Definition Series: Secrets

Tuesday October 18, 2016

Definition Series: Secrets

Tuesday. October 18, 2016

7pm – 9pm

97 Kenmare Street, New York


With Jesse Connuck, Kaarina Gould, Daniel Perlin, Aamu Song & Johan Olin, and Troy Conrad Therrien


Today subjectivity has become a technical construction; the contemporary subject is defined as an owner of a set of passwords that only he or she knows. The contemporary subject is primarily a keeper of a secret.

Boris Groys, Cosmic Anxiety


As access to information becomes increasingly ubiquitous across spaces of culture and industry, certain questions remain: what is, or should be, a secret? What are the tools for finding, revealing, or making that special information accessible? To the beholder: when should a secret be revealed, or why should it not? To the investigator: what should one do with a secret once it is discovered?


Definition Series: Secrets invites participants to define the implications and processes of disclosure within contemporary forms of secrecy and restriction. From embodied knowledge of specific skills inherited through teacher-apprentice structures, to open source technologies and litigation of intellectual property, secrets are held, cloaked, revealed, divulged, leaked, and sometimes freely shared.


Definition Series: Secrets takes as its point of departure a long-term project called “Salakauppa” (interpreted from Finnish as “secret shop”). The project has been developed by COMPANY, a Finnish-Korean artist/designer duo. Traveling to outmoded manufacturing sites around the world to learn crafting processes unique to particular industries, the duo collaborates with a variety of communities to rethink its own processes and knowledge, and to produce new designs.


As the world’s resources continue to be threatened, depleted, and destroyed, new sustainable solutions and imaginative approaches are needed. As part of IDEAS CITY 2013, Definition Series: On Capital encouraged intensive examination of surplus resources that may be under-recognized or underutilized, rather than focusing on deficits. Definitions Series: Secrets pushes this investigation forward by exploring latent, hidden, and/or veiled information that may help lead to a more productive society.

About the Book:

The Book of Secrets by COMPANY (Aamu Song & Johan Olin), 2016.

Reading Images Series: Democracy

Tuesday August 30, 2016

Reading Images Series: Democracy

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

7:00 – 9:00 pm

97 Kenmare St, New York


Participants: Max Cohen de LaraJames Graham, Michael Manfredi, David Mulder van der Vegt, Mark Rakatansky, and Malkit Shoshan
The relationship between politics and architecture is a complex one. The agency of architecture is often grounded in the symbolic and performative qualities of form, and its political power lies in the way these qualities produce and reproduce specific values, meanings, and uses.
In the spaces that house parliament, politics takes shape. Within the architectures of these structures, officials congregate, collective decisions are formed, and relationships between political actors emerge.
How do the spaces, settings, and structures designed for political assembly impact decision-making practices? How do they characterize the nuances in our political systems?
Reading Images Series: Democracy invited us to explore the plenary halls of the parliaments of the 193 United Nations member states on the occasion of the launch of the book Parliament by XML.
Participants traced differences and similarities between cultures of assembly, and made visible the symbolic and performative underpinnings of their architectures. In exploring these deliberative spaces, they questioned the role architecture can play in rethinking our models of collectivity, and in provoking the politics of our time.

About Parliament

Since 2010, XML has researched and documented spaces of political congregation around the world. Organized as a lexicon, the book allows comparison of all 193 national parliaments in the world. Similar to a manual archive, the book documents the rooms in the same style and scale, and also provides key data and the assembly hall’s location within the larger parliament building. Comparing settings between East and West, North and South, democratic and authoritarian regimes, Parliament addresses the plenary hall of parliaments as more than mere ornamental, symbolic representation of national values, understanding them as active agents in shaping political culture and the future of our societies. Research associated with the book has been exhibited as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale (2014) and the Guangzhou Triennial (2015).

In parallel to the book, XML has launched to build upon the architectural typologies presented in Parliament. The website offers virtual 360-degree views of the interiors of various parliaments that were visited and documented as part of the research.




James Graham is the Director of Publications at Columbia GSAPP, where he is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor. He directs the Columbia Books on Architecture and the City imprint, for which he has edited or co-edited a number of volumes, including Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (2016) and 2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory (2015). In 2014, he founded the Avery Review, a digital periodical of critical essays on architecture. His own scholarly work has been published in Grey Room, AA Files, Manifest and JSAH, among other journals. He also has degrees in architecture from MIT and the University of Virginia, and is a registered architect.


