Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

The Chicago Athletic Association excitedly welcomes Petra Bachmaier to discuss her dynamic collaborative art practice which has captivated the eyes and minds of Chicago and beyond. And Mimi Zeiger, a Los Angeles-based Critic, Editor, and Curator to moderate this conversation.

“For more than 10 years, Luftwerk have created art installations that merge elements of light and video with facets of architecture and design. Their 2010 commission to create a new media exhibit for the centennial celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House helped them discover a deeper resonance with architecture and pursue and a growing interest in how experiences of space and site are augmented through light and sound. With immersive works at sites such as Fallingwater, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, Tampa’s Kiley Garden, Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Garfield Park Conservatory to name a few, their artwork blends history, architecture, and contemporary media to open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces. Projects to date have been featured in periodicals such as Architectural Record, Dwell, The Creators Project, design boom, and more. Recent awards include an Endorsement Award for Innovation from Surface Magazine, a Media Art Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and featured projects honored by the American for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN). Petra Bachmaier, originally from Munich, works collaboratively with her partner Sean Gallero. The duo met during studies at SAIC and formed Luftwerk in 2007.” – David Zivan

It’s hard to believe that it was only last month that Robert Ivy, executive vice president and CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), pledged the national organisation and its membership to working with president-elect Donald Trump.

Issued just days after the election, the tone-deaf timing of the obsequious memo provoked reactions from The Architecture Lobby, critic Michael Sorkin and Equity in Architecture (among others), who rejected the AIA’s stance as politically representative of professional architects. Read More …

Los Angeles, being the inclusive city that it is, developed in opposed directions at the same time: the downtowns, Wilshire Boulevards, and Century Cities grew along late modern lines, while the peripheries went their own heteromorphic way. This sixties split established what has now became two architectural codes: Mies of the classes, and hetero-architecture for the masses.”- Charles Jencks, 1996.

The collision of Real Estate speculation and political friction makes Los Angeles one of the most volatile development arenas in modern urbanism. Yet, after a half-century of under-building and spot zoning, an infusion of speculative capital, coupled with a dearth of available land, is driving Los Angeles to grow up, instead of out. Present debates about homelessness, housing affordability, and urban density suggest that L.A. could embrace vertical density in a decidedly different fashion than Chicago or Manhattan- cities which adopted skyscraper development primarily as a response to technological innovation or financial speculation. While L.A.’s metropolitan context largely consists of what architectural theorist Charles Jencks once referred to as “heteromorphic architecture,” its growth upward signals the potential to give birth to a new urban form of spatial democracy, eschewing a city of iconic towers in favor of sectional and programmatic complexity instead.

Join us for a Panel Discussion centered on L.A.’s future density led by Archinect’s Amelia Taylor-Hochberg and featuring architects Scott Johnson, Jimenez Lai, John Southern, Peter Zellner, and journalist Mimi Zeiger.

The panel coincides with John Southern’s exhibition, Hot on the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations– Now on view at the Jai&Jai Gallery.

MCHAP: The Americas brings together leading architects and academics in a dialogue exploring the current state of architecture throughout the Americas and analyzes themes raised by the seven finalist projects (designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Álvaro Siza, Steven Holl Architects, OMA/ LMN – Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus, Smiljan Radić, Cristián Undurraga, Rafael Iglesia) from the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize recognizing the best built works in the Americas from 2000 through 2013.

Edited by Fabrizio Gallanti,the book includes contributions from the inaugural MCHAP jury (IITAC Dean Wiel Arets, Kenneth Frampton, Jorge Francisco Liernur, Dominique Perrault, Sarah Whiting) as well as essays by Fabrizio Gallanti, Pedro Alonso, Luis Castañeda, Felipe Correa, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Horacio Torrent, Molly Wright Steenson, Mimi Zeiger.

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 …

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 …

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.

 

Brasília is a living museum for monuments and architecture,” says photographer Daniel Shea, who recently traveled from his home in New York City to central Brazilto shoot the iconic modernist city. “The buildings retain their function, but the city is really a historical site.”

From the air, Brasília looks like a bird or an airplane—a city poised to take flight into the future. It was designed and built to do just that. In the late 1950s, Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek envisioned a new federal capital in the country’s rural interior, one that would leave behind the colonial baggage of the old capital, Rio de Janeiro. He held a competition, and an international jury selected Brazil’s brightest talents to conceive not just individual buildings, but the workings of an entire city. His forward-looking utopian dream was inaugurated in 1960, and today Brasília is known as an unusually intact time capsule of what we used to think of as the future.  Read More …