In 2014, an Argentina court ruled that Sandra was a sentient being with thoughts and feelings, and that she was a “non-human person” who had been wrongfully deprived of her freedom in the zoo. See . This photo was used to illustrate Brandon Keim’s article “An Orangutan Has (Some) Human Rights, Argentine Court Rules,” Wired, December 22, 2014. Many of the advocates were inspired by Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (1975). Photo: Roger Schultz/Flickr.

November 30, 2016, 6:30pm
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

On Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30pm e-flux Architecture will present SUPERHUMANITY TALKS at e-flux. Join Superhumanity editors Nick Axel, Beatriz Colomina, Nikolaus Hirsch, and Mark Wigley along with special guests Lucia Allais, Rubén Gallo, Brooke Holmes, Andrés Jaque, Lydia Kallipoliti, Spyros Papapetros, Martha Rosler, and Mabel O. Wilson for a series of presentations and conversations.

Drawing 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 responds to the theme of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial—Are We Human?—by engaging with and departing from the concept of the “self.” Superhumanity aims to explore and challenge our understanding of “design” by probing 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?

With Superhumanity, over 50 invited writers, scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archeologists and anthropologists bring new insight to these and related questions over the coming months. Contributions are published on the e-flux website and dispatched as emails. To join the Superhumanity mailing list, please subscribe to e-flux Architecture here.

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

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). His essay “Designer Sex” was published on November 14, 2016.

Brooke Holmes is Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. Her essay “Prescribing Reflexivity” was published on September 28, 2016.

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 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? Her essay “Masters and Slaves“ was published on October 19, 2016.

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).

Martha Rosler is an artist whose work centers on everyday life and labor, war, feminism, housing, and the built environment.

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). Her essay “Carceral Architectures” was published on October 4, 2016.

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.

For more information, contact

Design, Contemporary Art
Art Criticism

Lucia Allais is an architectural historian who writes about design, politics, and technology in the modern period and on the global stage. Her first book, Designs of Destruction: the Making of Monuments in the Twentieth Century, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018. She has written numerous articles about the history of architectural knowledge, including “The Real and the Theoretical, 1968” and “Rendering: On Experience and Experiments.” Most recently, she co-authored, with Forrest Meggers, a critical history of the carbonation equation for reinforced concrete, titled “Concrete is 100 years Old.” Allais is Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, the Director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, a member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, and an editor of the journal Grey Room.

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).

Brooke Holmes is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Classics at Princeton University.

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 is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York and the author of The Architecture of Closed Worlds (2018). She is the principal of ANAcycle thinktank.

Spyros Papapetros is Associate Professor of History and Theory in the School of Architecture and the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University.

Martha Rosler utilizes various media in her work, primarily video and photography, and also installation and sculpture; she also writes about art and culture. Her work has for decades considered matters of the public sphere and mass culture; war and geopolitical conflict; housing, urbanism, and the built environment, and systems of transportation—especially as these affect women. Many of her projects have been extrainstitutional or developed and enacted with groups of people. Rosler sees her work, her teaching, and her writing as continuations of a broader engagement with the currents of cultural critique and social and political change. Her work may best be summed up as both a conceptual art and an activist practice—focused on questions of representational form but joined, however uneasily, to a commitment to political agitation. Video, which she adopted in its infancy, presented itself as at the crossroads of both. Rosler spent the 1970s in California and Canada. In 1980, she returned to her native Brooklyn, where she lives and works.

Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. With her practice Studio&, she was a member of the design team that recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at Venice Architecture Biennale, SFMoMA, Art Institute of Chicago, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Wilson has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012), and co-edited the volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020). For the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, she was co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (2021). She’s a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?) a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.

Beatriz Colomina is an architecture historian, theorist, and curator. She is the founding director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University, the Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture, and Director of Graduate studies in the School of Architecture.

Nick Axel is an architect, editor, educator, and curator. He is Deputy Editor of e-flux Architecture and Head of the Architectural Design department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal and chief curator of the 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema.

Mark Wigley is Professor and Dean Emeritus at Columbia GSAPP. His most recent book is Konrad Wachsmann’s Television: Post-Architectural Transmissions (Sternberg Press, 2020).


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