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The Library is Open 8: Agonistic Assemblies with Markus Miessen

Wed, Feb 14    12:30pm

Markus Miessen will discuss his latest project, the edited volume Agonistic Assemblies as part of the 8th iteration of GSAPP’s “The Library is Open”

Agonistic Assemblies asks: how can spaces—both physical and virtual—be envisaged to create publics? How is collectivity and society being generated spatially and in terms of policy? How do we “practice” society as a bodily, spatial form, and how does this practice contribute to spatial justice? Are there specific spatial settings that can intensify these practices? What kind of spatial design can we imagine as platforms for change?

Agonistic Assemblies features contributions by: Zahra Ali Baba, Ole Bouman, Francelle Cane, Giancarlo De Carlo, Claudia Chwalisz, Kenny Cupers, Anne Davidian, Diane E. Davis, Erhard Eppler, Jesko Fezer, Joseph Grima, Amelie Klein, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Florian Malzacher, Markus Miessen, Chantal Mouffe, Gustav Kjær Vad Nielsen, César Reyes Nájera, Dennis Pohl, Patricia Reed, Vera Sacchetti, Nikolaj Schultz, Rahel Süss, Pelin Tan, Roemer Van Toorn, David Mulder Van Der Vegt, Sarah M. Whiting, and Mirjam Zadoff

Markus Miessen is an architect and writer, and in 2021 was appointed Professor of Urban Regeneration at the University of Luxembourg, where he holds the Chair of the City of Esch and runs the research platform Cultures of Assembly, which he initiated. He received his PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, London, supervised by Eyal Weizman. Previously, he studied at the Glasgow School of Art, graduated from the Architectural Association London with Honours, and received a Master in Research from the London Consortium. The initiator of the Participation tetralogy, his work revolves around questions of critical spatial practice, institution building, and spatial politics.

Miessen has taught at the Architectural Association (London), the Berlage Institute Rotterdam, and has been a Harvard Fellow at the Graduate School of Design. Most recently, he has held a Stiftungsprofessur for Critical Spatial Practice at the Städelschule (Frankfurt), has been a Studio Professor at HEAD, Geneva School of Art and Design, was Distinguished Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles), and Full Professor for Design at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design (Gothenburg).

As an architect, he directs Studio Miessen, where he has worked closely with institutions such as The Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism, the Gropius Bau in Berlin, or Witte de With in Rotterdam (now Kunstinstituut Melly) –– and a number of artists with whom the studio has longer-term working relationships, such as Hito Steyerl or Flaka Haliti. The studio’s largest project to date is a strategic framework design for a former NATO military site in Germany, which is currently being transformed into a cultural centre. As a consultant, Miessen has worked with several governments, NGOs, the European Commission, as well as independent cultural institutions. In 2008, Miessen founded the Winter School Middle East (now Kuwait).

Amongst many other books and writings, Miessen is the author of “The Nightmare of Participation” and “Crossbenching: Towards Participation as Critical Spatial Practice”, both Sternberg Press and Merve Verlag, Berlin. He has edited volumes such as Para-Platforms: on the spatial politics of right-wing populism, and The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict. Together with Nikolaus Hirsch, he is the editor of the book series „Critical Spatial Practice“ published by Sternberg Press, which has included protagonists such as Chantal Mouffe, Eyal Weizman, Beatriz Colomina, Felicity D. Scott, or Keller Easterling.

His most recent volume, “Agonistic Assemblies (On the Spatial Politics of Horizontality)”, published by Sternberg Press, will be launched in February 2024.

studiomiessen.com masterarchitecture.lu culturesofassembly.org

This event is organized as part of Columbia University’s Dialogue Across Difference (DxD) initiative, designed to foster a resilient and inclusive community of learners among students, faculty, and staff and to engage with diverse perspectives and navigate challenging conversations with a shared commitment to mutual understanding and respect. Learn more on the University’s Values in Action website.

This event content is equivalent to 1 AIA/CES total learning credit. Please contact events@arch.columbia.edu for more information.