Conversation recorded between Mimi Zeiger and Leopold Lambert in Los Angeles on April 23, 2014for the Archipelago, the podcast platform of The Funambulist.
In this conversation, Mimi Zeiger and I examine a problem internal to the architectural world, yet that can be found in various forms in other disciplines. The “politics of simulacra” consists in a discursive use of consensual notions to describe practices that do not fully engage with the problems that they claim to address. In this regard, curating exhibitions or publications celebrating “women in architecture” often falls short of making a deep feminist argument. Similarly, the recent sum of energy spent around questions of “participation,” “openness,” “horizontality,” are interesting in what they suggest but too often do not make the effort to address the ambiguous problems that their visions involve. Finally, we talk about the claimed will of architects (in particular in the academic realms) to intervene within “crises,” when the result we see from this will is again too often shallow and even sometimes complaisant — what Mimi calls “extreme sport for architects.” Mimi concludes the conversation by pointing out architects in Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom and Spain, who do engage problems in a deeper understanding of their causes.