Av. de Chateleine 7
Architecture d’intérieur

MAIA kick off week 2022-2023

Lluis Alexandre Casanovas, “To inspire humankind:” The Political Understanding of the Animal in Modern Visual Culture and Design

During the last decades, the emergence of new feminist, queer, and ecological theories have led to a revision of the role of the animal in society. This is even more urgent considering the current climate, health, and political crises. The technological and social modernization that took place in the West during the first half of the 20th century accelerated the redefinition of the historical relationship that humans cultivated with animals. Several authors have identified the progressive disappearance of the animal from human daily life as consubstantial to the essentially humanistic processes of modernization. This absence was the product of various factors, including the massive migration from rural areas to cities and the replacement of animal motor power for other energy sources suited to the new demands of production, but also the rejection of animal behavior as antithetical to the modern and civilized. Fields such as biology, philosophy, and psychology, but also design, urbanism and the arts, undertook a redefinition of the human-animal bond which transformed culture both at a global as well as in national terms. Taking as a case study the shifting consideration of the animal during the democratic Spanish Republic (1931-1936) to the fascist Francoist State (1938-1975), this lecture considers how a political understanding of the animal offers alternative methodologies beyond the human in visual arts, film, architecture, and design.

Nicolas Nova, The Bestiary of the Anthropocene: investigation/design about new hybrids

The Bestiary of the Anthropocene (http://bestiaryanthropocene.com/) is an exploratory project conducted by Nicolas Nova and Disnovation.org, an art collective, about hybrid creatures of our time, inspired by observations of our damaged planet and medieval bestiaries. This talk will describe that project in order to illustrate how anthropological research and art/design practices can be combined to generate knowledge.

Matilde Cassani, WELCOME

The lecture will feature a series of recent projects on the border between architecture, installation, and event design, dealing with both indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Filipa Ramos, From Zao to Zoo — The Constitution and Edification of the Zoological Apparatus

Zoos make animals visible. By exhibiting, editing, framing and fixating the living beings they detain, zoological gardens activate specific modes of looking and being looked upon, which transform the status and nature of the displayed animals and condition the ways in which they are observed, conceptualized and considered.

In this seminar, we will investigate how historical conditions of exhibiting living animals in zoological gardens created specific modes of observation and inquiry, both for viewers during their leisure time and also for artists and architects who worked with these environments. The aim is to discuss the conditions, possibilities and limits to the engagement, responses and critiques of the spatial arrangement of the zoo, and to consider discourses about the format of the exhibition, which are largely framed within the disciplinary ambit of art history, architecture and exhibition studies, expanding them towards a realm where the museological, the artistic and the display of the living contribute to one another in thinking the exhibitionary.

We will observe how the zoo’s agenda combines entertainment allure, educational aims, colonial narratives and scientific legitimizations, which support one another in entangling animals, infrastructure, optical devices and visitors, thus feeding an important thread of theory across critical animal studies about the effects and purpose of zoological gardens. We will also reflect on how confinement, torture and spectacle work hand-in-hand across an exhibitionary logic in which the exhibition of living beings relates to other configurations of display, distribution, and interaction of the museological experience of “nature”.

Marina Otero Verzier, The Knots of the Metaverse

In this lecture Otero will analyze how energy dreams and epistemologies, constructed on cravings for productivity and profit, connect the landscapes of resource extraction, transoceanic fibre optic cables, data centers, automated factories – spaces that epitomize what she calls the ‘Cartesian enclosure’ – and by extension the spaces of everyday life. Otero will address how destructive habits of extracting, procuring, and consuming energy follow predictions that assume the inevitability of growth. Estimates that, even in the face of climate catastrophe, render the need for more energy inevitable and rely on finding new fixes rather than embracing other forms of living. By further exploring the relations between the digital and physical in architecture, Otero hopes to make it evident that the search for new digital futures should not be at the cost of the non-digital world that we all share.

