Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

This November, the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis, campus opened to the public. Designed by New York City–based SO-IL with the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the museum pays homage to the agricultural landscape of California’s Central Valley with an oversize roof canopy. The steel members of the 50,000-square-foot shade structure, nearly twice the size of the museum itself, reference the patterning of plowed fields and create a welcoming outdoor space for visitors. It is both expressive and practical, but getting that balance wasn’t easy. Read More …

Harvard Design Magazine is pleased to announce its 43rd issue: “Shelf Life.”

The more stuff we accumulate, the more space we need to store it all. Vast portions of the landscape are claimed and governed by spaces of storage, their maintenance, and the goods that move through them—or remain buried within them indefinitely.

This issue of Harvard Design Magazine investigates and unpacks the contents, containers, and systems of storage that organize our world. Read More …

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.