This event is co-organized by Gavin Kroeber & Mimi Zeiger and presented in partnership with SCI-Arc.
The discussion will feature a remarkable group of architects, designers, and planners, including Keller Easterling, Patty Heyda, James Rojas, M. Casey Rehm, and Andrew Zago, along with artists Mary Ellen Carroll and Tim Portlock, journalist Gustavo Arellano.
In the midst of an unabating housing crisis, stretching from the 2007 collapse of the subprime mortgage market to the current real estate bubble, we must rethink the basic elements of our domestic landscape: A house is not a home, but a financial instrument. A subdivision is not a neighborhood, but the expression of an algorithm. When you drive through suburbia you are scrolling through a spreadsheet. Beginning from the infrastructures, codes, policies, and economies that order the built environment, Laboratory for Suburbia’s next online discussion will explore new ways to see the dwellings that emerge upon that foundation—and the experimental, counter-hegemonic ways these structures can be used, mis-used, inhabited, and hacked. If we are trapped in the house—economically, formally, and literally under pandemic conditions—then what is an architecture of escape?
Laboratory for Suburbia’s Sprawl Sessions is a series of public exchanges considering strategies for site-specific art and tactical design in the complex spaces of 21st-century suburbia. These extended, casual think tanks for critical suburban practice unfold in long-form online conversations that move away from the standard panel format. The intention is not to offer authoritative statements on suburban art and design practice but to open up questions about it, not to rush to fill a gap in practice but to publicly inhabit it. With numerous invited participants and space for an audience of invested practitioners and scholars to engage in dialogue, attendees are encouraged to treat the sessions as salons, dropping in and out as schedules allow (or catch the archived video).