Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

How one responds to the exhibition now on view at SCI-Arc may very well depend on the ability to distinguish between a duck and a swan. “The Duck and the Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures” begins with a wall-sized construction drawing for a fountain in the forecourt of Michael Graves’ Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando. The drawing at first seems to be a graphic representation of Robert Venturi, FAIA, and Denise Scott Brown, Hon. FAIA’s definition of “duck”: an emblem of architecture’s most valiant form-making impulses. Read More …

In 1966, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi took the research trip to Las Vegas that produced the famous photo of her posed arms akimbo, legs firmly planted in the desert against a pattern of casino signs. It’s a career-defining image: iconic in how forcefully it establishes her and Venturi’s belief in an architecture of communication and, in recent years, emblematic of Scott Brown’s position as an outspoken role model for women in the field. Read More …

Nearly a month after Denise Scott Brown and her husband and partner Robert Venturi received the 2016 AIA Gold Medal and a few days before the RIBA awarded Zaha Hadid the 2016 Royal Gold Medal, I get on the phone to outspoken curator and architect Eva Franch i Gilabert, director of New York City’s Storefront for Art and Architecture. I explain I’m writing a piece about women in architecture. Read More …

“Well, ‘what happens in Vegas … ’?” began a Yale University professor, Emmanuel Petit, about halfway through the first day of the “Architecture After Las Vegas” symposium held at the New Haven institution in January. It was just a matter of time before someone invoked Sin City’s marketing slogan—such low-hanging fruit at a highbrow conference. The crowd that filled the auditorium of Paul Rudolph Hall—academics, architects, and students—tittered at the pop-culture quip. Read More …

“Well, ‘what happens in Vegas … ’?” began a Yale University professor, Emmanuel Petit, about halfway through the first day of the “Architecture After Las Vegas” symposium held at the New Haven institution in January. It was just a matter of time before someone invoked Sin City’s marketing slogan—such low-hanging fruit at a highbrow conference. The crowd that filled the auditorium of Paul Rudolph Hall—academics, architects, and students—tittered at the pop-culture quip.

Read More …