Kai Reaver & Javier Fernandez Contreras _ Research Case Studies on Architectural Heritage and Mixed Reality


Research Case Studies on Architectural Heritage and Mixed Reality

Advancements in technology, particularly in mixed reality and spatial computation, allow for cultural heritage to expand its methods and practice into the digital age. This is particularly useful when considering climate change and the impacts to built heritage sites, for which current practices of material preservation may be too difficult or costly to maintain. In addition, recent neuroscientific research shows that the experience of VR simulations of built environments, in combination with fMRI scanning methods, show activity in the same brain areas as when navigating in the “real” world. We have earlier suggested that human experience of heritage in mixed reality can in some future point be similar to a physical site today. This prompts the discussion to whether such “virtual” preservation offers alternatives to physical heritage practice. We explore this theme through the master level research course in interior architecture titled “Architectural Heritage and Digital Media” – taught at HEAD in Geneva in 2020 and 2021. In the paper, we present case studies, methods, research findings, and some general conclusions about possibilities and challenges emerging from this research context. In particular, we discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of some of our research findings, which may appear to contradict some of the prevalent architectural theory and methods of heritage practice. Specifically, we claim that the correlation we find between the human experience of physical heritage sites and their digital simulations poses important contributions to theories of the “spirit of place“ and the experience of material affect. We discuss these theoretical implications in some detail while outlining future research and educational plans.

Zoom link

Charlotte Malterre-Barthes

Charlotte Malterre-Barthes is assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University, Graduate school of Design. Most recently, she was guest professor in the Architecture Department of TU Berlin, directed, managed, and taught the post-graduate Master of Advanced Studies in Urban Design at ETH Zurich from 2014-2019. Charlotte’s teaching and research interests are related to how struggling communities can gain greater access to resources, the mainstream economy, better governance, and ecological/social justice. Her pedagogy is built on a research-based design approach for identifying urgent aspects of contemporary urbanization. She believes that educators and universities have an obligation to be responsive to the challenges of our urbanizing world, equipping young practitioners and researchers with both critical skills and design tools to address them. Charlotte maintains an active feminist practice, engaging in parity & diversity works with the understanding that to be feminist today cannot be understood without intersectionality; the convergence of struggles against sexism, racism, capitalism, and imperialism, as conceptualized by Françoise Vergès. She is also co-founder of OMNIBUS, an urban design laboratory focused on interdisciplinary exploration of community-building factors in various metropolitan contexts.
Charlotte holds a PhD in Architecture from ETH Zurich, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Architecture from the National School of Architecture of Marseille (ENSAM). In addition to over two dozen papers, essays, and articles published in a variety of media, she has produced five book-length publications; Eileen Gray- A house under the Sun, with Z. Dzierzawaska, 2019; Some Haunted Spaces in Singapore, with M. Jaeggi, 2018; Cairo Desert Cities, with Marc Angelil, 2017; Housing Cairo – The Informal Response, with Marc Angelil, 2016; and The School, the Book, the Town, 2013. Several others are underway, including Migrant Marseille: Architecture of Social Segregation and Urban Inclusivity, 2020.

Rania Ghosn

Rania Ghosn is Associate Professor of architecture and urbanism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding partner, with El Hadi Jazairy, of DESIGN EARTH. Her practice engages the architectural project as a speculative medium to make visible and public the climate crisis. The work of DESIGN EARTH is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; it has been exhibited at international venues such as the Venice Architecture Biennale, Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Matadero Madrid, SFMOMA, MAAT Lisbon, Triennale di Milano, Sursock Museum, Guangdong Times Museum, Oslo Architecture Triennale, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism as well as in architecture schools across the U.S., including solo shows at MIT Keller Gallery, Cooper Union Houghton Gallery, and Yale Architecture Gallery. Ghosn is recipient of Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, Boghossian Foundation Prize, Jacques Rougerie Foundation Award, and ACSA Faculty Design Awards for outstanding work in architecture and related environmental design fields as a critical endeavor.Her work as an architect and educator charts how technological systems of fossil fuel energy changed the earth, and imagines ways of living with legacy geographies, such as oil fields and landfills, on a damaged planet. Ghosn is editor of New Geographies 2: Landscapes of Energy and co-author of Geographies of Trash (2015), Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment (2nd ed. 2020; 2018), and The Planet After Geoengineering (2021). Her essays and work are published in Log, Architectural Review, AD: Architectural Design, Avery Review, Journal of Architectural Education, Science Fiction Studies, Harvard Design Magazine, Domus, Volume, San Rocco, Perspecta, Thresholds, and in edited volumes on energy, infrastructure, urbanism, and climate. She is a recipient of recent grants and support for her design research from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, and University of Michigan Taubman College Research on the City. Ghosn holds a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut, a Master of Geography from University College London, and a Doctor of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she completed a dissertation on the Trans-Arabian Pipeline.