Michael A. Manfredi is the co-founder of WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, a multidisciplinary design practice based in New York City that is at the forefront of architectural design practices that are redefining the relationships between architecture, landscape, infrastructure, and art. His firm’s award-winning projects include the Olympic Sculpture Park, University of Pennsylvania’s Nanotechnology Center, Barnard College’s Diana Center, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, and, currently, a corporate co-location building at Cornell Tech’s new campus in New York City and the US Embassy in New Delhi, India. Manfredi is a National Academy inductee and has been honored with the Academy Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices Award, Harvard’s International VR Green Urban Design Award, and the New York AIA Gold Medal of Honor.  He is currently a Senior Design Critic at Harvard and has also taught design studios at Yale as the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Cornell.


Mark Rakatansky is Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia GSAPP and principal of Mark Rakatansky Studio. He is the author of Tectonic Acts of Desire and Doubt (Architectural Association, 2012). Other recent publications and interviews include “Palladio and Eisenman Redux: Outside-In,” in Constructs (YSoA, 2016) “Mark Rakatansky, Mark Rakatansky Studio,” Conversation with the Editors, in Project (2015); “Mark Rakatansky” in Form, Idea, Resonance: Thirty Years of Architectural League Emerging Voices (PAP, 2015); and “The Transformations of Giulio Romano” in Giulio Romano e l’arte del Cinquecento (Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2014). Current and recently completed projects include a cluster housing project, a townhouse, and the residence Permana in Jakarta.


Malkit Shoshan is the founder of FAST, The Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory. Her work explores the relationship between architecture, politics, and human rights. She is the author of the award-winning book Atlas of Conflict, Israel-Palestine (Uitgeverij 010, 2010), and co-author of Village (Damiani Editore, 2014). Currently, she is the curator of BLUE: Architecture of UN peacekeeping missions, the Dutch entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale. Malkit studied architecture at the Technion (Israel), and the IUAV (Italy). She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Delft University of Technology. Her dissertation explores the role architecture can have in conflict areas, focusing on UN missions. 


XML is led by two partners, David Mulder van der Vegt and Max Cohen de Lara who founded the office in 2008. Along side of their architectural practice they have taught at Delft University of Technology, the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam and at the Dessau Institute of Architecture. Currently, both partners are founders and directors of the two year Master Program ‘Designing Democracy’ at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Reading Images: Incidents of Travel

Thursday September 8, 2016

Reading Images: Incidents of Travel

Viewing Room: The Catherwood Project


Thursday, September 8th, 2016

4:00 – 8:30 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare St, New York


On View

4:00 to 8:30 pm

Leandro Katz, The Catherwood Project (1985–1993)



7:00 to 8:00 pm

Participants: Julia Herzberg, David Shapiro, Eugenie Tsai

Works By: Frederick Catherwood and Lize Mogel with John Emerson


On Thursday September 8th from 4 to 8:30 pm, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Storefront for Art and Architecture present Viewing Room, a one day installation of images at Storefront’s gallery space, showcasing a series of photographs from The Catherwood Project by Leandro Katz and the 1844 book of lithographs Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan by Frederick Catherwood.


From 7 to 8 pm, a Reading Images series will take place, featuring a program of presentations. Art historian Julia Herzberg, who organized an exhibition of Katz’s work a decade ago at El Museo del Barrio, will give context to the artist’s project; curator Eugenie Tsai will relate Robert Smithson’s Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan (1969) to Katz’s project; poet David Shapiro will read from Incidents of Travel in Poetry (2016) by the late Frank Lima; and Lize Mogel (in collaboration with John Emerson) will provide a map of expeditions in the Maya region carried out by Katz, Stephens, and Catherwood.


This event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Storefront members can reserve seat a by contacting Andrew Emmet at For information about Storefront membership, see here or call 212.431.5795


About the Works

The illustrated publications documenting John Lloyd Stephens’ and Frederick Catherwood’s expeditions in the Maya region, undertaken from 1839 to 1842, caused a commotion during the nineteenth century. These have since inspired archeologists, historians and artists, as well as explorers and travelers of all walks of life, who have developed further work taking their cue from their predecessors’ itineraries, narratives, and images. One such case is the Argentinian artist Leandro Katz (b. 1938). Starting in 1984 and for the span of several years, Katz undertook numerous trips to Mexico and Central America, retracing and eventually completing the expedition itineraries of Stephens and Catherwood. His ensuing artwork, The Catherwood Project, dated 1985–1995, is a visual reconstruction of those expeditions, portraying an updated image of the ancient edifices first drawn by Catherwood, and, in the process, exploring the colonial gaze and postcolonial perspectives.


