Deep Inside the Global City e-flux Architecture
On the Concept of Beauty Journal #87 December 2017
In Defense of the Poor Image Journal #10 November 2009
The Glory Hole Journal #87 December 2017

The field of design has radically expanded. As a practice, design is no longer limited to the world of material objects, but rather extends from carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes, as Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, curators of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, put it in their manifesto (). Our response to the Biennial’s theme—Are We Human?—draws from “The Obligation to Self-Design” (e-flux Journal 0, ), a text by Boris Groys in which a genealogy of design is traced from the design of the soul and the design of the self to "the design of life as a whole." Superhumanity seeks to explore and challenge our understanding of “design” by engaging with and departing from the concept of the “self.” Superhumanity aims to probe the idea that we are and always have been continuously reshaped by the artifacts we shape, to which we ask: who designed the lives we live today? What are the forms of life we inhabit, and what new forms are currently being designed? Where are the sites, and what are the techniques, to design others? Over fifty writers, scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archeologists and anthropologists will bring new insight to these and related questions.

In addition to online publication, a Superhumanity reading room was exhibited from October 22 to November 20 at DEPO (Tütün Deposu Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No.12, Tophane 34425 İstanbul) as a part of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial.

e-flux Architecture collaborated with the Royal College of Art School of Architecture to produce a series of responses to Superhumanity texts on e-flux conversations. To view the responses, click here.

On March 22, 2017, Superhumanity manifested at Artista x Artista in Havana, Cuba for a series of talks on the legacy of revolution. For more information, click here.

On October 28–29, 2017, Superhumanity manifested at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea for a series of talks on Post-Labor, Psychopathology, and Plasticity. For more information, click here.

In 2018, thanks to support from the Graham Foundation, the original fifty contributions were published by the University of Minnesota Press as Superhumanity: Design of the Self.

Beatriz Colomina
Nikolaus Hirsch
Anton Vidokle
Mark Wigley

Deputy Editor
Nick Axel

Image Editor
Mariana Silva

Superhumanity is a project by e-flux Architecture at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, produced in cooperation with the Istanbul Design Biennial, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand, and the Ernst Schering Foundation.

Nick Axel, Beatriz Colomina, Nikolaus Hirsch, Anton Vidokle, and Mark Wigley
Closing editorial
Thomas Keenan
Or are we human beings?
Sophia Roosth
Analysis: Synthesis
Kali Stull and Etienne Turpin
Our Vectors, Ourselves
Stephan Trüby
Right-wing Spaces
Benjamin H. Bratton
On Anthropolysis
Jack Self
Beyond the Self
Alexander Tarakhovsky
Beyond the Gene
Spyros Papapetros
The Birth of Design
Ingo Niermann
Real Estate Porn
Giuliana Bruno
Storage Space
Rubén Gallo
Designer Sex
Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty
The One-Foot Shop
Tony Chakar
Down with the World
Daniel Birnbaum and Sven-Olov Wallenstein
Spatial Thought
Felicity D. Scott
Lesser Worlds
Raqs Media Collective
As if by Design
Ina Blom
On Snow Dancing
Lydia Kallipoliti
Masters and Slaves
Lucia Allais

Lucia Allais is an architectural historian and theorist who teaches at Princeton University, a member of Aggregate, and an editor of Grey Room.

Shumon Basar

Shumon Basar is a writer, editor, and thought councellor.

Ruha Benjamin

Ruha Benjamin is assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of People's Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press, 2013).

Daniel Birnbaum

Daniel Birnbaum is Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Ina Blom

Ina Blom is the author of The Autobiography of Video. The Life and Times of a Memory Technology (Sternberg Press, 2016).

Benjamin H. Bratton

Benjamin H. Bratton is author of The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2016) and Education Program Director of Strelka Institute. He is also Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego, a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School and Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc.

Giuliana Bruno

Giuliana Bruno is Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She recently published Surface: Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Zeynep Çelik Alexander

Zeynep Çelik Alexander is an architectural historian who teaches at the University of Toronto.

Tony Chakar
Tony Chakar is an architect, artist and writer. He teaches at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA/UOB).
Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins is Director of History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London.
Simon Denny

Simon Denny (b. 1982, Auckland, New Zealand) is an artist based in Berlin. His recent exhibitions explore the implications of Blockchain technology on sovereignty.

Keller Easterling

Keller Easterling is an architect and writer from New York City and a professor at Yale University. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014) examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity.

Hu Fang

Hu Fang is a story teller whose most recent book of stories is Dear Navigator (Sternberg Press and The Pavilion, 2014).

