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The Architectural Imagination: Mexicantown

October 1, 2015 at 6:00 pm

The Architectural Imagination: Mexicantown

The US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale will host The Architectural Imagination, an exhibition of new speculative architectural projects commissioned for specific sites in Detroit but with far-reaching application for cities around the world. The exhibition will emphasize the importance and value of the architectural imagination in shaping forms and spaces into exciting future possibilities. The birthplace of the automobile industry, the free-span factory floor, the concrete paved road, and Motown and techno music, Detroit was once a center of American imagination, not only for the products it made but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle, which captivated audiences worldwide. Like many postindustrial cities, Detroit is coping with a changed urban core that for decades has generated much thinking in urban planning. As advocates of the power of architecture to construct culture and catalyze cities, curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon will commission twelve visionary American architectural practices to produce new work that demonstrates the creativity and resourcefulness of architecture to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.

This presentation is the second of four The Architectural Imagination roundtable discussions at Taubman College. 


Venice Biennale Presentation II – The Architectural Imagination: Mexicantown from Taubman College on Vimeo.


Both Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom have extensive workand teaching experience. While together at Greg Lynn FORM, they were team leaders on the World Trade Center Design competition. While Jackilin continued at Greg Lynn FORM to design and build the Bloom House, Florencia has designed and executed several full-scale installations of her own. Their shared sensibilities and research interests brought them together in 2010 and have since produced a body of work that focuses on the cohesion of form and color.

MARCELO LOPEZ-DINARDI AND V. MITCH McEWEN, A(n) Office, Detroit, MI and New York, NY
A(n) Office partners come from culturally and disciplinary multiple backgrounds. Latin America, the Caribbean and North America are all physical locations where they have actively engaged. Both Latin American and African-American cultures are also at the center of their concerns; as well as issues of migration and democracy. Political economy, urban design, architecture, exhibition, curatorial and installation work are all part of their disciplinary framework. A(n) Office partners collectively have more than twenty years of intense experience in the design field and have developed as well an academic career during the same period. They have worked in a variety of formats, including architectural firms, public and municipal institutions, not-for-profit organizations, academia, and independently as entrepreneurs. These multi-platformed experiences have increased their capacity to consider and produce multi-disciplinary collaborative work. Both partners have professional architecture degrees, as well as graduate-level studies in conceptual and curatorial practices and undergraduate studies in political economy from Columbia and Harvard, respectively.

MACK SCOGIN & MERRILL ELAM, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, GA
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, founded in 1984 as Parker and Scogin, later as Scogin Elam and Bray, was formed in order to take full advantage of the complementary skills and talents of the two principal architects, Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam. The work of the firm is organized in such a manner that ensures the involvement of the principal architects inthe day-to-day development of each project. This keeps the work personal and directed, and brings the best of the firm’s collective knowledge and experience to each client. Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects’ clients expect innovative design with a mature approach to the practical constraints of architecture. They have an innate desire for architecture that goes beyond mere problem solving to architecture that addresses their curiosity surrounding the role of architecture in society. The firm has had the privilege to work with some of the most respected clients in the world including: Herman Miller, Inc; The High Museum of Art; The Committee for Olympic Development in Atlanta; Tishman Speyer Properties; Corning Enterprises, Inc., and The Coca Cola Company, the following city governments: Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York; as well as the following universities: Arizona State, University of California at Berkeley, Clark-Atlanta, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Harvard, The Ohio State, Tulane, Syracuse, and Yale.

McLain Clutter, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Amy Kulper, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning




October 1, 2015
6:00 pm
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