About Viewing Room

Viewing Room is a charted journey through some recent acquisitions of the contemporary art collection of Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC). It consists of a series of events in New York City in which a single artwork from the collection is put on display with an accompanying public program. Audiences are invited to experience seminal yet rarely seen artworks—in most cases, never before exhibited in the city—and to participate in programs designed to help discern the processes and contexts in which these were created. Co-presenting institutions of Viewing Room have included The Kitchen, SculptureCenter, and Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in New York.


About Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

With offices in New York and Caracas, the mission of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is to enhance appreciation of the diversity, sophistication, and range of art from Latin America; advance scholarship of Latin American art; and promote excellence in visual-arts education. Its art collection is organized in five different sections: ethnographic (Orinoco), colonial, traveler-artists, modern, and contemporary.

This event is organized by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) and Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC, and with artist Alejandro Cesarco.


For press inquiries, please contact Jinny Khanduja at or 212.431.5795.


This event is organized by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) and Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, curator of contemporary art at the CPPC, with artist Alejandro Cesarco.


Cabaret Series: Textile Tests

Tuesday March 29, 2016

Tuesday, March 29 at 7 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York


Cabaret Series: Textile Tests examines the way in which textiles — through a variety of applications, scales, and techniques — participate in the making of both normative and experimental forms and spaces.


Storefront’s latest Cabaret Series brings together a group of architects, engineers, designers, and other experts, who will each deliver a presentation-performance focusing on a particular category of textiles. Participants will present objects, materials, and/or textile samples, and reflect upon the future of textiles in design.


Presentations will range from an academic-poetic soliloquy to a performance by a Brooklyn Ballet dancer in a technologically enhanced tutu.


Textile Categories / Participants

Introduction: Deborah Schneiderman and Alexa Griffith Winton

Layering: Deborah Schneiderman

3D Embroidery + Upholstery: Annie Coggan

Digital Manipulation: Igor Siddiqui

3D Printing: Francis Bitonti

Weaving: Isa Rodrigues

High Technology​: Leila Ligougne and Nick Vermeer

Surface Manipulation: Sarah Strauss



This event is free and open to the public. If you are a Storefront member and would like to reserve a seat, you can RSVP here. If you would like to become a Storefront member, please see here.


About the Cabaret Series

Storefront’s Cabaret Series develops modes of expression that engage with contemporary discourse, engaging the audience and the social, political, and physical space of Storefront in a playful and humorous manner. The series aims to produce new modes of communication between speakers, performers, and spectators through provocation, seduction, and immediacy.




This event is presented in conjunction with the launch of Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space, edited by Deborah Schneiderman and Alexa Griffith Winton.


Support for the event is provided by Parsons School of Constructed Environments, Pratt Institute School of Design, and Bloomsbury Academic.


Textile Technology and Design

Original Image by Allison Woods.


About the Book

Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) addresses the critical role of the interior at the intersection of design and technology, with a range of interdisciplinary arguments by a wide range of contributors: from design practitioners to researchers and scholars to aerospace engineers. The book examines the way in which textiles and technology – while seemingly distinct – continually inform each other through their persistent overlapping of interests, and eventually coalesce in the practice of interior design.

Copies will be available for purchase at Storefront during the event


About the Editors

Deborah Schneiderman is a Professor of Interior Design at Pratt Institute. She is also a registered architect and the principal and founder of deSc: architecture/design/research, a Brooklyn based research practice. Schneiderman’s scholarship and teaching explore the emerging fabricated interior environment and its materiality. Her research has been widely published, and, in addition to Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space, includes the following books: Inside Prefab: the Ready-Made Interior (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), The Prefab Bathroom: An Architectural History (McFarland, 2014) an architectural graphic novel style history (illustrated by Bishakh Som), and the edited volume Interiors Beyond Architecture (co-edited with Amy Campos, Routledge, 2017).


Alexa Griffith Winton is an independent design historian based in New York, where she is also visiting associate professor at Pratt Institute and on the interior design faculty at Parsons School of Constructed Environments. Her research investigates theories of the modern interior as well as the relationship between textiles and architecture in the mid-twentieth century. Her work has been published internationally. She has received grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Center for Craft, Creativity and Research, and the Beverly Willis Foundation.

Manifesto Series: Unfinished

Tuesday March 1, 2016

A Manifesto Series

Manifesto Series- Unfinished

Cadelasverdes, Spanish Dream, 2013.


Tuesday, March 1 at 7 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York




The act of creating new objects from scratch is often no longer possible for the professional architect given the social and economic contexts of our contemporary world.


