Manifesto Series: At Extremes

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

7 – 9 pm


#atextremes    #manifestoseries   @storefrontnyc


With Jordan Carver, Mitchell JoachimJanette Kim, Lola Sheppard, Andy Vann, and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss


The condition of extremes suggests a tipping point: a moment in which a system shifts from one state to another (often unpredictable) state. 


Ulrick Beck, in Risk Society, argues that “being at risk is the way of being and ruling in the world of modernity…global risk is the human condition at the beginning of the twenty-first century.” Until recently, the developed world has largely been successful in displacing the economic, environmental, and political impact of its development to other nations and peoples, or in directing externalities of development toward other groups and stakeholders within their own nations, rendering the risk invisible in its original context.


However, with the financial crisis of 2008 and the increasingly tangible impacts of climate change, complete displacement of risk is no longer possible. When one group or region seemingly achieves stability, another will likely lose it. A key factor in understanding extreme systems is the ability to interpret their relationship to risk. The further we move away from a state of equilibrium, the more volatile the extremes, the more exposed we are to danger and loss, and the more risk we take on. 


Manifesto Series: At Extremes discussed how architecture, infrastructure, and technology negotiate limits and operate in conditions of imbalance. Do the risk/reward models prevalent on the trading floors of global financial markets and in speculative real estate projects hold up in disciplines related to design?


How can the entangled relationship between risk and extreme conditions be leveraged in a new and productive model; one that emphasizes speculation as a way to test scenarios, outcomes, and tools? What is the role of design in such contexts? To document? To redress? To mitigate? To capitalize on new opportunities? Does the progressive destabilization of political, social, and environmental conditions render design more relevant, or less so?


Participants were asked to draw upon Bracket Vol 3. At Extremes, edited by Lola Sheppard and Maya Przybylski, to present a manifesto for or against the positive correlation of risk and extreme circumstances as a productive tool for models in architecture.


About the Book:

Bracket is an almanac that highlights emerging critical issues at the juncture of architecture, environment, and digital culture. The series looks at thematics in our age of globalization that are shaping the built environment in unexpected yet radically significant ways.


About the Manifesto Series:

Each iteration of Storefront’s Manifesto Series invites participants to denounce a present or past condition, proclaim an alternative present, past or future situation, and indicate a strategy or method of action.


About the Participants


Jordan Carver

Jordan H. Carver is a writer, researcher, and educator who writes on space, politics, and culture. He is the author of the upcoming book Spaces of Disappearance: The Architecture of Extraordinary Rendition (Urban Research, 2017). Jordanis a contributing editor to the Avery Review, a core member of Who Builds Your Architecture? and a Henry M. MacCracken Doctoral Fellow in American Studies at New York University.


Mitchell Joachim

Co-Founder, Terreform ONE and Associate Professor of Practice, NYU. Formerly, an architect at Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei. Selected by Wired magazine for “The Smart List” and Rolling Stone for “The 100 People Who Are Changing America”. His honors include; ARCHITECT R+D Award, Fulbright Scholarship, TED Fellowship, Moshe Safdie Fellow, AIA NY Urban Design Merit Award, 1st Place International Architecture Award, Victor Papanek Social Design Award, Zumtobel Group Award, History Channel Award, and Time magazine’s Best Invention with MIT Smart Cities. Co-authored books, “XXL – XS: New Directions in Ecological Design,” “Super Cells: Building with Biology,” and “Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned”. PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MAUD Harvard University, MArch Columbia University.


Janette Kim

Janette Kim is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work focuses on design and ecology in relationship to public representation, interest, and debate. Janette is assistant professor of architecture and co-director of the Urban Works Agency at California College of the Arts, founding principal of the design practice All of the Above, and founding editor of ARPA Journal, a digital publication on applied research practices in architecture. Janette was also Assistant Professor at Syracuse University from 2015-2016 and Adjunct Assistant Professor from 2005-2015 at Columbia University, where she directed the Applied Research Practices in Architecture initiative and the Urban Landscape Lab.


Lola Sheppard / Lateral Office

Lola Sheppard is co-founder, together with Mason White, of Lateral Office, a design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The studio describes its process as a commitment to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political. Lateral Office have been pursuing research and design work on the role of architecture in remote regions, particularly the North, for the past seven years.


Lateral’s work has been exhibited and lectured extensively across the USA, Canada and Europe.  Lateral Office are the authors of the upcoming book Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory (Actar 2017) and of Pamphlet Architecture 30, COUPLING: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2011). Sheppard and White are also co-editors of the journal Bracket, together with Neeraj  Bhatia and Maya Przybylski.


Andy Vann

Andy Vann is an organizer, educator, parent and architect based in Brooklyn. He has taught at City Tech, City College and Columbia GSAPP and is currently working at Paul Castrucci Architect.


Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss is a research architect producing exhibitions, books, lectures, installations and buildings. He founded NAO for design and co-founded SMS (School of Missing Studies) for urban studies. He researched for Herzog & de Meuron, designed for Richard Gluckman as well as collaborated with Jenny Holzer, Robert Wilson and Marjetica Potrc. He was a swimmer competing within the national junior league of Yugoslavia.





Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gaggenau; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.