November 4, 2019 - Museum of Craft and Design - Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience
e-flux Architecture
November 4, 2019
November 4, 2019

Museum of Craft and Design

ZO-loft Architecture and Design, WheelLY, 2009. Image courtesy of the artist.

Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience
December 19, 2019–May 3, 2020

MCD Curator Walkthrough: Survival Architecture:

Museum of Craft and Design
2569 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States
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This winter, the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) presents Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience, a timely exhibition showcasing visionary architects and artists who have created artistically interpretive solutions and prototypes for emergency shelters in a climate-constrained world. 

Guest curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg of Art Works for Change (AWFC) this exhibition follows the idea that addressing climate change must include ensuring durable, long-term housing solutions for vulnerable populations. For example, participating artist Tina Hovsepian’s Cardborigami (2016) installation showcases her lightweight and sustainable cardboard shelters that are big enough for two people to sleep in and can fold small enough to carry. In a similar vein, the projects and design concepts in the exhibition highlight how we need to rethink and develop robust housing designs that are flexible, resilient, and adaptable to survive the future effects of a changing environment.

The exhibition aims to make concepts accessible to a general audience and to address climate change through four centralized themes that reflect key characteristics about survival architecture: Circular—the importance of creating structures made of materials that can be used and reused indefinitely; Portable—the ability to create easily moveable and nomadic dwellings; Visionary—forward-thinking ideas that can radically change the way we think about shelter; and Resilient—structures that can adapt to adverse and dynamic circumstances.

Science, technology, architecture, and art converge within the exhibition to question the nature of what it means to survive climate change and natural disasters. How do we design and retrofit our built world to adapt to increased uncertainty and do it affordably? How do we produce dwellings that have a full life cycle of durability pre-, during, and post-disaster?

Climate change represents a vastly different kind of environmental challenge, requiring out-of-the-box thinking in how we adapt to and survive the expected onslaught of extreme weather and other disruptions,” said Rosenberg. “Artists are uniquely adept at re-envisioning our world and how we relate to it, as this exhibition shows.”

Support for the exhibition is provided by Simpson Strong-Tie, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Participating artists and studios include Andrew Maynard Architecture, Alejandro Aravena, Vincent Callebaut, Davison Design, Tina Hovsepian, IKEA Foundation, Chris Jordan, Liam Kelly, Thomas L. Kelly, Jingyang Liu Leo, Mary Mattingly, Achim Menges, Gerard Minakawa, William McDonough and Partners, Peta Fend and Malgorzata Pawlowska, The Empowerment Plan, Journeyman Pictures, Pedro Reyes, Phil Ross, Terreform ONE and Mitchell Joachim, Tomas Saraceno, Kevin Jin He and Won Ryu, and ZO-Loft Architecture and Design.

About Art Works for Change
Since 2008, AWFC has created, curated and produced 13 cross-disciplinary traveling exhibitions and projects that address critical social and environmental issues, and have reached a global audience of over 2 million people. These projects, hosted in 17 countries on five continents, have showcased the stories and visions of renowned artists from around the world. Learn more at

For more information and interview requests, contact Sarah Beth Rosales at sbrosales [​at​] or 415.773.0303.

About the Museum of Craft and Design
Celebrating 15 years with DESIGN15, the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) is the only museum in San Francisco devoted to craft and design. Founded in 2004, the MCD showcases designers, makers and artists through an exciting and distinctive series of craft and design-focused exhibitions and public programs. As a non-collecting institution, the museum actively collaborates with artists, designers, museums, and universities as well as design venues and practitioners to create inspirational experiences in the world of craft and design for visitors of all ages. Learn more at

Museum of Craft and Design
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