In some societies, building booms during periods of high economic growth have resulted in a collection of contemporary ruins that are now neglected due to a lack of resources or lack of need for their use. In other contexts, architecture emerges as a result of decision-making processes that allocate minimal resources to the basic human need of habitation.


A contradiction thus exists between the architecture commonly presented by the media as finished forms frozen in time, and architecture that has the capacity to evolve, adapt, and transform. This latter type of architecture, which is perpetually “unfinished,” allows for a different understanding of time. The speed with which we commonly evaluate society’s developments and the urge to constantly reinvent things affect our perceptions of architecture’s horizons of time.


The dictionary definition of “unfinished” presents the following synonyms: unadorned, crude, formless, imperfect, raw, rough, under construction, unfashioned, unperfected, unpolished, unrefined. All of these adjectives conjure in the imagination of designers a new type of architectural intervention that perceives the existing built environment as a constraint upon which we can leave an important but impermanent mark. In this way, architects become a link in the chain of a structure’s life. Through the concept of the “unfinished,” we may understand the desirability of a perpetual state of evolution of the architectures that define our societies.


The architecture of the unfinished leaves open a door to the unexpected, and to ideas and interventions of the future – many of which we may not yet be aware.


This event is organized in collaboration with the project “Unfinished,” curated by Iñaqui Carnicero and Carlos Quintans for the Spanish Pavilion of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. “Unfinished” will present a selection of projects developed in the Iberian Peninsula over the last ten years that epitomize a new type of architectural intervention.




Sean Anderson 
Associate Curator of Architecture, Museum of Modern Art
José Aragüez 
Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Columbia GSAPP
PhD Candidate, History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton
Iñaqui Carnicero
Architect and Co-Curator of the Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale
Nahyun Hwang 
Partner, NHDM Architecture Urbanism
Carla Juaçaba 
Architect and Researcher
Lorena del Río
Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornell AAP
Co-Founder, RICA* STUDIO




Storefront’s Manifesto Series is part of an effort to encourage the formulation of positions and instigate spirited discussion and exchange in a dynamic and polemical context. The format therefore differs from that of a typical symposium. Rather than presenting a synthetic lecture, participants are invited to deliver a concise, point by point manifesto, with the hope that their positions will provide grounds for discussion to test various hypotheses in real time.


Support for this event provided by Cornell AAP and Chispa Wines.


This event is free and open to the public. If you are a Storefront member and would like to reserve a seat, you can RSVP here. If you would like to become a Storefront member, please see here.

Salon Series: Taking Buildings Down

Tuesday January 12, 2016


January 12, 2016 at 7 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York


With Keller Easterling, Kelsey Keith, Richard Plunz, Jorge Otero Pailos, and INCA (Curators of the Taking Buildings Down competition). Moderated by Eva Franch and presented as a Salon Series in conjunction with Storefront’s OfficeUS project.

While building has traditionally been defined as the assembly of parts or materials toward the creation of a whole, our built environment is the product of many forces, reflecting tensions between creation and destruction, addition and subtraction, and erection and demolition. 
Next Tuesday, Storefront’s Salon Series will bring together critics and scholars to discuss the implications behind the ongoing competition Taking Buildings DownParticipants will address questions of memory, power, politics, heritage, and city-making to ultimately expand the notion of what it means to build today.
This event marks the pre-release of OfficeUS Manual, with content from the publication related to the one of the 25 themes,  Democratizing Action. It also marks the registration deadline for the Taking Buildings Down ideas competition. You may register for the competition here. Winning entries will be published, and three monetary prizes will be awarded to the best submissions. 
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, January 12
Submission Deadline: Wednesday, January 20
This event is free and open to the public, with seating available on a first come, first served basis. Storefront members receive reserved seating. To become a member please click here. You may reserve a seat here.
About Storefront Salon and OfficeUS:

Storefront Salon is a informal gathering at Storefront’s gallery space that addresses the 25 issues of OfficeUS, a project introduced at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The salon promotes dialogue connecting art and architecture to these broader contemporary issues, which include:

Ex-Im, Trojan Horses, Best Practices, Crude Ideals, International Comfort, Reprogramming, The Invisibles, Global Citizenship, Magical States, Profit Margin, Smart Concrete, Little Americas, Anger/Love Management, Cargo Cult, Housing Public Good, Bullets Without Ideology, Code Upgrade, Culture Capital, Superlatives, Big Box Rules, Network Patents, Mission Good, Around the clock, Labor LEED and Mission Statement

These facilitated discussions are open to everyone, and will bring together Storefront’s members, network, and the community to discuss and dissect the role of culture in the most recent and relevant public debates. The OfficeUS project maintains the momentum and spirit of transformative thought coupled with collaborative action that was present at the US Pavilion, and captures its vigor in order to bring to New Yorkers a model of social engagement through art and architecture. This model deals with both ideas and practice that are simultaneously intellectually stimulating, innovative, cross-disciplinary, and accessible.

