ceremonial and repair practices in architecture, challenging the notion that design must solely serve human needs. We will work collectively in the production of an exhibition on Non-Human Architecture, and a publication that will accompany this show.

Spring
2024

ARCH 311
ASP (PA)

a photo of a stack of multi colored wooden boards and pvc pipes in a white gallery space

Betsy Clifton

Future Tense: The Architectural Exhibition

Architectural exhibitions are places that take stock of a field in constant movement; a site in which global shifts and debates intersect, bringing into view consequences and openings for a future under construction. In this course we will mine the medium of the architectural exhibition to ask: How can an archive be used to revise an established canon? How can the curation of an exhibition unsettle what has become commonplace? How do we situate present practice against an uncertain future? We will discuss the ways in which architecture is produced and reproduced within the space of an exhibition, as well as how the exhibition, as a contested space, can create openings for renewed understandings of culture and politics beyond architecture. This course will culminate in a public exhibition featuring the architectural model as a central medium to re-present contemporary and historical ideas against one another. By critically surveying contemporary practice, students will employ a range of representational techniques to enunciate questions for possible shared futures that escape the gravity of dominant cultural imaginaries. Moderation is a prerequisite.

image: "Open for Maintenance". Venice Biennale '23, Summacumfemmer & Büro Juliane Greb

Spring
2024

ARCH 322
DSS (PA)

Pencil drawing of a birds-eye view of Harlem, containing 15 imagined towers to house 250,000 people

Peter L'Official

Race and Real Estate

This seminar explores how race and racism are constructed with spatial means, and how, in turn, space can be shaped by racism. Our tools to investigate these constructions will be literary (novels, essays, poetry), theoretical (urban and architectural theory & criticism), historical (art history, urban history), and cultural (film and music). Of these works, we will ask: how have contemporary works of literature, film, architecture, and visual art captured and critiqued the built environment, and offered alternative understandings of space and place, home and work, citizenship and property? How are our spaces and structures imagined and coded in terms of proximity to whiteness and Blackness, class, gender, and ability, and how have we learned to read and internalize such codes? We will consider particular built forms, from shotgun houses to skyscrapers, and from ethnic enclaves to cities writ large. Authors and artists may include: Colson Whitehead, bell hooks, Spike Lee, June Jordan, Mat Johnson, Paule Marshall, Chester Himes, Lorraine Hansberry, W.E.B. Du Bois, Toni Morrison. This course is a junior seminar and fulfills the American and Indigenous Studies junior seminar requirement, and the Architecture Program's "Discourses on Space" elective requirement. This course is also part of the "Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck" Initiative.

image: June Jordan and Richard Buckminster Fuller, "Skyrise for Harlem"

Spring
2024

LIT 328
DS (SA)

A ghostly diorama model of victorian architecture bathed in pink light

Paula Vilaplana

OPEN
PRACTICES
WORKSHOP:
Ghosts of Future Pasts

This 1-month-long, 2-credit design workshop examines past, present, and future architectural remains of the Hudson Valley in search of new tomorrows. What architectural futures that may have faltered in the past do we keep reanimating and reimagining today? Drawing from theories of hauntology and critical spectrality, this studio scrutinizes the architectural landscapes of the Hudson Valley from a non-linear perspective. Haunting, viewed as a productive linkage between past/future, territories/actors, human/environment, memory/place, serves as a guiding principle. It allows us to connect architecture with subaltern postcolonial histories, myths, and ruins, creating a rich and layered understanding of these spaces.

In groups of 2-3, students will take on the role of architectural time-travelers, collapsing different temporalities onto a specific site. We will utilize various technologies and skills to produce analytical drawings, prototypes, and construct a final structure through digital fabrication, all while experimenting with visual storytelling and video-morphing techniques. The final presentation will encompass a collective multimedia installation showcasing the student’s explorations and interpretations.

