EVENT: A Participatory Public Discourse on Socio-Political City Maps…February 27th.

The below post was re-posted from Shannon Mattern’s Media and Architecture class site…It certainly applies to material discussed in our class AND could add insight to the mapping projects presented in class last night.  RSVP to attend on Monday, February 27th.



MONDAY FEB 27, 06:30 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 E 52nd St.

On the occasion of the publication of Sophie Hochhäusl’s book Otto Neurath – City Planning: Proposing a socio-political Map for modern Urbanism (Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2011), the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Van Alen Institute present a round table discussion on the question of urban mappings and participatory public discourse on the city.

Austrian philosopher, economist and member of the Vienna Circle, Otto Neurath (1882 – 1945) investigated representational maps for more than two decades of his life. In search of “humanizing knowledge” he revolutionized the discipline of chart making through the use of quantitative maps (picture statistics) accessible to a large public. In a response to the undertakings of CIAM IV, Neurath published his map “City Planning,” to emphasize that a discourse on modern urbanism allowing for a pluralism of ideas, in which a broad public could partake was long overdue.

Under this premise the invited panelists discuss the state of socio-political mapping in architecture and urbanism historically and today.


Christine Gaspar (Center for Urban Pedagogy)
Sophie Hochhäusl (PhD student, Cornell University)
Prem Krishnamurthy (Project Projects)
Bart Lootsma (Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck)
William Menking (The Architect’s Newspaper)
Nader Vossoughian (New York Institute of Technology).

Moderated by Olympia Kazi (Van Alen Institute)


Christine Gaspar is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a New York-based nonprofit whose mission is to use art and design to improve public participation in shaping the built environment. She partners with designers and community organizations to create visually-based educational tools that help demystify complex issues from zoning law to sewage infrastructure. The projects are designed with and for advocacy organizations to help increase their capacity to mobilize their constituents on important urban issues. CUP’s print, audio, video, and media projects, along with tactile interactive workshop tools, are in use by dozens of community organizers and tens of thousands of individuals in New York City and beyond. The projects have been featured in art and design contexts such as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Triennial, PS-1, and the Venice Biennale. Christine has over ten years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

Sophie Hochhäusl is interested in participatory processes, communal economies, and groups of marginality in architectural discourse. Her previous work ranges from an architecture children’s book, Pinsel, Paula und die Plaudernden Häuser, and a collection of teaching material for high schools on architectural design and representation in “Red Vienna” to academic articles i.e. “Otto Neurath – Mapping the City as Social Fact.” Her exhibition “Master Planning Paradise“ which dealt with 110 years of communal housing in Vienna, was shown in cooperation with the Austrian Museum of Architecture, AzW. Sophie was trained as an architect at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and Architectural Historian at Cornell University, where she is currently a PhD student in the History of Urbanism.

Prem Krishnamurthy is a designer, curator, and founding principal of the design studio Project Projects. Project Projects has been honored twice as a Finalist in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum’s National Design Awards for its work with clients such as CCS Bard, Columbia GSAPP, Guggenheim Museum, Harvard University, MoMA, SALT (Istanbul), Steven Holl Architects, and Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition, Prem has edited and curated projects with the Berkeley Art Museum, Center for Architecture New York, Paper Monument, Print magazine, and SALT. Recent lectures and teaching include the Gwangju Design Biennial 2011, GAMeC 4th International Symposium of Emerging Curators, Walker Art Center, Jan Van Eyck Academie, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, University of the Arts Bremen, and RISD Graduate Graphic Design Program.

Bart Lootsma is a historian, critic and curator in the fields of architecture, design and the visual arts. He is a Professor for Architectural Theory at the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck and Guest Professor for Architecture, European Urbanity and Globalization at the University of Luxemburg. Bart Lootsma was guest curator of ArchiLab 2004 in Orléans and he was an editor of ao. Forum, de Architect, ARCHIS and GAM. He published numerous articles and books, i.e. SuperDutch, on contemporary architecture in the Netherlands, and ArchiLab 2004 The Naked City by HYX in Orléans in 2004. As chair of Architectural Theory at the University of Innbruck Lootsma has researched the works of Otto Neurath, Friedrich Kiesler and Christopher Alexander in his studio “Out of the Wild.”

William Menking is an architectural historian, writer, critic, and curator of architecture and urbanism and co-founder and editor in chief of the The Architect’s Newspaper. He is professor of architecture, urbanism, and city planning at Pratt Institute and has lectured and taught at schools in the United States and Europe. He has been published in numerous architectural publications, anthologies, and museum catalogues. He has curated and organized international exhibitions on the visionary British architects Archigram, the Italian radical architects Superstudio, and contemporary English design, and he served as Commissioner of the U.S. pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale. He has participated in various juries including the 2006 and 2008 New York City AIA New Practices, 2007 and 2008 San Francisco AIA Honor Awards, and the 2007 Lumen awards for lighting.

Nader Vossoughian is an associate professor in Architectural History at New York institute of Technology. He is a curator, critic, and theorist whose research interests center on the relationship between politics, knowledge, and the city. He is the authors of numerous articles, among them “European Modernism and the Information Society; Otto Neurath’s Economic Writings” in Josef Frank 1885-1967 – Eine Moderne der Unordnung published by Pusted. He is widely known for his book Otto Neurath: The Languge of the Global Polis which re-introduced Neurath’s legacy to the fields of architecture and urbanism. Vossoghian has also curated many exhibitions, including the show Gypsy Urbanism that has been shown at the Museum for Applied Arts in Vienna and the MAK Centre in Los Angeles.

Olympia Kazi is an architecture curator and critic and the Executive Director of Van Alen Institute where she brought new energy and vision to VAI’s historic mission to foster dialogue about the evolving role of architecture in the public realm. Educated as an architect at the University of Florence, Italy, she served as Junior Curator at the Milan Triennale before moving to New York to become a Fellow of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program. She is also the former Executive Director of the Institute for Urban Design. Olympia Kazi has written for numerous publications, among them The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Design, Wound Magazine.

Categories: Upcoming Events


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