Sílvia Benedito _ Atmosphere Anatomies

Sílvia Benedito is a registered landscape architect and architect from Portugal. She has been teaching in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design since 2011. Benedito teaches graduate core design studios in landscape architecture and urbanism dedicated to vulnerable territories and communities subject to climatic degradation. She also develops advanced research seminars on micro-climatic simulations and bioclimatic design strategies for integrated built environments, including active collaborations with communities, local governments, and NGOs. Benedito received a degree in Architecture from the University of Coimbra, a degree in Music from the Conservatory of Coimbra, and a master’s degree in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A former Senior Associate at James Corner Field Operations (NYC), where she led many public and private urban design and small-scale public projects, Benedito co-founded OFICINAA, an architecture, landscape and urban design practice based in Ingolstadt, Germany. OFICINAA has received several international awards and mentions. Their work has been published and recognized in various venues and institutions, including the Architekturgalerie München, the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the Museum of Moderna Art in NYC (MoMA), Drucker Design Gallery at Harvard GSD, and at the Venice Architecture Biennial.

Lydia Kallipoliti

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), a MArchS in design and building technology from M.I.T, as well as a Master of Arts and a PhD from Princeton University. Prior to Cooper Union, Kallipoliti was an Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she directed the MSArch Program, an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at Columbia University [GSAPP] and at the Cooper Union, where she served as a Senior Associate at the Institute for Sustainable Design, and as the Feltman Chair in Lighting.

Her research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology and environmental politics and more particularly on recycling material experiments, theories of waste and reuse, as well as closed and self-reliant systems and urban environments.

Maciver-Ek Chevroulet

Anna MacIver-Ek and Axel Chevroulet met while studying in Copenhagen. Together, they explore the field of architecture. Through their projects, they strive for precision, as a tool to achieve an architecture sensitive to its context and generous to its users. In their search for alternative forms of practice, they co-founded the collective la–clique. Continual investigation within the profession leads them to work using different scales and mediums, from films, furniture making, to teaching.

Matilde Cassani

Matilde Cassani moves on the border between architecture, installation and event design. Her practice deals with the spatial implications of cultural pluralism in the contemporary Western city. Her works have been showcased in many cultural institutions, art galleries and were published in several magazines such as Architectural Review, Domus, Abitare, Flash art, Arkitecktur, Arqa. She has been a resident fellow at “Akademie Schloss Solitude” in Stuttgart and at the “Headlands Center for the Arts” in San Francisco. Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York hosted her solo exhibition “Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings” in September 2011. She designed the National Pavilion of The Kingdom of Bahrain at the XIII Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012 and she was part of the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale with the piece “A celebration day”, recently acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She was recently involved in the Chicago Architecture triennale, Oslo Triennale and Manifesta12. She currently teaches at Politecnico di Milano, at Domus Academy and at the Architectural Association in London working with Unit 11.

Xavier Brunnquell

Xavier Brunnquell was born in Neuilly in 1966, he is a DPLG architect and graduated from the Paris la Seine School of Architecture in 1993. In 2002, he founded the architecture studio brunnquell & andré architectes. The studio works on housing projects, heritage, offices and facilities.

Jeanne Wéry, Baraki

After graduating from EPFL in 2013, Jeanne knows that her career will be independent. She works one year in an office, then creates her own structure with Georg Christoph Holz, a young German architect, whom she met in Ireland a few years earlier. Together they worked on their diploma project, then created the WHOOD office in 2014. The symbiosis between the two partners has been magical, creative and natural. The first projects of the small office were infrastructural interventions, making the life of their users softer, reflecting on their daily uses. The BARAKI touch is already present. Very quickly the office grew and after 4 years of collaboration, Marc, freshly graduated from the EPF joins the office as a partner. With three people, the dynamic is different and is enriched by a powerful and fertile scope. BARAKI was born, won several competitions, and grew. Today BARAKI is 6 years old, with 4 collaborators and 3 partners. Practicing BARAKISM on its own scale, hoping to impregnate a slow change in mentalities, to make architecture accessible, to propose solutions mixing the human being with his environment, to reflect on the importance of our built heritage, on its quality and on what being an architect is.