Definition Series: Shelter, Not Shelter

Tuesday December 15, 2015

December 15, 2015 at 7 pm
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street, New York
With Nick Axel, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Vere van Gool, Lydia Kallipoliti, Ryan John King, Sean Monahan, and others
The concept of shelter is an architectural stigma, and perhaps for good reason. Shelter is perceived to be the absolute minimum necessity for survival, and the humanitarian-industrial complex has for some time now attempted to redefine it in ever more detailed terms and conditions. Architecture, however, tends to be defined by shelter, if in no other way than as its excess.
Volume #46: Shelter is dedicated to the question: how can shelter be reformulated as a projective concept for architecture? On the occasion of the issue’s release, contributors to the publication are invited to address the complicated nature of shelter today and provide an operative definition for tomorrow.

Definition Series: Holes (Blind Spots and Other Anomalies)

Tuesday December 8, 2015

December 8, 2015 at 7 pm
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street, New York
With Sarah Oppenheimer, Ines Goldbach, and Julian Rose.
Boundaries delimit inhabited space, shaping the material and immaterial flow along its contours. Holes distort these contours. The presence of holes produces blind spots, absorbing the possibility of communication and placing it on hold. Simultaneously, holes shuffle transmission, re-routing flow through the network of inhabitable space.
A new publication by Mills College Art Museum explores the potential of this distortion of the visual and social fields through an examination of two recent projects by artist Sarah Oppenheimer.
Sarah Oppenheimer’s first solo exhibition was held in 2002 at the Drawing Center, New York. Since that time, her work has been exhibited internationally. Her projects include W-12302, an architecturally embedded permanent commission at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2012) and 33-D, a double threshold at Kunsthaus Baselland (2014). Her work has also been shown at The Andy Warhol Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Saint Louis Art Museum; and the Sculpture Center, Long Island City. Upcoming solo exhibitions include projects at MUDAM, Luxembourg 2016; the Perez Art Museum, Miami 2016; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio 2017.
Books will be available for sale at the event.
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Interrogation Series: Informal Public Demands

Saturday October 24, 2015


Saturday, October 24th

5:30 – 7:30 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York


Participants Include: 

Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Peter Mörtenböck, Helge Mooshammer, author and journalist Robert Neuwirth, urban anthropologist Vyjayanthi Rao, and artist and scholar Hakan Topal


Today, urban informality has become key to balancing the ecosystem of a globalized world. While part of everyday life for billions of people, official political engagement with informality is often contradictory, obscuring and repressive – from the World Bank’s warning of a “drag on growth” to informal trade being denounced as criminal and notorious by monopolist organizations.


The contributions to the two-volume publication Informal Market Worlds aim to challenge the hegemonic stance about informality as subordinate: In the Atlas, 72 accounts of informal market places worldwide map out the breadth of current economic transformation, from the absorptive function of post-conflict and border markets to the liberal aura of metropolitan hipster markets. Assembling seminal voices in the field of global and urban studies, from Keith Hart to Ananya Roy to Saskia Sassen and AbdouMaliq Simone amongst others, the Reader connects crucial analyses of the conceptual and historical trajectories of informality with a multiplicity of perspectives on the urgencies posed by today’s informal realities.


“Interrogation Series: Informal Public Demands” reflects on what Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman—together with Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, editors of Informal Market Worlds—have termed “informal public demands”, i.e. the changes in urban policies and planning practices required to engage with informality in a productive and fair manner. A series of questions to the editors and contributors will relate these demands to the ongoing physical transformation of New York and its embeddedness in global processes of informalisation, be in the realm of finance, urban development or social relations.


This event is organized on the occasion of the launch of Informal Market Worlds – The Architecture of Economic Pressure. Atlas & Reader, ed. Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer.


Support by:

Austrian Cultural Forum

nai010 publishers

UCSD Center on Global Justice




Name of the books:

Informal Market Worlds – Atlas

The Architecture of Economic Pressure


Informal Market Worlds – Reader

The Architecture of Economic Pressure



Peter Mörtenböck, Helge Mooshammer

Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman



About the books:

Informal markets arise on the fault lines inscribed by global alliances of money and power: wars and humanitarian crises, national and infrastructural borders, the worldwide trade in waste and the marginal spaces of urban transformation. They act as globalization’s safety valve while also providing livelihoods for millions of people trading in the streets of cities around the world.


