Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

The 2020 Exhibit Columbus Symposium: New Middles gathered national and international thought leaders in architecture, art, design, and landscape architecture together with Columbus stakeholders to explore the question, What Is The Future of The Middle City?

The Symposium examined this question through the lens of four topics:

Futures and Technologies: Dan Hill, Vinnova, Stockholm, Sweden; Radha Mistry, Autodesk, San Francisco CA; Moderated by Marcus Fairs, Editor-in-Chief, Dezeen

Resiliency and Climate Adaptation: Iñaki Alday, Tulane University / aldayjover architecture and landscape, New Orleans; Kate Orff, SCAPE, New York, NY; Moderated by Iker Gil
2020–21 Curator, Exhibit Columbus

Arts and Community: Paola Aguirre, Borderless Studio, Chicago IL; Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural & M12 Studio, Winona MN; De Nichols, Civic Creatives, St. Louis MO; Moderated by Anne Surak, Director, Exhibit Columbus

Indigenous Futures and Radical Thinking: Chris Cornelius (Oneida), studio:indigenous, Milwaukee WI; Wes Jackson, The Land Institute, Salina KS; Joar Nango (Sámi), FFB, Alta, Finland; Ash Smith, Carson Center of Emerging Media Arts, Lincoln NE; Moderated by Mimi Zeiger, 2020–21 Curator, Exhibit Columbus

Each topic was explored weekly through Thematic Conversations, hosted in partnership with Dezeen, featuring international thought leaders. They were followed by Columbus Conversations featuring community stakeholders in conversation with 2021 Miller Prize recipients highlighting forward-thinking initiatives happening in our community of Columbus, Indiana.

These dialogues have served as foundational research for all New Middles participants—as a kind of Exhibition Design Brief and Community Design Brief — identifying topics, themes, and writings for community partners while growing exhibition participants’ understanding of Columbus’ culture and context as they conceptualize their commissioned installations for the Fall 2021 Exhibition.

For the Fall 2021 Exhibition, co-curators Iker Gil and Mimi Zeiger have invited exhibition participants to create site-specific, future-oriented installations, which will be developed over the coming year in response to the theme: New Middles:From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City?

This 2020–2021 cycle of programming explores the future of the center of the United States and the regions connected by the Mississippi Watershed. New Middles speculates on the heartland, an ecology stretching beyond political borders—from North to South—from the Canadian Border to the Gulf, and from East to West—from Appalachia to the plains. Embracing a long timeline of cities past, present, and future, New Middles builds upon Columbus’ legacy as a laboratory for design as civic investment. In a moment when we most need reflection, creativity, and innovation to envision new ways of being, New Middlesconsiders Columbus a place to destabilize assumptions, and imagine new architectures and landscapes as a way to positively move our cities forward.

The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize is the centerpiece of Exhibit Columbus and honors the legacy of two great patrons of our community. The 2020–21 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients represent practices that celebrate design and have a deep interest in research and making. They have been selected for their commitment to the transformative power that architecture, art, and design have to improve people’s lives and make cities better places to live. This year’s J. Irwin and Xenia Miller Prize winners are:

Dream the Combine, Minneapolis
Ecosistema Urbano, Miami and Madrid, Spain
Future Firm, Chicago
Olalekan Jeyifous, Brooklyn
Sam Jacob Studio, London, England

Seven University Design Research Fellowships have been awarded to leading professors of architecture, landscape architecture, and design from American universities who will create installations highlighting their research. University Design Research Fellows were selected for their ability to tackle specific sets of issues germane to the future of the city and the Mississippi Watershed region, such as sustainability and material reuse, non-human habitat, watershed ecologies, emergent technologies, and migration. The University Design Research Fellows for 2020–2021 are:

Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, Texas Tech College of Architecture, El Paso
Ang Li, Northeastern University
Derek Hoeferlin, Washington University in St. Louis
Joyce Hwang, University at Buffalo
Jei Jeeyea Kim, Indiana University, Lola Sheppard and Mason White, University of Toronto & Waterloo University
Natalie Yates, Ball State University

New Middles introduces two Photography Fellows, who over the course of 2020–2021 will document parts of Columbus, the heartland, and the Mississippi watershed from social, economic, and environmental perspectives and present this work in innovative ways as part of the exhibition.

The Photography Fellows for 2020–2021 are:
Virginia Hanusik, New Orleans
David Schalliol, Minneapolis

Graphic Design and Wayfinding:
Jeremiah Chiu, some all none, Los Angeles

Plus the Columbus High School Design Team

US Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale: May 26–November 25, 2018

Wrightwood, Chicago: February 28–April 27, 2019

Curators: Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, Mimi Zeiger, and Iker Gil

Commissioners: University of Chicago and School of the Art Institute Chicago

Participants: Amanda Williams + Andres L. Hernandez in collaboration with Shani Crowe, Studio Gang, SCAPE, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerard Pietrusko, with the Columbia Center for Spatial Research, Keller Easterling with MANY, and Design Earth

Films: Frances Bodomo, Mandana Moghaddam, David Rueter and Marissa Lee Benedict, Mika Rottenberg, and Liam Young

Exhibition and graphic design: INFO_CO

Photos: Tom Harris Read More …

Dimensions of Citizenship challenges architects and designers to envision what it means to be a citizen today. As transnational flows of capital, digital technologies, and geopolitical transformations expand, conventional notions of citizenship are undermined. How might architecture, then, express today’s rhizomatic and paradoxical conditions of citizenship?

