Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Read an interview with Mimi in the Los Angeles Times.

Feature in Dwell Magazine.

A presentation of micro-scaled contemporary residences that demonstrate domesticity can be both compact and beautiful. How we live in cities—smaller, denser, smarter—is at the heart of Tiny Houses in the City. Urban areas across the globe are experiencing a renaissance, with once-forgotten downtowns and neighborhoods becoming increasingly popular for redevelopment. This book looks at the tiny house movement through the lens of metropolitan life. Tiny Houses in the City features an international collection of more than thirty homes that exemplify compact living at its best. The houses, apartments, and multifamily buildings and developments included make great architecture out of challenging locations and narrow sites. Focusing on dwelling spaces all under 1,000 square feet, Tiny Houses in the City illustrates strategies for building tiny in urban areas that include urban infill, adaptive reuse, transforming and flexible living spaces, and micro-unit buildings. The projects range from a 344-square-foot studio apartment in Hong Kong with movable walls, transformable furniture, and hidden storage that can be configured into twenty-four unique scenarios in a single space, to a townhouse-like London residence built in an old alley between two stately homes. Many of the residences chronicled in Tiny Houses in the City are indeed unique in design, but their economical size and ingenious interior spaces are the epitome of practicality and illustrate an acute understanding of compact living and its potential for the urban realm.

While putting the finishing touches on this combined west and southwest issue, AN received word of the passing of Edward Soja. According to colleagues, he had been ill for some time but I was unprepared for the news and was left mulling the death of one of Los Angeles’s critical voices at a time when questions of equity and identity— topics that he often wrote about—still need addressing.

A professor emeritus at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Soja was considered part of the L.A. School, a group that also includes Mike Davis. His 1989 book, Postmodern Geographies, came with the chunky academic subtitle “The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory,” yet its ideas influenced architects and students well into the 1990s. For my generation, the use of “deconstruction” by Soja and others opened up new ways to understand, write about, and practice in the city. Read More …

A collaboration between Mimi Zeiger and Neil Donnelly

#platform is both a means of production and a place to take a stand.

#platform project is a collaborative publication and act of collective criticism.

#platform’s physical documents navigate back into the city, lingering as messages.

For the past four years, participants in the School of Visual Arts Summer Design Writing and Research Intensive in New York have used Twitter to document, research, and critique the city. The social media platform acts as a productive constraint, distilling individual observations and narratives into a public, digital text. Read More …

The Petersen Automotive Museum only reopened yesterday, but connoisseurs of Wilshire Boulevard architecture have been jawing about the eye-popping facade for months. Ever since a carapace of red steel ribbons started to appear, bending around the corner of Fairfax and arcing over the roof of the former Seibu department store, the structure designed by Kohn Pederson Fox has drawn pointed criticism.

Garbage. Obnoxious. Hideous. The Edsel of architecture. Facadism.

And ever since red LED lights were installed along the edge of each ribbon, turning every component of the facade into an undercarriage worthy of a Vin Diesel vehicle, we can add “traffic hazard” to the list. But is it enough to point out the offensive and offer revved up reproach – a model of critique custom-made for our digital lives? After the retorts cool, the museum opens, and we have to live with the eyesore, one wonders if KFP’s design offers any lessons for our architectural now?

Read More …