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September 9-12, 2021   Javits Center

Panel: Architecture, Institutions, and Climate Change

Friday, March 6, 2020 2:00 PM

Armory Live Theater on Pier 94

Moderated by Daniel A. Barber (Associate Professor and Chair of the PhD Program in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design). Participants include Legacy Russell (Associate Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem), Pedro Gadanho (Harvard University Loeb Fellow 2020; previously: founding Director of the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in Lisbon), and José Esparza Chong Cuy (Executive Director at Storefront for Art and Architecture).

Architecture, landscape, and planning are deeply implicated in the climate crisis and the just transition. What is the role of cultural institutions in facilitating a broad reconsideration of the role of these fields in the Anthropocene? How can institutions reach beyond the status quo to help cultural agents imagine possible, and buildable, futures?

Daniel A. Barber
Daniel A. Barber is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Chair of the PhD Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He researches historical relationships between architecture and global environmental culture, reframing the means and ends of architectural expertise towards a more robust engagement with the climate crisis. His second book, Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2020. The book explores how modern architects incorporated climate-mediating strategies into their designs, and shows how regional approaches to climate adaptability were essential to the development of the field. The project emphasizes how images and diagrams produced by architects helped to conceptualize climate knowledge, alongside the work of meteorologists, physicists, engineers, and social scientists. His first book, A House in the Sun: Modern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. Together, the two projects reassess the role of environmental factors in the historical development of modern principles and practices. Barber has published in Technology and Culture, Grey Room, Public Culture, and forthcoming in South Atlantic Quarterly; his work has also been included in numerous edited volumes and through podcasts and online venues.
Barber is also focused on providing conceptual tools for architects to better address the climate crisis. Recent articles in Log and on e-flux Architecture encourage designers to take the future into account. He edits the ongoing Accumulation series on e-flux Architecture and is a co-founder of Current, a platform for the discussion of environmental histories of architecture, launching this summer.
He has held fellowships at the Harvard Center for the Environment, the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Sydney Environmental Institute, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Legacy Russell
Legacy Russell is a writer and curator. Born and raised in New York City, she is the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Recent exhibitions include: Projects 110: Michael Armitage, organized with Thelma Golden and The Studio Museum in Harlem at MoMA (2019); Dozie Kanu: Function (2019); Radical Reading Room (2019) at The Studio Museum in Harlem; andMOOD: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2018-19 (2019) at MoMA PS1. Russell’s ongoing academic work and research focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, Internet idolatry, and new media ritual. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, and a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow. Her first book, Glitch Feminism, is forthcoming from Verso Books in Fall 2020.

Pedro Gadanho
Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator, and writer. He is currently a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. Previously, he was the founding Director of MAAT, the new Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology in Lisbon. While there, he initiated more than 50 exhibitions, curated new commissions by artists such as Dominique Gonzalez- Foerster, Carlos Garaicoa, Tomás Saraceno, and Jesper Just, as well as major interdisciplinary shows and publications, including Utopia / Dystopia, Tension & Conflict, and Eco-Visionaries. He was also a curator of contemporary architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he coordinated the Young Architects Program, and curated exhibitions such as 9+1 Ways of Being Political, Uneven Growth, and A Japanese Constellation. He has edited the BEYOND bookazine, the ShrapnelContemporary blog, and contributes regularly to international publications. Gadanho holds an MA in art and architecture, and has a PhD in architecture and mass media. He wrote Arquitetura em Público, which was the recipient of the FAD Prize for Thought and Criticism in 2012.

José Esparza Chong Cuy
José Esparza Chong Cuy is an architect, curator, and writer. He was recently appointed as Executive Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture, where he launched a new curatorial program titled Building Cycles. Previously, he was the Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), where he organized solo exhibitions of artists Jonathas de Andrade and Tania Pérez Córdova, as well as a large-scale, site-specific work by artist Federico Herrero. He is also co-curator of an ongoing major traveling retrospective of Lina Bo Bardi, co-organized between the MCA, the Museu de arte de São Paulo (MASP), and the Museo Jumex, Mexico City. Prior to his position at the MCA, Esparza Chong Cuy was Associate Curator at the Museo Jumex and worked on large performative works by artists Alexandra Bachzetsis and Pedro Reyes. Between 2007 and 2012, he lived in New York City and held positions as Curatorial Associate at Storefront for Art and Architecture, Research Fellow at the New Museum, and contributing editor at Domus magazine. In 2013, he was Co-Curator of the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, titled Close, Closer. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s MS program in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture.

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