random thoughts on architecture history theory and criticism


Last October, FAAC (Feminist Art and Architecture Collaborative) presented at GAHTC!

…and among many other things, we showed this (with much respect to the Guerrilla Girls, of course!):


FAAC is myself with Tessa Paneth-Pollak, Martina Tanga, and Olga Touloumi. We hope to be many/much more soon!


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“collecting the nation” at sah 2015

fellow archinerds, i’m discussing pleistocene bones, iron structures, and the first inhabitants of the americas, all in twenty minutes or so! come hear about the geopolitics of the 19th century extermination of the 14,500 BCE tehuelche and its links to railroad networks, glyptodon skeletons, the pampas, charles darwin, and the natural history museum of la plata. it’s all brand new research so it’s pretty scattered, but i’m hoping to make a good pitch for it (with some pretty serious arguments, despite my tone here). and it *may* include more images like this one here. i’m on friday morning in the manifest panel, bigger than big: american matter out of scale, you can find my abstract here.

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feminism and architecture part 2: women, architecture, and academia

Very happy to be presenting a collaborative project done with Olga Touloumi, Tessa Paneth-Pollak, and Martina Tanga, or as we decided to call ourselves, FAAC (the Feminist Art and Architecture Collaborative). We’ve been working on a syllabus for an art and architecture survey that “unpacks spaces of contestation and encourages students to think critically about how specific sites and objects have participated in the construction of class, race, and gender.” Olga and I will present it, pecha kucha style, at this great-looking conference at Parsons.

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the housing question

aml image

i’m very happy to be participating in “the housing question: nomad seminar in historiography” next march 12-13, 2005 at the university of san diego! the roster is great, with good friends and colleagues, and let’s face it: boston is buried under several feet of snow right now, so san diego sounds wonderful. here’s an abstract of my paper, which deals with the same film as the paper i presented at caa, here with more emphasis on the discourse of housing. i have to admit i love my paper’s title and i love this image, which is a still from the film and wonderfully creepy and evocative at the same time. also in the paper, fake psychoanalysts! surrealist photomontage! peronist propaganda! and all sorts of great material–i hope i’m doing it justice.

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Filming the Modern Unconscious at CAA 2015

I’m very happy to be presenting at CAA 2015 in the panel “Anemic Cinema: Dada/Surrealism and Film in the Americas” chaired by Samantha Kavky and Jonathan P. Eburne. My paper is titled “Filming the Modern Unconscious: La Ciudad Frente Al Río, Buenos Aires 1949.” Here’s a short abstract:

La Ciudad Frente al Río (The City in Front of the River) was a ten-minute film produced in Buenos Aires in 1949 to instruct Porteños on the ills of their city: under attack from pollution, traffic, and excess building. Through the hand of the modern architect, the film promised, the city could be transformed from irrational chaos into pastoral dream. Produced under the regime of populist president Juan Perón, the film was part of a broader strategy to gain public support for a modern plan. Director Enrico Gras mobilized Surrealist tactics and the language of popular psychoanalysis to shock, captivate, and seduce the public, turning avant-garde resources into Peronist political propaganda. I argue that by rendering visible the nightmares and dreams of modernity, La Ciudad Frente al Río reveals modern architecture’s unconscious: its nostalgic yearning for a dream-like, unreachable past.

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air nationalism


I wrote a review of Norman Foster and Fernando Romero’s Mexico City Airport in The Avery Review, a periodical of critical essays in architecture edited by the Office of Publications at Columbia GSAPP.

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eahn 2014


I’m excited about presenting my work at EAHN 2014. I’m in the panel titled “Southern Crossings: Iberia and Latin America in Architectural Translation,” chaired by Marta Caldeira and María González Pendás. My presentation is titled “Reentry: Antonio Bonet’s return to Spain.”

I examine Antonio Bonet’s return to Spain in the context of the failure of the Barrio Sur urban development project in Buenos Aires (1956), commissioned by the short-lived, de facto government of Pedro Aramburu (who led the military coup that deposed populist president Juan Perón). I explain how Barrio Sur ’s failure was turned into success, providing the perfect narrative for Bonet’s return to Spain in the context of the “Spanish Miracle” and the liberalization of the Spanish economy in the late period of the Franco dictatorship. This episode, I argue, points to modern architecture’s turn from revolution to nostalgia.

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la escuelita and fau-usp at radical pedagogies


i’m happy to be part of the radical pedagogies exhibition at monditalia in the venice biennale. i contributed with two entries, la escuelita in buenos aires, argentina, and fau usp in são paulo, brazil. i’m proud to be part of the group of scholars that have participated in this project, which has been honored with a special mention at the venice biennale. an interview with beatriz colomina highlights my research on rossi here. i wish i could have foregrounded the founders of the school, tony díaz, ernesto katzenstein, and jujo solsona, a bit more. i’ve uploaded my research on the translation of rossi in buenos aires and new york to my academia page here (ensayo publicado en español en la revista plot 8).

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SAH 2014


very happy to be presenting some of my research at SAH 2014 in Austin, TX. i’m part of the panel “Beyond Slab and Subdivision: Housing Alternatives after 1945,” chaired by Kenny Cupers and Alison Fisher. my paper is titled “Conflicted Modernities: Antonio Bonet’s Barrio Sur, 1957.”

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Una carta para el alcalde de Guayaquil, escrita entre todos. A pedido del Storefront for Art and Architecture, estoy elaborando una carta al alcalde de Guayaquil, Ab. Jaime Nebot. He creado un hashtag, #CartaNebot y lo difundí en colaboración con los amigos de Ahora estoy en el proceso de recoger los tuits y editar la carta. Pueden leer una descripción completa del pedido aquí y ver la curadoría en proceso acá. Acaban de publicar una nota en el diario Hoy!!



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