These books track the powers, currents and actors driving informal trade. They document the growing influence informal economies are having on human co-existence on a planetary scale. Informal markets may have turned into key urban economic frontiers, but can they also produce positive social and political change?


Bringing into focus the contested spaces at the bottom of the world economy, the Informal Market Worlds Atlas presents 72 case studies of informal marketplaces around the world—from Kabul’s post-conflict Bush Bazaar to Casablanca’s counterfeit markets, from street vending in Bangkok’s “red zones” to cross-border trade between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and from the 7th Kilometre container market in Odessa to New York’s booming hipster markets.


Exploring the conflicted realities of informal market worlds, the Informal Market Worlds Reader brings together texts on urban informality, global struggle and design activism by eminent scholars and practitioners, including Teddy Cruz, Alejandro Echeverri, Keith Hart, Ananya Roy, Saskia Sassen, Richard Sennett, AbdouMaliq Simone, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jean-Philippe Vassal and many others.


About the authors:


Peter Mörtenböck is Professor of Visual Culture at the Vienna University of Technology and visiting researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he has initiated the Networked Cultures project (, a platform for global research on collaborative art and architecture practices. His current work explores the interaction of such practices with resource politics, global economies and urban transformation.


Helge Mooshammer is director of the international research projects Relational Architecture and Other Markets ( at the School of Architecture and Planning, Vienna University of Technology. He is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research is concerned with changing forms of urban sociality arising from processes of transnationalization, capital movements, informal economies, and newly emerging regimes of governance.


Mörtenböck and Mooshammer have published numerous essays on contemporary art, bottom-up urbanism and collaborative forms of spatial production, including in Grey Room, Architectural Research Quarterly and Third Text. Venues where their research and curatorial work has been presented include the Whitechapel Gallery London, the Netherlands Architecture Institute Rotterdam, Storefront for Art and Architecture New York, Proekt Fabrika Moscow, Santral Istanbul, Ellen Gallery Montreal, and the Venice Architecture Biennale. Their recent books include Visual Cultures as Opportunity (2015), Occupy: Räume des Protests (2012), Space (Re) Solutions: Intervention and Research in Visual Culture (2011), and Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space (2008).


Teddy Cruz is a Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is known internationally for his urban research on the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and civic infrastructure. Recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1991, his honors include representing the US in the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011, and the 2013 Architecture Award from the US Academy of Arts and Letters.


Fonna Forman is a Professor of Political Theory at the University of California, San Diego and founding Director of the UCSD Center on Global Justice. She is best known for her revisionist work on Adam Smith, recuperating the ethical, social, spatial and public dimensions of his political economy.  Current work focuses on climate justice in cities, on human rights at the urban scale, and civic participation as a strategy of equitable urbanization.  She presently consults on climate justice for the California Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and serves on the Global Citizenship Commission, for her expertise on social and economic rights.


Cruz & Forman direct the UCSD Cross-Border Initiative, and are principles in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego. Their work emphasizes urban conflict and informality as sites of intervention for rethinking public policy and civic infrastructure, with a special emphasis on Latin American cities. From 2012-13 they served as special advisors on Civic and Urban Initiatives for the City of San Diego and led the development of its Civic Innovation Lab.  They are presently co-investigating a Ford Foundation-funded study on citizenship culture in the San Diego-Tijuana border region, in collaboration with Antanas Mockus and the Bogota-based NGO, Corpovisionarios.


Robert Neuwirth has spent most of the past four years hanging out with street hawkers, smugglers, and sub-rosa import/export firms to write Stealth of Nations, a book that chronicles the global growth of System D — the parallel economic arena that today accounts for half the jobs on the planet. Prior to that, he lived in squatter communities across four continents to write Shadow Cities, a book that attempts to humanize these vibrant, energetic, and horribly misunderstood communities. His articles on cities, politics, and economic issues have appeared in many publications, including Harper’s, Scientific American, Forbes, Fortune, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Metropolis, and City Limits. Before becoming a reporter, Neuwirth worked as a community organizer and studied philosophy. He lives in New York City and does most of his writing on manual typewriters.


