Posts tagged with "Mimi Zeiger":

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Mimi Zeiger, Ann Lui, and Niall Atkinson to curate 2018 U.S. Pavilion

The co-commissioners of the United States pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale are the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the University of Chicago. They jointly announced today that the theme of their exhibition will be "Dimensions of Citizenship." It will be co-curated by Niall Atkinson, the University of Chicago; Ann Lui, of SAIC; and Los Angeles–based critic and curator Mimi Zeiger. The goal—the commissioners say—is "to present the United States as a site for critical research and practice in architecture. They claim that it is at the intersection of old and new forms of community engagement, political action, and public policy. Globalization, digital technology, and geopolitical transformations are continuing to challenge conventional notions of citizenship across scales." Zeiger told AN that the curators are currently collecting a robust group of practitioners to explore the theme of citizenship and they will be announced at the end of September. "We are interested in citizenship on a variety of levels from the personal to the national to the cosmos," Zeiger said. "Given the current political climate, we are interested in establishing a polemic that is larger than any particular administration.” The exhibition in Venice opens on May 26 and runs through November 25, 2018.
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Enough Buildings: the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

“City-ness” is at the heart of the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, which kicked off last Friday in Shenzhen, China. Titled Re-Living the City and curated by Aaron Betsky, Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner, and Doreen Heng Liu the event brought together architects, designers, urbanists, and makers on the site of the former Dacheng Flour Factory not far from Shekou Port.

Opening night culminated with giant animated graphics projected on the factory’s abandoned concrete silos, a dramatic light show that reflected the organizers and curators ambitious attempt to rethink how China, and especially still-booming Shenzhen, approaches continued urbanization. The industrial port area is primed for redevelopment and the biennial activities and adaptive reuse of the main five-story concrete building and adjacent structures seem poised to remake this part of the city into a hub a cultural activity based on tactical and informal urbanisms.

The curators divided the biennale into subthemes: Collage City 3D, PRD 2.0, Radical Urbanism, Social City, and Maker Maker, which are distributed across the site. The third floor of the former flour factory is dedicated to thematic and national pavilions. (It’s here that I co-curated with Tim Durfee an exhibition on behalf of Art Center’s Media Design Practices Program entitled Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City.)

While each thematic category manifests through distinctly different projects—Collage City for example featured Hood Design’s Symbiotic Village installation of hanging fish bowls, while Radical Urbanism presented a mural-like illustration from Interboro Partners’ Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion: The Battle for the Beach—there’s a shared emphasis on bottom-up urbanism, hands-on techniques, and citizen agency.

Or, as Betsky is quoted as saying in the catalog: “enough buildings, enough objects, enough images.”

His statement is certainly a provocation given Shenzhen’s skyline—at night the architectural products of the last 20 years are ablaze with LED light shows, screens, and advertisements. The curators ground their explorations in the here and now, emphasizing how the present offers future lessons for a “re-lived” urbanism. But given the recent Chinese edict “No more weird buildings,” one has to wonder if “enough” is enough to carry the next decades. Will the absence of formal agenda lead to a vacuum filled with banal buildings or instead offer space for these types of urbanisms to authentically emerge on their own?

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AN West Editor Mimi Zeiger wins Landscape Architecture Magazine’s Williams Medal

Landscape Architecture Magazine has given its annual Williams Medal to AN West Editor Mimi Zeiger for her article "Fresno v. Eckbo." Featured in LAM's December 2014 issue, Zeiger's piece centers on a redevelopment proposal for the Garrett Eckbo–designed Fulton Mall in downtown Fresno, California. The city government plans to run streets through the pedestrian-friendly landscape in an effort to revitalize this now struggling, once well-known city center. Zeiger's article draws attention to how the plan would jeopardize the preservation of the historically designed area. Zeiger’s piece is one of two articles chosen by a LAM committee that met the criteria of a subject taken into larger context in a compelling manner that provokes positive change, as stated in the American Society of Landscape Architect’s website. Annually awarded to two articles, one that has run in LAM and the other outside of LAM, the Bradford WIllliams award has recognized 34 individuals since 1979, making Zeiger the 35th awardee, leaving the 36th spot to someone yet to be announced.