the Critical and Activist practice: A Discussion

the Critical and Activist practice: A Discussion is an event organized by DSGN AGNC as part of a one-week artist residency at the Austrian Cultural Forum through an invitation by WochenKlausur to be a part of the Our Haus exhibit.

07.02.12 || 06:30 PM
ACFNY Auditorium
11 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022

The conversation will explore the question of what it means to be Critical and Activist in the context of design/art/architecture/urban practices. As practices increasingly engage social and environmental issues the question remains as to how to effectively work within the fragmented, decentralized and often weakened fiscal and political structures that characterize the neo-liberal city. The panel will discuss how designers can fully engage in political processes rather than accept short-sighted solutions and to be advocates for projects that go beyond token investments on ‘green’ and ‘social’.

To unpack these issues the following five topics will be discussed by invited speakers and the audience:

-Strategist Practices: Identifying and Mapping Urban Conflict
Speaker: Sarah Williams, Columbia University

-Tactical Approaches:  On Media and Quick Action   
Speaker: Daniel Latorre presenting Occupy Town Square and The Illuminator

-Erase Autonomy:  Blurring Disciplinary Boundaries
Speaker: Paula Z Segal, 596 Acres

-Working With, not For:  Community Participatory Processes
Speaker: James Rojas, Latino Urban Forum

-Designing Processes, not Products: No Outcome is Ever Final
Speaker: Mabel Wilson, Columbia University

Moderator: Anthony W. (Tony) Schuman, NJIT
Tony Schuman is a registered architect and associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where he has served as both undergraduate and graduate program director. Tony was a founding member of a series of advocacy and activist organizations in the architecture and planning professions, including Urban Deadline, The Architects’ Resistance (TAR), Homefront, and the Planners Network.

This conversation and other research and projects will be included on a zine on Critical Activist practices that DSGN AGNC will design and publish while on residency at the Austrian Cultural Forum from July 2nd-8th. The zine will be launched during a panel discussion on media and publishing at the ACF on July 8th at 3PM. More information on this second panel is forthcoming.

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