ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years
Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley.
Designed by Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation
(Laura Mora, Roberto González, Paola Pardo, Marta Jarabo, Isabel Sánchez, Danay Kamdar, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín). Structural Consultants: Mechanism
Princeton University. School of Architecture
A galaxy of designers, architects, artists, theorists, filmmakers, historians, scientists, labs, centers, institutes, and NGOs respond to ARE WE HUMAN? manifestó. The entire School of Architecture building will be filled with a dense collage of overlapping provocations on the question ARE WE HUMAN?
Art meets science meets reflection meets speculation in a new kind of conversation about design. The exhibition thinks about the fact that the human is unique in its capacity to design but is also continuously redesigning itself in a never ending loop that flings it into the world in unexpected ways. The human is a question mark and design is simply the way of engaging with that question.
Every participant scrutinizes the human from a different angle. Unspoken by Diller Scofidio + Renfro explores Darwin’s observation that only humans blush. Forensic Architecture considers the question of whether orangutans should be granted human rights. Orkan Telhan offers his Microbial Design Studio, an inexpensive automated and networked countertop biofabrication machine to design, culture, and test genetically modified organisms. Laura Kurgan changes architectural thinking to the scale of the neuron and leading brain scientists from the Seung Lab at Princeton University and the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University present the latest thinking about the brain as both the mechanism of design and a plastic architecture that is redesigned even by thoughts. MOS Architects wrap space with an army of unemployed scale figures. And many more. This array is supplemented by installations on The Unstable Body, Are We Normal?, Homo cellular, and Design in 2 Seconds — prepared by the curatorial team and a joint team of Princeton and Columbia University students.
The overall effect is a kaleidoscope of artistic, technical, philosophical, theoretical, and ethical reflection on the intimate relation between “design” and “human.”
Exhibition participants include Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Eyal Weizman and Forensic Architecture, Hito Steyerl, Marshmallow Laser Feast, MOS Architects, Armin Linke, Philipp Meuser, Galina Balashova, Francois Dallegret, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Laura Kurgan, Orkan Telhan, Lu Yang, Tom Keenan and Sohrab Mohebbi, Lorenzo Pezzani, Common Accounts, Daniel Eisenberg, Juan Herreros, Amy Robinson Sterling, Sebastian Seung, Lucia Allais, Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis, Lydia Kallipoliti and Andreas Theodoridis, Ali Kazma, Axel Kilian, Spyros Papapetros, V. Mitch McEwen, and Universal Space Program.
In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) incorporated ‘IKEA Disobedients’ by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation into its collection as the first architectural performance acquired by the museum. This work has also been nominated in Architecture category for the Design of the Year 2013 Awards of the Design Museum, London. In 2013 they presented ‘SUPERPOWERS OF TEN’ at Lisbon Architecture Triennale, ‘Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool’ for RED CAT Gallery at Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Center for Contemporary Arts, in Los Angeles, and ‘Hänsel & Gretel’s Arenas’ at La Casa Encendida, in Madrid. In 2012, they presented their intervention ‘PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society’ at Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. In 2011, the research and prototype-making project ‘SWEET PARLIAMENT HOME’ was presented at the Gwangju Biennale and, in 2010, the installation ‘FRAY HOME HOME’ was presented at the Biennale di Venezia 2010.
They are authors of the publications PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society, Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool, Dulces Arenas Cotidianas, Eco-Ordinary. Codes for everyday architectural practices and Everyday Politics. Their production has been published in the most important media including A+U, Domus, El Croquis, The New York Times or Vogue, among others. Their work has been exhibited at MoMA New York, MAK Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, London Design Museum, RED CAT Gallery at Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Center for Contemporary Arts, Schweizerisches Architektur Museum in Basel, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine de Paris, Mostra di Architettura de la Bienal de Venezia, Gwangju Biennale and Lisbon Architecture Triennale.
Andrés Jaque , directs Andrés Jaque Architects and the Office for Political Innovation. He is currently Advanced Design Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation GSAPP Columbia University. He has been Tessenow Stipendiat 1998 in Toepfer Stiftung FVS, in Hamburg, and visiting teacher in a number of international universities and has lectured and taken part in round tables extensively throughout the world including Princeton University, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Instituto Politecnico di Milano, Centre International pour la Ville de Paris, Centre pour l’Architecture et le Paysage (Brussels), Sociedad Central (Buenos Aires), Berlage Institut (Rotterdam) or Museo Nacional (Bogotá).
The office clients list includes AC/E Acción Cultural Española, ARCOmadrid, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo de Madrid S.A., Art Fairs S.L., La Musa S.L., Matadero Madrid, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Obispado de Plasencia, Ojalá Awareness Club, Construmat, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Comunidad de Madrid, Aluz Imagen y Comunicación S.L., Ayuntamiento de Burgos, Caja Duero and Xunta de Galicia, among others.