Students must be moderated in Architecture to take this course. Please note: as an intensive course this class will meet once a week for 6-hr sessions with a lunch break in between.

image: Haunted Real Estate, A Feminist Revisitation of Victorian Landscapes, P. Vilaplana, 2019

Spring
2024

ARCH 330
OPW (PA)

FALL
2023
COURSES

Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee

Architecture as Media:
How to Build a Ruin

This studio course will introduce students to the language of architectural representation by framing the field of architecture as an everchanging process of social imagination and spatial deterioration. We will aim to understand design practice as an inherent mediation between changes in natural and cultural forces on buildings and environments. Engaging with ideas of decay, disrepair, and decrepitude, we will create fictional histories of dying industries situated in rural and suburban environments such as malls, farms, bank branches, and gas stations. Researching the legacies of capitalism and socio-economic crises, students will utilize techniques of contemporary digital drafting, diagramming, physical modeling, and compositional image-making to explore regenerative design processes and the emergence of new spatial possibilities for rural “ruins”. No prerequisites.

image: Rachel Whiteread, Demolished, 1996

Fall
2023

ARCH 111 SL
ASP (PA)

composite image: photograph of a swamp landscape overlaid with diagrams of native animal species

Thena Tak

Architecture as Media:
After the
Object

This introductory studio course to architecture foregrounds the discipline as a practice of entanglements. Rather than privileging object-based thinking, the course considers architecture through a more alchemic approach: one that focuses on relationships, transformations, and ritual-making. The emphasis on relational-architecture, as opposed to object-architecture, will be explored through precedent analysis, critique, and transformation. The detrimental consequences of dominant western colonial tendencies to fragment, singularize, and flatten complex planetary stories and entanglements will be challenged through the examination of representation as a verbal, visual, and sonic language. Students will be asked to investigate these spatial relationships through representations that focus on illustrating time with basic animation techniques using digital softwares including Rhino, Illustrator, and Photoshop. No prerequisites. All spaces are reserved for incoming first year students. Registration for this class will take place in August.

image: collage from Petrochemical America, by Richard Misrach and Kate Orff

Fall
2023

ARCH 111 TT
ASP (PA)

Betsy Clifton

Architecture
as Media:
Redesigning
Architectural
Rituals

This studio course is an introduction to architecture through a close examination of the societal norms and rituals embedded in ordinary spaces. How do these spaces breed indifference, passivity and alienation? How might they afford moments of repose, performance or joy? What potentials do these spaces hold for collective, creative revolutionary transformation? Students in this course will closely examine how routines of everyday life, both public and domestic, are spatialized in architecture. We will unpack and revise our common understandings of places we use habitually; gas stations, ATM vestibules, waiting rooms, awnings, bus stops, janitor closets, among many others. Using (and misusing) architectural representational methods, such as digital drafting, conceptual analysis, physical models, and experimental image-making, as well as readings and discussions on contemporary theorists and practitioners, students will propose new spatial strategies that suggest alternative everyday rituals. We will treat our design material as propaganda. As such, we will compile our work in the form of a graphic manual that at once looks to unsettle the relation between space and ritual, while at the same reimagining them. No prerequisites.

Fall
2023

ARCH 111 BC
ASP (PA)

Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee

Post-Eden: Conflicts, Coloniality and Plants

How might botanical worlds carry notions of extractive economies, settler colonialism and legacies of racial capitalism? This elective design studio seminar will focus on the interconnectedness of property, plants and bodies from the past to present. While understanding the role of architecture and landscape in agri-capitalism, we will expose matters of resiliency, reform and recovery through case studies such as the Yedikule Gardens, Victory gardens, the Millennium Seed Bank, Crystal Palace, Orangeries, biopiracy and others. Focusing on the role of “floor plans” as an architectural device, we will situate these complex entanglements by collaborating on a toolkit of care for humans, land and everything in between. For the second half of the studio, we will work with the Bard Horticulture and Arboretum Department to design a land-based intervention for the campus. Students will have weekly assignments, and learn techniques of digital drafting, model making, compositional image-making through Adobe Creative Programs and Rhino 3D. No prerequisites.

image: Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II in the Crystal Palace, P.H. Delamotte, ca 1859.