Vyjayanthi Rao is the Director of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research in New York. Prior to her appointment at Terreform, she held research and teaching positions at The New School, at Yale University and at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2005, she served as a co-director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research), an innovative urban think-tank based in Mumbai. Her work focuses on the intersections of urban planning, violence and speculation in the articulation of the contemporary global city. Her publications include Speculation, Now: Essays and Artworks (2014), edited with Carin Kuoni and Prem Krishnamurthi, and the forthcoming monograph Speculative City: Infrastructure and Complexity in Global Mumbai.


Hakan Topal is an artist and scholar living and working in New York City. He is an Assistant Professor of New Media and Art+Design at the State University of New York’s Purchase College and a member of the graduate faculty in the School of Visual Arts’ Fine Arts Department. He was a cofounder of xurban_collective (2000–12) and has exhibited extensively, including at the 8th and 9th Istanbul Biennials; apexart, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; MoMA PS1; Platform, Istanbul; and the 9th Gwangju Biennial.

Reading Images Series: After Belonging and the Spaces of a Life in Transit

Tuesday September 29, 2015

Fazel has spent the last five years in a reception center, waiting for his application to be processed. He says it feels like his living in a prison. – I feel I am being treated like an animal, he says. Fazel’s hope is to get a positive answer from the Norwegian immigration authorities. Photo: Javad Parsa

Tuesday, September 29th at 7 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York


Participants Include:

Gro Bonesmo, Eva Franch i Gilabert, Leah Meisterlin, María Nicanor, Julian Rose, and Mark Wigley


Along with the curators of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016:

Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio G. Galán, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrete Llopis, and Marina Otero Verzier


With Introductions By:

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg

Director of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, Hege Maria Eriksson


The increasing global movement of people, information, and goods has destabilized what we understand as “residence,” undermining spatial permanence, property, and identity. This process of circulation brings greater accessibility and more diversity to remote territories, transforming the way we own, exchange, and share goods and resources. It simultaneously increases inequalities for large groups, who are kept in precarious transit.
These transformations concern both our attachment to places—where do we belong?—, as well as our relation to the objects we own, share, and exchange—how do we manage our belongings? Being at home has a different definition nowadays, both within domestic settings and in the spaces defined by national boundaries.


“Reading Images: After Belonging” reflects on a group of images that frame new objects, spaces, and territories which define our transformed condition of belonging under global regimes of circulation.
We invite the participants to critically consider the different scales involved in these transformations (from the drawers in which we keep our belongings to the territories in which we exchange them) and their different media (from the materiality of legal borders to the media spaces constructed by new home-sharing platforms and applications).
The event is presented in conjunction with the launch of the competition “After Belonging: Intervention Strategies,” a part of the program of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennial.


“Reading Images: After Belonging” is organized on the occasion of the launch of After Belonging: Intervention Strategies competition, which will be launched in September 2015 and is part of the program of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale.



About the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale Curators:


Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco is a New York based architect and scholar. He is currently a PhD Candidate at Princeton University. Casanovas was trained as an architect at ETSABarcelona and the Edinburgh College of Art, and graduated from the MSc in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia GSAPP. Casanovas has co-curated the lecture series “Margins and Hyphens” at Princeton SOA, and the symposium “Conflict of Interests” on architectural research at Columbia GSAPP. He has collaborated with different design offices and research institutions as the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture or the GSAPP Global Africa Lab. Casanovas has taught studios at Barnard College, Princeton University, and ETSA Barcelona. His current interests include the aesthetic agendas of the architectures resulting from institutional practices or the relationship between the history of the senses and architecture.


Ignacio G. Galán is a New York based architect and scholar. He was trained at TU Delft and ETSAMadrid, and graduated as a Fulbright Scholar from the MArchII at Harvard GSD. He has been a Fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome, and is a PhD Candidate at Princeton University. As the Principal of [igg—office for architecture], his designs have been awarded in different competitions including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín, and he has been nominated to the 2014 Iakov Chernikhov Prize. His work has resulted in different publications and exhibitions including the installation “Cinecittà Occupata” for the 2014 Venice Biennale by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas. Galán teaches studios and seminars in different institutions including Columbia GSAPP and PennDesign. His work concentrates on the architectures articulating modern and contemporary societies, particularly addressing their relation to process of material and cultural circulation, and the mediations transforming their occupations.


Carlos Mínguez Carrasco is a New York based architect and curator. He is Associate Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture. In 2014 he was Assistant Curator of OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Previously, he co-founded PKMN, an internationally renowned collective based in Madrid. Trained as an architect at ETSABarcelona and TU Delft, he graduated from the MSc in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP. Mínguez has organized a wide range of exhibitions, events and competitions including BEING, Storefront’s 30th Anniversary exhibition, Letters to the Mayor, and the platform World Wide Storefront. His work has been exhibited and published in different journals asDomus and Código and he is editor of two forthcoming publications OfficeUS Manual and Sf30 (Lars Muller Publishers). Mínguez has lectured in different universities including Columbia GSAPP, Harvard GSD, Princeton University SoA, and RISD.