Rubén Gallo

Rubén Gallo teaches at Princeton University and is author of Freud's Mexico (MIT Press, 2010) and Proust's Latin Americans (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Liam Gillick

Liam Gillick is an artist. He recently published Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820 (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Boris Groys

Boris Groys is an art critic, media theorist, and philosopher. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Andrew Herscher

Andrew Herscher is a fellow at the Stanford Arts Institute, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, and author of Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict (Stanford University Press, 2010), The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2012), and Displacements: Architecture and Refugee (Sternberg Press, forthcoming).

Tom Holert

Tom Holert is an art historian and cultural critic based in Berlin who works on learning curves and knowledge vessels at the crossroads of politics, economy, contemporary art, design and architecture.

Brooke Holmes

Brooke Holmes is Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University.

Francesca Hughes

Francesca Hughes is an architectural theorist and educator who teaches at the AA, London. Author of The Architecture of Error: Matter, Measure and the Misadventures of Precision, she is currently working on a pre-history of the Universal Discrete Machine

Andrés Jaque

Andrés Jaque is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, a Madrid/New York based practice that brings inclusivity into daily life through architecture.

Lydia Kallipoliti

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar, currently an Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is the author of the forthcoming book Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit?

Thomas Keenan
Thomas Keenan teaches media, literature, and human rights at Bard College.
Sylvia Lavin

Sylvia Lavin is a professor of architecture at UCLA.

Yongwoo Lee

Yongwoo Lee is a media historian and cultural studies scholar based in New York and Seoul. He teaches media and cultural studies of modern Korea, film theory and popular culture in East Asia, intellectual history of wartime Japan and postwar Korea, Korean contemporary art and post/colonial historiography in the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko teaches architecture and writes novels. She is Associate Professor of Architecture and the Director of Graduate Programme at the University of Johannesburg.

MAP Office
MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix, based in Hong Kong since 1996.
Chus Martinez

Chus Martinez is Professor and Head of the Art Institute at the FHNW Academy in Basel.

Ingo Niermann

Ingo Niermann is a writer and just published the novel Solution 257: Complete Love (Sternberg Press, 2016).

Ahmet Öğüt

Ahmet Öğüt is an artist who often collaborates with individuals whose expertise lies outside the field of art to construct situations that bring about shifts in perspective.

Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines.

Spyros Papapetros

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of History and Theory in the School of Architecture and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. He is author of On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life (Chicago University Press, 2012).

Raqs Media Collective

Raqs Media Collective (Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been variously described as artists, curators, editors, and catalysts of cultural processes. They live and work in Delhi.

Juliane Rebentisch

Juliane Rebentisch is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the University of Arts and Design in Offenbach/Main, Germany.

Sophia Roosth

Sophia Roosth is the Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Her first book, Synthetic: How Life Got Made, will be released by the University of Chicago Press in March 2017.

Felicity D. Scott

Felicity D. Scott is Associate Professor of Architecture, Director of the Ph.D. program in Architecture (History and Theory), and Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP) program at Columbia GSAPP. Her most recent book is Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-insurgency (Zone Books, 2016).

Jack Self

Jack Self is Director of the REAL foundation and curator of the 2016 British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty

Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty are urbanists and cofounders of the School of Environment and Architecture in Mumbai.

Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer who lives in Berlin.

Kali Stull

Kali Stull is an activist and a recent graduate from the Master of Public Health program at the University of Pittsburgh, where her research focused on nonhuman agencies which affect human health.

Pelin Tan

Pelin Tan is Associate Professor at the Architecture Faculty, Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey

Alexander Tarakhovsky

Alexander Tarakhovsky is a scientist, writer, and artist.

Paulo Tavares

Paulo Tavares is currently a researcher at FAU-USP, Brasil, and a long-term collaborator of Forensic Architecture.

Stephan Trüby

Stephan Trüby is Professor of Architecture and Cultural Theory at the TU München and associate of the magazine ARCH+. He was head of research and development for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by Rem Koolhaas.

Etienne Turpin

Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Founding Director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sven-Olov Wallenstein

Sven-Olov Wallenstein is Professor of Philosophy at Södertörn Högskola in Stockholm.

Eyal Weizman

Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and director of Forensic Architecture.

Mabel O. Wilson

Mabel O. Wilson is a Professor at Columbia GSAPP where she teaches architectural design, history and theory. She recently published Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Books, 2016).

Brian Kuan Wood

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer and an editor of e-flux journal.

Liam Young

Liam Young is a speculative architect who operates across design, fiction and futures.

Arseny Zhilyaev

Arseny Zhilyaev was born in 1984 in Voronezh. An artist and museologist, Zhilyaev lives in Moscow and is on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine.

Superhumanity 51 41–50 31–40 21–30 11–20 1–10 Contributors