Fall
2023

ARCH 214 SL
DSS (PA, D+J)

Olga Touloumi

Situating Architecture: Modernisms

This course offers a survey of modern architecture through architectural and urban design practices and theories. As a survey the course covers major 20th century architectural movements, such as brutalism, functionalism, megastructures, corporate architecture, phenomenology, postmodernism, and deconstruction. At the same time, the course interrogates the social and political function of the built environment, addressing social housing, third-world development, and urbanism. Major figures discussed include Henry Van de Velde, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Alison and Peter Smithson, Eero Saarinen, Yona Friedman, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Aldo Rossi, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman. Assignments include visual analysis projects, a final paper, and a midterm and final exam. AHVC distribution: Modern/Europe/America

Fall
2023

ARTH 126
DS (AA)

cartoon of a city with 5 looming towers. in front are 2 captions

Michael Cohen

Designing The Potential History of a Pathmark and One Manhattan Square

One Manhattan Square is the massive glass luxury tower that looms over the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. The building is a harrowing symbol of real-estate power and despite the fact that many of its market-rate units remain uninhabited, four additional towers are under construction on the same block. A Pathmark grocery store formerly occupied the site where One Manhattan Square now stands. Despite being a chain store, the Pathmark was an important source of affordable fresh food and was particularly valuable resource for the elderly population in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Demolition of the grocery was therefore vehemently protested. In this studio course, students will imagine an alternative history, where the erasure of this critical community site never took place and the land in the area remained protected from profit-drive development. Design proposals will be developed within the context of the Chinatown Working Group Plan a community written zoning plan that aims to curb displacement in downtown Manhattan. The intent of the studio is to assert architecture’s capacity to intervene on behalf of a constituency and act as an activist practice.

image: illustration courtesy of Artists Against Displacement

FALL
2023

ARCH 321
DDS (PA)

SPRING
2023
COURSES

Thena Tak

Fossil Invitations: rethinking architectural site analysis through deep time

Site analysis in architecture has become a rather routine practice, perhaps even performative. Given that architecture is a practice very much entangled with place, how might we expand our anthropocentric conventions of how a ‘site’ is considered and represented? How do we form invitations to a place that engage its deep time? How do we greet its varied, and continuously forming biographies? And can 'site analysis' even be approached as a deeper form of land acknowledgement? In this 5 week-long, intensive workshop, students will be asked to rethink ‘site analysis’ through the design and making of plaster core samples that reflect an expanded understanding of place - where trees, soil, and fossils are acknowledged as both witnesses and makers of memory, mineral, and myth. Each core sample becomes a vessel of specific temporal, material, and spatial meditations of a given place. From the making of these, students will then draw and represent their core samples digitally using Rhino and Adobe Suite software. No prerequisites. This intensive workshop will run only during the first 5 weeks of the term.

Spring
2023

ARCH 130 TT
OPW (PA)

Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee

Para-fictional Design Investigations: Hard Labor, Soft Space

How can we approach architecture beyond form-based explorations, but as a mode of reimagining current sociopolitical, institutional, and territorial entanglements? This design studio seminar explores architecture as a network of situated relationships between built and non-built environments. We will practice design research from a planetary dimension by zooming in, pulling apart, and realigning various forms of rural, agricultural, and food systems. Through the appropriation of fact and fiction, and by using speculative drawings, modeling and experimental mapping, students will explore the Hudson Valley region as a site of 'radical ruralism'. We will question the destructive and extractive processes of industrial agriculture, globalization and late capitalism, by carefully suggesting a parafictional alternative: a land practice of resistance, regeneration, and mutual care. Operating as a collaborative studio-seminar, we will produce a series of drawings that reads as one collective canvas with multiple scales, perspectives, and realities. In addition to design workshops, we will discuss readings from Monica White, Dolores Hayden, bell hooks, Adrienne Brown, Lydia Kallipoliti, Jenny Odell, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Leah Penniman, Saidiya Hartman and Kathryn Yusoff – among others. Prerequisites: ARCH 111 or professor’s permission.

Spring
2023

ARCH 221 SL
DSS (PA)

Betsy Clifton

At scale: Architectural Models

Architectural models are a unique medium, a visual language that references the built world through scale and abstraction. As physical objects, they represent futures (proposals), histories (sites and contexts), and current conditions (material resources, shifting societal demands), often slipping between these temporalities. Learning how to make models is as important as learning to read what they tell us about the world. In this elective design studio, students will make an architectural model as a continuous practice, utilizing a spectrum of physical and digital fabrication methods such as woodworking, casting, digital modeling, and laser cutting. In making architectural models, we will question how societal models (such as domestic routines, building regulations, political cycles, and environmental systems) can be represented in physical form. We will ask how this form of architectural translation can complicate latent biases within the built environment, making visible otherwise invisible networks of power. Prerequisite: ARCH 111.

