Nathalie Frankowski is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP and a French architect, artist, curator, educator, author, designer, and poet.
During the financial crisis of 2008, Nathalie co-founded together with Cruz Garcia, WAI Architecture Think Tank, a planetary studio practicing by questioning the political, historical, and material legacy and imperatives of architecture and urbanism. WAI is one of their several platforms of public engagement that include Beijing-based anti-profit art space Intelligentsia Gallery, and the free and alternative education platform and trade-school Loudreaders. Based on the emancipating and persecuted alternative practice of education performed by lectores like Luisa Capetillo in the tobacco factories in the Caribbean, Loudreaders is an open pedagogical platform and free trade school that engages with architectural education as a form of mutual aid and critical solidarity in the age of Covid-19.
Nathalie is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University and faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and they have been faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Ann Kalla Professors at Carnegie Mellon University, Hyde Chairs of Excellence in Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Visiting Teaching Fellows at The School of Architecture at Taliesin.
Their work has been part of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art New York, Neues Museum in Nuremberg, and the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology Lisbon.
They are authors of Narrative Architecture: A Kynical Manifesto (nai010, 2020), Pure Hardcore Icons: A Manifesto on Pure Form in Architecture (Artifice Books on Architecture 2013, China Architecture and Building Press 2021), A Manual of Anti-Racist Architecture Education (Loudreaders Publishers, 2020), and a series of publications exploring Post-Colonial imaginaries including From Black Square to Black Reason: A Post-Colonial Architecture Manifesto.
Through the constant ethos of asking ‘What about it’, WAI Architecture Think Tank is a
workshop for architecture intelligentsia that speculates on the possibility of: