Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Big City Forum returns for a second annual residency at Armory Center for the Arts with a new series, entitled Transforming the Social, which features six panel conversations that recognize and celebrate the ability to create transformative moments within the scope of the built environment and social space. Armory is pleased to have been hosting Big City Forum in residence since 2012, which saw the launch of Mapping LA, a series of four events exploring current creative practices that inform the landscape and geography of Los Angeles. Through its residency at Armory, Big City Forum is deepening its ongoing investigation of social and civic space within the built environment of the Los Angeles region. The residency builds upon a shared interest between the Armory and Big City Forum in advancing public discourse on the notion of social and civic engagement.

This panel discussion brings together four practitioners from the fields of art and architecture to discuss the complexity of social engagement. Speakers will investigate the agency of art and design when shaping spaces for a public. What I Talk About When I Talk About Community asks for more refined understanding of community, in order to reveal the politics, pitfalls, and pleasures of these practices.

Victor Jones, principal of Los Angeles-based Fievre Jones, cultural activist, and writer, whose research lies at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and community building within cities. Recent design projects include the Platform for Watts House Project (2011) and a skate park for New Orleans’ City Park (2009). His design work has been supported by numerous grants, including the Graham Foundation, Artplaces, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. He is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

ennifer Su and Laura Noguera, co-owners of Thank You for Coming, a communal restaurant/residency program that “aims to give people with varying experiences and backgrounds an opportunity to explore and execute ideas around sharing food. Residents are invited to utilize our restaurant space as a platform for public engagement and creative experimentation.

James Michael Tate received his Masters of Architecture from Yale University and Bachelors of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. He has previously worked for MOS, Peter Eisenman, and Samuel Mockbee. Tate co-taught a studio with Michael Maltzan at Rice University this past spring; the experience motivated him to move to Los Angeles. Tate designs, makes, writes, and participates in a variety of architectural affairs. His current affinities include narratives, oppositional dialectic blends, seeking refuge in unsettled territories between art and architecture, the latent potentialities of history in contemporary experiments, and the Korean taco food-truck.

Mimi Zeiger, editor and publisher of loud paper, a zine and blog dedicated to increasing the volume of architectural discourse. As writer and critic she covers art, architecture, urbanism, and design for the New York Times, Domus, Dwell, and Architect, where she is a contributing editor. Zeiger is author of New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World; Tiny Houses; and Micro Green: Tiny Houses in Nature.