Spring
2023

ARCH 225
ASP (PA)

Micahel Cohen

Designing Potential Histories of ‘El Bohio’ off Anarchy Row

This course asks students to engage the history of an activist community organization as a scaffold for advancing alternative practices of architectural design. Between 1978 to 2001, the collective CHARAS organized educational, arts, and social programming that primarily served the growing Puerto Rican community in what was known as Loisaida. Occupying several spaces on 9th street, the group operated out of the vacated Public School 64 building which they renamed “El Bohio,” or the hut. Today, PS 64 sits vacant and is directly adjacent to “Anarchy Row,” an encampment of unhoused people that has resisted multiple efforts to clear the settlement. In support of this unhoused population and the broader community of the East Village, students will imagine the adaptive reuse of the vacant school building and the appropriation of other sites on the block. Student’s will develop their design proposals through a reading of the multiple histories of the site and the adjacent context, with a particular focus on the CHARAS. Informed by Ariella Azoulay’s theory of “potential history,” we will construct narratives that imagine futures for communities outside frameworks of domination. Critical texts related to participatory design will be read and our deliverables will double as representational devices and advocacy tools. A field trip will be made to New York City, where we will visit the site, observe materials in the archive of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space and possibly meet former members of CHARAS. Prerequisites: ARCH 111 or professor’s permission.

Spring
2023

ARCH 321 MC
DDS (PA)

Ivan Lopez Munuera

Gender Architecture: Embodying Gatherings

Gatherings have been an essential tool of political activism and for the discussion of gender. The spaces in which these gatherings are taking part are entanglements of bodies, infrastructures, ecosystems, cultural norms, and regulations. From the domestic realm to public restrooms, from social media to parliaments, gender and space are contested notions that are shaped by and, in turn, shape the ways bodies and communities come together. In all these cases, gatherings have been the focus of forms of resistance, achieving general visibility and representation, creating an overall spatial entanglement that has helped redefine gender. This course will explore the spatial and bodily practices of contemporary gatherings drawing on architectural and artistic theories since the 1960s in conversation with an intersectional view (from feminism to eco-queer, and trans theory). An inquiry into how spaces, technologies, bodies, and their interactions create alternative forms of political action and representation will shift the category of gender far from binary positions. At the same time, the course will explore the environmental, social, and economic implications of these infrastructures pushing for an intersectional queer ecology, with special attention to the material impact of the digital world on a global scale. Case studies within the course include: the domestic realm; hospitals; nightclubs; restrooms, saunas, bathhouses; public spaces and demonstrations; parliaments and borders; social media and video games; universities; exhibitions and museums.

Spring
2023

ARCH 324/HR 576
DS (AA)

Olga Touloumi

Minor Figures: Architecture and Biography

What can we learn about the built environment and its politics from someone’s biography? What kind of evidence and stories lie within the personal? Building on Saidiya Hartman’s experiments with speculative histories for “minor figures”, this course foregrounds intersectional and feminist methodologies in the study of women’s lives and their role in architecture. We will use the life of Afro-French architect Christine Benglia (1936-2020) as a lens to examine the role that biography and personal narratives can play in recovering marginalized voices and positionalities in the production of space. Students will engage in work with primary sources – Benglia’s personal papers, oral history records, correspondence, sketches – in order to uncover the perspective of a black, middle-class woman from France learning, teaching, and working as an architect in the United States during the post-World War II period. The goal will be to extrapolate the larger framework and questions around gender, race, and class that shaped postwar American architecture and art from Benglia’s personal and intimate world of objects and words. To help us in this exploration, we will be using as our lens theoretical texts by Angela Davis, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Michel Foucault, Saidiya Hartman, Gloria Anzaldúa, among others. The course will culminate in the collaborative design of a website and an exhibition, involving also independent research and writing. Art History and Visual Culture Requirements: Modern, Americas.

Spring
2023

ARTH 304
ES (AA)