Meredith TenHoor, “On Residues and Repair”

Meredith TenHoor, “On Residues and Repair”

A former building materials manufacturing site, Kearny, NJ, 2023. Photo: Meredith TenHoor

Meredith TenHoor, “On Residues and Repair”
e-flux Architecture Lectures

Free admission

May 9, 2024, 7pm
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

e-flux Architecture presents “On Residues and Repair,” a lecture by Meredith TenHoor at e-flux on Thursday, May 9 at 7pm.

How can we theorize the harm of modern building materials? What does it mean to live with this harm? What forms of repair are possible? One of the most damaging additives to building materials is vinyl chloride, widely used in flooring, piping, and roofing. The liver-cancer-associated and VOC-emitting chemical that was spilled and then incinerated in the recent Northern-Southern rail disaster in East Palestine, Ohio has quietly polluted many landscapes prior to this spectacular disaster, at sites of production, construction, transportation, installation, use, and disposal. Looking at the long history of vinyl products—the materials they replaced, the forms of racialization they provoke, their local and global social and ecological impacts—I will analyze what I call “vinylaties:” how building products manufacturers, the architects who aestheticized their products, and activists who have insisted on repair, contend with the violence of this material.

“On Residues and Repair” is presented as part of e-flux Architecture Lectures, a monthly series inviting researchers and practitioners to discuss timely issues in contemporary architecture, theory, culture, and technology.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.          
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator that leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.                   
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.

Pollution & Toxicity, Environment, Health & Disease

Meredith TenHoor is an architectural and urban historian, and Professor in the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute. She is also editor, founding board member, and former chair of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, a group devoted to publishing and advancing collaboratively-produced scholarship in architectural theory and history. Her research examines how architecture, urbanism, and landscape design participate in the distribution of resources, and how these design practices have produced understandings of the limits and capacities of bodies. She has written extensively about the relationships between food and agriculture and architectural, cultural, and territorial change in twentieth-century France. Other key topics are histories of justice, exclusion, and displacement in architecture and urban planning; architectures of consumption and biopolitics; and the intellectual history of francophone and anglophone critical theory. Her publications include Toxics(2022), Black Lives Matter (2015), Street Value: Shopping, Planning and Politics at Fulton Mall (2010), and a forthcoming book about the design history and political economies of French food systems. Newer projects address the bodily and environmental impacts of building materials, the architectural imaginaries of environmental futures, and the career of the French architect Nicole Sonolet, who designed housing, hospitals, and villages focused around the provision of care.

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