Conversation on the launch of Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and Urbanism, Issue No. 1


"Looking Inward."

October 8, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

Manifest was founded as a means to initiate a critical conversation about the state of American architecture, its cities, and its hinterland. While it questions the assumptions behind singular notions/constructions of America by tracing its origins and its global influence, Manifestalso aims to define the uniqueness of American forms of city-building and the distinct set of political parameters through which these forms are shaped. “Looking inward,” is here offered as an interrogation of a “New World” taken for granted. Rather than abandoning this new world for a newer world elsewhere or circling the wagons here at home, this issue of Manifest speaks less to a continual rehearsal of the initial American experiment in favor of a prompt toward the active shaping of its evolution.

Anthony Acciavatti is an architect and principal of Somatic-Collaborative, an award winning architecture firm based in New York City. At present he is pursuing a Ph.D. in the History of Science Program in the Department of History at Princeton University. He has taught advanced architecture studios and seminars at RISD and Northeastern University. He earned a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he was awarded the Frederick Sheldon Fellowship to continue his research on architecture and urbanism in the Americas. His research has received funding through a J. William Fulbright Fellowship as well as fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Harvard University, and Princeton University amongst others. His work has been published in Architectural Designmagazine, Bracket, OnSite, SARAI, and Topos. He is the author of the book Trojan Horse (2011), as well as the author of the forthcoming books Cosmic Comics: Transects of Ganga-Jamuna doab (2012) and Dynamic Atlas: Changes of State Along the Ganges River Corridor (2012).

Justin Fowler is a Ph.D. candidate at the Princeton School of Architecture. He received an M. Arch from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and previously studied Government and the History of Art and Architecture at the College of William and Mary. His writing has appeared in publications such as Volume,Speciale Z Journal, Thresholds, PIN-UP, Domus, Conditions, and Topos, along with book chapters in Material Design: Informing Architecture by Materiality(Birkhauser, 2010), and Aircraft Carrier: American Ideas and Israeli Architectures after 1973 (Hatje Cantz, 2012). He is the editor of Evolutionary Infrastructures by Weiss/Manfredi (Harvard GSD, 2013). He has worked as a designer for Dick van Gameren Architecten in Amsterdam, Somatic Collaborative in Cambridge, and managed research and editorial projects at the Columbia University Lab for Architectural Broadcasting (C-Lab) in New York. He also served as managing editor for C-Lab issues of Volume magazine.

Dan Handel is an architect, a Ph.D. candidate at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the inaugural Young Curator at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, for which he developed the exhibition First, the Forests. Additionally, he curated Aircraft Carrier, the exhibition at the Israeli pavilion in the 13th Venice architecture biennale, which was also exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. He holds degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. His writing has appeared in Thresholds, Frame, San Rocco,Pin-Up, Bracket, and the Journal of Landscape Architecture, among others. He is the editor of the publication Aircraft Carrier: American Ideas and Israeli Architectures after 1973 (Hatje Cantz, 2012).

Joseph Vogl


"On Hesitation"

April 22, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

Hesitation is not simply a suspension of action. Rather, it marks the borderline between acting and not acting, where an interspace of purely inventive power and contingency appears. In the form of unrealized variants, which lie around an incident like dust, systematic hesitation can be reclaimed for a historic and aesthetic research program. It proves to be a method of complication through which historic as well as discursive events can be led to their point of origin and be revised to a force of settlement. As a worldview, as a gesture of challenge, hesitation and its pauses will become the base, the operational field of discourse itself. Hesitation thus appears as a contrapuntal companion of a history of “action,” which shaped the western world. One can follow this idea from the Oresty to the titans of hesitation in the 20th century – whether Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities or Freud’s Moses of Michelangelo.

Joseph Vogl is Professor for Literary, Cultural and Media Studies at the Department of German, Humboldt-University Berlin, and Permanent Visiting Professor at the Department of German, Princeton University.

Sigrid Weigel


"The Lightning Flash of Knowledge and the Time of Image: Walter Benjamin's image-based epistemology and its pre-conditions in visual arts and media history"

April 18, 2013 | 5.00pm | N107, Princeton School of Architecture

"In the fields with which we are concerned, knowledge [Erkenntnis] comes only in lightning flashes. The text is the long roll of thunder that follows." -Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project

This lecture regards the sentence cited above from as the vanishing point of Benjamin’s epistemology and reconstructs its formation in his writing: from notes taken by him as a young museum visitor to his achievements as the author of a cultural history of modernity. Although Benjamin’s theory is frequently discussed in terms of “thinking in images,” the role of real images in his work — not only photographs, but also paintings and other works of art — is still underestimated. The lecture argues for the significance to Benjamin’s epistemology of his engagement with the visual arts and the art-historical approaches of the Warburg school.

Sigrid Weigel is the Director of the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin and Visiting Professor at the Department of German at Princeton University.

Filmic Arabesques: Le Corbusier, Eisenstein and Gogol's Gothic

Anthony Vidler

 February 12, 2013 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | 5:30pm | Room N107 Princeton School of Architecture

"If Le Corbusier agreed that 'everything is Architecture,' he also called for film to concentrate on its own laws; Eisenstein, similarly, abandoned a career as an architect and stage designer precisely because the film offered a new and different stage of representational technique for modernity. For Le Corbusier architecture was a setting of the athletic and physical life of the new man; its objects and settings the activators of mental and spiritual activity through vision; for Eisenstein architecture remained only a potential film, a necessary stage in aesthetic evolution, but already surpassed." -Anthony Vidler, Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture

Anthony Vidler is a professor of architecture and dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, NYC.

Soviet Secret Cities During The Cold War

 April 24, 2012 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | 6pm | Room N107 Princeton School of Architecture

Lasting one fifteen-millionth of a second, the double lightning flash of Hiroshima and Nagasaki precipitated an official carte blanche to establish a new, utopian and secret form of Soviet urbanity. Nameless and unrepresented on maps, Soviet secret cities, or ZATO, were sites of highly covert research and production for military and scientific purposes. ZATO were inspired by ideal cities and articulated through a progressive, modernist, architectural language that represented the ideology of the Communist Party. Distributed throughout the Soviet landscape and listed as mere geographic points under randomly changing numbers, they were sites for the invention of weapons of mass destruction.

Panelists Jean-Louis Cohen (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University), Michael Gordin (History of Science, Princeton University), andXenia Vytuleva (NIITIAG RAASN/Moscow, Columbia University) will discuss the urban phenomenon of ZATO, and how these “realized utopias” relate to larger socio-political and aesthetic discourses.

Britt Eversole and Yetunde Olaiya

Monday, April 21, 2014


José Aragüez and Phil Taylor

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


LC/GR Le Corbusier and Greece

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Redesigning the Scholarly Book

Monday, March 31, 2014