Alejandra Navarrete Llopis is a New York based architect. Navarrete was trained at ETSAMadrid and IUAVenezia, and graduated from the Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia GSAPP where she is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor. She is the principal of NaMi, an architecture design and curatorial office where she is currently involved in projects as the exhibition design for the Iberoamerican Art Museum of Alcala de Henares University. In 2006 she co-founded PKMN, an architect’s collective based on the research of art, architecture, city and the citizen through the use of actions and exhibitions. PKMN has been widely awarded, published and exhibited as in Fresh Latino and Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York. She collaborated with Solid Arquitectura, receiving the first prize for the Performing Arts Center International Competition in Seoul and the “Aguila-Alcatel” Apartment Building in Madrid that was exhibited in the Spanish Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Marina Otero Verzier is an architect based in Rotterdam. She is Head of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut. Previously, she was Director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP. Otero studied architecture at TU Delft and ETSAMadrid, where is a PhD candidate. In 2013, as a Fulbright Scholar, she graduated from the M.S. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University GSAPP. Her work, recently awarded by The Graham Foundation and Fundación Arquia, has been published in different publications including sqm: The quantified Home, Arquitectura Viva, andDomus. Otero is co-editor of Promiscuous Encounters andUnmanned Architecture and Security Series, and has curated exhibitions at The 2013 Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial. Her current research is concerned with how changing notions of privacy and safety, and their articulation with global circulatory regimes, have an effect on the spaces of residence.


About the Participants:


Gro Bonesmo is a founding partner of SpaceGroup and a professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She was awarded a Masters of Advanced Architectural Design from the School of Architecture at Columbia University, and is a graduate from the Norwegian University of Technology in Trondheim. She also studied at the Sci-Arc in Lugano Switzerland and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Gro has taught at the Oslo School of Architecture since 1999, and at Columbia and Harvard Universities, Berlage Institute, KTH Stockholm and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. In the period of 1990-1998 she collaborated with Rem Koolhaas and OMA where she was the Project Architect for the Dutch House and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin. In 2014 she was the co-curator and, with SpaceGroup, the exhibition architect of the Nordic Pavillion in La Biennale di Architectura di Venezia.


Eva Franch i Gilabert is a New York based architect, curator, educator and lecturer of experimental forms of art and architectural practice. In 2004, she founded her solo practice OOAA (Office of Architectural Affairs) and since 2010 is the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. In 2014 Franch, with the project OfficeUS, was selected by the US State Department to represent the United States Pavilion at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Franch has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, the IUAV University of Venice, SUNY Buffalo, and Rice University School of Architecture.  


Leah Meisterlin is a term assistant professor in the Barnard & Columbia Colleges Architecture Department and CEO & cofounder of Office:MG, a research and design firm dedicated to complex and crisis- or conflict-affected areas. Her research is primarily focused on concurrent issues of spatial justice, informational ethics, and the effects of infrastructural networks on the construction of social and political space. Through her research and in practice, Leah specializes in designing novel methodologies for sociospatial systems analysis at local to global scales. 


Maria Nicanor is an architecture curator and architectural historian with a focus on cities and urbanism. She is currently a Curator at the Design, Architecture, and Digital Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Between 2006 and 2014 she was Associate Curator of Architecture and Urbanism at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Curator at the BMW Guggenheim Lab. At the Guggenheim she also worked on exhibitions such as Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within and Outward, and Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, among others.


Julian Rose grew up in Colorado and New York City. He received his Masters of Architecture from Princeton University where he was awarded the School of Architecture History and Theory Prize. Prior to attending Princeton he earned his BA from Harvard University in Art and Architectural History. He has worked for AMO on Rem Koolhaas’s proposal for the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and for the American firm LTL Architects on various buildings, installations, and exhibition designs, including projects sited at Lincoln Center and the Architectural League of New York. Rose’s writing on both art and architecture has been published internationally in such publications as Domus, Log, and Artforum.


Mark Wigley is an accomplished scholar and design teacher who has written extensively on the theory and practice of architecture and is the author of Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (1998); White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (1995); and The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt (1993). He co-edited The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationalist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond (2001). Wigley has served as curator for widely attended exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and Witte de With Museum, Rotterdam. He received both his Bachelor of Architecture (1979) and his Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.