Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

On Saturday, October 22, from 11am-3pm, the Architecture Lobby will host a “Think-In” at UCLA, where invited panelists and a professional facilitator will critically debate and discuss topics most integral to the aims of the Architecture Lobby, including: architecture labor and labor rights, the pros/cons of professionalization, the perceptions of architects within the media, and emerging pedagogical models. The Think-In is free and open to the public, and all interested students, academics, or practitioners are strongly encouraged to join the discussion.

Panelists:
Frances Anderton, KCRW (DnA, Design and Architecture)
Wil Carson, 64North, UCLA
Peggy Deamer, Yale University and The Architecture Lobby
Jia Gu, Materials & Applications, The Architecture Lobby
Tia Koonse, UCLA Labor Center
Elizabeth Timme, LA-Más
Mimi Zeiger, critic and curator, Art Center College of Design, The Architecture Lobby
Peter Zellner, ZELLNERandCompany, USC, Free School of Architecture
Facilitator: Nancy Alexander

PR logistics sometimes brings together strange bedfellows. This was the case in Lisbon, where the opening of the nearly complete Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), designed by British architect Amanda Levete, was timed to coincide with the opening of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

One opening presented a sparkling new kunsthalle with an interdisciplinary curatorial mission, while the other offered an inward-looking meditation on architecture, representation and authorship. Taken together, they represent an ongoing struggle to define architectural value to practitioners and the public alike. Read More …

In 1990, several years before the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) would move into its new building on Third Street, William Gibson wrote the short story “Skinner’s Room” for the architecture exhibition Visionary San Francisco. Commissioned by the museum’s first architecture and design curator Paolo Polledri, Gibson’s sci-fi dystopia depicted the city’s homeless population squatting on a defunct Bay Bridge while wealthy urbanites made their homes in 60-storey solar-powered towers.

Accompanying the text were illustrations by Los Angeles-based architects Hodgetts + Fung — sketches that made logic out of Gibson’s high-tech visions of a shanty town lodged in the bridge’s trusses and girders. Read More …

Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon presents a collection of letters written by architects to Fernando Medina, bringing pressing issues and new ideas to the desk of Lisbon’s newly elected mayor.

Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon takes place as part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (4e), and is the 12th edition of Letters to the Mayor, a project initiated by Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2014.

This project invites architects to write letters to their mayors, initiating a dialogue between those who represent a city and those that build it. International iterations, organized in partnership with local institutions and individuals, bring the project to cities and towns across the globe. Each of the iterations share three common elements: an exhibition of letters addressed to the mayor, a Mayoral Desk and Architect’s Table, and a wallpaper that reflects ideas and issues unique to each city. The desk and table, as well as the wallpaper, are designed by local architects, artists, and designers, and reflect upon the role of the architect in the construction of the future of the contemporary city.

Letters to the Mayor: Lisbon is curated by Ivo Poças Martins. Read More …

Who says you can’t go home again? Last February, retailer Barneys New York opened a new store on the same New York City block where the company was founded in 1923 and maintained an outpost until the late 1990s. Located on 7th Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street, the 55,000-square-foot flagship marks a glamorous return to Chelsea, a neighborhood that’s undergone an equally dazzling renewal over the past 20 years. Read More …

A couple months ago a friend, and storyteller, who lives in an apartment overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir gazed out his window and then quipped on social media: “It’s like the DMZ.” As joggers ran circles around the lake, backhoes performed a mysterious choreography in the dry lake. The fence that separates pedestrians from what used to be drinking water never looked so ominous.

The empty basin triggers fears as some homeowners worry about how it might impact property values and other neighbors simply miss the view. And for everyone who enjoys walking or driving around the reservoir complex, one big question arises: When will it be refilled? Read More …

It’s easy to picture Philip Johnson seated in his regular booth in the Grill Room at the Four Seasons; his back to the windows, his bespectacled eyes on the door, he’s confident and at the top of his game as he presides over a room of his own design.

Now imagine him jittery and hesitant in a different room on a different coast. It’s the late 1950s and, faced with a University of California, Berkeley researcher trying to uncover the secrets to his creativity, Johnson uses his ample verbal and social gifts to upend the interview. In a typed report, the researcher would later write, “He showed many classic features of the manic: self-centered, irritable, jumpy, flight of ideas, arrogance, use of humor to defend against serious consideration of anxiety-producing topics.” Read More …

In era of global architects and rapidly-consumed online media, what is the contemporary role of architectural criticism and the design critic? How does a critic negotiate the sometimes obscure territory of discipline-specific issues or vocabularies and bring larger awareness of design to the public and, conversely, how do contemporary social issues impact the profession? Through discussion and readings of her personal and collaborative work, Zeiger explores models of alternative writing practices, including collective, performance-based, and slow criticisms.

 

El ciclo de Interludios de tres propone transformar el tradicional formato de conferencia en el que un ponente se enfrenta al público, en una estructura de conversación no jerárquica en la que al menos tres participantes están involucrados y se retroalimentan en tiempo real. Se pretende a su vez, explorar distintas disposiciones espaciales y programáticas que motiven dinámicas de discusión alternativas.

En ese sentido, LIGA quiere propiciar un formato inédito para cada edición con el objetivo de ampliar el espectro de posibilidades e involucrar a todos los presentes.

El pasado martes 23 de agosto tuvo lugar en LIGA el segundo evento del ciclo Interludios de tres con los invitados Mimi Zeiger, Ana Paula Galindo y Alejandro Hernández. Este ciclo propone transformar el tradicional formato de conferencia en el que un ponente se enfrenta al público, en una estructura de conversación no jerárquica en la que al menos tres participantes están involucrados y se retroalimentan en tiempo real. Se pretende a su vez, explorar distintas disposiciones espaciales y programáticas que motiven dinámicas de discusión alternativas. En ese sentido, LIGA quiere propiciar un formato inédito para cada edición con el objetivo de ampliar el espectro de posibilidades e involucrar a todos los presentes.

Para el segundo evento de la serie se ensayó una estructura experimental de conversación, según la cual los tres invitados participaron de un partido de ping-pong virtual. La dinámica consistió en lanzar imágenes que fueron comentadas por los otros jugadores. Fueron objeto de esta investigación en tiempo real la cultura visual contemporánea, la velocidad, el tipo de filtros y nivel de reflexión con que absorbemos y reaccionamos a los estímulos que nos llegan codificados en forma de imágenes.

I admit it; I’ve retreated. In the midst of a scorching summer of bigotry and violence, where every day serves up another horror at home and abroad, I’ve taken to bed. I soothe myself with heavy doses of the genteel diversity pictured on The Great British Baking Show (or Bake Off in its homeland), where layers of pastry unify a country polarised by Brexit.

Other nights I indulge in Mr Robot, caught up in a world of digital unrest where the hackers are good guys operating in the name of equity, not a possible foreign power trying to disrupt an election. Read More …