Nov 16th 2020

Student Lecture: The Social Consciousness of the Built Environment

On November 18 the students of the College of Architecture will host “The Social Consciousness of the Built Environment,” a discussion of how experiencing and designing the built environment can influence society. The talk will feature architecture and culture critic Kate Wagner; photographer, videographer, and visual artist Carlos Javier Ortiz; and architect, urbanist, and author Chris Marcinkoski.

Wagner is the creator of the McMansion Hell blog, which humorously critiques the design of large, ubiquitous suburban homes that attempt––unsuccessfully, she believes––to project affluence and wealth through rote design decisions. Additionally, she has contributed to publications such as Curbed, 99 Percent Invisible, and Atlas Obscura, and has worked as a sound engineer specializing in architectural acoustics.

Ortiz focuses his work on urban life, gun violence, race, poverty, and marginalized communities through projects such as "We All We Got," a short documentary depicting a community’s deep sense of loss and resilience in the face of gun violence. Currently, Ortiz is working on a series of documentaries chronicling Black Americans who moved to the North during the Great Migration. In 2016 Ortiz received a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video.

Finally, Marcinkoski is an architect and founding partner at PORT, which specializes in public and urban design projects, and was recognized with the 2020 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York. In addition to his work at PORT, Marcinkoski is an associate professor of landscape architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design in Philadelphia. He recently published the book "The City That Never Was," which explores the phenomenon of “speculative urbanization” and the implications of unrealistic urbanization strategies.

The discussion will begin at 5 p.m. CST and is accessible via Zoom (passcode: 279075).