The US Pavilion explores seven spatial scales: Citizen, Civitas, Region, Nation, Globe, Network, and Cosmos.These scales, telescoping from body to city to heavens, broadly position citizenship as a critical global topic. Installations by architects, landscape architects, artists, and theorists investigate spaces of citizenship marked by histories of inequality and the violence imposed on people, non-human actors, and ecologies. These works do not solve the complex relationships of governance, affinity, and circumstance that bind us. Instead, they use architecture’s disciplinary agency to render visible paradoxes and formulations of belonging.

Commissioners
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Curators
Niall Atkinson
Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and the College, The University of Chicago

Ann Lui
Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and co-founder of Future Firm

Mimi Zeiger
Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator; faculty member in the Media Design Practices MFA program at ArtCenter College of Design

Associate Curator
Iker Gil
Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, director of MAS Studio, and founder of MAS Context

Sometimes the ending is the beginning. Curation, as with criticism, hinges between the labor of production and turning that work to face the public. As such, the opening of an exhibition represents an end point for the curatorial team and the start of an audience’s engagement with the ideas, materials, and experiences on view. Which is why, when reflecting on representation and a broad interpretation of the term to convey both the mechanical processes of display and the making seen and heard the bodies and voices structurally left out of the discourse, it makes sense to begin at the inauguration of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Read More …

The Chatter Chat series are salons held in conjunction with the Architecture and Design Department’s exhibition Chatter: Architecture Talks Back that use the exhibition as a platform to discuss critical issues in the field of contemporary architecture.

This Chatter Chat invites two architects and a writer, all of whom are featured in the exhibition, to frame their projects relative to history (as a precedent and as an element to build upon), as well as discuss the productive ways in which architecture can be communicated. Each panelist presents their work through this lens as a prompt for discussion among a panel of Chicago-based architects and scholars, offering up insights for questions such as:

How do architects summon the material, formal, and sociocultural lessons from history without being beholden to them?
How do we reframe architecture through history’s most valuable architectural inheritances?
How does communication advance architectural representation and discussion?
Can architecture be communicated in a way that goes beyond the approved (but void-of-content) press release?
Can it empower, challenge, reveal, critique, reinterpret, and diagnose the discipline and our times?

Presenters
Erin Besler, University of California Los Angeles
Urtzi Grau, Fake Industries Architecture Agonism
Mimi Zeiger, critic, editor, curator, and instigator

Interlocutors
Grant Gibson, CAMES/Gibson
Ellen Grimes, School of the Art Institute
Jonathan Mekinda, UIC
Agata Siemionow, Illinois Institute of Technology

Moderator
Iker Gil, director of MAS Studio and editor in chief of MAS Context

Exhibition catalogue launch and signing follows the roundtable discussion.

Curators: Karen Kice, with Iker Gil

Mimi Zeiger and Neil Donnelly with the School of Visual Arts Summer Design Writing and Research Intensive

Architecture is a perpetual conversation between the present and the past, knowing full well that the future is listening. So what happens when this dialogue is influenced by contemporary modes of communication such as texting, Twitter, and Instagram? Chatter happens: ideas are developed, produced, and presented as open-ended or fragmented conversations and cohere through the aggregation of materials. Chatter: Architecture Talks Back looks at the diverse contemporary methods and approaches wielded by five emerging architects: Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder, and John Szot Studio. Read More …

On Monday, January 19, 2015, MAS Context and five LA-based contributors will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the publication and discuss the work they contributed. The event will be hosted at Bruce Mau Design Los Angeles.

Contributors:
Julia Luke (Creative Director, Julia Luke Design)
Deborah Richmond (Architect, Deborah Richmond Architects)
Joshua G. Stein (Architect, Radical Craft)
David Yoon (Engineer, YoonCo)
Mimi Zeiger (Critic, editor, curator and instigator)

Moderated by Iker Gil (Editor-in-chief, MAS Context) and Andrew Clark (Director, BMD Los Angeles).

Our Public Space is a two-day program of lectures and a workshop presented by a concise list of national and international architects, designers, and artists addressing the current state of public space and the built environment. This program is organized by Dilettante Studios, MAS Context, and the Hyde Park Art Center and will take place on June 14 and June 15, 2014. With Iker Gil, John Prius, Quilian Riano, Patrizia di Monte, and Mimi Zeiger. Read More …

Mextropoli, the First International Festival on Architecture and the City, organized by Arquine and directed by Andrea Griborio, takes place in Mexico City March 22-26, 2014.

Panel Discussion: Habla ciudad: la crítica
Iker Gil (Chicago), Andrés Jaque (Madrid), Ethel Baraona Pohl (Barcelona), Mimi Zeiger (Los Angeles)

Habla ciudad: la crítica
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Time: 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Plaza de la Santa Veracruz