Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

“The cavalry isn’t coming,” said indie movie director Mark Duplass, kicking off his keynote address at last month’s SXSW Film Festival.

I was in Austin, Texas, for a panel on architecture and civic participation with Mexico City architect Michel Rojkind and local technologist Leslie Wolke as part of SXSW Interactive. At SXSW, film and interactive run simultaneously the week before the famous music festival gets loud. And although design was somewhat of a running theme on the tech side, with talks by design world thought leaders Paola Antonelli and John Maeda as well as dozens of sessions with design in the title, I found myself drawn to the conversations happening in film. Read More …

“Can architecture serve as a way to reconnect parts of the city or enhance human experience?” asks architect Michel Rojkind, founder of Mexico City–based Rojkind Arquitectos. Although the sharing economy recalibrated how we interface with the city through apps and services, the design of buildings and public spaces are still largely conventional. So, how to design for better civic engagement? In conversation with architect Michel Rojkind, writer Leslie Wolke, and architecture critic Mimi Zeiger will explore recent experiments at the intersection of architecture, interaction design, and urban intervention: from a department store in Mexico City wrapped in a 10-foot-deep layer of programmable hexagonal pods to mobile structures in Madrid that transform historical spaces. What do these urban interventions mean to us as technology and architecture intermingle in unfamiliar ways?

TEXTTEXT is a workshop at the Sandberg Instituut Studio for Immediate Spaces that explores the act of critical writing as drawn from keen observation and experience. The workshop takes the form of three parts over the course of two days: Reading, Ramble, and Reflection. Through the use of existing texts, constraint exercises, fieldwork, research, and digital tools, TEXTTEXT offers participants a framework for the production of a critical essay and a meditation on collective criticism.

Apple may have acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in May, but the new Beats by Dre headquarters in Culver City couldn’t be farther from the all-white aesthetic favored by Jonathan Ive and Steve Jobs or Norman Foster’s spaceship-in-the-garden landing soon in Cupertino. “We come from hip-hop, hardcore punk, and indie rock. Hype Williams to Paul Williams, Robert Mapplethorpe to Robert Kelly. How do you design for that without being cliché?” asks Luke Wood, cofounder of the company with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Read More …

Join us at USC School of Architecture for a lecture by Mimi Zeiger.

Trained as an architect, critic Mimi Zeiger tracts the rise of publishing as practice through her own work. Memos from the Front Line rejects the binary of the print and digital divide and suggests that the commingling of the analog and algorithmic creates rich territory for cultural production, criticism, and architectural experimentation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 2pm
Gin Wong Conference Center
Harris Hall 101

History was written on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Or at least a little piece of it, as a group of volunteer Wikipedia editors gathered in MOCA’s outdoor plaza for Unforgetting L.A., an edit-a-thon sponsored by online art magazine East of Borneo. The third in a series, the event’s goal was to build Wikipedia articles for artists, curators, and galleries of the past 30 years — the three art-rich decades since MOCA’s inception. Read More …

When did the war between technology and urbanism now battling on the streets of San Francisco begin? On December 10, protesters blocked a private bus from commuting from the city’s Mission District to Google headquarters in Mountain View, 34 miles away. Over the summer, emotions ran high when tech entrepreneur Peter Shih posted his screed 10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition. Read More …

When talking about workplace design, the buzzword “collaboration” flies around the tech world faster than a speeding foosball. From startups working out of garages to sprawling corporate campuses, everyone is looking to harness the creative energy of people working together. Pinterest is no exception. The design-driven company is using its new 45,000-square-foot headquarters in San Francisco’s SoMA neighborhood as a test site for collaboration. Read More …

Today the feedback, spin, and other acts of interpretation that were once the preserve of historians and other experts are often virtual, instantaneous, and open to input from a broad audience. What does this mean? Mimi Zeiger, critic and journalist based in Los Angeles, will consider expanded models of architectural criticism and discursive platforms. Alexandra Lange, New York-based critic and 2014 Loeb Fellow, will explain why architects should use Twitter and Instagram to show their influences—what they read, the design pilgrimages they make, the colleagues they admire—not just to promote themselves. Florencia Rodriguez, editor of Plot (Buenos Aires) and 2014 Loeb Fellow, will explore the question of criticism’s social or disciplinary responsibility; should it be “useful”? A discussion will follow, with GSD student writers and bloggers.

Moderated by Shantel Blakely of Harvard GSD Public Programs.