Landscapes of Quarantine is an independent, multi-disciplinary design studio, based in New York City, consisting of eight evening workshops, from October 6 to December 5, 2009, in which 17 participants will gather to discuss the spatial implications of quarantine. Quarantine is an ancient spatial practice characterized by a state of enforced immobility, decontamination, and sequestration; yet it is increasingly relevant—and difficult to monitor—in an era of global trade, bio-engineering, and mass tourism.

Studio participants will explore a wide variety of spatial and historical examples, including airport quarantine facilities, Level 5 biohazard wards, invasive species, agricultural regulations, swine-flu infected tourists confined to their hotel rooms, lawsuits over citizens’ rights to resist involuntary quarantine, horror films, World Health Organization plans for controlling the spread of pandemics, lunar soil samples, and more.

During the studio, participants will develop individual design projects in response to the problem of quarantine, with guidance and inspiration provided by readings, screenings, group discussions, and an evolving line-up of guest speakers and critics. These projects will then be eligible for inclusion in “Landscapes of Quarantine,” an exhibition hosted by the internationally renowned Storefront for Art and Architecture in early 2010.

By the end of the studio, each participant will have produced a complete design project. This could range from the speculative (plug-in biosecurity rooms for the American suburbs) to the documentary (recording the items and animals detained for quarantine on the U.S./Mexico border), and from the fantastical (plans for extra-planetary quarantine facilities) to the instructional (a field guide to invasive species control).

We are particularly excited to announce that we have confirmed a select group of incredibly interesting and talented participants from fields as diverse as architecture, illustration, gaming, photography, and sound design:

Joe Alterio — Illustrator, Animator, and Comic Book Artist

Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse – Artists, smudge studio

Scott Geiger — Writer, Architecture Research Office

Yen Ha and Michi Yanagishita — Architects, Front Studio and “ladies who lunch”

Katie Holten — Artist

Jeffrey Inaba — Architect, INABA Projects, Director, C-LAB, and Editor, Volume Magazine

Ed Keller — Architect and Filmmaker, AUM Studio

Mimi Lien — Set Designer

Richard Mosse Saddams Palaces

Daniel Perlin — Sound Designer, Perlin Studios

Thomas Pollman — Architect, New York City Office of Emergency Management

Kevin Slavin — Urban Games Designer, Area/Code

Brian Slocum — Architect, Polshek Partnership Architects

Amanda Spielman — Graphic Designer, Graphomanic and SpotCo

Lebbeus Woods — Architect, Author, and Educator (

The studio is both unaffiliated and independent (there is no college credit), and it is also free (though applicants will be responsible for all costs associated with producing their final project). For more information, including the studio brief, course pack, and regular updates, visit BLDGBLOG ( and Edible Geography (

Landscapes of Quarantine is produced and organized by Future Plural, a project-based, independent design lab launching in October 2009 from a temporary base in New York City. Future Plural consists of Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) and Nicola Twilley (Edible Geography).